I pen these words to my Brethren,
That newly met family that has touched my soul.
With perfect love and perfect trust
You let me into your hearts.
I pen these words for my Brethren
In honour of what we shared.
Together honoured our Gods.
We Bore witness to love,
And wove our live’s, lust and desire in a tapestry;
Blessed it with our May Pole’s fun.
I pen these words in honour of my Brethren,
And raise a glass to you too,
Those whom I’ve just but met.
And though it is time to depart
To Say Goodbye,
What we shared these past few days
With stay within us all.
Hail to My Brethren – Blessed Beltane!
I am not sure words will do justice to the experience that I had this past weekend. I have spoken before on this blog how I have felt at pagan gatherings, and the after glow of the gathering that stays with me. However Beltane…blessed Southern Beltane, was something else. I am truly blessed to have been part of the magick that was created over the weekend.
The setting was a beautiful outdoor school in the hills of Adelaide. I have never been to Adelaide, a southern city in Australia, and I think I have fallen in love with it, which just adds to the overall feeling I have following the wonderful weekend.
As is my usual custom, I am quite nervous when I attend Pagan gatherings. I still get butterflies in my stomach. I am always worried about how I will be received by the rest of the community given that I am fairly new to the community, despite the number of public gatherings I have attended this year (Beltane brings the number to 3). What’s more, this would be a gathering in another state yet again, will a hell of a lot of people.
I shouldn’t ever worry though. I should know already that the pagan community is nothing but welcoming and accepting. The moment I arrived to the registration table I was greeted with a hug and a kiss from 3 different people whom I had been corresponding with via email prior to the actual event! A great way to commence the rest of the weekend.
The weekend was jammed packed, and I will no doubt be writing a few blog posts from the inspiration I have gained from the experience. Right now I want to share the experience from the men’s workshop that was run by Damh the Bard.
First I want to say that I love the Goddess – clearly as Isis is my matron. I love the fact that as pagan we can get together and worship and honour together the divine feminine. After centuries of oppressive patriarchy, this is a beautiful thing.
However, there is not the same reverence of the God, of the masculine regenerative energy in life and the cosmos. As a result, as men (and pagan men) we are lost. We are lost to ourselves but also to the roles that we are able to occupy, as a result of some of the negative and destructive stereotypes that we are fed by the over-culture. We’re not provided with a space in which we are able to truly speak from the heart, truly express ourselves. To truly express what we think, what we feel, masculinity is, and how we conceive of the divine masculine. When men do speak, it is unfortunately more often than not negativity that comes forth from them, as a result of the imbibing of all that is corrupting about our over-culture.
At this workshop however, we were given that safe space.
I have already written about my feelings towards masculinity here. Needless to say the workshop was perfectly timed and exactly what I needed, and was right on point in relation to the personal development I have been going through this year. As men we sat and spoke from the heart about our experiences. Some were negative, some transcendent, some positive, but all honest and true. Each of us was part of a container that supported each other. For some of us, I feel that this would have been one of the first times that we truly felt supported and loved by our male brothers, particularly the men amongst us that identified as gay, given that our lived experiences are usually marked by rejection from other (heterosexual) men.
I felt honoured to be part of a group of such courageous and honourable men, and having listened to the experiences of some of my male pagan elders. What the experience reaffirmed to me is that masculinity is not a defined, static concept. It is a lived process that is experienced differently by each and every man on this Earth. There is no perfect man exuding and living perfect masculinity….it’s bullshit.
Once we all shared, Damh took us through some bush skills. We went through the skills of the Hunter, and the Warrior Given the current climate; we couldn’t go through the skills of the Fire maker. Finally we ended with a chant that would be part of the main ritual later on in the day. I share it now, and I feel it sums up what I learnt about brothers and myself this past weekend.
I am the life giving sun
I am the tree on the mountain
I ma the voice of the ancestors
I run with Beast of Claw
I fly with bird of Wing
I am man
I am the God.