What Do You Do?

Today, I was in my little office. Some admin was done, a bit of cleaning, and then meeting a student to chat about Stuff.

One of the questions that was asked – and which is often asked of me – is what a Druid Priest actually does. And every time, I have to pause and think.

There wasn’t a moment when I suddenly looked around and realized ‘Wow, I’m a Priest!’ Rather, it was a process of doing the work and being called by that title, until I had to face up to the fact that I was Doing It.

I’ve written about it before in other places, and no doubt will do so again. But today, it got me thinking in a new way.

Yes, Priest-ing is looking after, guiding or otherwise holding space for folk. When working, I do that.

But as time has passed, and my health has created interesting new speed-bumps to life, I’m having to Priest to myself as well.

I’m very easily tired. I give my all, and it wears me out. I’m not going to stop doing that, by the way, so don’t ask! I willingly do what’s needed, saving some energy to get myself safely home, and then setting aside time to rest. But it’s the question of how best to recharge that’s been in my mind lately.

Doing things that I enjoy helps, certainly. Sometimes, distractions that make me laugh, such as comedy movies or television. Knitting, with its repetitive but focused creativity. Books – absolutely. If the right one can be found, total engagement as I let myself sink into that particular world for a while.

But I think more is needed now, otherwise I’m finding myself wiped out for longer each time. So perhaps ritualised ‘wind-down’ is needed more than ever – something I’ve tried before, but found difficult to get into the habit of.

I’ll no doubt explore this and natter about it as I move forward. But for today, the inspiration from another led me back to myself. Unusual, but needed, I think.

Holding the space to stop doing, and simply ponder…

Re-Beginning

It’s been a while. Illness mostly, but this meant a certain anxiety about exposure, wanting to snuggle in and hide instead of expose myself… but this page was intended to be small. Daily sharing of things that inspire me, to remind me and keep me moving, while hopefully sharing that energy with others as well.

Plus, any writing is good for momentum in creating More Writing 😉

I’ve been finding mornings very difficult lately. I used to be up and doing, loving that fresh feeling of the air before the day truly begins. But the thought of all the things the day might hold has been scary recently. Overwhelming. More than I can cope with, physically and mentally.

So today I’m taking it gently. What am I doing… right now.

I have a pup cosily asleep on my leg.

I’m writing.

I’ve been knitting a madly-coloured cosy thing with beautiful yarn, that makes me smile and feels good to touch.

The rain is beating down against the window.

These thoughts can inspire grins or worries. I have to take the dogs out in the rain soon – I’m letting the thought bring a smile, anticipating the rain washing my hair naturally and bringing the scent of damp grass. I could let it bother me, whinge and moan… but I can’t avoid it, so I choose to welcome it, as the dogs will.

Writing has been daunting. What can I say? How will people react? I’m not clear enough in my mind to put ideas ‘out there’… But this is my space, and I’m doing it anyway.

Even the knitting – in a crazy mixed-up bunch of colours that I really shouldn’t like. But I do. It makes me happy, in the act of creation and the result.

I’m doing my best to dig deeper than the surface miasma, the fog of depression. I want to see, to determine that Yes, I’m doing something because *I* want to. And I can. And it will be whatever it is.

I’m looking at the potential of the day, not the fears. Heading outside soon. Let’s see what comes.

Much love, my friends.

Small Steps

Hard times. But I am moving.

Today, I have a cold. Sneezing, coughing, battling to keep warm (or cool), headachey… brain too furry to do much. Plans put by the wayside as I return to bed.

But something shifts in me, as I sit and think. 

In recent times, my head has been almost suffocated by the thick fog of negative thoughts. But with recent medication changes, I’m starting to see clarity again. The fog is thinning. My lovely doctor is thrilled that my natural smile is returning.

I’m finding myself again. I walk around this house, where I’ve lived for ten years now. My home, with my wee family. Full of the stuff of our lives: physical things holding unique memories, but also games played on the stairs with kittens, pups rolling around on the rug, hugs and laughter in every room…

When that black fog (dog?) rolls in, my tactics are now taking effect. I light a candle for focus and brightness. I burn sweet incense to remind me of magic and ritual. I walk barefoot across the wooden floors, wrap myself in blankets I knitted, immerse myself in stories that engage…

I write random thoughts to share, for those who may feel as I do. To prove that I can still express myself, create, speak up – that my mind is my own. This is me. I’m still moving. It is possible.

The cold germs force rest. With every sneeze, badness is spat out and my head clears (briefly!). I trust that my body does its thing and evicts the toxic, as I am trying to do with the unhelpful thoughts. 

I reach out with my words… magic from the tips of my fingers, to reach you.

And I smile as I imagine you reading. 

Much love, my friends.

Self-Care Playlist

Today was… difficult. So, I got through with thanks to:

A sweet, funny movie: ‘The Final Girls

A simple but decent urban fantasy book: ‘Black Magic Woman

Knitting that’s complex enough to engage, but not frustrating: ‘Urdr

A podcast that makes me laugh out loud: ‘The Weekly Planet

Catching up with fun and familiar characters saving the world: ‘The Flash

Not being afraid to take time under blankets when necessary.

And puppies who realized something was wrong, and tag-teamed me with hugs all day:

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Now feeling more able to breathe. Hopefully I’ll do a little more tomorrow.

Voices

Today… inspiration, but also gratitude. I am thankful and deeply touched by the voices of those who read my words.

Creative folk will know how hard it can be to expose your work to the world. I’m often nervous about doing so, but take a deep breath and press the button to Save or Publish, before the doubt gets overwhelming.

The words I’ve received in return have been so wonderful.

Today was a hard day. I fought, but was unable to stop a watery meltdown this morning. This was fixed by Himself being fantastic (as always), but also by the ‘ping’ of comments arriving from my blog posts. And an unexpected gift from one very special lady. 

The Universe hears us, of this I am sure. Too many times, far beyond coincidence, the perfect thing has appeared, precisely when needed. This actually set me off again, tearing up – but now in happiness, overwhelmed with awe at the generosity and love stretching across the internet. 

I do what I do because my words find connection. I speak my truth, because to do any less would dishonour you, the reader or listener. Please know that I am so very thankful for you all.

The flame of my inspiration is rising. The breath of many keeps it alive xxx

Wrapping

Many years ago, not long past the very beginning of my Druidry journey, I saw a priestess at work. Prior to a ritual of passing, she sat at a riverside, shawl draped over her head. Utterly at peace, preparing for what was to come.

I’ve heard of many modern-day Priestesses who do this. I usually wear a shawl or scarf of some sort, and have been applauded happily by fellow non-Pagan chaplains for being a woman with her head-covering prepared if necessary. It can be a sign of respect, but also an act of protection. Literally covering the head to enter the right ‘head-space’.

Last year, I was recommended a site called ‘Wrapunzel‘, which is run primarily by Jewish ladies who wanted to share their love of beautiful wraps and allow other women to practice their faith and not look dull while doing so. Nowadays, the Wrapunzel Facebook group plays host to women of all faiths and none, ladies undergoing chemotherapy or other illness… those who simply wish to stand in their womanliness while having their head covered. For whatever reason.

I’ve met lovely new friends on there, Pagan and otherwise, and while still exploring my own practice regarding wraps (ie still practising getting the things on and looking good!), I’ve found this so useful when alone and preparing for ritual – as in that original circumstance, back when I was witness only.

Many modern Pagans wear hoods on their robes. ‘Hoodies’ are common on the high street. The act of wrapping, whether tichel or hijab, can be a political statement. Or it can be a consolation, a ‘head hug’ (love that term!). Our ancestors did this, in virtually every culture, and now so do we.

Today, it struck me as inspiring. A woman wishing to add to her beauty and be proud. This video is a ‘How to‘, one of many on this YouTube channel, but made me smile so much this morning, just from the simplicity of the act but also how happy the lady looks once she is done and ready to face the day.

And then, in a local charity shop, I found a pretty glittery green scarf for £2. Perfect. Now to keep practising…