A Druid of European Descent in North America

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Oona
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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by Oona » 16 Mar 2013, 02:07

I can identify with so much that is being said. I want to immerse myself in nature, I just don't spend enough time outdoors alone just "being." I hope that will help me with connecting with the land. Living in a highly urbanized area I am afraid of being a woman alone in the "woods" for fear of being assaulted, etc. Plus our law enforcement is wicked uptight about things like being in a park after sunset or small fires, etc. So my "nature moments" are often superficial. It's weird, when I used to smoke cigarettes I felt much more "connected" but that was just BS and probably because I was compelled by my addiction to be out at all hours of day and night and in all weather. Stars help - even though there are so few visible - they instantly draw me into being in flow, if I let them. So, I don't know if these are challenges that might make others feel disconnected from the land here, or if these issues are faced by others in Europe as well. I have no idea what the assault on women issue is there, or if I have a higher fear of it than other Americans. Of course the news doesn't help - they've actually broadcasted video of several attempted rapes in the NYC area where I live. Creepy. But now I am rambling so forgive me. Just thank everyone for commenting! :cloud9:

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Aphritha
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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by Aphritha » 16 Mar 2013, 03:46

Oona wrote:I have no idea what the assault on women issue is there, or if I have a higher fear of it than other Americans.
I'm an American, and it scares me too, though not just assault because I'm a woman, but because I'm a lone human. In my experience, gender isn't as much a key to getting attacked as just being in the wrong place at the wrong time and outnumbered/overpowered. It keeps me from being out as much as I'd like at times, too. You're not alone.
Maybe if taking cigarette breaks made you feel more connected, you could take 'nature breaks'...just a set time each week that you'll go outside(even if just outside your home) regardless of the temperature/weather and just sit for ten minutes.


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Oona
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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by Oona » 17 Mar 2013, 00:35

Thank you Aphritha. I appreciate your commenting. I like the nature breaks idea :warm: :-) Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

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Branflakes
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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by Branflakes » 20 Mar 2013, 03:46

Being of mixed European descent, living in Kansas sometimes I get the feeling of "How can I connect to the land? I don't even know what the natives of Kansas believed." But I don't have to know; I approach the land as the Earth, a place where many cultures are born and coexist and die. And finding spiritual land in the smack dab of flat-as-a-pancake Kansas seems like a formidable task. But one of the most beautiful places I've seen in the US is in the center of Kansas, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. It's acres upon acres of flat, tall grass stretching from horizon to horizon. It's absolutely beautiful and makes you feel like on an uninhabited planet of grass. It's easy to forget the worries of mundane work-life, easy to feel the connection with the land. It's not about my heritage or bloodline, for me. It's changing my attitude towards the land and how we can connect with it.

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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by Oona » 26 Mar 2013, 03:09

Thank you, Bran. I can imagine the tallgrass prairie you write about. Thanks for sharing. Happy Spring. :rainbow:

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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by WildOak » 17 Nov 2013, 22:07

StephenThomas wrote:I belong in this universe. I belong on this world. Sure I have Scot blood in me, but I don't have to go to Scotland to feel connected. I only need to touch the earth and I'm connected. The earth is my home. The latitude and longitude don't matter so much anymore.
Thank you so much for this. I don't even know my ethnicty, other than a vague "European", and as a result, it always felt like I don't belong anywhere, and that's very lonely. What you said, it helps a lot.

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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by DaRC » 18 Nov 2013, 13:59

Maybe a tree meditation I had will help. To set the scene I was travelling my local Sussex landscape at Alban Heruin and stopped at a local old Romano-British temple, which is now a copse or grove, for meditation whilst sat inside a tree trunk...

The ancient Beech presented herself to me. This was a tree, one of the few who had survived the great storm of '87 now hollowed with rot and the gnawings of insects. Just like Yggdrasil suffers the gnawing of the creatures around it. Her hollow hid my trunk from the Southwesterly wind and cold damp air to sip some water, snack on trail treats and perform my second meditation. The initial thought was upon time and how now, 25 years later, the holes in the glorious grove have almost healed with the growth of the saplings planted to replace the trees lost in that storm. This led to how this Grove has been constantly in my sight for the 46 years I've lived and how she led me to understand the silliness of human racial perceptions; this old Besom wise tree held me and saw past genetics...
So she asked me about the air that I'd breathed, the food that I had eaten and the water that I'd drunk.

Where are these things from she asked? Sussex, mostly, I answered.
How often does your human body replace it's cells? Regularly I answered, over a period of years.
How many years have you been in Sussex she asked? All my life, mostly, I answered
So what are you made from she asked? Sussex, mostly, I answered.
So why do you worry that you're not from Sussex? Because I was not born here and my parents and grandparents and their grandparents were not born here I replied.
But you are made of Sussex she answered firmly. Thank you I replied.

So there was my the answer it's not race or creed or any of our human petty tribal differences that decide where you are from but the air, fluids and food that make you!
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by CorvusCrow » 25 Nov 2013, 17:42

I feel a disconnect but not a crushing one.

From my family research I am of Manx origin, and our relatives came over here to the US in the 1850's. I don't really claim to be Manx as I'm not full blood and didn't grow up in the culture but it seems the earliest relative I can find is Manx. I'm also Irish/Scot as it seems like my Manx relative married an Irish/Scottish woman. Somewhere along the line my Manx/Irish/Scottish relatives married into German families.

My makeup (last name):
Crow=Manx (our "e" was dropped when we got here)
Marcum= English
Mac Enchroe= Gaelic (earlier form of Crowe from my research not sure if Irish or Scottish)
Schermerhorn= apparently originated in Holland during the Prussian Kingdom.

My mother's side is Crowe, my Father's side is Marcum, my Grandmother's is Schermerhorn.....Mac Enchroe is strange because it seems that some of the Crowes I found were listed ast "Crowe' in some places but "Mac Enchroe" in others so not sure what to make of that.

These seem to be the 4 families that I originate from.

So, while I feel a bit of disconnect being born and raised here, not growing up in the cultures that make up my surnames and having never even been to the UK I still feel connected by blood. I'm hoping to make a trip to visit the towns our family came from and see some important sites Druids would want to see. Perhaps that will help me connect better.

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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by WildOak » 26 Nov 2013, 19:25

DaRC wrote: So what are you made from she asked? Sussex, mostly, I answered.
So why do you worry that you're not from Sussex? Because I was not born here and my parents and grandparents and their grandparents were not born here I replied.
But you are made of Sussex she answered firmly. Thank you I replied.
That is true, and it is a wonderful way of looking at it. Thank you for sharing that.

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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by JayD » 28 Nov 2013, 16:42

I've been carrying on a similar conversation with a reconstructionist lately. He's obsessed with nice neat divisions of our cultural past, yet we all know blood has always mixed among tribes. As an American, even though the largest portion of my blood comes from Ireland, enough of it comes from the rest of the british isles to plant me firmly in the "Mutt" category. A small portion is also native american, but I have no connection with that heritage.

I've worked with my own land, planting trees, flowers and vegetables using customs and rituals I've learned from over the pond and have never felt like it was odd. It would be more odd if I took the local native tribe's practices. It would feel foreign to adopt other (native) practices just because of where I stand on the Earth at this moment.
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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by Aphritha » 28 Nov 2013, 22:43

As time has gone on, and I've learned more, I've become more and more convinced we're all mutts. On any continent, there are so many groups of people that migrated to who knows where over so many different time periods, I think it would be near impossible to claim any one land as one's own. as there's no way you could really trace your hertage back that far.
To me, it seems like one's ancestors are whomever an individual feels they inherited part of their being from, even if they cannot trace their blood to it. After all, who knows?


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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by deepwater » 13 Mar 2014, 23:34

Yes we are a wide spread ppl now,,I for one have felt a hole in me,,Almost 55 years ago I learned of my Druid history when my grandfather was banned from taking me along on his many trips to the forest,,I was coming of age and my mother would have none of what granddad was teaching me and I learned that I came from a long line of Druids that goes back many generations and with every move forward to another country we lost some of what we knew,,our conections to the land the Groves the ancestors,,,the sacred places where as we matured our minds were allowed to grow and open,,He died in his late 90s talking of wonderful and special places that his father and grandfather taught him about,,this was 45 years ago,,im not sure how far back that would take me but most all my parents and grand parents died in their mid to late 90s,,Sooooo maybe 300 years of only second hand knowledge ??
Through my eyes you still see,, Through my heart you still live ,, For as long as i have breath you will sing,,Thanks Mom

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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by Brân Gannaid » 02 Apr 2014, 04:04

Since my mom is half Lakota, a northern American tribe, I've grown up being exposed to this culture as well as the northern European one in the area where I grew up. One of my close friends is a shaman, who grew up in Panama, an indigenous child adopted by an American couple. We've found that what I've been learning in Druidry is very similar to what she has been learning in her training. Much of our practice is very similar, and my mom indicated that she would like this friend to give her eulogy someday when that time comes.

I've visited my European ancestors' home countries: Scotland, England, Wales, and France. What really hit me was how pure genetics are. We've come across towns where my father's genes were obvious everywhere. In Wales, I saw firsthand how genetics had shaped my maternal grandfather. And in Port Augustus, Scotland, the pub owner could have been my husband's twin. My husband said he was German and his great grandparents emigrated to the U.S. around the turn of the century (1900). The pub owner said his family came to Scotland from Germany 500 years ago. Again, another amazing example of genetics!

What I've found is that wherever I go, there are like-minded souls. I thought I was moving to the "Bible belt" when we first headed to Tennessee, and I've found it is teeming with Wiccans, Druids, and pagans of all kinds.

As some of you have pointed out, we share ancestors, and are linked by the very earth and wind that has embraced and spread those ancestors. My brother knew he was about to leave the earth and wanted his ashes spread at sea. So we did that for him, and I find it very soothing to think part of him could be anywhere at all in the world. It's as if he exists everywhere.

Thank you for this discussion. It really was healing to read about everyone's experience and then to contemplate my own. I walked in the woods today and took pictures of flowers and I felt a sense of enchantment.

Jane
Soaring high on a wind current, I gaze down at the rugged shapes of the mountains and the shimmering water of the lakes, and thank the Goddess that I am Crow.
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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by deepwater » 03 Apr 2014, 04:39

^@^,,you took pics of flowers,,i wish,, I have 2 feet of snow out front ,,maybe in 2 months ill see flowers :yay:
Through my eyes you still see,, Through my heart you still live ,, For as long as i have breath you will sing,,Thanks Mom

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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by Gwion » 03 Apr 2014, 10:20

Yesterday I was listening to a Cathie Ryan (Irish-American singer) CD and it occurred to me that her track “In My Tribe” was quite relevant to this thread. Unfortunately it’s not on Youtube and there’s only a brief clip of the melody on her website (http://www.cathieryan.com/) but I’ve copied the lyrics from there so you can see if you agree. (Apart from the relevance of this track she's well worth listening to by the way.)

"In Monument Valley we ride
Myself and my Navajo guide
I’m moved by the majesty that lives here in this place
His native home, the dry desert of his race.

I don’t know these mesas or these lands
Like the fields my mother plowed beside her dad
And I hold every story that her father told to me
As dear as myths of the Anasazi.

We ride on and sing our peoples’ songs
From roots that run as deep as they do long
And although I was born here and raised in this nation
The blood is strong in the first generation.

My grandmother swept a dirt floor
As the Navajo did here before
Kayenta and Kerry may be wide water apart
But we’re alike in the deep core of the heart.

I’ve seen the sun set at The Sun’s Eye
Left an echo in The Hogan nearby
A song of my people that my mother gave to me
In my tribe music is blood memory.

Music is blood memory."

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Brân Gannaid
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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by Brân Gannaid » 04 Apr 2014, 09:11

Deepwater, I can't imagine still having that much snow. I'm pretty tired of winter at this point!

Gwion, those words are so moving. Really puts me in touch with the ancestors!
Soaring high on a wind current, I gaze down at the rugged shapes of the mountains and the shimmering water of the lakes, and thank the Goddess that I am Crow.
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deepwater
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Re: A Druid of European Descent in North America

Post by deepwater » 06 Apr 2014, 19:43

Tonight im having a fire in the pit,,I can see stones at the top of the pits rim so its a good time to burn some wood watch the stars and listen for the ancient words to live again,,I heard a low growling from the Grove
Through my eyes you still see,, Through my heart you still live ,, For as long as i have breath you will sing,,Thanks Mom

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