Archives For Bran

What’s in a name? Or, for that matter, what’s in a thing?

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February 12, 2015 — 11 Comments

A Druid Out of His Forest

I’d meant to have a schedule posted as to where I’ll be at Pantheacon this weekend, so any of you fine folks whom I haven’t met might find me, ’cause I’d like to meet ye’.

Rather, though, let’s just try to run into each other, yeah?  There’s a few things I know for certain I’ll be at.  These include:

  • Patheos Pagan Blogging panel (Friday, 1.30pm)
  • Furious Revels (Friday, 5pm)
  • Gods and Radicals (Satyrday, 11am)
  • Turning the Wheel (Satyrday, 1.30 pm)
  • The Morrigan Speaks: Arise to Battle (Satyrday, 7pm)

Also, I’ll be intermittently helping Alley Valkyrie vend for Practical Rabbit during the daytime.

So yeah, come find me!  I’ll be the thuggish-looking tea-drinking guy who’s much nicer than he appears.

“By This I Am Made Restless, By This I Am Made Mad”

Pining, we wander the forests of desire.

For Brân

I mentioned this before, but I figured I’d mentioned it again.  Satyrday’s my birthday.  It’s also the feast of the beheaded saint Valentine.

It’s also a very great day to feed Ravens.  And Crows, Jackdaws, Magpies, Jays and Rooks.  It’d be kinda the coolest birthday gift ever, and in many places in the mid-northern climates, they’re eating in preparation for laying.

Peanuts or other large seeds or nuts are a great idea.  You can do it for me if you want; cooler if you do it for Bran, instead.  But either way, pretty awesome if you do it for them.

Thanks!  And be brutally well.




Sorry for the silence.

Some fun stuff, though.

Your Review is a Forest

My favorite living poet reviewed my book!

Mind if I say that again?  My favorite living poet reviewed my book! (She actually beats out W.S. Merwin, by the way).

And she had nice things to say about it!  But mostly, damn.

My favorite living poet reviewed my book!

Your Face is a Discount

Sorry.  It’s 2am and I’m working a graveyard shift in a residential facility for formerly homeless folks and an alarm went off and someone threw a cup of water at me and I’m on hour 17 or so of overtime, so I’m a bit punchy.

But yeah.  The book.  I forgot to undo the discount on Lulu, and actually the book’s sold awfully well since then, so I’m leaving it indefinitely.

When it goes on sale elsewhere it will be the list price, but it will always be cheaper for ye’ on Lulu.

Apologies, by the way, for those who’ve been awaiting an eBook version.  I…hmm.  I suck at technology and cannot figure out how to preserve formatting in .epub.  A friend’s gonna help me, and I’ll update ye’ when that’s all figured out.


The Melissa, Rising

So, remember that thing I did in Newgrange?  That one thing, you know.  Involved a piece of cloth and the light of rebirth and stuff and then giving something to some guy outside?

So…this article’s kinda funny.  Apparently graffiti bees have been showing up everywhere in one of the neighborhoods in Dublin.

Not guilty, I swear.

Kindness to Ravens

That reminds me, though.

Know how I said I asked some giants for help with something and they said yes? I also asked some corvids for help and they sort of said yes.

But I could use some help, because I want to do something for them.

There’s…this day coming up.  It’s my birth-day, which is pretty cool.  I’ll be at Pantheacon giving a talk with Alley Valkyrie on Radicalism and Paganism that day in California, far away from the corvids I know personally.

Also, that day?  It’s the day of a beheaded saint.

Headless saints are an interesting lot.  There’s St. Denis, for instance, supposedly beheaded by Druids on a mount in Paris.  Denis is a derivative of Dionysos, and that mount is Montmartre (the mount of the martyrs).  The Christians tell of how Denis and his buddy Eletherius (that is, “liberator,” of the titles of Dionysos) were beheaded, and Denis walked down the hill hold his head and prophesying for six miles until he finally fell down.  And then grapevines came out of his neck.

There are other headless saints, too.  Like Valentine.

And there’s, well–this god I worship who likes Ravens and Crows and Jackdaws and all that.  And he cut off his head when he was dying so he could give oracles and then protect people afterwards.


I was kinda thinking that it’d be brutally awesome if lots of people were to feed their local corvids on Valentine’s Day.

‘Intention,’ I’ve noted, is a little overrated in Paganism.  It gives us the illusion that our wills are somehow supreme and other things must obey us, including, say, crows and ravens.  Or gods.  Or children.  None of that really works as much as we like to think.

So–if you were thinking it might be cool to help some tea-swilling punk druid writer guy by feeding crows on Valentine’s Day, you don’t gotta go do it with ‘intention’ or spells or rituals or anything.  Mostly, just throw some unsalted peanuts within sight of some black-winged friends.  You can say ‘hello’ to them if you like.  They like that, I think.

You might not have noticed any corvids in your neighborhood.  They’re probably around (they’re around most places).  If you’re game, it’s a good idea to start looking around your neighborhood to find ’em.  If you don’t normally do that sort of thing, you might be kinda awed to see how many birds there are around you, even in the winter.

And then buy a bag of unsalted peanuts.  They gotta be unsalted.  Also, awesome if they’re still in the shell (it makes it easier for them to hoard them safely in danger rather than eating ’em all at once).  Why peanuts?  Well, they like them.  Also, it’s a legume native to the Americas.  And legumes are associated with the dead in all sorts of places.

If you’re not in the Americas, I’m not sure what to recommend, but there’s probably a suitable native-ish bean in your area they’d like?

So, yeah.  You in?

We got’s a month.


Apparently, I’m going to New Grange for Midwinter Solstice.

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That was a very long death this time.  I guess I needed to see the ladle in Her hand to get the point, because seeing Her sickle in the sky and greeting Her means something.

I forget.  I forget life while in death.  I forget the light in the darkness, just as I forget the darkness in light, forget death in life.  I forgot what I’d said.

The first night, collapse.  A death in life.  Myself everyone, myself their desires and fears, myself so fluid that I spilled upon the floor with my tea. And then the remembering why we need to forget to survive.  Life is the death of the eternal, death is its birth.  I remember, I forget.

I’d said yes, huh?  I forgot.


“See?” said a midwife.  “Her stars.”

In a vast field in a vast darkness, standing under that sea in which one day I’ll drown, a kind of death and all kinds of life.

A year ago I stared at those same stars and soaked the dry earth with tears, shuddering in terror at what would come, knowing the only answer I could possibly give, knowing how long that light had traveled to get here.



Desire again, and I’m always so surprised how much She’s there, too.

I’d been staring for awhile, I guess, until she asked, “what are you staring at?”

My reflection in the bottom of a twenty-gallon cauldron, I forgot to say.

I’d dreamt and forgot.  In a barn between desire and desired, I was making food.  Here in a barn hauling a steel cauldron to a hearth, between desired and desire, I was making food.  For Her, for them, before the fire came.

I know Her laughter so well now I’m finally beginning to laugh with Her.


Oh, You.  Standing at the gate, great king, straddling a river.  Started with a mistake with a cauldron.  These things happen, I’ve heard.

Wasted land, blasted.  How it is within reach but cannot be grasped.  What he showed me, what I keep failing to get.  What else I was shown and cannot understand.

I’ll get this part, I’m certain.  Carry your banner, perhaps, talk to skulls, ford another river for others and probably not drown.

The most present.  The least speaking.  Black-wings everywhere, those who guard the living, those who guard the dead, those dead and living who guard each other, and “this is not your death,” You say, and now I nod in assent.


And oh, hi!  You come back fucking hard, You know, and I with You.

Surrounded by women who were men, naked on a bed, wrestling with a woman who was man and is perhaps again, but also a woman, and I am also a woman and a man and oh, that music was absurd and You’re quite damn fucking funny with that stuff, You know.

It all wends and weaves back.  I without more wine beyond sweat and that seemed enough.  Re-threaded from desire into desire, and it’s all more than enough, and–

This one?

Fuck yes.