An ADF Druid's trials, tribulations, musings, and victories

Archive for the ‘General/Miscellaneous’ Category

I am a Unitarian Universalist (and a Druid)

Yesterday, something momentous happened.  No one else probably recognized the significance of it, but I’ll write about it here.  I identified myself as a Unitarian Universalist for the first time.

On Facebook, a friend who struggles with alcoholism announced that his local CUUPs (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) group was encouraging people to avoid him, presumably because of his issues.  I responded that this was unacceptable, and that we UUs believe in the “inherent worth and dignity of every person.”  (I told my friend to let the parent congregation of this particular chapter know what was going on, as well.)

This may seem insignificant to my friend and others, but for me it was a big deal.  Even though I have been a member of the local UU church for a little over a year and a member of CUUPs for a month or two, I had not identified as UU.  I identified primarily as a Pagan who’s just a member of a UU church.

So what is Unitarian Universalism?

According to the website of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the organization that governs all UU congregations:

Unitarian Universalism affirms and promotes seven Principles, grounded in the humanistic teachings of the world’s religions. Our spirituality is unbounded, drawing from scripture and science, nature and philosophy, personal experience and ancient tradition as described in our six Sources.  (Source:  http://www.uua.org/beliefs)

So, our tradition draws upon six Sources (more on this in a moment) for our seven Principles, which are:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  • Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
  • Respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part (Source:  http://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/principles)

It wasn’t hard for me to accept these Principles, as I already agreed with most of them.  These Principles come from six Sources that inform our worship.  The six Sources are:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. (Source:  http://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/sources-our-living-tradition)

The last source is important.  Pagan teachings are recognized as valid and of value, which was what drew me to the UU church in the first place.

You might be able to figure out that Unitarian Universalism isn’t so much about what you believe, it’s about what you do–how you manifest your beliefs here in this world.  ADF Druidry is similar; our members have varying beliefs about the Gods and Spirits, but we have a common form of ritual–which is what we do.

My Pagan heart feels like I should perform some sort of personal ritual to mark this change, as I did when I became Pagan, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like I’ve been a UU all along.

Blessings, Rosemary

Devotional Omen 3/8/2015

I decided to write my devotional omen interpretation on this blog, since I am getting back into Druidic practice.  However, this devotional was still my usual one, where I said a prayer that you can find on my other blog and lit a stick of incense while wearing my Sun Goddess circlet.

Here’s the omen I drew when I asked, “What are my blessings for the week?”

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The first rune I drew was Wunjo, joy.  The weather forecast for the week shows the high temperature being much warmer than it has been, which is definitely cause for joy.  There may be other reasons I have drawn Wunjo, but I’ll see during the week.  The second rune is Jera, harvest, year, cycles.  This is a rune that normally doesn’t appear at this time of year.  However, it is significant to note that my Pagan dedication anniversary is coming up, so this is most likely a reflection of that.  The last rune is Mannaz, man, self.  Perhaps I need to focus on myself this week, or it should be read in conjunction with Jera to mean that Jera is referring to me.  All in all, I feel this is a positive omen for the week.

Blessings, Rosemary

Revisiting Druidry

I recently rejoined the Pagan Druid organization Ar nDraiocht Fein:  A Druid Fellowship.  At first I was apprehensive about returning because I had some unsavory social interactions with other members in the past.  I had also begun to struggle with ritual and other practices of the Druidic Path.  I decided to come back to ADF after more than a year because I had felt a pulling to read more about Druids of old and to study Indo-European mythology more in depth.  Now that I am back, I realized I missed the community, even though I felt it had treated me badly at times.  I missed the Druid Way and the beauty to be found in it.  I also wanted to complete some of the study programs available to ADF members.  For the most part, I am happy to be back.  I am still somewhat apprehensive about the social aspect of membership, but I am glad to have returned home.  We’ll see in the coming weeks if I am welcomed with open arms.

Blessings, Rosemary

Should I?

I am rejoining ADF and becoming a Druid again at the end of the week.  I am wondering if I should begin writing on this blog again.  What do you all think?

Blessings, Rosemary

New Blog

I added an update to the previous post, but I realize most people didn’t see it.

This blog will no longer be updated, but will remain online. My new blog, Adventures in Dru-Witchery, documents my new journey as both Witch and Druid. Check it out at http://adventuresindruwitchery.wordpress.com! (more…)

No longer a Druid

I’ve been doing some reading and thinking lately, and I’ve realized that I’m not really of the Druidic sort.  I am a Witch–not Wiccan.  I am not really interested in Wiccan ways with the duotheistic God and Goddess, though I will experiment with a Wiccan ritual later today.  I’m more interested in the “kitchen witch” variety of traditional Witchcraft.

I’ve been looking for a Path of magic and mystery.  I also enjoy working with herbs and candle magic.  I feel that books on kitchen witchery would be a useful read.  A friend suggested Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft series of books, which I will get soon.  I’m also thinking about getting Garden Witchery:  Magick from the Ground Up, Garden Witch’s Herbal:  Green Magick, Herbalism & Spirituality, and Cottage Witchery:  Natural Magick for Hearth and Home all by Ellen Dugan.  This is more the path that I’ve been looking for and which drew me to Paganism in the first place.

I never heard back from OBOD about my financial situation, but I realize it’s perhaps for a good reason.  I’m not really looking for Druidic study anymore.

I plan to start a new blog soon, but I haven’t yet decided on a name for it.  When I have created it, I will update this post with a link to it. (UPDATE 11/16/2013:  My new blog, Adventures in Dru-Witchery, is now online!)  I will leave this site online, in case others might find it useful.

Blessings, Victoria

A feeling of peace

There has been a lot of inner turmoil for me the past few days.  I was involved in some drama on one of the ADF email lists, which convinced me finally to leave the organization.  I have been struggling for the past several months with practice, meditation, and other things.  I could no longer put up with intolerance of my five mental diagnoses, so I announced to Facebook that though I am still officially a member (my membership expires next year), I plan to let my membership lapse.

At this time, I plan to join OBOD, the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, though I am currently trying to contact the office to see if I can get materials for free because of my financial situation.  I have also managed to convince my mother to go with me to the local Unitarian Universalist church and attend Sunday services there.  They have a Pagan group that I would like to look into joining.  Finally, I have found a local British Traditional Wicca coven called Terra and Luna, that I will contact for further information.  I’m not so sure I want to go back to Wicca at this time, but I will try anything, as I’m no longer sure of my views of Deity/ies.

My world has turned upside down, but for the better.

Many blessings on your individual Path, Victoria

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The surprisingly badass birds of the Bible

Obvious Christian slant, but considering birds’ hidden or symbolic meanings is a form of augury, or divination by the appearance and movements of certain animals. Augury specifically with birds is called ornithomancy.

CNN Belief Blog

Opinion by Debbie Blue, special to CNN

(CNN) — As long as humans have been breathing, they’ve invested birds with meaning.

They fly all over the Bible — from beginning to end — and they have a prominent place in the founding narratives of almost every culture and religion. They are not just bones and feathers. They are strength or hope, omen and oracle.

In the Bible’s first book, Genesis, God hovers over the face of the water like a dove, the Jewish sages suggest in the Talmud. In its final book, birds gorge on the flesh of the defeated “beast” in Book of Revelation.

Birds are the currency of mercy, sacrificed to God in the hopes of winning blessings or forgiveness. They bring bread to the prophets. Abraham has to shoo them away from his offering, and a pigeon accompanies Jesus on his first visit to the temple.

Jesus…

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A misty morning

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The mist is a physical representation of the thinning veil between this world and the Otherworld. Perfect for Samhain. I could almost hear the calls of the spirits when I went outside to take his picture. Photo taken by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2013

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