Connecting our outer, everyday practices to our inner ways of expressing an earth-based spiritual path can be difficult. I’ve done a lot of thinking, shifting in my own life, and blogging on these connections–connections to help us find a path through the brambles and work to integrate inner truths with outer living. Here are some posts that help us begin to practice druidry from this perspective.
The Wheel of the Year and Ritual
These posts approach living the wheel of the year as a sustainable and regenerative practice.
- The Wheel of the Year in the Druid Tradition – Description of Druidic Holidays. When we think about the practices that various groups and cultures did on a yearly cycle, agricultural holidays are some of the most prominent. The modern Wheel of the Year in the Druid tradition seeks to re-establish a set of holidays that clearly align with the changing season and with earth-based practices. Therefore, many druids celebrate the “Wheel of the Year” or a set of eight holidays occurring every seven weeks. The holidays in the Wheel include include the solstices and equinoxes (which we give special names in the Druid Revival tradition, see below) as well as the four fire festivals (which occur at the halfway point between solstice and equinox/equinox and solstice).
- The Wheel of the Year and Sustainable Action: The Spring Equinox: A few words about the spring equinox–the spring equinox is a time of balance, when day and night come in equal parts. The spring equinox is a great time to clear away the old habits and clutter that no longer serve us and that pull us back into unsustainable patterns and behaviors. The spring equinox is also a great time to start new activities, hobbies, actions, or even reorient our way of seeing. Given the energies of the Spring Equinox, I’ve compiled a list of things that you can do to help engage in more sustainable and earth-centered practices during this most sacred time!
- Living the Wheel of the Year: Spiritual and Sustainable Practices for the Summer Solstice: The Summer Solstice, what we call “Alban Hefin” in the Druid Revival tradition, marks the beginning of high summer in my part of the world, and many activities of this time period focus on harvesting and honoring the power of the sun and thinking about the energy present in our lives. This is the time of light, laughter, growth, and movement! This is the time when people are outside, doing things, enjoying the warmth that the sun provides. The summer solstice gives us many opportunities to deepen our awareness and connection with the land and understand the relationship between earth and sky. Here are some activities that allow us to live in both a spiritual and sustainable manner.
- The Wheel of the Year: Sustainable and Spiritual Activities for the Fall Equinox: As the days shorten and we once again are faced with the coming of the winter months, we are reminded of the cycles that the sun provides to us and the promise, always, of new beginnings. Each season brings its own spiritual and sustainable activities–and the Fall Equinox is so full of many things to see and to do!
- Living the Wheel of the Year: Spiritual and Sustainable Practices for the Winter Solstice: The Winter Solstice, happening around the 21st of December, represents the longest night and shortest day for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the real start of winter, which continues until the Spring Equinox. And while this is a time of challenge and struggle for many, I like to think of this time, like all times, represents an opportunity to turn inward, to examine our inner worlds and our inner home lives, and to again seek methods of sustainable practice and action. So here are some spiritual and sustainable practices that you can practice around the Winter Solstice.
Interaction and Observation of Nature
In the AODA tradition, being in nature frequently, spending time there observing and learning, is an important part of spiritual practice. This post describes my philosophy on this practice.
- Getting Your Mushroom Eyes and Learning to Fully Observe Nature: Wild mushroom hunters have a term for how to see mushrooms in the forest–you need to get your “mushroom eyes.” This means that when I enter a forest with the intention of looking for wild mushrooms, I start paying attention carefully to the ground, to the fungal layer in the forest, and to particular patterns and colors. Mushrooms become all that I see. And “mushroom eyes” are just one of many ways of seeing the forest. This post explores the concept of seeing the landscape around us–for it is only with seeing that we can move onto other forms of sacred action– regenerating, healing, and doing sacred work.
Tools and Equipment
Some posts on some of the “tools” we can use as druids that are more sustainable in nature:
- The Crane Bag: A Druid’s Working Tool: One of the practices that is fairly consistent across different kinds of druidry today is a druid’s crane bag. Traditionally, a crane bag was made from the skin of a crane, and served as a spiritual working tool for the druid. Today, druids of many different paths create and carry such bags and use them for a multitude of purposes.
- Making Smudge Sticks from Homegrown Plants and Wildharvested Materials: Step by Step Instructions with Cedar, Rosemary, Sage, Mugwort, and More! Smudge sticks are bundles of herbs that are dried and burned for purification and ceremonial uses. They come out of Native American traditions, but today they are broadly used by many for their purification purposes. I use them as a druid in my ceremonies, to bless and cleanse my house, to cleanse outdoor spaces that are in some kind of energetic funk. But I also use them practically–as a blessing for my garden at the start of the growing season, as a way to remove hostile energies from my chickens who aren’t getting along, or to pass among friends before sharing a meal. They are a great way to bring a bit of ceremony and the sacred into the everyday.
- Introduction to Incense Making (and Recipes for Bards, Ovates, and Druids): An introduction to making incenses, especially from home-grown or wildcrafted ingredients.
Daily Living in a Sacred Manner
I have many posts detailing small things you can do to live more connected to the living earth. Here are some of my favorites:
- A Guide to Composting: This post presents a number of different methods for outdoor composting as well as some druid philosophy surrounding the practice.
- Vermicomposting (Setting up your bin): A guide to vermicompost–that is, indoor worm composting
- In Praise and Honor of Snow: A post describing how to re-orient our relationship with snow, snowstorms, and the magic of winter.
- Disposing of the Disposable Mindset: Dealing with our “waste” and shifting to permaculture’s ethic of “producing no waste”!
- What To Do With All That Stuff? Breaking Patterns, Eliminating Excess, and Downsizing: So that we can live more happy, fulfilled, and sustainable lives.
- Community Education and Empowerment – Starting a Permaculture Meetup: Basic steps to start a functional and empowering permaculture meetup or other group focused on sustainable living!