We welcomed Celtic musicians Anwyn and George Leverett from Cave Junction, whose gentle sincerity added much to our celebration.
“Here Comes the Sun” welcomed participants, who invoked Thor and presented offerings to the Tree in thanks for the lives of Cotton and their own beloved animal companions who have crossed the Veil.
The Omen confirmed Thor’s presence. Grove member Wolfsong drew The Tower from her Lord of the Rings Tarot Deck. The Grove had invoked Thor as the Tower of Transformation just a few moments before!
The celebration concluded with a luscious potluck, relaxing and catching up with one another.
Our heartfelt thanks to Aigeann and Seven Times for all their hard work in providing us this symbol of the Tree that teaches us to put our roots deep in the Earth and lift our hearts to the Shining Ones. Our ritual space now includes two 100+ lbs standing stones (in the North and West), a pond with a gold fish as our "salmon of wisdom" (roughly in the East) along with our huge permanent fire pit with the permanent Maypole (roughly in the South) . The mister system has been redone to keep us all cool when the days are warm.
Our Grove also extends heartfelt prayers and condolences to member Rainsplash on the loss of Windy, her precious pony who graced her life for more than 30 years. We will always treasure Windy and remember her bedecked with flowers for an Imbolc or Ostara ritual and embodying Rhiannon and Epona for us.
On a similar note, this from Archdruid Aigeann:
Solstices and Cycles.....
This past Winter Solstice I noted a rash of losses at the boarding stable where we keep our horses.
Between the two weeks immediately before and after the Winter Solstice, six horses either passed or need to be put to sleep. I felt this was a significant percentage considering the barn has total around 30 horses/ponies. Until the Solstice came, none of them seemed - that - vulnerable. Older or perhaps battling some health issues, but still chugging along. Then abruptly, it was their time.
These deaths brought home to me what I've heard about bonfires or bone fires. Fires so hot they could be used to burn the bones of the dead during the long, bitter, hungry winters of myancestors. Purification. I've read time and again about the bonfires of my ancestors used to "rekindle the power of the sun" at the Winter Solstice. Multi-purpose. A cry for help.
My old cat struggled through the Summer Solstice of last year and once it was over, she seemed fine until (pause) the Winter Solstice came. The exact same for my old horse. A pattern I had not seen until now.
This current Summer Solstice was relatively cool. The power of the Sun has only just hit its usual peak. Sadly, a very old, remarkably tired pony begged for release. Her owner would have spared no expense to keep her alive. But life is not something that can be purchased.
Solstices (obviously) mark the extremes in the Wheel of the Year. And they take no prisoners.
The Wheel of the Year-the Cycle of Life-the Druids and Bonfires - I. now. understand.
Update: Aigeann's report on the Gathering:
My husband and I JUST got back from representing Clan of the Triplehorses Grove at the Fourth Annual Gathering in the Redwoods of Northern California (http://www.humboldtredwoods.org)!
We sat in on Ceridwen’s Tarot Magic/k as well as her always informative (and mind boggling) Numerology 101 workshop. There may have been other workshops but sadly we did not arrive in time to enjoy them.
We had the honor of co-leading the main ritual on Saturday evening. Our celebration focused on venerating the start of the grain harvest as well as awakening the warrior within us all.
Afterward there was much food, guitar playing and fellowship by the campfire light. It was delightful to hear the laughter of many children playing. Several ordinations were witnessed by the immense trees.
weather was cool making it just about perfect considering the
heat of the surrounding areas. The drive from Medford, OR was
wonderful as always as we passed by countless sandy beaches filled
with kites and
We would like to give a huge public thank you to Ceridwen and El for being such amazing hosts as well as allowing us to renew our vows among our friends.
Blessings, Aigeann (and Seven Tines)
Our contact info:
This year it was pretty much "Druids only," (with a sprinkling of Lightworkers as well), and turnout was still about the same as we have had in previous years. Ceridwen and I had some car troubles on Friday, and didn't actually get down to the site until very late afternoon (we also couldn't find a kitty- sitter for the weekend, and ended up commuting every day). So Friday ended up being very free-style and laid back. We really didn't get "organized" until Saturday.
Workshops were held in Tengsen (sp?) 41 Pebble Shamanic Divination (by Druid Antlerchime), Tarot Magick, and Numerology 101 (both by AD Ceridwen). A beautiful Lughnasadh ritual was led by AD Aigeann and Druid Seven Tines (both of Clan of the Triple Horses Grove), followed by a feast.
Ceridwen spirited off AD Aigeann and AD Tiffiny (of Proto-Grove of the Manzanitas) to bestow the Seventh degree upon them.
But the thing here was it didn't have the atmosphere of a "convention" at all. What we experienced this year was more like a family reunion than anything else. I think I like that! There was a lot more growing closer; a lot more obvious love shown at this Gathering than at any of the previous ones.
In previous years Ceridwen and I had felt like "gee, we're glad that's over," but this year we were saddened to have it end, and we're already looking forward to next year's Gathering -- next year's "DRUID FAMILY REUNION."
We ended the gathering in the same manner in which we've ended all previous gatherings:
"Keep coming back it works!" and "Next year at Dryads Realm!"
Circle of Stone is enjoying the season of Samradh, we had a wonderful herb harvest as the plants have grown twice their normal size due to abundant rainfall so the weather has been cool and enjoyable. The heat is beginning to settle in but not like drought we have suffered in the past 12 years. Huzzah! Thank the rain Gods and Goddess!
COS has instituted the following changes: moving to a 5 fold year instead of 8, holding meetings and classes in the City of Pueblo to include our Pueblo and Trinidad members/areas as well as the City of Colorado Springs, a major overhaul to its study curriculum to include an orientation for those interested in joining the grove. COS is also looking at ritual sites in the San Isabel area to make rituals accessible for those living in Pueblo and Trinidad locations.
In July ordinations were held, 2 members made 2nd degree status and 3 members made 1st degree status. Two members came home and one new member has joined.
There is a definite change in the air and sun patterns as the first harvest fast approaches which is a reminder for us to make merry while the sun shines as Autumn is not far off and we need to buckle down and prepare for the cold season ahead of us.
We will all be meeting for Lugh. We will have a mix of things
to do. We will be making leather pouches for our magical items.
afterwards a discussion of celtic beliefs in regards to Druidism
and wicca, then we will spend time contemplating the existance
of our navels. I will attempt to lead meditation for the group,at
least to get them to discover what their minds can do.
Grove of the Manzanita has been having a lazy summer in terms of meeting. Our grove mates have been using the increased solar energy to accomplish much needed goals in their individual lives. Just as the summer crops are coming into fruition, so are the aspirations our members have set for themselves.
Fun events of the summer included a ladies-only learn to bellydance night (via DVD - it was pretty silly) and a partial watching and discussion of "The Secret". Our grove members have found the Law of Attraction (basis of The Secret) to ring true and have been applying the principles to help in manifesting goals.
Although it's not a "Grove", the NoDaL still qualifies as an "autonomous collective" of the Reformed Druids of Gaia, and consists of all the 3rd Degree Druids therein. The purpose of the NoDaL is to provide a space for Archdruids of the RDG Groves and Proto-Groves to discuss the many aspects of running a group of Druids, and provide advice and support for each other. They also act as the "legislative" branch of the RDG - creating policy as needed.
The Nemeton is currently in a process of reviewing and revising "The Druid Path" cdrom self-study course. It is anticipated that new version will be not one but three separate course studies, each one building upon the previous ones (in other words, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced classes). This process is expected to take much of the summer, with the final revision published probably in time for Imbolc 2010. Nemeton members request that anyone interested in having input please share their concerns or suggestions. You may write the NoDaL at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking 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.
Emphasizing 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.
Aelvenstar 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.
We welcome new members of all backgrounds who love nature and seek spirituality permeated in the divine beauty and wonder that surrounds us. Nature is groovy!
Courses available: Reformed Druidism 101
For more information about Reformed Druidism, visit http://reformed-druids.org
Oak , FL:
Rocks and Stars
No news this season from: