wolf560 wrote:As promised, the thread starts anew....
In modern times with our less-than-perfect education system and the plethora of information online we are still far and away more educated than perhaps many of the people 2000 years ago. This of course centers around the ABILITY to obtain these degrees and to research and retain that knowledge.
We definitely are more educated than our ancestors, that's for sure! Not all of us can afford the "higher education" because of money, etc. There are many other sources of learning: other people, nature, situations, etc. When one opens up the mind to the lessons everything around has to teach, one is truly "educated". I've worked with scores of people with university degrees and I find that, for the most part, they are very good at knowing the subject of their degree, but real life seems to be a bit of a challenge. (At least with the people I worked with!)
I've always found that when I'm "stuck" for an answer to something, I can go for a long walk in my favourite natural area, sit on one of the glacial boulders and just allow awen to strike me. I almost always walk away with an answer! It's not always the case with books or even other people.
wolf560 wrote:I believe that people CAN call themselves a Druid and that they don't need 20 years.
I believe that people CAN do good things and learn from others around them.
I believe that it is time to step out and become the Druids we all feel that we can be.
What I am tired of is the constant ambiguity inherent in the system we now labor with.
I agree on all three points. The constant ambiguity seems to come from so many different viewpoints. I've heard people say that one needs all of the 20 years of training (it's not the same today as it was back then, so no... we don't.), one needs to serve a community of people (what about those who serve in other ways like planting trees or helping animals?) or any other number of things.
It's tiresome because no is really ever going to agree on any one point.
wolf560 wrote:Everyone has an idea of what a Druid is (or was, or should be) and sometimes it interferes with the rest of us as we simply try to live our lives the best way we know how to.
wolf560 wrote:Can we start a thread where we start talking about how good it feels to watch the sun rise, or a stream run past us, or maybe the sight of a student learning how to apply some book knowledge to a circle of stones out in the wilderness....?
I can tell you what I did for Samhain and what an experience it was.
On November 4th, I went out to my favourite natural area after not being able to go for quite some time (I live and work in an urban setting). It was +22 degrees Celcius and felt like a Summer day, which is very unusual for the Samhain season. The sun was blazing and all was quiet. It was like being in another world away from traffic and noise. As I walked along the path, I took note of all of the plants I saw along the way: wild rose bushes with brown leaves and ripe rosehips, the various prairie grasses all dried out for Winter, the aspen trees that still had a few leaves hanging on for dear life and one plant that looked like a mistletoe (leaves and berries looked the same) but was an actual bush. I went down by the creek and sat on the brown grass for a bit, just enjoying the sound of the trickling water and thought about the blessing received this past year, as well as all of the challenges faced. (This is an activity I regularly do at Samhain)
What was foremost on my mind was a dear family friend of ours whom I had visited in a hospice the day after my birthday. She was dying of cancer and had it all through her body. She had recognized me and we talked for a bit. It was a short discussion because she fell asleep. A few days later, she told one of her children that she was "ready to go but didn't know how". I knew that on November afternoon that she was still ready to go but didn't know how.
As I walked, I picked a few rosehips here, some rowanberries there, some of those little white berries that looked like mistletoe and various other seeds and put them in my pocket. With each step, I asked the Ancestors to please let my friend join them as soon as possible because she was "ready to go but didn't know how". When I came back to my starting point, I sat down on the grass again, put my little collection of seeds into the running water and said "I have collected the bounty of the earth which I could take unto myself and be nourished, but instead I give this in payment for a friend of mine. Please let her join you soon. She is ready to go but doesn't know how. Please let me pay her passage." I sat there watching the seeds wind their way down the creek away from me and then disappear. Suddenly, I felt the feeling that my ritual was over and that it was time to go back home. I stood up and left the offering of birdseeds and water that I usually leave there when I do one of my walking rituals and went back home.
Later on that night, I lay in bed and sudenly felt a warm presence in the room. It felt like something brushed my hand and it was a happy feeling. My husband got into a bed a bit later and I said "I just felt this very warm presence for a brief second. I think our friend finally joined the ancestors and is free from her pain."
Two days later, I received a call from my mother saying that our friend had passed away on the night of November 4th at around 10:00pm... the same time that I felt th presence in my room. It was almost as if the Ancestors had taken my payment and my friend was finally able to go home. She died peacefully in her sleep, according to her family who were all there when she crossed over the veil.
wolf560 wrote:I want to be part of a group of people that want to learn from each other....
Anyway, I felt that I needed to share that here for some reason. I don't know what can be learned from it, if anything, but I hope you enjoyed reading it. It was one of the more profound Samhain celebrations of my life and one of the most beautiful. The only more profound Samhain was in 1999 when I almost died of an illness and actually saw the Ancestors in my living room. I had asked them if I could go with them and they said it wasn't my time. Not long after that I recovered from my illness.
One thing that could be gleaned from this is that those two Samhain celebrations were not done as formal rituals. No robes were worn, no scripts were put together and no formal words said. There were no props or trappings whatsoever, yet I got more out of those two occasions than I ever have doing formal rituals. There is something to be said about just opening up and being in the moment.
And... Hurray for me because I did not get lost looking for this thread!
A blessed Samhain to everyone!