Eponalia: Prayer for Epona-Rigantona by Potia

Dun Brython

Patterns and practices of devotion often change as practice deepens or varies over time. The first version of this prayer was written in May 2015 and published in the devotional anthology “The Grey Mare on the Hill”. I have continued to used this prayer in my own devotions and the third verse in particular has developed. Here I share the version I currently use.

Hail Epona Rigantona! Rigantona Epona Hail!

Epona of Horses, I praise you!
Rigantona of the Land, I praise you!
Epona of Sovereignty, I praise you!
Rigantona of Journeys, I praise you!
Epona of Stables, I praise you!
Rigantona of the Otherworld, I praise you!
Epona, Great Mother, I praise you!
Rigantona of the Singing Birds, I praise you!
Epona Rigantona, guide, guardian and teacher, I praise you!

Epona of Horses, I honour you!
Rigantona of the Land, I honour you!
Epona of Sovereignty, I honour you!

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Eponalia Eve

Tomorrow is Eponalia.  This last year I have been blessed with lots of contact with ponies and horses including riding lessons.  Learning to ride horses has been a dream of mine since I was a child and for various reasons it has taken me until this last year to finally start fulfilling that dream.  It’s everything I could have imagined and more.  My heart swells with joy during each lesson I have and I feel so very, very lucky to have this opportunity.

This wonderful blessing in my life has come about because I lost my job and started to do some voluntary work with the Riding for the Disabled Association Glasgow.  You don’t need any prior experience to volunteer with them as they teach you all you need to know.  Thanks to them I know how to muck out, sweep a yard, lead a horse or pony, groom a horse or pony, tack-up (I’m still not very confident on that bit), remove tack and side-walk for others that have lessons.  I’m also having riding lessons there on Dillon.  Dillon, like all the RDA horses and ponies,  is a gentle soul. He prefers the lazy life, he can move more swiftly if he feels inclined but he’s not one of the brisker paced horses in the RDA yard.  I think he’s perfect for me!

This Eponalia as well as my prayers I intend to visit the stables for a bit.  Lessons there have finished until the new year but there will still be mucking out to be done and maybe some grooming.  In past years I didn’t have these opportunities and I am truly grateful.  Loosing my job was a very difficult time for me but it turns out to have opened the door for wonderful blessings.

May Epona guide you to the blessings you need most in your life whatever they are.

‘Tis the Season by Potia

Written by me for Brython.

Dun Brython

It’s December. Shops everywhere have displays of Christmas foods and assorted gift ideas. Children are getting increasingly excited while parents get increasingly stressed. Schools put on Christmas fairs, nativity plays, school concerts and often arrange other additional seasonal activities. Councils decorate streets with lights, canned Christmas music is played almost everywhere. Yep, ’tis the season!

In the UK and much of Europe the weather turns colder, nights get darker and the darkness lasts longer. And in this darkest of times many people struggle to keep going whether from physical or mental health. And still we feel we must celebrate, be joyful!

For many Pagans of many different paths this time of year is difficult for religious reasons as well.  Do we celebrate Christmas for the kids? Do we take part in the Christian traditions that have often been built upon much older Pagan traditions? How do we acknowledge the darkness…

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Winter approaches

Call it what you will Samhain, Halloween or Nos Calan Gaeaf that time has come and here in Glasgow I feel the winter approaching.  There’s still time to jump in piles of leaves if you can find any that haven’t been soaked in rain but the year is shifting.

I like this time of year.  I know for some the increasing dark brings a range of problems and they dread it.  Most of the time I like it.  I don’t like hot days and I struggle in bright sunshine as being in the brightness gradually hurts my eyes and can give me headaches if I’m not careful.  But the dark is gentler for me.  I’m fortunate enough to be able to keep warm and dry, to listen to the wind and rain outside and enjoy it most of the time.

This time of year for me is also about family celebrations so that’s another level of warmth I can bask in. Not just the winter solstice, Yule and New Year activities but birthdays too.  Family birthday celebrations are not usually very big gatherings so I don’t have to brace myself for increasingly large social gatherings.  I’m happy with that.  I’m happy in my understanding of why I struggle with larger social activities.  I’ll happily sit down and have a cuppa with one or two friends in a quiet place though.

For me darkness is comforting.  If it’s clear at night I can see the wonder of the stars, it’s very rare that we are in complete darkness.  And the dark night of the soul or the dark gods and goddesses?  Without darkness how do we appreciate light?  I’m not saying these things are easy but they can be embraced.  And we can learn from the things in the darkness too.

If you struggle with darkness you are not alone.  Neither are you alone if you welcome the dark.

 

 

 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

These are words that first began ringing loudly in my mind a few days ago when Neil and I were travelling to Glen Etive for a day out.  It was the day after a storm and the skies were still grey and heavy with rain when we set out.  The water poured off this hills in streams and waterfalls, rivers were swollen.  As we turned into Glen Etive I felt as if we were travelling in a land surrounded above and below with water. And that’s when these words started to sound in my head.

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

And I knew what this was referring to.  I had a decision to make, to try and write a book about devotional practice I experience it or to leave it.

I remember Nimue Brown once writing that she wrote books she wanted to read.

I want to read about someone who juggles devotional life with family life, someone who isn’t very good at hearing messages from deities. I want to read about someone who says something about how long it has taken them to develop a devotional life, how they have tried things and then dropped them, how life has sometimes overwhemed them.  And I want to read about their journey with deities who have traces of ancient worship in the land I live in.

I haven’t come across a book like that yet.

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

As our day in Glen Etive progressed we did see the odd patch of blue as the sky lightened.  We heard the bellowing of stags on the mountainside.  As we began the journey back along the Glen we had to stop.  Deer on the road. A small herd, a doe with what must have been this year’s young, a couple of slightly older but still immature stags, a few mature does and him.  He posed beautifully for our admiration.

One doe gently ate pieces of apple from the hand of another woman who like us had stopped.  This small herd were clearly used to people. That was the highlight of the trip for me and still those words echoed in my head.  A decision was made. I will write.

We came home days passed with other things; catching up with chores, spending time with the kids, doing some knitting and still these words come back to me.

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

I’m working through things I said I’d do for others.  I’m beginning to plan, to think about what I want to say, how I might say it. I’m intending to start writing my first ever attempt at a book at Samhain.  It may take me a long time.  The first steps of a journey are not when you set out but when you make a decision and pack your things.

I am beginning to answer the questions that keep ringing in my head.

I will write and very soon now.

The Revolutionary Art of Hearth-Keeping

I came across this post by chance or perhaps, more accurately, by divine guidance. I wasn’t looking for it, I wasn’t even following this blog when I stumbled across this post yesterday evening. It resonates on so many levels though especially as I refer to my path as that of a hearth druid.

riverdevora

hearth fire

We are living in terrible times. Every passing day brings more violent racist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic and classist attacks and incidents at every level of society, from local street violence to “Alt-Right” rallies to State and Federal governmental attempts to (and occasional successes in) passing oppressive legislation to the stripping away of protections for vulnerable communities. The regime we are currently living under is one that attempts to strip us of both individual and group identity, shames us for interdependence, and seeks to destroy our connection to ancestors and descendants, and to the land upon which we live (as complex as these relationships can be). The dominant paradigm is one that endorses survival of the most privileged, at the expense of nondominant communities and vulnerable people. And we are handed the lie that we can rise above the oppression of our people by disavowing ourselves of our cultures, that…

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Away with the Fairies

“Pause”, they said.  “Take time to reflect”.

“Can you hear the call?” Asks a voice.
“Will you answer?” Whispers the wind in the trees.
“Where will it lead you?” Words felt more than heard.
“What gift will be yours? What price?” Voices ripple with the water.

A journey begun with beech and oak to the sound of blackbird song.  A wide and bramble lined path followed through birch woods with silence falling about us.  A muddy branch taken leading onto a darker path, twisting and turning past trees and over shallow streamlets.  A destination found among the hazel trees.

Confirmation sought and a sign received.  Spirits asked and permission given. A bridge crossed.  A gift of acorns fallen in my path.

Climbing down into water rushing past me.  Careful steps taken past the realm of trolls.  A faery realm I entered. A call I heard to drink and I did. I drank of faery waters and ecstasy poured into my soul. Laughter erupted from my voice, flowed like the waters around my feet, pouring into the air, echoing into the land.

No room for pain or sorrow.

Fairy Bridge, 16 Sept 2017
Fairy Bridge, Glen Creran, 16 Sept 2017

Calm returned I left the waters, treading with care among the rocks. I sang my gratitude and climbed up once more.

I sat by the bridge and sang to the land then wandered once more among the hazel trees.

Blessed with a gift of hazel nut I returned.

Muddy path retrod we walked back to grass covered, bramble-lined path among the birch trees. Berries tasted, rich tang of autumn.

Eyes treated to dappled light on mountain side we returned to woods of oak and beech once more.  A journey over.

And half an hour later, pain felt. A price taken but delayed for a time.