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Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

March 1st, 2018

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times for March 2018

Bright Blessings,

I write this on February 19, and it is a pleasant fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit outside, with a soft, misty rain.

My crocus, hyacinth, and daffodils are pushing their green fingers out of the earth, and I have the sliding glass door open to allow some of the nice, fresh air into the house. My husband was saying it “feels like” Spring yesterday.

I corrected him, “It IS Spring, and it started the first week of February.” I explained Spring is not something that starts all in one day, but is a season that unfolds gradually, and people miss out on most of it if they don’t observe Nature daily. There have been more birds present for weeks, and I have been seeing worms, squirrels, and stronger sunlight quite a lot as well. It gets warm, and then cold again as The Cailleach struggles to maintain winter, I explained.

He just smiled, and turned on the car radio.

I’m both the Pagan, and the gardener in our household, and nothing I said made any sense to him.

Looking in Unexpected Places

More than looking for signs of the seasons in unexpected places, we find ourselves looking for a lot of things that may not be as clear as day to us. We look for answers to life’s big questions. We seek guidance when we feel lost. We open ourselves to inspiration in our arts, when sometimes, we can’t come up with any ideas.

Most of all, for many of us, we seek out the faces and presence of our gods when we feel they have stepped away, or the ways we have perceived them before seem to point to their absence.

The gods are still alive, and out there, even when we cannot feel them.

The issue many have expressed to me is they cannot feel that strong, powerful indication their deity is nearby. I have felt that myself. My gods come to me in well defined ways at times, and others, more subtly.

For example, it’s always easy to pick up the shape of the runes in the clouds when I have called for guidance from The Alfather, but he is also speaking to me when I see no signs, and I do not see him in my spiritual eye. He sometimes expects me to make a decision on my own, so he does not provide an answer.

Turning to the Gods in Difficult Times

Those times tend to be most difficult for us, because we have been conditioned to see the gods and goddesses as powerful, awe inspiring, ever present beings who are glued to our side at all times. This is due to Christianization of our gods. We attribute the beliefs the Christians who raised us have, and we get upset with our gods for not being the way they never promised they would be.

We sometimes doubt them entirely if they do not do all the things we expect of them. We forget they existed before us, will exist long after we leave these bodies, and still exist during times when they have few or no worshippers. We ask for things like healing, financial help, or love, and if they don’t deliver, we sometimes feel betrayed. We forget that many of the Pre-Christian gods had very high expectations of their devotees, and accept prayers, but made no promises to be wish givers.

The Christianization of Pagan gods happens in more ways than this, but this is the biggest way.

We also forget these are gods and goddesses of Nature, and were not always honored with buildings. Some absolutely had temples, but some did not. For the devotees of Pagan gods from places like Rome, Greece, Germany, and Ireland, some of the structures for these gods are still standing, but we don’t have access to those temples, so going to “the house” of our god or goddess every time we want to communicate with them is not going to happen.

Their Answers

For me, I continue to struggle with the fact my ways of perceiving my gods has drastically changed since my body has. I used to see answers in dreams, and got strong gut feelings in regards to what changes and progress I was to make. I went to a lot of group rituals, felt the gods speaking through others, and the collective energies we raised filled me with the divine also.

I fell ill, and everything from my brain functioning to my ability to go places, and circle with people changed. Some days, it seemed the gods voices went silent.

At first.

I begged for healing, and it never came.

That did not mean that my gods were not listening. It means my body is mortal, and time changes how it functions. I begged to be healed, and the gods answered they wanted me to adapt to my body’s changes.

I prayed that I could get back to work, and of course, it’s been over three years, and that is not happening either. The gods answered they wanted me to learn to live on less money.

I prayed for the pain to stop, because it limits the things I can do. The gods answered they wanted me to learn how to cope, and work within the constraints the pain caused.

Worst of all came the terrible despair, anxiety, and fears this all caused. I asked the gods to take that away. Their answer was, they expected me to live with it, and function mentally despite it all.

I asked for it to stop, and I asked to go back to how I had always been before. The gods answered that they expected me to pull myself together as best I could, function as well as I could, and adapt to the new normal the changes in my body created.

I fail at these things some days, and other days, I succeed. The gods have not told me to be at peace with the way things are, or to give up. They tell me to do my best every day, even if my best isn’t as good as I’d like it to be.

I asked, and they answered in the way they decided to, not in the way I asked them to answer. We don’t get to decide how they respond. Oftentimes, when we ask them for help with something, they respond with a request from us instead.

In the past month, I have really reached into myself to try and find the old me. I want to be her again more than I can express. Some days, it feels like she is long gone, but I discovered something. She is still inside me. I have caught glimpses of her in reflections in mirrors or glass more than once. It feels so good to see that old, familiar face. I see my new face also, and I am still reconciling that I am the same person, when I feel very much like I am not. Rationally, I understand I have changed, but am still me. Emotionally, I grieve the changes, and I feel like I have laid who I was for all of my life to rest. The goddess has reminded me in the past month that is not so, and I am still very much alive with things to do before I reincarnate.

She didn’t take the changes in my body away like I wanted her to, but she reminded me I am still me no matter what.

Nunnos by Daniel Faria

I talked about these things to introduce a wonderful film about the god Cernunnos called Nunnos by Daniel Faria. Luckily, it is on YouTube, and we share it here on PaganPagesOrg. It’s a little over three minutes long, and you can watch it by clicking one of the links now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-cdYS_r2jc

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-cdYS_r2jc[/embedyt]

I was lucky enough to be introduced through e-mail to Daniel by our beautiful editor, Jennifer, and he was good enough to let me interview him.

Interviewing Daniel Faria

Saoirse- I watched the film, and first, let me say it was very nice. You made me hungrier for the Spring and Summer! You really captured the spirit of the growing season and the forest.

I noted it was a unique take on the god, and focused on his healing, gentle, nurturing side, as opposed to his god of the hunt side. He was gentle and caring, as opposed to just powerful and lusty. What made you decide to portray him as you did? Also, I most appreciated the fact you selected a softer, less gym ripped actor to portray him. The ripped, buff image of Cenunnos, if you will notice, is a modern one, and old depictions showed him with an ordinary body- like your actors. 

What made you decide, specifically, to portray THAT particular god, and how did he speak to you before, during, and after the film? I paint, and I personally find deities speak to me extra when I am painting them. They tell me how they want to be portrayed. I’ve even been sent on a pilgrimage once before I was allowed to finish! Did anything similar to this happen for you?

Daniel- The process of creating Nunnos was very simple and fast. One day I took my notebook and then I wrote down four different short film scripts for Jesse, the actor who performs Nunnos. The four short films were really different from each other and only Nunnos was related to a God. I chose to portray this side of Cernunnos exactly because of what you said: the modern depictions of Cernunnos usually focus on his strength as a hunter and on his sexual energy. It is as if there was only this face of the God. But we know that Cernunnos, just like the Goddess, also has different faces. Why not showing another one?

When I come to think about it, I don’t really remember how I thought of portraying Cernunnos specifically. It could have been any other God like Odin or maybe Zeus. I think it was Cernunnos himself who asked and guided me through the process. I even made a sketch about the costume and the flute. Suddenly I had everything ready, just the way I first imagined.

I remember the day we went to Parque Lage, here in Rio de JaneiroParque Lage, to shoot the video. It was on a day in December 2016. It was a really hot day and there were many people in the park. Jesse and I walked through the park until we found that site under that tree you can see in the video. We asked for Cernunnos some protection, so we could prepare everything and shoot with no interruptions.

We prepared the camera, costume, make-up and everything else and shot the video. It was only one take. The final version is that take. No editions, just video effects. It was amazing!

I started editing in the same week. Everything went fine and easy until I realized something. I needed to record the soundtrack. Again, Cernunnos guided me. I made it besides I wasn’t a musician yet! From the video soundtrack, I was blessed with the idea of creating an audio track and then it turned out to be Nunnos’ Healing Song alongside the musical project Trismegistia.

Everything happened that fast. Nunnos, and Nunnos’ Healing Song were released on 11th February last year. It will be its first anniversary on a few days!

On the day Nunnos was released I received an Instagram message from a person I did not know. It was a young man who was thanking me for the short film. He said Nunnos really touched him and talked to him. He was considering to commit suicide on that very day, right before watching the short film. When he watched Nunnos he felt loved and remembered that Cernunnos would always care for him. He gave up the suicide idea, then. I was as surprised as happy!

Since Nunnos was released I’ve been receiving many other similar messages telling how Cernunnos touched people and how they felt better after watching the film.

So I think Cernunnos intention was to spread this message of “cure and love”. It’s been working, I guess.

Saoirse- That is beautiful! When you work with the Pagan deities, they speak, and give very good instructions as to how they want to be portrayed. Have you had any other experiences besides how he guided you to portray him, yourself?

What is your personal religious or spiritual path?

I’m going to guess you are also close with nature somehow? Am I right, and how so?

What other projects, pages, or websites can I share?

Daniel- Yes, I had many other experiences with other deities. When we were shooting Hounds of Hekate, for example, Jesse and I went to the same place where we shot Nunnos: Parque Lage. Again, it was very crowded. Different from Nunnos, Hounds of Hekate is a music video. It has got many different takes and there’s the dancing part.

We were looking for a place where we could prepare everything for the dancing part and we were guided by Hekate to that area you can see in the video. It was full of people when we arrived. We asked her to help us once we were making a video in honour to her. A few minutes later, it was completely empty.

We stayed there for around 40 minutes. Time to get dressed, prepare the camera and shoot the dancing part from different angles. No one appeared. When we finished shooting and started collecting things, people started gathering around again immediately.

In other occasions, not related to videos, I was also guided by deities. The creation of Santuario Lunar is an example. After I read the book “The Goddess Path” by Patricia Monaghan, I immediately started creating the website and I had no experience at all with blogs by that time.

I consider myself a natural witch. I’m from the Brazilian countryside and I used to be very close to nature. Nowadays I live in Rio de Janeiro, capital city. There is a park on the left side of my building and I can see a bit of Baia de Guanabara from my living room. I’d like to have more contact with nature, but here it is not very easy, though. I go to parks and to the beach, but not as much as I’d like to.

My current projects are Santuário Lunar website (http://www.santuariolunar.com.br), Trismegistia (https://open.spotify.com/artist/3oJxfvyA2GgoI7gLuwZXWt?si=pq-YQphRTNanELmFduYkbg) and Templo de Saule (Saule’s Temple) an online holistic therapy website which is starting in Portuguese and soon it is going to be available in English as well (https://www.templodesaule.com.br)

I’m currently starting a new music video for Trismegistia. The song and video will be available soon on every streaming platform.

Make sure to check out all Daniels projects through the links and his pages he provided!

Many thanks Daniel for the beautiful, healing film, and the amazing interview!

Cernunnos

I’d like to write a little bit about the god Cernunnos. Like many Pre-Xtian gods, devotion of him is being resurrected by today’s Neo Pagans.

Because our ancestors writings are lost if they were ever made, knowledge of him is lost, but what little we do know is enough for many to venerate him.

Gerald Gardner of course refers to him as The Horned God. Indeed, his name in both Gaulish and Latin contains parts of their words for horn. His name was carved in The Pillar of The Boatmen, which was created in 14 CE, part of which is missing. Only his head, the horns adorned with two torcs can be seen unless the lower part is found someday. His name was also carved on a metal plaque discovered in Luxenborg, naming the god “Cernunicos”, thought to be the same god, as well as an inscription from Montagnac naming “Carnonos”. Images of the horned god with torcs and or horns not using the name Cernunnos, or similar spellings are numerous, and perhaps the most famous being on the Gunderstrup cauldron with the horned god seated, holding a torc and serpent, and surrounded by animals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundestrup_cauldron#/media/File:Gundestrupkarret2.jpg

We believe him to be a god of the hunt, the forest, life, vitality, strength, male virility, and power.

Due to the fact writings and unbroken tradition of worship do not survive, we are guessing.

However, I am of the belief these gods still speak, and make themselves knows to those who belong to them. Our devotions to them will never be exactly what pre- Christian Pagans were, but their voices communicate clearly with us, and we know them as intimately as people did centuries ago, before Christianization.

Here is his picture in The Pillar of the Boatmen-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cernunnos#/media/File:Cernunnos.jpg

More exciting than just the photo, one of the men who actually lives right here in my town traveled overseas and actually SAW the Pillar of the Boatmen! He made a beautiful video I am linking here for you to watch. Many thanks for this amazing educational video to Rev. Michael Dangler of Three Cranes Grove ADF, and co-owner of The Magical Druid in Columbus, Ohio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lzpQzxTk6c&t=218s

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lzpQzxTk6c[/embedyt]

March Working to reach the Gods

I was gifted with a prayer I wrote four years ago today in my Facebook Memories, and I think it is perfect for this month’s working. This prayer can be to any god or goddess you like. You may give them a gift, and cast circle, or not before doing this prayer. This prayer can be said by anybody to any god or goddess anytime.

A Prayer to the Great Goddess

When I search for you,
remind me not to look
in places from a time
before my language was born-
in places far beyond the reach
of my yesterdays and tomorrow’s.

Remind me not to look for you
in some high mountain
I may never reach
or some ancient site
whose soil I may never touch.

Let me seek you, rather,
in the gray and the blue of the sky,
in the night,
and in the dawn.

Let me hear your voice
in the laughter of a child
and in the tears of the bereaved.

Let me see you in my suffering and my anger.
Let me search for you in the silence of my heart
and know you are there even when I think I can’t find you.

Help me to remember
the answers to the mysteries
are as simple as a smile

or opening my eyes from deep sleep.
I will see you in my visions
and meditations,
in my waking awareness,
and in my forgetfulness.

Let me never forget
your great mercy,
even when I’m not feeling especially merciful.
Let me hear your comforting words
when I feel attacked,
and assume your power
when I feel defeated or weak.

Let the earth, the sky, the forests be your temple.
Move in and out of dwellings.
Move beyond time, and flaws, and fears,
and let me remember that I, too, am you.

So Mote It Be.

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel

 

Trismegistia: Alchemical Music

 

 

Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Trismegistia is the brainchild of Daniel Faria, creator of the Santuário Lunar (Moon Shrine) website. A musical project steeped in paganism and mythology, I was intrigued, and after listening to the tracks on Spotify, was lucky enough to grab some time with Daniel to find out a bit more about this relatively new project.

 

Mabh Savage: How did this musical project start?

 

Daniel Faria: Trismegistia started by chance. Jesse Guelfi and I shot the short film Nunnos in December, 2016. The idea was to make a short film honouring Cernunnos. The video would be part of Jesse’s new videobook and would also be posted on Santuário Lunar, a Pagan website we own. During the editing process I made the soundtrack. We showed the video for some people before uploading it to YouTube and the reactions were all positive. Among the comments, people praised the ‘relaxing music’. Jesse then asked me: “Why don’t you make a song from this track?” And then I made Nunnos’ Healing Song.

 

For releasing the song, I needed an artist’s name. We tried many different things, but one night I dreamt of Hermes Trismegistus and I saw the name ‘Trismegistia’ written in many different places in my dream. Then it was set. We considered the process of creating this project as being alchemical, so I thought Trismegistia was a good name for that reason.

 

MS: How is the band made up?

 


DF: I, Daniel Faria, am the creator, producer and composer of Trismegistia. I’m 27 years old and I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I work with digital marketing and I created Santuário Lunar (Moon Shrine) website for sharing posts related to the Goddess in her different forms around the world, as well as other issues related to Witchcraft and Paganism. Nunnos Short Film was part of the site, which led to Trismegistia. Everything is connected.

 

Nunnos’ Healing Song features Jesse’s voice. Jesse is an actor, singer and English teacher from Rio de Janeiro too. He is 49 years old. He will be back on more tracks as long I create them.

 

MS: How would you describe your musical style to someone who had never heard you before?

 

DF: Trismegistia is a mixture of sounds of nature and new age, ambient music. I would describe it like this. I’m thinking about using different nature sounds on each track. For example, in Nunnos’ Healing Song there are birds; in Hounds of Hekate there are dogs, wolves and crows – leading to another track. In other tracks there will be some sounds from the sea and from other animals.

 

MS: Where does the influence for your music come from?

 

DF: Musically it comes from great artists that I admire since I was a teenager like Enigma, Deep Forest, Delerium and Enya, for example. The influence for the song themes, however, comes from the nature, from the Deities, from the Elements. I usually dream a lot about them.

 

 

MS: Hounds of Hekate uses breath as a kind of percussion, which makes the overall sound more intense. Where did this idea come from?

 

DF: In the beginning of the video we see Vanessa (our pet dog) sniffing. It’s like the dog is in the mind of the person and not there physically; it seems Hekate is trying to communicate with them. I love dogs and I wanted somehow to insert them in the whole song. So after the initial sniffing, the sniffing sound becomes some kind of a beat and then the song starts.

 

The idea of Hounds of Hekate is to continue the story from Nunnos. In Nunnos we meet a character who is injured – many people told me they could see themselves as the injured character in the film – and then, after drinking the magic potion and being healed by the flute Nunnos plays, the person sleeps and then wakes up in the forest.

 

Suddenly they start listening to a dog sniffing in their ears.

 

MS: You’ve mentioned the short film Nunnos. Tell us how this came about.

 

DF: Nunnos was shot to be part of Jesse’s new videobook and also to be part of Santuário Lunar. We chose Cernunnos to be the first honoured God because we really love him and we see him like one of the main symbols of fertility and abundance among the deities around the world. And the description and images we have about the ‘Winter Cernunnos’ protecting the animals and the forest matches Jesse. The story shown in the short film was written by myself right after I asked Cernunnos for some inspiration.

 

MS: Do you think Cernunnos is still as powerful a figure in modern Paganism as in ancient times?

 

DF: Yes, I do. Cernunnos may not be as popular as other Deities due to the media. But among us, Pagans, I do believe he is one of the favourite ones. I believe whenever we think of the Wheel of the Year, Cernunnos is the first God we think of.

 

MS: So far you have two singles on Spotify. Will there be an album soon?

 

DF: Yes, there will. I’m planning to release an album in 2018. I don’t know the precise date, but I’m sure it’s going to be in 2018.

 

MS: Who is your music aimed at? Who will get the most out of it?

 

DF: The music is aimed at people who enjoy new age music, music for introspection, relaxation and similar ideas. I think the songs from Trismegistia invite the listener to an inner journey where they can be in touch with themselves and forget about the hectic world we live in.

 

MS: Do you have any live shows coming up?

 

DF: No, not really, I don’t think about making any live shows at the moment.

 

MS: What compels you to write Pagan music?

 

DF: It is my way of honouring the Goddesses, the Gods and the nature. Through these songs I make a tribute to them and I create enjoyable music which anyone can listen to and also be in touch with these energies. I think this is somehow a way of contributing with Pagans all over the world, offering one more option for their repertoire.

 

MS: What’s next for Trismegistia? Where should we expect to see you this time next year?

 

DF: Currently I’m working on the album. I can say there are going to be more singles, music videos and short films until this time next year. Many Goddesses and Gods are going to be honoured in them all.

 

MS: And finally, what’s your favourite season or festival, and why?

 

DF: Mabon is my favourite festival. I always enjoyed autumn and winter. It’s the best season here in Brazil, the weather is very nice. I was born on March 22nd, which is Mabon here in the southern hemisphere, maybe there’s a connection, I guess.

 

Thanks for talking to Pagan Pages, Daniel! Follow the progress of Trismegistia on Twitter, Spotify or at the website. Music is also available at iTunes, Google Play or CDBaby.

 

***

 

About the Author:

 

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.

For Amazon Information Click Images

 

 

Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times December 2017

Bright Blessings!

With Yule just around the corner, you are likely planning festivities, gatherings, and family nights!

Growing up, of course, my family celebrated Christmas, and large scale was the rule. Everybody sent cards, bought gifts, planned dinners and lunches, and I can say Christmas for many of my family members was one of the biggest events of the year.

After I moved out, and started my own traditions, I scaled back the complicated Christmas festivities, and after converting to Paganism, reduced it further to just a single day for Sabbat. The Winter Solstice is a big deal for me, because I am so happy about the fact the sun will grow stronger, and “be reborn”.

I typically do a firepit fire, and libations alone, although I’ve attended public Sabbat and officiated for friends before.

Many different topics can be explored in Pagan Yule or Winter Solstice observances, but this year, instead if exploring things related to the Wiccan or Heathen male gods rebirth, the topic will be mothers.

Yule and Mothers Night

Anglo Saxon Pagans, according Bede, writing in the 8th century:

… began the year on the 8th calends of January [25 December], when we celebrate the birth of the Lord. That very night, which we hold so sacred, they used to call by the heathen word Modranecht, that is, “mother’s night”, because (we suspect) of the ceremonies they enacted all that night.”

They supposedly venerated the Disir, or the mothers, mother goddesses, protective mother ancestors, and held sacrifices in their honor. They gathered, feasted,

Yule lasted three days in Pre Christian days, but a lot of modern people observe it for twelve days, beginning December 20 or 21, with Mother’s Night being the first thing observed. Many do a ritual honoring the protective female mother ancestors and goddesses. Some give food or other gifts to them, light candles for them, and ask them to protect, watch over, bless, and ensure good coming harvest.

Some sources state Mother’s Night was the final festivity in Yule, and it was observed then in honor of the goddess Frigg. She wove people’s fate for the new year on that day, which was counted as New Years, and Frigg was honored. It was said she had knowledge of the future, but would not tell anybody what it was! She also was unable to alter the future, as evidenced by the fact she foresaw her son Balder’s death, and try as she could, she was unable to avert it.

I have attended candle lighting ceremonies Norse friends observe for some of the twelve days. They do candlelight vigils all night, with a prayer on the hour every hour, and network with one another from household to household if they can’t do it all under the same roof.

Of course, it is the women/ Matrons of our community who do this.

Some of these women have moved out of state, and some are no longer in contact with one another, but those marathon candlelight vigils are one of many things that are still maintained by almost all of the women to this day.

This is an appropriate introduction, I think for this month’s topic.

Mothers, and most specifically, mothers who have lost children.

Somebody’s Mother

I had the privilege of reviewing the beautiful film Somebody’s Mother, which was created by The Tollman Sisters, Gabriela and Evelyne. It’s been very successful in the US, and is headed to China!

I watched the film, myself and I recommend it. It’s a film that will make you think, and gets right to the difficult to face, let alone discuss issues that come when you lose a child.

As somebody who has been trying to have children for twenty years, and have been unable to, this film really hit home. The Tollman sisters explored so many of the things you deal with after such loss.

In the film, one sister’s baby died, and the other loses custody of her son after inability to take care of him that was not in any way her fault, and that she never meant to happen.

In the instance of losing custody due to inability to care for a child, the number one thing I see happening in the lives of my loved ones who have children is they become so focused on making their kids their all, they become completely unaware of their own needs at times. This is due to the great love they have for their children that compares to nothing else in their lives, and to a loving parent, no sacrifice for their children is too great. It can mean that sometimes, they don’t know how to ask for help, and they forget that even parents need support too. The topic specifically explored is postpartum depression, which I have seen more than one mother I love deal with it.

In the instance of the death of a child, I have been told by more than one parent that the death of a child is something you never fully recover from, and one that literally takes a part of your heart away that you never get back.

The stages of grief are explored intimately from the viewpoint of both sisters, and done in such a way that viewers can relate.

The film takes a very compassionate view of suffering many films exploring pain lack. At one point, in the film , it was said “I don’t know why I needed to go through it…I don’t know why I needed such pain.”

The film shows how loss of a child impacts the relationships of the parents of the children with one another. I don’t have the statistics of how many people’s marriages or engagements are called off when a child dies, but I’ve seen it happen quite a lot. The film presented a relationship surviving, and another not surviving.

The film portrays the inability to function normally in your own life after such a loss, and the great lengths people go to in order to keep up appearances, so people leave you alone about what happened. Sometimes, not talking about something that is tearing you apart emotionally is part of coping with it. It also shows how sometimes, that is absolutely impossible, however, and many of us have endured well meaning questions after losing a child we are not ready for like “ When will you have another baby?”

The love of sisters and how they are one another’s number one supporter, and closest friend in good times, and bad is intimately portrayed. It is a beautiful testament of the Tollman sisters devotion and love for one another as well.

Finally, the film shows how to pick up the pieces after unspeakable tragedy, and find hope for the future.

The link to the film’s pages follow, as well as a trailer.

http://www.somebodysmotherfilm.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SomebodysMotherfilm/

 

Trailer-

https://www.facebook.com/SomebodysMotherfilm/videos/504423143047518/

 

This film is now available on Amazon. Click Image below for more information:

 

Interviewing Gabriela Tollman

I had the opportunity to ask Gabriela Tollman some intimate questions she lovingly answered. Her words are as heartfelt and nurturing as the film.

 

Saoirse- Some of the women I interviewed about loss of their children are deeply suffering, even decades later. Some wanted to share, but could not bring themselves to talk about it. What words of advice, healing, and wisdom do you have for women dealing with loss of their children, be it through death, or loss of their living children?

 

Gabriela- It is an intensely painful experience to live through the loss of an infant, and it has been important for to let myself cry all of my tears. I spent two to three years crying. What helped me cope and carry on was the understanding that everything that happens in life has a reason. I know this idea does not comfort everyone, but it helped me. I began to see the events of my life, and the loss of my baby Charlie as a way to further advance the development of my soul. I also found many healers and teachers who helped me. Brian Weiss’ book Many Lives Many Masters was integral to helping me transform my pain into a spiritual lesson. Other books and healers that resonated with me are Anita Moorjani Dying to Be Me, and A Course in Miracles.

 

Saoirse-What do you recommend to these women to find strength when their own strength seems to vanish?

 

Gabriela- Writing down my story was an immense help for me. I wrote down anything I was feeling, thoughts and ideas in journals. These writings eventually became part of our film, Somebody’s Mother. Creativity of any kind helps transcend circumstance. It allows one to rise above and take control of grief and pain instead of it controlling you.

 

Saoirse- In what do you find comfort when it seems things are at their worst, to get you through until things are better?

 

Gabriela- As mentioned above, writing and creating helped me transform. Other practices that have helped me transform the pain are meditation. I practice transcendental meditation and this truly was the tipping point in getting me through that horrifying pain of grief. TM allowed me to find a place of peace inside myself, and release the oppressive negativity, anger, denial, fear and anxiety of grief. It is an incredible tool for all types of trauma and grief recovery. I also practice yoga, hiking, swimming, and am a certified hypnotherapist. Hypnosis is extremely effective for those who have a difficult time meditating, as it delves into the subconscious where I find peace and answers.

 

Saoirse- If you are religious, how does your personal devotion carry you in these times of grief? If you are atheist, but philosophical, how does your personal philosophy and values do the same? 

 

Gabriela- One of my favorite quotes is by David Bowie “Religion is for those who are afraid of hell, spirituality is for those who have already been there.” I am spiritual. The works of Brian Weiss, an MD, hypnotherapist, writer and teacher changed my life. He writes a lot about past lives and lessons that we need to experience in the flesh in order to grow, evolve, transcend and raise our vibrations. Another brilliant healer and teacher that I follow especially in difficult times is the work of Marianne Willamson. Her teachings of A Course In Miracles help me find understanding. A COURSE IN MIRACLES offers a lesson for each day of the year, which is an incredible practice for self-healing and transformation.

 

More on this beautiful film follows the working at the bottom of this article.

 

The Mothers Stories

I could write volumes about how my personal miscarriage and being childless breaks my heart, but instead I reached out to friends who have lost their children. Their names are changed for confidentiality, but they were good enough to share their own heartbreaking stories with me, and all of you.

First, my friend Patty lost a child to death, and custody of another.

Here is our conversation about it:

 

Patty- In 1998, I gave birth to Anthony Joeseph Oliver. He only lived 3 days. He was born on March 14th and died March 17th. He had potters syndrome.

Me- Oh gods! How does it make you feel?

Patty- Kind of bad still, but it gets easier. I also have a daughter who I don’t get to see who turned 18 in May. I wanted so badly for her to know Anthony, her big brother. He would have been 20 in March.

Me- I wish that had happened for them too. Have you ever been able to get a hold of your daughter?

Patty- No, but I’m hoping she tries to find me. I think she lives in Missouri. I miss them. It’s kind of hard to talk about it.

Our discussion ended at that point. Patty just couldn’t bear to talk anymore, and I understand. My prayer is she is able to make contact with her living daughter.

 

The next woman I interviewed is 20 year old Jade, who lost her child very recently.

This is her story;

Marceline was a very healthy baby up until the last two weeks I carried her. I was seeing Riverside doctors as well as Knox Community doctors. KCH refused to coordinate my care with Riverside, and wouldn’t believe me when I said she was ten days ahead of development.

Since I’m a Type 1 Diabetic, Marcy was already going to be bigger than a baby from a low-risk mother. I started going into labor at about 34 weeks, but KCH said I was too early, and stopped me. I went into labor again at about 36 weeks, and they didn’t really stop me since I was at the minimum week requirement, but they were going to give me a steroid shot for her lungs.

They had warned me about it last time I went into labor, and I had asked Riverside how it would affect me. They said I didn’t need it, and if they gave it to me it would possibly send me into Diabetic Ketoacidosis, which would hurt my baby. I told KCH I didn’t need it, and they told me I was getting it whether I liked it or not.

About a week after that, I went in for a non-stress test, which I did twice weekly. I was scheduled for 10:00AM. I switched rooms three times, and they took an hour trying to find her heartbeat. They brought in an ultrasound machine to see if they could find it, but the machine wasn’t functioning properly. The next two weren’t, either. It was about noon at this point, and I’m already panicking.

I was already at a higher risk for a stillborn birth, and I was afraid that’s what was happening. Mike, my fiancé, was watching the monitor since I couldn’t see it. He told me that the cord was wrapped twice around her neck, and he could see her heart and circulation stop.

The doctor that was operating the machine told me, “I’m so sorry, but your baby has passed away. We can’t find her heartbeat.” I feel like I screamed, but I was in so much shock that I can’t remember clearly. I remember crying that entire day. It took them another two hours to start me on a Pitocin drip, and another two to start the epidural. I had to lay with my dead child laying still in my belly, because they were forcing me to deliver vaginally.

They told me that I run the risk of not healing properly from a C-section. I honestly would’ve taken that risk if it meant they could revive Marceline. I had to lie and wait until late that evening before I could deliver her. It was over an hour that I was in labor. Marcelne had shoulder dystocia, and was stuck in my pelvis. My pelvis was too small for her. They were using the vacuum on her.

I remember screaming, and feeling everything, even with the epidural. Mike, Mom, and my best friend Mickey all saw the cord around her neck, and heard the doctor say, “Oh, that’s wrapped tight.” I saw her turn a little to block Mike from seeing her cut the cord. Marcy was born at 1:16AM on Sunday, July 9th, 2017. They let Mike cut the cord, then laid her on my chest.

The skin on her cheeks had started to slough off from the cord strangling her. When I let Mike take her and hold her, they wouldn’t let me up to see him. I don’t remember much after that, and I think I had fallen asleep. The next morning the nurses had brought her in so I could see her. Her poor little hands were so cold. Her lips were so dark they were nearly black. I remember sobbing as I held her and being so afraid to touch her, thinking she would disintegrate if I did. When everyone had left the room, and it was just Mom and I with her, we sang her her lullaby, Loch Lomond.

I begged her to just come back to me, to us. I told her how much we loved her and how badly she was wanted, and how I was so sorry this happened to my poor little fox. She weighed 8lbs. 12oz., was 20.5 inches long, and looked exactly like I did when I was born. I didn’t get to hold her anymore after that. I could barely hold myself together; I barely can now.

The doctor also told me it was my fault she died, saying it was complications from diabetes that killed her. They also tried talking us out of getting an autopsy done on her. The autopsy results were eight pages long, and there was only one thing that may have been linked to my diabetes, but was not the ultimate cause for her inter-uterine demise.”

It is my prayer that the blessings from the goddess be upon my beautiful friend that she may become a mother of healthy children, and that she may heal from this terrible tragedy.

 

The next woman who shared her story was Mary.

I was 16 when I found out I was pregnant. I was in and out of group homes for most of my teen years, so I was actually kind of excited that I would finally have someone who loved me who didn’t get paid to. (Teen logic). A few weeks later, I went to a party with some friends in a nearby hotel. I was the only one there not drinking. My baby’s life was too important to me.

Everyone was passed out on the beds in piles, except for me and one guy who was still drinking. I’d noticed him before, and he was cute, but I was in a relationship, so he was off limits. Besides, he was a cop’s kid, and he drank way too much, knowing he could get away with anything. I shook my head and decided to use the bathroom and find a place to go to sleep. He followed me to the bathroom. I won’t go into details, but he raped me on the bathroom floor, and no one even woke up. The next morning, I left before anyone else stirred. Once he had left the bathroom, I had spent the night curled up crying on the bathroom floor, so I was able to tiptoe out unnoticed. I called my best friend and asked her to come get me. She lived nearly two hours away, but she came, and instead of taking me home, she took me back to her house.

That night, I started spotting. Being so young, I had no idea what to do. I didn’t tell anyone, just got a pad and pretended everything was fine…until it wasn’t. By the next afternoon, I was bleeding heavily and having stomach pains so bad I couldn’t stand. I told my best friend what was going on, and she and some friends who were at the house took me to the ER. Of course, by then, it was too late to save the baby. That opportunity had passed the day before, if it ever even existed.

After the miscarriage, things are kind of a blur. However, I do remember what the doctor told me after my D&C. “You’ll never be able to get pregnant again. It was a miracle you were ever able to in the first place. And if you do manage to get pregnant, you won’t be able to carry a baby to term.” Just a few months later, I was pregnant again. This time, she was nearly a month late.

I was in the custody of DCS when I had my daughter. Less than two weeks after I had her, I turned 18. I told my case worker I wouldn’t leave the home for young mothers when I turned 18. I lied. I left on my birthday. She was livid, and actually tried to have my daughter taken from me. I fought like I had never fought before. No one was ever going to take THIS child away. I’d have died first.

Because of the miscarriage, and because I knew she would likely be my only child, I grew up and threw myself into motherhood head first. The late 80s were a time when almost all moms bottle fed their children, and preferred strollers and bouncy seats to skin on skin contact. I nursed my daughter, and improvised a way to carry her on my chest, much like today’s baby slings. She slept in a bassinet that was right beside my bed, and there were nights I would wake up and put my hand on her back, panicking a little until I could feel the rise and fall of her breathing. I never went a day without telling her I loved her, and I never went a night without reading a story and tucking her in. Perhaps I was TOO close to her, but I never wanted her to doubt my love.

The doctor was partially right. I was never able to have another child after my daughter. I tried to move on, but every year I would think about how old my first child would be if they were alive. Today, they would be 28. My daughter is 27. She is a beautiful woman with a wonderful life. I always told her growing up that she could be anything she wanted, but that all I wanted for her was happiness… I still feel that way. And she has it. That’s all a parent could ask for.”

I have thanked these beautiful women for sharing their stories, and they will be invited when I do the ritual I have written for this month’s article. It was very difficult for me to write this, as I could not stop crying the whole time. I will be blessed during this ritual as well.

I tried to think of something simple, but meaningful, and what I would want somebody to say to me for my grief over my own childlessness. I also looked to see what other liturgies I could find for women mourning loss of children, and I did not find much. I don’t ever remember hearing of such a ritual, and what little I did find was specifically for either funerals or miscarriages. I found nothing for women who are barren unless it was to pray for fertility. I found nothing for women who lost custody, as society tends to assume these women deserve that, but I’m not so quick to judge. I found a couple of Pagan prayers about miscarriage, and quite a few Catholic liturgies. I wanted to do something where the women bless and support one another, and as the women I am inviting venerate different gods and goddesses, I did not write this to be specific to honor a goddess, or to fit any one pantheon.

 

The Working

Instead of just honoring the Mother goddesses, living mothers, and mothers who have joined the ancestors, for your Winter Solstice Celebrations, I suggest a blessing for living Mothers who have lost children.

Decide if you want one officiant to act as a Priestess, or if you prefer to delegate parts and readings to multiple people, depending on the needs of your group.

You will need:

  1. One large candle for The Goddess,
  1. One candle for each child attending women have lost,
  1. A large pitcher of water, and cups to drink from.
  1. Boxes of Tissues in case anybody needs them because they are crying.

First, cast circle as you normally do, or leave the circle open as preferred.

Then light the large candle to welcome the goddess. Because of the solemnness of this rite, a silent lighting is acceptable unless you have a special way you want to welcome her.

Each woman should take the pitcher of water in her hands and bless it as she sees fit. The communal blessing is what will make this ritual powerful, as it is one another we oftentimes look to for love, and strength. Prayers, or focusing energy to bless the water as feels appropriate for each woman is acceptable.

After the water is blessed, have each woman light a single candle in honor of each child they have lost, saying the child’s name and sit all the candles in a circle around the blessed water.

The reading, as followed can be done by one person, or each person can take a part to read.

The unbreakable bond of flesh of our flesh transcends the body and mind, and unites through spirit.

Though their bodies are far from yours, their mother, your soul connection to your children is forever.

Though your life with your child ended, you are still their mother, and always will be.

Let the love of the Divine Mother who you manifest in this life fill the void the loss of your child left.

You, a vessel of life, create more than just human beings. You create life through joy, kindness, laughter healing, and love.

May the blessings that you, a reflection of the Goddess, bestow upon those around you be returned to you tenfold.

May those whose tears of sorrow you dry, dry your tears. May those who you bless with tears of joy fill you with joys beyond compare.

May the waters we have blessed heal us, wash away our sorrows, and restore things we thought our pain took from us forever.

May the Mothers mourning loss of connection with living children be reunited with them, and have a long, happy life together.

May the Mothers whose children have died be reunited with them in the place of the ancestors, if they do not reincarnate together.

May you have the love and support of other mothers around you. Know that you are never alone. You have the connection to the Divine Mother, and all Mothers on earth who embody Her.”

Next, give everybody a cup to drink of the blessed water.

Each woman will then take turns talking to their child, or children and think of something they would have done for their child. Since they can’t do that, let the Mothers take a pledge to do something for another child in honor of the child or children she has lost. It can be something as simple as babysitting for a single parent you know for free, or something as great as adopting or fostering another child who has no parents.

Next, take down circle as you normally do, and potluck.

Blessed Yule, and Blessed Be.

 

Below is more information about Somebody’s Mother.

 

From the Press Release about Somebody’s Mother-

FILMMAKER’S COMMENTS

I feel shattered, pieces of me flying everywhere. Some parts of me are back in the hospital with the ghost of Charlie. Some parts are on the other side with Charlie’s soul, floating, dancing in the light. Together the two of us, our forgotten love. The love we didn’t get to share in this lifetime because he died. My little baby died. He was born too early with a terrible infection. He became terribly septic and was suffering. We released him from his pain and took him off life support. He floated away back to the other side and he died. Some part of me is there with him. Another part is on the floor at Trader Joe’s, where I was just shopping but had to run into the bathroom, and beg God for mercy; from the pain that I was experiencing just walking through the bread aisle.

Grief showed me all its colors, textures, shapes and sizes. When I lost Charlie it felt as if I was never going to get out. One day, I had a vision in my meditation, that Charlie came and said I need to make this story, I need to talk about grief and loss and that there is a connection to the other side. He’s not lost, its just another realm. And so we began to change the script we had worked on. Making something, first by writing it down in the script, then re-enacting it out during production and finally observing it in the editing slowly allowed me to befriend the grief. The parts of my body rejoined other parts. Parts of my soul rejoined the other parts and the new fragmented me became whole again.

During a scene in our film SOMEBODY’S MOTHER I sort through a purple box, which was actually my Charlie’s baby items. These items were given to us from the hospital NICU and consisted of Charlie’s little hat, a lock of his hair, and his footprints. I hadn’t been able to go through that purple box since returning from the hospital over a year prior. I decided to go through it for the first time while we were filming. During the scene, I wept. I felt purified and cleansed. It was beyond healing, it felt shamanic. By fully embracing the pain, I somehow transcended it.

I wasn’t just doing it for me but as a way to understand others; who had or were going through this. I learnt that extreme pain forces us to leave our bodies and reconnect with something deeper than ourselves. In this process, we shatter into a million pieces destroying who we once were, our former selves; our ego identity to rebirth into a new self with new knowledge and a reconnection to “source” energy. Charlie taught me this. Making the film allowed me to fully understand it, and not become lost in the grief or hardened by it. Instead it helped me open and soften. The experience deepened my understanding that this pain is a universal experience, which ultimately made me more of who I am. — GABRIELA TOLLMAN (Director, Writer, Actor, Producer)

My sister and I were interested in exploring contrasting themes. So many women we know want to get pregnant so badly and when they do; they don’t enjoy motherhood. It’s complicated. The role of a mother; is expected of women. It is assumed that the role of a mother should come easily and feel natural, but this is not always the case. Not everyone should become a mother.

We wanted the audience to feel how lonely these two women feel. If we are disconnected from honoring loss and disconnected from pain then how do we move forward in life? If Anna had allowed herself to express the confusion as a mother, her guilt, shame and fear perhaps she could have sought help instead of walking away from her four-year old child and leaving him in a car. So many women go through postpartum depression but feel so much shame that they act out instead of seeking help. We wanted to explore these topics, these dark places that nobody really wants to see – the places that are uncomfortable for an audience to experience and yet when they do, they feel relieved that they survived and deepened their understanding along the way.– EVELYNE TOLLMAN (Writer, Actor, Producer)

 

This film is now available on Amazon. Click Image below for more information:

 

***

About the Author:

 

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel

 

George

Artwork by: Angela Jayne Barnett ~2010

Cernunnos Rising – Music Review

It is a rarity to find an album that every song touches the heart, but Wild Soul by Cernunnos Rising has accomplished something others have only dreamed about.

Interview with Cernunnos Rising (George Nicholas)

Pagan Pages: Since our last interview I see you have graced us with a new album Wild Soul, what was your inspiration here?

George Nicholas: Well, I had originally done my first album with Medwyn Goodall the famous New Age Music composer and producer; that project involved my guitar playing and singing only  and didn`t feature any of my friends or group who actually play with me when I perform live at venues etc. I also provided all the original songs to Medwyn and let him arrange a custom sound to it just to see how it materialized, and as it stands it seems to please people a lot and these versions are available on iTunes and on M.G. music’s site amongst other distributors around the world. The answer to your question, ‘what was my inspiration to produce The Wild Soul album’ is simple, many of the pagan/ Druidic fraternity I know had asked me to produce a version closer to what they had heard us play, and with the merry men I gig with, so I couldn`t resist, and I did have the need and compulsion to do this anyway ‘closer to heart’ you might say! And as for the title ‘Wild Soul’, well that about sums me up perfectly. I really feel a lot of folks today have forgotten their inner “wild soul”, and don’t know how to connect anymore… Laughing, dancing, singing, losing inhibitions, enjoying the realms of the creative imagination, not losing your inner child! Let’s face it, nowadays we are all hung up too much about how we look and what others think of us and are we “conforming” and “fitting in”! We really just have to be comfortable in our own skin (warts and all!) and enjoy this little journey!

PP: Are you planning a new album?

GN: Yes I am planning a new album, I want the title to be Urban Druid!-It`s alright me singing and warbling on about the verdant splendor of our wild spaces and places but let`s face it, most of the population live in heavy urbanized or city areas and rely on our meetings and festivals etc to keep us sane. I am very fortunate in as much as I have managed to situate myself in a green and rural environment to live, and I did exactly the same when I lived in Atlanta , Georgia U.S.A… I just had to be with the trees and greenies! That being said, I am originally an inner city Lad from a rough part of Liverpool and even then from an early age I found the need to be amongst the green spaces, and I made sure, I got to these nemeton, serene, bubbles of bliss, where I could ‘Green-Dream’, and meditate , one was in an old overgrown scrap yard , ironic, to watch Mother nature slowly dismantle the many vehicles of some of our recently departed ancestors’ prized and cherished possessions that they probably spent many a year polishing and maintaining… all part  of the ‘Coming and Going’ I suppose.  The other Green retreats was the local park and a wonderful (time-warp) Cemetery, and my bedroom that had wall to wall plants and trees and flowers and cactus, and wood and rocks, and my crazy collection of books and Man Myth and magic magazines etc . But it was inside myself, my heart and mind, I found the great escape!

PP: Will you ever be coming to the United States?

GN: It is a serious wish for me to come back to the United States and share my music with whoever may take the time to listen, I have had 5 emails this week alone asking me this question, many who have had the pleasure of listening to and attending my kind and generous friend Damh the Bard while he was performing over in the States have asked if I will be doing the same, all I can say is, it would be my pleasure!!

PP: So since your new album how have you and the rest of the group been getting on? What have Simon, Nick, and Phil been up to?

GN: Since the new album, Simon has been organizing his own solo gigs as an independent performer (and very cool he is too!). Nick has disappeared again into the mountains and valleys of north Wales; Phil Orme is helping others with their songs and album projects with his plethora of musical skills while feeding them with his superb cooking recipes and showing them some amazing magic tricks (this guy really does not realize how talented he is)! We are also blessed to have with us two new additions to Cernunnos Rising music. We have a truly exceptionally talented flute player Mr. Martin Clarke, who also plays a mean Harp and keyboard, and Mr. Matt McGrory, a brilliant guitarist who has played with many a known artist and has had venues throughout the U.K. including TV exposure… Oh, I almost forgot we are starting to feature some female vocals into the mix by way of my young daughter Katie and a local lass and good friend Carla Lewis; she is also the singing and gigging partner of Phil Orme!

PP: The artwork on this album is exceptional, who was the artist?

GN: A mix between myself, my young Daughter Katie ,and my fabulous and wonderfully talented friend Angela Jayne Barnett from  www.celtic-photography.co.uk A true green soul with an unbridled imagination… go see!!

PP: In our last interview you told us a little about you murals, do you have any new ones?

GN: Yes, I am in the middle of a huge multi-cultural mural project for children at an inner city Liverpool school right now, and another mural project highlighting our ancient and ancestral past featuring some of Britain’s most spectacular and sacred sites.

PP:  Bountiful Blessings go out to Cernunnos Rising. Thank you so very much for grating the readers and I such a magnificent opportunity to be the first to interview another such wonderful album. It has truly been awe an inspiring experience. Again thank you.

To the Readers:

To listen to Cernunnos Risings music click here and prepare to be intoxicated…

Cernunnos Rising Links

www.cernunnosrising.co.uk

http://www.myspace.com/cernunnosmusic

Also on Facebook/Youtube/Red Bubble etc – you can find links on the above sites!

www.celtic-photography.co.uk (Angela Barnett)

Gods and Goddesses

When I was asked to write this column, I had all ideas that I would write about the divine feminine, and what it means to be a man and embrace the divine feminine in myself. As it turned out, this is not going to be the case.

In my explorations of the divine, and divine qualities, I found that I had a hard time with the entire idea of the “divine” having gender divisions at all. Sure, we have “male” and “female” deities, and I do believe they actually exist, but, I’m not sure they exist as beings with the male and female genders. While we are here living on earth, however, we are not privy to acquire that information, so I’m not going to beat that subject to death, but rather, I’m going to explore the topic of divinity in ALL its aspects, and focus on how those aspects affect ME personally.

What does it mean to be a “god” or “goddess”? The first word that probably comes to mind is POWER. Gods are powerful, they can do amazing things, like conjure things out of seemingly nowhere, they can move mountains, they have infinite knowledge, and can be all places at all times.

But there’s a lot more to being a god or goddess. We think of them as “out there”, not being HERE, on earth, living the lives we live. They are out in space somewhere, moving about as they see fit, creating, destroying, pretty much doing as they please. So how in the world can we possibly relate to THAT?

I think first it takes seeing the gods and goddesses as the entities they are, made of energy, not “above” us, but as beings that are in a different form of existence. Then they are not “gods” at all, but rather something a lot like us, but with a different perspective, and a different way of life.

The way a lot of people see it, it’s like our relationship with our own children, or how you may have seen your own parents. Children see adults in the same light we see the gods, we are amazing, we can do things they can’t, and we always seem to have all the answers. But is that REALLY how the gods see us, as children? Possibly, but I’m not so sure. Here’s another way to look at it.

To be a god, or goddess, we need only to look into ourselves. We need to see our own divine nature as beings living in the same universe as our gods, yet existing in the physical world. This means seeing ourselves as more than just a creature living on the earth, separate from the divine, but rather see ourselves as part of the same energy that makes up everything in the universe, including our gods.

So to be a god or goddess it means that we need to embrace that part of ourselves that says we ARE divine, just like our gods. If you see yourself as one who is as divine as a god or goddess, then you begin to see everything differently. Suddenly there is no “out there”, the separation is gone. The energy of everything is connected, here on earth, as well as everywhere else in the universe, and our gods and goddesses are made of that same energy. So we too are divine. In religious terms, this is called Pantheism, and for me, really describes best how I see myself.

If I myself am as divine as my gods and goddesses, then how should I act? What should I do? I still don’t have all of their power, I can’t do all the things THEY can do, so how can I see myself in the same light? Let me explain.

It’s not about being powerful, or being amazing, it’s about caring for those around you. Being a god I am the protector, the provider. I love my fellow man, I love the earth, and I take care of everything in it as part of myself. As a goddess, I take those same qualities, and I bring new life into the world in my ideas and thoughts that I share with others, I nurture them into being, I give of myself without thought of return. Being a god or goddess doesn’t mean I lord over my “subjects”, demanding worship or praise, but rather, I respect them as part of myself,  for they are gods and goddesses too, as are all beings and in fact all of creation. We are all part of the same energy of this vast universe, and that energy is best described by using the word “love”. Divine love has no bounds, no restrictions, because it is all around us, and in us, it IS us. To realize that, and to live it, makes one feel the true nature of a god/dess.

Gods and goddesses alike are made of the same energy that we are, the whole universe is full of that energy, that “love”, so to find that in yourself, you don’t have far to look. Love is literally what makes the world go around, it’s what makes everything happen, it is what makes us who we are. Therefore, we ARE as divine as our gods and goddesses, and whether we are male or female, we can feel that same love, we can see that love, and see the divine in everything.

Trismegistia: From Healing to Hounds

 

On Spotify, the tag ‘Come and feel the power!’ pops up as soon as you click on the name Trismegistia. Well OK then, let’s feel it! New music has a power all of its own; a new experience is always something to take time over, so I take my time listening to the two tracks currently available from this Pagan group.

 

The first track I listen to is Hounds of Hekate. I watch the video on YouTube, and am impressed by the imagery; three ladies dance wildly, representing the three faces of Hekate, and the triple crossroads. There is a sense of frenzy in the video, echoed by the gasping breaths that emphasize the percussion.

 

Musically, this track has a sense of mystery, of wandering lost, yet with purpose. Perhaps we are running from something, or towards something. The sudden surge of strings plucked wildly gives ways to the heartbeat-breaths of the percussion over and over, not making for easy listening, but lending an air of wonder, and curiosity, even a slight darkness emphasised by the voice of the woman, and the barking of her dogs.

 

In contrast, the other track, Nunnos’ Healing Song, is about as light and airy as you can get. Cello (synthesised) and something akin to a djembe set a gentle mood. Pan pipes announce the arrival of a familiar figure, who tells us, in the short film Nunnos which accompanies the song, that he has many names. Nunnos though is short for ‘Cernunnos’, Celtic lord of the forest, who appears in this guise as a hairy man wearing only ivy, the symbol of the everlasting woods.

 

This ‘song’ is more like a musically accompanied guided meditation, or waking up from a dream. ‘Can you hear me? Can you see me?’ The fog of memory loss is soothed by the voice of the God. Nunnos helps and heals the protagonist, which may be a third person in the song, or maybe it’s us, the listener, being healed every time we listen to Nunnos’ soothing voice. The track ends with Nunnos assuring us we can call him, any moment.

 

The contrast between these two tracks is remarkable, yet both are introspective, calling for inner reflection and a peaceful moment in your day. I would say this is not music to listen to on the go, or while cleaning the house, but whilst taking time for yourself, or to aid in meditation or visualization. I’m certainly intrigued to hear more of this unique musical project.
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About the Author:

 

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.

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Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.


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