Well, just got an email from a lady who wanted some very specific information from me, so that she could judge the “correctness” of the Journal by what I had to say. She wanted, in effect, my Pagan Resume’.
So, I’m going to do something that I rarely do and that is talk about myself. BUT, I’m also going to put it behind a “cut” so that it’s not super-public where any idiot with an RSS reader can see it, they actually have to click on a link to get this information.
So, if you are using an aggregator like Thunderbird, click on the link to this post and read it in full if that is what you want to do. If you found this page through the actual blog, then you will have to click on the “more” link below to see the rest of it.
Okay, first off I have to say that this information in here is very personal. The other thing I have to say is that most of this is covered in other places around this site. Next it’s going to sound like I’m name dropping, but I’m really not. Last, believe me, don’t believe me, it’s entirely up to you.
Well, I started this journey when I was 4. I learned about NewAge philosophy and metaphysics from my Grandmother, who was one of the most gifted Healers I have ever met. She had all three gifts for Healing, Mind Body and Spirit. I learned the Mind and Spirit, with a little talent in the Body healing. Others in my family got other talents. So I guess that makes me Granny Trad, although she would have been highly insulted had you called her a witch.
She was Christian. New Age Christian to be sure, but Christian nonetheless. She was highly freaked out when I told her that I was Wiccan and a Witch when I finally came out to her. It was the one time I really was nervous and scared and needed approval from someone and it was devastating to me. But, she was open minded enough to look at the situation and the dynamic between Mary and I, and the two of us and our daughter, and tell me after a five day stay with her, that she had thought about it and it didn’t matter who I prayed to so long as I was a good person, and that I was a good person.
But that would come much later.
She and I spent many days talking about metaphysics, mysticism, Bigfoot, the Pyramids, past life regressions, hypnosis, trance, ritual, psychometry, telekinesis, telepathy, the thirteenth planet, the harmonic convergence, aliens and UFOs, Atlantis, The Bermuda Triangle, Buddhism, other Gods, nature and Gaia, IDIC, and all those things that the New Age movement has incorporated into itself. I can probably speak reams on all of this, simply from the volume I read when I was young.
I’m the only 14 year old I have heard of who read “Journeys out of the Body” in a week, and spent the next year practicing it. The only problem I really had was the volume of material I was taking in and how I wasn’t assimilating it. I could read a book and remember what it said, but I didn’t necessarily remember what book it came from. When I would go back to check a fact, I couldn’t find it again.
In some ways I think I did shock people in the amount of knowledge I already had when I started in Wicca. I didn’t have to have past lives explained to me, I already knew about it and was able to discuss things with the teachers on that topic that they may not have thought about. And that happened more than once.
I vividly remember sitting on my grandmother’s counter and talking to her about auras and the colors and what they meant. I couldn’t see them, but I could feel them and it was a subtle distinction that she appreciated. I was treated like a grown up by her and I learned immense amounts with her and from her. Shinto beliefs and Zen and the collected works of Alice Bailey were all mine to grasp.
We moved to Georgia and the Mormons found us. That was an interesting time. On one hand they had me locked into a prison of dogma and rules and guilt, but on the other hand they not only understood but actively looked for manifestations of the Holy Spirit to talk about. They encouraged you to use your natural gifts in those areas and to not suppress them (that is, if you were male). And they were willing to talk about the spinning room effect from prayers.
I stayed Mormon for 8 years, and while it wasn’t the most pleasant time of my life, it allowed me to see things I may have missed. And I kept studying on my own for that time. Crystals, the crystal skulls, psychokenesis, mythology and demonology, AD&D and related disciplines and so on.
Oh, yes, I was a gamer geek. And that’s where the next twist to this story is to be found.
See, I knew from what I had been reading that all that detailed in the game was real. If not on THIS world, then in other worlds. I had a familiarity with the Astral Plane, the Ethereal plane and other realms, and knew what I was talking about to speak on things like what a “Magic Missile” was. I read fantasy and I had an imagination. That, by the way, is the use I find for paper RPGs like that, training the imagination and the visualization areas of the mind.
I was shocked to discover just HOW many metaphysically aware people were involved in gaming. EVERYONE I knew, with just one or two exceptions, had an awareness of otherworlds and so on, most just didn’t know what they knew and didn’t know how rare it was to not be headblind. Out of better than 100 people who I gamed with regularly, only two didn’t have any metaphysical gifts. The only qualifier here is that most of them didn’t have any skills or knowledge in metaphysics, but about a dozen did and we gravitated to each other.
This is where I met the father of my heart, Frank. He is a Vietnam Veteran, Special Forces, 35 kills to his credit (one out of a sound sleep with the assassin’s own knife, after he had killed about 8 other men in his barracks), 5 black belts and belts in about 20 other styles, half Cherokee and half Sioux (that he told me), who is one of the nicest people you ever wanted to meet, whom children instantly love and run to for protection, who my 2 week old daughter fell asleep on when she wouldn’t go to her grandfather and he spent the next 4 hours barely breathing with this beautific smile on his face of wonder. The man who gave me reasons to live and to become the best person I could and who guided my studies.
Can you tell I love the guy? He is what I try to be every day.
There was also a Wiccan in that group. She kept her beliefs very quiet and didn’t speak on them much. But while *I* was oblivious, others weren’t. She had the courage to be interviewed for the local paper’s required Halloween interest article. And that’s how I was introduced to Wicca.
When I read that article, I felt like I was free to give a name to what I believed. But my coming home to Wicca would wait for the Army interfered.
I joined the Army and discovered something; It wasn’t for me. They wanted me to change who I was completely, to conform and to be a cookie cutter. Unfortunately while I will do that for some, the Army wasn’t it. So I spent a year and a half looking at some beautiful scenery, learning things like how to type, and being in stasis. I practiced several times what I had learned, and I wanted to astral project, so I meditated and did what I could. My roommate made fun of me in so doing. But I kept going and eventually I was thrown out because I was fat.
I came home and the next major turning point in my life and this journey occurred. I met my wife.
A little background: my best friend in the world Keith is also very metaphysically aware and he and I collaborated on a lot of projects together, one of those being gaming conventions. We did security for DragonCon on years 3, 4, 5 and 6 and DixieTrek on three years, one of them the very last. So we knew the gamers and the con goers as well as working together with metaphysics. I spent all kinds of time playing and got VERY good at things like BattleTech.
Well, Keith convinced me to go to DixieTrek and work the security on it. Since it was a smaller convention and I didn’t have anything to do, I went. I did my normal job of wandering around, being “free safety” and handling problems as I came to them, instead of sitting in one place bored out of my mind. I got very good.
One of the jobs I assigned myself was the “con party patrol”, in which I go and check the parties out and see how things are going, if there is underage drinking and so on. I would patrol those and participate as I needed to in order to blend in. The Klingon parties were always fun, and I think the most boring party I have ever been to was the “Beauty and the Beast” fan party. Twelve people sitting around and watching every episode back to back to back without a word being said. Mind-numbing.
What does this have to do with anything? I met my wife there. She was hostess at a con-suite setup and was being the baby sitter. The lady who was nominally in charge was no where to be found, and Mary was the one running things. She had her daughter and brand new baby granddaughter there. Her son was also in attendance. I dropped in, saw open bottles and hung around a bit. It was quiet and low key, but there was gaming going on, as well as a chess tournament and a puzzle competition. The puzzles were those metal twistie puzzles and you had to figure out how to get them apart and back together again.
Mary was running the gaming. I wandered over. It was Star Wars. I watched and went back to my patrol later. About 2 AM I went back and they were JUST starting a new game. I made up a character and started playing.
In the middle of this, Keith shows up and tries to get me to go to the Dealer’s room to secure it and play Battletech. Since I was a Battletech fiend, my refusal was a shock. He pulled me out and we spent a few minutes in the corridor talking about what was going on. I wound up staying and playing, much to their disappointment.
SOMETHING was calling me to be in that room, and I’m glad I was. There was the normal group of people who were metaphysically aware as normal. I thought nothing of it. But Mary was there and she was a neat old lady. I found out that she was old enough to be my mother, and I scared the hell out of her by grabbing her collar at one point in the game. She was like “easy son, it’s a game…” to which I said “yes, I know it is, I’m acting.” I think that cemented her interest in me,
Time passed and I lost track of them, since the contact phone numbers she gave me were still in my pocket when I washed my shirt. (I used a BDU top for my “con shirt”, woodland camo with various pins and patches, including a House Steiner patch.)
But as the fates would do, I found them again through her daughter. At the time Dragonware Hobbies was my home and I spent a lot of time there, the only time I wasn’t there being when I was sleeping in my car due to a falling out with my mother, or at my job. The rest of the time I basically lived in Dragonware. And I met her daughter again. She had moved into the area with her husband and their child and were looking for a place to game at.
It turned out that they were also Wiccan. Fam Trad with HIS mother. She was the High Priestess of a coven in the area. At the time I had moved away from Wicca to magick and witchcraft, so I was willing to study and learn to a point, not jump in the Wicca bag whole. And they had a copy of Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft.
I devoured that book. I read it cover to cover in a week, and re-read it four times over the next two weeks. I cross referenced some of the works I had on hand, like “the Practical Guide to the Runes”, and started on my Wiccan journey. And I also spent days talking to Mary about everything.
Let me explain this a bit. I would talk with whomever about what I knew in regards to metaphysics, learning and swapping. I taught Frank about Mormonism, Frank taught me about how the martial arts philosophies dovetailed with metaphysics. Keith and I would spend days discussing the many worlds theory and astral projection. But it was in two to three hour bursts since we all had lives.
For Mary, I gave that up. She and I started talking and it was like something went *click* in both of us. There were times when (literally) we would start talking about metaphysics and tarot and runes and AP and spirituality and would talk about it for the next 17 hours until she had to go to work again, just to do it again when she came back to see me. And it was seeing ME, not her daughter. Apparently she got VERY addicted to me VERY fast.
But we would spend a long time talking and discussing things. Mostly metaphysical, but also life, philosophy, maturity and so on. Apparently she became addicted to me very rapidly.
I spent a lot of time with her learning and teaching, thinking and discussing. Most of my personal gnosis and epiphanies happened during that two years while discovering who I was and my personal spirituality. And I found that Seax-Wica seemed to fit what I perceived the world to be. Plus I had been in communication with Rhiannon of the Birds and Herne the Hunter for some time (this is the point where they Chose me to be Their Priest) and also with my daughter Rhiannon and also Michael the Archangel. I learned even more from Them, finding out and learning and rediscovering.
A lot of the instruction I have had is either direct revelation from the Gods, book learning, personal gnosis or a culmination of a thought process. I have had little formal training in a coven setting. I have had some however.
Patalee Glass-Koentp was one instructor of mine. She and I hung out at “Flight of the Phoenix” in Grand Prairie in Texas for some time. I attended her beginner’s classes, and she is the one to FIRST call me a High Priest. Before that I had called myself a priest or a devote’, but she anointed me with that title. This was the second night of being at her class, when she asked me to present Seax-Wica to everyone else as to what it was. From then on, I have called myself a High Priest, but not until then. I was very upset to learn that she died.
Raymond Buckland and I met each other through the medium of the Internet and the Seax-Wica lists. There was a whole melt down with the Seax tradition and he and I crossed paths. I count him as a friend of mine, and something of a mentor (considering I learned Craft basics and principles from his works, it’s not surprising). I believe he counts me as a friend as well.
Trish Telesco; She and I met through another author, AJ Drew. She was active on his board, and very vocal in her defense of Raymond, but AJ was insisting on attacking Raymond. I showed up to that board, walked into the middle and explained everything, and finally got Raymond and AJ talking to each other, when things got cleared up. But apparently the aspersions that AJ and Trish cast at each other were too much, and she left. I have talked with her multiple times since, reviewed her books and I definitely consider her a friend. (And she’s got a cruise for us coming up in 2006 over Valentine’s Day. Go to it if you can. It looks to be fun.)
AJ Drew. He and I met due to the previous altercation. There has since been some bad blood, but I learned from him as well.
Dorothy Morrison. I met Dorothy first when I reviewed a pair of her books and she found the review. I was in the process of reviewing another book of hers and wrote her JUST as she found my review. We kind-of hit it off since I was honest with her and I consider her a good friend.
Fritz Jung and Wren Walker: I worked with them both on The Witches Voice (specifically the Cats of the Craft section) for some time. I had more contact with Fritz. That section was closed down and we lost contact, but every now and then we come back into contact with each other and discuss things. Mostly idea-spinning and sharing of thoughts, where we seem to have a similar outlook.
Sannion: Helenistic Pagan, not one that you would consider a Wiccan and Druid to have as a friend, but he and I hit it off from the sheer intelligence of essays written. I have an immense amount of respect for his intelligence and ability to see through to the heart of the subject, and to say all this succinctly. His “Wiccan Fatwa” is a scream and I have learned much from him. He reads my livejournal and this RSS feed and I read his. I consider him to be a good friend.
Obsidian: For some reason he seems to credit me with saving him from fluffy-dom. All I suggested was that he not take the name “Taliesin” since everyone used that name. This seems to have made a difference. He is welcome in my home any time he chooses to show up.
Triskel: Discordian Priest Irreverand Hugh, fairly well known in the Discordian Circles, I count as another friend. He and I see eye to eye as to the nature of Chaos and why things are the way they are.
Carl McColman: I met him at The Real Witches Ball in Columbus Ohio. Turns out that he’s from my old stomping ground. He knows where the monastery is in Conyers, right next door to the owner of Dragonware Hobbies with whom I spent many months at different times. He and I hit it off and I owe him some beers. It was a shock to see him go back to Catholicism, but I understood why he did and hold no animosity toward him. Can’t wait to get together with him sometime soon again.
Lisa McSherry: Ma’at is the lady I met through the Journal when she was taking one of my classes and we simply started talking. Apparently I taught her a lot, and I’m glad for that. She is another friend of mine.
Kenn White: DarkOwl is one of those people that if you know him, you expect everyone to know him. I met him when I started researching Druidism and his essays taught me a lot. I joined his budding Druidic Order and learned even more. My brother if I could have chosen one, we are bound even tighter by the oaths we swore.
In each and every one of these cases, excepting Patalee, I met them through the Journal. And I didn’t really try.
The motivations for creating this website: Mostly it’s preservation of my thoughts. I wanted a medium to preserve what I learned and came to understand, and apparently it made sense to others. I was shocked and flattered to find people reading what I had to say and learning from it, as well as recommending it. That gives me all kinds of warm-fuzzies. To learn that the people I learned from are coming and learning from me, well, that’s flabbergasting.
So, the Journal was started to teach a few others about what a Druid is so they could role play them well. And things kind of snowballed from there. I have changed the focus from what others believe and teach to what I know and believe, to save it for my daughter and her children. I plan on setting up a perpetual trust to pay for the hosting and bandwidth. I have it on good authority that in the 2200’s or so, Daven’s Journal is still up and running as well as teaching.
If that’s true, it surpasses my dreams.
Other than that, I’m here. This is Daven. It is not all that Eric Landrum (my real name) is, for a lot of who and what I am is irrelevant to this. But spirituality and metaphysically, this is my place and my thoughts. I’m slowly going through and cleaning out that which is inaccurate and what is not mine, to segregate what IS me from that which is not. I’m rather proud of this Journal, it’s taken 6 years of work so far.
Oh, I officially dedicated myself (Buckland’s Self Dedication Ritual, and the Seax-Wican self dedication) on August 19, 1992. I was initiated into the ODU on October 29, 2003. So I’ve been doing this for some time and studying it even longer. The Journal has been going since October 1999.
So there it is. This is me. There are a few other pages that are relevant: