An Kindred - The Kindred
To believe in any form of Paganism I feel one must understand that there are forces that surround us that we may or may not be able to see. We may or may not be able to interact with. We may or may not be able to even understand. At that end of the day though that does not matter. They are there, they are plenty and they effect your lives in more ways than you could imagine.
Some believe nature spirits to be tricksters. The small idea of something stealing your sock from the dryer. The idea that perhaps you walked through some dust that made you forget what you entered the room for. Or even perhaps they drained the propane from your Barbecue. Some believe nature spirits to be the ones who carry the seeds from plants across a field for pollination. Or perhaps nature spirits are the ones who decide when a tree has lived its life and it is now time for that to end. Some believe that nature spirits are simply observers of our day to day actions. Watching as we humanity make mistake after mistake knowing at some point Mother Earth may evict us and they will get their play ground back.
In the end all of these people are right. Nature spirits are plentiful and colourful. They do many things and participate in our lives in many ways and by that participation we need to show them respect and give them the space they may need.
Ancestors for some can be a difficult topic in todays modern age. A wide variety of our society are from mixed heritages so finding ones ancestors can be more difficult than ever before. Families also break apart over titanic issue or simple concepts and they can mold into new families in a blink of an eye. Ancestors can be a complicated topic for some and I feel Rev Jon Drum sums up the concept of ancestors best and this is a believe I have embraced into my own practice with the hopes to expand upon it.
Ancestors of the Blood.
Ancestors of the Blood are those we are related to through blood. They are the ancestors we may know through family trees, or perhaps family stories. They are our grandfathers and our grandmothers, they are our uncles and cousins or long lost brothers. They are what make us who we are today in a physical sense. They can be also the people who make us who we are personally as well. They teach us and guide us in such a way that brings us closer to one self.
Ancestors of the Heart.
Ancestors of the heart are those we view as family but may not be connected with in a sense of blood. They may be a friend from years past or a person of social significance that you look up to. They may be a new family member who may not be connected with blood but still influence and effect your growth as a person greatly. In todays society this is the Ancestry I feel many more people in time will begin to connect with. Examples of this ancestor may be a foster parent or simply one who stole your heart before they passed on to the next life.
Ancestors of the Bone.
Ancestors of the Bone can be at times the most complicated of the ancestors to understand. They are the ancestors of the land we stand upon that came before us. They are the ancestors who tried to tame the wilds so that we may thrive now. They are the ancestors who may have defended the land and sea we stand in so that we may live peaceful lives now. We may never know their names unless they reveal them to us. We may never see them or even learn about them but it is integral to understand that they are there and should be respected at all times for their knowledge is vast.
The Shining Ones.
The most widely discussed and covered topic when it comes to Kindred. They are the ones who are above, they are the ones who are below, They are the ones ever watching and they are the ones honestly a lot of the time, ignoring. They are the givers of blessings and the takers of gifts. They are the ones who bestow upon our communities bounties we could never fathom. Ones personal devotion to any particular shining one can be based on a very wide variety of factors. The path they follow, the interests they may have. Personal experiences they may have had to over come in their lives. These are all things that may or may not push any one members towards any one God or Goddess or even Godden. We often feel though in our practise that we often don’t have a choice in who we follow. We may feel rejected by one, but embraced by another. We may feel inspired by Brigid but called upon by Morrigan. These are the things that shape us and the paths we follow.
In my personal practise I often feel things in life require a balance. There is no shadow without light. There is no day without night. And in Kindred this rule should continue and cannot be broken. With everything that inspires us to do good, there are those who wish to push us towards perversity. For the courage we muster inside of our selves there are forces whispering cowardice upon us. For the strength of community we gain there is weakness lurking in the shadows. For the wisdom we gain there is Ignorance around the next bend. These are concepts and almost in a way their own form of virtues we should be aware of their existence and respect at all times. The virtues are often things we find within our selves and our community where these concepts may come from forces found inside the Kindred. These kindred are not ones we wish to welcome in our lives or our ritual practices and we would rather have nothing to do with, but much like any other kindred they are there. Watching, listening, waiting.
Outdwellers can be blood ancestors who looked down upon us in times of weakness and wish failure upon us. Outdwellers may be ancestors of bone that at one time attempted to conquer a land and bring death and destruction we now find peace in. Out dwellers maybe trickster fae folk who are simply bored and wish to bring strife and chaos for an afternoon. Who ever the out dweller are that surround us we need to not respect them as a entity but the power they can control and bring to us. These concepts can bring an entire slew of issues to our lives and practise and we need to be aware of that.