Last Samhain during a powerful ceremony to honor the ancestors, i had a long talk with Ivan at his fire shrine at Dreamland. Ivan was at that time fairly new to his life in spirit, having left his ailing body a mere 5 weeks previously, yet he was and is very much at home in this realm. Despite my grief in losing his embodied presence, i smiled often as i sensed him dancing in ecstatic celebration of his freedom, with joy, humor and his huge heart beaming.
Ivan and i were partners in life, in work and in land. Our shared dreams, passions and skills manifested a home, a school, a stone circle and an amazing spiritual community that continues to grow.
During that Samhain ceremony Ivan shared with me his enthusiasm, encouragement and support of me stepping fully into leadership as Chief of the Green Mountain Druid Order. Although i had become his equal as teacher, director, and ceremonialist, it was still a big deal for me to hold this role solo. Ivan had a very large presence and it was easy for me to get lost in the shadow of his charisma. Will i be good enough? Strong enough? Smart enough? I spent the next the next three months processing his loss and preparing for this sacred honor.
I chose Imbolc as the time that i would become chief with and for my druid community. What a beautiful ceremony! With the blessing of the Green Mountain Druids in attendance, the goddess Brigid, and Ivan’s undying support, i felt truly held. I had the blue dragon spiral which Ivan had on his cheek, and Brigid’s triple flame tattooed behind my heart. I crafted an antlered crown to carry Ivan’s spirit which was used to pass his blessing to me as the next chief. I consecrated a new sycamore staff and was wrapped in a mantle blessed by Brigid.
At a time when we are seeing so blatantly what bad leadership looks like in our country, I intend to model a very different style of leadership. Here are some of the commitments i made during the ceremony.
As Chief of the Green Mountain Druid Order;
I promise to continue practicing leadership from heart, hands and head,
I value co-creation, circles and community.
I value networking with complimentary teachers, events, and organizations to encourage connection, engagement, perspective, and cross-pollination.
I continue to listen, learn and grow.
I listen to my mentors; human, ancestral and other.
I report to Dreamland, to Ivan, to the Divine, and to you, as needed and appropriate.
I apprenticed at Ivan’s side for 11 years and learned many things.
I know that this Druid School changes lives and empowers spiritual warriors who go out and change the world.
I commit to guide the order in alignment with our mission, to nurture its health, carry the dream, let it evolve, and manifest it.
I am committed to the sacred stewardry of the sanctuary that is Dreamland.
I am committed to uphold my students past, present and future of the GMDS.
I am committed to continue offering these teachings as long as there is interest and ability with the support of my staff, mentors and advisors.
I promise to do my impeccable best to serve the Earth, this school and community.
I know this is my path and I am deeply honored to serve in this way.
I vow by peace and love to stand heart to heart and hand in hand,
to heal myself and heal the Earth and bring the Sacred into birth.
Last week I visited the first full-sized stone circle I ever made. The day was windy with gusts that pulled on my jacket like a child trying to get my attention. The clouds were scudding rapidly overhead, and pools of sunlight raced over the countryside. This was the first time I had visited the stones since I had raised them nearly twenty-five years ago and I was nervous, as I didn’t know what I would find. Continue reading
The Journey Beckons…
Stepping out on the path of Druidry is a rite of passage from a so-called ‘normal’ life into a world of magic and mystery. Students whose motivation is simple curiosity or glamor will probably drop out quite quickly, because commitment is always tested. This leaves those whose vision is clear, whose commitment is strong, and who are ready to take on the gifts of the Unknown. It takes great courage and strength of character to drop the armor and make oneself vulnerable to the truth: the reality that would appear if it weren’t denied and imprisoned by our fear and inertia. Continue reading
It is so amazing to be back in Avalon! Sometimes I call it the land of Serendip – the place spirit reaches down and taps you on the shoulder. If you aren’t being chosen by the Wild Hunt, you can be sure that some sort of awesome experience is winging its way towards you. In my case, I had a couple of such experiences yesterday, and another one today. I say, “keep them coming, y’all!” And they do. Continue reading
Today in the afternoon I was seduced out of my cave by the sun. It poured through the window and sang a sweet song just for me, and, despite my resistance, I succumbed gracefully, slipped on my boots, and left the house. I walked along the main road until I turned left up Dodd lane. This pathway follows the ley line from Glastonbury Abbey, over Chalice Hill, and onwards towards Stonehenge. I climbed the gravel path, and rested awhile on a park seat. Continue reading
Thank you so much for all your good wishes for my journey to the UK. It has been a rocky few days, that’s for sure! About an hour before we landed in London, a stewardess informed me that my fanny pack with all my money and credit cards had been handed in to lost and found at JFK airport! Bummer! I landed with no money, although I had my passport with me. Phew! Continue reading
WE ARE DANCERS
Experiencing inertia, our fullness is empty.
Experiencing ecstasy, our emptiness is full.
Hearts open, we step out of our own way
And the Presence enters the pregnant space,
Moving our bodies in unexpected ways…
For we are Dancers.
After each movement, it dissolves back from whence it came, Leaving no trace,
Preparing the space for its next appearance,
And the next, and the next, into infinity.
When we allow ourselves to become empty,
We become the Gods and Goddesses we truly are,
Blessing the Earth with our Presence…
For we are Dancers.
~ Ivan McBeth ~
The element of Earth represents our Mother – Mater – Matter – Material – the planet Earth itself. It represents body and solidity. It represents permanence, stability, and security. Foundation. Reality. Normality. Earth represents the things you can see and hold, the physical aspects of life, and the process of manifestation. It is food. It represents ‘facts’ – those things that can be confirmed by others, by personal experience. Simply, it is the awesome act of simply being. Continue reading
In the summer of 1987 I was persuaded by my partner at the time to take part in a 5-day dance workshop led by an awesome shamanic dancer called Gabrielle Roth. At the time, I was emphatically not a dancer, and habitually avoided such confrontative activities. In fact, expressing myself through moving my body was a practice I associated with the type of torment so-called sinners experience in hell. There was only one problem: I was in love. Continue reading
By Ivan McBeth
Nearly 30 years ago my partner at the time dragged me fighting and screaming to a 5 -day dance workshop led by a remarkable person called Gabrielle Roth. My first impressions of her were of a thin, willowy woman dressed in a black leotard who possessed an awesome air of authority. When she danced, magic would happen. She became a mixture of snake, cat and bird all merged within a human body and she filled the space with beauty and power.
Her dance seemed effortless yet full of energy. It was spellbinding to watch her, and I was completely inspired by her magic. More than anything, I wanted to dance like her. I found out later that if I had said I wanted to dance like her, she would have said, “O.K. Then dance like you! Continue reading