Photo by Charles Elliott
Pagans on the Path
Shelby Harras of Burbank is a Neo-Pagan Druid and member of Raven's Cry Grove
Nature is actually the point of my practice; seasons ebb and flow, trees give gifts of ancient knowledge, and animals shine grace on our world.I search out places in nature, like our national and state park systems, or our state beaches to spend time with the sacred. I give offerings of thanks while in nature. I want Earth Mother and the Nature Spirits to know that I value them more than anything.I make a yearly trek to Joshua Tree National Park for my birthday. The desert breathes fresh air into my life. I revel in a sky actually filled with stars, instead of a dull haze of city lights!
Nature reminds me of our Oneness, of our interconnection, and of our daily source of existence. Nurturing a connection with nature keeps me in the remembrance.
One way I nurture this connection is I greet the trees, plants and flowers. I greet the sun, the earth, the sky, the air, and the waters. I contemplate; give thanks and appreciation to them for their gifts, their medicine, their beauty and role in our life.
It has inspired songs and chants I call Songs of Remembrance. I drum and the drum strokes represent the four elements.Nature offers wisdom, messages, beauty, awe, medicine, remembrance and inspiration to my practice.
Nature is in everything I practice, especially the elements. When the elements are respected then they will respect you back.I use herbs. One example is having lavender under my pillow to relax and bring peaceful dreams.I do stone work. Particular stones and crystals have certain properties that can really help a person and even influence moods. That is why I carry or wear particular stones on me all the time. I use garnet, black tourmaline or tiger's eye for protection when I know I am going to be in a questionable area.The examples are endless; it (nature) is an essential part of my everyday Pagan practices.
As a Pagan and aspiring Priestess of Artemis, the Goddess of Forest and Glade, I watch the moon and its phases daily.Once on a beautiful, warm September evening, I observed the full moon and worshipped the Unknown Ones who created the moon, stars, entire Universe, and me! I danced to give them thanks.I have learned so many names of the Moon Goddesses, so many myths and stories, theories and theologies — but I still don’t know where I stand in all of this. For a Pagan, however, the quest is never ending and “not knowing” is as important as being “sure.”
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