Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dragon Trees

    I was at a park in Southern California enjoying my lunch break sometime ago. I had just finished doing my T'ai Chi form when I decided to just lay down upon the Earth and gaze up at the twisty canopy of oak branches. I kept gazing at the at the massive oak branches and how they twisted around the air, spiralling in odd angles and paths from the mother trunck. How odd I thought. Most trees have branches that follow a rather predictable pattern. In fact, many trees can be identified some ways off by their pattern of spread. Either shooting straight up, or gently arching away from the trunck. Some will even shoot more or less straight out. These are all variations on a pattern, but within each species, they are predictable. Not so the Oak. Sometimes the branch will move in a fairly straight line, but more often than not will meander in another direction. To the left? To the right? Hmmm, hard to say.
    As I lay there contemplating all this twisting, it occurred to me that in some ways it is much like the "dragon" or serpent energy that is so much talked about. Dragons are powerful spirits, but they are kin to the serpent. When one moves through the form, all the time holding this image, this feeling of the serpent, one can feel this kind of twisty flow through the body.
    And here it is, stiff, woody, massive branches of Oak: a byword of strength and sturdiness, arching gracefully overhead, creating an interwoven canopy of Flowing Twistyness invoking the spirit of Dragon! Not too hard to imagine a serpent in these trees.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Sprouts

The Taoist Druid is about the passions in my life, Taoism and its expression in Tai Chi Chuan, and Druidism, as an expression of Celtic culture.

Originally I began to study Tai Chi Chuan as a way to improve my massage skills. Over time though, I discovered that what I had learned in massage school actually informed much of my Tai Chi training. That sense of touch, to be able to "feel" my opponent, I discovered I had developed over the years of massaging hundreds of people; it was a skill in short supply among my fellow students. Over time, as i incorporated the natural breathing and relaxation Tai Chi is famous for, I felt this "other", as something I was pushing against, as something I was in, and something I could let flow through me. Again, what I had learned in massage school, was developed and refined in Tai Chi.

In massage school, during one of our exercises, I spontaneously had a "vision" of being a druid in a past life. Now, to be sure, I wasn't sure what being a druid was, or is. Nature priest was the closest I could come up with. After digging around, I discovered the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I hesitated for many years to become a member and enroll in their course. Now, I have finally taken the plunge. I hope to chronicle my journey with this blog, along with some of my thoughts about Tai Chi, Taoism, and Druidry, both ancient and modern.

So onwards, as a newly minted druid who explores the Tao from his Sacred Grove!