As I type, we are still in the midst of the first ever national lock-in (and pubs certainly don’t factor). Ok, so I’m locked in, and probably you’re locked down; the difference being down to Janet’s extreme vulnerability to the covid-19 virus… I haven’t been off the property in more than six weeks now and have no expectation of escape any time soon.
When the churches, mosques and synagogues were closed, it didn’t take long before technology stepped up to provide a new form in which the spiritual community could come together. How different it is though, when your “church” is the greenwood, the liminal space of the seashore, or ‘that place’, and forms a part of the communion rather than a place in which to find it. How different, when devotions are focused on, with or through spirits of place that are no longer accessible.
How are Druids managing in the lockdown? I am hearing the stress of confinement through the warp and weft of social media, particularly from those for whom routine is important, or who have no access at all to green space. I feel entirely blessed to have deep gardens, not to mention the reasonable weather in which to enjoy them. Although… I have so missed the bluebell woods…
Beltane approaches in the northern hemisphere, and with it the celebration of the re-greened landscape. Rituals of bonfire and fertility are not at all easy to achieve sat in front of a Zoom meeting… and yet, if that is all we have it will have to do. If the bonfire exists in form within the placement of candles, and the woodland by potted plants, and the whole sacred landscape is birthed anew within the bright colours of our imagination and meditation, so be it.
In a purely mundane sense, the Sun will rise on May morning whether or not he be danced up a-top the rolling hills of Gloucestershire. The woodland will close up with vibrant greens, and the non-human creatures will wander the tree-folk and if the only Man in there is Green, still will they grow. Druidry, and paganism in general, seeks the enchantment within the mundane, and that can still happen.
The regular gatherings at the eightfold festivals, relatively recent though they might be, are treasured tools in the magical chest. We can’t reasonably gather this time, but the eagle, the stag, bear and salmon, they know. And more than ever, our quest for peace, within and without, flies out into the ‘verse.
Grant, Hearing ‘Verse, Thy Protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences,
the love of the ‘Verse and all goodness