Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Path I was Destined to Follow

With Ancestry, I was like a kid in a candy store, and from Day One I was addicted.  Perhaps it stemmed from a lonely childhood, and suddenly to find I had this enormous family...I wanted more and more.  Since that day day I have been able trace a little over 6,000 ancestors onto my tree.  My maternal grandmother was easy to trace back to the Massachusetts Colony, but I have been able to peice together earlier than there.  There's lots of info out there, but all must be verified or you can really not consider the tree your own.  My paternal granddad is of German descent, and I have ancestors on that side traced to the early 1800's in New York City.  (For anyone interested, here is a free website that has many grave listings.  I have found many of my ancestors here.  What is also great about it is that once you join for free, you can place flowers and memorials on their online graves.  And if you should find one of your ancestors and they don't have a photo of the stone, just email and a volunteer will go to the cemetary, take a picture, and put it on the website.

It's my dad's side of the family which caused the most excitement...perhaps because I had only met my grandother and great-grandmother once in my life...and now, here I was finding family from Ireland and Scotland and Wales and Cornwall,  and I was finally beginning to peice my life together because...when you don't know where you came from,  you can never really know who you are.  Now, Ancestry also has books which have been computerized and in one of those books, I was given a very basic introduction to the Celts and to the Anglo Saxons.  Now, my interested was really piqued, and I found myself wanting to know more.  Who were the ancestors of my ancestor?
I bought  "The Celts" by Jean Markdale and learned about the Druids.

From then on I became an avid reader of anything I could get my hands on about the Celts and Druids--Celtic Shamanism, Druid Magic, on becoming a Druid, books by John O'Donohue, Tom Cowan, etc.   I found a basic course for free on the Fairy Tradition.  And then I discovered NOD...The New Order of Druids.  Their Grove of Dana Online Colleges offer free online courses on Druid spirituality and the Earth-honoring Celtic traditions....and whereas many of the Druid classes out there examine only the outside objects through the mind and the intellect (i.e. book reading and reports), NOD also includes certain exercises and meditations so that the student can gain a true understanding of self and universe for they believe that only by practice can one gain wisdom.  I completed the Bardic section and am currently in the Ovate section.  For awhile, I was devastated because the website had somehow disappeared, but I am pleased to say it is back now.

Since that time I have also delved into the practice of my Teutonic ancestors--Asatru (belief in the gods) ---another fascination tradition.  It is more commonly called 'heathenism'.  Sadly, there is such a negative connotation  that goes along with that word.  Asatru, which is thousands of years old, stems from the religious beliefs of the Northern Europeans.  Everyone knows of their gods--
Thor, Loki the trickster, Odin, Wodin, etc....including Asgard, Valhalla, Gilgamesh, Runes, and on and on. 

Today, after many twists, turns, and detours I can honestly say I have found my pat.  Today, I call myself a Druid.  I've learned to appreciate the earth around me and to communicate with the trees.  I know the fairies exist for I have seen their dancing lights in the darkness of my magical garden.  Yes, I have studied much in my life, and it has given me great joy.  You are NEVER too old to learn and for that reason,  even though this story about how I found my path is done, there is always more to learn so I end today with....
To be continued....


  1. I'm glad to hear that your Grove of Dana online courses are again available to you! That's good news!

  2. How exciting to find your path.

    Thank you for the links. I also have a celtic heritage. So those sites will help me in my search.

  3. I have so enjoyed following along with your story. I feel really fortunate for your sharing, so thank you. =)

  4. " I have been able trace a little over 6,000 ancestors onto my tree."

    How fantastic!!! I never imagined one could do that.

  5. This is just amazing - what a journey you've had! I love that you found yourself by finding your ancestors!