I wish I could tell you I'll fix this For I hate to see you in pain. I wish I could tell you I'll sort it And make it better again. I don't have the power To mend this But please don't suffer alone. I can't wave a wand And dispel it Nor weave my spells as a crone. But I'll listen to all You share with me As you fight to change your life. And I'll cheer you on From my corner As you overcome each strife.
You are not a comfortable God, And I have avoided you. You are not an easy God, But I have chosen to face you. You gave an eye at Mimir's Well To gain knowledge and wisdom. I will have eye surgery To gain my clearer vision. Yesterday I gave you wine And your blood brother also. The first time I had done so It will not be the last. You are not a comfortable God; I choose to face my discomfort. You are not an easy God, But I wish to learn. One-eyed Wanderer, I listen now Raven God, Rune Master, no longer will I turn away.
For the last couple of years my path has gradually been changing. A lot of what I do in my personal practice is the same but there are newer elements. It all started when Loki came into my life. I now honour an increasing number of Heathen deities along with those from Celtic lands I have honoured for years.
Most Druids and Heathens honour ancestors and spirits of the land in some way. And in both communities if you ask a question you will get a multitude of answers – although Heathens will more often refer you to various written sources such as the Eddas and Sagas.
At the same time as these changes have been happening with my spiritual life I’ve also gradually become more confident about referring to myself as autistic in spite of being told that I didn’t fully meet “diagnostic criteria”. Yes, it still annoys me. Fortunately those that know me best, including my kids, as well as an assortment of adult autistic friends have recognised that I am autistic. I refer to it as being peer recognised.
I am still me. I am still Pauline, daughter of Siusaidh. I am also Potia Nighean a’Chailliche (the second part of that name I took in October 2019 as part of my promises to the Ancient One). I’m still a Hearth Druid and I’m proudly autistic. But now I’m adding a new label to my collection, I’ve fully accepted that I’m also Heathen.
Are they in the rich, fertile soil
Or the dry, dusty ground?
Do you see them in the deep gleam of her eyes
Or the subtle glow of his skin?
Are they rough like tree bark
Or smooth as chocolate?
Do they squelch like mud
Or whisper like grains of sand?
Are they soft as cats fur
Or hard as horses hooves?
Or perhaps they come with tentacles…
For Tom and Nimue.
I woke this morning from an unusual dream which feels significant. In this dream I was at some sort of gathering somewhere rural with nice front garden and driveway. It was at the end of this gathering and Neil and I were walking down the drive on the way out. Andy and Helen Guthrie drew level with us, we hadn’t known they were there. Andy have me a hug, as he usually would, then he looked at me and said: “The salmon aren’t spawning properly.” We said something like we hadn’t known that and Neil left to check on this. Andy went on to say there were 14 areas where the salmon weren’t spawning properly. Then I woke up.
This felt like a significant dream. I’ve never dreamt of Andy before, or Helen come to that. And what he said initially was so clear. Does it mean there are serious problems with our rivers? Possibly, the gods know we put enough shite into the world to cause all sorts of problems. But I don’t think it’s that simple. Andy, as those who knew him will know, was a teller of Celtic stories and myths, he knew these myths in his blood and bones. To those who know Celtic symbols the Salmon is a symbol of wisdom and inspiration and there are a few tales of those who sought the Salmon of wisdom only for another to receive its gift. Could this dream have something to do with the sharing or seeking of knowledge, wisdom or inspiration?
What are you seeking? What are you sharing? Have you gradually drawn in as I have or have you been reaching out? What does it mean to you that the Salmon aren’t spawning properly? And what of the 14 areas Andy spoke of, what are they?
Sometimes dreams feel bigger than just for you. Sometimes you need to share them.
Images of Imbolcs past flood my mind.
Woken early, a gift of chocolates.
A simple ceremony in a local park.
Guesting with a coven, the smell of my hair burning!
Chanting to honour Brigid
Our Lucy pours out the offering of milk
Flames of hope shared in the cold
Warm drinks after shared in the warmth.
Long conversations of the Brighids in the past.
I wrap a mantle of love around you Love from friends Love from family Love from far and near. I wrap a mantle of love around you Love that protects Love that nurtures Most of all, love that supports. I wrap a mantle of love around you Love from hopes Love from joys Love through pain and sorrow. I wrap a mantle of love around you I leave it in your care.
I often wake more than once in a night. Sometime I wake, like last night, having had an unusual dream. Last night’s dream was vivid in imagery but not in colour. In terms of colours the whole thing was in different shades of grey.
I was led or brought to what seemed to be a life sized relief carving of a water fall with a cave. The one who led me there seemed male but it wasn’t clear if they were or not. Once we were at the place they seemed to step or fade back from view, still there but in the background.
A sound started. Drumming, deep and from a single drum then voices wordlessly chanting, female voices, a kind of otherworldly choir.
A single louder voice spoke out:
“Without air we cannot breathe.”
The drumming and chanting sounds continued. The relief of the waterfall began to slowly change as I watched. The cave deepened. The water began to very slowly flow into the cave, across the roof of the cave and down the back of it into the darkness. A pale drinking horn, a fairly small one, faded into view floating in the air just inside the mouth of the cave. Drops of water slowly fell into it.
I reached in and took the horn, it was full although I’d only seen a couple of drops of water fall into it. I drank. The water was cold and incredibly refreshing. I put the horn back to float in the air.
The same single voice as before spoke again:
“Without water there is no life.”
As I continued to watch roots began to grow on the floor of the cave, pale white threads weaving into a loose mat like mycelium.
Again the voice spoke out:
“Without roots we cannot grow”.
Then I woke up. The background drumming and chanting had continued throughout the dream.
Sometimes dreams are meant only for the one dreaming, this one I felt was to be shared. For me it feels like a healing dream.
To find the words,
To find the motivation,
I dive into stories.
Let go of my place,
Exist in the words
I rise up.
Try once more.
I keep pushing
Not yet fallen.
Not yet broken.
Love doesn’t have to be a close thing
Of bodies touching, writhing.
Love doesn’t have to be returned
To still be felt heart deep.
Love can reach across oceans,
Drift with winds over mountains
And into valleys.
Love has many tastes and yet none,
Many textures, sounds and colours
Yet is indescribable.
Love is simple and yet so very complex,
Strong yet so very fragile.
Love is in my mind and in my soul.
Love doesn’t have to be a close thing.