Episode 019 – This Is It!

IMG_7076Yeah, it has been a while since I have put out a blog post. Two things have been taking up all that time to write – trying to finish up the last episode of the podcast, and the need to handle some Self-Care. My head-space has been in a place where I look at my ever-growing to-do list and just freeze up from all the stuff that is there to get done. And that place is not a pleasant one, to be sure. I pride myself on being able to get things done and staring at a list of things that need to get done just reminds me over and over again that no matter how hard I try, that list will continue to grow. Completed tasks will always be replaced by new tasks that need to get done. Some of those tasks will replace themselves, as it becomes a repeating cycle of completion, setup, complete again – over and over.

Since I announced the end of the podcast, I have had a ton of folks come out of the woodwork – telling me how much they enjoyed both Upon a Pagan Path and my first podcast From the Edge of the Circle. There has been an echo about how listening to me helped them understand how they needed to work their way through their own journey of finding themselves within the complicated gathering under the big tent of Paganism, as John Beckett calls it. I not only appreciate those telling me this, as this was the whole point of doing these podcast episodes all these years – to show others that they can work their own way through the forest. The trees may seem thick, the brush may seem daunting and difficult to get through – but somewhere is that clearing in the forest that you seek. Where you can sun yourself and rest, assured that you found that place where you clearly belong. I did just that, over the last thirty-four years. And as cliche as it sounds, if I can do it – so can you.

Sitting here writing this, Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory” has come on the Sirius XM channel that I listen to. What a soundtrack to listen to while I write this…I have never fashioned myself much as a “cowboy” but as I grow older, I find myself gravitating to one of the archetypes – the drifter. I have the long trench-coat to wear in the cold winter nights. I have the cowboy boots now (something I never envisioned myself getting), and I am seeking out a cowboy-style hat to wear. Aside from the hat, I lack the crow feathers to attach it as well. Yeah, what an image, eh? The lyrics of this song remind me quite a lot about myself.

Each night I go to bed, I pray to Crow my soul to keep
No, I ain’t lookin’ for forgiveness, but before I’m six foot deep
Crow, I gotta ask a favor, and I’ll hope you’ll understand
‘Cause I’ve lived life to the fullest, let this boy die like a man

Yeah, I took some license with the lyrics…Bon Jovi prays to the Christian God in the lyrics, which does not work for me. Besides, I have plenty more life to live before this becomes a reality, at least I hope so.

On the podcast, you will find an interview I did in February with John Beckett. I consider John to be more than just a friend. For me, he is family. Someone who has always been supportive. John has been there for my initiations into the Bardic and Ovate grade, gestures of support that I deeply appreciate. We do not always agree on how to approach a particular topic…as it should be. We are not the same person. My Path is not a carbon copy of his, nor is he likely to be swayed into the world of Tricksters. We sometimes travel the same dirt, but we are responsible for our own footfalls. I appreciate John’s willingness to be the first interview I did for the podcast and becoming the point of full-circle as the last.

Also on the podcast, you will find the music of Melanie Gruben. For me, she is a new artist. Her music is exquisite and has accompanied me on several long drives that I have taken. If you enjoy her music, please go to her website and buy her music. I was given her music to play on the podcast – and like with any of the other independent musicians that I play, I will be buying her music very shortly. The music industry has changed quite a bit over the years, and the independent musician has a better chance of making it by working on their own, rather than depending on the dying gyrations of the big music corporations. But that requires word-of-mouth advertising, which I am doing here and on the podcast itself. Please support your favorite musicians by purchasing their music, that small monetary donation means more than you know for them.

So here is a link to the finished podcast, the last I will ever accomplish on my own. Maybe someone will invite me onto their own show, perhaps not. But I am proud of everything I brought to you. Just remember, the point of all of this was to show you that you can blaze your own trail within your own Spirituality. But just like any point of improvisation, you will need to learn the basics first.

All I can really finish with is a heartfelt “thank you”. Thank you for listening. Thank you for downloading. Thank you for finding inspiration in what I have said. Thank you for listening to the folks I brought to you on the podcast. And thank you to all the folks that I featured on the show – John Beckett, Troy Young, Joanna van der Hoeven, Brendan Howlin, Brendan Myers, the amazing Bran Cerddorion, Chris Godwin (the most amazing ritualist I have ever encountered), and Cat Treadwell, who remains one of my most favorite people on this planet. Each of them provided a piece of who they are and what they have created on this podcast, and it has been my pleasure to bring them to all of you. Many of them have books available…much like musicians, please consider purchasing their materials.

Lastly, I am not getting out of the interviewing world. I plan on interviewing more people, and discussing how they got to where they are on their own personal Paths. I will be doing all of that via Soundcloud. You can find the site here. The interviews will solely be discussion pieces. No podcasting stuff to add around it. The discussions will be unedited so some of the discourse may be a little NSFW. And to other podcasters out there, if you want to use a discussion that I post there – please ask beforehand. I am happy to provide the files, but I also would prefer to get the permission of the individual(s) that I had on the recording as well.

I, again, appreciate you taking time out of your own day to listen to the podcast. Thank you or allowing me to be a small part of your world and your journey. I hope you continue with me here on the blog. And who knows, I might even have a book in me. That is still up for debate at the moment – I am never sure of what to really write about when it comes to something along those lines. But who knows…

A fire’s gotta burn
The world is gonna turn
Rain has gotta fall
Fate is gonna call
But I just keep on breathing
Long as my heart is beating
Someone’s gotta hate
It’s never gonna change
Gets harder every day
It’s a hell of a place
To keep your heart from freezing
To keep yourself believing
But I won’t run
I’m not afraid
I’ll look em in the eye
Gonna hear me say
It’s my life, my love, my sex, my drug, my lust
My God, it ain’t no sin
Can I get it, can I get an Amen
–Halestorm, “Amen”

 

 

Direct Download link:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/Episode_019_-_This_Is_It.mp3

 

From a Podcast to a “Selection of Audio Offerings” – Transformation Can be Considered a Constant in Life

Twelve years ago, I started my first podcast – “From the Edge of the Circle”. I spent time talking about whatever topic came to mind – essentially using the podcast in much the same vein that I use the blog here at “Life With Trickster Gods” – a sounding board for the most part. After a period of time, the podcast got a bit difficult to keep working with, and I was moved towards the idea of shutting things down. And I did. Then I started “Upon a Pagan Path” where I have tried to focus on talking with other Pagans about how they came to be on the Paths they are on. And essentially, that has managed to fizzle out. Its been nearly a year since I put out a podcast episode. And honestly, while the podcasting side was fun – putting a podcast together is really tough stuff. There’s a lot of post production work that goes into getting a show together, not to mention trying to find ways to mesh times with folks for interviews. Many other podcasters out there are aware of how difficult all of that can be to manage. And in truth, many of them do a far better job at it then I have ever managed to do. And that means that it is nearly time to bring the second podcast incarnation to a close.

Yes, you read that correctly, it is time to bring “Upon a Pagan Path” to an end. Sort of. As a podcast, it will definitely come to a close. I have one more episode to do…and I have an idea who I want to push a recording device in front of…and will somehow manage to do just that. After that, the doors for the podcast will close. The last version of the podcast will be a very stripped down version of the show. No musical artist features. No extra stuff. Just me and the individual(s) that I hope to get on the recording device.

But there’s life beyond the podcast. I have an idea to continue recording stories, poems, and even interviews from time to time. I will place those on a Soundcloud page instead of a LibSyn account. No extra stuff. No show intros and outros. Just the stuff that is meant to be heard. Why? Because there is still a need for the stories to be heard. There’s still a desire to read my poetry aloud. And there are still stories to hear from other people. But the podcast has run its course at this point. When will it happen? Well, fairly soon. And when I mean soon…somewhere in the neighborhood of the next ninety days or so.

I am not disappearing from sight, though. I have two blogs I am writing. And while my writing is not stellar stuff, it is far better than what I managed to put together for the podcast. And my thoughts are far more coherent here in the written form than anytime I am in front of a microphone. So, it is not like I am disappearing completely from the online world. Just transforming to a different presentation format.

Plus, writing comes easier to me – and I have far more time to do that. My mundane job gets busier each day, and my working hours sometimes have a tendency to be long and unpredictable. That makes scheduling stuff for the podcast a little more difficult, particularly in a world where meshing hectic schedules can be a serious chore.

And by the way, the name “Upon a Pagan Path” won’t be disappearing either. It will be the name of the Soundcloud page. So, in a manner of speaking, the podcast will be making its own transformation through this as well. From a podcast to…well, I am not sure how to classify what the Soundcloud page will be. A selection of audio offerings?? Maybe. Just not totally sure that is a “proper” descriptive. Then again, when have I ever done anything in a “proper” manner?  🙂

 

Episode 018 – Podcasting is Hard!

Back from a short hiatus, which had me tweaking the podcast format a bit. No interview in this particular episode, but I do a bit of a talk on how my life is being aimed towards the direction of being a storyteller. Plus, I make an attempt to recreate the story of “The Screen Door Boar and the Bardic Initiates” that I told around the fire at this year’s OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering a short while back. Personally, I’m not happy with this version of the re-telling, and will work towards a new recording of the tale, which I will put up at a soon-to-be-created Soundcloud page in the near future. But in the meantime, enjoy this version (I hope!). I also have two songs from Bran Cerddorion‘s upcoming new album “The King of Dreams” for everyone to hear. This stuff is super awesome, and already in my own personal music rotation on my iPhone. I will also be at CalderaFest later this year, where I do believe Bran will be performing…hope to see all of you there as well!!

As always, if you hear music on any of the podcast episodes that you like – please take the time to buy from the artist. Please help support your independent Pagan artist! We want more music from these awesome people….

Email:  elfster@gmail.com

Twitter: @t_elfster

WordPress:  https://tommyelf22.wordpress.com  “Life With Trickster Gods”

Direct Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/PaganPath018.mp3

 

Episode 017 – Exploring Pagan Ministry by Cat Treadwell

This episode, with huge thanks to one of the most awesome Druids I am happy to know, is a talk by Cat Treadwell entitled “Exploring Pagan Ministry”. I found the talk quite fascinating, and quite honestly it has helped change some of my mindset towards the concept of “Priest” within the bounds of Paganism. The volume was a bit light on the original file, so I tried to boost the volume a little bit. Hopefully, that worked well enough.

Congrats to the three winners of Shauna Aura Knight‘s books that were given away on the last episode. This episode, I am giving away two albums from Bran Cerddorion, “The Hour Before Dawn” and “Four Branches: Tales of the Mabinogi in Song”. To be the winner of the two albums, just send me an email to elfster@gmail.com (please include an address that I can ship these to you) before midnight (Central Standard Time, United States) on October 31st. That’s it. You win, you get the albums. Simple as that.

Closing out the show….I decided to dish out one of my favorite S.J. Tucker songs “Sultry Summer Night” from her “Stolen Season” album. One day, I’ll get the chance to catch this lovely lass live.

As always, if you hear music on any of the podcast episodes that you like – please take the time to buy from the artist. Please help support your independent Pagan artist! We want more music from this awesome people….

Email:  elfster@gmail.com
Twitter: @t_elfster
WordPress:  https://tommyelf22.wordpress.com  “Life With Trickster Gods”
Direct Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/PaganPath017.mp3

 

Episode 016 – Alf Herigstad

After a lengthy hiatus, the podcast is back.  And we start off with a discussion I had with Alf Herigstad at this year’s Pantheacon.  Alf is the voice behind the podcast “Being a Better Man” as well as the head gothi of Hawk’s Hearth Kindred. Being a bit ignorant of Asatru, I utilized part of the discussion to better understand some of its aspects with Alf, with I very much appreciate. We also discussed aspects of his daily practice up in the Washington state area, which I admit was quite fascinating. For those who may be attending Many Gods West this year, he will be presenting “A Heathen Perspective of Ritual Slaughter” there. The link for Many Gods West is located here. The link to Alf’s extremely interesting podcast is located here. Check out both of these links, very interesting stuff. I am making plans to attend Many Gods West next year, if it is held then.

The return of the podcast is also going to bring about something new….giveaways. When I was at Pantheacon, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Shauna Aura Knight, and purchasing three of her books, which she has signed. I will be giving each of these books away to three listeners, who respond via Email. Yes, there will be three winners….one for each book. If you wish to be entered into the drawing for a specific book or books, please let me know via your Email.  The book titles are as follows:

  • Ritual Facilitation: Collected Articles on the Art of Leading Rituals
  • Pagan Leadership Anthology: An Exploration of Leadership and Community in Paganism and Polytheism (edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood)
  • The Leader Within: Articles on Community Building, Leadership, & Personal Growth

You have until July 30th to submit your entry (its just an Email) to elfster@gmail.com. I will announce the winners on the next podcast, which will be out the first weekend in August.

Finally, in the middle of July, I will be adding something new. I will be doing a short video, which will be available through the podcast link, taking you around my local (somewhat) area. I will start with my stone circle in the backyard, where I spend many mornings and evenings in meditation, and ritual. I will be doing this via the Periscope App, which I have been experimenting with over the last few months. I will also be doing short videos when I take trips to various places as well….you won’t be seeing my ugly mug, well…not that much. But I thought this would be an interesting addition for the podcast. Let me know what you think, if you would like.


Links

Being a Better Man Podcast:  http://beingabettermanpodcast.com

Shauna Aura Knight website: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/

Many Gods West: http://www.manygodswest.com/

Pantheacon: http://pantheacon.com/wordpress/


My Email:  elfster@gmail.com

Life With Trickster Gods (my blog): http://tommyelf22.wordspress.com

Direct Download Link for this episode: http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/Episode_016_-_Alf_Herigstad.mp3


This podcast was created using the following:

  • Garageband v10.1.2
  • The Levelator v2.1.2 (revision 4261)
  • Zoom H5 Four-Track Portable Recorder
  • Apple Mac Pro (Late 2013) using OS X El Capitan (v10.11.5)

 

Episode 015 – Modern Druidry

This month’s podcast is a talk by Joanna van der Hoeven on “Modern Druidry” that she graciously recorded and allowed me to bring to you on the podcast. Her talk is bracketed by two great songs, the first by SJ Tucker – “In the Name of the Dance” from her “Blessings” album. The second is from Damh the Bard and is my favorite song of his, “Green and Grey” from his album “The Cauldron Born“. This is the last podcast for the year – and I appreciate you downloading and listening to the show.  Looking forward to bringing you more in 2016!

Joanna van der Hoeven’s web site is located at http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com and her personal blog is located at http://downtheforestpath.com. Please take the time to check those sites out – and don’t forget her marvelous books which can be found at http://www.moon-books.net/authors/joanna-van-der-hoeven.

SJ Tucker’s web site is located at http://sjtucker.com/ . Her music can be found on her site as well.  Please remember to purchase the music you love to hear, so these wonderful artists can continue to create more.

Damh the Bard’s website can be found at http://www.paganmusic.co.uk/ which also contains links to purchase his music, as well as his extremely informative and entertaining blog.  Purchase the music you love, so these wonderful independent musicians can continue to create the music we all love to hear!

As always, you can reach me via Email:  elfster@gmail.com  Thanks for downloading the show!

Direct Download link:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/UponaPaganPath015.mp3

 

Here Comes Sunshine

Line up a long shot maybe try it two times, maybe more
Good to know you got shoes to wear, when you find the floor
Why hold out for more

Yeah….more music related stuff.  Sort of. The song, for those who don’t know it, is “Here Comes Sunshine” by the Grateful Dead from their 1973 album “Wake of the Flood“. For me, the song is the a great song to listen to as the sun is rising, but far from the perfect one. For me, that song is “Island of Life” by Kitaro (with Jon Anderson) from his 1992 album “Dream“.

Yes, music is a huge part of my life. Its the background of everything that goes on with me. When I am working, I have my iPhone playing songs I downloaded specifically for that week. When I am home, I typically have something playing in the background. Sometimes louder, sometimes softer – just depending on what purpose it serves for my activities at the time.

As a podcaster, quite a few of the Pagan musicians have gifted me with their music. Usually, they send it to me via mp3 in Email. Sometimes, I get the CD. Regardless of how I get it, I always turn around and pay for a copy. That’s right, even when the musician gifts me with their music, I turn around and purchase their music. Why? Because I know they need the money to survive, and in turn, they will return that favor by making more music, or eventually coming to a place near me for a concert – where I am more than happy to purchase a ticket to their show. Its a circle of reciprocation. And it works quite well.

A little over two years ago, my friend John Beckett gifted me with two CDs that he had gotten from a pair of musicians –  Sharon Knight and Winter. While I did appreciate the gifting from John, I went out and purchased the same two albums. Because, in my mind, it was the correct thing to do. No one twisted my arm. No one coerced me into doing it. I did it because I believe that supporting independent musicians is important. Particularly in this cut-throat day and age in the modern music industry. I personally could give two shits about any of these musicians making any “top-something chart”. I enjoy their music, and the handful of them that I have met – I thoroughly have enjoyed talking with them. The same holds true for Pagan authors. Even when gifted with a pdf review copy, I turn right around and purchase my own copy of their books. And the authors I have had the time to talk with – I have had some of the most incredible discussions with. In that regard, I count myself as being granted a handful of blessings from the Gods and Goddesses.

…and now I get to brand myself as a hypocrite, of sorts. I run a podcast. Upon a Pagan Path is a manner to bring interviews, lectures, and discussions from other Pagans to the forefront. I have had some incredible guests on, and have been proud to play the music of musicians I adore (Wendy Rule, who was the first musician to graciously assent my request to play her music on my podcast). The end of the calendar year 2015 marks the finish of my tenth year of podcasting. In all that time, I have carried the cost of keeping the podcast up and available for download. Only when I was unemployed for two years, did I ask for monetary assistance, and was given that help several times over by listeners.

I don’t ask for monies, nor do I seek advertising for the show. Until this recent Wild Hunt Fall fundraiser. The new year will bring the podcast’s presence as one of the Fall donators. The Wild Hunt needed money to run, I get advertising that may help bring listeners to the show. The more important part of that is me giving money to the Wild Hunt. I’m not worried about how many people come and download the show. That’s not what I do the podcast for. I’m on the podwaves to showcase how other people believe, how they practice their Pagan paths, how we are all no different than anyone else. We live our lives, just as anyone else does. We work jobs. We have families and friends that we hold dear.

So, yes, I am a bit of a hypocrite, in that I do not ask for help for what I provide to the community. But…I do get something back. if even one Pagan gets comfort in knowing that they are not along – then I have reached what was necessary and needed at that time. And, that is enough for me.

IMG_0507This morning, I woke to see this sunrise. My bedroom window is just to your left in this picture. I had stepped outside to the west end of my backyard pool to take this. As I stood there, marveling in the momentary beauty of this morning, I know that these last ten years of podcasting have been a complete joy. I have enjoyed bringing the podcast episodes to you, and will continue to do so. After all, in the words of the Grateful Dead:  “…its the same story the Crow told me…” — and I have truly been told. Thanks for reading, and hopefully listening to. Here’s to another ten years….

Episode 14 – Chris Godwin

On this episode of Upon a Pagan Path, I travelled down to Austin, Texas to talk with Chris Godwin during Austin’s Pagan Pride Day. In the end, we had to hurry off, so Chris could get ready for the afternoon ritual, but during a slight rainfall – we talked quite a bit about a wide range of topics – focusing a lot on ritual. This was by far, the most fun I have had in an interview yet – and Chris provided a lot of wonderful insight into his perspective on ritual. Give it a listen, and enjoy!

Chris is a leader of Hearthstone Grove ADF, which can be found on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/hearthstoneaustin/

The musical feature is Bran Cerddorion with a cheeky tune on consumerism called “‘Tis the Season to Spend Money”.

Brab’s music can be found at his blog site http://paganbran.com/ where you can also find links to many other locations that he is at.

You can reach me via Email at elfster@gmail.com

This episode can be directly downloaded from the following link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/UponaPaganPath014.mp3 .  Or you can find the podcast in iTunes by searching for “Upong a Pagan Path” or at the libsyn site:  http://paganpath.libsyn.com

Thanks for listening!!

–Tommy /|\

Peeking Through Windows and Picnic Lunches – Being a Podcaster

So, I hear from people every once in a while…they tend to try and connect me up with people.  Connect….as in “you know this person, don’t you?” When I read stuff like this, I hang my head, drop my arms to my side….stare at my portable keyboard…and sigh.

PodcasterThe rumors are true. I am a podcaster. I do handle interviews with various Pagan folk out there. I do get some Pagan authors who have read excerpts from their books that I have featured on the podcast. I do have music on my show that I have gotten from a handful of Pagan musicians. And yes, I have conversed with some of them via Skype, or Email or even instant messenger. A few of them, I have had the honest privilege of meeting face to face. But I don’t know all of them THAT well.

In fact, I would say that I probably know four of them well enough to call them a “friend” (not sure how they may qualify that relationship) and two of them I really wish I did know a lot better. But just because I run a podcast, just because I blog…doesn’t mean that every single person I run across is a massive friend. I am honored and privileged to get a slice of these folks’ time, and have the chance to present their own words, music, what have you to the small listenership I have at Upon a Pagan Path. I hope that the seeds of a friendship may cultivate from such moments — but I am also realistic. When they live hundreds of miles away…its a tough thing to maintain. They have lives, I have a life too. In the case of a few folks, we share a professional relationship through where we work – but even that community is enormous.

::big breath:: I’ll be honest. I’m glad that my podcast does not place me in a position of being like Stanley Tucci’s character Caesar Flickerman from the Hunger Games’ movies. I don’t need to schmooze the people I have on the podcast. I don’t see a benefit from it. Besides it flies against the point of the podcast — to showcase the Pagans that are out there and willing to step in front of the microphone, and thus show the world that Pagans are just like anyone else. And to show the Pagan community that many people have the same thoughts that you do. The idea is to present the PERSON, and WHAT THEY SHARE with the community.

I truly do wish I was a part of the lives of some of the people I have brought to you on the podcast. And in a way, I have been…even if it was just for thirty to forty-five minutes of shared time between us. And I am thankful that I get a chance to meet and talk with these folks. They inspire me to move forward in my own studies within Druidry, Zen, Paganism, and the world around me. I get a chance to glimpse into their lives, even for just a moment. And in a manner of speaking, I’m peeking through the windows of their lives or at least the ones where they have opened the drapes and blinds. I’m certainly not deeply ingrained into any of their lives…but whether they believe it or not, they have had their own impact on me. Even with a ten to fifteen minute reading from one of their books – or a song that describes an experience that we both shared – or just talking about Paganism in general – or even discussing how they approach their own Paths of Druidry and Paganism.

Yeah, I might not know them as well as some people seem to think. But when our Paths cross in the forests of Paganism, its always a joy to sit at that crossroads and have a short picnic and discussion.

Episode 013 — Bran Cerddorion

For episode 013, I prattle on about attending the OBOD East Coast Gathering, as well as the rcent move from near Dallas to much further away (near the Oklahoma border). Then, I drop a lovely bit from Rachel Patterson, where she reads from her Pagan Portals book “Kitchen Witchcraft”. I’m not much on kitchen type stuff — but I’ve already purchased a copy of this book for myself.  🙂 Then comes an interview with Bran Cerddorion – where I do a horrible job of pronouncing his last name (why do I find Celtic and Welsh names to be more unpronounceable than Japanese or Chinese?), and totally miss the point that he only has one album out right now. But we discuss so much more than my fifty-year-old failing memory too. I play two of my favorite songs of his at the end of the show too.  Remember folks – if you like what you hear on the show – be sure to purchase the works that these marvelous authors and musicians put out. Support your Pagan bards!!

Rachel Patterson can be found at her page:  http://www.rachelpatterson.co.uk/

Her books and the books of other Moon Books authors can be found at: http://www.moon-books.net/

And the amazing music of Bran can be found at his page:  http://paganbran.com/

…I can be contacted via Email at elfster@gmail.com

Bright blessings to all of you, and have a wonderful Samhain!!

Direct Download:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/UponaPaganPath013.mp3

This Space for Rent….

You don’t really advertise the podcast.”  You have no idea how often I hear this. Quite a lot, in fact. I jokingly refer to myself as the most invisible podcaster on the face of the planet. Oh, I do have the Facebook page for me as a podcaster. If you are interested or inclined its located here. But I am seriously terrible at self-promotion – I always have been.

Consider – there are far more well known podcasts out there with much, much larger followings than I have. Druidcast with Damh the Bard. The Wigglian Way with Mojo and Sparrow. Down at the Crossroads with Chris Orapello. All fantastic, and top-notch shows. And none of which I would ever consider myself to be on-par with. But then, that’s something that’s never really been a part of the Pagan pod-verse — competition. And in my eyes, that makes this small community of folks a very unique and wonderful group of folks. We even try to promote amongst ourselves — sometimes to great results… but there’s that point: results.

I have been podcasting for close to nine years. Nine? Yeah, something like that. I have honestly started to lose track of how long — simply because its not that important to me. Just like the download stats for the podcast don’t really matter to me that much. I peek every once in a while — typically about every three months or so. But the numbers just don’t mean much to me. The first two or three years of putting out podcasts, it meant a ton to me. I checked nearly every day to see how things were going. I worried and fretted over shows that didn’t download at high numbers like others. I obsessed over the numbers like a soccer mom with her oldest child playing in their first season. And then…I didn’t.

I don’t really have an answer for why I stopped really paying any attention to the numbers. I just did. And when I put “From the Edge of the Circle” to bed and brought up “Upon a Pagan Path” — the numbers meant even less to me. Even when others asked for the numbers, it was hard to really put any significance to what those download numbers meant to me. I guess that makes me a bad podcaster of some sort….

But lately, I have been getting questions about getting the word out about the existence of the show. I’ve heard people quietly stating that they really wished I would promote the podcast a bit more than I do. And people asking why I don’t promote the shows more than I do. And I have begun to wonder just how I could do that.

Granted, getting the podcast back on track with regular timing of shows would be best. There’s a plan in place for that to start happening with the upcoming episode that’s coming this weekend. I promote the podcast through the same Facebook and Twitter posting models that I currently use for the blog. So, aside from putting flyers under the windshield wipers of cars at the local Wal-Mart parking lots…I’m at a touch of a loss.

Interviews of me on other podcasts (you have no idea how much I recoil in horror at that thought – what the Nine Hells would *I* have to say that anyone would want to hear)?  20-second promos for other podcasts? I have always relied on the wonderful tool of “word of mouth” from listeners to help out there…. I’d do smoke-signals, but I think the local volunteer fire department might have something to say about that….

Yeah, when you get pecked enough…you start to say ouch. Well, I’m not only saying “ouch”, but I am also wiping away blood…time to put the podcast back on the rails. Time to make the train go again….

Throwing Starfish Into the Seas – East Coast Gathering (Travel) Day One

My Backyard Stone CircleCurrently, I have made my way to Philadelphia and am sitting in the lobby of the hotel I stayed in. Yesterday, my travel day here wound up being an extremely crazy day. I live north of the Dallas/Fort Worth metromess – and I rarely drive south into the Dallas area unless I have to. To get to the airport, I have to. Any accident on the freeway can result in massive gridlock…and that is precisely what happened on the way. One hour in traffic to move less than a half-mile. What had been planned as a short trip to arrive at the airport with an hour to spare, wound up with a missed flight, twenty minutes on-hold with Southwest Airlines to switch flights, double the fare cost for my original round-trip, and nearly twice as much time spent in the air as the trip was diverted to Denver with a connecting flight to Philadelphia.

It was the second leg of the trip – from Denver to Philadelphia that wound up being interesting. Southwest Airlines has a “sit wherever you want” option for everyone coming on-board.  Which means if you are last in – you sit wherever there’s an empty seat. I was next-to-last onto the plane. Luckily, a couple saw that I was looking for a seat, and offered to move over and let me have the window seat. I had brought my iPad with me, so I settled in for watching the movies I had brought with me, as well as reading one of the books on the history of the Comanches that I had brought with me. Once I had filled enough of my brain with written word, I decided to watch an OBOD related video I had found on YouTube a few months ago called “Fable“. Its a video about the lost art of story-telling, and there’s quite a few scenes with Philip Carr-Gomm within it.

Apparently, the lady seated next to me had been watching pieces of my video and had recognized PC-G in some of the scenes. She asked if that had indeed been PC-G and whether I was a Druid. My response was that I was in my Bardic Grade studies, but that I was indeed a member of the Order. She noted that she and her husband were Wiccans, and we continued talking about Paganism and the differences between Dallas and New Jersey (where they are from). As we began departing the plane, she noted that she had recognized my voice, and I told her who I was. We laughed as she got a picture with me, that she had been sitting there talking with a podcaster she had been listening to for years, and it took the last 30+ minutes of the flight to recognize me.

I am a bit uncomfortable when people recognize me from either the podcast or the blog. However, when I do meet these people they constantly gush about how much listening to the podcasts has helped them with some of the times when they were questioning what to do on their Path. As I got off the plane, and made my way to the baggage claim to see if my bags had actually made the flight with me – I was reminded of a story that was within the video “Fable”.

In the story, an old man walks down to the beach to see a little girl throwing starfish that were stranded on the beach, back into the ocean. There are hundreds of starfish strewn along the beach. He asks the little girl why she was throwing starfish into the ocean. “To save them” she responded. “But look at all the starfish” he retored, “What difference do you think you can make for all these starfish? You will never be able to throw all of them back.” The little girl reaches down and picks up a starfish and shows it to the man. “I can’t make a difference for all of them – but I definitely can make a difference for this one.” And with that, she throws the starfish into the ocean, and continues her methodical process.

I may be uncomfortable with being “recognized” and people treating me like a bit of a “celebrity” — but the podcast and the people I bring into the shows via interviews and the such — that’s what really makes the difference. I’m just the little girl on the beach throwing starfish back into the sea. And in making that difference for the people who listen, I can definitely live with being uncomfortable when I meet these people in real-life.

After the plane flight, we made our way to Hertz rental car and got a red VW Beetle. Then we made our way through the very congestive highways of Philadelphia to the hotel. The next leg of the trip is about to take place — heading into Camp and meeting all the people. And while I am somewhat overwhelmed with the prospective of meeting Damh the Bard, Ceri, and Kristopher Hughes — among many others — I just have to remember, they all are like the little girl on the beach. They too make differences in peoples’ lives. They too have stories to tell others – in their own way. We each make a difference to some number of starfish. Even when we don’t realize it…

In the words of Mickey Hart:  Remember be kind to one another.”

Episode 012 — Two Brendans

Well, the title is a play on the song “The Two Magicians” — and in a way it fits.  The first part of the show is a talk that Brendan Myers gave at this year’s OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering in Mandeville, Louisiana, titled “Highlights in the History of Pagan Philosophy”. The second Brendan is Brendan Howlin reading an excerpt from his book “The Handbook of Urban Druidry”. I have to be honest, I have yet to purchase this book (its on my lengthy ‘to-buy’ list), but am certainly looking forward to reading it now!! The show finishes with a lovely duet by Kellianna and Wendy Rule signing “The Ash Grove” from Kellianna’s “Traditions” album.

The direct download link for this episode is:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/UponaPaganPath012.mp3

As always, you can contact me at elfster@gmail.com.

—-

Brendan Myers books can be purchased via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Brendan-Myers/e/B001JRZNF0/

Brendan Howlin’s book can be purchased via his website:  http://www.urbandruidry.com/

Kellianna’s lovely music can be purchased via her website at:  http://www.kellianna.com/

Wendy Rule’s awesome music can be purchased via her website at:  http://www.wendyrule.com/

Episode 011 – The Goddess Nemetona

In this month’s episode, Moon Books author Joanna Van DerHoeven returns with an intriguing talk she gave at the Leaping Hare conference in Essex during March of this year. A perfect dovetail to her novel “Dancing With Nemetona”, I found the talk to be extremely intriguing and honestly leaving me with a strong desire to come back to the island soon.

There is also sad news to bring along with the passing of Flint from Dragon Ritual Drummers. In tribute, I feature two of their songs in the show:  “Invocation of the Spirits” from their album “The Epic” A Drum Opera”, and closing the show with “Papa Legba” from their album “Dragon Ritual Drummers Vol. II”. Rock on Flint…safe journeys beyond the veil.

Last, but not least, is the new addition to the Book Corner segment. Nimue Brown, another Moon Books author, stops by with a reading from her book “Druidry and the Ancestors”. To be honest, its a moment not to miss…its truly awesome.

As always, you can reach me via Email:  elfster@gmail.com  Thanks for downloading the show!

Joanna Van DerHoeven’s web site is located at http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com and her personal blog is located at http://downtheforestpath.com. Please take the time to check those sites out – and don’t forget her marvelous books which can be found at http://www.moon-books.net/authors/joanna-van-der-hoeven.

Dragon Ritual Drummers’ home page can be found on the web at: http://dragonritualdrummers.com/ . Links to where their music can be purchased, as well as bios of the band, its history and merchandise can also be found there.

Nimue’s books can be found at Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Nimue-Brown/e/B00AZM663S/ .  Nimue’s wonderful and superb blog can be found at:  https://druidlife.wordpress.com/author/brynneth/ . Her books can also be found at: http://www.moon-books.net/authors/nimue-brown/ .

Check out other authors with Moon Books at their website:  http://www.moon-books.net/ .

Remember to support your independent Pagan artist, musician, author, poet, writer, blogger, podcaster, speaker, Bard, etc etc. Keep their Awen flowing!

Direct Download link:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/UponaPaganPath011.mp3

 

 

Episode 010 – Gulf Coast Gathering 2015

Episode 010 – Gulf Coast Gathering 2015

In today’s episode, I recall my trip over to this year’s Gulf Coast Gathering. Put together by Highland Oak Nemeton, the gathering was a fantastic time! I met a ton of new family members, was initiated in the Bardic Grade, and even handled the role of Herald in the Alban Eilir ritual. I managed to get two very fun interviews – one with fellow Bardic initiate Malbren, and another with fellow attendee Cyn. The musical feature is a song written by one of the attendees – Bran Cerddorion – called “Awen Flows Free (Not in Kansas Anymore), which is about the Gulf Coast Gathering itself. Along with all of that is the debut of a new segment: The Book Corner, which is my take on a book that I recently have read. This debut segment, I talk about Nimue Brown’s “Druidry and Meditation”. The spoken word segment is a my reading of a Robert Frost classic…

Bran’s awesome music can be found at his Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/brancerddorion
Nimue’s books can be found at Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Nimue-Brown/e/B00AZM663S/
Nimue’ wonderful blog can be found at: https://druidlife.wordpress.com/author/brynneth/

I can be reached at Email: elfster@gmail.com

Direct Download link for the show is: http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/UponaPaganPath010.mp3

Out of the Comfort Zone…

This year has been full of change for me – lots of firsts, lots of doing things differently. Probably a better way of putting things – there’s a lot of me stepping out of my comfort zone. In just two short months, I have found myself going to a Pagan retreat, and doing a chat session with an author for the podcast. In both instances, I was stepping way out beyond what I have been doing. Going to outings where I know so very few people is something that makes me a little nervous. And the only two interviews I had done previously for the podcast were with two people that I was very familiar with in a face-to-face environment. But…the podcast changed to this new format for a reason. And getting out into the community was a part of that.

Many people view Crow as a mischievous Trickster – and that is quite true. However, the crow is also a bringer of messages – as are many birds. Its this particular area that I focused upon when studying the crow and finding Crow in my meditations. The promise is to provide a platform for others to present their perspective, and thus “Upon a Pagan Path
” was born. But there are little caveats to that promise being fulfilled, as I have been finding out.

MeMy friend, John Beckett recently described me in a blog post as “…epitomiz[ing] ‘solitary practitioner’” and he’s quite on the mark. My Path in Paganism leads me on a solo track — even though I have a very active CUUPs group nearly in my backyard, and a few other groups just to the south of me. I like to refer to myself as “solo by choice”. Its not that I dislike any of the groups near me — merely that I find my footsteps easier to handle in my own manner and time. I do occasionally make an event at the nearby CUUPs group — but those are very far between. Mostly because my time schedule and theirs don’t always mesh. But over the past few months, that push has been there…

Yes, I feel the gentle and sometimes not-so-gentle push of the Gods — pushing me towards being more out in the open. Being more in the community. And I am working towards doing better. As I noted, I made Hearthstone Grove’s Imbolc Retreat this year, and hope to be invited back again next year. In just a few days, I will be attending the OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering. In late March, I will be attending the Melting P.O.T. Pagans in the Park event. As I have for the last two years, I will be at this year’s DFW Pagan Pride Day event, and hope to have the available time to make it to this year’s Austin Pagan Pride Day event as well. There’s an outside chance I may be able to make it to the OBOD East Coast Gathering. And I am already making plans to attend Pantheacon next year, and possibly Many Gods West. Those are, of course, a little further out in the calendar, so there’s some give and take where those are concerned at the moment.

So why am I getting out there? Well, the answer is two-fold. Being a solo Pagan does not mean that I have to hole-up in my home, and wander the brush and wooded areas near my home only or even alone. Paganism is about experiencing things, and its about community. Being here in my local environment, there’s plenty to experience, but I have to get out to experience community. I’m just not going to get that through Skype alone…plus, I can set my digital recorder in front of people and let them talk…about who they are.

I did From the Edge of the Circle for a little more than….seven years, I think. In that seven years of shows, I only brought an outside perspective in once. That was a talk that John gave at the first Pagan Pride Day event that I attended in Dallas. That’s a lot of shows talking about where I cam coming from, explaining what I believe about this topic or that topic. Its time to turn the microphone on my audience and the best way to do that is to get out there with them.  Yes, that’s what “Upon a Pagan Path” is about – that was the promise. Now I am being held accountable to that promise.  And that means climbing out of my comfort zone…

::opening the door::

::looking both ways down the hall::

Here goes nothing….

::stepping out of the comfort zone::

 

Episode 009 – A Chat With Joanna Van Der Hoeven (Corrected Copy)

On this episode of Upon a Pagan Path, I get the chance to have a lovely chat with Joanna Van Der Hoeven, author of “Zen Druidry”, “Dancing With Nemetona” and “The Awen Alone”. We also talk for a short bit about her involvement with The Druid College, how she started on her Spiritual Path, and what’s on her digital music player.  🙂  We also have Omnia’s “Love in the Forest” from their “Wolf Love” album, and I spend some time with you on the Spoken Word segment with my own poem “Ready to Start It All Again”.  Come on in and take a short stroll upon a Pagan Path!

Joanna Van DerHoeven’s web site is located at http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com and her personal blog is located at http://downtheforestpath.com. Please take the time to check those sites out – and don’t forget her marvelous books which can be found at http://www.moon-books.net/authors/joanna-van-der-hoeven.

The UK Druid College can be found at their website:  http://uk.druidcollege.org/

Omnia’s wonderful music can be found for sale at their website http://www.worldofomnia.com/ . Remember to support your Pagan artists, musicians and authors by purchasing their material!!

I can be found at my blog https://tommyelf22.wordpress.com/

I can be contacted via email at:  elfster@gmail.com

Thank you for downloading and listening to the show!

Direct download link:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/PaganPath009.mp3

 

 

“Speaking Crow” or “I Finally Get It! Stop Pecking the Back of My Head Already!”

I will be honest and up-front — its a lot of fun to have a God in your life. But I will be honest and up-front — sometimes its not exactly the easiest thing either.  You wander around the Pagan blogosphere long enough, and you will come across someone – somewhere – that has had their life touched directly by a God or a Goddess. Some will refer to it as being “called” – others (like myself) look at it as more akin to being “claimed.”  But regardless of the verbiage that gets utilized, it is something that happens.

My Backyard Stone CircleBeing claimed by Crow has been a very strange experience for me. After all, this is a First Nations God – and is usually a part of the Northwest tribes. I am on a Path of Druidry – a decidedly Celtic experience. So its a little strange to find myself being claimed by a Northwesterly Native American God. On a whim, I did a DNA test to see what my lineage was.  I am mostly European/Germanic, which wasn’t that surprising, considering my mother was a full-blooded German. But there is also 1/64th of Native American DNA – likely from my father’s side of the family – emigrants that left Holland to settle in the lower Appalachians (Tennessee/Kentucky area). But even with 0.16% Native American DNA, I am still somewhat stymied that a Native American God would find interest in me.

I first realized that there was something there about four years ago. Everywhere I seemed to go, a Crow or a Blackbird or a Starling would turn up. I thought it was cute. Then, my meditations and dreams started to have these little dark, winged visitors arriving as well. When I did some research, I found that Crows were considered to be messengers – so I started to affectionately refer to these Crows as my “Emails”. The only problem was that I could never figure out their messages.  One night, I wrote a poem about them….

Every moment I look up
They arrive from elsewhere
Beating black wings
The Crows are here again

They bring shiny bits
Buttons, twigs, and string
Like small offerings
Brought to their Gods

I know they are messages
Sort of like Emails
Meant to bring meaning
With their offerings

Some messages are clear
Others…well not quite so
Regardless of the clarity factor
They continue to arrive

What are you trying to tell me?
What does blue shirt button mean?
Why the yellow strands of yarn?
If I could only speak Crow…

—Tommy

The past few weeks, they have become more and more insistent. Guided meditations, where no Crow should be, had dozens upon dozens of them. All sitting silently, and watching my every move. At times, I wondered if I was to be working a guided meditation, or was I seeing my death via some Hitchcock film? It turned out to be neither. I was being told more and more to do what I had promised I would do – to change the podcast from being about me (From the Edge of the Circle) to one that showcased others (Upon a Pagan Path). This last year was the first for the new podcast – and while I did a great job with the first two interviews – the rest of the year was done very poorly. My job was to get it back on track.

That message come through loud and clear at the Saturday night ritual at the Imbolc Retreat – now almost a week ago. While everyone else was raising the drinking horn around the circle, and offering up to their patron Gods and Goddesses – I watched the fire, and turned my focus inward. I sat down in my Inner Grove and listened to the Crows. They cawed and danced just beyond my reach. Their beady little eyes watching each move I made. And when I looked up, I saw Crow standing at the very edge of the fire. I listened as He slowly explained that I had to get the podcast back on track – to get the voices of the others out there. When I came out of my moments in the Inner Grove, I found I had not been gone for more than few seconds from the ritual fire.

Immediately after ritual and dinner, I stayed up at the main house rather than partake in the Bardic Circle. I knew that alcohol would be plied throughout – and being a diabetic, it was just easier to step aside rather than politely refuse over and over again. I pulled out my iPad and the blue-tooth keyboard, and set about checking Emails. Its just happened that in the inbox was a message from an author that I had expressed interest in interviewing. We have exchanged a few more Emails, and I am hoping to make the connection for the interview fairly soon. Another author, whom I respect greatly and love her work, was the one that helped setup this contact. I also expressed a desire to interview her as well – and I hope that can happen very soon as well. During the course of the evening, and into the next morning – I found individual after individual that expressed an interest in coming on the show and talking for a bit about their own Pagan Path. When Crow says to do it, I merely have to do it. And as if I needed more encouragement, a conversation I had that last morning…circled around this very thing.

Since that time, I have had a handful of personal meditations — and in each one, I still have a crow or two arrive. But nothing like the dozens of dozens that I had previously. Friday afternoon, I came home to find my backyard tree was covered in Starlings on nearly every branch. I made my way outside with a bag of bird seed, and spread the contents on the ground. When I looked up – they had all flown away. All I could do was smile, mouth a silent thank you to the clear, blue evening sky – and head back indoors.

Yes, being claimed by a God can be an interesting thing. Maddening at times, particularly when you don’t quite understand the point of whatever is being said…but no one ever said that life with a Trickster God was going to be easy. Interesting? Yes. Informative? Yes. Easy? ::sigh::

–Tommy /|\

ADF Hearthstone Imbolc Retreat – and Just Doing It….

There’s been an over-arching theme in my daily life for the past four months.  Yes, there’s the crows that are EVERYWHERE.  My dreams, my meditations (even where they do not belong), real life…just everywhere. At first I thought it was cute – all these crows constantly cawing at me, dropping buttons and yarn in my lap in my meditations – just cute adorable stuff. After a while, I realized there was a message behind all of this – that Crow was trying to make me understand something. I just couldn’t puzzle it out.

Now, I’m not one to be out in public very often – at least not the Pagan Community aspect of being public. I’m always afraid that someone will recognize me (beyond the people who know me face-to-face already), and just squee all over the fact that I am a podcaster. Yes, I fear the notion of “fame” – and its taken quite some time to get over that notion, much less realize it.  More on that in a bit.  So, when I saw the invite in my Facebook messages section from Chris Godwin about an Imbolc Retreat in the hill country here in Texas….I balked and attempted to put it out of my mind. The idea of getting out into the public is an issue of being gun-shy for me.  So I just let the invite sit in my inbox.  I didn’t decline it (like I normally do when get things like that) – and I couldn’t really relate to why I did that. But then the dream came up…where the Crow shouted “Do It!  Register and go!”…and I sat up in the bed, went to my computer, made sure I had the funds to sign up, and left myself a sticky note to ask for time off with work. And after getting the a-ok for that, I registered and paid my reservation in full. And right after I hit the button, I knew there was no going back.

And Still the Crows Came

Every dream, every meditation, everywhere I turned – there were crows.  Still.  I thought I had satisfied the necessary requirement that Crow had been bugging me about. I still didn’t understand.  And when the day came to head down, I got to talk with a friend through half of the trip about the dreams, the meditations, the crows…

“Messengers,” she said quietly after listening to me for close to fifty miles. “Crows are messengers. They bring information to Odin. Odin understood, but the Crows had to bring him the information to work with.” I shared a nervous laugh with her, as I wondered what the messages might be. On the third day of the conference, I was talking with one of the attendees, and she mentioned much the same thing. ::holding finger in the air:: First point to Crow.

During the retreat, there were two evening rituals – both of which featured the opportunity to step forward and offer a blessing or a sacrifice in whatever fashion you wanted to. I passed on both opportunities. Each morning after, I found myself wide awake at 6am – even earlier than I normally am. The first time was because of someone else having left their phone alarm on. The second time, I awoke suddenly. When I checked my own phone this morning, it was 0600 on the dot. The first morning (yesterday), I found myself watching a cloudy sky – waiting for the sun to rise.  But the second morning, I didn’t wait for the sun, I walked out into the foggy mist and off into the wooded area behind the retreat bunk houses.

About a mile away, I sat down at the side of the dirt road – butt on the ground, my arms around my knees – and I listened. I could hear the cars on the nearby interstate, their tires noisily gripping the road’s surface as they were compelled onward by their occupants. I could hear the caw of a crow, somewhere nearby. Damnit.  Even here I can’t be alone. So I centered and grounded…and asked what I wasn’t getting. I got four words in response:  “Not you. Do it.” All I could think was:  thanks a lot. Cryptanalysis was never my strong. I could fix the machines and operate them, but I couldn’t break cypher codes by hand. I slowly got up (I’m not as spry as I used to be), and my movement apparently startled a nearby deer having her breakfast. As she dashed into the underbrush, I murmured an apology after her white-brown rump. And headed back to the retreat center for breakfast.

Just prior to breakfast, I’m talking with John Beckett about the prospect of an interview I had been wanting to line up for the podcast.  After a few moments, he stops and quietly notes that he has an editorial comment:  “Stop talking about things and just do them.”  I’m not sure John noticed the look of shock on my face, but here was the Rosetta Stone I was needing for my meditation moment just a scant half hour before.  Trickster Gods…  I spent most of my drive home contemplating that entire few moments of synchronicity…  Damn Trickster Gods…

And Then There Was That One Moment….

Remember I was noting how much I fear the entire concept of “fame”?  During dinner on the second night (last night), John and I are eating and one of the attendees sits down noting that she is about to have a “fan-girl” moment. Now, John is fairly well known – so I was prepared to sit and listen to someone talk with John about his excellent writings on his blog. However, after she notes how long she’s been reading John, she continued with “…and I have been listening to you for quite some time too.” And I have my first moments with a fan of my shows that isn’t someone I already know in real life. It didn’t turn out like I had always feared it would…she had wonderful conversation, along with her non-podcast-listening friend who turned out to have a lot in common with me (databases), with both John and myself (John and me, John and I — whatever the correct vernacular is).  And her demeanor really put me at ease. Once again, I had blown up the idea of what it would be like to run into one of the twenty-some odd people that listen to my two podcasts would be like.  When all was said and done…I could hear Crow and Coyote snickering about how foolish I felt after that (and still do).

There Was a Lot More Too…

U BAR U Retreat Center - in the fogBeing out by the fire with a group of dedicated Pagans looking to raise some energy for a cheerful purpose was absolutely amazing stuff!  To put it into perspective for me, DFW Pagan Pride Day in 2013 was simply amazing stuff. It paled in comparison to what happened during this Imbolc Retreat. There were several good roundtable discussions (one of which was an excellent presentation on looking forward into the near future of Paganism given by John), and lots of good feedback from folks in the audience. An overwhelming thematic throughout proved to be that of hospitality, and of community. And I do have to say that our hosts were most hospitable people throughout, and are really amazing people. Chris and Amanda Godwin, I have known only online for the past two years, but it was super incredible to meet them and get some really nice warm hugs from them!!

Looking Backwards and Forwards…

Yeah, it took more than little coaxing to get me to go. And after all the apprehension on my part – I found that I had no reason to be apprehensive whatsoever. I have met so many people at this Retreat that I likely would never have connected with otherwise. And I feel completely enriched from having spent the time with them – and I hope the same can be said for them spending time with me.  LOL  If they hold this again next year…I am already making plans to be there…  I hope that doesn’t drive attendance down…  ;)~  But I did come away with one big takeaway that was specifically there for me…we’ve talked about making this podcast go.  Its past due the time to make it go.  And starting yesterday, this little boat of a podcast is moving forward, and I will not be the focus.  That will be the people who come aboard for an interview….  Its time to just do it.

 

 

Episode 008 – Jan2015 – New Year, New Start

Welcome to the new calendar year!  Today’s show is a little discussion on some of the changes that are coming in the new year, along with a few other little notes while ramblin’ on over here and there. The coming year holds a lot of new surprises – particularly with a new segment I have been wanting to do for some time – Book Reviews. Feb 2015 will be the first installment of this segment…and I’m quite excited about it. I am also hoping to get some of the Moon Books authors to do short little interviews on some of their works and discuss some of their approaches to their own Spiritual practices. Yep, that’s an awful lot to add into the show, but I am excited to be doing so – as well as giving the show a little more focus than I did in the past year (Bad podcast host! Bad, bad!). Musical feature is Soul Quest performed by Jim Faupel and Paul Newman.  Both are incredible artists in their own right – together they make a powerful combination!  Both artists’ information is listed here – be sure to help support your independent Pagan artists!  You like what you hear?  Buy their music so that they can keep putting out more awesome albums in the future!

See you all around the 15th of February with the newest episode installment – with all new features, and more fun!  Ta!

Jim Faupel’s webpage is located at:  http://www.jimfaupel.co.uk/.  His music can be purchased at http://www.rigrecords.co.uk/merch/default.aspx.

Paul Newman’s website is located at: http://storyfolksinger.blogspot.com/. His music can be purchased at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/PaulCNewman (his album Passing Fayre is uber fantastic!!)

PermaLink:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/PaganPath-008-Jan2015.mp3