Publication of the Reformed Druids of Gaia
Samradh YGR 01 - Beltane / Litha 2007 - Vol.5 No. 3
followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."
~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~~
FROM THE ARCH-DRUID
by Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear
wheel of the year seems to be spinning in overdrive for me this
season – wow! I know I’ve been working on “manifestation”
a lot lately, but the Universe decided to shower me with lots
of metaphysical business – all at once! I guess I should
be more “specific” about timing – you know,
spacing things out in a logical (and sane) timeline…but,
that being said, I am VERY grateful for all that has come my way…
had some incredible new people come into our lives as well –
many of whom have joined the RDG, and some joining OMS also –
and I am reminded that this is the season of “connections”.
People come out of Winter hibernation as Nature turns up the heat
– rubbing their eyes and looking around for…someone…and
the rhododendrons are blooming in the Redwoods – beckoning
us to come and drink in their beauty– the perfect place
to take that special friend or lover for a walk. Perhaps the devas
will show themselves, if you're lucky...
this is one of the thin-veil times, from actual Beltane till the
Astrological midpoint (May 4th is the eve and May 5th is the midpoint),
this issue focuses a lot on the Otherworld Realm and the Fae.
It is my hope that you will find inspiration in these pages, and
be guided by magickal dreams and visions...
of the Season to you and those you love,
Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear, AD /|\
Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd
Queen of blossoms,
And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music
Shall we charm the hours?"
~~ Lord Edward
Thurlow (1781–1829), May ~~
Spaces are filling up faster than expected,
Mini-festival campout on Lughnasadh weekend in the Redwoods at the
Avenue of the Giants - open to all on the Druid path, as well as other
will include Live Music by Anwyn & George Leverett, a Bardic
circle for poetry and storytelling, workshops, readings, Reiki healings,
music, drumming, shared feasting and rituals – also hiking,
swimming and vision quests.
are very excited to announce that our "official Bards"
* Anwyn & George Leverett *
will be attending the Gathering and performing their Celtic/Medieval
acoustic music on harp, guitar and whatever else they decide
George might even be teaching a harp
workshop and bringing
some harps for us to use
that he built himself!
More details on that to follow...
& Alternatives Info: http://rdg.mithrilstar.org/gatheringinfo.htm
not magic; it isn't a trick.
Every breath is a resurrection.
And when we hear the poem
Which is the world, when our eyes
Gaze at the beloved's body,
We're reborn in all the sacred parts
Of our own bodies:
Contracts, the brain
Releases its shower
and the tear
Embarks on its pilgrimage
Down the cheek to meet
The smiling mouth."
~ Gregory Orr ~
(Concerning the Book that is the
Body of the Beloved)
Word Within Letters
Interview with Tallyessin the Bard
Jillbe Badb, Contributing Editor
Manwaring – whose Bardic name is Tallyessin – is a novelist,
poet, storyteller and teacher. He has been performing his poetry
for over a decade in venues across Britain as well as the Rhode
Island Sacred Arts Festival. In 1998, he was awarded the Bardic
Chair of Caer Badon in Bath. In 1999, he won the Writers' New Ghost
Story Competition. He runs Silver Branch Bardic Training and teaches
fiction writing for the Open University. He lives in the city of
Bath. His Website is: http://www.tallyessin.com/
penned a comprehensive book on Bardry released last Spring –
The Bardic Handbook, The Complete Manual for the 21st Century Bard
– which has achieved applause of approval in the Bardic world.
You can learn more about this inspired work at: http://www.gothicimage.co.uk/bardic.html?
has also edited The Book of the Bardic Chair, released in April
(UK limited edition initially, by Sulis Underground) – followed
by a wider US version in the Autumn – published by RJ Stewart
Books. It features a foreword by Professor Ronald Hutton; and contributions
from Caitlin Matthews, RJ Stewart, John Michell and Dr. Graham Harvey,
as well as all the Bards of Bath, Ovates and Druids. Plus, this
work lists current Bardic Chairs, and how to set up your own.
Stewart Books will be publishing his series of Bardic novels: “The
Windsmith Odyssey!” Windsmith
(1), and The Well Under the Sea (2) will be coming out this Autumn.
Check them out soon at: http://www.rjstewart.net/
can buy his books directly – and even get signed copies –
let’s talk with Tallyessin himself...
What are the very basics a person needs to get started on the Bardic
path, according to your new work, The Bardic Handbook, The Complete
Manual for the 21st Century Bard?
open heart, an open mind, a willingness to learn, to play –
to give themselves permission to be creative, and a freedom to fail.
To feel the fear and do it anyway – hold onto the dragon's
tail and enjoy
I have read your (brilliant) work and have noted that it says that
the Bardic path is a lifelong one. Are you still memorizing poetry,
and how much these days?
depends on the gig if it's required for a show, I'll learn
it. Sometimes it's a case of
'downloading' from the long-term memory a poem I've already learnt:
dusting it off, polishing it up; other times, it's completely new
on average I can learn a poem in 30 minutes. A 30 verse one,
like I did in front of 300 people at the Wessex Gathering (although
I wrote, learnt and performed that in a week) takes a few days to
master. As with stories and songs, you need to let them 'inhabit'
you - live and breathe and dream them for a while - until you know
them back-to-front, so that when you perform them you're not worried
about forgetting the words (although stories are different, as you
don't learn them verbatim) you're concentrating upon conveying the
nuances of emotion & meaning, and letting the Awen come through.
Have you ever had an Otherworldly creature sing to you or give you
In a way... I was given a medicine rattle, unasked, on Solsbury
Hill (our local sacred bump of Peter Gabriel fame) when I was taking
part in a medicine circle with Roy Littlesun. A lady came up to
me and said: 'I think you should have this.’ Since then, I've
used it in my storytelling. Other than that, I'm still waiting for
that faerie branch – in the meantime, I made my own.
If an aspiring Bard were enrolled in a University, what classes
would you encourage her to take in order to form a good base of
Storytelling; performance poetry; creative writing; drama; music;
history; local studies; comparative religions; psychology even...
What was your most vivid Sidhe encounter?
Wildcamping by myself near a barrow called 'the Giant's Grave' on
the Wansdyke - a henge (ancient earthwork) stretching for miles
across Somerset and Wiltshire. As I curled up around the fire, in
the middle of the night, as the fire had died and I was beginning
to feel cold, I felt a presence behind me – a 'man' on the
edge of the grove. I was unable to move - sleep paralysis –
as he approached, reached over...and stoked the fire into life,
adding wood. Then he vanished. I wasn't able to sleep much after
that, but it was nearly dawn by then. I am glad I asked for the
blessing of the spirit of the (oak) grove before I made the fire
and went to sleep.
What is the name of your harp?
Haven't got one yet, as been working with a musician, but if I did
I think it should be a private sacred thing (personal choice).
If you were Bran -- in The Voyage of Bran – and beheld a plate
of food that reflected whatever you desired, would you eat of it?
Well, there's strong taboos about eating faerie food, but it would
be tempting – depends if I'd felt I'd achieved all I needed
to in this world. I still have too many books to write and tales
to tell before then!
Do you agree with the works of John and Caitlin Matthews that the
Bardic path is necessarily a Shamanic one? What of urban Bards?
I think they share similar roots, but you don't have to be a shaman
to be a bard, and certainly not vice versa (although there are obvious
overlaps). A powerful story performance should take the
audience on a magical healing journey - just like shaman does. At
the end of the day it is about connecting with your own tradition,
and being authentic, your source of inspiration - if that's urban,
so be it. The cities need healing and enchantment more than more
wild places after all.
Which deity is your biggest taskmaster? Greatest inspiration?
The Goddess in her many forms is my constant teacher and inspiration.
An Otherworldly creature offers you a "one-way trip" to
6th Century Wales: go or stay?
Tempting...but I've got too much to do in this time, and I probably
was there before anyway – I certainly connect with it more
than any other period or place.
Anything else you would like to add for up-and-coming Bards?
Believe in yourself – if you won't, no one else will. Stand
up there and shine!
some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things.
In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they
seem to move through me."
~~ John Fowles ~~
Step Into the Fire
land of dreams,
the shadow land of forgotten knowledge
that lives deep in our soul weaving a way back through
time and space to connect with the life we have now.
The roots of our own life
being the connection to the ancient ones
where we carry their mystery, their magic, their blessings
and their pain in our very bones and blood.
The inter-connection of all life,
past and future to the very moment of now.
The inter-connection of all life
and each other,
In the universal web that weaves and connects
the many layers of the many worlds.
Alone and together, empty and
the empty hearth of love always here,
but to know her fullness
Is to step into the fire.
~~ Pippa Bondy ~~
set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there."
~~ Francis Thompson ~~
following was submitted to us a couple years ago by one of our members
"across the pond";
he has always been able to weave a bold and bawdy tale...
* * * * * * *
is an excerpt from Bernard Cornwell's "Warlord Chronicles"
to remind us of what Beltane is really about and how our ancestors
narrator is Derfel Cadarn – a member of Arthur's war band
and Bard to Merlin – enjoy the tale and lap up the atmosphere!"
* * * * * *
Ye Olde Beltane Eve
greets the new summer and on the eve of the feast we let all the
fires in the village die. The kitchen fires, that had burned all
winter long, went unfed for the day and so by nighttime they were
nothing but embers. We raked them out, swept the hearths clean,
then laid new fires, while on a hill to the east of the village
we heaped two great piles of firewood, one of them stacked about
the sacred tree that Merlin, our Druid, had selected. It was a young
Hazel that we had cut down and carried ceremoniously through the
village, across the stream and up the hill. We hung the tree with
scraps of cloth, and all the houses, like the hall itself, were
decked with new young Hazel boughs.
night, all across Britain, the fires were dead. On Beltane Eve the
darkness rules. The feast was laid out in the hall, but there was
no fire to cook it and no flame to light the high rafters. There
was no light anywhere, except in those towns where Christians (spits
to avert evil) defied the great God Bel and lit treacherous fires
to insult him. But here in the countryside, the Pagan countryside,
we made sure that all was dark in Bel's honour.
we climbed the hill, a mass of villagers and spearmen driving cattle
and sheep that were folded
into wattle enclosures. Children played, but once the great dark
fell the smallest of them fell asleep and their little bodies lay
in the grass as the rest of us gathered about the unlit fires and
sang the "Lament of Annwn".
in the darkest part of the night, we made the new summer's fire.
Merlin made the flame by rubbing two sticks, while Issa, my head
spearman, dribbled shavings of larch-wood kindling onto the spark
that gave off a tiny wisp of smoke. The two men stooped to the tiny
flame, blew on it, added more kindling, and at last a strong flame
leapt up and all of us began to sing the "Chant of Belenus"
as Merlin carried the new fire to the heaps of firewood. The sleeping
children awoke and ran to find parents as the Beltane fires sprang
high and bright.
was sacrificed once the fires were burning. As ever Ceinwyn, my
wife, could not bear to watch and so turned away as the poor beasts
throat was cut and Merlin scattered its blood on the grass so that
he could find omens in the pattern that the sacrificial blood had
formed. He then tossed
the carcass onto the fire where the sacred Hazel now burned, and
then the villagers fetched their cattle and sheep and drove them
between the great blazes. We hung plaited straw collars about the
cows’ necks, and then watched as young women danced between
the fires to seek the blessings of Bel on their wombs. They had
done this at Imbolc too, but it was always repeated at Beltane.
This was the first year that my daughter Morwenna was old enough
to dance the fires and Arthur smiled at me as she twirled and leapt
- for at the equinox she and his son, Gwydre, would be handfasted,
so joining our two families more formally than our lifelong friendship
could. I turned around and looked to the horizon and could see the
bright flames of all the other Beltane fires burning in the distance.
All over Wessex the fires were being lit in honour of the sun God
- and I wondered how many more Beltane's we would enjoy before we
once again had to fight the Saxons.
had brought two huge iron cauldrons filled with wood and each family
took a piece, lit it upon the great fire and than ran down to their
huts and homes to light their kitchen fire so that every fire in
the village, that would burn until Samhain when we repeated the
ritual, would have come from the fire of Bel himself. When every
home had its fire we went to the hall and there lit the
fire that would roast the coming feast for us. By now it was nearly
dawn and so we crowded into the palisade to wait for Bel.
that his first shaft showed above the eastern horizon we burst into
a joyous song - the song of Lugh's birth and we danced as we sang,
and as we sang Merlin called upon the Gods and the Elements to preserve
and bless our village and the Sacred Island of Britain. We faced
Bel once more as his warming rays lit the new day and heralded the
start of summer and together the whole village offered up their
prayers to him.
we began to cook. Arthur and I had agreed that it should be a huge
feast for we did not know when the Saxons would come again and so
we wanted to give the people a memory worth fighting for. So we
had prepared five deer, two boars, three pigs, six sheep, ten baskets
of fresh bread baked on the old season's fires and several barrels
of mead. There was cheese and nuts and for the children we had baked
little cakes with Bel's symbol, a five-pointed star, scorched onto
the meal cooked, the villagers played games. There were pony races,
wrestling matches and a competition to see who could lift the heaviest
weight. The girls wove flowers into chains, which they then wore
on their heads, and, long before the feat had begun I saw young
couples begin to slip off into the woods. We ate in the afternoon
– as we feasted, the Bards and poets recited their work and
the success of their compositions was judged by the length of the
applause that each generated. I gave them all presents, even the
bad ones and there were plenty of those!
of the poets were young men who had blushed as they had recited
some ode to a village girl who had taken their fancy, and the villagers
laughed and jeered and then demanded that the girl referred to reward
the poet with a kiss. If the kiss was deemed too fleeting they would
hold boy and girl together and make them kiss properly.
too much. Indeed we all ate well and drank better. I was challenged
to a wrestling match with a farmer friend and the crowd demanded
that I accept and so, half drunk already, I clapped my hands on
his shoulders and he did the same to me. I could see in his eyes
that he was drunk - he could see that I was too and so instead of
wrestling we smiled, embracing as only friends can, and then wobbled
before toppling over and rolling down the hill in one another’s
arms. Somehow we dragged ourselves up again, only to be rewarded
by jeers and catcalls for our poor performance.
I was very mead-fuddled and Ceinwyn linked her arm through mine,
kissed me and said, "Lord Derfel Cadarn, I do believe that
you are drunk!"
am that my Lady" I answered.
will sleep like a Hog and snore like one too" she chided.
Beltane" I answered by way of excuse; "Everyone gets drunk
is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes,
and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief
that all's right with the world."
Ada Louise Huxtable ~~
Writings from OMS Druids
Contributing Editor, Jillbe Badb, was especially prolific this season,
and we'd like to thank her for the multitude of submissions she sent in!
In other sections, there are some offerings sent in by personal friends
of Jillbe's who wanted to be published in this issue, and we thank them
used with kind permission)
of Calan Mai"
by Jillbe Badb
Whitsun, Old Bhealltainn,
Cetshamain, Samhradh, La Baal Tinne,
Do not all my offspring call me on this day?
Is this not the day I created Arthur?
Is this not the day I call forth my Sidhe Tribes?
And they sing of three realms and seven directions.
Hear me blow my horn three times.
When will I gaze upon nature's enchantments?
When will the wildlings dance forth?
When will I command all Elementals?
You will see me at the crossroads.
You will see me in your chalice's reflection.
You will see me in a thousand ribbons.
the branches of the Great Tree,
You will find me at the Sacred Center,
In the Grove of all Worlds.
With me the 5 Protectors:
Blackbird, Keeper of the Gate;
Stag of Seven Tines, Master of Time;
Ancient Owl, Crone of the Night;
Eagle, Lord of the Air, Eye of the Sun;
Salmon, Oldest and Wisest of the Wise;
Together, we dream all worlds.
Shimmering, I appear to you,
At this spinning of The Wheel,
An antlered boy, movements and hair wild,
Eyes full of endless heavens -
Hawk - used with permission
serpent in one hand,
A Torq of gold in the other...
Calling to my triple mother,
All-Mother? Anu? Don?
On this day of thinning veils,
I will watch you, my young...
As you dance and couple ecstatically,
To eternal Fire within your Spirit.
Every man, an image of me,
Each woman, my eternal consort.
Guess who she is.
Created before Mother Earth.
A creature so mighty,
she creates mountains,
and islands with her will.
She will not be a different age
From beginning to the end of time.
Her spread has caused
Worship, awe, and
She has no desire for
Yet she is the Creator and Destroyer!
She only pauses when
Meeting her sisters,
Stone and Sea.
Oh Deities! The night sky
Brightens with her presence.
Great her majesty,
her orange crown of power.
Without old age, without ages.
Yet creator of destiny,
And her passion burns,
Through seven periods of the seven realms!
None is older,
Yet she has no young.
And she is as wide as the
Core and crust of the earth,
Yet she was not born, and...
She has never been seen as a child.
She grows on land, emerges from the sea,
She is unstoppable.
She is unequaled.
She is ethereal.
She is from seven sacred directions,
Yet all places at once.
She commences her journey
from middle earth to all realms.
She is loud yet silent,
Bold, yet timid,
Angry, yet nurturing.
Greatest is her symbol on Mother Earth.
She is small, she is huge,
She arrives frequently...
In the heat of the sun,
In the coldness of the moon.
by Jillbe Badb
silence I seek wisdom,
In wisdom, vision,
In vision, eyes of a hawk,
With eyes of a hawk, objectivity,
In objectivity, solemnity,
In solemnity, talons of a dragon
With talons of a dragon, bravery,
In bravery, strength
In strength, horns of a stag,
With horns of a stag, ceremony,
In ceremony, dance,
In dance, the tail of a dolphin,
With the tail of a dolphin, joy,
In joy I seek silence.
I am a being between all realms.
I am a dream in my father's head.
I am the thirst for ancient texts.
I am a prayer heard only in darkness.
I am a runner in an invisible race.
I am the scribe to a long-dead king.
I am night terrors and fierce dreams.
I am the sacred soil of an Oak Forest.
I am a primordial fern along a riverbed.
I am a cricket singing in the night.
I am a crow circling above battle.
I am a ram with horns of might.
I am a pregnant woman clad in furs.
I am the eternal scream of birth.
I am the alpha of all beginnings.
I am all that is immediate.
by Jillbe Badb
A breeze upon the sea was I,
Five words to describe why -
They say I was dreaming.
I was a smoky ember within fire;
I was a root deep in the earth;
I was a spotted moth in the air;
I was a dancing kelp in the water;
I was a fleeting idea in a spirit.
A being of the land am I,
Again five words to describe why -
They call me a dreamer.
I am the red of a singing robin;
I am the orange of a monarch butterfly;
I am the yellow of ripe lemons;
I am the green of polished jade;
I am the blue of glacier lakes;
I am the purple of wild fireweed;
I am the indigo of desert lightening.
A spirit of the sky, I will be,
Five more words to make you believe -
They say I will be dreamt.
I will become an Ancestor and shade,
I will be beyond the Veil,
I will jump through Cerridwen's cauldron,
I will be reborn to the earthly planes!
Oh, shining Sidhe,
Can I dwell forever in your crystal realm?
And succumb to the scent of your blue roses?
I was a multiplicity of vibrations;
I was a prism within water,
I was life sprouting inside earth,
I was the dance powering fire,
I was a whisper carried by air.
I have been a shocking meteorite.
I have been a spoken symbol.
I have been a fleeting dream.
I have been the light within forests,
For seven-hundred seventy-seven millennia.
I have been a mist-filled bridge,
Dancing through the circle of seasons.
I have been a path: I have been a forgotten Ancestor:
I have been a Shining One dwelling within Mounds,
I have been a Spirit communicating from Elysium,
I have been a lived within the Isle of Apples,
I have been a shadow in the Underworld,
I have been a voice within walls of Iona,
I have been a keeper of all secrets.
only in mirrors...
All participants should:
ground / center
circlet in hair
woad or henna flower markings
skyclad with sandles/shoes
(keep cloaks and blankets on hand)
Up of Altars:
gold altar cloth, feather, incense, bell, wand
yellow triple-wick Candle
blue single candle
red altar cloth, anointing oil, sickle, boline, candle snuffer,
bowl of herbs: wooduff, marigold, rose petals, orange blooms
red triple-wick candle
red single candle
blue cloth, goblet of salt water, bowl of water, seashell, chalice
with wine, decanters of wine, bowl of berries, cauldron
blue triple-wick candle
green single candle
green cloth, plants, bowl of salt, stones, flowers, offering cakes
green triple-wick candle
yellow single candle
wood and lighter
Goddess and God candles and statues
Phallus and Yoni statues
Cyllell (blade) and Caregl (chalice)
pitcher of water
(campanulas, primroses, daisies, roses, marigolds about a foot
out in a circle around the fire pit)
(Sing 7 times)
Mother Gaia, fill me with your love,
Hold me close to your breast,
Surround me with your love,
In and all around me
Mother Gaia, fill me with your love,
Be one with me, let me be your love.
The Calling of the Seven Directions:
Designated beforehand, four Grove members take their places in
each of the cardinal directions:
"I call upon the Bean Sidhe of the East, the washers of the
Ford, the bringers of sendings and warnings in beautiful and hideous
forms, to witness these rites we undertake tonight..
"I call upon the Dioane Sidhe of the South, bringers of peace,
mighty Fennians, fierce warrior elves and masters of all blades
to witness these rites we undertake this night."
"I call upon the Sylph Sidhe of the West, the bringers of
thought and tranquility, ancient shape shifters and glamour-wielders,
to witness these rites we undertake this night. "
"I call upon the Leanan Sidhe of the North, bringers of inspiration
and poetry, relentless muses, to witness these rites we undertake
"I call upon the Aes Sidhe above, our primordial ancestors,
creators of all seven realms, to witness these rites we undertake
"I call upon the Sidhe within the Mounds below us, to awaken
and witness these rites we undertake this night."
(A drum roll)
"I call upon the Kin within us, the Spirit of Nature, and
of our true selves, the inner 'winged' aspect of our souls, to
witness these rites we undertake this night."
Scribe holds the Waters-of-life while the AD asks the interrogatories:
AD: Of what does the Primordial All-Knowing
Mother give that we may know the continual flow and renewal of
DRUIDS: THE WATERS-OF-LIFE.
AD: From Whence do these waters flow?
DRUIDS: FROM THE BOSOM OF OUR MOTHER,
THE NEVER CHANGING ALL-MOTHER.
AD: And how do we honor this gift
that cause life in us?
DRUIDS: BY PARTAKING OF THE WATERS-OF-LIFE.
AD: Has the earth-mother given forth
of her bounty?
DRUIDS: SHE HAS!
AD: Then give me the Waters!
AD takes the caregl from the Server, who fills it if it is not
already full. The AD then consecrates its contents with the following:
"O Dalon Ap Landu, Hallow these waters by your seven-fold
powers and by the three ways of day and one of night. Cleanse
our hearts and join us together as we take and drink of your secret
The Server then holds the caregl in both
hands, while the AD holds the Cyllell above the caregl, and intones
AD: "As the Cyllell is to the
To which the Server replies:
SERVER: "…so the Caregl
is to the Goddess.."
Here the AD dips the Cyllell into the caregl
three times, and then both reply:
BOTH: "…and so the two
are made one."
Jumping through smoke for purification (All)
Body communion (growing closer) (All)
Feeding each other berries and wine (All)
Ribbon binding (binding one to blessings) (All)
The Great Rite of Cernunnos and Anu (AD and Scribe)
follows a period of silent meditation)
Hawk - used with permission
AD holds up the caregl so that all can see it and intones the
"This is the Water of Life! Happy are those who are called
to Drink Deep of it. May those who do so never thirst."
The AD drinks from the caregl and blesses
the Scribe with the words:
"Thou art God/dess," and the marking of the Mithril
Star in the air.
Scribe returns the blessing and receives the caregl from the HP.
The Scribe drinks, blesses the Server, is blessed in return, and
gives the Server the caregl. The Server drinks, then goes around
the circle of the Grove (usually clockwise) blessing each person,
handing them the caregl, letting them drink, being blessed in
and exchanging the words "Thou art God/dess," "Drink
Deep," or "May you never thirst," return and taking
the caregl to the next person. The Server does not drink more
Then the AD takes the last sip returning the remainder on the
To you we return this portion of your bounty, O our Mother, even
as we must return to you.
follows a period of silent meditation)
Soft music is played.
The drum roll signals the end of the Service.
"Go forth into the world, secure in the knowledge that we
go forth with the Earth Mothers blessing, the consent of the Sidhe
and Dalon ap Landu's protection."
Drawing the Mithril Star in the Air (All)
The AD blesses the Grove with three septacles
in the air, left to right, saying:
Peace! Peace! Peace!
The Release of the Seven (reversal of the
"Calling of the Seven")
"We thank you, o Spirit of Kin within, for your presence
this night in our service. Go if ye must, stay if ye will. You
AD: "The circle is open, but
never broken. Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again…"
the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne."
~~ Barry Cornwall ~~
many animals/critters can you find in this picture?
(Give the total number,
and a list of all
the critters you found)
more than one entry is correct, we will have a drawing)
winner will receive a prize from Avalon
Risen (our online store that supports this publication)
your entries to:
for entries is the Full (Blue) Moon of May 31, 2007
to the nights where the sand is your seat,
the waves kiss your feet, your friends outnumber the stars,
and even the chilliest of nights, are still warmer
than the cold one in your hand."
Kristen at http://tinyurl.com/2eqch5
Four Faerie Shaman Gifts
When the Great Tuatha De Dannan came to the shores of this reality,
they brought with them four Faerie Gifts. These gifts were used
in the Creation Battle to dispel the workers of darkness.
Dagda, the great Father-Lord, brought with him the Cauldron (chalice,
emotional power). It would produce food for all who needed it, and
any weapon dipped in its waters was immediately repaired.
the Silver-Armed, brought the Sword (athame, intellectual power).
No enemy it was turned upon would succeed in battle.
brought the Spear (wand, creative power). When thrown, it would
never miss its target and it would always return to the hand of
final was the Stone of Faal, or Stone of Destiny (pentacle, material
power). It was the solid foundation upon which this reality was
Tuatha De Dannan won the battle and peace and tranquility reigned
for hundreds of years. Then the Milesians (humankind) came, and
the Tuatha knew that their time was over. Until this point, the
spiritual world and physical world existed on the same plane.
than fight the Milesians, who were born pure of heart, the Great
Faeries decided to rip the worlds asunder and split the Spiritual
Plane (Astral) from the Physical Plane.
they knew that one plane fed upon the other and needed it for existence.
So they created many doorways between the worlds. The "Keys"
to these doors are the Four Great Faerie Gifts. They
placed the energies of the four keys in the hearts of the Milesian
to be drawn upon to enter the Gates to the Other-Worlds.
Spear of Lugh represents the urge to explore one's spirituality.
It also represents one's creative urges, inspiration, and young
Cauldron of the Dagda represents ones emotional health, relationships,
and the need to connect with others.
Sword of Nuada is the intellectual curiosity inherent in humankind
– the need to learn, explore, and communicate with others.
the Stone of Faal represents the ability to keep one's material
life stable; this includes physical health, as well as achieving
the means to support and sustain oneself.
The Faerie Gifts are
a way to balance one's life to meet the many needs of the soul,
mind, body and spirit. It is vital that the four Faerie Gifts remain
balanced in the soul. No one gift should be sacrificed for the other
three. For example, one should never explore the spirit realms while
ignoring the material level. One should never throw oneself into
a relationship at the expense of intellectual exploration. Strive
always to maintain this balance. When all Faerie Gifts are tended
to, one can achieve a sense of Spiritual, Emotional, Intellectual,
and Physical health.
Quest to Regain Balance
-Close your eyes and
begin breathing in a slow and steady manner. Use whatever methods
you need to achieve your shamanic state of consciousness.
materialize in a small clearing with a well in the center of it.
Stand for a few minutes and gaze at your surroundings and become
familiar with them. Approach the well.
-Allow all of your cares,
worries, and stressors to materialize as small pebbles in the palm
of your hand. Drop them into the well, and watch them disappear
into the darkness. When you hear the sound of them hitting the waters,
turn and walk away.
-You walk down a path
into the woods. Small woodland creatures and faeries play and frolic
in the greenery. Perhaps your Faerie Guides and Animal Helpers approach
you and join you on this quest. You enter a small clearing and sit
on the earth.
see four great trees before you. Each tree has a different symbol
glowing in its bark. The first has a red spear, the second a blue
cauldron, the third a yellow sword, and the fourth a green stone.
Look at the images. Get up and go over to touch them if you wish.
Are any of them dimmer or brighter than the others? How does each
make you feel? Are you drawn or repelled by any specific symbols.
Knowing the basis behind the symbols, intuitively analyze them.
Do any of them need to be brightened? Send your power into them
and make them burn stronger. Do any need to be dimmed? Transfer
some of its power into the healing earth. Use all of your Faerie
Shaman skills to achieve a sense of balance in these symbols. Remain
here for a while.
-When you are done, return
back down the path. Tell your Spirit Friends good-bye and return
to the clearing by the well. Look up into the sky. The sun is setting
to the west and the moon is rising to the east. A glowing light
surrounds you as you return to your body.
-Record your observations
and thoughts in your diary.
many more of her awesome stories here:
is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes,
And pleasant scents the noses."
Parker Willis (1806-1867) ~~
Reprinted with Permission
The rite of spring
Gathered in the greenwood bright
Round the spiral the lovers dance
Bathed within the fertile light
The honey and the milk are shared
And through the dance
We cast a prayer
Calling in the summers wind
The rite of spring begins again
Circle round the seasons round
Circle round the ribbons bound
Binding tidings to the ground
The circle of the seasons
Circle round the seasons round
Circle round spiral bound
Binding tidings to the ground
The circle of the seasons
Of mornings fair
The garlands that the mummers tie
A flower circlet in her hair
The earth makes love to the sky
And when the circle
Of day is done
By fires bright the lovers meet,
Through the night the rite of spring
And at dawn a merry light to greet
Circle round the seasons round
Circle round the ribbons bound
Binding tidings to the ground
The circle of the seasons
Circle round the seasons round
Circle round spiral bound
Binding tidings to the ground
The circle of the seasons
Reborn Reborn The barley and the corn
Reborn Reborn The thistle and the thorn
Reborn Reborn The suns golden dawn
Reborn Reborn The crescents silver horn
For more information
about Kelly and her band - Woodland - please visit:
Reprinted with Permission
Beneath the twinkling
A forest filled with eyes,
Faces in the trees,
The wood is alive,
By the juniper roots,
A doorway is shown,
As the springtime primrose,
Touches the stone,
The ravens are crowing,
In the windswept field,
Mysteries are growing,
As fast as they're revealed,
The gift of forgetting,
Such sorrowful deeds,
The joy of remembering,
The wind amongst the reeds,
All the ghosts are gay to gather,
When the host welcomes them in,
And who's to refuse,
The company of friends,
For the kin we are seeking,
Have been here all along,
May the circle be strong,
Let the wood be filled with song…
On Beltane night,
Amidst the candlelight,
Gathered in our sight,
In the beating of wings,
That we might see
The soul in everything that is…
more information about Kelly and her band - Woodland - please
by virtue of their universal presence, majestic yet human scale,
bridging the gap between earth and air, are the rightful symbols
of all which humankind aspires to in its relationship with the planet."
~~ Oscar Beck ~~
Druid's Egg newsletter is supported by our online store:
is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's
as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from
that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit."
~~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~~
Ireland this world and the world we go to after death are not far
~~ W. B. YEATS ~~
The Heaven-World of the ancient
Celts, unlike that of the Christians, was not situated in some distant,
unknown region of planetary space, but here on our own earth. As
it was necessarily a subjective world, poets could only describe
it in terms more or less vague; and its exact geographical
location, accordingly, differed widely in the minds of scribes from
century to century. Sometimes, as is usual today in fairy-lore,
it was a subterranean world entered through caverns, or hills, or
mountains, and inhabited by many races and orders of invisible beings,
such as demons, shades, fairies, or even gods…
And the underground world of the
Sidhe-folk, which cannot be separated from it, was divided into
districts or kingdoms under different fairy kings and queens, just
as the upper world of mortals. We already know how the Tuatha De
Danann or Sidhe-folk, after their defeat by the Sons of Mil at the
Battle of Tailte, retired to this underground world and took possession
of its palaces beneath the green hills and vales of Ireland; and
how from there, as gods of the harvest, they still continued to
exercise authority over their conquerors, or marshaled their own
invisible spirit-hosts in fairy warfare, and sometimes interfered
in the wars of men…
“Many go to the Tir-na-nog in sleep,
and some are said to have remained there,
and only a vacant form is left behind without the light in the
which marks the presence of a soul.”
~~ A. E. ~~
frequently, in the old Irish manuscripts, the Celtic Otherworld
was located in the midst of the Western Ocean, as though it were
the 'double' of the lost Atlantis; and Manannan Mac Lir, the Son
of the Sea--perhaps himself the 'double' of an ancient Atlantean
king--was one of the divine rulers of its fairy inhabitants, and
his palace, for he was one of the Tuatha De Danann, was there rather
than in Ireland; and when he traveled between the two countries
it was in a magic chariot drawn by horses who moved over the sea-waves
as on land. And fairy women came from that mid-Atlantic world in
magic boats like spirit boats, to charm away such mortal men as
in their love they chose, or else to take great Arthur wounded unto
death. And in that island world there was neither death nor pain
nor scandal, naught save immortal and unfading youth, and endless
joy and feasting…
yet at rare intervals, like a phantom, Hy Brasil appears far out
on the Atlantic. No later than the summer of 1908 it is said to
have been seen from West Ireland, just as that strange invisible
island near Innishmurray, inhabited by the invisible 'gentry', is
seen--once in seven years. And too many men of intelligence testify
to having seen Hy Brasil at the same moment, when they have been
together, or separated, as during the summer of 1908, for it to
be explained away as an ordinary illusion of the senses. Nor can
it be due to a mirage such as we know, because neither its shape
nor position seems to conform to any known island or land mass…
Celtic Otherworld is like that hidden realm of subjectivity lying
just beyond the horizon of mortal existence, which we cannot behold
when we would, save with the mystic vision of the Irish
seer. Thus in the legend of Bran's friends, who sat over dinner
at Harlech with the Head of Bran for seven years, three curious
birds acted as musicians, the Three Birds of Rhiannon, which were
said to sing the dead back to life and the living into death; but
the birds were not in Harlech, they were out over the sea in the
atmosphere of Rhiannon's realm in the bosom of Cardigan Bay…
though we might say of that Otherworld, as we learn from these Three
Birds of Rhiannon, and as Socrates would say, that its inhabitants
are come from the living and the living in our world from the dead
there, yet…we ought not to think of the Sidhe-folk, nor of
such great heroes and gods as Arthur and Cuchulainn and Finn, who
are also of its invisible company, as in any sense half-conscious
shades; for they are always represented as being in the full enjoyment
of an existence and consciousness greater than our own…
Irish manuscripts, the Otherworld beyond the Ocean bears many names.
It is Tír-na-nog, 'The Land of Youth'; Tír-Innambéo,
'The Land of the Living'; Tír Tairngire, 'The Land of Promise';
Tír N-aill, 'The Other Land (or World)'; Mag Már,
'The Great Plain'; and also Mag Mell, 'The Plain Agreeable (or Happy)...'
this western Otherworld, if it is what we believe it to be--a poetical
picture of the great subjective world--cannot be the realm of any
one race of invisible beings to the exclusion of another. In it
all alike--gods, Tuatha De Danann, fairies, demons, shades, and
every sort of disembodied spirits--find their appropriate abode;
for though it seems to surround and interpenetrate this planet even
as the X-rays interpenetrate matter, it can have no other limits
than those of the Universe itself…
that it is not an exclusive realm is certain from what our old Irish
manuscripts record concerning the Fomorian races. These, when they
met defeat on the battle-field of Moytura at the hands of the Tuatha
De Danann, retired altogether from Ireland, their overthrow being
final, and returned to their own invisible country--a mysterious
land beyond the Ocean, where the dead find a new existence, and
where their god-king Tethra ruled, as he formerly ruled in this
the fairy women of Tethra's kingdom, even like those who came from
the Tuatha De Danann of Erin, or those of Manannan's ocean-world,
enticed mortals to go with them to be heroes under their
king, and to behold there the assemblies of ancestors. It was one
of them who came to Connla, son of Conn, supreme king of Ireland;
and this was her message to him: 'The immortals invite you. You
are going to be one of the heroes of the people of Tethra. You will
always be seen there, in the assemblies of your ancestors, in the
midst of those who know and love you.' And with the fairy spell
upon him the young prince entered the glass boat of the fairy woman,
and his father the king, in great tribulation and wonder, beheld
them disappear across the waters never to return…
enter the Otherworld before the appointed hour marked by death,
a passport was often necessary, and this was usually a silver branch
of the sacred apple-tree bearing blossoms, or fruit, which the queen
of the Land of the Ever-Living and Ever-Young gives to those mortals
whom she wishes for as companions; though sometimes, as we shall
see, it was a single apple without its branch. The queen's gifts
serve not only as passports, but also as food and drink for mortals
who go with her. Often the apple-branch produces music so soothing
that mortals who hear it forget all troubles and even cease to grieve
for those whom the fairy women take. For us there are no episodes
more important than those in the ancient epics concerning these
apple-tree talismans, because in them we find a certain key which
unlocks the secret of that world from which such talismans are brought,
and proves it to be the same sort of a place as the Otherworld of
the Greeks and Romans…
branch of the apple-tree from Emain
I bring, like those one knows;
Twigs of white silver are on it,
Crystal brows with blossoms.
There is a distant isle,
Around which sea-horses glisten:
A fair course against the white-swelling surge,--
Four feet uphold it.
Irish Druids made their wands of divination from the yew-tree, and,
like the ancient priests of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, are believed
to have controlled spirits, fairies, daemons, elementals, and ghosts
while making such divinations…
will help us to understand how closely the ancient symbols have
affected our own life and age – though we have forgotten their
relation with the Otherworld – by offering a few examples,
beginning with the ancient Irish bards who were associated with
wand in the form of a symbolic branch, like a little spike or crescent
with gently tinkling bells upon it, was borne by them; and in the
piece called Mesca Ulad or 'Inebriety of the Ultonians' it is said
of the chief bard of Ulster, Sencha, that in the midst of a bloody
fray he 'waved the peaceful branch of Sencha, and all the men of
Ulster were silent, quiet'...
Agallamh an dá Shuadh or the 'Dialogue of the two Sages',
the mystic symbol used by gods, fairies, magicians, and by all initiates
who know the mystery of life and death, is thus described as a Druid
symbol: 'Neidhe' (a young bard who aspired to succeed his father
as chief poet of Ulster), 'made his journey with a silver branch
Anradhs, or poets of the second order, carried a silver branch,
but the Ollamhs, or chief poets, carried a branch of gold; all other
poets bore a branch of bronze...'
and ancient parallels are worldwide, among the most civilized as
among the least civilized peoples, and in civil or religious life
among ourselves. Thus, it was with a magic rod that Moses struck
the rock and pure water gushed forth, and he raised the same rod
and the Red Sea opened; kings hold their sceptres no less than Neptune
his trident; popes and bishops have their croziers; in the Roman
Church there are little wandlike objects used to perform benedictions;
high civil officials have their mace of office; and all the world
over there are the wands of magicians and of medicine-men…
enticed into Fairyland by a fairy woman: She carries him away on
a white horse, across the Western Ocean; and as they are moving
over the sea-waves they behold a fair maid on a brown horse, and
she holding in her right hand a golden apple...
the hero had married his fairy abductress and lived in the Otherworld
for three hundred years, an overpowering desire to return to Ireland
and join again in the councils of his dearly beloved Fenian Brotherhood
took possession of him, and he set out on the same white horse on
which he traveled thence with the fairy princess, for such was his
she, as he went, thrice warned him not to lay his 'foot on level
ground', and he heard from her the startling announcement that the
Fenians were all gone and Ireland quite changed...
in Ireland, Ossian seeks the Brotherhood, and though he goes from
one place to another where his old companions were wont to meet,
not one of them can he find. And how changed is all the land! He
realizes at last how long he must have been away. The words of his
fairy wife are too sadly true…
Ossian wanders disconsolately over Ireland, he comes to a multitude
of men trying to move an enormous slab of marble, under which some
other men are lying. 'Ossian's assistance is asked, and he generously
gives it. But in leaning over his horse, to take up the stone with
one hand, the girth breaks, and he falls. Straightway the white
horse fled away on his way home, and Ossian became aged, decrepit,
are two chief classes of Otherworld legends. In one there is the
beautiful and peaceful Tír Innambéo or' Land of the
Living' under Manannan's rule across the seas, and its fairy inhabitants
are principally women who lure away noble men and youths through
love for them; in the other there is a Hades world – often
confused with the former – in which great heroes go on some
mysterious quest. Sometimes this Hades world is inseparable from
the underground palaces or world of the Tuatha De Danann...
a rule the Hades world, or underground and under-wave world, is
unlike Manannan's peaceful ocean realm, being often described as
a place of much strife; and mortals are usually induced to enter
it to aid in settling the troubles of its fairy inhabitants...
the Book of Leinster, and in later MSS., there is a dinnshenchas
of almost primal pagan purity. It alludes to Clidna's Wave, that
of Tuag Inbir: To Tuag, daughter of Conall, Manannan the sea-god
sent a messenger, a Druid of the Tuatha De Danann in the shape of
a woman. The Druid chanted a sleep spell over the girl, and while
he left her on the seashore to look for a boat in which to embark
for the 'Land of Everliving Women', a wave of the flood tide came
and drowned her...
the Oxford version of the same tale doubts whether the maiden was
drowned, for it suggests, 'Or maybe it (the wave) was Manannan himself
that was carrying her off.' Thus the scribe understood that to go
to Manannan's world literally meant entering a sleep or trance state,
or, what is equivalent in the case of the maiden whom Manannan summoned,
the passage through death from the physical body...
still, to-day, the Irish peasant believes that the 'good people'
take to their invisible world all young men or maidens who meet
death; or that one under a fairy spell may go to their world for
a short-time, and come back to our world again…
There is a LOT more info on the various aspects
of the Otherworld/Underworld of the Celts at the following website:
Excerpts from: SECTION II, THE RECORDED FAIRY-FAITH, CHAPTER VI
all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable;
with the possible exception of a moose singing "Embraceable You"
~~ Woody Allen ~~
(c) 2007 William A. York. All rights reserved.
with permission - generously submitted to our newsletter
Every Garden is nourished regardless
Of the size of the raindrop that blesses it
The garden embraces the raindrop
The raindrop surrenders to the garden
The garden surrenders to the abundance
Of the raindrop and is made beautiful
In a loving embrace the Raindrop
Is transformed into the beautiful garden
The garden and the raindrop become
Inseparable in their love dance
The love that calls the dance
Of the raindrop and the garden
Is the same love that never stops
Inviting us to dance together
Even the powerful spring rainstorm
Begins with a single drop
Even the grand public gardens
Began with a single fragile tiny shoot
To become the power of the spring rainstorm
Is to know yourself as the single raindrop
To be as grand as the public garden
First know yourself to be the fragile tiny shoot
When you choose to be the garden embrace
Each single raindrop that surrenders to you
When you choose to be the raindrop surrender
To each garden that embraces you
As I surrender into your embrace
We are both blessed and nourished
As you surrender into my embrace
We are both made more beautiful
When I am the rain drop I willingly
Surrender into your loving embrace
I am the garden I open fully and embrace
The blessed nourishment of your love
The love dance of the raindrop and the garden
Blesses the world with their power and beauty
Our love dance will transform the world
Will you be a garden or a raindrop today?
a long sweet summer night
All the kisses you bring get my temperature right.
long sweet summer night
I will love you with the day turning too
If it's the only other thing that I do."
Kristen at http://tinyurl.com/2eqch5
Release all fear
Copyright (c) 2007 William A. York. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission - generously submitted to our newsletter
by oldest stars with
Urgent eagerness I bite down
am consumed by
The Wild Wisdom Nut
Of deep forested Hazel trees
in late August
great cave I emerge
My bright fire now the only light
high mountain waterfall
Hurling myself— freedom in
Free fall and tossed about
At the roaring base of the falls
I am Bradan, ancient of Salmons
Fording the depths of this wisdom well
Silently settling, deeper I go until greeted
By joyful voices of the Singing Stones
Ray of first
morning sun caresses
My face as fin becomes feather
Scales to beak I am Druid-Dhubh
Blackbird from the inner Gateway
This message from the singing stones
Caw! Caw! Swooping low over heather glens
Caw! Caw! The hour is late
my tunic and gleaming is the
Silver buckle of the belt about my waist
Shimmering grey whiteness reflecting
The crescent moon directly over head
my heart from just completed
Last of today's five times prayer
Ears and nose still wet from time
Honored cleansing rite
of a single
Point of stillness— round
Round I whirl
Other towards earth
Electric current union of
Heaven and earth Illuminates me
Orange lighted mist transmutes me
As I enter the Celestial Garden of Stones
My ancient and monolithic traveling companions
casting I walk the five
Paths of the great circle
I walk the
path of fire
Over sacred earth my bare feet caress
Cleansed by the water of the Goddess
The breath of life ignites the inner cauldron
My Spirit is awakened as the
Wisdom Guardians arrive
the Central Stone of the Henge
Keeper of sacred knowledge
the Fire from the Heavens
Guardian of the Divine Spark
the Eastern Wind
Bearer of the immense and coming Change
the Power of the Rainstorm
Deliverer of Blessed Rebirth
The All is
Let not your cup pass from me
In devotion I gladly drink
Your honeyed wine of remembrance
That has yet to pass
All the way
Ancestor's time till now
Freed from all deeds of the past
The Harvest is upon Us All
Reaching backward and forward
Through time, space and spirit
We are transformed by your light
burning brightly now
Spring breeze blows through green leaves and
Branches of the sacred Willow Grove
Stirring us from our nap
Blessed heat of divine embrace
We have become the union of
All that it is and nothing at all
Calling to us now
It is time
Time for Us
To enter and in the doing
a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance."
Bern Williams ~~
STATE OF THE REFORM
1 Samradh Y.G.R. 01
of today 335 Druids have registered
with the RDG:
are initiated Second Degree Druids
is eligible for ordination into the Third Degree
13 members are ordained Third Degree
the season of Earrach, we experienced a net membership gain of
Groves chartered: 2 (+
Total US Members: 177
Total Canadian Members: 15
Total UK Members:9
Total International Members: 158
Total Countries represented: 10
Total US States represented: 38
Total Canadian Provinces represented: 7
Top 5 US States: CA=32,
after all, is a time when wonderful
Things can happen to quiet people.
For those few months you're not required
To be who everyone thinks you are,
And that cut-grass smell in the air and
The chance to dive into the deep end of a pool
Give you a courage you don't have the rest of the year.
You can be graceful and easy,
With no eyes on you, and no past.
Summer just opens the door and lets you out...!"
from RDG's Autonomous Collectives
Clan of the Triplehorses Grove will be holding an outdoor Beltane
ritual on Saturday, May 5 in the Williams, Oregon area on private
property. Our ritual will be immediately followed by a potluck
and a detailed workshop on Ayurveda (East Indian teachings)
Herbal Healing which includes many Oregon native plants. For
more information, please contact email@example.com
OR see our website at http://home.earthlink.net/~triplehorses/
group's community service project, Rogue Rescue http://home.earthlink.net/~roguerescue
has just made a long term arrangement with Friends of the Animal
Shelter www.fotas.org and will be sponsoring a Pet of the Month
ad on a quarterly basis. Additionally, we are in the process
enclosing our porch so we may take in mothers with kittens to
foster until the babies are old enough to wean again through
FOTAS. Stay tuned for our progress!
In connection with our Senior Druid on the City's Tree Committee,
several members of our Grove will be volunteering for the City's
official Arbor Day event and will be planting four trees in
park. Additionally some of us have also volunteer to "man"
the Tree Committee's booth at the upcoming Master Garden Show
to pass out booklets on tree husbandry and the local ordinances
on land stewardship.
Already several of us across Oregon are making our plans for
our trip to the Redwoods over Lammas weekend~! We have tons
of extra camping gear to lend so if you need something there
is no need to buy it, simply arrange a time to pick it up. Email:
Infinite Deities Proto-Grove has had some exciting adventures,
including meditating on the beach, and conversing next to a
majestic blue lake. We are studying the RDG Druidism 101 course,
as well as the "The Bardic Handbook" by Kevan Manwaring.
We are composed of five dynamic members: Arch Druid Jillbe,
the Contributing Editor of The Druid's Egg; Misty, a long-time
Heathen whose love for nature brought her to Druidry; Bird,
a lover of trees and creatures who learned mysticism from her
father; Viola, an adventurous nature-worshipper trained in Shamanism,
and; Melissa, an animal healer and intuitive with an eclectic
Neo-Pagan path. We are in the planning stages for a lot of Proto-Grove
and community activities, including water-sharing rituals and
The Mother Grove has been extremely
busy this season.
We've begun doing 2nd degree initiations "live and in
person", as some new Pagans have moved into Humboldt
County and felt drawn to us and our way of Druidry.
We're also busy preparing for the Druid Gathering this coming
August, which will be a very musical one this year, with the
official Bards of the RDG, Annwyn and George Leverette providing
us with a workshop Saturday morning, and a concert Saturday
night. Also on hand with be the OMS' official Bard, Chris
Burbick (Antlerchime) who will host the Bardic circle on Friday
Ceridwen has been extremely busy this season with an influx
of clients for her Astrology, Numerology and Tarot readings
and workshops - and she is thrilled to have a new client "Down
Under" whose grandparents are Tribal Aboriginals and
who is also showing an interest in our Order!
Scribe El has processed 20 new members and 3 new Groves since
the last issue, and has expanded his work as "minister
of propaganda" into the My Space universe. Four new members
have already joined (in just two weeks) and we trust many
more will come in as well.
All this, plus doing our "day jobs" has been quite
taxing but very rewarding.
Currently meeting in the lush emerald
woods of Fairmount Park in the city of Brotherly Love and
Sisterly Affection (commonly know as Philadelphia), Aelvenstar
Grove honors Mother Earth. The grove was formally founded
Beltaine, 2004 and is a proto grove of the Reformed Druids
of Gaia/Order of the Mithril Star and the Reformed Druids
Of North America. In addition, we are associated with other
pagan organizations such as Per NTR Sesen and Temple Harakhte.
to our ancestors and the ancients, Aelvenstar Druids respect
all life and receive inspiration from Nature and the heavens.
We believe it is the natural state of Mankind to live in harmony
with Nature. and that it is our responsibility to respect
and protect the Earth. As activists, it is our responsibility
to do our part collectively and individually to heal the environment.
development through the practice of Druidcraft, focus is placed
upon personal growth through the development of body, mind,
and spirit. Through study, discussions, rituals, retreats,
fellowship, and meditation, a spiritual framework is provided
through which Druids may further develop themselves.
Grove holds eight celebrations a year, on the solstices, equinoxes,
and cross quarter festivals. We sometimes meet on other occasions
for outings and initiations. Online meetings and initiations
are held too, as some members live a distance away.
new members of all backgrounds who love nature and seek spirituality
permeated in the divine beauty and wonder that surrounds us.
Nature is groovy!
available: Reformed Druidism 101
more information about Druidism, visit http://rdg.mithrilstar.org
news this season from:
Euless, TX USA
San Marcos, TX USA
of Stone Proto-Grove
Colorado Springs, CO USA
Thorn & Rose Grove
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year -
it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul."
Sisters of Bealtaine
Kev the Bard
Reprinted with permission - generously
submitted to our newsletter
days sit between solar events,
‘Tween two Equinoxes or two Solstices, past, future, present
sits between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice,
life waking and dream.
Dawn breaking, Gaia waking, flowers bloom, brown turns green.
compliment, the Yang to the Yin.
But they share many qualities, for the veils are both thin…
and Ostara, three seed celebrations.
Fertility deserves, does not need salutations.
Dé Danann, the peoples of the goddess Danu,
May have shown the Milesieans what the Druids can do.
see it as curse or see it as Gift
That no line occurs where history becomes myth.
rise just before the sun.
Seven joyous sisters, imbibing for fun.
on the Plough and request the pull
Of their engine and pilot, of Taurus the bull.
of Bealtaine, each one of a kind,
Ride out in the sky with the sun just behind.
Hip-Hop Bard and Shield Knight, Kev the Poet
Kevin Panton is the author of 'Silent Screams of Intense Bliss'
and the THC Society Website:
He is also a Shield Knight and the 'Hip-Hop Bard' of The Loyal
sit in front of water and send out messages of love and gratitude,
somewhere in the world, someone is being filled with love and gratitude.
You don’t need to go anywhere. The water right in front of you
is linked to all the water in the world.
The water you’re looking at will resonate with water everywhere,
and your message of love will reach the souls of all the people in the
~~ Dr. Masaru Emoto, from his book, “The Hidden Messages in
an extended break from teaching group classes,
Ceridwen is still offering PRIVATE TUTORING sessions!
Here are the details:
She will send you your chart and many other pertinent tables for
use in the lessons, and she will set up a private database for
you. You will receive a link to a "Lessons 101" page
on her website, where she will upload each lesson as you are ready
for it. There is homework and a midterm and final exam for each
complete session, which you will complete and send to her by email.
Your homework is graded and your questions are answered as they
come up - lots of personal attention, as you need it. Private
Tutoring is based on YOUR schedule and speed of learning, and
you can take breaks whenever "life" gets in the way...then
you can take up where you left off when you are ready to return
to your studies...
These classes are VERY EXTENSIVE - much like a college course
- with a LOT of material and visual aids contained within the
There are 3 levels of study: Beginning,
Intermediate and Advanced...
the components that make up a chart (Planets, Signs, Houses
Your strengths, potentials, obstacles and challenges
Meanings of the 28 Moon phases and their planetary rulers
How to see the "larger picture" of your life purpose
The cycles of your life (transiting planets) and how to use
them to make informed decisions and choices that will be in
alignment with your higher purpose
How to use the planetary energies in ritual for growth and transformation
How you relate to the significant people in your life
The fees for the private tutoring sessions are as follows:
Beginning Session: $50
Intermediate Session: $75
Advanced Session: $100
She will provide a PayPal link (for credit cards or e-checks)...or
if you don't use online electronic payments, she can receive checks
or money orders.
To her knowledge, she is possibly the only one who teaches an
extensive college-like course in Astrology that is completely
INTERACTIVE with a LIVE Professional Astrologer (much info is
available online, but you usually don't get to ask questions of
the authors or teachers)...
Plus this is Astrology geared specifically toward Pagans...she
is the Arch-Druid of OMS/RDG and Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd
you wish to take advantage of these classes, or need more information
about them, send an email to: Ceridwen
line: AstroPagan Private Tutoring
you are interested in a PRIVATE CONSULTATION about your Astrological
chart, please visit her home page at: http://hunters-moon.org
has over 30 years of experience with Astrology and Paganism, and
her approach to teaching and interpreting charts is intuitive,
psychological, spiritual, magickal and logical. She will show
that this process uses "both sides of the brain" - which
is why Astrology is referred to as both an Art and a Science.
did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying, and suddenly realized that
I was talking to myself."
~~ Peter O'Toole ~~
Calen Mai, or May 1, 2007 CE.
Festival of Beltane began at Sunset
on April 30th.
is the 1st day of the Season of Samradh,
and the 1st day of the Month of Mi na Bealtaine.
is also Tuesday, in the common tongue, or Dydd
Mawrth in Welsh.
It is the Druidic day of the
Reformed Druids of North America were
formed on this day in 1961, at Carleton College in Northfield MN.
Samradh - FULL
MOON Celtic tree month of Hawthorn begins
5 Samradh. Sun
is at 15 degrees Taurus. Many Druid groups celebrate Beltane on
this day. It is also National Naked Day.
Samradh - NEW
Samradh - The Sun enters Gemini.
21 Samradh -
Birthday of Gwydion Pendderwen, Pagan Bard.
27 Samradh -
Birthday of Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart.
Samradh - Me·n Samradh (June)
begins (a Friday - Dydd Gwener - Day of the Apple)
Samradh - FULL
Samradh - Celtic Tree month of Oak begins.
Samradh - NEW
Samradh - Midsummer / Alban Heruin,
or the Summer Solstice.
The Sun enters Cancer.
Samradh - Deireadh Samhraidh (July)
begins (a Sunday - Dydd
Sul -- Day of the Birch).
Samradh - BGR 05: The members of what
was then called the "Covenant of
the Mithril Star" unaminously joined the Reformed
Druids of North America , thus becoming the "(New)
Order of the Mithril Star," one of the "side orders"
of the RDNA.
Samradh - Birthday of the His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. He
will be 72.
Samradh - Birthday of Robert A. Heinlein, author of "Stranger
In A Strange Land." Celtic tree month of "Holly"
Samradh - Birthday of Henry David Thoreau, author and naturalist.
Samradh - NEW
Samradh - The Sun enters Leo
Samradh - FULL
Samradh - Birthday of Ellen Evert Hopman, Druid herbalist.
92 Samradh -
The Season of Foghamhnar begins at Sunset (1 Foghamhnar, 1
August 1, 2007). The Festival of Lughnasadh begins at Sunset.
walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer.
My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music.
It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips."
Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit ~~
The young maid
stole through the cottage door,
And blushed as she sought the Plant of pow'r;--
'Thou silver glow-worm, O lend me thy light,
I must gather the mystic St. John's wort tonight,
The wonderful herb, whose leaf will decide
If the coming year shall make me a bride.
In addition to the four great festivals
of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well:
the two solstices, and the two equinoxes. In folklore, these are
referred to as the four 'quarter-days' of the year, and modern Witches
call them the four 'Lesser Sabbats', or the four 'Low Holidays'.
The Summer Solstice is one of them.
Technically, a solstice is an astronomical
point and, due to the procession of the equinox, the date may vary
by a few days depending on the year. The summer solstice occurs
when the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer, and we experience the
longest day and the shortest night of the year. Astrologers know
this as the date on which the sun enters the sign of Cancer.
However, since most European peasants
were not accomplished at reading an ephemeris or did not live close
enough to Salisbury Plain to trot over to Stonehenge and sight down
its main avenue, they celebrated the event on a fixed calendar date,
June 24th. The slight forward displacement of the traditional date
is the result of multitudinous calendrical changes down through
the ages. It is analogous to the winter solstice celebration, which
is astronomically on or about December 21st, but is celebrated on
the traditional date of December 25th, Yule, later adopted by the
Again, it must be remembered that
the Celts reckoned their days from sundown to sundown, so the June
24th festivities actually begin on the previous sundown (our June
23rd). This was Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Eve. Which brings
up another point: our modern calendars are quite misguided in suggesting
that 'summer begins' on the solstice. According to the old folk
calendar, summer begins on May Day and ends on Lammas (August 1st),
with the summer solstice, midway between the two, marking mid-summer.
This makes more logical sense than suggesting that summer begins
on the day when the sun's power begins to wane and the days grow
Although our Pagan ancestors probably
preferred June 24th (and indeed most European folk festivals today
use this date), the sensibility of modern Witches seems to prefer
the actual solstice point, beginning the celebration on its eve,
or the sunset immediately preceding the solstice point. Again, it
gives modern Pagans a range of dates to choose from with, hopefully,
a weekend embedded in it.
Just as the Pagan mid-winter celebration
of Yule was adopted by Christians as Christmas (December 25th),
so too the Pagan mid-summer celebration was adopted by them as the
feast of John the Baptist (June 24th). Occurring 180 degrees apart
on the wheel of the year, the mid-winter celebration commemorates
the birth of Jesus, while the mid-summer celebration commemorates
the birth of John, the prophet who was born six months before Jesus
in order to announce his arrival.
Although modern Witches often refer
to the holiday by the rather generic name of Midsummer's Eve, it
is more probable that our Pagan ancestors of a few hundred years
ago actually used the Christian name for the holiday, St. John's
Eve. This is evident from the wealth of folklore that surrounds
the summer solstice (i.e. that it is a night especially sacred to
the faerie folk) but which is inevitably ascribed to 'St. John's
Eve', with no mention of the sun's position. It could also be argued
that a Coven's claim to antiquity might be judged by what name it
gives the holidays. (Incidentally, the name 'Litha' for the holiday
is a modern usage, possibly based on a Saxon word that means the
opposite of Yule. Still, there is little historical justification
for its use in this context.) But weren't our Pagan ancestors offended
by the use of the name of a Christian saint for a pre-Christian
Well, to begin with, their theological
sensibilities may not have been as finely honed as our own. But
secondly and more importantly, St. John himself was often seen as
a rather Pagan figure. He was, after all, called 'the Oak King'.
His connection to the wilderness (from whence 'the voice cried out')
was often emphasized by the rustic nature of his shrines. Many statues
show him as a horned figure (as is also the case with Moses). Christian
iconographers mumble embarrassed explanations about 'horns of light',
while modern Pagans giggle and happily refer to such statues as
'Pan the Baptist'. And to clench matters, many depictions of John
actually show him with the lower torso of a satyr, cloven hooves
and all! Obviously, this kind of John the Baptist is more properly
a Jack in the Green! Also obvious is that behind the medieval conception
of St. John lies a distant, shadowy Pagan deity, perhaps the archetypal
Wild Man of the Wood, whose face stares down at us through the foliate
masks that adorn so much church architecture. Thus medieval Pagans
may have had fewer problems adapting than we might suppose.
In England, it was the ancient custom
on St. John's Eve to light large bonfires after sundown, which served
the double purpose of providing light to the revelers and warding
off evil spirits. This was known as 'setting the watch'. People
often jumped through the fires for good luck.
In addition to these fires, the
streets were lined with lanterns, and people carried cressets (pivoted
lanterns atop poles) as they wandered from one bonfire to another.
These wandering, garland-bedecked bands were called a 'marching
watch'. Often they were attended by Morris dancers, and traditional
players dressed as a unicorn, a dragon, and six hobby-horse riders.
Just as May Day was a time to renew the boundary on one's own property,
so Midsummer's Eve was a time to ward the boundary of the city.
Customs surrounding St. John's Eve
are many and varied. At the very least, most young folk plan to
stay up throughout the whole of this shortest night. Certain courageous
souls might spend the night keeping watch in the center of a circle
of standing stones. To do so would certainly result in either death,
madness, or (hopefully) the power of inspiration to become a great
poet or bard. (This is, by the way, identical to certain incidents
in the first branch of the 'Mabinogion'.) This was also the night
when the serpents of the island would roll themselves into a hissing,
writhing ball in order to engender the 'glain', also called the
'serpent's egg', 'snake stone', or 'Druid's
egg'. Anyone in possession of this hard glass bubble would
wield incredible magical powers. Even Merlyn himself (accompanied
by his black dog) went in search of it, according to one ancient
Snakes were not the only creatures
active on Midsummer's Eve. According to British faery lore, this
night was second only to Halloween for its importance to the wee
folk, who especially enjoyed a riding on such a fine summer's night.
In order to see them, you had only to gather fern seed at the stroke
of midnight and rub it onto your eyelids. But be sure to carry a
little bit of rue in your pocket, or you might well be 'pixie-led'.
Or, failing the rue, you might simply turn your jacket inside out,
which should keep you from harm's way. But if even this fails, you
must seek out one of the 'ley lines', the old straight tracks, and
stay upon it to your destination. This will keep you safe from any
malevolent power, as will crossing a stream of 'living' (running)
Other customs included decking the
house (especially over the front door) with birch, fennel, St. John's
wort, orpin, and white lilies. Five plants were thought to have
special magical properties on this night: rue, roses, St. John's
wort, vervain and trefoil. Indeed, Midsummer's Eve in Spain is called
the 'Night of the Verbena (Vervain)'. St. John's wort was especially
honored by young maidens who picked it in the hopes of divining
a future lover.
And the glow-worm
With its silvery flame,
And sparkled and shone
Through the night of St. John,
And soon has the young maid her love-knot tied.
There are also many mythical associations
with the summer solstice, not the least of which concerns the seasonal
life of the God of the sun. Inasmuch as I believe that I have recently
discovered certain associations and correspondences not hitherto
realized, I have elected to treat this subject in some depth in
another essay. Suffice it to say here that I disagree with the generally
accepted idea that the Sun-God meets his death at the summer solstice.
I believe there is good reason to see the Sun-God at his zenith
-- his peak of power -- on this day, and that his death at the hands
of his rival would not occur for another quarter of a year. Material
drawn from the Welsh mythos seems to support this thesis. In Irish
mythology, Midsummer is the occasion of the first battle between
the Fir Bolgs and the Tuatha De Danann.
Altogether, Midsummer is a favorite
holiday for many Witches in that it is so hospitable to outdoor
celebrations. The warm summer night seems to invite it. And if the
celebrants are not in fact skyclad, then you may be fairly certain
that the long ritual robes of winter have yielded place to short,
tunic-style apparel. As with the longer gowns, tradition dictates
that one should wear nothing underneath -- the next best thing to
skyclad, to be sure. (Incidentally, now you know the real answer
to the old Scottish joke, 'What is worn beneath the kilt?')
The two chief icons of the holiday
are the spear (symbol of the Sun-God in his glory) and the summer
cauldron (symbol of the Goddess in her bounty). The precise meaning
of these two symbols, which I believe I have recently discovered,
will be explored in the essay on the death of Llew. But it is interesting
to note here that modern Witches often use these same symbols in
the Midsummer rituals. And one occasionally hears the alternative
consecration formula, 'As the spear is to the male, so the cauldron
is to the female...' With these mythic associations, it is no wonder
that Midsummer is such a joyous and magical occasion!
More articles here:
and all related documents can be re-published only as long as no
information is changed, credit is given to the author, and is provided
or used without cost to others.
all in place to do something of great magnitude and courage.
It does not have to be anything of wide scope, or even something that
a lot of people know about.
It's about touching the lives of people that cross our path."
~~ James Redfield, author of The Celestine Prophecy ~~
On June 21 as the twins of Gemini yield to Cancer
the crab, we observe the longest day of the year. Summer Solstice,
or Alban Hefin as it is known in Welsh, heralds solar celebrations
across the British Isles. At dawn, the sun's rays illuminate astronomical
markers of the great megalithic circles at Stonehenge in England,
the Ring of Brodgar on Orkney, and the Callanish standing stones
in the Outer Hebrides.
Midsummer is closely associated with Druidry, and even today the
British Druid Order is permitted to celebrate the day at Stonehenge.
The festival traditionally begins at dusk on Solstice eve when fires
are lit to ritually encourage the sun to rise full, to climb into
the sky and ripen the fruit of the trees, the grains of the field.
At the first light of dawn, celebrants who kept watch through the
night honor the power of the solar deity. And then at noon, the
rite switches tone in recognition of the cycle of the seasons. After
the sun hangs high for three days it begins its descent into the
darkness of winter. The Sun King is fatally wounded at his peak
and the process of his death and rebirth begins anew.
The spiral of the year was and continues to be enacted with bonfires,
a tradition revived in the 1920's in Cornwall. The rites hearken
back to the ancient practice of rolling a burning wheel down a hillside.
In the vale of Glamorgan in Wales, crowds once gathered to watch
the spectacle with anticipation. If the cartwheel was no longer
aflame when it reached the bottom, it foretold a poor harvest. If
however it was still blazing, farmers cheered their good fortune.
In Ireland, Solstice was understood as one of three nights of the
year in which the spirit world was more accessible. At Samhain,
or Halloween, and at Beltane the veil parted between the domains
of the living and the dead. At Midsummer, it was the fairy folk
who joined human revelers. Knockainey, the hill in County Limerick
considered sacred to the fairy Queen Aine, glowed with torches in
her honor. It is said that Aine revealed herself as the flames died
down and lead the villagers home. Her name translates as "brightness"
and she is likely related to an ancient solar goddess. As late as
the nineteenth century, families in the area still claimed connection
to the fairy queen speaking in endearing terms of her as a woman,
indeed "the best-hearted woman that ever lived."
On June 24th, when the days begin to get shorter, the celebrations
came to a close. After Christianity took root throughout the Celtic
lands, the 24th was reserved for the feast of John the Baptist.
Preceding Jesus by exactly six months, John was born early to announce
Christ's coming. In Britain, St. John's wort is harvested at Midsummer.
Valued by Celts as an herbal "demon chaser", the plant
is now valued by modern medicine for its anti-depressive qualities.
With its vivid yellow flowers, St. John's wort is a symbol of both
its namesake and the brilliant solstice sun.
Source Unknown ~~
heal each other all the time, and don't even realize that we're doing
Healing comes out of a very simple human relationship - knowing that your
to another person, and connecting to something larger and unseen."
~~ Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That
Mother Grove wishes all of you
a most inspiring Beltane, a joyous Midsummer,
and abundant blessings throughout the season!
you never thirst!
Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear, Managing
El Arseneau, Scribe
Jillbe Badb, Contributing Editor
Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd Grove
ISSUE WILL BE PUBLISHED ON Lughnasadh - 1
Fogharhnar YGR 01
TO JOIN THE REFORMED DRUIDS? http://rdg.mithrilstar.org/join.htm
TO DONATE TO THE ORDER? http://rdg.mithrilstar.org/donate.htm
Druids Egg -- 1 Samradh YGR 01 -- Vol. 5 No. 3
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four times each year by The Mother Grove of the
Reformed Druids of Gaia, Inc.
Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd Grove
Eureka, California USA
"Nature is groovy"
Copyright © 2007
portion of this newsletter may be reproduced by anyone for any purpose
without the express written permission of the
Arch-Druid, Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear