There is so much going on around the world these days. A terrible United States election cycle that has devolved into the hurling of insults and accusations. Strife and issues ring out anew in the Middle East, bringing back the specter of Cold War relations between the United States and mother Russia. First Nations lands being desecrated in the name of “progress” while long-honored treaties between the US government and those nations are flung aside like refuse thrown into the dust bin. Racial tensions throughout the United States. Religious tensions throughout the world. Terrorist concerns. Individuals being marked as terrorists, who really aren’t. Cries of governmental procedures being formed to revoke a citizen’s right to weaponry. A businessman turned politician being accused of sexual assault by many women, while he continues to utilize language that shows how insensitive he is to appropriate behavior towards these same women. This weekend, a building was fire-bombed and sprayed with graffiti equating Republicans with Nazis. Its all enough to make your head spin twice a day before your first cup of coffee – Linda Blair style.
How in the name of the Gods above and below are we supposed to maintain a sense of calm and balance in a world that seems to spin faster and faster out of control with each passing news story? The details come quicker than an Aroldis Chapman fastball aimed at your ear. Every news outlet spins the story to provide a positive outlook towards the political bend that they favor. The truth seems more elusive than ever.
Well, for one, turn the TV and radio off every once in a while. Get off of Facebook and other social media sites. Stop going to the news web sites every five minutes. As a Pagan and a Druid, the outdoors is where I find my solace. Its where I find my balance. Its where I contemplate my own place in the scheme of everything. And I usually find that a lot of what I am seeing and reading – I don’t need to endlessly wring my hands over. Some of the stuff that I wind up reading, I just need to let it pass down the river. There’s nothing I can do about Donald Trump’s commentary on women, except to say that I find it disgusting. As more and more of it gets heaped out – I can only point back to my original statement of how I feel about it, and move on. I can; however, do more concerning the issue of an oil pipeline being built underneath a fresh water source, and the First Nations burial ground that was desecrated and destroyed to make the pipeline’s construction towards the river viable. I can offer nightly prayers to the Gods and Goddesses asking for assistance in stopping this. I can give monies and supplies to the defenders that are there. I can write to officials for the oil company, the construction company, the local governments, the state government, and the Federal government voicing my concerns. If I had the resources to do so, I would drag my Winnebago trailer up there, and stand on the front line with the defenders. There are plenty of actions that can be taken.
Its all about picking which fights I can help make change in, and which fights will provide no more change than the sound of my voice. In the case of Trump, its doubtful that anything I saw will change his mind on what he’s done. Best to just make my singular statement and move on. With #NoDAPL, writing these folks can make a difference, particularly if I write effectively and respectfully. Calling these folks a$$hole$ is the surest way to turn them off to what I am trying to say. Standing shoulder to shoulder with those folks is a direct action that can carry change. Singing my concerns and requests for assistance to the Gods is my way of adding in the Spiritual side of what I believe. I believe that such requests hurts no one…except the folks who get subjected to what I call “singing”. Whitney Houston, I definitely ain’t.
But what’s more – for me – getting out by the stone circle at night does more than just provide me a place to compete with the alley cats for the “song of my people” moment in the moonlight. Being out there, gazing up at the bright moon reminds me of who I am, and where I live. My ancestors are European in flavor. Most likely Celts. They sat around their nightly fires and looked up at the skies. They saw the Moon in all of Her glory. They saw the cloudy skies, where She played hide and seek among the Stars. They saw the stormy skies, and cowered slightly to the awesome display of cold, torrential rains coupled with the awesome flash of lightning – followed by the deafening sound of thunder following close behind.
I’m quite sure that they dealt with tribal politics. They got tired of hearing about how the blowhard herder Donaldus Trumpus had a better plan to lead the tribe in battle against the Slavic types just over the next ridge line. Or how the Romans were going to tip the balance in the region by propping up a half-Celt, half-Roman soldier named Barrackus Obamus as the next sacred Chieftain. And I wonder how they found balance with their daily lives? They lived much closer to the Spirits of Place then we currently do today. I would like to believe that they found their solace, their balance in daily life from living so close to what is Natural. Their lives constantly in the same balance that the rest of the natural world was in. As the bear went, so would the tribe. As the wolves managed, so would the tribe. As the deer survived and thrived, so would the tribe.
My stone circle is not much. It consists of fairly good sized stones from places I have visited. Each holds special meaning. Each holds a specific space and role in the circle. Altogether, it forms my sacred space. That space is where I take time to bring myself back to balance. To remember who I am, what I am, and how I will go about accomplishing what I need to do. Sometimes, the mundane world is part of those thoughts. Sometimes its not. It all depends on my frame of mind and the moment.
When I feel overwhelmed, I go this sacred space. Either physically or within my own self. My own circle. My own sacred space. Its here where I bring myself back to center. Its here that I achieve balance. Through meditations. Through prayer. Through centering, as in the OBOD Tree Meditation. There is no FoxNews or CNN located there. There’s no need for things like that, for me. I created my sacred space to be what I need it to be. A place to study, a place to contemplate, a place to remember, a place to rest….
Of course, its far better than sitting cross-legged on the ground, fingers in my ears, eyes shut tightly and screaming “LALALALALALALA” at the top of my lungs. That didn’t work when I was a kid, either.