Ramblings of a modern druidess

Another one bites the dust. Robin Williams, bringer of smiles extraordinaire, is no longer among us. By choice. Yes, he had a choice, we all do, but more and more often I’m beginning to wonder if having a choice makes any difference to our state of mind. What if both choices are bad? At least from your own point of view. Do you automatically choose the lesser bad? What if death is the lesser bad? How do we decide?

He, like so many before him, struggled with depression. I know people in my inner circle who are depressed. It’s hard. Not just for them, for everyone around them. Sometimes you see glimpses of the person behind the depression, those are the good days. The days you believe in recovery, believe they are also happy, clear-headed, that life is worth living. Then there are the other days. When nothing you say seems to make any difference, whether it is a pep-talk, a comforting shoulder to cry on, a kick in the butt, or just being there for someone, sitting beside them. It has little to no effect. That’s the scary part. The part where you start to lose hope. And so do they, I think.

I’ve never been depressed. Not in the way people are diagnosed with ‘depression’. So it’s very hard to understand what’s going on inside their mind, because I haven’t been there. I’ve had my share of bad days, sure. Who hasn’t? But that’s not really the same, now is it? Obviously I didn’t know Robin Williams personally, but he seemed to have a pretty good life. Good career, which he more often than not enjoyed a great deal, loving wife, loving children, financially stable, those are pretty important indicators for most people. Apparently it had no effect, or at least, not enough. The demons inside your head are stronger. How does that happen? What goes wrong inside the mind? And is it something we can ‘fix’ with medication?

I’m not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against medication, I just think it should be a means to an end, not the cure itself if at all possible. There will always be people where this is not the case. Both physical and mental. Sometimes you have to learn to live with your medication. Could that be the problem? That some people don’t know how to live with their medication? Is our focus perhaps wrong? I think many people who are diagnosed with depression also receive some form of therapy, with or without medication. But is depression related to events in our life or is it a state of mind, not related to any event whatsoever? And if it’s the latter, will it really make any difference to try and work through someone’s ‘issues’? Or will the depression remain? It looks that way.

Needless to say I don’t have the answers, I hope that someday, someone does. Because how bad does the other choice have to be, when choosing death has become the better option?

Rest in peace, Robin Williams. I will miss your smiles. You made me smile, a lot. What dreams may come? I hope they will be good ones, ones that will make you smile.

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Back from the most amazing couple of days with my tribe. Reconnecting with my tribe and the end of a decade. It’s been ten years since I first joined the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. The official part has come to an end as I handed my final book review to our chosen chief, it was quite a special moment for me.

Not that my education will be over from now on, we learn every day, but in a official capacity, it has come to an end, which is both exhilarating and kinda weird. I met old friends and some amazing new people. Danced into the wee hours of the night, listened to poetry and stories around the fire and laid down on the grass to listen to the whispering of the trees.

I wrote this poem about this amazing couple of days when I got back, hope you enjoy.

The trees are whispering to me
While I listen to the sound of the harp
Telling me stories of our tribe
And I’m overwhelmed by this feeling of community

Visions of dancing and laughter
While the fire blazes to the beat of the drum
Beautiful poetry brings a tear to my eye
And a feeling that I belong

Here, with my tribe
It took me a decade to fully understand
And stay true to myself and my emotions
What made this year so special
I let go of me, and became part of we.

Roots & Branches 2014

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Friday. It’s a good day. My favourite day of the week. You still have the whole weekend ahead of you, the city starts buzzing and everybody comes to life, or so it seems anyway.

As I’m sipping on my coffee in my home away from home, Barista Cafรฉ, while miss Ginger is glaring at my cookie, I’m pleased to report I actually got some writing done. The Empath is making progress, slowly, but progress nonetheless. Writers block is so hard to explain. I don’t understand it myself. It has nothing do to with my mood, as I first thought. I got some excellent writing done while in a foul mood and sometimes, when I’m perfectly happy, nothing. Nada, zero. Why is that?

You need concentration to write, a certain state of trance even. Well, for me at least, but I’m a bloody druid priestess. Creating a trancelike state should be a walk in the park for me. So why doesn’t it work when trying to write my second novel? Jack Croxall, an author friend of mine, wrote an interesting article about that dreaded second novel and it made me wonder if it was ‘the curse of the second novel’. Good title for a book or film. His book was categorized into Steampunk, a genre he never even heard of. I did, by the way *sticks out tongue at Jack*, but it can be tricky, because it raises expectations for the second novel.

Someone placed The Elemental in the Horror section. I get that, when you realize the Horror section has a subsection Occult. But just to be clear, The Elemental is certainly not a horror story. The Empath will be darker, yes, but it still won’t be horror.

I’m going to try and get inside Tristan’s head again. See if he has anything sensible to say ๐Ÿ™‚

On a totally different note, I had a rather interesting interview with Roasted Coffee Bean last night. We talked and talked, so it’s going to be a two-part interview. I’ll keep you posted.

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Bla…. Is the first word that comes to mind. I mustn’t complain, I actually had a pretty good writing week. The Empath is coming along nicely, a had some nice interviews with musicians for a cultural venue contest, one of my dear fellow authors invited me to another blog party and I decided to pimp my final druidic review, so I ordered two hardcover copies. One for the Order, for for me. Pretty pleased, all in all, but now it’s Friday and suddenly it hit me. Good god, my own blog! I haven’t posted anything this week. Shame on me.

Normally I sit down for fifteen minutes and the words just appear on the pages, but now I’m finding myself at a loss for words. Is there something in particular you’d like to hear? What do you want to know, pray tell. I promise, I will answer, but you have to give me something to get the juices flowing. Merlin, that sounded disgusting!

So I’m afraid that’s all for now folks, but remember, if you want to hear more, just ask. I will oblige, without hexing your balls off, I promise.

Till next week peeps, keep it real! xxx

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

“But you’re not really doing rituals in nature, right? I mean, what if people see you?”

My first reaction was to laugh, but then I realized she was dead serious. So I cleared my throat and tried to hide my grin. Yes, I really do rituals. Yes, most of them are out in the open, preferably at the beach or in the forest and I’m seldom alone. Sometimes even with dozens of people. Yes, we sacrifice naked young men. Oh hang on, we don’t. Bugger.

There are little day-to-day rituals which I perform in the comfort of my home, in my car, or even in a cafe or restaurant, when someone calls me for example to ask for a bit of healing or positive vibes. But the seasonal festivals, I celebrate outside. At least as much as is humanly possible.

I guess it’s not necessary, but it does help me to reach a certain state of mind more quickly. I know some of my brothers and sisters have that with clothing. They feel more comfortable wearing robes, a pretty dress or a cloak. Others have it with attributes. The right cauldron, the perfect athame or sword, the right wand (yes, we have wands, Harry Potter doesn’t have a patent on it, you know), the right chalice and so on. I appreciate all those things, but performing a seasonal ritual inside is the only factor which makes it slightly more difficult for me. We all have our weaknesses.

I have had several ‘mentors’ if you will along the way, who would all tell me that none of this is necessary to perform the perfect ritual. I know a lot of Christians feel the same about the church. It is the house of God and it serves a great purpose and a sense of community, but you can be or feel close to God anywhere. The church, in this light, is a compliment to our beliefs. Just as I view a stone circle as a compliment to my beliefs. Do I need the stone circle to feel connected to nature? No, of course not, but sometimes, sometimes it helps.

As far as being worrried about other people seeing me or us, it actually doesn’t bother me. Some of the festivals are more dark, less appropiate for children I would say, so those rituals take place at night, when the little ones are fast asleep. Well, one assumes, in these days you never know ๐Ÿ˜‰
But I’m never scared for other people to see me. I do realize it might be scary the other way around. I can imagine that sometimes we conjure a pretty amazing picture in the landscape. I’m not blind, I do notice when people in the distance stop to watch. Sometimes they even wait until we’re done and ask us some questions, out of curiosity. I always like that and take plenty of time to explain what it is they witnessed.

As to what it is I, or we, do, I’d like to leave you with this link.
A Magical Journey

It describes an initiation. Names have been left out of course, but this was such a beautiful occasion and it explains rather well what I believe and hold dear. Hope you’ll enjoy.

Wishing you dragons to fly away on and love and light in your heart.

Until next week folks!

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

So this week I had another interview with a newspaper for my book. It turned out I actually knew the interviewer from the past, so it was nice to see her again.

She’d done her research and asked me several pretty deep and personal questions. Which made me wonder, what do you keep to yourself? Where do you draw the line?

My friends and family are all familiar with the more colourful part of my life, so to speak. And even professionally, when I worked somewhere for more than a couple of years, most colleagues had some inkling of what it was I committed my free time to.

My book is about people with special powers, gifts if you will. So naturally I should have expected questions about how the book relates to my personal life. And even though I was prepared for that, it still left me thinking: “What the hell am I going to say?”

I didn’t want to lie, but I didn’t want to be portrayed as some fruitcake either ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I did tell her some things, how I view the world and the people in it and how that works for me, mostly. I hope I was articulate enough.

Tomorrow it will be in the papers and it’s always hard to figure out what someone’s angle is going to be.

So here’s hoping it will be an okay article and I won’t have to hide under a rock for the next couple of decades ๐Ÿ˜‰ How do you deal with tough questions? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Until next week folks!

P.S. Oh, and can someone please ask Placebo to confirm Pinkpop? Thank you so much for your trouble xxx

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Imbolc. This festival has a very strong connection to Fire, at least it has for me, like Beltaine. Guiding and protecting this promise of Spring, is the goddess Brighid. I used to have some issues with this Lady, perhaps because she symbolizes all things good and light and I’ve kinda been a Cailleach girl most of my life.

But as I grew older, Brighid became a greater influence in my life, maybe we should just state I became more balanced ๐Ÿ˜‰ Having a dark and light goddess in my life, has certainly made life more interesting. My triple goddess is completed by our own Dutch goddess, Nehalennia.

This Imbolc I’ll be walking a Fire labyrinth at an ancient burial mound we often use for our rituals, it’s a beautiful and magical place. I’ve seen ravens fly over my head, have had a young bull charging towards me at Samhuinn, only to stop inches before me when he noticed my flaming cauldron and respectfully bowed his head. Deer have been watching me and my rituals, lying hidden in the high grass and I’ve been blessed so often by the great oaks surrounding me. This is also a place of initiation for me. Not just my own, but that of friends as well. So a special place, if you will.

We’ll walk the labyrinth and reach the womb, letting go the whispers of Winter and embracing the promise of Spring. Looking forward to it already, because at this place, you never know what’s going to happen.

I wish you all your own promise of Spring, may it come to you with the blessings of both god and goddess and guide you on your way.

Until next week folks, try and catch those first rays of sunshine!

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