This is a stream of consciousness to try to help me work through a dilemma. This dilemma has been going on for a very long time, maybe as long as I can remember, honestly. It’s this: I can never seem to settle on ‘THE PATH’. Am I a Druid? An OBOD Druid? An ADF Druid? Do I walk a Wiccan Path? What, exactly, am I? Am I truly an eclectic solitary whatever?
I feel this is a rather critical question for me to answer, for several reasons:
- I have a habit of always being a beginner at everything. I spread myself so thin, I can be a jack of all trades, but master of none. I feel as though if I could just finally ‘make a choice’, then I could just get on with it, devote myself completely, and progress.
- I have been a solitary my whole life. Not to put too fine a point on it, but, I need to join group activity and learn to be in a group. I need community. I need to learn to play nice with others, and enjoy it. But, if I can never make up my mind, and never develop solid skills, then, exactly, what group could I join and bring benefit to? I have one foot in and one foot out 4 – count them, 4 – organisations. Why can’t I pick one and give myself wholeheartedly to it?
- Mucking about with 4 or 5 trads of different flavours is great for enrichment, for growth, for learning, but not so great if I want to someday be a leader and help train and give back. I want my own Grove, or Coven, or whatever. Or, I want to go in and be an active working member of a greater Pagan group; I’d like to teach. And, I’d love to do community outreach. Face-to-face stuff. I’ve spent 8-10 hours or more per day on a computer my whole adult life, and I live and work alone, and have for many, many years. I need companionship now. And, I never had children, either; I need to give back, somehow.
- What do I believe? Why do I feel so blocked? Why does everything always feel so forced, like a performance and not from the heart? I’m good at performing. I have lots of grace under pressure. But, this is a double-edged sword.
- Am I in the right place? Is there a ‘right’ place?
To help me along, here is a list of things I hold dear:
- My Gaelic. The Gaelic came first before everything (except the wolves and the stories). My ancestors reached straight through my disconnected, fragmented family, punched through my dreams, and lit a fire inside me for the language. It’s through studying Gaelic that I came to my path.
- My Celtic connection. My closest connection to the Celts are my Mum’s family. I’m 2nd generation American. My Mum was born here, too. When I go back, it’s as though my very bones are weeping with sadness. It’s a horrible feeling, I’ll be honest. I’m so restless when I’m in Edinburgh, I roam the streets for hours just walking. I see and ‘remember’ things that don’t make sense to me. But, I know it’s important.
- Astrology. Especially the insights I’ve gained from studying my natal chart and where I feel I need to be evolving my growth, my ‘mission’ in life, so to speak.
- Tarot and Oracle – After the Gaelic, the Tarot came second. When I held those cards in my hand, I felt like a rudder had been put in my hands, and I was no longer helplessly adrift at sea.
- My Wolves. You know, I am not really pulled towards the Gods. Especially if they have ‘human’ faces, names and characteristics. I’m not antisocial, and I like people, but I’ve been abused and tormented, and I am very, very solitary. I don’t trust people, and I don’t warm up easily. This includes beings in the Otherworld, too. I’m completely disconnected from ‘Mother’ Goddesses in particular. And it’s due to trauma in this life; nothing from the Otherworld has ever hurt me. Certainly not like the humans in this life. Other animals, though, I love and interact with all the time. Since I was a small child, my wolves and wolf-dogs and huskies have been there, in this world, and the Other.
- My stories. It was a refuge as a child; I would look at pictures, and tell stories about them, weaving elaborate tales of talking dogs and heroic horses and wolf packs and sled dogs and the triumph of the invincible whatever. My mother called this ‘talking to myself’, and ‘being weird’; she did lots of nasty things to shut me up. It took me many, many years to have the courage to try to do what I refer to as ‘storying’ again. There’s a word for what I am, I know that now – a seanachie – but my voice was silenced in terror for decades, honestly.
- The Otherworld. The Beings and teachers and friends and joy and healing I have found there. Even my Spirit Mate. The training I’ve received in Core Shamanism helped me access this very Blessed Realm.
- My family. As broken as they are, I still love them. I have a good relationship with a couple of them, the rest are just nutters in disguise, and not really in a good way. A dangerous and unhealthy way.
- My friends. As in human ones. I have some good ones. I’m very blessed in that regard.
Where does that leave me? I believe in animism, as in ‘All that is, is alive’, in the words of a wonderful Siberian Shaman from the book, ‘Spirit Spirit Shaman Songs’, complied by David Cloutier; I believe in the worlds within worlds, reincarnation and life after death, and the evolution of the soul; I believe, too, in the work that all these Pagan groups and the individuals in them are doing.
Where do I fit in?
*addendum to this post*
I read through this, and realised there is one thing on this list that I never put on. I’m grateful for the skill, and for many that know me, they consider me a very fine artist and they tend to define me by it. But, it’s something I only occasionally enjoy, and rarely work at. I earn my living designing and illustrating, but, I don’t love the process. I think, because I’m really, really afraid of being really good at something. I am good at it – but I’m afraid to expose it to the world. I tend to neglect the skill, neglect the work, procrastinate, and distract myself. Why?