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From the Vice President
Spring has arrived here in North Georgia in all its glory! Along with it came the many unavoidable tasks that are required to maintain a semblance of a lawn along with caring for the raised bed gardens and berry bushes here at my home.
Recently, I was tilling one of the beds and spotted a particularly pretty dandelion plant, growing right where the tomatoes needed to go. Of course the plant had to be removed and was summarily sentenced to the compost bin. I know, many of you whom are herbalists may consider the dandelion very useful as a salad ingredient or even a dietary supplement… and you are correct. (For an excellent article by Nione on the dandelion go to the Henge’s website under “the Seer’s Path”.) Yet the dandelion was “out of place” and wouldn’t have been thought of twice had it been growing in the area we’ve set aside for what are mostly thought of as weeds by some folks. In that area, “the Refuge” as we call it, we’ve transplanted endangered and semi rare plants from all over our region. There are several varieties of trillium, there’s Joe Pye weed, wild ginger, blood root, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wahoo, azaleas… well, there’s lots of stuff growing there! Anyway, it made me think of how we as Druids may be looked upon as weeds too. At one time sought out and in great use as once the dandelion was, most people no longer seek advice from their ”local Druid”.
On a local level, maybe we’ll give a little counseling when asked, or perform a wedding. Sometimes one of us may be required to speak a few words at a memorial service. Then there’s work within a Grove, yet, as Druids this is usually the most that’s expected from us today.
Are we the “drai (draoithe) alta”, “wild druids, fiordraoi”? Kind of out there on the edge… put aside until needed? As the dandelion still could be of use in a time of dire need or an emergency could we be relied upon as well? I’m not suggesting doom and gloom survival abilities or any such thing as that, but could or should we, as most likely the ancients did, have at least a working knowledge of some of the basics? Primitive cooking, fire starting or even food-gathering techniques?
Topaz Owl wrote an article, “Druidism: A Glance at the Past Reveals a Vision for the Future” that deals with some of these issues and our roles as modern Druids. It was published in the Beltaine/Summer 1997 (#34) issue of “Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick.”
Beltaine always does this to me… As I work closer to the land in spring I begin to take stock of what knowledge I have gained and what of it could be useful to others, if the need should arise. This is one of my favorite times of the year and I’m inspired by it to constantly add to what little I do know.
Also, I’m excited about “The 2010 Keltrian Gathering of the Tribes” to be held here in my town, Cumming, Ga. in August. I’m really looking forward to meeting you and hope that you can attend this year! There may still be an opportunity available for someone to lead a workshop during this time as well, so if you have any specific ideas about a subject you’d like to share with us, please contact Tony at the Henge. I would love to hear some good ‘ol Druid teachin’!
Beltaine blessings to you all!
Best Dressed Druids wear the
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