Theodish Thoughts

Musings on Theodism, religion, mythology, history, and contemporary Heathenry

Category: Personal Experiences

A Trip to Columcille

Me at “Thor’s Gate”

My family and I spent the day at Columcille Megalth Park, which is a seventeen acre stretch of woods, open spaces, and spectacular stone works. There are (many!) standing stones, towers, buildings, triliths, and other sacred spots all connected by various paths and bridges. It really is a spectacular place, and they do (rather generic “new agey”) rituals there as well. In fact, the Maypole from their Beltane celebration was still up and festooned with ribbons. I took a bunch of photos, but they really don’t do the place justice. If you’re in the general vicinity of northeast Pennsylvania (the place is maybe 20 minutes from the Delaware Water Gap), I heartily recommend it.

The place really has a powerful feel, especially when you get away from the main stone circle right by the parking area, where most people seem to congregate. Once in the woods, treading the paths, it’s easy for the landwights to turn you around, and their presence is definitely felt.

But one of the best things is the dichotomy the site represents. Wandering in those woods, you feel the wild envelop you, but everywhere you turn, there is evidence that people have been there and reinforced the sacrality of the site with stones and ritual. Powerful magic is ground from the mill-stone of such contradictions.

The pictures are all below the fold, because there are so many, and I don’t want folks to have the blog take forever to load unless they’re specifically looking at this post. But do enjoy!

For all pictures, click to embiggen.

“Thor’s Gate”, with the Maypole visible through it. I briefly spoke
to the gentleman who made all this possible, and he told me that
this particular structure was done directly because of an “encounter”
he had with Thor on the Scottish isle of Iona. I can attest that
it is a powerful place.

These sorts of cairns are everywhere across the site. 

Are Pagans Businesses Exempt from Personal Responsibility?

I just had a most unpleasant experience with a seller of books related to paganism and magic of some renown; Fields Books in San Francisco.

It turns out that I ordered a hardcover book from them today, dutifully gave them my credit card, and figured I’d be reading it in a couple of weeks once it wound its way through the pathetically slow US Postal Service. Not so!

About six hours after placing my order, I get an email stating that the price on the website was in error, and would I mind either accepting a paperback version of the book, or coughing up an additional $55.

Well, the lunacy of charging $75 for a book that is just now in print aside (it is not, I must point out, some rare out of print item), I am gobsmacked at the complete and utter lack of customer service awareness that this incident reveals.

Consider this. If I had walked into a brick-and-mortar store, found a copy of a hardcover book and paid for it, walked out the door, and then gotten a call six hours later, asking me to return to the store and either pay $55 more, or trade in the book in my possession for a paperback, no one on this earth would have considered that a right and proper thing for them to do.

Why, then, is it considered acceptable just because it’s a website? If this had happened on, they would have swallowed their gum and given me what I bought at the price for which I bought it. I thought it was a law someplace. Are pagan businesses somehow not to be held accountable for their own mistakes? Any normal business would have swallowed the cost of their own mistake, changed the price on the website right away, and sent me the item I purchased at the price I was quoted. Not Fields Books, though. They are apparently some sort of charity, or think that I am (rather than a customer), and asked me to return my book or send them more money, despite the fact that it was they who screwed up and not me. In their reply email, they thanked me not to “trouble them” with my business again. No problem!

This is endemic in our society today. No one is willing to take responsibility for their own mistakes (or even to admit that they made one!) any more. One of the risks of operating a business is that sometimes, one will screw up and need to pay the price for doing so. For some reason, Fields Books thinks they are immune to that principle, and think that I should pay to make up for their mistake. I happen to disagree.

I have, of course, canceled the order, and will not only not be ordering any books from these people in the future, but I certainly will make a point of relating my own experience to anyone who happens to inquire about them specifically, pagan/magic booksellers in general. They need to man up and take responsibility for their own screw-up, and not expect it to be swept under the rug just because they’re pagan.

Any other business would be expected to pay for their mistake. Why not them?

The Crows and the Falcon

Apologies for not getting this out right away, but a couple of days ago I noticed three crows fighting off a falcon, right over my house. It was a magnificent sight. What struck me was that the falcon, rather than flying away, merely climbed higher in the sky until the crows couldn’t pursue it any more. I feel this to be a harbinger of something to come in the near future.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Fórn

Every Thursday (which, for those in the know, actually starts at what the modern time-keepers call Wednesday night, since days go dusk-to-dusk), I make an offering to my god-post, carved in the image of Thor, to give thanks to the Aesir and Alfar for what They do for myself and my family.

Well, I did so tonight as I usually do, and as I was winding it up, I noticed something moving immediately to my right. It was low to the ground, but long, and white or silver-gray in color. It was most certainly not the local groundhog, which is both much darker in color and very shy around people. This thing kept coming towards me despite my raising my voice (hoping to avoid a meeting with some sort of predator).

Thinking about it, and remembering the image of what I saw, it definitely could have been a fox.

Now, I’m the last person to go around ascribing supernatural causes to things that could be perfectly natural. But my fetch is a fox, and this thing did not act like a wild animal would normally act around a human.

I’ll pay attention to my dreams tonight, that’s for sure.

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