Living Life Intentionally – The Pagan Square Mile and the Druid Transmitted Infection

Mar 31st, 2018 | By | Category: Articles
After a lovely time down at OBOD’s Gulf Coast Gathering in Louisiana, my mind has been coming back to something I discussed with a lot of folks – “The Pagan Square Mile” and the “Druid Transmitted Infection”. I was introduced to both of these concepts through presentations given by Kristoffer Hughes at Pantheacon. Kristoffer’s presentations and side-discussions concerning these two points provide some interesting and lovely food for thought. Coming full-circle over these two areas, even before I have written a single word on either, is about living one’s life intentionally. So I guess the best place to start is there.

What I envision when I think of my Pagan Square Mile

Living intentionally, in my opinion, is about setting your mind on a particular mindset and the actions associated with it. I work in a particularly contentious and overly institutional political environment. Finding happiness and joy in my work is easy for me to do. My work gets data and information to others, who make decisions based off of the trends and analysis of what I provide to them. These decisions directly affect the student populace (I work for a larger community college system) and (hopefully) create a better learning environment for them. However, sometimes it is difficult to keep my focus on being happy when internal politics become the raging inferno that sometimes is the prevailing wind. When I catch myself running into this mindset, I remind myself of Kristoffer’s “Pagan Square Mile” and “Druid Transmitted Infection”, and bring myself back to a better focus.

So what are these concepts? Well, if you have heard any of Kristoffer’s talks, both of these concepts are peppered throughout. But I will do my best to summarize each. Let’s start with the Pagan Square Mile. The idea of the Pagan Square Mile is quite similar to the creation of one’s Inner Grove within the OBOD teachings. First, get yourself centered and calm, and then visualize in your mind’s eye a square mile which you can populate with the things that bring you joy. In that square mile, you can place forest, rivers, bushes, animals, people, buildings – the things that bring you joy. My PSM, for example, is the side of a very tall mountain. There are places for me to climb, places where I can sit and watch the sun rise or set, a small stream running down the slope, and goats and antelopes. And of course Crows. On one particularly large shelving, there is a stone circle where I love to sit and just listen to the world around me. I use my PSM to bring myself back to my own focal center, particularly when things get contentious around me. Even a short visit to my PSM will bring a larger smile to my face and will have people around me asking me what I was thinking of. My typical response is: “A wonderful place that I love dearly.” When they press further, I talk about why I love the northern tier of the Rockies here in the United States.
This now dovetails with the other concept – the Druid Transmitted Infection. The DTI is about taking the Awen – or inspiration – that is inside of you, and sending it on to others. In Kristoffer’s talks, this is usually done by getting everyone to focus on their inspiration and then sending it on to the world around us. For me, I was confronted directly with this with people I know at OBOD camp. See, I write here, and on Life With Trickster Gods to provide some perspective for others on a Pagan path. And from time to time, I am reminded of this by people I meet, that something I wrote inspired them to do this or that. Or that some discussion I had with them in camp the year before stoked a fire in them to continue their Gwers studies, and in the case of this year, provided them with the inspiration to finish their grade studies. In this case, I see a lot of what Kristoffer talks about being in motion – transmitting the Awen of what my studies have done for me, how my life has been transformed from the overly optimistic and overly eager fluffy bunny that I was in 1986 to where I am today. I have my bad moments, just like anyone else. I have my human flaws, just like anyone else. I still have to eat meals, drink plenty of fluids, and of course continually improve myself through study and experimentation. And I talk about this stuff here on these two blogs.
So, how can one go about doing this? I have five steps that I attempt to follow – remember I am human, I do not always have days where things go precisely the way I want. First, think about what would make an “ideal” day. For me, this is somewhat simple – I make it an intention to greet every single person I make eye contact with, with a smile and a “hello sir or ma’am.” I have found that a simple greeting can sometimes make the difference in someone else’s day. And for me, its a way of trying to pass on my DTI – even to non-Pagan folks. Second, I have a group of daily actions that start each day – rain or shine. I get up before the dawn and make a cup of coffee. Then, if the weather allows, I go outside, stand by my stone circle and face the East. I sip coffee, do the OBOD Lightbody Exercise, and await the rising of the Sun. If the weather is nice, I do this barefoot. If not, I wear shoes. If the weather is bad, I do this in my home office, looking out my eastward facing window. The only time I have had trouble doing this is when I am traveling…so I don’t beat myself up too badly if I don’t manage this every single day. Third, when I finish with my greeting of the Sun, and my Lightbody Exercise, I say a short prayer to whatever Gods and Goddesses might be listening – and give thanks for the start of the day for me. Fourth, I go back to my office and spend a few moments writing in my daily journal about the experience. Sometimes, it is just a single line. Sometimes it is a few paragraphs. Fifth, and lastly, once I am showered, shaved and dressed for work, I stop at the front door and take a deep breathe and center myself. This literally takes seconds for me now, it used to take a few minutes. Once I got used to it, its become second nature to me. In fact, I do this same step before every meeting I have at work. And there are days that I definitely need it.
Now, to provide some transparency and some open honesty, none of the things I have described to you above – The Pagan Square Mile, the Druid Transmitted Infection, my daily methodology of living intentionally – are being utilized in my life in the manner that was transcribed to me when I learned of these concepts. Rather, I have altered each of them to fit within my own life. Maybe pieces of these do not fit your own daily life. Alter what doesn’t work, change out concepts with things that do work. It is your life, you know what works best and what does not. As for finding ways to transmit your Awen (inspiration) to others, this will require you doing things, and talking openly with others. Every time someone shares with me that they are inspired by something I talk about, something I do, or something I write about – I am instantly humbled. I am no different from any of you reading this or those of you that I have had the privilege to speak with. Like you, I study. Like you, I pray to the Gods and Goddesses. I try my best to interact with the Spirits of Place and the Spirits of Ancestor. Like you, I study. Like you, I do rituals to honor the Gods and the Wheel of the Year. Like you, I am making my way through life. I have made similar mistakes. And I will make mistakes going forward. And I will (and have) learned from those mistakes. And as Kristoffer point out in one of his many statements on DTI – “How in the world do you expect to inspire others, if you cannot inspire yourself?” – I am reminded that each step I make (forward, backward or sideways) is a testament to finding my joy in how I interact with the world around me. And damn it, if I can do this – so can anyone.
In closing, I remind you, much like the Inner Grove, your Pagan Square Mile can inspire others. It should, in my opinion, be a place that brings you a joy that others can physically see in you. When they see that, they will want to live a life like yours, one that makes them happy too. Discuss with them. If they are not Pagans, just leave the “Pagan” off of it or call it your “Personal Square Mile“. And in that discussion, you will be utilizing your DTI powers. or if you’re not a Druid, your PTI or WTI OR HTI powers or what have you. The descriptor you use to label the concept is not as important as doing it. For me, I choose to live my life as intentionally as I possibly can: with my Pagan Square Mile firmly in my mind, ready to transmit my concept of joy and happiness to others – coffee cup in hand, and the first rays of dawn shining on my face.   –T /|\
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One Comment to “Living Life Intentionally – The Pagan Square Mile and the Druid Transmitted Infection”

  1. Judith Sinclair says:

    I heard people speak of you long before I met you at GCG and I appreciate how humble you are. By the same token it’s great to have someone here who can shed light on things for us! Thank you for being you!

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