Friday, 28 October 2011

#OWS What's The Way Forward?

All over the world folks are occupying the financial districts of their hometowns. Why? Because the humans who have controlling interests in the worlds resources are not being wise stewards.

People want their dues and I salute any non-violent movement that tries to obtain justice.

We must find a better way to live together.

It's tempting to try and simplify the situation into us against them, but this is so much more than that.

The aftermath of every violent revolution, war and regime change throughout history show that positive, lasting change only comes when people sit down, talk honestly about their problems and work together to find solutions.

There are so many ways we can be part of the solution.

Change may not be happening on our doorstep, but it needs to.

Wars are being fought in Africa right now for the resources needed to make the computer I'll buy in a couple of years to replace the one I'm using to write this blog.

We are a global village.

The biggest revolution that must take place is the one needed within our own hearts and minds.

Unless we can learn to listen and respond to each other in compassion, all the regime change and legislation in the world will not improve the lot of anyone.

We must reach out to each other in understanding.

One of the ways I have been privileged to be involved in building community this year was through a project funded by the City Council's Summer of Sanctuary programme.

Artists from all over the world came together in a recording studio for one day to create a piece of music with a theme of "Different Pasts, Shared Futures".

I was there primarily to make tea and film the event, but it was truly amazing to see people from different cultures, life situations and artistic backgrounds find common threads of humanity and create a piece of music together in one day.

It reinforced my belief that people from anywhere can live together and create community.

Here is the video of the song taken on that day.

It's a sad fact that most of the recording artists have left their home lands because of intolerable conditions in one form or another.

I am very privileged to live in a country where values like freedom and democracy have meant more here than in other countries.

It is clear however that those values do not yet represent in reality what they mean in the hearts and minds of the British people.

This is a time of great change. Oil is running out. Food supply is not meeting world demand. Change will come for all of us.

Whatever your situation, wherever you live, I hope that we will always find ways to reach out to those around us and understand each other with respect.

May those who need to be heard speak up and be heard by those who need to hear.

May we find ways to build sustainable, happy communities.

This is my prayer for the coming new year*.

So may it be.

*For me, the new year starts with the festival of Samhain on 31 October.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

It's Alive! ALIVE!!

Eight years ago, I made a big, life-changing decision - I left the church I had been a minister of for eight years.

Since then,I have been very wary about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire - saying "Pass" or "lots of my friends are Druids..." when people ask about my religion.

Labels. Love 'em or loathe 'em, people are going to give them to you.

Well, this year, something wonderful has happened to me. Something unexpected that has made my "religious" life complete.

The Goddess has come into my life.

I haven't joined anything, don't call myself anything new - I'm just alive to her and She is alive to me.

For most of my life (outside of being a minister), I would speak to God only in moments of crisis and think of Him (always a Him) as a Santa on a cloud, an ultimately cooler version of me (higher self) or something bigger, beyond and other - maybe the Holy Spirit or the all pervading "Force".

I barely considered the possibility of a girl-God - can you imagine? The only time I encountered a reference to the Goddess in my childhood was on a bumper-sticker: When God made man, SHE was only joking.

People in my experience have spoken of finding God or of Jesus coming into their life, but never the Goddess.

True, the Catholics pray to Mother Mary, but they only really ask her to pray to Father God on their behalf and I don't like to presume as we've never been properly introduced and she probably has her hands full anyway.

Nope, not even your Hannumans, Ganeshes, Buddhas or Confucii advertised as prolifically as did Father, Son and Holy Ghost for my prayers - they had the supplication market well and truly sewn up.

Even among the pagans I've hung around with for the last eight years, very few of them talk of an experience about the Goddess. It's simply taken as read that if you want to talk to a God or a Goddess (there's plenty of pantheons to choose from), that's your business, get on with it or not as the case may be.

So again, it's taken me a while to take the plunge as it were to talk. Speak. Ask. Supplicate. Introduce. Say Hello, commune etc.

I try to be like a little child in my attitude to God and Goddess. I love the way kids talk to everything and make up songs and poems for the world around us.

I love the way some First Nation Americans and Maori traditions refer to Mother Earth, Father Sky, Grandfather Fire - for these folks, the universe is alive and acknowledging this by talking to it, is the most natural thing in the world.

Of course, my experience is personal and non-transferable - I can't prove any of my experience to you and I wouldn't want to, and for now I don't even want to say too much about that.

I just wanted to tell you that my life is richer and more beautiful because of my new relationship with the Goddess and her Universe...

...and it's alive I tell you - ALIVE!!

Friday, 14 October 2011