Catching Up

It’s been a year since I wrote last and I apologize. I forgot my password and then just sort of got busy with other things. Now, it’s early morning on Labour Day and I can’t sleep. Lame-o excuses aside, it has been a very busy year for me, in all aspects of my life.

Below is the point form list:

Mundane Stuff:

  • Configuring and implementing a new volunteer management database for work. I work in the non profit sector and very few people in that sector come with a background in Information Technology. I do, so guess who got to the lion’s share of the work? 🙂 I spent a year learning how to use the database, configuring it to meet our needs and writing all of the technical manuals. (It definitely doesn’t get more mundane than this!!) I had a lot of fun doing it and we’ve got a nice database as a result.
  • Working toward and obtaining a professional designation. This involved an exam and three essays that were more difficult to write than I thought. Now, I can be pretentious and put letters after my name.
  • Serving as the IT Chair for the national professional association I belong to. This involves lots of website updates, fielding email and consulting on anything IT related.
  • Serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors for a local charity. We’ve managed to implement new programs and even work toward launching a social enterprise project.
  • Advocating for a family member to get appropriate funding and support for a disability. (If anyone has ever had to do this, you’ll know how much of a pain in the butt it is dealing with “The System”!)
  • Serving on several committees at work and in my community.
  • Volunteering with a police-based agency.

Druid/Pagan Stuff:

  • Performed a beautiful Pagan Memorial Service in June of 2012 for a member of our community. This is probably the largest public ritual I have performed and everything went so well. Words cannot describe how wonderful it was to be able to provide this type of service.
  • After having to cancel The Spirit of the West Druid Gathering in 2012, we made up for it in June of 2013. (Before the floods) Our special guest was Stephanie Woodfield, fellow Devotee of The Morrighan and a published author. (Our theme was Sacred Warriorship.) My Grove got to do the official public ritual. There were only two of us, but it was an amazing experience. Our theme was balance, particularly of the dark and the light. I served as the Priestess of The Morrighan, while my partner served as Priestess of Brighid. There was some scripting and some “from the heart” aspects, per our normal ritual format. This was the first public ritual Awen Grove has done in 10 years! We got the audience involved as well and all were welcome to attend. Below is a photo of me just after the ritual. (Despite my previous post about ritual, I am capable of putting on a good “show” while maintaining that connection with the Divine. I definitely felt the presence of The Morrighan and Brighid that evening and that they were pleased! Always a good thing to please the Guests of Honour…)  

Image

“This is my helpful face…”

  • Serving as Chair the Board of Directors for Pagan Pride Day 2013. I mentioned the missed Pagan Pride Day of 2012 in my last post and how some people stepped up to plan PPD 2013. (September 28th!) I am one of them and I am happy to say that things are coming along nicely! We even got incorporated as a non-profit society in our province in June. Everyone on the Board and Planning Committee are from different backgrounds and traditions and we all get along just fine. Perhaps after an 8 year hiatus, people are finally willing to work together to make this a healthy community. (A big change from last year at this time!) I’m all for it and am willing to do my part.
  • Examining my beliefs and getting thing down in writing, literally! In June of 2012, I picked up a beautiful little notebook from the Glenbow Museum Gift Shop in Calgary. (I was attending a conference downtown and took a break to do a little shopping.) Since then, I’ve been writing what I believe and what I have experienced in 22 years of practice. I’ve also copied some wisdom texts and such in there that I find inspiring. It’s all handwritten and could be considered a Grimoire or Book of Shadows of sorts, except that it’s not top secret. If nothing else, this project has been a source of insight, relaxation and a great way to see where I’m at in life. After my passing, I hope it will be passed on to a member of my Grove. During this project, I have recorded some interesting observations about The Otherworld, which I will be posting sometime soon. (Really!) 
  • Almost finished the Bardic Grade gwersi for OBOD… I just have to get off my butt and do my final project. It’s in the works.
  • Started the new British Druid Order Bardic Course. It works on a subscription basis and is online, so there is no cost for postage, etc. BDO’s online format is more environmentally friendly (in my opinion), less expensive by far and can be done in a way that you only get the material at a certain time. (Not all at once, so there is no instant gratification. It takes a year.)

I suffered a bit of a health crisis in April, so I backed off from almost all of my activities except my main job for 3 months. Now, I’m slowly getting back into things and balancing it with more time for myself to do things like write. It’s a similar crisis to what I’ve had in the past, which is usually a sign that I need to change something or slow down. 

That’s it for me for today. I will return soon with my thoughts on the Otherworld, the Sidhe and more!

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