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Henge Happenings
Issue 71
Lughnasadh 2006

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From the Vice-President

The Druid and the Blackberry Sprig

Blackberry Sprig with two leaves and a BlackberrySummer storms in the valley of the Celts arrive on soft, playful kitten feet bringing relief from the summer heat for man and beast. The plants in the fields gratefully lift their faces to welcome a cool drink given of the Gods. These friendly visitors leave the air as crisp and clean as the newly washed linen that the young maid hangs in the sunshine to dry. This is usually the case, but not on this day, my children, no, not on this day.

This storm arrived roaring like the lions from the great forests of the south, with teeth tearing and claws snatching at the humble hovels of the villagers. Merchants dashed hither and thither moving quickly to protect their wares from the onslaught, and
householders rushed home to prevent the rising waters from crossing their thresholds. More often than not, these heroic efforts were for naught. Little did the population of the valley know that this was only the first of a procession of pummelings that would increase in ferocity with each turn of the sun.

Living among the brethren, was a Druid of great renown; honored by the people and respected by kings and queens of many lands. Tall as the oak tree and thrice as strong, he is known to the people as ToeKnee; a name never forgotten as his great hand moves with purpose from his toe to his knee. So great is his power that he passes through the valley disguised by magick as a twin brother of a different mother detected by none, but leaving mild confusion in his mighty wake.

Other Druids in the land work their magicks with wands and staffs crafted of crystals. These draw upon the power of lightning to bring protection to the people through the communication of arcane knowledge. Try as they might on this dark day, no spark was available to come to their aid. The people despaired until it was recalled that ToeKnee was born of the oak in a storm such as this, and relied only on a humble sprig of blackberry to aid him in his work.

Among the people lived a woman, a queen among queens, her cloak of feathers so pure, white and bright that the people marveled they must have come from the moon. The tale passed from tongue to ear of ToeKnee’s wondrous sprig, which only came to life in his learned hand. The story finally found Feather of the Moon, who had only the words of the ovates to guide her in bringing succor to her people. This mighty queen needed more. She needed the phenomenal visions that only came from ToeKnee and his blackberry sprig.

After struggling through the storm with the wind and rain rending her beautiful cloak of feathers, the queen entered the hall of the Druid she sought. She begged him to climb the mountain and bring visions of when the storms would abate. The queen was
amazed that with no thought of the perilous journey, ToeKnee anticipated the need of the people and ascended the mountain on his own volition. Under the caress of ToeKnee’s capable fingers, the blackberry sprig sprang to life and shared the vision with the queen. In brilliant colors, she could see that a miracle had occurred. The storms divided and passed along each side of the valley. The Gods had spared the people, and all would be well soon. Grateful and satisfied that the vision was true, the queen departed to spread the news throughout the village.

At last, the clouds did indeed part. The sun blessed the valley with his beneficent smile once more, and the Celts were left hale and hardy to battle another day.

So ends another tale of the valley.

—————

What really happened: It’s true that the site for the Pagan Spirit Gathering is a rather remote location, and most cell phone services are not available there. We were rather surprised that Tony’s blackberry had reception. In fact, I was really surprised when I called from home and he answered in a porta-potty!

Anyhoo, Moon Feather, who is on the festival staff, heard that the blackberry was working, so she went find him and add to her radio information from the national weather service. The best reception was on top of the hill so Tony trudged up there and saved the video information from www.weather.com. It provided a visual showing the worst of the weather had passed on either side of the festival site without major damage. Some reports were warning of hail and
tornado threats that would be devastating for people spending the week in tents. We did indeed have good reason to worry; the danger was real.

It is also true that we usually camp next to a gentleman who bears a rather remarkable resemblance to Tony. John has been mistaken for Tony and vice versa more that once over the years. One afternoon, John’s wife and I dressed Tony as John was that day, and sent him down Merchants’ Row. This did indeed cause some confusion providing for much hilarity in the Keltrian camp.

If you would like to hear more about creating new mythology, let me know and I will be happy to oblige.

Walk with wisdom,
Wren

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