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

 

Life Does Change — An Explanation Owed

 

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Me, at Imbolc Retreat 2018, being silly on the main porch. Original photo was taken by John Beckett

Its been a short while – and currently, I am in the middle of an insane whirlwind of three events happening back-to-back-to-back. Yesterday evening, I completed a 1,050+ mile trip to attend the ADF Imbolc Retreat near Mountain Home, Texas (put on by ADF Hearthstone Grove), and then a professional conference in Corpus Christi. That equated to somewhere around 17 hours of driving, excluding various stops. Today, I get the opportunity to rest for a bit, while packing (lightly) for a plane flight to, and four days at, Pantheacon.

 

A few weeks back, during a meditation, Crow noted that the coming calendar year was going to be bumpy, exhausting, exhilarating and stressful. “Grab a handle and hang on” was the warning. My professional life is about to move in a direction I only dreamed my department would go. My skillsets promise to be the lynchpin that everything will revolve upon. My new team is comprised of folks that I truly enjoy working with, and that I have the deepest respect for. My desire to help out with the professional conference I attend each year has bee noted, and I am already being asked to be prepared to be involved. There is going to be a lot expected of me, and I am already finding my armor to be in those battles – so to speak. Plus, I am needing to update skills to a program – R – that I have only a passing familiarity with. I am already working towards learning its usage, including professional development, self-paced training that I paid for out of my own pocket.

My Ovate grade work is proving to be difficult, and very rewarding. And while I am moving slowly, I am making steady progress that I am thrilled with. Every single day, I am finding new little threads to explore, and am starting to need the time to do that exploration. In my spiritual life, my daily devotions to Crow are providing a pathway to a much deeper relationship. I am learning that Priesthood, even devotional Priesthood, requires more than just words.

I continue to write blog posts here, and on the Moon Books platform, and have started to develop an enjoyment of putting my own thoughts into a written format. Whether my writing skills have gotten better for it…I’m not quite sure, but I sure do get a lot out of that.

Which brings me to the why of this post. Each part of what I have written above takes time. My daily schedule looks a mess – and what is above does not even take into account the physical workouts that I am trying to do to keep “round” from being my default shape. After a lot of thought, some meditation, some prayer, and some thoughtful discourse with folks whose opinions I trust – the decision to shutter the podcast “Upon a Pagan Path” was made, and I announced such a short while back. To be frankly honest, it is been far too long since I put an episode out – and the format that I am using is done far better by other shows, such as “Down at the Crossroads” and “Druidcast“. I will – from time to time – release short recorded discussions over on my Soundcloud page, but without all the frills and extra stuff that was added to the podcast format. I will also do spoken word bits, where I tell a tale over an open microphone or read one of my poems. But not as a podcast – and not with any release schedule attached to it.

It has been a pleasure to be part of the podcasting community for such a long time. I was extremely devastated when I decided to close down “From the Edge of the Circle” but it was truly time to do so. A recent conversation with someone I admire greatly, revealed to me that “Edge” was a charming format that was similar to sitting down and having a discussion – even if it was just one way. I only hope “Pagan Path” had a similar charm and appeal. But it certainly was a lot of fun to do.

Will I wind up on another podcast as a guest? Who knows…anything is technically possible. Maybe so, maybe not. I only know what the future holds for me going forward from today. The two blogging platforms are where I will spend the majority of my time pontificating my personal perspective on Polytheism, Paganism, and Druidry. Sort of like “From the Edge of the Circle” except that I will wear out my fingers instead of my voice. 🙂

There is one more podcast episode left, though. The final show. Yeah, I was not going to let things go without taking the opportunity to have a final moment. I had originally planned on having just two interviews and leaving it at that. However, I have another musical feature that I am working towards getting materials for. As for my two interview victims, those would be the absolutely phenomenal ADF almost-priest (fingers crossed) of Nine Waves, Lauren M. I have known Lauren for a few years now…and am absolutely thrilled to get her on the podcast. And to provide the ultimate aspect of symmetry – I bring back my friend John Beckett, who was on the first episode of Upon a Pagan Path. Both interviews were conducted at the ADF Imbolc Retreat, and are some really fun conversations – complete with background noises from all over camp.

This final podcast will be out sometime in the first seven days of March. And after that, I will keep Upon a Pagan Path alive and available for download on Liberated Syndication up through the end of March next year (2019). At that point, I will cease payments for the podcast, and delete the account from Liberated Syndication – the same manner in which I closed From the Edge of the Circle.

Honestly, life constantly changes. For me, things are getting busier in my life. What essentially starts part of one’s current cycle in life, may come to a close. But other opportunities are always available. Sometimes, those are easier to see. Sometimes, these are not readily evident unless you look harder. But life does change.

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?  🙂

 

Top 50 – How an Introverted Druid (Me) Deals With the Idea of Being Top Anything (And a Few More Thoughts)

Earlier this week, I got a surprise Email, stating that this blog made the “Best Pagan Blogs on the Planet”. Knowing the traffic of this blog, which on its best days would be considered as “light” against many, many others, I was a touch skeptical at what I was reading. So I clicked the link and had a look. I was 26th out of the 50. There were many other blogs, which I am flattered to be included among – but some of the bigger traffic blogs were not listed at all. Not sure why. Not even sure how I managed to get into a Top-50 anything…so it was also a touch confusing.

To be fair, I am not discounting my blog’s reach or the people who read it. Nor am I trying to downplay something nice about my efforts. However, I am also a realist. It would take six or seven times the traffic that I currently get to reach the plateau that other blogs have. Most of those blogs have a platform that helps advertise and place these writer’s blogs in front of many more people. Most of these blog writer’s also have books, have been around a lot longer than I am, publish at a greater frequency, etc etc. But regardless of all of that, I am extremely grateful that some folks find my writing inspirational for their own spiritual practices. And in the end, that is what matters most to me. Traffic stats, advertising, trying to drive readership way up into the stratosphere…all of that would be nice, but it is not my primary goal.

There are a few folks that get frustrated with me over my lack of desire to promote the blog, as well as the podcast. But honestly, I have never been good at shouting my own name from the rooftops. However, I love promoting what my friends do. When I promote them, I always feel like I am pushing forward good karma for them. When I promote myself, I feel like a Vaudeville shuck-and-jive con-man. And I have never been able to completely explain why I get that unctuous feeling.

Here on the blog, I write my own feelings. I am provided a degree of anonymity through the written word. That allows me to be a bit more open with what I feel, in contrast to how I would in a face-to-face environment. Yes, I am an introvert. An introvert that is constantly shoved out of the shadows and into the light by both Coyote and Crow. And that becomes difficult to deal with from time to time, as well.

Being thrust into the spotlight is truly an uncomfortable spot for me. I do have opinions. I do have perspectives on things that happen. I do have experiences that I can relate to others on how I have walked this Path since late 1986. But I have always wondered if what I have to say, what I have to relate really matters. Thankfully, I have had a few folks remind me of just that via comments here on the blog, comments in face-to-face environments, and via Email. So, while I have that fear of saying nothing of value, quite a few others have noted otherwise. And that is what continues to have me blogging.

And then, there’s the podcast. Ever wanted to be really uncomfortable as an introvert? Try doing a podcast. Try doing a podcast where you have the chance to interview people. Where you interview people that you admire. Yeah. Thanks for that situation, Crow – my fine-feathered friend. Currently, the podcast has not put out an episode since March. Partly because of time constraints (especially the last two months with my paying job going through a huge transition – and my actual job duties changing radically with that), and partly because I keep thinking about making changes. Except, that the podcast does not need changes. It needs content. And it needs me to get to getting said content. This is another instance where I will need to concentrate on getting out of my shell. Because, honestly, I cannot continue to live in such cramped quarters.

Lastly, I will be starting another blog.  Yes, another one. I will be writing for Moon Books’ coming blog platform – as one of many bloggers. I am both thrilled and frightened at this prospect. Blogging for a platform of bloggers, with advertising behind it means a brighter light will get shone upon me. I hope I am worthy of this and that I can exceed the expectations of Moon Books. As a publisher, I have a great deal of respect for these people, as well as the writers that they bring forward through the books published there. Nervous is probably the best word to describe how I feel. I already have a pile of potential topics to write about, and will be including some aspects of research with my writing. Yeah. Nervous.

With the inclusion of writing for a blog on the Moon Books platform, this blog will continue in the format I have used it for – personal intonations on topics that catch my eye or pull at my heart. I am not sure if I have a book within me, but this year’s National Novel Writing Month will determine that to some degree. I have three ideas for what to write…two non-fiction perspectives and one fiction. I have a few more days to figure out just what I am planning on doing.

So, I made a top-50 list. How I got on the list or even into being considered for it? I honestly have no idea. According to some of the material I have found concerning the list, you had to submit your blog to be considered. I never did such a thing, which means someone out there thought enough of my blog to submit it themselves. And for that; whoever you are, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Perhaps my efforts to write better blog posts helped you to think of me. Perhaps, the topics I have been bringing compelled you to do so. Whatever the reasoning, I thank you.

 

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)

 

Scheduling Myself for PantheaCon 2016

So late last year, I made the decision that I was going to attend the 2016 Pantheacon. I have heard a lot about this particular gathering of Pagan folk – how it can be controversial, how it can spur some aspects of in-fighting and differences, how it can also bring people together to spur positive and affirming action. Nothing, however, prepared me for the crisis that hit me yesterday:  which panels will I be able to attend?

The sheer number of panels that are available is absolutely stunning. And while the folks at Pantheacon do a great job of labeling various tracks — its still a chore to make choices. And then there’s the concept of free-time, when are you going to eat, when are you going to sleep, and that doesn’t even begin the point of visiting the various suites that will be open.

So, last night, I decided to sit down and figure out some kind of a schedule. I decided to start with the basics, which panels I wanted to attend. With no regard to when my arrival flight would land, when my departing flight would take off, or how far away my hotel was going to be…I came up with my “schedule”.

Right off the bat, I am hit with a decision – the opening ritual. Apparently, there is a limited amount of room for the ritual, so the spots are listed on a first-come, first-in solution. Since I am a first-time attendee, I figured it would be better if I hugged the sidelines for this one, and left it out of my schedule.

Friday

  • 1330 – The Many Faces of the Celts
  • 1530 – The Changing Earth
  • (lunch/dinner – who knows where that will take place?)
  • 1900 – Finding Your Personal Magic
  • 2100 – Pagan Pastoral Care Issues
  • (off to find my bed)

Saturday

  • 0900 – The Dark Side of Druidry
  • 1100 – On Dragon’s Wings
  • 1330 – A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality
  • 1530 – Chanting, Trancing and Story
  • (lunch/dinner)
  • 1900 – Anansi’s Tales & Wisdom Time
  • 2100 – The Horned God in the British Isles
  • (off to find my bed)

Sunday

  • 0900 – Morphing the Myth
  • 1100 – Native/Pagan Community Dialogue
  • (lunch)
  • 1530 – The Four Faces of the Horned God
  • (dinner)
  • 1900 – Journey to the Hearts – Welsh Goddesses
  • (free-time)
  • (off to find my bed)

Monday

  • (free-time)
  • 1100 – Sacred Fire
  • (go home)

So, with this hopeful schedule in hand, I checked my previously booked flight times to mesh with this.

My arrival flight comes in at 1240. So, it looks like the first panel may be a no-go.  I’ll set that in as a “potential” instead. My departure flight is Monday at 1725…which means that everything there is a sure-fire thing.  In fact, I’ll add the closing ritual into everything as well. So, my schedule looks to be set for Pantheacon. There seems to be plenty of chances to allow for some interviews with folks that may want to be on the podcast. And plenty of other chances to get to know other people as well.

Yeah.  Stepping out of the shadows… naked and all that…  ::sigh:: But I’ve been told I am going to have to just “suck it up buttercup.” Its a part of who I am that I am going to have to embrace now. Being out in the open. So, I’m going to start my death-grip now.  🙂

Podcaster

 

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 /|\

I’m a Long-Time Reader of the Blog — Six Years on WordPress

Well, six years ago today (11/23), I moved my blog over here to WordPress. Its changed a bit — such as the title going from “Footsteps on My Path” to “Life With Trickster Gods” — but the aim of the blog has always been the same. Its a chronicle of some of the topics I have come across in my Daily Path. Sometimes, I manage to talk about stuff from a Spiritual perspective, and sometimes I tackle topics of a mundane nature. But the thoughts are generally mine. There are some quotations that I have found to be profound enough to include, but for all intents and purposes, the blog is a chronicle of me.

IMG_0215
Around the fire at East Coast Gathering (2015)

The blog also continues the chronicle of me, as done in the past through my nine-year podcast: From the Edge of the Circle. I have had many instances of people telling me that they enjoyed what I did with that particular podcast. But to be honest, I found it to be cringe worthy from time to time. I am not built to be a celebrity of any kind. Nor am I the type to be a Spiritual Leader of any sort for anyone, except myself. And in a way, I found myself in some of that particular spotlight through the podcast.

And that is something I have had to come to grips with to some degree. There is a celebrity status that comes with putting your head above the crowd, and talking with a loud voice. I am far from being an authority on anything, except for what works for me. I have no desire to be the person that people see as a “shining example” of anything…and yet, just sitting in front of a microphone for nine years, blathering about whatever topic came to mind seemed to inspire some listeners to explore on their own Paths. or as I like to state in my typical self-deprecating manner, they saw someone as stupid and foolish as me doing this; they figured they could do as good a job, or even better for themselves.

I’ve noted before how terrified I get when people approach me with a statement that they are “long-time listeners of your podcasts…”. The spotlight is definitely not a place for me. I speak in front of a microphone attached to my computer. But I am not – in my own opinion – a good public speaker whatsoever. Some of my students in the college classes I have taught may disagree with that statement, but to be perfectly blunt and honest – even standing in front of them and talking about computers made me nervous as I could ever be. Its a lot easier speaking to a solid red light on my Snowball microphone.

Writing the blog is even easier. I just write what comes to my mind. And I hope its coherent. For me, I believe that writing blog posts is like opening another chapter in a book that folks get to read. For me, this is the safest manner to communicate – especially since I don’t have to try and interpret the way all the silent eyes staring back at me might be thinking – or how those eyes may be the indicator of whether my message is getting across or not. Damn communication…

There are days that I wish I was a bit more articulate behind the podcast microphone as Mojo and Sparrow of the Wigglian Way are. And there are days, I wish that my writing was as well thought out as that of John Beckett. And there are days that I am glad that I am not either of those days. Because those three folks are very, very excellent at what they do. And they all work hard towards those ends. And I feel that I would be competing with them. And then I remember the mantra that seems to be the primary voice of all the Pagan podcasters that are out there:

We do not compete with one another. We are each a singular voice in the wider conversation.

…and for me, this remains one of my biggest reminders about the Pagan community is within the various social media platforms. Its a giant conversation between a large number of people – sort of like what you witness at any festival event. People split off into various areas and groups – and they talk. Sometimes the conversations are private, and sometimes you can join in. Nine Hells, you can even start one…. And that’s really what this blog represents: conversation, communication, discussion… I’m not here to compete with anyone. Yes, I get statistical overviews for page views here, as well statistical overviews of the podcasts. And to be honest, the only thing the numbers tell me is how well the topic of interest resonates with the people who want to read. Beyond that, there’s not much interest or worry for me in that area. People will read the blog, that want to read the blog. People will listen to the podcast if they want to. Either way, I’ll continue writing posts; I’ll continue putting out podcast episodes with Upon a Pagan Path. Because I believe that it may be worth reading or listening to — just as another conversation/discussion within the Pagan Social Media Sphere… I will; however, continue to be freaked out when people tell me that they are long-time listeners of the show or long-time readers of the blog.

–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 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