Episode 10 – Celestial Seesaw » Dining with Druids

Episode 10 – Celestial Seesaw » Dining with Druids

In this week’s episode, “Celestial Seesaw“, Ali and Jeff take a deep breath and plunge back into podcasting after a crazy-busy seven month hiatus, reflecting on the sacred pause of the equinox and sharing a few stories about their wedding (woot!), their cross-country move (woosh!) and their volunteer work as naturalists-in-training with the Seattle (woohoo!). Ali ponders the future of Paganism in a post-church world while using inappropriately awkward sports metaphors, and Jeff makes a few exquisitely bad jokes that you won’t want to miss. We also announce our new podcast project and how you can get involved and help support your favorite rude Drudes!

Click to listen.

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Effective Communication for Tree-Hugging Dirt-Worshippers » No Unsacred Place

Effective Communication for Tree-Hugging Dirt-Worshippers » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, a recent xkcd comic inspires me to reflect on the ways that earth-loving environmentalists sometimes undermine their cause through a preoccupation with doom and gloom, and how modern Pagan spirituality gives us tools for finding better ways to share the love:

“Environmentalists spend a lot of time telling everyone how close we are to destroying the planet, or at least disrupting the delicate balance that allows the human species to survive on it. But they spend almost as much time complaining about how it seems like all that their fellow environmentalists ever do is run around frantically preaching doom and gloom, trying to harass and frighten people into action. …”

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Disturbing the Bones of the Beloved Dead » No Unsacred Place

Disturbing the Bones of the Beloved Dead » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I share the heart-wrenching story of one of the lesser known consequences of mountaintop removal coal mining in the Appalachian mountains: the destruction of centuries-old family cemeteries that have been part of the landscape and the small communities of Appalachia for generations:

“Many of the small communities scattered throughout Appalachia, where mountaintop-removal mining has done so much damage already, face the destruction of cemeteries that have been part of the wooded wilderness for centuries, left to become overgrown and sometimes forgotten as younger generations leave the area. These grave sites might not be officially registered or marked on any map, leaving them vulnerable to destruction from mining companies that buy up property and indiscriminately strip the landscape bare in an effort to reach the valuable coal deposits underneath. What minimal laws there are protecting cemeteries only apply to registered sites marked off by a fence and regularly maintained by a caretaker, and the historical value of family cemeteries can be difficult to prove, especially in cases where graves are unmarked or headstones have fallen into disrepair. …”

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Earth, Ecology and Environmentalism: Walking the Walk

Earth, Ecology and Environmentalism: Walking the Walk

There are more of us out there than you think. We may not always be flashing our Pagan flair — sometimes we’re wearing worn old hiking books and mud-spattered rain coats instead of shimmering ceremonial robes, sometimes we put aside our pentacles and wands for a good pair of binoculars and a sturdy walking stick — but we’re out there. Walking the walk. Doing the work.

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Exile: Beyond the Ninth Wave

Exile: Beyond the Ninth Wave

Part of my identity as someone with a Celtic spirituality is the inescapable fact of exile. I am not only a person with Irish heritage living in the multicultural milieu of modern America, but I am also a polytheist and Pagan trying to connect with my ancestors across millennia of lost traditions from my place in a monotheistic, Abrahamic mainstream culture.

It is within that diaspora — that exile — that I will have to discover, or forge, an authentic spiritual life.

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The Ponds, by Mary Oliver

The Ponds, by Mary Oliver

In a moment of sad synchronicity, only a few hours after I posted this I found out that Mary Oliver is seriously ill. Writers and poets are sharing their stories about how her work has influenced them, and sending their blessings and prayers. I know many Druids and Pagans are also familiar with her work and have been touched by her vision and love of nature. Please take a few moments today to express your love and gratitude for an amazing woman, and consider sharing your story with her by sending her an open letter.

In honor of our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife, I wanted to share the poem that Jeff and I had read at our wedding, “The Ponds,” by Mary Oliver.

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Lunar Union: A Poem

Lunar Union: A Poem

I expect an eclipse of moon
to be a kind of dilation,
corona blaze of blue iris
flaring out from the pupil-
depths of midnight sky
cast, in its center, suddenly
to shadow by coy sunlight.
I expect a god, his gaze
past the austerity of bare trees,
sharp eyelashes against the pale
cheek of hill, and the thrill…

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Muse Abused: Ars Poetica

Muse Abused: Ars Poetica

She sleeps with fists
clenched and wakes with bruises
in her palms.
She is reversible.
She folds colored paper along creases
that could break
open the skyline,
then quietly she unfolds it again.
The moon rises.

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What Lingers: A Poem

What Lingers: A Poem

I’ve lived so long among ghosts, / the puffed up shells, / watery husks / shimmering transparent skins / that shiver in the wind. / Like so much sea foam, / they shrink away / from the outstretched hand, / fall back into their emptiness.

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Back to Basics

Back to Basics

So what exactly do I believe? To answer that question, I have to go back to basics. And in going back to basics, I have to face my fear of being forever shrugged off as a newbie fluff bunny who can’t be taken seriously. It’s easy to say, “So what? What do you care if people take you seriously?” But as a member of a scattered, small community, a minority religion in a predominantly Christian culture, it can feel pretty devastating to be shrugged off or shuffled aside even by those you thought would welcome you with open arms. But that’s the risk you have to face if you want to cultivate an open and free relationship with spirit and the sacred world. The world is far stranger and wilder than the books and experts would have you believe.

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