Book Review (A Druid’s Tale by Cat Treadwell) and an Update

Buy it here: A Druid’s Tale
When I was young enough to be in primary school, they weren’t anywhere near enough as secular as they are now. Whilst I was lucky in that I’ve only ever attended ones that, whilst Protestant-Christian in focus, were more than happy to make accommodations to suit pupils who requested it. In fact, both went out of their way to provide lessons, songs and stories from a multitude of religions and cultures, not because they were forced to or wanted to be seen to be politically correct, but because this kind of sharing is the right thing to do. It makes me sad that this is no longer allowed, but I am well aware that we cannot always trust faith and religion to be taught ‘correctly’ in schools, and I would rather religion be taught as a secular subject or not at all, to avoid some of the creepier faith schools’ methods to become common.

I sort of sidled off the point there, but bear with me. Every week or so, we would have Story Time with the Vicar and/or Appointed School Teacher. And they would bring what I’ve always called a Vicar book, but are in fact more like scrapbooks or commonplace books. You can buy them from any bookstore, but I’ve no idea what they’re actually called. Inside is a bunch of ‘lessons’ – stories with morals behind them, usually Christian based, but any good Vicar book had stories from all over the globe, including modern themed ones. Sometimes they were short stories, sometimes poems, sometimes songs or plays or experiences or excerpts from well known children’s books. The Vicar would read one, preach a little sermon, which were never about Actual God and were in fact more like How Not To Be A Dickhead, although probably not phrased quite like that for little kids.

This was a weekly occurrence, and one looked forward to by most, if not all, of the children.

And that’s what Cat Treadwell’s book, A Druid’s Tale, reminds me of. It’s a Vicar’s book for Druids. Which I would recommend to those just curious as well. And some parts of it are certainly suitable to be read out at Assembly, should such things still exist. I would highly suggest you ask Treadwell for permission and if there is a fee for such a thing before you do it though. Don’t be rude.

Although not for children, this book is meant to be dipped in and out of. It holds many lessons to be learned and savoured, one at a time. Treadwell has a beautiful way of writing that can turn even the smallest remark into wisdom that you will treasure.  This is a book that I will return to, over and over.

This is not a how-to book, but a book about how one practitioner lives, and it is all the more honest and real and startlingly deep because of that. There is no dogma, only raw story.

 

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Lammas: An Alternative Harvest, a Ritual

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I don’t grow my own food. The reasons are long and plentiful, and not the point right now. I’m also not in charge of buying and even mostly cooking my own food, so a harvest festival has never really meant anything to me.

But I’ve come such a long way since this time last year, and it feels wrong not to celebrate it somehow, and remember that times are ever changing, and a period that seems long and intolerable now will be a blink of an eye sometime in the future.

The Ritual

You Will Need:

Pen and paper. Feel free to make it fancy and put it in a scrapbook or something later.

The first piece of crap you can lay your  hands on. Most of my most powerful charms are based on what I call the ‘Pratchett Principle’. Pratchett’s witches made things called ‘shambles’ which had many uses, but were usually constructed out of whatever was in the witch’s pocket at the time.

For me, it was copper wire and an eye pin.

You’re going to make some approximation of a sheaf of wheat out of it.

Steps:

Write a list of everything you’ve achieved since the start of the year, both little and small. Examples:

– showed more commitment to healthy eating than any year hence

– started an Etsy shop

– got sixty sales in said shop

– got the chance to review some books

– I now moderate and write for two fandom blogs which are dear to my heart

– got a job

2. Feel free to pretty it up however you’d like. Take your time, and enjoy it.

3. Make your wheat. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But it is a symbol of all that you have achieved in this season, from the smallest baby step to the biggest win. It all matters. It is all important, and deserves to be honoured.

4. Display your tiny sheaf wherever you will see it most to remind yourself that you can do it!