Merlin speaks of the old ways

Dear ones, I address you today to give you the courage to keep going. I know that these are tough times on the planet. I know that many of you are struggling under the weight of your own dramas, baggage and emotions – let alone the rest of the planets. I know many of you ache in your bones. You wish to go home. You feel old in many ways – ancient.  Many of you wonder why you came here at all.

I wish to give you this simple answer: because you hold the threads.

How many of you long for the old ways? How many of you wish for a simpler life, one that is in harmony with the cycles of nature and the stars? I know many of you long for the days of magick, even if it has been sold to you that it does not exist. You know it in your bones that it exists.

Many of you have walked this planet for lifetimes, you have lived and breathed a different way of being in the world. I know many say that the old ways are dead and that it is time to accept the new. That the old ways were burned out us a long time ago. This is not so.

The old ways do not die, they morph and grow. Yes it is a new energetic playground on the planet now and yes some of the old ways of magick do not work in the same way, but they are not gone. You came here to facilitate the change, you came here holding the threads of the old ways, to weave them into the new.

Take heart and allow the birth of a new era.

I AM Merlin

Lughnasadh and Consumerism

As we have become divorced from what it is to be directly in touch with our food production, or indeed the production of any of our resources, Lughnasadh can be a tricky holiday to fully relate to. Many will look to the aspect of the waning of the God or male aspect of the year, an honour and reverence for the changing of the seasons. For me in the climate I live in, an excitement settles in. The long relentless humid and hot days will begin to wane and with it comes the anticipation for the relief of cooler days.

However the idea of the harvest weighs heavily on me this year.

The last year has been one of both pulling weeds and sewing seeds (metaphorically) and as I look out over my field, I see that there is still another long year ahead of preparing the soil, weeding and planting. However, a great sense of accomplishment remains when I look at just how far I have come. And just how much I have learned in the space of a year. You could say in many ways, the last few years have been dedicated to my real education – not the one I learned in school or university. And this last year in particular has involved the application of my real education.

My real education has been one of unlearning. Unlearning behaviours that have been taught to us by society to be both acceptable and respectable, things that society was brainwashed by big corporations to aspire to. I have been unlearning consumerism and unraveling all the things that keep us chained to it.

Now what has this to do with the harvest? A lot actually. There was a point 2 years ago where I sat in my living room taking in everything in it. For the first time in my life I could say that truly, I had enough. My 20s had been a whirlwind of study and collecting things for my home and although my furniture is shabby in comparison to the photos in glossy magazines and on television, I had everything I needed. A fully stocked and functional kitchen, all the comforts and furnishings you’d expect in a living/dining area (minus a TV or “entertainment” unit). A wardrobe stuffed to the brim with clothing, a study complete with desk and shelves overflowing with books.

I remember sitting there feeling quite empty. Is this it? I was raised, like many of us are to go to school, get good grades, go on to do further study, find a job, make money and furnish a house (perhaps get married and have children too). You don’t really think too much on it when you are in the midst of excitement of gaining independence as an adult and studying for your future career.

Then you spend a few years on the treadmill, going to your job, making money, paying bills etc. I knew, as I looked around my living area that this was the point where I was meant to upgrade my student furniture. “So this is what life is? Working to upgrade my possessions until I retire?”. It wasn’t adding up.

Something was nagging at me. And it took a little while for it to settle in. A complete disconnection from creation. Who made my furniture? Where does my food come from (besides a vague “made in Australia”)? Who sewed my clothes? And while we are on that path, how is fabric even made? And the biggest question, why do I have none of these skills? Skills that would have been taken for granted only a century ago.

Then it drops in completely. I have been trained to consume, not create. I am completely and utterly reliant on a network of corporations and businesses. What happened to community? How can we actually appreciate the true abundance of the harvest when we have no idea where the harvest came from or what went into creating it?

And so as it goes, one must begin questioning. What have I been taught to “need” and what do I actually need? What can I create or learn to create? How can I support my local community? My future goals include learning permaculture, so then perhaps a Lughnasadh in the future, I can celebrate my own physical harvest. Mother Earth gifts us many things, perhaps this is a good time of year to put aside the incessant wants programmed into us and appreciate what we have.

Summer Solstice

It’s that time of the year and the summer solstice is once again upon us. This has always been a special time for me, as a kid the presence of the faeries was so tangible and there was magic in the air. As I got older and went through my phase of shutting down my intuitive abilities, I had put those feelings down to my imagination, because I had been so convincingly told that Father Christmas was coming.

I now know different. And once more that bubbly feeling of excitement comes to the surface, as I feel the veil thin and the faeries make their presence known.

This time of the year hasn’t all been excitement though. As the years go by, I feel ever increasingly dragged down by the expectations of Christmas. Voicing this opinion, has this year gotten me labelled as a “Grinch”. But when I look around, I see consumerism gone mad. I see and experience stressed people as they fight themselves and others to consume everything for the “perfect” Christmas (as prescribed by advertisers). And the more I see people consume unnecessarily, the more I weep for Mother Earth.

I will admit, this Solstice season has made me quite reflective in a number of ways. Beyond being a solitary druid at Christmas time and wishing I could skip Christmas and escape to the forest. I have been thinking on the wheel of the year and what it means for us in the southern hemisphere. In Australia, the wheel of the year looks a lot different to its traditional roots back in the UK. And then depending on where you are in Australia, it is different again.

Where I am, the Gold Coast, there aren’t 4 distinct seasons. It’s warm most of the year round and our winter would be laughable to a lot of people. When I often read about the wheel from a northern hemisphere perspective, I often see the summer solstice as a time of great warmth and celebration, a respite from the darkness that is winter, a celebration of the sun before the days once again get shorter.

When I see the summer solstice come around, I know the days are only going to get hotter, unbearably so. It is as if the male aspect of the year gains momentum and as much strength as possible, to only go out with a bang at Lughnasadh, with February being our hottest month.

Being in the subtropics, it is also a time of storms. My friend and I got caught in one of the biggest storms I have ever experienced while hiking at the O’reilly’s end of Lamington National Park last weekend. Day gave way to night, the heavy rain began and then marble and golf ball sized hail pummeled us. Upon exiting the forest, we got a spectacular display of lightening which was not visible through the canopy. It is these moments that humble you to nature. And it is this time of the year where Mother Nature will display her power.

I will admit, I have spent many a year pining away for cooler weather, fantasising about heavy coats and fireplaces. But there was something in that experience last weekend. Two days later found me floating in one of the creeks that connects to the Ocean. From my vantage point, I could see where the still water met the mouth of the ocean, the great crashing waves, the contrast. I felt the coolness of the water and the heat of the sun and watched as a school of tiny fish swam around me. I reflected on my time in the storm and realised how unique the land I find myself living on is.

She is harsh, yet beautiful and I am filled with gratitude to be here.

Living by the wheel of the year is so humbling. It connects you to the now and to the rawness and realness of where you are. It is not about following books, it’s about adapting to your unique landscape. And perhaps that is something for us in the southern hemisphere to reflect on this time of year, as we walk through shopping centres and malls decorated in a winter theme in the height of summer.

~ Fox Robin