Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Playing Catch-Up, Taking Stock

Hello, dear readers. I know I've been strangely quiet the last week or so. The reason is that, for my birthday, I went to visit my parents for a few days, and, as blogging is such a new habit for me, it's been hard to get back into the swing of things now that I've returned. But don't worry, I have plenty of ideas brainstormed to write about and I promise I'll be back to posting regularly soon enough (that is, until I leave for my vacation in Acadia at the end of July).

As I've had several days now to look at this blog from a more distanced perspective, I notice that once again I find myself slipping into a particular niche--that of the Christo-pagan or Druidic Christian. My last (and failed) blog experiment, Pulse Like Water, was specifically focused on the conflict between Christianity and the Craft of witchy magic, back when I was first getting my feet wet with occultic nature spirituality. I had hoped that I could avoid the pitfall of such specificity in this new blog, and write more generally about Druidry, its practices and philosophies, from first-hand experience. Instead, it seems I've fallen back into the habit of writing long, theoretical, apologetic-like pieces on the complexity of the modern Christian-Pagan relationship. I guess that's no surprise, as I spent a summer researching and writing a thesis on that very topic back in college and, in some ways, the relationship is one that still fascinates me. Still, I'd like to keep this blog fresh and engaging on all levels, not merely the theoretical/analytical. I imagine this space as one in which I can explore the myriad ways my spiritual life expresses itself and affects me practically. Posts like "Swimming the Sunlight," "Metaphors for Love & Death," and "Adrift" are the kinds of entries I'd like to fill this blog with, not just because they let me stretch my poetic muscles (which are my favorite muscles, right up there with the tongue, the heart and the brain), but because they are themselves manifestations of a spirituality that emphasizes the depth and intimacy of each moment and which integrates philosophical ponderings with direct experience of the Divine.

On the other hand, I can't escape from the fact that I occupy that infamous spot between a rock and a hard place (between Stonehenge and the Cross, you might say). I won't be able to avoid discussing the conflicts that arise from being in such a position, or the challenges that readers and other writers lead me to confront. To try to avoid addressing those things would be P.C. and unfair in the worst way. The truth is, I've always been a fan of the liminal--the twilight, the shore, the fog, the trance and lucid dream--and in many ways, walking the Druid path as a Christian puts me right back in one of those in-between states: between a structured, mainstream, "revealed" religion and an organic, counterculture, intimately personal spirituality. Exploring this relationship and the liminal, peripheral place within which it functions is itself an expression of that triple focus so often found at the heart of Druidry. It is, in a way, its own startling triad:

Three creatures which carry awkward burdens:
the Christian with her god's cross;
the Druid with her ancestors' stones;
the Christian Druid with her wide, heavy enthusiasms and weak little arms.

Or something like that.

So, for the next month or so, I'm going to fully embrace this discussion of Christianity, the place I see myself within it, and how it all relates back to my Druidry. This is also partly a method for me to look more closely at my relationship with Spirit through the deity of Christ (the defining aspect of Christianity, after all, right?) and to see how this expresses itself "Druidically." I hope that by taking the initiative, my posts will become more creative and active, rather than reactive and reactionary, and in this way they will be more interesting and helpful to a wider community of readers (in other words, they won't piss as many people off).

So, that's the direction I plan to explore for a little while. Of course there will be random bursts of purely Druidic or even purely personal "all-Ali" posts to liven things up. So, dear readers, please stay tuned. Don't touch that dial mouse!


  1. Write on whatever subjects move you! It's your blog, after all... and whatever it is, it's bound to be interesting.

  2. Happy birthday Ali.

    If you haven't already read them, then you might find CS Lewis's "science fiction" trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength) of interest. They deal with the liminal zone between Paganism & Christianity, in part. I'm currently re-reading them.

    As one who is currently heading rapidly towards that same liminal zone between traditions (probably more than one), but from the opposite direction, I look forward to your forthcoming posts with great interest.

  3. Happy Birthday, Ali, and I really hope that you enjoy your Acadian vacation.

    I look forward to reading the posts you make in this "return" to the more poetic Ali. What keeps me coming back to your blog is the way that you express the tangible and tactile experience that you have with religion and with the deities that you worship. I am an agnostic, but you have almost converted me here a time or two.

  4. Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone. It's nice to be 24. It feels exactly like being 23, except now I don't feel obligated to relate to all those punk rock and sappy emo songs about how it feels to be a directionless, sexually frustrated, artistically and politically idealistic 23-year-old. ;)

    Thanks also for the encouragement. I'm looking forward to writing more on the subject of Christianity and its relationship to Druidry--although, of course, I just posted a long entry that had nothing to do with either of those things. Best laid plans of mice, you know... But I assure you, they will be forthcoming (as if you could stop me!).

  5. Hello, and thank you for your writing. So good to see another contemplative writer out there. Hope you enjoyed Acadia. That's home!