“When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” ~ Unknown
Oh indeed, and boy am I laughing! This post is coming a little later than I had intended, so I apologize for the delay – but, alas, life happens…And because of the length, it will be in 2 parts.
Imbolc – I’ve come to refer to Imbolc as my “Re-birthday” as big or important things seem to happen on or around Imbolc that have had a serious impact on my Path. Let me take you back to Imbolc 2004…I had just finished reading Scott Cunningham’s book, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and got over the irrational fear of going to hell for looking at or considering worshipping other gods. It was on Imbolc that I made my decision to dedicate myself to the God and Goddess, and so I ventured out into very cold and snowy wooded area on some back road south of Watertown, NY that I just found so beautiful and inviting every time I passed it on my way home from Fort Drum, NY to visit my family on the weekends. It was so cold as I sat on a downed tree and connected with the earth’s energy; but it was so beautiful – the snow, the trees (despite being bare and leafless), the sun – I felt Her all around me, as though I was being welcomed home and it felt so warm and so right. Perhaps it was Brighid there, guiding me and being the midwife that we all know and love, helping in my re-brith and brining me into this beautiful world and onto this wondrous Path.
Thinking back to my time at Fort Hood, TX – I believe if I’m not mistaken that I had joined a local Wiccan-based eclectic Pagan coven and started classes with them at Imbolc in 2007. I learned quite a bit from my time spent with them, but decided that it wasn’t quite for me and left. Then it was off to Fort Richardson, AK in the summer of 2008 while 6 months pregnant with our daughter (who was conceived around Imbolc…). However, it wouldn’t be until Imbolc 2011 that I would finally venture out into the Anchorage Pagan community, almost a year after the birth of our son. I first consciously heard and felt Brighid’s calling around December 2010/January 2011 – really feeling Her gentle yet persistent energy waxing, giving me hope and drawing me back out into the light and the world once again. With Brighid’s reassurance, I got past the extreme anxiety that seemed to consume me and made it out to the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Church to attended a full-out ADF Imbolc open ritual. This was to change the whole course of my Path that had felt stagnant at the time. I absolutely loved the energy, the organization and flow of the ritual that led me to explore Druidry. During this time, I met a very awesome person, Carol (an ADF Druid and a devotee of Brighid), who had organized a Goddess Circle for women – just what I needed at the time – time away with some rockin’ women who shared my love of the Goddess. Carol’s love, passion and devotion to her Path and the Goddess inspired me in so many ways and also sparked a real interest in Druidry. I loved how passionate and how serious she was about her Path – she actually lived her spirituality, not like many “play-gans” that I have come across who liked the label and liked the big festivals, but didn’t truly walk their talk…but that’s a whole other subject.
And again, in August of 2011, it was time to go again – back to NY where it all began. I again was spending time in solitude – not really making any effort to venture out into the community as I was doing some really deep soul-searching and exploration. I was still working with Brighid, but I felt as though Her presence had been seriously waning. I was feeling empty and going through one of my “atheist moments”. Then suddenly, out of the blue at the end of May/beginning of June 2012, I got an invitation to come out for a “meet and greet” (see my post “Transitioning“) with a local ADF Druid, Grey Catsidhe (who was also later come to find out devoted to Brighid), who found me through the ADF site (though I wasn’t part of the ADF and that person subsequently disappeared off the site no sooner had she “found” me) and Witchvox. Of course, I was very excited as I had not yet gotten out and about to meet people in the “community” up there. Brighid must’ve thought it was time to leave my cave and yet again venture out into the world.
Meeting with Grey and the other 3 people who showed up at a local restaurant was refreshing. You see, as stated earlier, I had met some really awesome people in Alaska who belonged to the ADF who had made a really great lasting impression on me. What they had explained to me that the ADF believed coincided with many of my own beliefs and core attitude. After listening to Grey talk about her beliefs and practice, it was completely inline with Carol’s attitudes and beliefs back in Alaska 3,000 miles away. I decided that night to take the plunge and join the ADF and have loved every minute of it since. I was again inspired and learned so much from Grey and got some great hands on experience in writing rituals and actively participating in them within the North Country Druidic Study Group (which is now formally known as the Northern Rivers Protogrove, ADF thanks to Grey and those dedicated souls back up there in the Watertown area) which would come in handy later on down the road. Here again, I was blessed with the opportunity to meet some very awesome and inspiring people; being especially thankful to Rev. Robert Lee “Skip” Ellison and his wife Sharon for opening their home and hosting those open rituals at Muin Mound Grove, ADF in Syracuse, NY that I had been fortunate enough to attend.
Brighid has certainly been in the details…