Cianaodh’s Corner #1

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My Bedside Altar

Different people come to esoteric paths for different reasons. Some are seeking instruction in the magickal arts or others with whom to practice them. Some are seeking connection with their gods, their ancestors, nature and/or earth. Some are interested in paranormal events and researching those inexplicable things which happen as one realm of existence crosses paths with another. In Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition we are interested in all of these things but if there was one thing I would have to point to as primary in our pursuit it would be the seeking of a connection with those Kindred through whom many of our ancestors experienced the world in which they lived. Through ritual, myth, songs and stories of the gods and other entities in whom our ancestors (all of our ancestors) believed as well as their observances of the cycle of life and the wheel of the year they placed themselves in balance and harmony with the natural world. It is my belief that we have to place ourselves into this state of balance and harmony before effective magickal working can take place. Further, I believe we are better able to observe and make sense of paranormal occurrences when we are in a mind state that is attuned with our environment. So, first and foremost, in Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition and in my own temple, Temple Of the Standing Stones, we focus on ritual and having both a reverence for and relationship with the Kindred in whatever way we perceive of them. I believe the concept of gods is one that is rather elusive for the mortal mind to fully comprehend. We all have our own experiences with something greater than ourselves (or not) and we all take away from those experiences what we will based on our own interpretations and world view. What I might call gods and goddesses, you might consider to be “the universe” or a “collective conscious” and that’s fine. My interpretation is not more or less valid than your own. The important thing for us is the sharing of the experiences and, together, contemplating what they might all mean.

We are seeking to develop a culture of our own through our gatherings at Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition. We like to get together frequently because we genuinely do enjoy one another’s company. We throw around the term “tribe” a lot because we do tend to see ourselves as part of an extended, spiritual family. Oh, we certainly utilize many borrowed elements from the modern Pagan revival which those who have read about or otherwise experienced modern Wicca or other Pagan practices will readily recognize. We mix in some parts of our own which our sisters and brothers of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition have created. We speak of the old stories and old gods of our ancestors in the present tense because we see them as living entities whose stories are not just something chiseled in stone and covered in dust but living stories still being written each and every day. We say that we are ‘Forging a New Pagan Path” and in our own way we are. We want to be accessible to, not only those who may wish to walk this path with us but also to those who seek to better understand and coexist with us as they continue to walk their own paths. For that reason, the majority of our gatherings are open to anyone who may wish to attend. Please do understand though that those gatherings held at private residences may have attendance limitations due to space considerations. But we want to be the folks you can talk to, hang out with and get to know without being told you have to come with a certain lineage or be initiated by a particular person before you can have a relationship with the gods of your ancestors. It is in your blood and in your spirit. We all have Pagan ancestry and you don’t need a go between to tell you it’s okay to speak with your ancestors. We are here to walk the path with you but we aren’t going to tell you that you need us to walk it for you.

That’s my two cents. That and about 4 bucks might get you a decent cup of coffee.

I’m Cianaodh. Have a Blessed Day.

Cianaodh’s Corner is a sporadically published series of opinion pieces from Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of Temple Of the Standing Stones and a founding elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition. It should be noted that because these articles are opinion pieces, the views expressed here are those of one elder of the tradition and may or may not reflect those of other elders or Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition as a whole. If you have questions, feel free to ask. I am always happy to clarify.