Coffee and Compassion

I stop for a moment and reflect upon compassion to myself. The bulk of my time is spent guiding three young ones, being an active and supportive partner and then making time for family, friends and Grove.

Often, I feel I am failing those closest to me. Being a stay at home parent is more demanding and time consuming than any career or job I have ever had. If I have love for you, I will do my best for you.

This grants me a rich family life but leaves me feeling stretched thin. Pushing myself farther each day to be better than the day before. I have very high self standards and when I fail to hit my personal goals and standards this leaves me hollow and hurting.

So I once again begin my practice of compassion, starting with myself. I am once person providing care for many, working many rolls and trying to feed my soul.

In this moment, I light myself a flame for compassion and hope. I will simply sit in this present moment observing my world and drinking a cup of coffee. Gently refilling my inner well with compassion, hope and stillness.

How can you practice compassion on yourself?


Irisa MacKenzie

Devotion to Earth Mother and Sky Father

Earth Mother and Sky Father Preface

At nDraiocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF) holds a place of honor for Earth Mother within their core order of ritual (COoR). This is based on the archeological evidence of her spiritual significance to our Indo-European ancestors. Ancient or modern we rely on Earth Mother for everything from water, food and shelter to beauty and inspiration.

Sky Father is not part of ADF’s core order of ritual. However, that does not mean he was not important to our Indo-European ancestors. As such, while not an official part of ADF’s ritual structure there are groves and individuals who choose to honor Sky Father.

“The union of the Sky God and the Earth Goddess, which maintains the cosmic order and bestows prosperity on the land as it’s fertilized by the sun and the rain, is often referred to as a hieros gamos or hierogamy, “divine marriage,” by historians of the religion. (1)

This concept can be found flowing through many of the myths that we can access. The Gods are known by many names from culture to culture. However, their concept and importance to each culture comes through in surviving mythology and archeological evidence.


14 February 2018


Earth Mother and Sky Father Devotion (Prayer)

Earth Mother

Blessed lady who first emerged at the dawn of creation,

Your cycle of life carries beauty, inspiration and death

Your body is Home to fur, fin, feather, scale and skin

Your body nurtures all who live, play and grow

In the land, sea and sky

Earth Mother, I honor you!

Sky Father

Creator of gentle breezes and vast storms

You who support Earth Mother with rain, sun and everything in between

Playground to feathered kin, inspiration and dreams

Home to Sun, Moon and Stars

Sky Father, I honor you!

Irisa MacKenzie 2018

Earth Mother and Sky Father shrine photos

Currently, these are kept on the kitchen table where the children can work with them. It consists of sage for sky father as the smoke represents purity and cleansing. This reminds me of the winds. An earth mother statue, tree incense burner, well and LED candles.

Crafting Daily Devotions

I have struggled crafting daily devotions the last few years. The main reason is that I have held onto this image of what my daily devotions should look like, rather than seeing what they have naturally morphed into. For decades I was in a childless relationship that allowed me to focus on career, hobbies and spirituality. Most of my free time was spent in the pursuit of spiritual, religious and metaphysical knowledge.

This knowledge was used to craft my own spiritual practice which was outwardly expressed by hosting and moderating message boards as well as, facilitating chats and workshops. The inward or private reflection of my practice incorporated meditation, writing, devotionals and offerings. All my free time was devoted to my practice. Then I made a major life shift and have since realize that the practice that I was trying to hold onto was the one that worked when I had personal responsibility to myself, not others and could craft commitments more easily.

In essence, I have been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. By doing so I have set unrealistic expectations for myself. This led to feeling that I failed myself and my practice when I could not make my daily life fit my mental image. My personal expectations and reality were operating on two different levels. Because of this I was being critical of myself instead of honoring the space where my body, mind, and spirit now resided.

My practice always existed and has naturally evolved as my lifestyle and commitments changed. It simply did not fit my mental image of what I have always read and discussed with others a spiritual practice should look like in a modern neo-pagan context. Nor did that mental image fit within the context of my new lifestyle and responsibilities. I had held onto the mental image because of habit, social guidelines, peer pressure, and unexamined self expectations. This caused an internal struggle that was a disservice to the health of my body, mind and spirit.

Books, websites, festivals, workshops and retreats are all great places to meet people and learn techniques to feed your body, mind, and spirit. The techniques shared via media and social encounters can be wonderful, enlightening and sometimes just logical! However, if you are not realistic about incorporating these techniques into your practice and personality you are setting yourself up for failure.

Socially, we are taught to put our best foot forward and hide our flaws. This lends an unrealistic slant to the knowledge given and shared in the aforementioned places as it is rare to have deep conversations regarding the struggles of creating, establishing and maintaining a daily practice. The appearance of perfect practices by others can be intimidating or disheartening to those struggling. Don’t give up because everyone has struggled at one time or another with their practice.

Knowing your personality, lifestyle, commitments and free time is crucial to crafting a successful practice. You must be honest with yourself if you wish to craft a successful daily practice of devotion that feeds your body, mind, and spirit. When crafting your practice be honest with yourself concerning your personality, lifestyle, commitments and free time.

The more honest you are with yourself the more successful you will be in crafting a daily practice. Personality, lifestyle, commitments and free time are areas to examine when crafting a practice that will truly feed your body, mind and spirit. Some thoughts to ponder before while examining and crafting a daily practice:

• Who do I wish to share my practice with?

• What do I need to do to make this practice work?

• When can I practice?

• Where can I practice?

• Why do I wish to practice?

• How do I wish to share my practice?

These days I share my daily practice with my partner and three small children. Things that I must consider when setting up sacred space: breakables, safety of offerings (toxic herbs, choking hazards, etc.), fire vs. LED candles, etc.

As a reflection of these considerations our Earth Mother shrine is on the kitchen table. There is a statue, metal incense burner in the shape of a tree, glass and iron well, four Led candles and a small plastic bowl for offerings. Basically, the items the children will be handling are suitable for small hands. They are too young to light candles, but two of them can turn the LED candle on. This way the children can be more hands on in our devotions giving them more freedom for their exploration and expression.

There is another shrine in our home that is out of reach of the youngest. This contains statuary, traditional candles, a knife, fire, well and tree. It is also is where I would make any offerings that could be dangerous to an inquisitive toddler.

Life is fluid, so your practice should be too! When your lifestyle and commitments change, re-examine your practice. If you do not feel that your mind, body and spirit are being fed take a look and see what you can change. We are always growing, changing and learning. Your practice should be a reflection of your personal growth and experiences.


Irisa MacKenzie

Relationship with the Kindreds: the Fire Within

Long before I was associated with ADF I worked with the Kindreds, but by other names: GodsGoddesses, Nature Spirits has specific names, and the Ancestors. So the broad term of Kindreds applying to GodsGoddesses, Nature spirits and Ancestors spoke to my soul.

Fire, Well and Tree along with incense offering were a representation of the elements that resonated within. Connections that I carry within my heart represented in nature and symbolized within my home upon my shrine.

Devotions feed the soul and deepen my relationship with the Kindreds. The practice of pausing for devotions make me set aside time each day to breathe. To step aside from my roles and responsibilities and connect with the flame of inspiration and fire within.

Taking this time each day to reach into that fire is something that has lapsed the last few years. The ebb and flow of the daily devotion has been frustrating at best. I saw this ebb and flow as a struggle with my faith. Instead it was showing me how to redefine my fire amidst the needs of small children, pregnancy, and life.

Now that the needs of family life have evolved once again I can shift some time and focus to a daily practice as well as writing liturgy. I look forward to the time of reflection, learning, deepening relationships and feeding the fire within.

Create, Live, and Love,

Viking Mama