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An Un-Official Publication of the Reformed Druids

Oimelc, Year 41
(January 30th, 2004)

Volume 20, Number 1


CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:

Oimelc Essay
News of the Groves
Back to the Shadows Again
Ancient Order of Druids in America
North East Druid Coalition
Resources: Cross Quarter Days
News: MAA Grad Student Committee
News: Military Pagan Network
Holiday to the Iron Age
Calendar



Oimelc, the festival of Brigit, Brighid, Bride, Breedes, one of the major goddesses in the Celtic pantheon. The name Brigit is derived from the Old Celtic word brig meaning high, rank. She is sometimes called the Gaulish Minerva since both the Celtic Brigit and Roman Minerva were associated with healing and crafts. The same root brg is found in the north-east British tribe the time before and during the Roman period the Brigantes ("high or noble people") as well as in their patron goddess Brigantia. There is a stone relief of Brigantia at the Roman military site at Birrens, the site of a fort in Dumfries, southern Scotland, that carries an inscription to Her:

BRIGANTIAE S AMANDVS ARCITECTVS EX IMPERIO IMP F

"To Brigantia, Sextus Amandus, former Imperial Architect, faithful to the emperor (set this up)."

Like Minerva she shares similar iconography, wearing on her breast Minerva's symbol of the Gorgon's head and carrying a spear and the globe of victory, showing a link between the Roman goddess and Brigantia. Like Bride Brigantia was associated with fertility and healing, and was a patroness of the arts. On the Continent near Bregenz, Austria there is a Gaulish tribe, the Brigantii, who probably also called Brigantia their patron deity.

In Ireland we first read of Brigit as an Irish goddess in Cormac's Glossary written in the 10th century. She is seen here as a triple goddess of healing, smithcraft, and poetry. Cormac writes:

"Brighid i.e. a poetess, daughter of the Dagda. This is Brighid the female sage, or woman of wisdom, i.e. Brighid the goddess whom poets adored, because very great and very famous was her protecting care. It is therefore they call her goddess of poets, by this name. Whose sisters were Brighid the female physician (woman of leechcraft), Brighid the female smith (woman of smithwork), from whose names with all Irishmen a goddess was called Brighid."

In both 12th century manuscripts the Book of Invasions of Ireland (Lebor Gabala Erenn), the mythological history of Ireland, and the Battle of Magh Tuireadh Brigit is mentioned as the daughter of the Dagda, god of the Tuatha De Danaan. In the Book of Invasions she is called a poetess and is associated with domestic animals, cattle and sheep. She is solidified as protectoress of the flocks, which carried over into Her guise as the Saint.

Brigit was the territorial goddess of Leinster although She was venerated all over Ireland. It was at Kildare that it was said there was an altar dedicated to Her, where a perpetual fire burned, tended by 19 women. In Christian times 19 nuns tended this fire, and still do to this day, in honor of the Saint Brigit.

In Scotland Bride is still remembered as the patron saint of the family hearth, which hearkens back to her association with smithcraft and poetry, creative inspiration, which the Gaels "regarded as a supersensual form of fire (see the term "fire in the head" in one sense as poetic inspiration). Evidence of this can been seen in some of the kindling and smooring blessings collected by Alexander Carmichael in his collection of hymns and incantations the Carmina Gadelica. Bride was invoked in the kindling the fire or in smooring the fire. Where wood had been unobtainable, a peat fire kept burning perpetually, or "smoored" to last through the night. Carmichael writes: "The ceremony of smooring the fire is artistic and symbolic, and is performed with loving care. The embers are evenly spread on the hearth - which is generally in the middle of the floor - and formed into a circle. The circle is then divided into three equal sections, a small boss being left in the middle. A peat is laid between each section, each peat touching the boss, which forms a common centre... The circle is then covered over with ashes sufficient to subdue but not to extinguish the fire."

SMOORING BLESSING

I will smoor the hearth
As Mary would smoor;
The encompassment of Bride and of Mary,
On the fire and on the floor,
And on the household all.

Who is on the lawn without?
Fairest Mary and her Son,
The mouth of God ordained, the angel of God spoke;
Angels of promise watching the hearth,
Till white day comes to the fire.

BEANNACHADH SMALAIDH

Smalaidh mis an tula
Mar a smaladh Muire;
Comraig Bhride 's Mhuire,
Air an tula's air an lar,
'S air an fhardaich uile.

Co siud air liana mach?
Muire ghrian-gheal 's a Mac,
Bial Dia dh''iarradh, aingheal Dia labhradh;
Ainghle geallaidh faire an teallaidh,
Gu'n rig latha geal gu beallaidh.



News of the Groves
For the Full Grove Directory

Carleton Grove: News from Minnesota

Though Carleton was out of session for Yule, I and one other Druid went out to the stone circle. Other people had been around, it was clear, from the prints in the snow. There was no service, mostly just an enjoyment of the moment and I ended, most sacrilegiously by making a snow angel on top of the center stone.

Carleton is now back in session, though the Druids have not had the first meeting of the year. However, there is exciting news in that my fellow Arch-Druid, Corwin Troost, has returned from a self-imposed exile in Japan and we expect to learn much from his trip.


Bamboo Grove: News from Delaware

Brightest Blessings to All!

Much has happened to the Bamboo Grove recently. There have been sad endings, and hopeful beginnings. During the season of sleep, one of our little muses—Lucky the mouse--passed away into the spirit realm to join one of our other little muses--Cricket (also a mouse)—who had gone on ahead. We now are eight in number:

*the Arch Druid, a stately bamboo plant

*myself--Scribe/Caretaker/current Bard of the Reform XLI (who has been nowhere to be found for quite awhile, I know, I know! Sorry!)

*the muses-- Karma the beautiful and graceful Rough Green snake; Leo the gentle giant of a Maine Coon cat; Panda & Rygel the oddball guinea pigs; and Rascal & Spud the creamsicle colored, ever inquisitive mice

~*~New Beginnings~*~

As for the hopeful beginnings--I recently got engaged to a wonderful scamp named Jeff, who I think must have at least one "trickster" animal totem like myself! He's an Air Force Reservist and one of the most unique, endearing, and thoughtful souls I have ever had the honor of meeting in this particular lifetime (grin). I definitely feel blessed, and I look forward to this season of new life with renewed hope and anticipation.

Over the past few seasons, it seems that my personal life has seamlessly begun to meld and keep pace with the seasons and their symbolic meanings. I feel that when I stop trying too hard and finally surrender myself to the dance of life, things just seems to flow easier and much more naturally. Recently I designed my own phoenix tattoo and had it custom done, something I've wanted to do for years. It is a physical and tangible reminder of past trials by fire that I have survived, emerging stronger each time. It is also a reminder that though the fire within may have flickered to an ember at times, it never died out. Although I didn't coordinate the timing of the phoenix tattoo with the new season, it feels particularly appropriate at this time and will always hold extra significance to me.

brightest blessings,
BrightMirage (Bard of the Reform XLI)


Dravidia Grove: News from Maryland

O.K. all, not much going on here, we had a major week of snow and ice followed by some power outage that lasted 6 hrs. Study is going good, and the grove is patiently awaiting spring (please hurry). A few new books of reference to study, and a new look at some old traditions. The Grove has as of yet to finish all the text that i have accumulated (editing that is), but i have discovered a few new outlooks by studying nature in it's quiet season. Squirrels seem to be the most active, and it is incredible to watch them for six hours to see nature at it's finest. Also, the Groves official date to move to Indiana is March 27th of 2004, and we will still have the same email addy. Anyone else close to Louisville Ky., I will be about 15 mins away on the Indiana side.

Dolanimus


Hemlock Grove: News from New York

No new news from hemlock splinters. This is the season of enforced. Minus 16 may be normal for Minnesota but it has largely shut things down here. We harp, write, and struggle to earn money to burn things with next summer.


Rowan-Oak Grove, MOCC: News from Oklahoma

Rowan-Oak Grove in Tulsa has had a very full month in december. the new years brought us a new computer and a large donation which enabled us to get much needed office equipment and supplies for the grove. sis rhiananne is up for member of the year for that blessing. other news for january so far is not so good. the grove was devastated when the beloved familiar of one of our members was foully killed and returned its yard hours afterward with his head crushed. peruvian snowflake was m.s. white tigress and her boyfriend m.c.dov. she is our co hps/druidess in training and my next door neighbor. we had several deaths in the grove family over the new year.

m.s. white raven will have her birthday bash on the 24th of january. talking leaves will have about 6 or so pages this month because there is a lot of news to cover and the addition of two regular articles thats all for now i think.

m. s. white raven arch-druidess


Tuatha De Danaan Grove: News from California

Hi, Stacey! Just thought I'd let you know about Tuatha De Danaan Grove, founded 14 years ago when Tezra gave me 3rd Order. It is the old Berkeley/Mother Grove, and has held rituals from time to time; lately, it has been hibernating, but could come back to life if interest were aroused.

Back in 1984 or so, as a parting gift, Isaac handed the reins over to me, but, not at that time being a 3rd, I had to wait to make full use of his offering.

Please list my e-mail address as FrPA861@yahoo.com.

Peace!
Jeffrey


Poison Oak Grove, News from California
Publisher of "A Druid Missal-Any"

After a nearly four-year search we have found cabers to replace the ones rotting or falling over at the Grove site. The search was so difficult because we needed ones with bark still on them and not the (probably arsenic) treated ones more commonly found at lumber yards and building supply stores. Our Server Morag found them at Grove Way Bonsai Nursery in Hayward, the perfect size: 5, 6, and 7 inches in diameter and 8 ft. in length. Ironically it was the first shipment they have had in three years

Posthumous member Emmon had originally set the cabers on the periphery of the Grove site at the point where the Sun would rise on the particular High Day. He rose early on the High Day to mark where the sun came up and set the caber on that spot. He carved a notch at the top of each caber to sight the Sun from the altar. The altar had a indentation built into to it for one's staff specifically for that purpose. I feel like the Grove site is becoming complete again. It has been a four and a half year process that has included rebuilding the steps and replacing the sacred Grove trees as they had fallen over or died.

Caber adventure! After a nearly four year search we have found cabers to replace the ones that had rotten or fallen over due to age and the bucks using them to rub the velvet from their antlers, thanks to Server Morag. The week before Oimelc we transported them to the Grove site and hauled them up the hill. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry however. The week before when we had Druid services I had parked the Druid mobile with one wheel off the asphalt in the mud. This caused the wheel to spin be I still managed to back the car out. I thought the problem was because the car wasn't as heavy as the previous Druid mobile which never had a problem. But I was proved wrong. A friend who had a '61 Chevy Apache panel truck drove the cabers to the Grove site and got his wheel stuck in the same place. This time we had to call the automobile club to tow him out. Because of this delay and the rainy weather of the following day, the setting of the cabers will have to wait for sometime later in February. Extra hands are welcome.


Back to the Shadows Again

By Emmon Bodfish

(In the first incarnation of A Druid Missal-Any Emmon would periodically publish "see and do" articles for readers who wondered how to "do" Druidism. I found these articles ultimately helpful and practical and of course very do-able if one but put effort into them—Editor's note.)

The Druids of folktale were imputed with the power to create a magical mist, the "Cleo Trom" in which to hide themselves or to obscure the field of battle and aid their chieftains' armies. In fact, according to one source, ability to raise the Druid Mist was a test of anyone claiming to be a Fear-droi or a Wizard. This ability is also remembered in fragments of the Ossianic poems and in folklore from the Continent. In his book on magic, Steven Richards remarks that this "Invisibility is the peculiar mark of the Western magician as levitation is of the Oriental one."

In practice, there are different levels of making oneself invisible. At the first level is the crass psychological technique of diverting attention to something else while you quietly walk away, or perform the slight-of-the-hand that completes the trick. Stage magicians, thieves, and Sherlock Holmes are adepts at this one.

On the second level is the method actor's strategy of changing his emotional state, manner and gait such that he seems to turn into (or out to be) someone or something other than who he was, and so to "disappear" into the role. Crowley, working at this level of transformation, tells of the following incident that happened to him in London. When he was walking down a lane, he saw, coming toward him, a group of students who knew him and who were not particularly friendly to him or his ideas. Wishing to avoid their ridicule or worse, he ducked down a side street, but they followed him. The street proved to be a blind end. After stepping into a shop doorway, he rushed back out, having changed his gait and demeanor utterly, and bustled past them in a businesslike way. They did not recognize him and he escaped.

At the third level is something between this technique and that of thought projection or active telepathy. Mrs. Alexander-David Neil describes the first few rings of this level in her book of observations of mystics in India and Tibet. Basically it involves the ability to control your output of emotional energy, your projection of your "presence" in the situation. If you walk through a crowd shouting, bumping against people, and otherwise calling attention to yourself, you will make yourself quite visible. However, if you steal along noiselessly, you may be able to pass without being seen. Animals know this instinctively, and use it to catch their prey. As J.H. Brennan points out, merely sitting motionless cuts down on your visibility. Beasts of prey avoid this difficulty by bobbing their heads, creating the illusion of motion. However quiet you are, though, there is still the unquietness generated by your mind. The work of the mind generates an energy which spreads all around the one who produces it, and this energy is felt in various ways by those who come into touch with it. If you can stop even that source of noise, you become as silent as one could be. You maybe seen in the way that a camera "sees" things, but you will not be noticed. No knowledge consciousness, (nampar shespa) follows the visual contact; we do not remember that this contact has occurred.

"When the mind inhibits emanation of its radiative energy," says Evans-Wentz, "it ceases to be a source of mental stimuli to others, so that they become unconscious of the presence of the Adept of the Art just as they are unconscious of invisible beings living in a rate of vibration unlike their own." It is like the ostrich burying his head in the sand. One draws his attention into himself, instead of directing it outward, and by stopping the flow of the mind, turns off the noise.

In the most elementary sense, this form of invisibility is just moving along quietly. "The real secret of invisibility is not concerned with the laws of optics at all," writes Crowley. "The trick is to prevent people from noticing you when they normally would do so." As the test of his power, Crowley took a walk in the street in a golden crown and a scarlet robe without attracting attention. Eliphas Levi makes the same point in several of his manuscripts. This non-projection technique of un-noticibility/invisibility is described by this author's friend, who is considerably good at it, as "pull in your vibe." The Druid Mist cannot hide you if you continue to project a strong emotional presence. Some people say this feels like a drawing in of their personal energy, pulling it back in through the area just above the solar plexus.

Begin, then, by becoming mentally silent, calming your emotions until you reach emotional neutrality, having withdrawn your presence into yourself. Being able to stop the sentences flowing through your head is essential to any success in spiritual or psychic endeavors. It is the first rung of the ladder. This is mentioned in so many different religious and magical traditions that it must be accepted as one of the essential ingredients. Second, you must learn to stop, or put aside, the mood of the moment. This means stopping the flow of emotional energy surging up and down the body. We can all do this, if for only a moment. Take for example the experience of waiting for an important phone call. It is important to you to make a good impression. But while you are waiting by the phone, you become involved in a heated argument with another person in the room. Emotion is surging up and down through your body. Then the phone rings; this is it; you must be personable. You stop. That moment of suspension when you have left the argument and before you turn your attention to the phone, is it, the emotional neutral-point. You can learn to prolong that minute of emotional silence.

When you have silenced your mental verbalizations and are holding a neutral emotional stance, pull in your social, interactive energy, and your presence will seem to fade into the background. You have become a shadow. A camera will "see" you sitting there, but you will not be noticed. You will not register on the consciousness or in the memories of other people. As a secondary benefit, this mental state allows you to see the world quite objectively, in increased detail and dimensionality.

To this state of unnoticibility you add the fourth level by forming the Druid Mist. While it is the least understood part of the art of invisibility, it has been used and described for millennia, just as out ancestors could throw a missile accurately without understanding gravity or trajectory. Forming the Cleo Trom may involve the ability to control either light, or matter, or perception. The Mist seems to absorb light; it is dull colored, gray, and visually uninteresting, as well as hard for the eye to focus on; it does not make itself noticeable. Forming it requires preparation and practice. First, you must train yourself to be able to concentrate on one thing for a fairly long time, ten to twenty minutes. Training the attention and developing the will are basics in all magical traditions. It makes the difference between magic as psychic phenomena and magic as wishful thinking. In learning these skills, small amounts of practice daily works better than long sessions, infrequently. The learning may take anywhere from two weeks to two years, but there are interesting experiences along the way.

Begin by getting mentally silent and emotionally calm. Staring at a dark, plain background, relax your vision, focusing in the middle distance. Concentrate your will and energy on a point in mid-air four or five feet in front of you. Madame Blavatsky found it helped to think of willing the matter making up the air to gather and concentrate at this point. This may require a number of practice sessions of ten to twenty minutes each. When the Mist starts to form, it is grayish and almost invisible. You may only notice that you can no longer see the texture of the dark backdrop. For some reason there is a tendency at first for the eyes to cross while practicing this, so privacy is recommended. ("Just what we need...a gonzo wizard." cf. Bored of the Rings) After you have produced some of the Mist, you can counter its tendency to disperse by willing it to spin counter clockwise and contract. When you have gathered a mass of the Mist, a good amount which you can definitely see, the final step is to place it where you want it to be, between yourself and noxious stimuli or yourself and other persons. My consultant describes the technique as holding the Cleo with your eyes and pulling it along with your gaze. A woman mystic whom Madame Blavatsky interviewed during her oriental travels, collected and controlled the Mist by moving her hands as though gathering something together and guiding it. This would be the mudra approach. It is a technique widely used by Western mediums. When you think you can form the Mist reliably, success is always sporadic at first, try practicing with a full length mirror, placed eight or ten feet away from you. This way you can see how much of your reflection is blotted out by what looks like a grayish film on the surface of the mirror. Until you are very adept, be cautious of inviting friends to watch. The phenomena requires all of your concentration , and because friends are more disturbing to it than strangers. Anything that evokes an emotional response from you dissipates the effect. When you are well practiced, it is possible to get up, wrapping the Cleo Trom around you like a circular curtain and move about unobtrusively, unnoticed by those around you. But you must maintain the psychological silence and physical unobtrusiveness described as Level Three, or people will become aware of your presence, though not of the details of your physical appearance. H.S. Lewis tells an interesting account of this in one of his autobiographical essays. He was practicing forming the mist in a cafeteria, in order to shut out the noise of the people around him and be undisturbed. When he finished his meal, and went to pay, he recognized the owner of the establishment, an old acquaintance of his, working the cash register. He spoke to the man in a friendly way, but his friend treated him coldly, like a peculiar stranger and would give him no indication of recognition. On his way out of the restaurant, Lewis realized that he still had some of the Cleo Trom wrapped about him, not having dispersed it. This is usually done by dismissing it with your mind, willing it to disperse outward and upward, or in counter-clockwise swirls away from you. Some people find it is only necessary to "let go of it from the will."

    "The Mist begin to gently lift.
    The air begin to clear."

The Mist will disperse naturally as you put your attention on immediate matters and become re-involved with the business of the day and the emotions of the moment.

Photographs I have seen of people practicing holding the Cleo Trom around themselves, show an unfocused area, or streaked appearance in the place of the person's image.

This may seem small stuff compared to descriptions in the old sagas, but even in the Iron Age, it required a fair number of Druids to obscure a battlefield.


Other Druid Groups

Ancient Order of Druids in America

Greetings all,

I'm pleased to announce that the Ancient Order of Druids in America has a website again -- http://www.aoda.org -- and is on its way out of five years of hibernation. There's a short history by the previous Grand Archdruid at http://www.aoda.org/aodahist.htm , for those who are interested in its origins and affiliations.

Mike Scharding's RDNA site is also listed on the AODA links page on the contact and links page, http://www.aoda.org/contact.htm .

Yours beneath the sacred oaks,

John Michael Greer


North East Druid Coalition

Welcome to all Followers of the
Druid Path from the North East

The purpose of the North East Druid Coalition is to foster the goals you will see below in support of our path. Formed in August of 2003, the NEDC is comprised of and open to all orders, groves and Druidic organizations in our region. The North East Druid Coalition covers NJ, NY, PA, MA, CT, RI, VT, ME, NH, and Ontario, Canada.

Looking for Druid community in your area? We can help. See our links on the Navigation Bar at the top of the pages to the resources that we offer.

The goals of the NEDC are:

·To provide greater visibility for Druidism in this region...
·Provide a vehicle for a united voice in local, regional, national and international matters that concern us
·Provide networking opportunities and contacts for those on or wish to be on the Path of Druidism
·Provide support for the projects of the various orders and organizations
·To improve regional, national and international communications within the discipline
·and to work toward better regional organization of events and seasonal activities.

Our Structure

We recognize that modern Druidism encompasses many paths, therefore no group shall claim precedence over any other at our gatherings.

In keeping with the tradition of Druids throughout history we hold that Druids are men and women of peace and integrity, serving as teachers, philosophers, ambassadors, judges, seers, lawyers, healers, poets and bards for their tribes.

Every Druid group in our geographic region is entitled to have at least one representative on the on-line planning committee for events and seasonal activities

The NEDC offers the following workshops:

The Sacred Hearth: The Goddess Bridget and the Feast of Imbolc
Workshop on The Goddess Bridget and the Feast of Imbolc, followed by Imbolc Ritual based on authentic Scottish and Irish folklore and rituals. We will explore Bridget s role as Patroness of the Bards, Protector of Women and Children, and Mistress of the Elements. Fee is $35. Visit Dun na Sidhe website at www.mobiusbandwidth.com or Register via http://www.goddessofthesevensisters.com/ . Date: Monday, February 2, 2004. Time: 7:00 Contact: Sharynne NicMhacha at highlandpriestess@hotmail.com

Irish Ceili and Set dance Workshops
At the Guiding Star Grange, 401 Chapman Street, Greenfield, MA. 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays. 3 PM to 6 PM. Admission is $7.00. Leather soled shoes recommended. Call for info: 860-688-3094 Class dates: January 11, 25 February 8, 22, 29 March 14, 28 Date: Sunday, February 08, 2004. Time: 3:00 Contact: Cathy and Jim Mieczkowski at mairecait@att.net

The Triple Spiral: Intro to Celtic Magick and Celtic Spiritual Tradition
Three part workshop on Celtic Spirituality, Magick and Deities with Celtic priestess, Harvard Scholar and author Sharynne NicMhacha. Location and power of the Otherworld, sacred sites, cosmology, the Celtic year wheel, the three worlds and four directions, sacred talismans, and Irish, Gaulish, British deities. Wed. 2/11, 2/18 and 2/25 from 7-9 pm. Full descriptions at Dun na Sidhe website at www.mobiusbandwidth.com or register online at www.GoddessOfTheSevenSisters.com . Contact: Sharynne NicMhacha at highlandpriestess@hotmail.com

Celtic Myth, Poetry and Language
Four part workshop on Celtic language, myth, deity names, incantations, poems and songs (Old Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish) with Celtic priestess, Harvard scholar and author Sharynne NicMhacha. Sliding scale $45- 55. Western Mass area - 1 to 1 1/2 hrs from Boston, Hartford, Brattleboro, etc. Sunday 2/15, Sat. 2/21, Sat. 3/20 and Sat. 3/27 from 4-6 pm. Last class is potluck and ceili. Date: Contact: Sharynne NicMhacha at highlandpriestess@hotmail.com

The Mysteries of Albion: Myth and Magick of Avalon, Britain and Wales
Three part workshop, Wed. 3/24, 3/31 and 4/7 from 7-9 pm. Part One: Folklore, Fairy Lore and Magick of Wales. Part Two: The Spirits of Annwn - British and Welsh Legends, Deities and Mythology. Part Three: The Lessons of Avalon: The Spiritual Core of Arthurian Myth and Legend. Full descriptions at Dun na Sidhe website at http://www.mobiusbandwidth.com/or Register via www.GoddessOfTheSevenSisters.com . Contact: Sharynne NicMhacha at highlandpriestess@hotmail.com

The Nine-Fold Path of the Celtic Goddess
Meet the powerful Goddesses of Celtic tradition, and explore nine major archetypes (including witch, healer, land goddess, sage, mother etc.) We will connect with and honour these divine women in ceremony, and learn how to develop relationship with them in our daily lives. Register online via www.GoddessOfTheSevenSisters.com Date: Monday, April 19, 2004 - Time: 7:00 Contact: Sharynne NicMhacha at highlandpriestess@hotmail.com

May Day and the Celtic Fairy Tradition
Join us for this celebration of Beltaine, the beginning of Summer! We will learn about traditional lore associated with the Celtic Fairy Faith, including how to make offerings to and honour the Fairies (the People of the Sidhe) throughout the ritual year. We will also participate in a meditation and ceremony to honour the Sidhe. Register online via www.GoddessOfTheSevenSisters.com Date: Monday, April 26, 2004 - Time: 7:00 Contact: Sharynne NicMhacha at highlandpriestess@hotmail.com

Tree Workshop and Beltaine Celebration
May 1-2, 2004 TREE WORKSHOP AND BELTAINE CELEBRATION with author, herbalist and Druid Priestess Ellen Evert Hopman M.Ed. Frederick, MD Learn the medicinal and spiritual aspects of local trees and the basics of Druid ritual form. For registration and information Contact: 301-829-5048. www.springfever.com

Wisdom of Trees, Language of Birds: Intermediate Celtic Magick
Two Part workshop in Intermediate Celtic Magick and Spirituality. Part One: Exploring the power, symbolism and mythological language associated with sacred animals and birds, ways to honour and connect with these spirits. Part Two: The Voice of the Forest - The Mysteries of Ogam, The Irish Tree alphabet. Wed. 5/5 and 5/12 7-9 pm. Full descriptions at Dun na Sidhe website at www.mobiusbandwidth.com or register online at www.GoddessOfTheSevenSisters.com Contact: Sharynne NicMhacha at highlandpriestess@hotmail.com

Druid, Shaman, Priestess: Intro to Celtic Shamanism and the Sisterhood of Nine
Two part workshop on Celtic shamanism, mysticism and the Ninefold Sisterhood of priestesses. Part One: The three-fold cosmos, sacred animals and the power of flight, learn the basics of shamanic journeying and elements of the Celtic shamanic tradition. Part Two: Wisdom of Druids and Bards, vision and prophecy, and traditions regarding nine-fold sisterhood of priestesses or goddesses. Mondays. 5/17 and 5/24, 7-9 pm. Full descriptions at Dun na Sidhe website at www.mobiusbandwidth.com or register online at www.GoddessOfTheSevenSisters.com. Contact: Sharynne NicMhacha at highlandpriestess@hotmail.com

NEDC website: http://www.technovate.org/nedruid/


Resources

Cross Quarter Days

By Ignatz Fezman, Preceptor, Poison Oak Grove

(In the Druid Chronicles (Evolved) there was a Table of Moveable Feasts that showed the exact times, in Greenwich Mean Time, of the Solstices, Equinoxes, and the arrival of the Sun at the midpoints of the Fixed Signs and at the arrival 16 deg 18 min of declination North and South of the Celestial Equator, in other words the Cross Quarter Days. The dates and times were given up until the end of 1999, after that Druids were on their own. Until now. Grove Mathematician and Preceptor Ignatz has developed a program using to calculate the Cross Quarter Days, the astronomical High Days. The dates and times of the Solstices and Equinoxes are easily found in the yearly almanac or Pocket Astrologer. A Druid Missal-Any hopes to publish Brother Ignatz's High Day calculations to year 2100 soon. In the meantime here are the dates for 2004 along with the explanation of his methods. --Editors note.)

Astrodienst (www.astro.com) is a Swiss outfit that sells astrological services and software. They write and sell their own astrological programs; along the way, they have developed a software toolkit for programmers who want to write astrological software. The toolkit is called the Swiss Ephemeris and it comprises two parts:

1. A series of data files, giving the positions of all objects of astrological interest over a span of more than 10,000 years, based on a cleverly compressed version of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's astronomical ephemeris. This is divided into a number of files, each covering 400 years.

2. A library of program functions for accessing the data, and for doing useful calculations, including various date conversions and co-ordinate transformations.

The Swiss Ephemeris is released under a dual license: if you use it to write commercial programs, then you owe Astrodienst a license fee; if instead you distribute your programs for free, or don't distribute them at all, then you don't need to pay Astrodienst.

The Swiss Ephemeris is written in the programming language C, and is intended for use by programmers writing in that language. Many other languages have what's called a Foreign Function Interface (FFI), which lets their programs use pre-compiled software written in other languages (i.e. the Swiss Ephemeris); however, in my experience these FFIs are often incomplete and poorly documented. Since my C skills are rather thin and I needed the practice, I decided to work in C rather than in the languages I'd used for my previous cross-quarter calculations

Cross-Quarter Days for 2004, Greenwich Mean Time

Oimelc as 15 deg of Aquarius, Feb. 4, 2004 11:58 GMT
Oimelc as 16 deg 18 min decl, Feb. 4, 2004 14:55 GMT

Beltane as 15 deg of Taurus, May 5, 2004 04:04 GMT
Beltane as 16 deg 18 min decl, May 5, 2004 00:56 GMT

Lughnasadh as 15 deg of Leo, Aug. 7, 2004 04:20 GMT
Lughnasadh as 16 deg 18 min decl, Aug. 7 2004 07:30 GMT

Samhain as 15 deg of Scorpius, Nov. 7, 2004 01:60 GMT
Samhain as 16 deg 18 min decl, Nov. 6, 2004 22:59 GMT

Cross-Quarter Days for 2004, Pacific Time

Oimelc as 15 deg of Aquarius, Feb. 4 2004 03:58 PST
Oimelc as 16 deg 18 min decl Feb. 4, 2004 06:55 PST

Beltane as 15 deg of Taurus, May 4, 2004 21:04 PDT
Beltane as 16 deg 18 min decl, May 4, 2004 17:56 PDT

Lughnasadh as 15 deg of Leo, Aug. 6, 2004 21:20 PDT
Lughnasadh as 16 deg 18 min decl, Aug 7 2004 00:30 PDT

Samhain as 15 deg of Scorpius, Nov. 6, 2004 17:60 PST
Samhain as 16 deg 18 min decl, Nov. 6, 2004 14:59 PST


News

Call for Nominations:
MAA Graduate Student Committee

The Medieval Academy of America's Graduate Student Committee is looking for graduate students to serve on the committee for a two-year term, 2004-2006.

The committee acts on behalf of graduate students in North America and overseas to voice their concerns and promote their participation within the Medieval Academy of America (MAA) and the broader academic community.

For more information on the committee and the medieval graduate student Med-Grad listserv, please see the Medieval Academy Website at http://www.medievalacademy.org, under "Graduate Students." You do not have to be a member of the MAA to sign up for the listserv.

All graduate students interested in serving on the Graduate Student Committee, and who are/will be members of the MAA, are invited to nominate themselves. Please (re)introduce yourself to the med-grad listserv and send a brief statement, c.v., and the name of one reference as soon as possible to Richard K. Emmerson at RKE@MedievalAcademy.org. Indicate your university, discipline, and particular interest in contributing to the committee. We hope to represent a wide range of academic disciplines and geographic regions on the committee. Two graduate students will be appointed to the committee by the Council when it meets in Seattle in April 2004.


Military Pagan Network Board of Directors
Selects New Executive Director

Columbia, MD - January 14, 2004: On the 14th anniversary of the founding of the Military Pagan Network, Inc. founder, Chairman and Executive Director John Machate stepped out of office. Upon resignation he stated "It has been a fun time but it is now time for the organization to stand on its own under new leadership." He also stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors allowing Angela Peerman to be elected in his place. Mr. Machate will remain on the Board of Directors and run for re-election this year, he will also serve the new Executive Director as PR Manager and Webmaster.

It did not take the board long to determine who would sit in the top staff seat of the organization. Dr. Mark Drake Spaeth of Circle Sanctuary and the Lady Liberty League, most well known as Circle's candidate for military Chaplaincy was the outgoing Executive Directors one and only choice. After a brief interview period and introduction to the positions duties Dr. Spaeth accepted the nomination with the blessings of Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary, "Drake has been helping Pagans in the US military for many years. Best wishes to him and MPN as he is expanding this work as MPN's new Executive Director! And thanks to John for his many years of service!"

Founded in 1992, incorporated in 1997 the Military Pagan Network Inc. acted as a store and group information resource for Neopagans in the military. The corporation now provides material regarding various Neopagan religions to the Chaplaincy, as well as fulfilling its original goal of providing contacts near military bases around the world. In 1997 the corporation expanded its services to include assisting military members with the proper handling of harassment and discrimination. In 1999 the IRS awarded the Military Pagan Network, Inc. an advanced determination of tax-exempt status in accordance with Internal Revenue Code 501(a) as an organization described in section 501(c)3. In 2002 that advanced determination was lifted and the Military Pagan Network, Inc. has been found to be tax exempt as described in section 501(a) as an organization described in section 501(c)3 if the Internal Revenue Code.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Military Pagan Network, please visit the Military Pagan Network website at http://www.milpagan.org/ . Copyright 2004, Military Pagan Network Inc.


A Holiday to the Iron Age

(Iron Age House anyone? -- Editor's note)

Holidaymakers will be able to spend a week living in the Iron Age at a new tourist attraction being planned in the Forest of Dean (England). Tourists will give up their clothes and modern items and dress in costume and spend time living in the village of Cinderbury. They will sleep in primitive huts and will have to cook for themselves, mine ore, make tools and weapons and look after the village's animals. Mobile phones and watches will be confiscated and the project website says that "make-up, jewellery, hair products and perfumes are strongly discouraged and will possibly be mocked".

The living history project is being created near Clearwell. Although corporate funds are still needed it is hoped the village will be open by May. Project boss Jasper Blake said: "The village came about in a weird kind of way. I have now been doing archaeology in the area for 10 years with different groups and I love working in this area but I wanted to earn a living doing it. I visited other places which are commercial operations and I thought I could do it with this place. We now have our plot of land and have made a deal with the landowner and we are pretty well ready to put in a planning application. This is going to be a high profile, media friendly project and there is nothing much like it anywhere else in the country so we expect interest to be high."

Mr Blake added: "If we get corporate interest there is no reason why we can't be open by May. There is no way that we could get the whole thing built ready for then, but part of the experience will be to get people to get involved with building some of the roundhouses and help build it up as a living community."

Mr Blake explained that although there were no remains of Iron Age huts in the Forest they would be using a template of what is known about roundhouses and use local materials to build them.

For more information see the Cinderbury website (http://www.cinderbury.co.uk/)


A Druid Missal-Any

Oimelc as 15 degrees of Aquarius occurs on Feb. 4 2004 3:58 a.m. Pacific Standard Time or by an alternative method as 16 degrees 18 minutes of declination on Feb. 4, 2004 at 6:55 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Hang your Druid robe outside on the eve of Oimelc so that Bride might bless it as she passes by.

A Druid Missal-Any is published eight times a year. Post mail subscriptions are $8.00 and email subscriptions are free. Or write an article or send us a cartoon and receive a year's post mail subscription free. Write to:

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