The Hammock Book Review: Sacred Actions by Dana O’Driscoll

I’ve spent some in reflection. I’ve wandered and questioned, not really sure where my place was. You may have noticed that I haven’t been around. I misplaced my drive to share the stories.

Then I got an email from Dana O’Driscoll.

I had forgotten that I had contacted her with my interest to review her book Sacred Actions. I’m glad I got that email. Beyond getting the opportunity to read this fantastic book, it reignited my desire to share the stories.

Sacred Actions isn’t your typical spirituality book.

Sure, it has a focus on the Wheel of the Year and references the traditional Greek elements of magic, but it’s incredibly open. While the author gives suggestions on what to perform for rituals on any of the special days, it is truly up to the reader to go with what feels right.

At no point does it feel like the author’s spirituality is shoved down your throat. Dana O’Driscoll is definitely not a gate keeper.

My favorite part is that, as you are celebrating the year, Sacred Actions makes you think. Every special day has a task that goes along with it, each celebration brings the reader closer to the Earth Mother. If you aren’t in a place where you can take drastic steps, the book points you in the right direction for smaller steps.

Any action is better than nothing.

I have read up to the point of the Summer Equinox and I look forward to celebrating throughout the year and deepen my connection to the Earth.

Thank you to Dana O’Driscoll for writing this book and allowing me to experience it and my thanks to You for reading this post.

Merry Met

My Head in the Clouds

Photo by Marius Ispas on

It has been a little while since I have written a post.

I have been looking into myself and trying to figure out what creative outlet I want. I have been trying to figure out if I want to write poems or songs or stories. I have been trying to figure out if anyone even cares about what I write besides me.

I decided I want to keep writing about my mythology and how my spiritual journey relates to the world. I have felt it evolve and grow as the moons have passed and it is time for me to start telling the tales again.

One of the reasons that I started on this path is an expression of freedom.

From the scriptures of the Abrahamic religions to the practices of Buddhists to the myriad of myths of the polytheists, they all talk about following the Old Ways. I mean to take nothing away from them, at the base, they have good principals and many good teachings. They have helped many people find their paths to spirituality.

The one thing that I feel is stagnation.   The Gods haven’t changed, just our perceptions of them.

Energy is constantly moving, it is transferred and its form changes, like water in a vessel.

One common thread in my mythology is that the lives of the Gods are short. They are stewards, constantly shifting in cycle, growing and learning and, in the end, dying.

But death is not the end.

Their energy goes back into the flow, the mighty river of energy that flows through everything.

One cannot dip a bucket in a river and collect the same water, not even if they pour the bucket out and immediately dip it back in.

The Gods pour their energy from the vessel and we scoop it up. We pour the energy from our vessel as well, until it empties back into the river to be scooped up again, mixed into the constant flow. It isn’t just death, I’m pouring from my vessel into the river as I write this to be scooped up into your vessel.

I learn things and my vessel changes shape and with it, the energy in the vessel taking the new form.

Good things happen when I write.

Merry met.

Waiting for Permission

I look for signs everywhere.

Well, I shouldn’t say I look for them. I see patterns in the chaos and the signs present themselves.

I’ll give you an example. When I drive to work in the morning and all the lights are red when I come to them, I have to slow down in some facet of life to take a look at it.

I was contemplating this while running on auto-pilot during an evening commute when I realized that the car in front of me was taking a long time to pull out at a stop sign.

Since I was heading home, I grumbled, “It’s not going to turn green!”

I got thinking deeper into it. After he stopped and made sure that no cars were coming, he could go whenever he wanted. It was like he was waiting for the stop sign to turn green.

This happens with alot of people in life. It happens to all of us actually. We get so used to being told what to do, that when the decision is ours we either don’t know what to do or are afraid. We are afraid to accept the responsibility of freedom.

There have been many times in my life where I have desperately cried “I’m open! I’m open!” only to have no idea what to do when I caught the ball.

We just have to recognize when we are at a traffic light and when we are at a stop sign. We also have to be aware if we are nearing a yield sign. That way we know when we have to wait for instructions or if we can go when it’s clear.

The Gods of Taen: The Mother

Softly she steps

The grass lovingly embraces her toes

Love moves with her

The Sun shines happily upon her

And the rain refreshes

The Mother is also faceless. She is every Goddess and divine woman. She is a part of us all.

I have said before that the Father is the embodiment of energy, he is an idea. The Mother is the embodiment of matter. Everything in existence is made of both, energy and matter.

The Mother is also the Earth. Everything we are made of comes from her.

My simple mind embodies this loving couple. I borrow the Wiccan idea of the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone when it comes to her. I see the energies of each as she lives her life throughout the year. Eventually gives her last energy to the Young God so he may defeat his Father, the Holly King, and assume his crown as the Oak King.

Then she rests until she is reborn with a new spirit.

This, of course, is very simplified. As I have said before, how my brain comprehends the incomprehensible.

The Divine mother, the Goddess is faceless, wearing masks throughout history. She is not greater or lesser than the God, because both are needed for existence. And they are not solely male or female, because both parts make them as well.

All is connected.

And just like the Father, the Mother’s life is also short.

This faith is living and evolving and the Gods are the spirits of life. They accept that their time is short, so they live to the fullest. This is why every year is not the same.

Each year has it’s own weather and growing conditions and happenings because each year, the essence is the same, but the spirit is new. The renewal holds off stagnation.

And it gives them an appreciation for life.

How short, the lives of the Gods

Thank you for reading

Merry met.

Horns on the Ground, Taen’s Myth of the Summer Solstice

He wakes
Warm sun shining on his face
His sun
Leaning to kiss his queen
Her beauty even stronger as a mother
Green leaves entwined in her hair
A day of celebration
His greatest strength
Horns on the ground, shedded
A shadow passing his face
He ignores it
He walks to a stream stream
Cups water to his face, it is like ice
He pulls back, the memory of his father coming to mind
He carefully gazes upon his reflection and sees the antlers now sprouting from his head.
In his beard he sees a single grey hair, the first sign that frost will come
He shakes off the water like a shedding skin
Banishing the thoughts, he prepares for celebration

I’d like to start by saying a special thanks to Paul A.T. Wilson of The Sacred Isle, in Twitter @TheSacredIsle for the artwork accompanying this post. It speaks to me in ways that I will talk about in a later post and it was great of him to create it.

The Summer Solstice is here. It is the longest day of the year. The Goddess has embraced motherhood and the God is at the peak of his power.
He is entering middle age as he assumes the darker mantle of the Holly King. In my poem this is represented by the loss of his ram’s horns and the sprouting of his antlers. The horns are his youth and virility and the antlers become a sign of his maturity and wisdom. Gone is the carefree youth and he begins to become introverted as he starts to face his mortality.
But he Solstice is not a day of darkness and gloom, but a celebration of life. It is a respite from the work of planting and preparing for the agricultural year as we begin to see the fruits of our labors. It is a celebration of what the Gods have given us through our hard work and love.
The lives of the Gods are short and before we know it his son, born on Beltane, will stand and assume his place.

What are your thoughts and beliefs?

Until next time,
Joyous Solstice

Merry Met

The Gods of Taen: The Father

Many masks worn

The Eastern Sun will rise

Many times born

And in the West dies

How short are the lives of gods?

I have started writing about my personal mythology, my relationship with my Gods and spirits. It is as eclectic as I am.

Growing up, we weren’t church goers. I believed in God, but that was about it. And that was fine with me because I was a clean slate and when I began to learn about mythology, I ate up all I could voraciously.

I was told by people that we had come so far from the times of ignorant pagans, bless their hearts.

I wondered why it couldn’t be the same God, but with different faces.

When I reached adulthood, I asked questions about faith. Why couldn’t evolution be the tool of God? Why couldn’t you see or hear God? Why didn’t we view God as a tyrant?

One day when I was doing a walking meditation at a hard time in my life, a deer stepped out on my path, brilliant white with an aura that glowed. I got comfort and I was turned towards a path.

After exploring a few paths, I found my path.

Sorry for that drawn out explanation.

I want to talk about the Father.

Existence is a duality. I view neither the Father nor Mother as more important as both are needed to bring life into being. The base line for existence is matter (Mother) and energy (Father).

All Gods are a face of the father and he rules with the Mother for a year. He is born on Beltane to the current Father and Mother.

I love the story of the Oak King and the Holly King and it speaks to me, so it is part of my mythology.

On the Winter Solstice, the Young God stands against his Father, the Holly King. The Mother goes to her rest and gives her energy to him and the Young God vanquishes his Father and is reborn as the Oak King.

The days get longer and his power grows as he waits for his queen to be reborn on Imbolc.

The two wed on the Spring Equinox when all things are equal and their son, the next Young God, is born on Beltane to much rejoicing.

The Wheel turns and the Father is at his most powerful on the Summer Solstice, but he is starting to show signs of becoming the Holly King. His beard shows it’s first gray and his horns are replaced with antlers.

At the Autumn Equinox, he is starting to be more introverted as he looks inward.

On Samhain, the veil thins as his attention is turned more to the Spirit World and he leads the Wild Hunt capturing any wayward spirits on this side.

And finally, unkempt and broken, he greedily clings to his throne as the new Young God, his son, stands to claim it.

How short are the lives of the Gods.

This is one part of my beliefs and it is a basic summary. My faith is living and therefore always growing and evolving and I feel it at my core.

It is how my mind comprehends the incomprehensible.

Thank you for reading.

Next week I will be talking about his companion and counterpart, the Mother, for she is equally important.

Thanks for reading

Merry met.

The Gods of Taen

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on

I raised my face to the sky

And felt the Father looking down

My bare feet in the grass

Felt the Mother’s embrace

My hand glided over the rough bark

And wrapped around the smooth apple

The crunch sang out the simple joy

And the juice laughed as it ran down my chin

Taen of Vessels

I was asked today if people like me pray. This was related to a thread where the other participants were saying things like “we are praying for you” and “you are in our prayers”. My response was just I’d say “you’re in our thoughts” or “sending out positive vibes or energy for you”. After all, prayers and energy are the same thing.

I was told it didn’t sound as powerful as a prayer.

As with everything, it’s all about context.

I have faith in the Gods and occasionally I ask for their favor, but I’m not ruled by them.  I am not equal or lesser just different.

I believe in the compassion and love of the God and Goddess because everything is attached to them. They are the embodiments of energy and matter, but I am not subservient to them.

If I went to a mountain top and sacrificed goats, it wouldn’t make the sun burn hotter or the ground more fertile. They just exist and do what they do.

On the flip side, I do give offerings to the God and Goddess, the spirits of my house and the spirits of my ancestors. I put out plates of food during feasts and welcome them around my fire.

I remember the first time I gave an offering to the spirits of the house that I live in. I felt their presence deeper and could hear them as they pondered this gift that no one had offered them before. It was new to them as they had never been acknowledged. My family was embraced by them and we can all feel the warming comfort the house gives us.

It is hard to explain the Gods and the spirits of our universe because we are not meant to understand them. Even with our amazing brain and all the scientific research our species has ever done, until our energy leaves the physical vehicle, we can’t truly understand.

We can only perceive it with what we have.

And we interpret the messages in the way that makes sense to us.

Even the most devout Christian cannot understand his God because he does not have the capacity to comprehend the true nature of God. That’s why He sends messengers.

I fully acknowledge that I can’t comprehend the energetic source, so I embody it differently. There are parts of my mythology that come from me because the stories just feel right. There are parts that are taken from other mythologies and tailored to fit what makes sense to me.

I don’t preach it as gospel. I understand the source of the myths. And I tell the stories not to make you believe or see things the way I do, I just hope you enjoy them and maybe reading or hearing them from me will help someone see things from a different angle or maybe help someone realize how personal the relationship with the divine is.

We are all connected and it is all beautiful.

Merry Met

Slip into the Multiverse

Credit: Duane Toops

Many Planes, many lives
Same energy, deep inside
The choices that we did not make
The chances that we did not take Other lives that we have led
All part of the cosmic web.

A conversation with my son recently led me to look at the multiverse theories.

People always talk about truth and reality, but few think about the subjectivity of reality. Confucius is supposedly quoted with “Wherever you go, there you are.” The only thing you truly experience is yourself. The world is always from your point of view.

When an author puts pen to paper and the story flows, is that idea not creating a world?

How well the audience envisions it is simply up to the ability of the writer to describe the world that they created.

The classic John Candy movie “Delirious” and “The Last Action Hero” with Arnold Schwarzenegger are just two simple examples in popular culture of people in their supposed realities experiencing an alternate reality. I love the irony that those are movies.

Who has cried when a beloved character died in a TV series that you have spent seasons with or sat in utter shocked when the noblest of the court is beheaded suddenly. We are energy beings flowing through a universe of matter. Our thoughts an emotions are waves.

When we create, we not only make something here, but we are a drop of water in the sea of existence, the sea of the multiverse.

Thanks for reading

Merry met.

Whose line is it anyways?

Easter’s coming and you know what that means.

Candy and eggs and ham and Pagans claiming that Christians stole the holiday.

I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine after I brought my paganism into the open. I called it a “non-traditional belief”.  He stated that it would probably be the most traditional belief. That conversation was about five years ago and it’s one that my mind goes back to quite often.

It really isn’t traditional. I have an eclectic practice. I have found things from many practices that feel right to me. They fit. Many things sync with my personal mythology that I thought about even before I heard them.

There are many paths that you can follow. Spirituality is one of the most personal and important aspects of ourselves.

I say it personal because you can believe what you like. I celebrate the Spring Equinox because I feel it is the joining of the Young God and the recently reborn Goddess. I celebrate Easter because I find the spirit of the Easter Bunny to be important. And I  like ham and deviled eggs.

I’m not trying to steal your practices or tell you you are wrong. We are probably just different. Which is awesome. A rainbow wouldn’t look as cool if it was one color.

So, enjoy the day. Stay safe. Maintain six feet and wash your hands.

Feel free to comment with any thoughts or if you’d like to share what your practice consists of.

Merry met

Art Imitates Life?

So, I began this blog with the intention of making my writing better. A long time ago, I wrote a short story and someone who had an opinion that I valued tore it to pieces. I have spent decades trying to get to a place where I am comfortable sharing what I experience in my inner worlds.

I wanted to find ways to flesh out my characters and their lives. Reading posts about National Novel Writing Month, I found people using Dungeons and Dragons campaigns that they wrote as a basis of their novels. I decided to pick up the Dungeon Master’s Guide for some ideas and I found something more.

I can see why all poor Will Byers wanted to do in Stranger Things was play D&D.

I understand why people play as an escape from the drudgery of our real lives. I reached the page that describes the Core Assumptions of building a world. They don’t recognize the wonder of our world. The Core Assumptions make up our world just as Campbell’s Hero’s Journey can outline real life. As Obi Wan Kenobi says, “From a certain point of view.”

These are the Core Assumptions of D&D and how they relate to our world.

Gods oversee the world: The Divine is a part of us as we are of it. While atheists believe there is nothing more, all faiths believe that there is something stewarding existence. The beauty of it is in all we see.

Much of the world is untamed: Since we have mapped most of the world’s surface and explored the oceans depths and even seen it from space, our world is mostly untamed. Those are the places that we either dream of visiting or are too afraid to go. Of course alot of the world’s surface is truly wild, any place we haven’t ventured is untamed.

The world is ancient: The Earth is widely accepted as being about 4.5 billion years old. As a species, we have been around barely a tick of the cosmic clock. Through archaeology, we have ideas of our history and past cultures, but it is all theory. There may even have been cultures that we know nothing about.

Conflict shapes the world’s history: Churchill may have said that history is written by the victors. Cultures conquer and assimilate other cultures. Governments rise and fall. Even great leaps in science come from war. Conflict truly shapes our history. Even evolution can be seen as survival of the best equipped.

The world is magical: This is my absolute favorite. The world is magical. It is such a simple phrase but incredibly powerful. People don’t see the magic that surrounds them everyday. Birth and death. Creation and destruction. The magic of brewing the perfect cup of coffee or even the magic of the little glass and plastic box that you keep in your pocket and may be reading this on. Magic hasn’t left the world, we just gave it a different definition. We just don’t see the same way as we used to.

I can’t wait to read this guide further and see how it helps me describe the OtherWorld that I experience.

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