The Newsletter for Members of the Henge of Keltria.
P.O. Box 1060
Anoka, MN 55303-1060
Grove's Choice is the section of the eight Keltrian Feasts that expresses the individuality and creativity of a Grove. Planning a new Grove's Choice for every Feast is challenging and fun, however, sometimes you find something that works so well that you decide to use it every year. In effect, you are creating a tradition within a tradition.
Seven or eight years ago at the Pagan Spirit Gathering, Tony and I were invited by some Norse friends of ours to attend a Sumble. Folks gathered bringing with them a chalice and a bottle of their favorite beverage. A gracious lady stood and offered the first of five rounds of toasts. When she finished, the rest of the company held their drinking vessels high, responded with, "Ho!" and drank as well. In turn, each person in attendance stood and offered a toast. One toast was to a favorite God or Goddess. Another was to something you liked about yourself. Yet another was to something you liked about someone else. The final toast was to someone who had passed away within the last year.
Samhain arrived and we decided to use this last toast as our Grove's Choice. It was incredibly moving. Each person honored his or her dead in their own way. Some laughed, some cried, some were bittersweet. One individual recited a favorite poem to honor a loved one. A toast is not limited to a blood relative. One year, a woman honored Jerry Garcia who had taught banjo playing to the man who in turn taught her. Naturally, four-footed friends were honored as well.
When the Wheel of the Year turned again, we were certain that the previous year could not be topped, so we opted to repeat. Ere long, this practice simply became a tradition that we look forward to every year.
Walk with Wisdom,
Greetings to everyone and hello again after a little break from writing. My life has been incredibly busy lately. There have been many changes, some difficult and some enjoyable. I would first like to sincerely thank everyone who sent prayers and energy for me during this time. I have gone through a family member being paralyzed, divorce, relocation, job seeking and several other minor adjustments.
As the leaves are quickly changing color and the air gets increasingly nippy; I look forward to Samhain. The activity of the past few months has left me with little time to sit back and reflect on things. Fall is my favorite time of the year. A good time to take the excuse to just sit back and enjoy the warmth of a fire or a hot cup of cocoa. A time to reflect on goals and accomplishments and set new goals for the coming year.
While our physical energy is typically lessened this time of year, our mental energy is at its peak. I used to believe as a kid that darkness was frightening. I yearned to know exactly what was hiding under the bed or in the closet. Now I am starting to see that darkness allows for possibility. When we can clearly see things all around us, we know what we have. It is only when things are not clearly in sight that we are allowed to enter the unknown. The unknown can hold great, unlimited possibility for us. While most of us walk slowly and cautiously feeling our way around in the dark, there are times when it is helpful to just sit in the darkness and absorb the feeling of release. The feeling of just letting whatever may come, come to us. A time to welcome the possibility and the vastness. Darkness is not empty; it is heavy with hidden treasures.
Think of the Tree Meditation where the roots travel into the darkness. It is here that the tree finds its nourishment and one life force. It is here that the tree can release all the unwanted energy of life. The power of the darkness is as powerful as the power of the light to the tree. Here lie the possibilities. The hopes and dreams of the tree at one time were held in a seed in the ground, and the nurturing to carry these hopes and dreams out was within the soil as well.
It is sometimes hard to listen to people grumble about fall. For me it holds so much more than the promise of cold weather and snow. It holds the darkness that allows new things to be revealed into the light.
May this Samhain begin the seeds of prosperity, production and growth for Keltria in the coming year. Have a blessed Samhain.
Baisteadh (rain@ (edit this part to read KELTRIA.ORG))
© Copyright 2000
All material published in Henge Happenings is © Copyright by The Henge of Keltria, Inc. All rights are reserved. This publication is also: Protected by the Berne Convention.
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The meeting was held in Quincy, MA. The President called the meeting to order at 1:54 p.m. EDT. Board members in attendance were Wren (president), Tony (trustee), and Topaz Owl (secretary). Wren performed the invocation.
The members then voted to approve the minutes of last year's (1999) Member's Annual Meeting. The minutes were approved unanimously. The members then voted to approve the agenda for the current meeting. The agenda was approved unanimously.
The President thanked the general members for attending, and reported that there is a proposal in the works to have the annual meeting moved to the Minneapolis area next year, to be hosted by Avalon-on-Camelot Grove, but added that this was not a concrete plan yet and that other possibilities were still open for consideration.
The Secretary then reported that the Election of Trustee went to Page, with eightteen votes in approval and one vote against. Concerning the Amendment to the Bylaws that would allow the Board to set the annual meeting date for convenience, the vote was nineteen in approval and zero against. The Secretary offered congratulations to Page and the other members added their congratulations.
Trustee Page remarked that she viewed this position with great honor, and promised that she would be very dedicated and committed to serving the Henge and its members.
Trustee Tony, giving the Treasurer's report, said that the report was sent electronically by the Treasurer for the Secretary to insert into the meeting minutes (and was reported in the Lughnasadh Treasurer's Report in Henge Happenings). He also added that the Henge has enough money, but isn't making any money...but that's not our purpose, so the Henge is doing fine financially.
The ArchDruid reported that a new member was added to the Council of Elders over the last year through an existing rigorous and fair process overseen by the Secretary. The Council of Elders welcomed their new member, Wren.
The President then opened the floor for questions and comments.
Trustee Tony discussed the Correspondence Course, which was a topic on everyone's mind. He reported that a number of people have been applying and have been accepted into the Correspondence Course after a long period of inactivity. The first lesson of the Course has gone out to all the people who were accepted. Some people who were accepted were dropped because they allowed their membership to lapse after acceptance into the Course.
Trustee Page suggested that those who were waiting for acceptance into the Course should look at the Keltria Website for the Recommended Booklist and choose a book. All people need is one buddy to go out and have coffee with, and do a book study, because you can learn a lot that way prior to being accepted into the Course.
There was some discussion about the Board's ongoing project of a system for ordaining Keltrian clergy. The idea is to have clergy that is educated enough to be taken seriously alongside mainstream religious clergy and recognized among other religious leaders. It was agreed that this would take some time and effort before we had a satisfactory system in place. The
President remarked that we are still building our organization, however, we can't lose sight of our purpose, which is to come together to honor the gods and goddesses of our people within our tradition. There was general agreement that the tradition is important, and staying within Celtic tradition (and especially within one Celtic tradition within a Grove) is ultimately important for Keltria. While we don't want to stifle creativity, we still want to keep the creativity working within the Celtic way so that we develop our path within existing cultural guidelines.
The President adjourned the meeting at 2:41 p.m.
The Board of Trustees
In Association with...
Keltrian Remembrance Cord
TopazOwl, Page, Tony (Wren in front) Taken at The Annual Meeting 2000
Photo by Caroline S.
Druids are a diverse group. But, the one thing we all seem to have in common is a "book collection." Well, the Henge now offers books in association with Amazon.Com. If you go to the Henge website (http://www.keltria.org/Publications/Bookstore.htm) and click on the "In Association with logo
the Henge will receive a percentage of anything you buy. Books tapes, etc. Support the Henge! Also, the latest "Recommended Reading List" is there, so check that out.
Keltrian Remembrance Cord Starter Kit New and improved with glass beads! $19.95 each plus $6.00 P&H per order. (Maine residents add 5.5% sales tax) Please contact Wren (at) WrenRocks.com for further information.
Lughnasadh is a celebration, a feast that should be filled with exhuberance and joy. The name of this feast means "The Assembly of Lugh," and it is said that Lugh instituted funeral games in honor of his foster-mother Tailtiu, which is perpetuated by sporting events and assemblies in Ireland that characterize Lughnasadh festivities. The feast does, however, have strong funerary associations as well.
It is, of course, the celebration of the first harvest, and yet the beginning of the waning of the sun, even though the sun is at its hottest.
TopazOwl and Ravendancer gathering herbs and grain for ritual
|Lugh is the perfect craftsman, and knows how to shape energy flawlessly. He is the god who is the master of all trades, and he is one of the most important gods to the ancient Celts. He is both of the Tuatha de Danann and the Fomori, giving him the dual nature of both the Tribe (Danann) and the Land (Fomori). Lugh had prophetic ravens. He was first fostered out to Manannan mac Lir, and the child Lugh learns the skills from Manannan that will earn him the title "many-gifted." Lugh defeated his grandfather, Balor if the Evil Eye, in the Second Battle of Mag Tured, thus deposing the Fomorian/Danann king Bres, who was stingy and during his reign, the crops withered and died and the people were starving. Bad king.|
Lugh is the savior-hero, the bringer of happy endings.
On Lughnasadh, the horses of the community were purified by being ridden through water; in a highly ritualized 'race' men rode naked across a lake or river, making sure the horses were mostly submerged and forced to swim. It is often said that Lugh invented horsemanship.
The main theme of the feast is a successful reaping of the benefits from the Land by the Tribe. Foods that are naturally ready for harvest at this time are good to use for the feast. Even if, because of the weather or other factors, the crop is not ready at this time, it is still absolutely necessary to gather and ceremoniously consume a small portion of the crops at Lughnasadh.
Lughnasadh is also traditionally a time to reunite the tribe, and it is a showcase for the creative ones: poets, musicians, craftsmen. So entertainment is a good thing.
These are some things we considered in the planning of this feast. It was also Okana and Weylin's first year handfasting anniversary, which was commemorated with gifts to the couple from the rest of the Grove.
We had planned to go to the Grandmother Oak to perform ritual, but the weather was threatening, and so we decided on ritual at the well in the yard (because even crazy Druids don't want to be caught in a thunderstorm under a spectacular oak tree), and the rest of us, while waiting for Okana and Weylin to arrive, went to visit the Grandmother Oak and leave our gifts for the fairies. As we were there under the Oak, the clouds opened up and a big thunderstorm rolled through.
Ravendancer and Topaz Owl performed some impromptu weather magic to hold off the rain that had started just before our scheduled ritual time at the well. The ritual was excellent (and dry), the skies waiting to open up again until we had gathered all the tools inside after the ritual. For Grove's Choice we constructed "corn dollies" from grain that was harvested from our fields with the Druid sickle, and each person took one home.
The feast afterward consisted of burgers on the grill, asparagus, green beans with garlic, new potatoes with butter, and some fruit tarts for dessert. (We had also eaten freshly picked sweet corn as a snack earlier).
|But it was after the feast that the real fun began, for it was then that we held the First Annual Tailtiu Games, a cross-country horse race. With our bellies full of mead and food, we looked with appreciation across a race course that was as green as the Emerald Isle in a morning dew, with bold-colored banners and Irish flags that flew on every corner of the field and at the traps - for every contest has traps, though some are more fey than others. The animals were stabled at Tara. The Grove members each chose their mounts just before the start of the race (and it must be said that their choices were quite revealing of their individual temperaments).||
" The Site of the Tailtiu Games."
Topaz Owl chose the Palomino to represent the Golden Horse, Bear chose a fast and lively Bay, GreyWolf decided on an even-tempered and nicely marked Paint horse, Blue Moon decided on a nice Black gelding, the Fairy Child mounted a sturdy pony, and Ravendancer rode a grey mule. Now, Okana decided on a very Otherworldly pink-skinned pig, and Weylin rode a woolly Scottish sheep. (Yes, yes, it was supposed to be a horse race, but we didn't want to consult the Druid who kept the rules and perhaps have to disqualify our Grovies over the illegal entry of a sheep or a pig, especially after all that ritual, food, and mead we had shared. As for the mule, well, he's half-a-horse, and in the same family.)
The animals were feisty, tossing their heads and pawing the turf at the starting gate. Then they were off! With much fanfare, the horses and pig and sheep and mule eagerly stretched out across the Harvest Straights. It was a long flat run and at its end was Airmid's Pub. The Golden Horse, feeling confident, promptly stopped for refreshment as the rest of the pack raced on by. Bear's bay horse was neck-and-neck with Okana's pig as the rounded Bonefire Hill, with Raven's mule close on their heels. Blue Moon's black tried to take a shortcut through the Sacred Ponds and ended up stuck in the Moor Bog for a time.
In the meantime, TopazOwl's Golden Horse had finished a nice long drink at Airmid's and was catching up again with the main group. Unfortunately, he too also got lost in the Moor Bog.
The pack raced on over hill and dale, and Weylin's sheep was actually keeping up with the horses (and the pig) fairly well, when he took a sudden detour into Danu's Corn Field and wasn't seen for a time. When he did finally emerge, he seemed a bit more sluggish and there was a noted difference in the size of his belly.
Around and up the side of Wickerman Hill they sped as though they had wings on their feet (and we believe Okana's pig actually did). The Fairy Child's pony clopped steadily along a bit behind the rest. The black still hadn't come out of the bog. Owl's Golden Horse left the bog and, after a shortcut through Danu's Corn Field that went slightly awry, was enticed to the Seer's Ball on Wickerman Hill to see who might win the race. The Owl and her Golden Horse then met up with GreyWolf on his paint horse at the Sidhe Mound, where she spent some time looking for the entrance. Owl had foreseen the outcome of the race and felt no need to hurry, you see. GreyWolf, however, left her there and continued to race on toward the finish.
The herd thundered on. Bear's bay horse was in the lead with Okana's pig close behind as they rounded Lugh's Corner, with GreyWolf's paint horse in a dead tie with Weylin's sheep. But Raven's mule, who had taken a wrong turn at Wavesweeper Cove, had been steadily regaining ground and was now breathing down their necks. Blue Moon's black steed finally emerged from the bog just in time to be drawn inexplicably into the Fairy Forest, where she wandered around aimlessly for several hours before remembering that she was in a race. Owl's Golden Horse eventually met up with her there, wandered about with her for a bit, and then invited her back to Airmid's Pub for another round.
The pig and the bay were fighting for the lead, and the bay looked strong. But suddenly, Okana whispered something in her pig's ear, and the pig shot forward, beating the bay horse out by a nose as they crossed the finish line! A pig-and-a-Pole had won our Tailtiu Games!
The bay and the Bear came in second, and it was a photo finish for Weylin on his sheep and Raven on her grey mule for third and fourth place. The Fairy Child and the stout pony rolled in fifth, while GreyWolf's paint took sixth. We think that Blue Moon and the black were seventh, but by then we'd stopped watching the finish line so we can't really be sure.
As for Owl and the Golden Horse, they enjoyed every trap, and even got to stop in Airmid's Pub twice. We aren't sure if they ever actually finished the race, and we wonder if they'll ever be found in this world again. Maybe we'll find them next Lughnasadh, when our tradition continues at the Second Annual Tailtiu Games.
To be listed as a Henge of Keltria Study Group, you need two members who get together regularly (once a month is enough) and want others to join them. We will then list your Study Group on the Keltria Web page and will forward E-Mail Inquires to you.It is a great way to seed a Grove. Send the name, contact information, etc for your study group to the Henge Office.
Gathering of the Keltrian Tribe - 2001
by Sylvia Matson
Have you ever seen trees dance?
Trees are big and strong
"Oh, my darling grandchild,
See how the leaves and branches
Sometimes you hear the rustle
Next time you walk among the trees
The Board of Trustees accepted the proposal of Avalon on Camelot Grove. They will be hosting the Gathering of the Keltrian Tribe and Annual Meeting for 2001 on the weekend of June 22 through 24.
|All submissions to Henge Happenings become property of The Henge of Keltria, Inc., a nonprofit religious corporation. Categories for submissions are based upon who they are from: Officers, Elders, Coordinators, Groves, Members and the Henge Office. Members submissions are further divided based upon subject matter, Bardic, Seer, Druid, or Solitaire Special Interest Groups.|
|You are probably wondering what a book about the Toltec religion has to do with Druidism. Well, I think it has a lot in common with the fundamentals of Druid magick and worldview. Although he refers to God as a singular being, the book is easy to interpret into one's own belief system. This was definitely a book that I had trouble putting down, in fact I missed a few full nights of sleep to finish it. I can't wait until Yule to pass out copies to my friends.|
The first chapter alone would definitely be suitable for learning about how magick works in the world. The first chapter is a definition of reality. Be forewarned it is not what we are commonly taught is reality. He claims that what we are taught is reality is only a way to domesticate humans and that each of us has his or her own personal dream. This personal dream is our reality. This is truly the kind of information one needs to build the foundation for magickal work. We need to understand that reality is not what is presented to us daily by society as reality. That there are things that are very real that the daily world can not acknowledge and still maintain its own integrity.
In fact, the domestication process that allows for things like getting kids to behave and listen in school can be the very thing that represses our ability to think and act magickally. This is not to say that schools should be abolished, but that maybe a change of views would benefit us as Druids. The second agreement is the prime example of how we can do this. The second agreement is "Don't take anything personally." What this means for us is that we can define who and what we are. We posses the power to do this. What others say and do is merely a reflection of who and what they are and has nothing to do with us. We are merely the mirrors they are viewing themselves upon. The power that can be given to the "authority" in a situation, like a school, does not have to be.
This gives us the power to use the first agreement "Be impeccable with your word." We can use this agreement by choosing words carefully and using our full intent behind them to make them truth. This creates energy in the world, which will cause our magick to be successful. Our magick will come from our truth. Our truth will create the reality for us. Magick comes from a place of truth where natural law rules and where we all have the ability to know the outcome and origin. We create our own truth. There is no one right way and no one wrong way to view any given situation or opinion. We are the ones who are challenged to find the triad of truths and choose what is best for us.
The other two agreements "Don't make assumptions" and "Always do your best" fall naturally into place after the foundations of the first two are laid. Ruiz does a superb job of explaining "reality" versus the personal dream. He continues on to make an excellent case for developing ones personal power and creating a reality for oneself independent and yet connected to the world. Many of the themes are shamanic in nature. He has a strong message of personal responsibility. Which means we are responsible not only for ourselves, but also for all the living things we come in contact with.
I highly recommend this book for your bookshelf. It makes for great discussions with friends, co-workers, family or especially grove members. This book would make a great introduction to the topics of Magick, personal ethics and worldview for a Keltrian class.
Highly Recommended The Four Agreements : A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom: A Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz. Paperback - 138 pages, Amber-Allen Pub; ISBN: 1878424319; $12.95. (Also available in Audio Cassette.) Order this Book!
Wherever wine is served, Wine-Soaked Whispers will set the mood for the occasion. With it's all-acoustic format, this compilation of artists will lend an air of sophistication to any event. $15.98 Postage Paid (Please add 8.5% sales tax for California). Order by phone: 415-831-0315, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Internet: www.refined1.com.
Original Druidic Writings and vocal music with a philosophical and naturalistic bent, by Vern Crawford. All items shipped postage paid:
Druidic Paths: A Naturalistic Druidism, 200 pages $15.50.
Tef Theory: A Fresh View of Reality, 200 pages, $15.50.
Druid Songs: 35 Songs to Sing for Ritual and Education, $14.50.
Songs of Nature: 28 Songs to Sing for Enjoyment and Education, $14.50.
Sent check or M.O. to: Vern Crawford, 923 Harmony Lane, Ashland, OR 97520.
Florida Nov 1-5 Phoenix Fire announces Autumnmeet 2000 to be held at The Riverboat Club, Land O' Lakes, FL. Featured Guests include Phyllis Curott, Linda and Ginger of DreamTrybe, Fritz Jung, Grey-wolf & Briga O'Murchadha, The Raft, Trish Telesco, Wren Walker, Don & Daniella Waterhawk. Contact Wade Berlin via E-Mail: email@example.com, telephone: (904) 396-9637, or on the web at www.phoenixfestivals.com.
Northern Lights: Pagan Midwest List is a free resource listing by Northern Lights. Northern Lights also provides other resources directed towards Heathenism or Norse Paganism. For further information contact them at P.O. Box 151, Daggett, MI 49821.
Pan's Grove provides many items of interest to the Neopagan community. You may contact them at Pan's Grove, 458 W. Walnut St., Casper, WY 82601 or 307-577-6411 for information.
PanThology: Paganism-Witchcraft-Magic-Wicca. Subscription is $10.00 (US$ Cash only; Aust$ Cash or Postal Order) to PanThology, LPO Box 300, Australian National University, ACT, 2601, Australia.
Horns and Crescent: Goings on in the New England area for folks interested in Wiccan, Pagan, and other Goddess-based spiritual pursuits. Subscription is $6 for the next 8 issues. Contact: Horns and Crescent, P.O. Box 622, Millis, MA 02054-0622; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.cog.org/handc.
New Moon Rising: A Magickal Pagan Journal is published quarterly. Subscription is $15 in US by Bulk Mail and $20.00 to international addresses. Contact Dragon's Breath, Ltd., P.O. Box 1731, Medford, OR 97501-0135; email@example.com or www.celts.com.
Henge Happenings will now accept advertising. For a copy of our advertising guidelines, please send a SASE to The Henge of Keltria. Attn.: Advertising Guidelines, P.O. Box 1060 Anoka, MN 55303-1060.
Psychic Consultations with Mary-Alice
Palmistry & Tarot
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