Thank You All

First of all excuse the appearance–Wordpress apparently decided to do a makeover on its own. And I don’t have time to deal with this at present.

I want to thank everyone who helped out with fundraising for Many Gods West! I still have a few copies of From The Prow Of Myth for anyone who’d still like a signed copy. $15 mailed in US> My paypal is tadhg04 at yahoo

Travel costs are high.

I haven’t seen anyone note this but I think it’s so cool that this conference is taking place in a town named Olympia.  It sounds like an interesting place.

http://manygodswest.com/

Defending The Gill Tract: Druid Thoughts

There are a lot of things I could be writing about here, like how an ancient Irish goddess has been blamed by a Neopagan blogger for America’s attack on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about I will spare you the details) but here’s something more important.

A local frontline on the real war against our planet is the attempt by the University of California regents to sell off the last remaining farmland in the Berkeley area. At present there are 20 acres left out of an original 100 of an old farm known as the Gill Tract, which was acquired many decades ago by the University. There is a wonderful community organic farm there, producing incredible produce and herbs. Nothing like a bit of gardening and then picking kale and chard and going home and cooking it up! There are also groves and a seasonal creek(s), providing a wildlife sanctuary, which harbors a flock of wild turkeys, something you don’t often see in an urban area. Unfortunately, the adjoining field has been fenced off, and over 50 trees cut down and uprooted earlier in the year; now this area is to be bulldozed and developed for a corporate supermarket and expensive elderly housing. The group Occupy The Farm is protesting this and putting up defense.

A farmers' shrine.
A farmers’ shrine.

Privatization is driving this, so yet another attempt to destroy one small remaining commons that really feels like an oasis. An adjoining tract is being run as a GMO testing site. The contrast between the two is startling, to say the least.

According to the Occupy the Farm site:

Through the past half-century, the defunding of the University of California has gone hand in hand with increased corporate funding. This has shifted research and education away from the interests of the public towards the interests of private corporations. The history of the Gill Tract Farm is an emblematic case study of this shift. The late 1990s saw the final stage in the dismantling of the Biological Control Research Station, a pioneer in integrated pest management, as well as an unprecedented donation to the College of Natural Resources from the biotech-company, Novartis. Today, much of the land is used for corn genetics research for patents, and is under threat of privatized development into a green-washed corporate supermarket.

View of the farm looking toward Albany Hill.
View of the farm looking toward Albany Hill.

Also,

In an era of increasing drought, climate change, and hunger, the Gill Tract Farm provides a rare resource for urban agriculture, a living museum of the long history of the East Bay, and an irreplaceable habitat and resource for building resilient communities. The Gill Tract is the last remaining 20 acre piece of historic farmland in the now densely populated East Bay.  Until Spanish colonization, this land was stewarded by the Ohlone people, and today we attempt to honor this legacy by connecting with local indigenous communities, and respecting traditional indigenous agricultural knowledge. For centuries, the land has been fed by the rising and receding of three creeks, creating rich soil and habitat for diverse ecosystems. The UC’s proposed paving of this land does not responsibly steward this irreplaceable resource that they hold in the public trust.

More info here: http://occupythefarm.org/the-struggle-for-the-gill-tract/

Echinacea in the herb garden.
Echinacea in the herb garden.

Local Druid activist Treviños Rios is doing magical and ritual work bringing the unseen into the actions here to save the farm and its adjoining lands. We did ritual a while ago and the response was strong and obvious. This is a perfect example of how building relationships with the local spirits and calling the attention to appropriate deities adds another important dimension to activist defenses. I believe these kind of local commitments are what we need to do as pagans and polytheists.

Rios in the grove.
Rios in the grove.

Manannan’s Offerings

I make my offerings on St. John’s day, the traditional date that has so much European (and beyond) folklore associated with it.

I gathered (tule) reeds and yellow flowers. I also bake a bannock (non-traditional offering). I bring them to a nearby shoreline, where there are ruins of a Victorian bathhouse and a cave. The tide was unusually low and a sandy beach not commonly seen was exposed. When I got to the water’s edge and was praying, the best description I can think of is the offerings were ‘seized’! A wave rapidly came in much closer to shore than the rest of them, and I knew I had to throw them in the water(and run back). Here’s a few photos:

The location
The location

Sutro sunset

Pelicans
Pelicans
the rushing waters
the rushing waters

Sutro wildflowers

Lots of wildflowers on the hillside above. There’s also a tiny spring.

Going To Many Gods West

I’m going to Many Gods West in Olympia, Washington this summer—and will be presenting! http://manygodswest.com/ Should be interesting! http://manygodswest.com/news/ However, transportation and lodging are expensive; certainly for this underpaid education worker. Please help me out (and friends, please, boost). I am offering copies of my book of devotional poetry–From The Prow Of Myth, signed, and mailed domestically for $11.00. (bit more int.) Let me know if you are interested and I will give you paypal info. The book is divided into three sections: one for the Celtic deities and heroes, another for Hellenic Ones (including Antinous and associates) and a third which is animist, local….

Or can order direct at Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Prow-Myth-Michael-Routery/dp/0615888127/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435205821&sr=1-1&keywords=From+the+prow+of+myth

CONTENTS A Brief Preface 4

I Fire, Water, Words

White-Kneed 9 Mac Lir 10 Arrival: Lay of the Tuatha Dé Danann 12 Brigid’s Mantle 13 Danu 14 Nuadha SilverArm 15 The Good God 16 Ogma’s Knife 17 Keeper of the Well 18 Boann 19 Bright Spots of Beauty 20 Brigid’s Flight 21 Great Queen 22 Sovereignty 23 The 365 Days of Miach 24 Beltaine’s Charm 25 On Lughnasadh 26 Samhain Bed 27 Mac Oc 28 The Plain of Macha 19 Manannán’s Pool 30 Fionn 31 Finntan’s Salmon 32 Cú Chulainn’s Donation 33 Astray (for Suibhne Geilt) 34 Gate of May 35 Of Myrddin’s Station 36 Radiant Brow or Wisdom From a Salmon Weir 37 Cernunnos 39 2 Artio of the Bears 40 Gleaning For Arduinna 41

II Flowers, Wine, Mirrors

A Prayer for Earth 45 Eros Unloosed 46 A Grammar For Aphrodite 47 Cave-Born Zeus 48 I Sing of Hermes 49 Pan 50 The Key Bearer 51 Persephone’s Vintage 52 The Tiger Swims (for Dionysos) 54 Labyrinth of Mirrors 55 Erigone 57 Wine-Haired 58 Retinue 59 Serving Magna Mater 60 Mistress of the Animals 62 Hippolytus 63 For Apollo 64 For Herakles 65 Iolaus 66 Hylas 67 Ganymede’s Rapture 68 Flower Anthology 69 Western Sunrise 70 The Lion and the Lotus 71 Hadrian and Sappho 72 Balbilla to Sabina at Memnon 73 Hermes’ and Aphrodite’s Child 74 Drift of the Nymphs 75

III. Dancing on the Brink of the World 3 Suibhne Again 79 Viridescence 80 San Gregorio 81 Crabapple 83 Lava Flowers 84 When Birds are Gods 86 For The Oaks 87 Deposition of the Ancestors 88 Queen Califia 89 She Drums the Bay 90 Spring on Mt. Tamalpais 91 On Mt. Pinos 92 At Medicine Lake 93 Orpheus Outside 94 Glossary 97

Also for $25 I will write a praise poem to One of your choosing. And all contributions greatly appreciated! Study is part of my piety; there’s a lot of research behind much of what I do, please help me out, yadayada….

Bith’s Boat and Others

I’ve been playing around with writing some poems (in English) using traditional Gaelic forms/meters. Here are a few including a humorous rain prayer. Far from perfect but hopefully amusing. Robin Skelton’s Samhain and Other Poems in Irish Metres of the Eighth to the Sixteenth Centuries is a great source for learning about these meters.

First a cosmological one.

Bith’s Boat: A Breccbairdne

from the beginning

the waters lapping

quick the craft gliding:

the dream is sighted.

always waters moving

the dark sea pierced alight,

above, rowers sitting,

quick oars pulling aright

toward unknown shorelines.

the unmade lands wait called

from deep vision’s guiding,

they drift through seaweed called.

In the eyes of boatsmen

a shore yet emerging,

shuttled across ocean

forward from the beginning….

Breicbairdne is 5 syllables in first stanza, then 6 syllables, with 2 syllable end words (yeah, I cheated a bit).

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Rannaigecht of the Shades

The cobwebs guard these old doors,

ghosted footsteps sound these boards,

spiders furrow shafts alight,

ligatures of sorrow moored

long ago, the faintest weave

of past lives shuddering give

motion to whirring ethers,

my breath stirring their wills brave.

Whispering now their dark redes

awakened by my spilt blood,

these wights, wronged in hoary ages

tell me tales before the flood.

April 4, 2015

In rannaigecht the lines have 7 syllables and end in monosyllabic words,

with consonance in end words of lines 1, 2 and 4.

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An Indo-European Rain Hymn: A Casbairdne

Cow-eyed goddess, beautiful,

held stalled in cavernous

hall, She shining, delightful,

and milk full, by sonorous

dragon, greedy, unyielding.

Hid by clinging thicketed

boscage, the lair concealing

rain. Dare young hero arrayed

in valor burst unannounced

and pounce on winged brazened

malice and pierce, bellicose?

The wyrm now toast, unloosened

its grip, its reign defeated

in death, its mane deflated:

Milk flies from the cavity

and waters rise, boisterous!

A casbairdne has 7 syllables per line, which end in 3 syllable words. End words of 1 and 3 have internal rhymes in lines 2 and 4.