Official Publication of the Reformed Druids of Gaia

1 Samradh YGR 01 - Beltane / Litha 2007 - Vol.5 No. 3

"Then 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 ~~

by Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear

The turning 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… :)

We’ve 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...

As 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...

Blessings of the Season to you and those you love,
Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear, AD /|\
Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd

"May! 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, so

A 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 Pagans.

Activities 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.


We 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 to bring...
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...

Main Page:

Camping & Alternatives Info:

Co-Sponsored by:

Clan of the Triple Horses Grove (RDG/RDNA), Medford, OR
The Druid Network
Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd Grove (RDG/RDNA), Eureka, CA
Reformed Druids of Gaia, Inc., International

(New) Order of the Mithril Star (RDG/RDNA), International

"It's 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:
the heart
Contracts, the brain
Releases its shower
Of sparks,
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)

A Word Within Letters

An Interview with Tallyessin the Bard

By Jillbe Badb, Contributing Editor

Kevan 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:

He 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:

He 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.

RJ 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:

You can buy his books directly – and even get signed copies – at:

Now let’s talk with Tallyessin himself...

DE: 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?

T: An 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
the ride!

DE: 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?

T: It 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.

DE: Have you ever had an Otherworldly creature sing to you or give you a branch?

T: 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.

DE: 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 Bardic knowledge?

T: Storytelling; performance poetry; creative writing; drama; music; history; local studies; comparative religions; psychology even...

DE: What was your most vivid Sidhe encounter?

T: 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.

DE: What is the name of your harp?

T: 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).

DE: 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?

T: 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!

DE: Do you agree with the works of John and Caitlin Matthews that the Bardic path is necessarily a Shamanic one? What of urban Bards?

T: 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.

DE: Which deity is your biggest taskmaster? Greatest inspiration?

T: The Goddess in her many forms is my constant teacher and inspiration.

DE: An Otherworldly creature offers you a "one-way trip" to 6th Century Wales: go or stay?

T: 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.

DE: Anything else you would like to add for up-and-coming Bards?

T: Believe in yourself – if you won't, no one else will. Stand up there and shine!

"In 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 ~~

To Step Into the Fire

The 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 full,
the empty hearth of love always here,
but to know her fullness
Is to step into the fire.

~~ Pippa Bondy ~~

"Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there."

~~ Francis Thompson ~~

The 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...

* * * * * * *

"This is an excerpt from Bernard Cornwell's "Warlord Chronicles" to remind us of what Beltane is really about and how our ancestors celebrated it.

Your 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

Beltane 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.

That 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.

At dusk 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".

Then, 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.

A goat 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.

My spearmen 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.

The instant 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.

Then 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 their crusts.

As 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!

Most 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.

I drank 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.

By nightfall 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!"

"I am that my Lady" I answered.

"You will sleep like a Hog and snore like one too" she chided.

"It's Beltane" I answered by way of excuse; "Everyone gets drunk at Beltane!"

"Summer 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 ~~

Bardic Writings from OMS Druids

Our 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 too!

(Image used with kind permission)

"Lord of Calan Mai"

by Jillbe Badb

Bealtaine, 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.

Within 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 -

Matt Hawk - used with permission

My 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.


by Jillbe Badb

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

In 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.


by Jillbe Badb

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.
I am!


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?

Sidhe Song

by Jillbe Badb

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.

Disguised only in mirrors...

Beltane Ritual

by Jillbe Badb

All participants should:

ground / center

Dress for ritual:
flower circlet in hair
woad or henna flower markings
skyclad with sandles/shoes
(keep cloaks and blankets on hand)

Set Up of Altars:

East Altar:
gold altar cloth, feather, incense, bell, wand
yellow triple-wick Candle
blue single candle

South Altar:
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

West Altar:
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

North Altar:
green cloth, plants, bowl of salt, stones, flowers, offering cakes
green triple-wick candle
yellow single candle

Central Fire Pit:
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)

Group Singing:
(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:

EAST: "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..
(drum roll)

SOUTH: "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."
(drum roll)

WEST: "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. "
(drum roll)

NORTH: "I call upon the Leanan Sidhe of the North, bringers of inspiration and poetry, relentless muses, to witness these rites we undertake this night."
(drum roll)

SCRIBE: ABOVE: "I call upon the Aes Sidhe above, our primordial ancestors, creators of all seven realms, to witness these rites we undertake this night."
(drum roll)

ARCH-DRUID: BELOW: "I call upon the Sidhe within the Mounds below us, to awaken and witness these rites we undertake this night."
(A drum roll)

SERVER: WITHIN: "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."
(drum roll)

The 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 life?
AD: From Whence do these waters flow?
AD: And how do we honor this gift that cause life in us?
AD: Has the earth-mother given forth of her bounty?
AD: Then give me the Waters!

The 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 essence!"

The Server then holds the caregl in both hands, while the AD holds the Cyllell above the caregl, and intones the words:

AD: "As the Cyllell is to the God…."
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."

Beltane Poetry

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)

(Here follows a period of silent meditation)

Matt Hawk - used with permission

The AD holds up the caregl so that all can see it and intones the words:
"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.

The 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 than once.

Then the AD takes the last sip returning the remainder on the fire, saying:

To you we return this portion of your bounty, O our Mother, even as we must return to you.

(Here follows a period of silent meditation)
Soft music is played.
The drum roll signals the end of the Service.

ARCH-DRUID: "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")
(drum roll)

SERVER: "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 are released."
(drum roll)

AD: "The circle is open, but never broken. Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again…"

"Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne."

~~ Barry Cornwall ~~


How many animals/critters can you find in this picture?
(Give the total number, and a list of all the critters you found)

(If more than one entry is correct, we will have a drawing)

The winner will receive a prize from Avalon Risen (our online store that supports this publication)

Send your entries to:

Deadline for entries is the Full (Blue) Moon of May 31, 2007

"Here's 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 ~~

The 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.

The 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.

Nuada, the Silver-Armed, brought the Sword (athame, intellectual power). No enemy it was turned upon would succeed in battle.

Lugh brought the Spear (wand, creative power). When thrown, it would never miss its target and it would always return to the hand of the thrower.

The final was the Stone of Faal, or Stone of Destiny (pentacle, material power). It was the solid foundation upon which this reality was built.

The 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.

Rather 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.

But 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.

The Spear of Lugh represents the urge to explore one's spirituality. It also represents one's creative urges, inspiration, and young fragile ideas.

The Cauldron of the Dagda represents ones emotional health, relationships, and the need to connect with others.

The Sword of Nuada is the intellectual curiosity inherent in humankind – the need to learn, explore, and communicate with others.

Finally, 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.

Faerie 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.

-You 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.

-You 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.

Find many more of her awesome stories here:

"It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes,
And pleasant scents the noses."

~~ Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806-1867) ~~


Reprinted with Permission

The rite of spring
Begins again
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

The ritual
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 skies
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,
Dancing figures,
Gathered in our sight,

Fleeting visions,
In the beating of wings,
That we might see
The soul in everything that is…

For more information about Kelly and her band - Woodland - please visit:

"Trees, 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 ~~

The Druid's Egg newsletter is supported by our online store:

"It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts,
as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees,
that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit."

~~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~~

Celtic Otherworld

“In Ireland this world and the world we go to after death are not far apart.”
~~ 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 eyes
which marks the presence of a soul.”
~~ A. E. ~~

More 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…

Even 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…

The 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…

And 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…

In 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)...'

But 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…

And 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 world…

And 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…

To 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…

A 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.

The 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…

It 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 the Druids...

A 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'...

In 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 over him...

The 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...'

Modern 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…

Ossian…was 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...

After 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 wife...

And 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...

Safe 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…

While 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, and blind...'

There 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...

As 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...

In 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...

But 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...

And 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:


"Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable;
with the possible exception of a moose singing "Embraceable You" in spats."

~~ Woody Allen ~~

Shaman's Dance

Copyright (c) 2007 William A. York. All rights reserved.
Reprinted 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

When 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?

"On 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 ~~

Release all fear

Copyright (c) 2007 William A. York. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission - generously submitted to our newsletter

Steered by oldest stars with
Urgent eagerness I bite down


Eating, I am consumed by
The Wild Wisdom Nut

A gift

From the nineteen sentinels

Eldest Order, grove
Of deep forested Hazel trees

Blue moon in late August

From the great cave I emerge

Lunar eclipse now complete
My bright fire now the only light

Summit of 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

Caw! Caw! I cry!
This message from the singing stones
Caw! Caw! Swooping low over heather glens
Caw! Awaken
Caw! Caw! The hour is late

Shifter of shapes
I am

Bright is my tunic and gleaming is the
Silver buckle of the belt about my waist
Shimmering grey whiteness reflecting
The crescent moon directly over head

Ringing still my heart from just completed
Last of today's five times prayer
Ears and nose still wet from time
Honored cleansing rite


Ritual spinning of a single
Point of stillness— round
Round I whirl

One hand heavenward the
Other towards earth
Electric current union of
Heaven and earth Illuminates me

I am

Harvest moon giant glowing
Orange lighted mist transmutes me
As I enter the Celestial Garden of Stones
My ancient and monolithic traveling companions

Calling and 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

Great is the Central Stone of the Henge
Keeper of sacred knowledge

Great is the Fire from the Heavens
Guardian of the Divine Spark

Great is the Eastern Wind
Bearer of the immense and coming Change

Great is the Power of the Rainstorm
Deliverer of Blessed Rebirth

The All is the One
I am

Oh sweet Death
Let not your cup pass from me
In devotion I gladly drink
Your honeyed wine of remembrance


Remembrance of all
That has yet to pass

Release now all fear
All the way

From first until last

Bring forth completion
Ancestor's time till now
Freed from all deeds of the past
The Harvest is upon Us All

Evening Star evermore
Reaching backward and forward
Through time, space and spirit
We are transformed by your light

Beltane Fires burning brightly now
Spring breeze blows through green leaves and
Branches of the sacred Willow Grove
Stirring us from our nap

Held forever in the
Blessed heat of divine embrace
We have become the union of
All that it is and nothing at all

Oh, Here the Ancients
Calling to us now

It is time
Time for Us
To enter and in the doing
We become

We are
The Circle

"If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance."

~~ Bern Williams ~~

1 Samradh Y.G.R. 01

As of today 335 Druids have registered with the RDG:

29members are initiated Second Degree Druids
1 member is eligible for ordination into the Third Degree
members are ordained Third Degree Druids

During the season of Earrach, we experienced a net membership gain of 20

Total Groves chartered: 2 (+ 6 Proto-Groves)
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, OR=19, WA=13, FL=12, NY=7

"Summer, 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...!"

~~ Kristen at ~~

Dispatches from RDG's Autonomous Collectives

Medford, OR:
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 OR see our website at

Our group's community service project, Rogue Rescue
has just made a long term arrangement with Friends of the Animal Shelter and will be sponsoring a Pet of the Month ad on a quarterly basis. Additionally, we are in the process of
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 a local
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:

San Diego, CA:
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 community tree-planting.

Eureka, CA:
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 night.

Archdruid 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.

Philadelphia, PA:
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.

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 Druidism, visit

No news this season from:

Grove of Erde
Euless, TX USA

TSU Proto-Grove
San Marcos, TX USA

Circle of Stone Proto-Grove
Colorado Springs, CO USA

The Thorn & Rose Grove
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

RDG "Proto-Grove"

"Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year -
it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul."

~~ Source Unknown ~~

7 Sisters of Bealtaine

by Kev the Bard
Reprinted with permission - generously submitted to our newsletter

Cross quarter days sit between solar events,
‘Tween two Equinoxes or two Solstices, past, future, present tense.

Beltane sits between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice,
life waking and dream.
Dawn breaking, Gaia waking, flowers bloom, brown turns green.

Samhain's compliment, the Yang to the Yin.
But they share many qualities, for the veils are both thin…

With Imbolc and Ostara, three seed celebrations.
Fertility deserves, does not need salutations.

The Tuatha Dé Danann, the peoples of the goddess Danu,
May have shown the Milesieans what the Druids can do.

You can see it as curse or see it as Gift
That no line occurs where history becomes myth.

Seven Sisters rise just before the sun.
Seven joyous sisters, imbibing for fun.

They sit on the Plough and request the pull
Of their engine and pilot, of Taurus the bull.

Seven Sisters of Bealtaine, each one of a kind,
Ride out in the sky with the sun just behind.

Your 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 Arthurian Warband:

“Whenever you 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 world.”

~~ Dr. Masaru Emoto, from his book, “The Hidden Messages in Water” ~~


On an extended break from teaching group classes,
Ceridwen is still offering PRIVATE TUTORING sessions!
Here are the details:

1. 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.

2. 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...

3. These classes are VERY EXTENSIVE - much like a college course - with a LOT of material and visual aids contained within the lessons.

4. There are 3 levels of study: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced...

Class Syllabus 101

Class Syllabus 201

Class Syllabus 301

You will learn:

  • All the components that make up a chart (Planets, Signs, Houses & Aspects)
  • 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 and lessons
  • 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

5. 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.

6. 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)...

7. Plus this is Astrology geared specifically toward Pagans...she is the Arch-Druid of OMS/RDG and Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd Grove...

If you wish to take advantage of these classes, or need more information about them, send an email to: Ceridwen Subject line: AstroPagan Private Tutoring


If you are interested in a PRIVATE CONSULTATION about your Astrological chart, please visit her home page at:

Ceridwen 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.

"When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying, and suddenly realized that I was talking to myself."

~~ Peter O'Toole ~~


Today is Beltane, Calen Mai, or May 1, 2007 CE.

The Festival of Beltane began at Sunset on April 30th.

It is the 1st day of the Season of Samradh, and the 1st day of the Month of Mi na Bealtaine.

It is also Tuesday, in the common tongue, or Dydd Mawrth in Welsh.

It is the Druidic day of the Holly.

The Reformed Druids of North America were formed on this day in 1961, at Carleton College in Northfield MN.

2 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.

16 Samradh - NEW MOON

20 Samradh - The Sun enters Gemini.

21 Samradh - Birthday of Gwydion Pendderwen, Pagan Bard.

27 Samradh - Birthday of Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart.

32 Samradh - Me·n Samradh (June) begins (a Friday - Dydd Gwener - Day of the Apple)

32 Samradh - FULL MOON

40 Samradh - Celtic Tree month of Oak begins.

46 Samradh - NEW MOON

52 Samradh - Midsummer / Alban Heruin, or the Summer Solstice. The Sun enters Cancer.

62 Samradh - Deireadh Samhraidh (July) begins (a Sunday - Dydd Sul -- Day of the Birch).

66 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.

67 Samradh - Birthday of the His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. He will be 72.

68 Samradh - Birthday of Robert A. Heinlein, author of "Stranger In A Strange Land." Celtic tree month of "Holly" begins.

73 Samradh - Birthday of Henry David Thoreau, author and naturalist.

75 Samradh - NEW MOON

83 Samradh - The Sun enters Leo

91 Samradh - FULL MOON

91 Samradh - Birthday of Ellen Evert Hopman, Druid herbalist.

92 Samradh - The Season of Foghamhnar begins at Sunset (1 Foghamhnar, 1 MÌ na Lÿnasa, August 1, 2007). The Festival of Lughnasadh begins at Sunset.

"I 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 ~~

A Midsummer Celebration

by Mike Nichols

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 Christians.

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 shorter.

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 holiday?

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 Welsh story.

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) water.

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 came
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:

This 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.

"We're 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 ~~

More Midsummer Lore

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 ~~

"We heal each other all the time, and don't even realize that we're doing it.
Healing comes out of a very simple human relationship - knowing that your life matters
to another person, and connecting to something larger and unseen."

~~ Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal ~~

The Mother Grove wishes all of you
a most inspiring Beltane, a joyous Midsummer,
and abundant blessings throughout the season!

May you never thirst!

Arch-Druid Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear, Managing Editor/Webmaster
El Arseneau, Scribe
Jillbe Badb, Contributing Editor
Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd Grove

NEXT ISSUE WILL BE PUBLISHED ON Lughnasadh - 1 Fogharhnar YGR 01



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Copyright © 2007

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Arch-Druid, Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear