The Celebration of Awen (BMDO DP M1W2)

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wheeloftheyearContinuing my Black Mountain Druid Order (BMDO) Dedicant Path (DP), I am still looking at Awen, specifically the Celebration of Awen here in my second week.

While I am not going to do an intense study of the Wheel of the Year right now, I have been thinking more about the change in seasons and how the  circularity of it repeats  each year while we in turn get older and benefit from more experiences. The regular 12-month calendar that we follow does not seem to account for the change in seasons and as such somehow separates us from our natural world. Those of us living in an urban environment are already somewhat distanced, so following the druid (pagan) wheel of the year provides an opportunity to be present to the changes that happen in the natural world, along with traditional human and agrarian activities that follow it.

The part of the year that most resonates with me is Yule, due in part no doubt to how much Christmas is hyped and celebrated in our culture. The light in the darkness and turning point in the seasonal weather follows a tradition familiar since  child, and perhaps that is a useful way to adopt and adapt to what may appear new to many of us.

That the darkness is met with trees that are still green and fragrant, along with a fire that has a feel of safety and new life, makes the period of Yule even more significant. As I recounted how I celebrated Yule a few weeks ago, it is still alive within me, something that helps me to get through what otherwise could be a dark and difficult time of the year.

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The Meaning of Awen (BMDO DP M1W1)

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As I am starting to consider Awen while pursuing the Black Mountain Druid Order (BMDO) Dedicant Path (DP), I have been considering the Meaning of Awen here in my first week.

AwenAwen is a concept often represented as /|\ and loosely means divine inspiration or that which takes one’s breath away. I like to think about it as similar to The Force in Star Wars or Eywa in Avatar, something that is akin to inspiration or energy associated with an Aha! moment (cf. the resolution of a liminal period). Likewise, the life-force of awen can even be considered as a point of balance, something not always common in my life, or a sense of harmony in life and in the natural world.

Considering the questions to ponder for this first week:

1. What places in nature inspire you?
2. Do you have a favorite outdoor place? Why?
3. How does nature inspire you??

There are two places in nature that particularly inspire me. The first is a certain area of vines / trees that I regularly pass here in Manhattan that shelter a group of small birds. Walking by these early in the morning or just before sunset in the evening, the birds chatter away, coexisting with us humans while living their lives singing for joy. It always reminds me of the nature-oriented poetry of Walt Whitman, especially some of the lines in his Calamus poems where he vibrantly links humanity and nature into a seemless continuity. The other location that inspires me is a lines of giant pine trees in an upstate community I often visit, and this pine row offers a shelter along one side where the branches are high enough that one can walk 100 feet or so under them. This reminds me of a natural cloister walk, one that is living and breathing.

Hmm, come to think about it, both of these locations involve shelter or safety and trees. I never made that connection before . . . .

Nature inspires me with an energy; the birds that sing out and the trees that grow, all doing what they have always done with or without human meddling in nature (while we are still very part of nature itself, something to never forget). Nature always finds a way to continue, and I am inspired, as with awen, by the complexities of nature and how it is so very beyond me.

While seemingly beyond me, I am always linked with nature, never too far away . . . even when I am not paying attention to it.

The BMDO is an interesting new path for me to follow, and while I will not make any assumptions or projections for where it will lead, journeys begin with but a single step.

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Black Mountain Druid Order (BMDO) Dedicant Path

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BMDO_LogoAs I want to focus a bit more on my druid studies than I did in 2012, I decided to join the Black Mountain Druid Order (BMDO). As an independent druid organization physically based in South Carolina, it has a vibrant and growing online community that has attracted me in its focus on discussion around druidry with a practical application to life. In my limited experience, it has a distinctly American air about it in that it focuses on druidry in life and environmental / social concerns without constant references to ancient Celtic reconstructionist stories. I like the Celts, but their lives and stories lost in myth do not exactly speak to my experiences living in New York City.

While I am a solitary druid practitioner, I like ongoing, current, and frequent discussions about druidry. Much of this need is met from my involvement in The Druid Network, though I find an American perspective a nice balance to what I have been experiencing recently. To this point, BMDO is still relatively new for me, so I have decided to begin their Dedicant Path.

I am starting these studies with The Meaning of Awen . . . .

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