Home for a Wakeful World

 

BearDruid

 

Welcome.

Come in peace. Bring a story, a poem or a song if you have one.   Mostly, bring your listening.  You are being expected.

When people ask what I do, this is what I say:  I am devoted to restoring ecstatic awareness to us, to our relationship with nature, to our erotic and inspired being, and to our awareness as an integral part of sacred consciousness.

I focus on participatory, earth-centered spirituality rooted in place.  It’s an engaged road in life.

Like other animist paths, Druid awareness concerns how everything in nature is simultaneously sacred and mundane, and also intimately related.  I guide relationally-oriented experiences, exploring “direct” rather than “thoughts-about”  relationship.  (If it helps, we start with trees.)  The exercises bring awareness into our body, into deeply, deeply knowing that everything is sentient, where the sacred and the flesh live as one being, where the sexual and the spiritual become a one-heart path, where chaotic and confusing wounds meet healing, where a lit mind reweaves ethical awareness.  Along the path, we wake up.

As we listen, the earth speaks to us.  It has always been waiting for us.

I walk one path that has with five aspects:  sacred intimacy, ritual trance induction, ceremony, BDSM for healing and growth, and Druidry as a spiritual practice.  Apprentices choose what serves them best.  The five aspects sometimes overlap.

The goal is not to imitate me, but instead to find your own path for impeccable choices in your life.  I’m not looking for “followers.”  I trust your growth into being “carriers” of earth-centered spirituality.  I mean that knowledge isn’t to be held; it’s to be of service.  It’s like one of the songs I sing at the altar: Help me help you help me help you help everyone.

The dawning awareness of an apprentice morphs into a life-long weaving of consciousness, thoughtfulness, and responsiveness.  For Druids, this relational awareness can be characterized by philosophical astuteness, brutal honesty–even if compassionately delivered–, and by simple directness and clarity of sight.   We remember a saying attributed to Druid perspective:  Truth against the world.

But perhaps the most important, on-going, fundamental skill we learn is how to listen–how to listen as a participant within an enchanted (that is, a minded and myth-bearing) world.

In this way, we are not merely “in” the world, we are “of” it, and the smell of the land, the humming of nature rises as inspiration into our sight and vision.  It’s not all pleasant.  The journey can be arduous.  Old, old ways will be dropped off on the side of the road like dented pots, no longer useful.  We grow new bones and learn to walk with the muscular power of love.  Your life requires of you devotion as well as surrender of your ego. Somewhere in the movement of your awareness, you learn that love has teeth–which is to say, reverence is mandatory and beauty persists.  And therefore, teaching rituals will always take you beyond the status quo and into alternate reality as a practice in life.

All of our stories arise from that.  Stories in poetry, song, dance, theatre, mask and puppet-making, art, humming, musicianship.  Stories of service, stories of lust, stories of the wayward path, and stories of the gifted return.  Our creativity flows into us from the earth itself.  A land where the cauldron of death is also the cradle of life  Out of the mist our ancient stories return to us.  Back into the mist and into the land our life’s stories return, a gift felt as blessings to the generations yet to come.

Here in the city the chthonic gods of the land are absolutely everywhere.  We feel their stones, their mountain depths.  We are gripped by the gravity that binds us—with these bricks, concrete, glass and metal—to the land itself.  And everywhere we look, matters of soil and growth crack the façade of cement to expose the uncontainable wildness of nature.  The wild waits to be heard and wills the shell of our lives to be cracked.  The wind makes caverns; rain and snow fall through; lightning and thunder shatter human complacency to bring in rolling lessons about the shifts and tides of life.  Streams of water happen and are sometimes irreverent:  we are constantly learning to adjust to and abide by the ways of Mother.

Because, no matter its seeming permanence, or its seeming stable identity as The Big Apple, nature is in constant change:  it desires to dissolve, it wants to dissemble, to rot, to become the seed of the next moment.  Maybe it is no mistake that “The Big Apple” is the metaphor for this city:  apples rot.  And therefore this city demands of its people that they keep it in good repair to forestall its normal progression.  Does the city serve the people; or, do the people serve the city?  Are we separate from it, or an aspect of it?  Who is serving whom?

People are nonetheless only one aspect of nature.  We are thread-wound with every other aspect.  We arein continual meaning-making about this relationship from our feelings, and via behaviors both personal and social. We engage in acts of justice, reactions of emotions and feelings, responses of compassion or disgust, working out our purposes in alignment with our intentions and learning from them.   In this sacred place we name “city,” we create ritual and craft a truly earth-centered home.

In other words, to the question sometimes asked of me, “How can you be a Druid in New York City?” the only true answer is, “How can one not be?”  Yes, it’s easier out on the meadows and walking softly through the forests and meditating overlooking the lake.  We yearn for that.  At the same time, the work must also be done here.  For this Druid, it is an act of kindness (and kindness is so badly needed) to teach the ways of love here, on this land, with the spirits of this place that are here.

Here, with everything that might seem counterintuitive to many, we walk in raw awareness that the entire earth is the shaman’s table.  This website refers to this awareness and its practices.

If you wish to discuss or study Druidry or animism and what that might mean in New York City, the traditional way is to ask.  If you genuinely intend to study or become an apprentice, the traditional way is to hang out with the teacher…..schedules being what they are.   If you want to find out more, you can contact me through this site.

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4 thoughts on “Home for a Wakeful World

  1. Dear James,
    Lucille and I love your website. We’ve started the James Fan Club . Lucille is the president and I am the Vice President and recording secretary.
    Love, Linda and Lucille

  2. It’s wonderful to know that the East Coast now gets to know the wonderful magic and beauty that we have enjoyed for years. Blessings on this new adventure, James!

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