Blog Archives

A Hub for Maine Pagan Events

Merry Meet!

A recent survey by the Pagan Unity Association has revealed a community need that isn’t currently being served. The problem is that many Pagans aren’t attending open Pagan events because they don’t know about them. As a community, we’ve become overly reliant on Facebook to spread the word about our events. Yet unless you are paying to promote your event on Facebook, chances are that it gets lost in a sea of other updates.

EarthTides has stepped up to offer our website as a hub for Pagan events in Maine. We already have a calendar page, and have added an easy-to-use submission form below the calendar itself. Please try it out by adding your upcoming event, or sharing it with someone who is hosting an event:

EarthTides Calendar

Plans are also in the works to start an e-mail newsletter, which would most likely be a monthly list of upcoming events. We’ll let you know when that’s available, so you can join if you’d like to be kept up to date on what’s going on.

EarthTides began as a networking organization nearly three decades ago, set up to connect Pagans in the pre-Internet days. It feels right to reconnect with those roots, creating a hub where all the various Pagan organizations, circles, coven, groves, teachers, and other communities can spread the word about the work they’re doing in the world. All traditions are welcome to contribute. We need more connection, more people working together to heal humanity and the Earth, more ways to educate, revitalize, and nourish ourselves and others. Let’s do this!

We’d love to hear your feedback about the submission form, the calendar, and the idea of creating a monthly events newsletter. Please leave your questions and comments below!

Blessings,

Nikki Starcat Shields
President
EarthTides Pagan Network

A Druid Order for Maine

I’ve been wondering lately, what exactly is Maine?  In the strictest sense, Maine is lines on a map that define its political boundaries, to the West with New Hampshire and to the North and Northeast with Canada.  However, within the arbitrary lines that define our political existence lie innumerable regions, micro-climates, geographical features and geological history.  The spirits of place are innumerable here and their stories are even more so.  The land we call Maine is many lands, many places and many are the stories that describe both.

Having been raised with the context that Maine is defined by the political processes of boundary creation, it is not hard for me to see that familiar shape when I think of this State and all that it means to me and many more people who live, work and play here.  Maine is a place that seems so spiritually fertile that it nearly begs for more people to root into the land and make connection.  No matter where I go I tend to feel the pull of something that desires my attention: a stone, a tree, a bird, a bush, a stream, a mountain.  When these things fall under my gaze I no longer see them as geographical features or flora and fauna, I see them as godlike, divine, inspiring.

When I speak of Maine, the rocks sing to me.  Katahdin springs up from the land, Mt. Desert island forms from lava spewed before the last ice age.  I think of visiting Cadillac Mountain, how the sides are just steep enough that every step seems like you are going to encounter a cliff and yet it just keeps going.

I pick up rocks at the beach, geological history in my hand.  Here are my ancestors, the trilobite, the ancient fern.  I feel the grit of the sand and imagine the stories it tells, perhaps lovers under moonlight, the bodies of billions or even trillions of beings washed up upon it, most microscopic, some as large as whales.

I go deeper inland to the forests and there the conifers and deciduous trees watch me pass as though I am burning a path as I go, the essence of my existence like a quick burning fire, a counterpoint to their own more deliberate existence.  Their language is slow, deep, sometimes sorrowful.  The trees hum in bass tones that vibrate up through the land into my feet and the stones absorb these vibrations like sinks and hold them.  I go further into the mountains and high hills where millions of years ago the Earth moved and creased new structures.  Above the tree line it is as though the wind has swept away everything yet here and there a plant pokes out from the rocks in stolid defiance…it reminds me of a balding man’s scalp but with more character and ancient stories written into it.

I dive back down into the River valleys, run the course of spring waters through the torrent of the rapids.  I see the great boulders as the rivers rage around them and think of the smooth and weathered beach stones I held in my hand and know that their stories are ancient and different.  I find a stream feeding fresh water into the torrent of the river and I follow it up to a pond where the loons make their mournful sounds and the trout and white perch feed mercilessly from the swarms of mosquitoes and black flies at dusk.  Surrounded by the pine, the water is still at sunrise, reflective and beautiful where songbirds call from the cattails across the marshy boundaries of a lake.

When I see the land of Maine, this is how she speaks to me.  In Mountains and Rivers, lakes and seashores, stones and trees.  I wander off the path of the forest into the wild and I see stories, so very many stories.  The dance of mating dragonflies, the chattered recriminations of the squirrels, the diving swoop of the Hawk.

I want to tell these stories, I want to climb into them, live them and then sing the songs of Nature, the songs of the wild, so that others may hear them and perhaps seek to find the music themselves and I am not alone in that desire.  There are others who wish to do so as well, other practitioners of Druidry for whom this land, this region, is home.  It is a place of Land and Sea and Sky in such natural beauty that one can barely help but Love it and feel Loved in return.  This is the place where our feet touch the land and through it, the Earth.

To that end, several of us are in the early stages of forming a Druid Order for the State of Maine.   Maine is a land that is vibrant and alive in its natural beauty and yet still in need of relationship to the people who inhabit her.  Druidry is a living tradition, one that seeks to craft sacred relationship with the land and the spirits that inhabit it.  We hope to be the keepers of tradition and a relevant addition to the foundation of the Pagan community here.  The Order will serve several purposes.  It will allow those who practice Druidry to belong to a central hub by which we can share information, knowledge and inspiration that is relevant to our individual communities.

The Order itself is founded on three basic principles, each of which have three contexts:
Location:  The Place, the Land and the Earth
Being:  Our Ancestors, Ourselves and our Community
Becoming:  Knowledge, Learning and Teaching (1)

[Another concept here is that] this Order can support Druidry, which has a unique hum to it. We don’t all have to have the same definition or the same practices or the same core of learning. Druidry is bigger than that. It is about questing Awen. And we do that through our relationships. The most prevalent relationships are self, family, community and the spirits of place. Always it is about wakeful honorable relationships, for those bring inspiration. That from my studies is unique to this tradition. Others may talk about ecstatic practices, but Druidry is very clear, holding seeking Awen at its center. (2)

We presently have no “name” for this Order and that will likely be forthcoming soon.  Ultimately though, this is a Maine Order of Druidry and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we look forward to presenting ourselves in this capacity to the community.

If you have any questions please feel free to shoot me an email:  lightofthebear@gmail.com

(1) Quote Courtesy of Aracos
(2) Quote Courtesy of Snowhawke

Goddess, Education, Magick and Spirituality

When you hear someone say anything about the Feminine Divine, what do you think of? What does it mean to our contemporary society in all the various stages and aspects of life?

The Feminine Divine is about returning to nature, about harmony in both the masculine and feminine, yin and yang re-united in balance, about moving forward in our community together.

The Temple of the Feminine Divine is a church located in Bangor, Maine that was founded with the belief that only when the feminine divine is revered equally with the masculine divine there can be balance and equality in human relations, in nature, and upon Mother Earth.

In 1998 Kay Gardner (1942 -2002) and Ruth Barrett co-led 26 women on the Magic, Music and Mystery Tour to England and Ireland. One of their stops was the Fellowship of Isis at Clonegal Castle in Eniscorthy, Ireland. After returning home, Kay decided to start a formal priestess/priest training program in Bangor.  The Temple of the Feminine Divine was officially established and recognized as a church by the State of Maine on November 1, 2001. It was Kay’s dream for the Goddess to once again be worshiped equally with the God. Today, the Temple of the Feminine Divine continues to be a source of support, worship, balance, learning, growing and support to our community.

On November 9th, 7:00 PM at the Next Generation Theater in Brewer, the Temple of the Feminine Divine’s Iseum Musicum class of 2013 is proud to bring you, “G.E.M.S-Goddess, Education, Magick and Spirituality,” an evening of talks, song and drama illuminating the aspects of the feminine divine. G.E.M.S. will be featuring: Reverand Anu Dudley, Ph.D.; Hugh Curran, Ph.D; Women With Wings; Cynthia Swan, M.Ed., LMT, Storyteller; and Veronica Moonstream WolfEagle, RSW, MSW, BFNAC. The night of entertainment will be: “Defining ‘Feminine’ in the Feminine Divine”, “Feminine Divinities in Celtic Tradition”, “Feminine Tradition in the Modern Context”, Songs and Chants of the Goddess, and a dramatic reading featuring some of the members of the current Iseum Class.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10, more if you have it, less if you don’t. Pre-sale tickets are available by calling the Temple at 207-941-0261 or by speaking to an Iseum Musicum class member. There will be refreshments and a cash bar available.

The Temple of the Feminine Divine is a legally recognized church with ordained clergy and offers public ritual for the eight Pagan seasonal celebrations, as well as a library, meditation space, and religious counseling. They also host the Iseum Musicum, a three-year program culminating in legally recognized ordination. Trained clergy are available to do hand-fastings, welcoming newborns, funerals, and all other rites of passage.

Public rituals on the eight Pagan seasonal celebrations are held at the U.U. Church in Bangor, Maine. Rituals follow the Wheel of the Year, and are generally held on the day of the festival at 7 p.m. All genders, faiths, and ages are welcome. For more information, www.templeofthefemininedivine.org; or on Facebook; email webgoddessess@templeofthefemininedivine.org or call TOFD 207-941-0261.

 

 

Eastern Maine Pagan Pride Day

On Saturday, October 13 from 1-5PM at the Herbert Sargent Community Center in Old Town, ME, Eastern Maine Pagan Pride Association proudly presents the 3rd annual Eastern Maine Pagan Pride Day! All ages, faiths, flavors, and perceived experience levels are welcome to attend. Admission is a non-perishible food item or an item from the Bangor Ronald McDonald House wishlist: http://rmhbangor.org/wishlist. All items collected will be dontated to the Bangor Ronald McDonald House, EMPPA’s preferred charity.

We have many wonderful workshops planned! The list includes:

“Through the Veil: Death and Dying from a Pagan Perspective”
“Weaving Our World”
“Sacred Sound”
“Living Your Magick Every Day”
“A Bardic Presentation of Lugh Lamfada”
“Out of the Broom Closet; Pagan Resources”
“Fostering Healthy Relationships; Polyamorous or Otherwise”

We have a wonderful collection of vendors too! For a sneak peak at their wares, you can visit their websites:

Caity B Photography
CopperTree Sculptures
Irish Daisy Bakery
Sylver Poet Designs
Temple of the Feminine Divine
Walt-King Sticks
DragonBrooke Designs
Lorelei’s Loaves
Snowflake Jewelers
Beyond the Willows
Lupine Ridge Botanicals
Exquisitely Original
Morgana Phoenix Tarot Readings
Rocky For Equality

We’ll be keeping our tradition of decorating personal flags of Pride and Celebration to string up and display around the site and will have supplies on hand for creating your own Harvest Hat (we had so much fun with it last year!). This year we’ll also have magazines, glue, paper, and scissors available for collaging in our craft and kids room.

Thanks in advance go out to the wonderful clergy at the Temple of the Feminine Divine who will be hosting our community Harvest ritual this year.

We hope you’ll join us – and bring a friend!

 

 

 

The Weaving: A Pagan Rite of Vision – October 2012

Song lines entwine. Ancient stories, ever new on misty breath.
Air feeds sacred Fire,
Warming our hearts and giving honor to our elders.
Ancestors called to witness. Dancers whirl.
Soul touching Soul touching Soul, we weave a Pagan place.
Our tribe prays for Vision.

I wrote the poem above as I sat dreaming of a ritual where we come together as a tribe, as a community and reweave our connections to each other as we head into the long darkness of winter. I dreamed of everyone dancing together as equals, praying for a vision to share as a gift to the community, a dream that gives us insight on how to live well, how to move within this sacred landscape of Maine as Pagans that honor the Earth. I dreamed of those of us who are spritely enough dancing around a large central fire while our elders look on from their place of honor next to the warming fire. I dreamed of us finding our soul deep connection to Nature, communing with the Spirits of Place and the forces of Nature which are our gods. And from out of this sacred relationship we find a source of inspiration, we drink from the chalice that holds the mystery of Nature. I dreamed of this dance continuing into the future where one day, each of us will heed of the call of our progeny when they gather and sing songs, inviting their ancestors to join them in ritual, to dance with them as they seek connection to the gods and the wisdom to live well and walk gently on Mother Earth.

I dreamed this dream, and I connected with others who dreamed it as well. And we shared this with one another. And from the sharing, we have crafted such a ritual, a ritual of vision as we dance together in the forest, honoring the land, the people and the gods, dancing with our ancestors as we consider the next generation.

We have built the framework for this ritual, crafting a full day of learning, sharing, experiencing and communing soul to soul to soul. We hope to strengthen our community ties and begin to build a tradition of sacred rites to pass onto the next generation. And that, my brothers and sisters, is something I think worth our efforts.

Let’s consider the next generation of Pagan people here in Maine.

Today, Paganism isn’t the mainstream. Where once all human saw Nature as the highest authority, many now think we are above having to consider Her (and we see the obvious consequences of that point of view). The ancestors of all the races of the peoples of the Earth, were once pagan. The source and inspiration of their deepest spiritual ideals emanated from their experience of the divine in Nature. Things changed. But this core principle has been like a spring running underground, flowing through the landscape of time, purifying the water as it goes, and eventually coming to the surface once again to give us nourishment.

So here we are now, pagan people looking to Nature as the source of our religious ideals, finding our inspiration from the day to day, moment to moment experience of the sanctity of the web of life. Paganism has found root again in the open. And we embrace it because it offers us a way to live ethically, expressing our humanity, yet living within the web of life, taking the paths of least harm, considering the effects of all our actions, walking with integrity and honor in perfect equality with all the souls around us, human and non-human. These are our ideals.

We see Paganism as a way to live without destroying the Earth. Yet, we are part of a system that does just so. And I think it is our role as Pagan people to begin to work towards a different paradigm. We need to craft a better way of life, preserving what is of value and passing that onto the next generation. And this consideration of the next generation is something I see as vital and distinctly Pagan in nature.

Within Native communities all over the globe, there are rites where the whole tribe gathers to pray and reach for vision, to heal their communities, to hold them together as a people and to consider the future and what it will contain for their children and grandchildren and all their future generations. Here in America I think of the Sundance, the Long House, and the Naraya. These are community rituals of vision. What do we have in our pagan community that is clearly focused on reaching for a vision for the benefit of the tribe? I don’t see their counterparts in Paganism.

So, some of us have gathered to craft it.

We call this rite, “The Weaving – a Pagan Rite of Vision.” It is a ritual of trance and prayer, of song and creativity, of weaving our shared love for this Earth into a beautiful tapestry of connection. It is a rite crafted in our own language, honoring our Pagan heritage. It is designed to be the counterpart to our amazing Beltane on the Beach. Only this rite will be the inward look to balance the outward celebration of spring at Beltane. It will be a rite where we openly share what is gifted to us during trance. And out of this, perhaps a shared vision will come – or perhaps not, that isn’t important. It is the gathering and intention that matters. We will wrap the entire day and the entire ritual in our crafting conscious, soul deep connection to Nature, to the land where we gather and to all the souls present. Out of this place, only good things can come. If I have one belief it is this, if we open ourselves to Nature, we will find sanctity and it will fill us with inspiration.

To offer a metaphor in hopes of giving some clarity to the point of this rite, think of this: this is a ritual where each person is a Tarot card of their own design, and the reading is for the tribe. We express our individual image, yet together we can begin to get a glimmer as to where we are at as a community, where we are going and what the future may hold. Or perhaps try this image: we are all tributaries, small streams flowing down from the mountains. We gather together to form a River (our community). And together we flow through the landscape, naturally taking the path of least resistance, causing the least harm as we carry our collective story, our collective nutrients downstream to the Ocean (our future generations yet to be born, to be carried on the wind and born of the rain falling on the mountains).

We hope such a ritual interests you and that it will be supported by the greater community. We already have great support and we are just getting this off the ground. In the future I see us gathering in large numbers for days of shared ritual, dance, trance, vision, and weaving our connections as a people of the Earth. But this Weaving is the first one, and we hope many of you join in and lay a strong foundation for the future.

Let’s gather together as a community for a ritual of sharing vision. Let’s consider the next generation of
Pagans, and craft communal traditions that bring our tribe into sacred relationship with Nature. Let’s begin the work of dreaming a beautiful world for our progeny and let’s begin the work of making it. We hope to see you in Casco on October 6th.

Blessings of Mystery,
Blessings of beauty and inspiration,
Blessings of soul touching soul touching soul,
Snowhawke /|\

For more information regarding the day’s activities or to register for the Weaving, please visit druidcollege.org.