Reaffirmation of the Tribe

Generously contributed by Arch Druid Dyddgu
(Member of OMS/RDG)

While teaching my Druid Grove - The Circle of Stone - about the Celtic Feasts/Festivals, our Gwyl Awst/Lughnasadh ritual was in the works. During Calan Mai/Beltaine we set our intent for our Tribe, at Alban Heruin/Litha we nourished our intent, for Gwyl Awst/Lughnasadh we reaffirmed our intent and married with the land as a tribute to Celtic path workings of long ago.

According to Alex Kondratiev, the Reaffirmation of the Tribe belongs to Land Goddess and the God of the Tribe with tribute to the God Lugh. A interchange of both Irish and Welsh mythology plays a hand in the Tribal order.

The Irish Story tells of Lugh who is born during a crucial time of conflict between the Tuatha De Danaan who are Tribe and the Formorain who are Land. Both Tribes are at war for the Land, the Formorain who are the death of crops while the Tuatha De Danaan are fighting to end the murderous outrage. Lugh is born of both bloodlines to cease this war so the Tribe may survive and cohabit with the Land. Queen Taltiu of the Fir Bolg is in retrospect the Goddess who lays down her life in the fields and sheds her blood in order for the Tribe to survive.

In Welsh mythology the Land Goddess must give up her Consort the Maponos to unite with the God of the Tribe who is actually the God himself only for the Maponos to win her back. In both stories there is also Resolution to made to resolve conflicts between the Tribe and Land. There are stories of sacrifice of both God and Goddess to sustain the Tribal relations with the Land. These stories have been with us through the ages, only to be retold time and time again during the turning of the wheel.

The RDNA states in the Green Book of Meditations that the Reaffirmation of the Tribe should be preformed during Calan Gaeaf/Samhain during the time of New Year and New Beginnings. Perhaps so, however I feel it is more fitting to reunite the Tribe during the time of Gwyl Awst/Lughnasadh because the mythological stories fall in line with the festival itself as well as the energies of the Land and Universe.

In today's society we have lost touch reuniting the Tribe with the Land at harvest time. We shop at the Farmer's Market and think oh how wonderful fresh vegetables, yet not a thought goes into why or how we came about agricultural crops being such an important part in our lives or its Celtic roots for survival and how it transposed itself to America throughout the ages. Many people think fruits and vegetables come from the supermarket, they haven't a clue they actually grown on farms and orchids (Land). In our modern world we fail to reunite with our families during this time of plenty; we wait until Thanksgiving when society gives the Land its due through the slaughter of animals or during the Alban Arthuran season of excessive over-indulging of non-nutritional food/drink, conventional gift exchange and excessive travel, thus causing more stress which creates feudal warfare within the structure of the family unit, while ignoring the needs of the Land and Self/Tribe.

As this is a time of connecting with others, establishing new contracts and relationships, ensuring new projects will be in the works and pushed ahead, this is the moment for the Reaffirmation of the Tribe to resolve issues with the Land (as stated above) in order to move forward, however, it is not only the Land that needs resolving, we ourselves need to come to a State of Resolution in our lives, with our families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, community, nation and world as well as our internal selves. This is the climax before the descent into our newness and new lives. The time is now to prepare cynhaeaf (before winter) to release what is holding us back so we may move forward while harvesting our seeds that we have planted to sustain us for the long journey ahead into darkness, because all we will have in the end is what matters the most - the Land and each other (Tribe).

Resources:
Green Book of Meditations, http://orgs.carleton.edu/Druids/ARDA2/ARDA2part6-7.pdf
The Apple Branch, Kondratiev, Alexei, Kensington Publishing Co., 2003