NCAT

(Nature Connected Activities in Tarragona)

Last month we walked along Playa Larga near Tarragona and had several nationalities: a Dutch couple, a Portuguese, a Greek, several Spaniards, a Venezuelan, a Scotsman, an Englishman (yours truly) and a Swiss woman (Mika) – it sounds like the beginning of a complex bar joke (but it wasn’t, lol).  It was a beautiful place with forest right next to the sea. This month we go to the Febró ravine; I’ll tell you about that.

Recently we had our first NCAT English meet up. We were asked recently if we had outings specifically for speaking English, so we obliged and created a new branch of NCAT. This group is more for people that want to practice their English in an informal setting. We do have a few exercises to learn some basics, but just something simple whilst we walk. There’s plenty of extranjeros (foreigners, like me) that want to learn Spanish, so why not an NCAT Spanish?

We also have NCAT Eco-Art; the first workshop will be the end of this month. Here we use natural materials to create works of art (mandalas, “touchscapes”, etc.), but working with ecopsychological principles by becoming aware of the natural world around us with senses little used!

Here are the links for each group:

NCAT – for excursions and activities out in nature.

NCAT English – excursions in nature, learning and practicing English.

NCAT Ecoart – artistic activities in nature, combining natural materials with ecopsychological principles.

Book of Poems

It’s been a long time in coming. A very long time in coming, but at last it’s happening!

For the last few months I’ve been looking through my poems and creating a book of poetry from them, using Blurb. I’ve written so many that I’ll be publishing several books. For the moment, all the poetry for the first book has been collected and I just need to work on the look of the book and put pictures in, then it’ll be ready for publishing. 🙂

New Year, New Direction

I started this blog for a couple of reasons. I felt I needed something where I could share my thoughts, but not with so much depth as The Grove of Quotes. Also it was made to accompany me through my work through OBOD‘s Druid grade (third and final grade that I started a little over two years ago). Now I’m coming to the end of the course I can reflect a little on where this blog has been and where it will go.

This blog has helped me express some thoughts I encountered in the course, sharing ideas on learning and creating languages, sharing other creative endeavours such as art and stories, and so on. And I shall carry on, but my focus will be changing. The course is ending, but the process of becoming a Druid is just starting. I have aquired the tools, now it’s the time to apply them in my life. For that reason “druid in training” is still apt.

In the new year I’ll be starting a course in Ecopsychology (Mika has just finished it) and we’ll be do more activities combining art with ecopsychological insight (Ecoart workshops). We’ll also be working with CEN (as mentioned in a previous post) and continuing our development of a sustainable ecological project, and so taking my druidry into action.

Happy New Year!

Writing Style

At the moment I writing a short story about a Brinkleginks first encounter with humans. I started it in a serious-fantasy mode, and I could start it, carried on it for a few paragraphs, but then there comes a bit where there’s a “pause” in the actual story, where I don’t know how to transition from one phase to another. Well, I’ve just written the same story but in funny-fantasy mode and found it flows much better. I think that, for the moment, this is really “my style”, as I discovered with Jake Fish, St. John de Monmouth and a few other short stories. For the moment I think I’ll just write what flows, and what entertains me by whilst I’m writing.

The Role of Magick

Inspired by a recent forum discussion about the role of magic(k) in modern paganism:

My attitude to and belief in magic has changed. I got into Paganism via “nature worship”, that’s what really drew me in, and magic just happened to be a part of the whole Pagan thing (my first excursion into the subject was through Wicca). The magic side of things did interest me for a while, but I was more interested in its significance than its practice. My questions to myself “why do I need it? Do I actually need it?” I once read something that really changed my view of it, which was that I can make a spell but the result will not be the exact one I want; it will be an unconscious change of myself that influences how I act in my life. I can ask for love, wealth or health, but unconsciously I will be making changes to myself that will somehow draw these things into my life.

I think I was more for personal development, making changes within myself than making changes outside of me. And since I can make change within myself without magic, why bother? On the other hand Buddhism influenced my thinking: instead of changing things, maybe it is my perception of things that needs changing. So I left magic behind, though I still held symbolic actions important.

Nowadays I don’t believe that simply by ritualised intent I can make things change (except myself). I believe making symbols (artistically, ritualistically or otherwise) to symbolise my intentions or wishes is important, but these act more as a “mission statement” to myself, a plan or vision by which I can act… and then the changes occur.

For me “real magic” is art and creativity. It is the way we can apply our imagination and perception to transform the world. It the the transformation of inanimate elements into living beings, the transformation of reaction into reflection, the transformation of imagination into concrete reality. It’s an alchemy of the world and ourselves that involves our perception of it.

I may have let go of certain ideas about magic, but it’s become something else as my perception and understanding of it changed. Magic itself has undergone a transformation of alchemy.

Synergy

This concept is such a wonderful concept. Put simply the effects are more than the sum of components in a way that reductionism cannot account for.

The properties of water cannot be predicted by neatly looking at the properties of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen and then adding those properties together, water is something completely new and different from its component parts; when we study the earth’s geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere as distinct from one another then the activities of the whole cannot be fully understood; when people consciously cooperate with each other the creativity that is produced is more than all the creativity they can create separately.

It is creativity that generates creativty and thus takes on a life of its own. It cannot be seen by pure reductionist thinking but only by a holistic vision of things.