I had the opportunity to attend and present at the 13th Annual Conference on Current Pagan Studies this past weekend at Claremont Graduate University, and it exceeded all my expectations!
Not only gaining valuable insights into questions related to my research in process, but I also had the pleasure of meeting some people whose work I have read, known, and discussed outside the conference but never met in person. Likewise, I believe I now have a new group of colleagues, without whose support and engagement I would not be able to sustain the academic work I have started doing in the area of Pagan Studies.
I wanted to share a couple themes that I found throughout the conference, in part as my own meaning-making process. While this list Continue reading “13th Annual Conference on Current Pagan Studies Take-Away Themes”
As a seemingly inclusive nod toward the practice of religious and spiritual practices, the Awen symbol that often depicts Druidry, is now an approved image for Government-furnished headstones or markers per the Veteran’s Administration (VA). First reported via Circle Sanctuary’s Lady Liberty League, this information is now on the official U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs website.
While this is now #65 of the symbols that have been approved, it is even more than that — it is an official United States acknowledgement that Druidry is a real practice. While those of us who are members of The Druid Network or the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) or even the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA) may not be surprised given how our members seemingly increase as the threats to the stability of the environment are pushed to the breaking point, it is satisfying to be in a country where religious expression is free and protected and even officially approved for public cemeteries.
I wonder how many Druids who are not associated with the military will use this action as an encouragement to do the same when our time comes?
I took the plunge and bought my flights for PantheaCon 2017 next month. Will be my first time at this gathering (or any large, formal, pagan gathering), so expect to have more to share about it. Not sure where to begin, between fears and hesitations and uncertainties, but that is what being a Druid is all about — listen to and embrace the energies in nature to help us face the simpler human issues that we (far too often) create for ourselves.
Onward to PantheaCon!
I took the plunge in 2016 and took two courses at Cherry Hill Seminary — Paganism and the Body (taught by Christine Hoff Kraemer) and Living Systems (taught by Wendy Griffin).
The courses just ended so I am still processing the experiences, but I am thankful for the article in The Wild Hunt that alerted me to some of the challenges Cherry Hill was facing and, more importantly, that they offered such rich, diverse, intensively academic, and solid courses at all. I had not really thought about studying for another master’s degree, but I had such fun taking these two courses and, even though they were both much more work than I expected, found them so rewarding, that this just may be a 2017 goal of mine.
Hmm, what to take in the spring . . .
Just when I thought we were going to come to some resolution, at least on some levels, I feel more disoriented than ever.
I try not to get too involved in the political process, though must confess I am shaking my head at the election results. Short of being thankful at least that our new President Trump is not an Evangelical Republican, though overall I am just disoriented having a president who was elected through a constant pounding on those who were somehow different (gender, belief, race, class, ethnicity) without giving much of an indication of what he stood for. Without knowing what he believes or likes, I really cannot have any sense at all in what direction we are going to go.
Then again, is this really different than other areas of our lives, such as with the stock market, employer decisions, and general health and well-being? Nothing is guaranteed, and perhaps it is the permanence in nature (stones with their strength and weight and age resonate with me) that we need to rely on when little else makes sense. Change happens, and we can only manage our own reactions to it.