Part 1 : Past
Where to begin, the past is an easy one. Or is it? I began in earnest my spiritual search on a Neo-pagan path some 25 years ago. I took an introductory class at a now defunct store in Springfield, IL (Sundance). The teachers had a very well presented 8 week course culminating with my first ever Ritual. From that moment of my very first ritual, I saw a path that has culminated into a lifelong journey worth every minute of it. From the daily meditations and piety to celebrating the Wheel of the Year. My life has never been the same since.
I floated along the first couple of years doing either solitary wiccan or occasionally a local public wiccan circle. Being still an infant of sorts to paganism, I stumbled along searching for something. I attended my first Weekend retreat during these years. Margot Adler was the guest for the weekend. It was held at Diana’s Grove in Bunker Mo. What I remember about that weekend was attending her lecture on Esoteric Drumming. Something felt right because it drew me back to my musical roots as a child. I grew up with several years of piano lessons and 8 years as a clarinetist. While the musical creation aspect of paganism is just a another key to my journey. It did foster a deeper journey that still continue today as I learn Djembé Rhythms.
Continuing on my path, I found myself back at Diana’s Grove for Witchcamp with Starhawk and The Reclaiming Collective. This was a defining moment in my life. I journeyed to my soul during this camp. I found myself unburdening so much of the first twenty-five years of life. From the Catholic upbringing that still hung on in my way of thinking. To the Summer Solstice Ritual that found me deep in trance, dancing naked by the moon lit sky and bonfire. Thank You Windwalker for being there for that. It was also that summer, I traveled to a festival in Southeastern Michigan to my first Druid gathering. Lughnashah 1997 with Shining Lakes Grove. Soon after I moved to Michigan to be with something that felt like the missing puzzle piece being found. I was formally initiated Yule 1997 as a member of Shining Lakes Grove. A.D.F.
With Shining Lakes Grove, I found not just community but family. My roots of Druidic practice began to grow from me. I found myself attending all of Shining Lakes Grove activities. From attending our firewatches the night before rite. The Wild hunt which found the Mannanan Shrine that Shining Lakes has. To having joined their leadership council as the Grove Ecologist and providing outreach with the Huron river watershed council on stream monitoring. I learned so much from them, that even today many of those traditions are still alive and well in my own personal customs of piety.
While this is a very abridged version of my Neo-pagan past. It does serve where I came from and the inkling of my present and future. A.D.F. has been a foundation that despite the 18+ years of on and off membership. I keep coming back to them. Why? The simple answer is it feels right in my heart and soul. Tomorrow, I shall look at part 2 : Present.
Each entry will contain a Ogham that I pull every morning during my morning devotionals. Something that brings focus to my everyday life.