Returning to the Earth

1280px-Acorns_falling_onto_the_groundFollowing on from my most recent post I find myself thankful for the dark evenings. This is unusual for me. Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will know that I’m a child of Summer. That my heart sings when I feel that first warmth on my skin in early Spring, and that I suffer from S.A.D. so last Sunday’s clock change has always been one of my least favourite times of the year. But here I am, travelling home in the dark, looking out at a dark garden at 5pm, and actually enjoying it. Weird.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t had time to get fed up with it yet. In truth I’ve always loved Autumn, and although many see Beltane as the start of Spring, and Samhain as the start of Winter, that’s never worked for me. To me Beltane is the height of Spring, Samhain is the height of Autumn, and Winter begins at the Winter Solstice. It’s Winter I have the real trouble with. January and February just bug me. I’ve tried to be a good Pagan and love all seasons but a couple of years ago I had to be honest with myself and admit that I would rather go and live in Australia for the Winter and come back late March.

But again I feel different this year.

I’m in the process of sorting out how I live my life – how I spend my precious minutes on this earth. It’s something I would recommend doing at least every other year. Old activities don’t always give way to new ones and soon we find ourselves full to the brim and completely stressed out. Even too much good stuff can do this. I’ve already made the decision that I want to write and record more than I have been. To do this some things have to give way, to make space. So to look at how we spend our time is really valuable, otherwise we can make a decision to do something new, and then find we don’t have the space to do what we want. That’s what happened last year, so this time I’m doing things right, and letting some stuff go.

DruidCast is staying. I love putting that together every month, as I do my eNewsletter, and writing this blog.

I’ve become a little disillusioned with Facebook for a while now. After reading Silver Ravenwolf’s fight to use her name on her profile when Facebook demand we use our ‘real’ names, or Venessa Vine, the anti-fracking activist who has had her profile deactivated by the overlords of Facebook who believe that she is a business and must convert her personal profile to a page (and subsequently pay for everyone to see her posts), to the fact that of the nearly 21,000 likes on my music page Facebook show my posts to an average of 1,200 (again, unless I pay) have made me reluctant to use the site as much as I have been. I can still see it’s value, but I’m getting concerned about the corporate attitude that is growing.

If you want to keep up to date with recordings, new songs, and concert dates the best way is still to subscribe to my email newsletter from the front page of my website.

I will be redirecting some of the festival and camps gigs I play into touring, so I’ll still play live as much, maybe even more than before, but in a different way. I will never stop playing festivals and camps, I love them too much, but I played 26 weekend festival gigs this year, which is maybe a little too many, and still think I could have time to write and record new music…

So I’m looking at the Autumn and Winter as returning to the earth. To be the seed buried in the soil, in darkness, dreaming its potential. Then next Spring to bring this new way of life into fullness, as shots reach to the warming Sun. As the leaves fall, and the lake becomes still once more, I’m taking this time to still myself, and to look into the waters of the lake, as the veil thins, and relish this moment, as life changes once more.

16 responses to “Returning to the Earth”

  1. Re Face book. My husbands’ sir name is an old East Midland name, we can trace back at least 300 years. There are a lot of Rainbows around here, we are proud of the name. When I finally decided to take the plunge and join Facebook , I wasn’t able to, I was asked to use my ‘real’ name!!!
    I could have used my maiden name, but why should I ? I cope without it.

    Druid cast makes my month, a big thank you,

    • That is crazy. It’s your name. This is one of the issues I’m having with FB right now. They seem to be forgetten that WE are their product, and without us they have no business. Time will tell how this pans out. Glad you like the podcast!

  2. Yeah Facebook is annoying now. Even on private pages you can’t be sure who saw what or if anyone saw it at all. That’s not communicating! At least if I talk to myself at home I can pretend it was to a dog or a tree (if it wasn’t actually to a dog or tree, which I often do). 🙂

    We’re rolling into summer here Downunda. I kind wish I could swap with you, though of course to say I am a winter person when our winters are so mild might be fooling myself. 😀

  3. Samhain for me is the end of summer, which in Florida is cause for celebration. We have rain everyday and heat so bad it drives in the house and kills the garden. Then we have to on our toes for the threat of hurricanes. We were blessed this year we didn’t have one. Summer for us is like your Winter in the north with all the cabin fever. We are beginning the best time of year. It is time for planting and hiking in the woods. Swamp lilies bloom like stars across the Everglades. It is my favorite time of year.

    • Sounds wonderful. I went to the Florida Pagan Gathering a couple of years ago in November and the weather was lovely. Have fun!

  4. I’ve always loved autumn! I, too, associate it with being “still” and taking the time to reflect, not to mention that pretty much all the clothes I buy somehow end up being much better suited for colder weather (even though I live in the deep southwest of the USA). But it does seem like I usually end up re-prioritizing my life and figuring out which activities need to go, and which can stay, during the Autumn, instead of during the usual Spring cleaning time.

    Samhain seems to have started for me this week – my organization is hosting/participating in four different events for kids to enjoy the fall season and go trick-or-treating, so my hands have been full of autumn-colored arts and crafts. It’s also finally getting cold!

    As usual, thanks for sharing! Very glad that DruidCast is staying.

  5. Samhain for me here in northern california, always has marked the autumn season. The oak trees, aspen trees, & birch trees all rich in golds, reds, & oranges, the mornings just starting to get a bit crisp, with it warming up in the afternoons & eveinings cooling off to feel autumn in the air. Beltain is also the height of spring here, everything in full bloom & green & fresh again. Im also a summer child as my bday is in june, i love the hotter weather midsummer brings. This year thanks tp your ladt news letter & this one im gona take the time to remember what is most important for the coming year. As my daughter prepares for the birth of twins, i also need to throw out the old & invite some new things in! Your news letters & druid casts that are always the height of my month, make me reflect on what things are needed & what can b discarded. Yes this is the time for turning inward & making way for new things, ideas & creative prosesses. Thank you damh for all the insiration u give to me.
    Blessed be & happy samhain

  6. Well, here in a very ‘balmy’ West Yorkshire, the autumn weather is behaving very strangely… should be cold and wet but it’s warm. Like you Dave, I am trying to rationalize my time and how I spend it. I’ve only very recently started to use Face Book to ‘talk’ to others – it is an ‘odd way’ to spend lots of time & I am starting to think it may well be that it is not at all a ‘good way’ to exchange pictures, messages and all sorts of ‘stuff’. Hum! /|\

  7. Damh, I used to feel the same about January and February and I also suffer from sad, but know I just think of this time of the wheel as natures “slow Cooker” the anticipation of the feast of new life to come. /|\

  8. I did befriend you on facebook a couple of years ago, after I read your blog. But I left facebook today and find myself reading your blog, saying the very things that have been crossing my mind.

    I didn’t doubt my decision for a moment, but if I had, I wouldn’t now. A blog is so much nicer and my life has taken on a new form and I just have to let go from the things that stop me from doing what I have to do.

    I wish you a blessed Samhain…never thought I would sweat this much in October in Dorking. xxx

  9. I forgot to say about the facebook issue, i do not use facebook, i never have. I feel there are better ways to connect with pagans & share things with. My only internet site i adore is pintrist! I have mostly pagan related boards. I have a board for pagan music that, damh u are the star of! U can have any name u like, unlike facebook. Pintrist inspires me to do alot of really cool & neat things, especially the pagan stuff. You should check it out, its really a nice way of communicating & such.
    Blessed be

  10. Just catching up on my blog reading, been a very busy Samhain!

    I also use to be like you about winter, Damn, suffering from sadd and going a bit crazy that time of year. I live in northern US where the winters can be especially brutal with up to 6 feet of snow and cold to freeze the strongest of hearts. And yes, January and February are definitely the worst! But I have noticed a change the past 2 years. I’m not sure if it is getting older or just finally resigning myself to it. Or maybe it is that I’ve finally realized somewhere deep in my spirit that we all need a time of rest and reflection, a time to dream and be still, just as our Mother Earth does. But this year I am looking at it a little differently since the last 2 years I didn’t have the problem. Sometimes all it takes is one little change in the norm to reset our psyches forever. Maybe this is the year it will all change for you. Maybe this is when you will reset your psyche. I think you are on the right path when you talk about using our time better. I surely have done that the past couple years as well and maybe that is one of the keys to winter wellness. I am an artist and from my experience we who are in any of the arts tend to be a bit hyperactive and have trouble being still for any length of time. I think some of the solution to the problem lies there.

    I wish you good luck in all this and will be interested to see if this is your year of being finally set free of the monsters of winter depression.

    • Thank you Carrie. I think I may have turned a corner when it comes to my appreciation of the darker months. We shall see. But at the moment the time of reflection is doing me good x

      • Yes Damh, I do believe it has a lot to do with appreciating the darkness and accepting the purpose of death in the wheel of life. Once I truly understood that without darkness there is no light and without death there is no life things started falling into place. And what is death but a space between lives to reflect on the past and prepare for the future, just as winter is in the wheel of the year. Happy reflecting to you! xx

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