Currently viewing the tag: "Brendan Myers"
Photo by By Alice Popkorn (CC)

Photo by By Alice Popkorn (CC)

The worship of the gods is not what matters, Brendan Myers says. People and relationships matter.

Even as someone who helps to provide others with the tools to worship their gods, these liturgies of the Fellowship, I find myself reading his words and saying — Yes. This is correct.

This is not the only correct thing, and if someone said with conviction that worshipping the gods matters I might agree with them, too. I might agree if they explain the way in which it matters to them. They would be hard pressed to convince me of why it matters to the gods.

That argument has always fallen flat for me.

To squeeze a deity into a human form, whether that be the literal Galilean (form in his case a body) or the certainty of what a god might want from me (form as projection), seems misguided; perhaps even a misuse of our faculties and energies.

I do not feel threatened by what Brendan says. In fact, I feel empowered by it. He writes:

My path is the path of a philosopher, and it is a spiritual path. It’s about finding answers to the highest and deepest questions that face humankind, and finding those answers by means of my own intelligence. It’s about not waiting for the word to come down from anyone else, not society, not parents, not politicians or governments, not teachers, not religion, not even the gods. In that sense it is a humanist activity, but it is an activity which elevates ones humanity to the highest sphere. That is what matters. This was the path of all the greatest philosophers through history. It was the path of the great pagan predecessors like Hypatia and Diotima and Plato; and also the path of more recent predecessors like James Frazer and Robert Graves. This is the path of knowledge; and knowledge is enlightenment, and knowledge is power.

This integration of philosophy, spirituality and humanism is so inviting to me. His words read rich to my heart, and I’m still piecing together the reason why.

Perhaps in part it is because I am considering pursuing a degree in Philosophy, a new development in the past several weeks. I have been asking myself, Why would one study philosophy? What would be the value for a person such as myself? As I write these questions on this blog, a blog of dialogue and inquiry and uncertainty and personal revelation, I feel like I know exactly why this would be valuable for me.

Yesterday I wrote a short essay for a scholarship application, and doing so brought a great deal of clarity as to why this move would make sense for me.

An excerpt:

I seek a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and a minor in Religious Studies with the intention to one day pursue a Masters of Divinity. I believe that before one can commit one’s self to the service of others one must undergo a process of refinement; a honing of one’s critical thinking skills, something akin to the tuning of a bow. Being human is an art form, but it is also a discipline; one dependent upon the faculties of the mind as well as the expressions of the heart. To study philosophy, accented with the study of religion, would help to place the two in greater context with one another – the mind and the heart.

The gods may indeed be wrapped up in this endeavor. When I light a flame for my goddess, and I invite her to transform me, to refine me, to envelop me and change me into something better, I do it without reservation. My rationality does not dissect this action. This is a relational act. A devotional act. One might say it is an act of faith, and I’m not sure they would be wrong.

But I also see the refinement of myself as something for which I am solely responsible. Should I wish to walk this path and prepare myself for a life committed to service I will need to shore up my strength and charge forward alone. If I make the choice to pursue this line of study, to commit myself for the next four years to being a student of knowledge, it will not be faith that carries me through: it will be conviction, perseverance, and courage. This will be a human endeavor, a human challenge, and ultimately, a human goal.

The gods may be with me, in my heart and in my mind, but it will still be — as always — a solitary journey.

I wonder…

What are you impressions of Brendan’s piece? What does it inspire in you?

What do you think about the study of knowledge? How do you think philosophy plays into an integrated spiritual life?

This is a strange day, Black Friday.

One day after Americans give thanks for the blessings in their lives, hoards of deal-hungry shoppers rush out to (mostly) big-box stores, stomping over whomever is in their way, to acquire more things.

The pilgrims would be — what?

Confused? Bewildered? A little terrified, perhaps?

I know I’m all of those things.

There are those who are advocating, and have been for some time, that Black Friday be observed as Buy Nothing Day. I respect that, even if I don’t observe it stringently.

But, there are also those out there who don’t go crazy with the masses, but who still would like to pick up a gift or two for a loved one. Some of you who fall into this category would also like to support a local business (YAY!), something homegrown, and — perhaps — a pagan author.

If you’re one of those folks, I offer you a couple of suggestions.

[FULL DISCLOSURE: These are all books that are on my to-read list. I either have copies that are sitting on my shelf, or PDF’s filed away on a digital device. My work on BITG and the Solitary Druid Fellowship has taken up a lot of time, and made it near impossible for me to get to reading them. My hope is to post reviews of a few of these books on BITG, but there’s no reason you can’t get a head-start on the reading!]


Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery

I love me some Mrs. B. She’s down home, you know? Approachable. If this book is anything like her blog, it’s a must-read.

From the Amazon product description:

“Whether you’re sweeping the floor, making a meal, or cleaning out that junk drawer, domestic witch Kris Bradley, creator of the popular blog, Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, will show you how to create spells and magic to bring happiness and balance into your home. Bradley offers ideas and solutions to make the most out of everyday items, activities, and obligations. From Anchovies to Broccoli, and Wine to Yeast, from sweeping the floor to blow-drying your hair, you can change your outlook on life with a pinch of knowledge and a dash of magic! The book includes simple rituals, spells, and ways to connect with the spirits that watch over your home and family. Includes an appendix of herbs and a complete materia magica from the kitchen pantry.”

A great gift for your favorite domestic Witch.


I’m a fan of the way Brandan Myers thinks. I’ve been working my way through his book, Loneliness and Revelation, and there are reflections in the book which will likely appear on SDF’s blog. But, you may not know that Brendan is also a writer of modern fantasy novels.

Here’s the description from Brendan’s site:

“Fellwater” is a modern fantasy novel about two lovers caught between two rival factions of an ancient secret society.

On the night Katie tried to tell Eric her true feelings, all they did was argue, and she left with a broken heart. But then she met Carlo, a charming, cosmopolitan, and mysterious man from an Italian noble house. In his presence a mystical vision overtook her, and she remembered meeting him before, thousands of years ago, in the ancient Celtic iron age. But she awoke the following morning in a hospital, without knowing how she got there, and she learned that Eric spent the night in jail after being chased by gunmen. All was not as it seemed, and they were both in terrible danger.”

The book is currently available as a Kindle download, and it’s very reasonably priced.

The Druid’s Son

I’m excited about this book for a couple reasons.

First, it’s written by a local author who is a member of Denver’s ADF Grove, Silver Branch Golden Horn. Grove is not only an author of several historical fantasy novels, but she is also a bard, a Welsh scholar, and a poet. I’ve heard her recite poetry at ADF rituals in Welsh, and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. She’s kind of a local powerhouse.

But, in addition to all that, she’s packed into this novel three pages of…. wait for it, ADF nerds… wait for it…

A bibliography of references.

There are three pages of primary and secondary sources in the back of this book which range from Caesar’s Seven commentaries on the Gallic war to Cool’s Eating and drinking in Roman Britain.

For anyone who loves to not only dive into fantasy novels, but also to find new academic texts on the ancient Druids, this book should be on your shelf.

(You can find it on Smashwords in all e-formats, no DRM, first 20% of the book free.)

A Druid’s Tale

If historical fantasy isn’t really your thing, and you’re more interested in the experience of a modern Druid, this book may be a good read for you. Cat Treadwell is a Druid Priest based in Derbyshire, England. She is a professional celebrant and multifaith worker, Trustee of The Druid Network and Awenydd of the Anglesey Druid Order.

In short, she’s walking the walk.

What interests me about this book is that it is an extension of the writing Treadwell does on her blog. First came the blog, and then came the book. As a blogger, this approach is really appealing to me.

The portions of the book I’ve read so far are approachable, inquisitive, and poetic.

She writes:

I have stood on a mountain-top in Wales on a freezing dawn after an hour’s hard walk, watching the sun rise over the sea and sharing visions.

I have stood in the rain, soaked through, cloak stuck to me and laughing as the wind whips around me, painted with ochre as I dance with the spirits of the forest.

I have sat in the dark, alone, at the bottom of a pit, unsure even of which direction to look next, let alone where to step.”

That’s some experiential Druidry, right there.


So, there’s my short list of Black Friday book suggestions.

Refrain from shopping if you’d like, and if you’re going to shop, do try to buy local and independent.

The little guy appreciates your support.