Sunday, December 4, 2016

Australian Druidry and other things

Wow, it's been a long time since I last posted. A lot has been going on. One of the most exciting is I've been writing. I'm excited to say I have my first book coming out next year. It's being published through Moon Books, a publishing house that focuses on Pagan authors. My book is going to be part of a series of books called "Pagan Portals" that are introductions to different kinds of pagan paths. It's going to be called "Pagan Portals - Australian Druidry: Connecting with the Sacred Landscape". I'm going to have copies available next year and it will be available in stores from September 2017.

What you find in my blog here are some of my earliest thoughts on similar topics that I cover in the book. The book is basically a how-to guide for adapting your practice of Druidry to an Australian landscape, but it can also be of use to anyone looking for tools and practices that will help you better understand your local area and to celebrate changes in the seasons.

In the book I take you on my journey of discovering the local wheel of the year in coastal Sydney, from the very beginnings of my discomfort with popular festivals when I was a child, to my travels in the UK, and the process of putting together the wheel here in Australia and developing a depth to it that really helps me and people I practice with to find a connection with this land. I also look at animal and plant symbolism, ways we can approach the elements and the ancestors in ritual, as well as the role of our Bards in finding new stories for the land and her spirits.

The book starts out with explaining my own story and then goes into depth on how you can work out the depth of meaning in the plants, animals and seasonal changes of your own area. It then helps you to put it all together with ritual practices that will make sense, no matter what the changes that are occurring in your area, or what kind of place you live, or even what kind of diverse backgrounds the people in your group have. It's a practice based on what I've learned from others, and what I've experienced first hand, what I have found useful in group rituals and what will work in many different environments, and even a changing environment.

I'm going to have information available soon on where you can get copies or do a pre-order. I'm also planning on doing a tour around Australia in 2017 and 2018 to do some workshops and rituals with you and bring along the books for you too.

In other news my family and I recently moved up to the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney. So I'm rather in research mode finding out about this very different landscape and working out a whole new cycle of festivals that we might be able to celebrate here. It's been a wonderful journey so far. I loved the mists and frosty mornings in winter, the excitement of the local orchards bursting into flower at spring, the new red growth of the gum trees and the very different times that the native flowers bloom. There are also very different birds - yellow tailed black cockatoos, crimson rosellas, king parrots, grey strike thrushes, kingfishers, pink robins, honeyeaters and tiny wrens. We've been exploring new waterholes and creeks, looking for caves and enjoying having a property that backs onto the national park. It's a real tree change from living on the beaches.

This coming weekend we have the first Druids Down Under gathering being held up here at the local community gardens. I'm really looking forward to that. It will be great to feel into a new sacred space for our group and to meet some of the other local people interested in the tradition. We're going to have a workshop on seasonal rituals, then through the workshop we will create a ritual that we will all do together to celebrate the seasonal changes and feel ourselves come into alignment with them. Then we'll finish off with some food. It's officially free of charge, but I always encourage people to energetically pay for the event with the exchange of bringing along some Bardic offerings to share, so that could be a song, a poem, a story, or a blessing. If you're in the area and would like to come along. It will be at North Katoomba Community Gardens from 3pm on Sunday 11th December 2016.

I'm also going to be getting some full day workshops going up here next year too, so keep your eyes open for that coming up. I do most of my events on facebook though, so do join our facebook groups Druids Down Under, and the Sydney Druids Down Under for more local events.

Another fun thing is I have been making podcasts. I haven't had chance the last couple of months, but I do plan to get back into it. But there are quite a few up already and they're a fun listen incorporating my various interests in Druidry, jewelry, ethics, pagan events, and all kinds of other things. If you have a long commute and feel like eavesdropping on my conversations, please go ahead! It's called Forest Spirituality with Julie Brett and you can find it on either the iTunes or Podbean apps or websites.

Ok, that's all from me for now. I will have more info on all of that as soon as I can get it to you.

Much love
Julie /|\

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