PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
White Mountain Druid Sanctuary (WMDS) is a Druid inspired Pagan site in Trout Lake, Washington. There aren’t many Pagan sites in the US and there are even fewer that have been created as a modern interpretation of ancient Indo-European customs and practices. WMDS was envisioned after years of study of ancient Celtic (Irish, Welsh, and Gaulish) archaeology, history, and religion and was built to honor the practices of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF), a Pagan church based on ancient Indo-European traditions expressed through public worship, study, and fellowship. WMDS was also built to re-imagine how the ancient peoples of Celtic Europe may have honored the world around them, the Land, and the Gods and Spirits.
Greetings! Since my last post, I have been installed as Archdruid at ADF and it has been a busy six weeks. There has been a lot of discussion about what ADF is and what ADF isn't, so I thought I would go back to basics and discuss, over a series of posts, the Vision of our Founder (or Flounder depending upon your point of view) Isaac Bonewits.
I think it is safe to say that Isaac was a visionary, and his thoughts on Neo-paganism are as valid today as they were when they were first uttered three decades ago. I adhere to Isaac's vision and I think it is the organizational foundation for what ADF is today and will be going into the future....
“Hail to you, Manannan mac Lir, God of the Sea, and Master of Liminal Spaces”...
I’m a rather busy Druid, however well intended I am and regardless of my attempts at time management, I find that I am oft surprised by the speeding passage of time. As I write these words of black on a screen of white, I glance over the top of my PC screen onto the late winter landscape of the little island that I live upon, and I consider – where on earth did all the time go? It feels like Midwinter was only a couple of weeks ago, Hen Galan – old Welsh new year – merely days ago, and yet a month has shot by. At times I feel like I hit an oil patch at 23 and I am now skidding uncontrollably towards the grave, and the brakes are off!
But you see, I’m not just a Druid, I have other tags that sit casually upon my shoulder, like so many of you reading this post I have a plethora of identities struggling to find moderation in a busy life. For those of you who are not familiar with me, permit me an indulgent moment as way of introduction. Indeed, I am a Druid, and head a small but busy Druid Order in Wales. I also write books on Celtic mythology, Paganism, death, dying and bereavement. That concoction may well have you scratching at your head, a scratch that hopefully will desist when you realise that I also work for Her Majesty’s Coroner in morgue, autopsy and bereavement services. I am also a part time actor on Welsh language television. All of this combined with teaching death midwifery, understanding bereavement, and experiential Druidry courses is sometimes rather bewildering, and leaves me often feeling as my grandmother would say – not knowing my ass from my elbow!
But suffice for now, that is enough about me, lest one must smear narcissistic butter round the doorframe to get my head through it!
Hello! My name is Jean Pagano and I am a Druid. I also go by the name “Drum”, so you may see me called by either one. I am a neo-pagan. I am honoured to have been asked to blog for this fine collection of writings.
I am a very long-time member of ADF and RDNA. RDNA is the oldest Druidic organisation born in America (circa 1963) and it has two tenets: a) Nature is Good; and b) Nature is very Good. As a neo-pagan, I think that everyone can agree on these two important and fundamental notions. In RDNA, we venerate the Earth Mother, Be’al, and a number of other deities. I am a Druid of the Third Order in RDNA and a priest.
I often see the words “label” and “identity” used interchangeably, but to me they have rather different connotations. A label is something society thrusts on you, to organize information- keep track of possible discrimination, to access services and accommodations or medical treatment in the case of disabilities and medical conditions. It’s something that you don’t have a lot of choice over.
An identity by contrast may be chosen, or it is a choice to make a label one’s own. It is a way to connect with other people in a community. There are also some that I find are kind of in the middle- as in “I identify as X, but it’s easier to access community and explain things if I use label Y”...