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An Un-Official Publication of the Reformed Druids

Beltane, Year 44
(May 1, 2006)

Volume 22, Number 3


Beltane Essay: Indo-Euroepan Drink & Sacrifice
News of the Groves
Winner of Bardic Contest
Introduction to Modern Druid Groups, Part 1 of 4
The Arch Epistle
Story: Apostasy, Part 1 of 2
News: Summer Job Announcement
News: New Plans for Stonehenge Center
Events: Sacramento Celtic Culture Festival

eltaine, festival of the Sun, celebrates the long and eagerly awaited return of the Waters of Life to Grove chalices of the R.D.N.A. Use of the divine drink as sacrament, channel to the gods and restorer of mortal and Divinity alike, is an ancient Indo-European concept. It is found in a highly developed form in the Rig Veda, written down circa 1600 B.C. and the custom may go back two to three thousands years before to the Proto-Indo European homeland on the steppes of Asia. The Indo-European tribes early learned the use of fermentation processes both of milk products as yogurt, etc. known to many pastoral races, and, perhaps by extension, the fermentation of honey into Mead. Juices of other, psychotropic plants were preceded and added to this, by some of the later Indo-European tribes, notably the Vedic branch in the Ganges Valley where such herbs abound.

Fraser and others have collected and reconstructed Indo-European ideas surrounding the divine drink and its use, and the origin of sacrament from sacrifice. The early Indo-Europeans saw humanity as originally mortal, and the gods as immortal, and their myths tell how immortality was achieved by certain human beings, or in some branches of the Indo-European spectrum, made available to humanity in general. The Hebrew and Chinese mythologies took the reverse view: animals and humans were originally immortal as Adam and Eve in Eden, or the "First Man" before the dividing up of Chaos. Then, through some fall, death came into the world. In the theme, a hero or demi-god's discovery or theft of a divine potion makes him immortal and able to communicate with the divine powers. The potion is then lost, through trickery or deceit, but sometimes an Earthly version of the drink remains with a promise of future immortality. Consumption of a Sacred drink is used both in initiatory rites and as a group bonding ritual in religions from Ireland to India. The Eucharist may be the Christianization of this ritual; it does not spring from any Orthodox Hebrew rite. Dr. Duran characterizes Christianity as "a very much Indo-Europeanized, Semitic religion." Holy food is more characteristic of other cultures, Semitic, African or Amerindian, while the deified drink is Indo-European. The drink not only inspires, but is though to be a god, a divine thing in itself, or to contain the essence of a divine being. This led Fraser and Rutherford to associate it with the deified sacrificial victim of other sacrificing religions, but Dumézil and other modern students of religion have repudiated this idea. It is an area where experts still disagree. However, its consumption is treated as an act of sacrifice; an offering up to the gods of the drink and of oneself or one's consciousness, (at least temporarily.) This maintains the human connection to the Divine, as well as maintaining the immortal vigor of the Deities thus worshipped. This is explicitly set out in the Rig Veda, and similar descriptions are preserved from the West: The sacrifices to Euses, the Horse Sacrifice of the High Kings of Ireland, libation ceremonies in Greece, and in the Slavic areas, wine or mal rituals to Perun. Statues of Perun held a drinking horn into which a sacred liquor was poured during a spring rite, perhaps even Beltaine, and in which the priest caste then read hopes for the year's crops were read through the liquid's behavior. Perun is cognate with Taranis and Thor as the thunderbolt wielding god of the Oak.


Structural anthropologists connect the deified drink rite with the "dying-god" motif, which is not an exclusively Indo-European theme, but wide-spread in the Old World. This connection is exemplified in the song of "John Barleycorn," who dies with the harvest in order to feed the people, but rises again in the Spiritus of the ale, and in the sprouting grain of the spring. However, I think these two themes were only merged at a much later date, after the Indo-Europeans had scattered from their steppes homeland. There is no trace of the latter motif in the earliest Indo-European record, the Rig Veda, or in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European vocabulary.

The young year god, Osiris, Dionysus resurrection theme seems to be part of the pre Indo-European strata of the Eastern Mediterranean. And in Europe, the dying Corn King tradition seems to be older than the Celtic Bardic records and has no official place in Druid doctrine. Though Dumézil also repudiated this "ambrosia cycle," he later, in 1939 re-affirmed the parallel between the Germanic and Indic accounts of obtaining the vessel, cauldron or chalice to hold the deified drink. This vessel grew in importance, and takes precedence in the later mythology of the Western Indo-Europeans over its contents. Anything drunk from the sacred bowl grants divine inspiration. The vessel and the ritual, and the readiness of the participant, (set and setting) become more important than the particular intoxicant. This is the stance taken by the RDNA and discussed in the Later Chronicles, making us a descendent of the Celtic and Western most wavelet of the great Indo-European expansion and evolution. Thus Beltaine, beginning the summer and the Druid Season of Life, sees the return of the Waters of Life to the chalices of RDNA Groves across the country, and to our subscribers if they are holding Proto Grove services, in such unlikely places as Melborne and Hong Kong.* Since Samhain no liquor has been used, only the Waters of Sleep, pure distilled H20, in the sharing-cup. Concomitant with this holiday, the Third Order Druids, clergy rank, exchange their white ceremonial ribbons for red. At Live Oak Grove, a Maypole dance follows the Beltaine service, and a general partying and merry-making may continue till sundown.

*Write us for Proto-Grove instructions. (Editor's note: we still have them so if you want a copy we can still send it to you!)

The Rig Veda
Littleton, The New Comparative Mythology
Gimbutas, The Slavs
Levy, The Gate of Horn. (This book is now published as Religious Conceptions of the Stone Age and Their Influence Upon European Thought, New York: Harper, 1963.)

When men go to serve the gods, they go for the god that serves them.

- Emmon Bodfish, Reprinted from A Druid Missal-Any, Beltaine 1984

News of the Groves
For the Full Grove Directory

The Local Woodland Druids: News from Canada

Hi all fellow friends, We are a new proto grove located in the Ottawa valley. We are 7 members. Myself as the grove keeper, a local druidess, three eclectics, and two Celtic Christians. We are situated on the Quebec side of the Ottawa river. About 1H30 north from Ottawa. Some of us are preparing our Beltaine activities (creating and blessing our two first sacred wells). We will keeps you posted trough out the year of our continuity. We are happy to be part of the RDNA family. Sebastien

Digitalis Grove: News from D.C.

Well, as I said last time, I begin a new career in the Foreign Serivce on May 1st, and I do not know where this job will take me, but I will do my best to continue my search for awareness, and share those results with you, my sibilings.?I might take longer to answer mail and postings, but I'll probably not disappear for more than a few weeks at a time. I'll be in diplomatic training in DC until probably August or September.

Being May 1st, I'd like to gladly announce the start of Year 44 of the Reform, and wish all of you good fortune, good wisdom and good health this year. Peace to you all.

Rockspray Grove: News from Indiana

Rockspray Grove is going along well. We recently got three new members and the activity in the group is picking up.


Moose Breechcloth Proto-Grove: News From Minnesota

Is it just me or is Beltain (Beltaine, Beltane...or which ever way you choose to spell it) your favorite too? I really dig Beltain.

All those little seeds I mentioned in the last installment are now getting ready to be transplanted out in the gardens. A minor mishap involving me spilling a package of spearmint seeds is going to result in a bumper crop this year, as well. That nasty glaze of Minnesota late-winter grey ice is now gone, and has revealed the mountains of garbage that have blown into my yard over the winter, that are now waiting to be raked up. The Saint Paul "green dumps" are now open again, and are receiving bags upon bags of my garden waste and last autumn's leaves. . . that DIDN'T make it to the green dump in time. At this point I'm producing too much to compost all of it. A lot it has to go to the green dump. The green dumps provide compost for those who don't, or can't, produce their own. Those who produce too much can help out those who need it. And, finally, the cats are filing formal complaints with the humane society that I don't have the plastic film insulation off of the front porch windows yet.

We hit 73 degrees today (April 10th). It felt like the Mother herself had earmarked this day just for me. I walked outside, then promptly turned back around, went back inside, put my jacket back up on it's hook, then walked outside again. It's been a long time in coming.

A footnote to the seeds I mentioned in the last installment. . . I just recently got another one of my infamous 'wild hairs', and found a specialty seed shop online. I ordered "paprika supreme" seeds. I decided to grow and grind my own paprika this year. For those of you who think paprika is just for coloring, you've obviously never had it fresh. One of Lou's soccer chums is a first-generation American-born Hungarian, named Orsi. Orsi and her parents continue to grow and grind their own paprika. I thought I was doing pretty good when I found a foo-foo spice shop in Saint Paul that had (what I thought was) "really fresh paprika". Then Orsi gave me a jar of her homemade paprika. And a convert was instantly made. So, if all goes well, I'll be grinding my own this fall. There are different varieties of paprika peppers you can grow. But 'paprika supreme' is the most prolific producer. And if you use as much of the stuff as I do, you know why I went with quantity.

Lou and I are also considering buying a shed-sized greenhouse for the backyard. We could significantly prolong our growing season with a greenhouse out back.

This coming weekend (Easter weekend) also hails the start of Pow-Wow season in Minnesota. There is a Good Friday Pow-Wow at the local AIMS (American Indian Magnet School) this Friday. Should be really cute. . . an all-kids Pow-Wow. I'm looking forward to it. At my favorite Saint Paul Native American bead shop. . . that I can't seem to stay out of. . . I've noticed a marked increase in the number of breast plates coming in to be repaired. . . so indeed...not just for the kids, but for adults as well. . . Pow-Wow season is indeed upon us. Will work for fry bread.

Hope this season finds all you bunnies at your hoppin' best. The Season of Life is finally upon us. And it's a welcomed sight.

Gigawabamin nagutch,
and yours in the Mother,

-Julie Ann and Lou-

The Nine Oaks & Mystic Well Protogrove: News from Arizona

We are doing well down here in the desert SouthWest, as we have been in a cycle of Spring for a few months, and the recent rains has helped the trees sprout new leaves and the flowers of gold and green have sprung into life. We are getting ready to expand out meetings as we have had many folk inquire about us and the RDNA movement, and even though still a Protogrove we still look forward to the 'waters of life' cycle, and certain fellowships that come with it.

Our membership has grown greatly during the times of the waters of sleep, as we are 18 present (attending some meets)and still growing. Now we will embark on holding more 'public rites' this Spring and Summer. Yes things are good down here in the desert SW, as we launch into our next phase.

In the Mothers service,


Canine Grove: News from Washington State

This druid will be soon moving from the enchanted kingdom (Portland Metro) to the village of Salem in the hinterlands (aka anything outside of Portland Metro) having found a abode that we can afford. If we take possession by Beltaine, er, Bealltainn we shall have a nice ritual; otherwise the nice ritual will be during Litha, er, Feill-Sheathain. Maybe by then the rains will have finally stopped.

Bindii, A soddened druid in Oregon

Hazelnut Mother Grove: News from California

As always, Hazelnut MotherGrove is a teaching grove, which will soon be doing online ordinations. Send me your email, and I will send you an invite. Because of something one of our moderators did to stop spammers, the group is restricted and you have to be invited. If you are computer savvy enough to know how to reverse this, please let me know. My Yahoo Instant Messenger ID is pyewacket56.

For those who like to combine Druidism with Wicca, we have the DruidWicca_Coven

For a general look at magick, we have the Abbotts Inn School of Magick, a 36 year old tradition, now gone on the Internet.

For those are fans of Uncle Al (Aleister Crowley) there is The Great Wild Beast Furthernent Society, a group that was formed because nobody talked me out of it. You can learn ritual magick here too.

My email is: Stephen Abbott's email is:

This message is to all Druids living in Santa Clara County: If you know of a park with trees that would make a good meeting place for Duir de Danu Grove let me know or email the AD MaDagda at .

Tegwedd ShadowDancer

Sunset Protogrove: News from California

I read something the other day that I thoughts was a good quote-

"Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There's no looking at a sunset after seeing Italy."
—Fanny Burney

'tis true. Every sunset brings only images of Amalfi sun shining on the domed roof of a nameless chiesa, pastel colored terraced towns, hugging the gleaming aquamarine waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Little fishing boats bobbing about just offshore and the isle of Capri off in the distance looking misty and magical just out of reach...Geez I guess it happens just thinking about sunsets!

Of course just seeing a sunset again would be nice in and of itself.

We are waiting for three days of sunshine together to start working on some improvements in the back yard...or as we are currently calling it, 'the swamp.' Even the dog has been seen looking longingly out the sliding glass doors to her beloved back-yard.

Easter/Eostar has come and gone. Had the traditional leg of lamb and mint sauce dinner. Love the MEAT. Kids looked for eggs and we all ate candy. Mmmm.

Looking forward to the sun of the coming months.

"Sun. Sun?. . . YO SUN!!!"

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

Sarangerel Odigan, sister of Chonbaatar the shamaness who held the hunting ceremony at the grove site in November passed away late February. She was a fine shamaness in her own right and a teacher. The Arch Druid attended her memorial held 49 days later in the Buryat tradition in Half Moon Bay at the Sun Center. It is hard to understand why a brightly burning and gifted star is extinguished so young.

We planted two more in the circle of grove trees Beithe (Birch) and Ròs (Rose). The new Grove site is starting to feel like a sacred space now as we add the elements that distinguish it as such. We are waiting for the new tree in the circle to become available at the horticulturist's in time for the Summer Solstice.

One of the AD's cats killed a chickadee, somehow catching it on the balcony; it seems to becoming a yearly event. She gave it a Celtic-style burial by digging a grave beneath a pine tree, placing it on a bed of spring wild flowers of Forget-Me-Nots, Wild Onion, and Money Plant, with bird seed to accompany it to Apple Isle.

Winner of Bardic Contest

The winner was Hedgewizard, who submitted "A Winter's Tale", which won the prize after three rounds of fierce balloting by the Bardic Conclave of the RDNAtalk conference from a pool of 12 submissions. As prize, everyone should call Hedgewizard, a "Bard of the Reform", XLIV, until May 2007, and we expect a few more good poems from you in the meantime.

A Winter's Tale

By Hedgewizard
Dec 2005, For the Public Domain

As whitest snow covers the earth
Great oaks stand in silent watch
The stars above seem to speak the names
Of spirits alive on other planes.

I turn the pages of old and new,
Books; I've found to be somewhat true
And again the pines by my window play
Soft tunes for a snow filled winter's day.

Thoughts will spin and time will still
The moving, pounding winter's chill.
A book, some wine, some thoughts of friends
In the night can be all that mends.

The lives we live while sound asleep
Crawl into our dreams and then they keep
Us wondering if this is reality at all
Or only the dream of a Neanderthal

Other bodies, souls as ours tonight
Live out their lives in sweet respite
We never meet but glimpse their mime
In ancient and future past tense time.

And so I am many people still
Living in house, and, barn, and mill.
I could be someone you've met in the dawn
A warrior prince or Queen's Knight's Pawn

The chess board is so large it covers five Earths
And never keeps track of the deaths or the births
For what we call living is at last illusion
Filled with our own near cosmic confusion.

An Introduction to Modern Druid Groups

By Susan Reed

Reprinted by Request and Permission of the Author

Section One: Introduction

Many people don't realize that there is a wide variety of groups that call themselves Druids that have different ways of "doing Druidry" and then are puzzled by conflicting information about what Druids "do" or "don't do." This class is my attempt to clarify some of the differences and similarities among some prominent Druid groups and lessen the confusion. This class will present an overview of six modern Druid groups including: the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD), the British Druid Order (BDO), the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA), Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF) and the Henge of Keltria. I chose these groups because, with one exception, they are fairly well-known and they are good representatives of the range of spiritually-oriented Druid groups that are out there. Today, we will explore the histories, the organizational philosophies, beliefs, and guiding principles, the ways these organizations are structured, membership and training programs, and some comparisons of ritual for each of these groups.

I am a member of three of the groups I will be discussing (an active member of OBOD, a "becoming-more-active" member of ADF and a rather inactive member of the Henge of Keltria) and have participated in a number of meetings, workshops and rituals with a local ADF grove before I joined ADF. So I have some first hand knowledge of several of these groups and I also gathered information from the groups' web sites, published books and articles by prominent members of these groups and from discussions on various druid-oriented message boards and forums.

What Is Druidry? What Is Druidism?

There are no simple definitions about what modern druidry or druidism is. Each group conceives of druidry/druidism in its own way and we will be looking at how six groups interpret druidry for themselves. You will often see the terms "druidry" and "druidism" and may have wondered if there was any difference between them. Until recently, I had thought that the two words were pretty much interchangeable, but I recently encountered this explanation by John Michael Greer, who has done much research into the development of Revival Druidry (another term I will discuss later):

The term "Druidry" was a creation of Ross Nichols, one of the major luminaries in the English Druid community in the mid-twentieth century. He wanted to stress that the Druid path was not an "ism," an ideology or set of beliefs, but a craft, a set of practices and traditions sharing common principles. The English language gives the suffix "-ry" to any number of crafts, such as pottery and forestry; the example of Freemasonry was probably also in Nichols' mind (nobody talks about "Masonism"). More recently the two words have become convenient labels for the two main approaches in the Druid community, with "Druidism" used most often by recent Celtic Reconstructionist groups [and certain Neo-pagan Druid groups] who base their versions of the Druid way on modern scholarship, while "Druidry" is used most often by older groups who work with the heritage of the Druid Revival. 1

Druid groups that have evolved from Revival Druidry tend to prefer "druidry" and perceive its meaning much as is described by John Michael Greer above. Druid groups that were created in the latter half of the 20th century and that define themselves as "religions" more often tend to use "druidism."

Of the six groups we will be exploring today, AODA, an offshoot of revival Druidry, uses "druidry" exclusively. OBOD, also an offshoot of Revival Druidry that is evolving into a religious path, uses "druidry" more often, but considers "druidry" and "druidism" to be interchangeable. ADF and the Henge of Keltria define their paths as religions. ADF uses both terms, but uses "druidism" more often and the Henge of Keltria uses "druidism" almost exclusively.

The British Druid Order seems to define itself more as a religion, but follows the British traditional usage of "druidry."

Classifications of Druid Groups

Isaac Bonewits classified Pagan religions and Druid groups as one of three types based on when the religion or group was founded. He used the term, "paleopaganism" or "paleo-Paganism" as a term for the "original polytheistic, nature-centered tribal faiths from around the world. Most of these belief systems are now extinct, but a few have survived to the present day.

"Mesopaganism" or "meso-Paganism" is a general term for a variety of movements founded in the 17th through 19th centuries that created spiritual/magical/philosophical systems or methods of practice based on what was believed to be the best of paleopagan beliefs, as they were known at that time, but influenced by the religious and/or philosophical ideas from that time. Often there was an attempt to reconcile these "reconstructed" or "revived" practices with then contemporary beliefs and practices.

"Neopaganism" or "neo-Paganism" is a general term for a variety of religious/spiritual movements started since the 1960s or so based on what was known about paleopagan practices at the times of their founding and blended with more modern ideas about religion, history, psychology, etc.2

The University of Virginia's New Religious Movements web site,, uses a similar scheme with slightly different terminology:

What Bonewits calls "paleopagan Druid," the UVA web site calls "classical Druids"; what Bonewits calls "mesopagan Druids," the UVA site calls "revival Druids"; and what Bonewits calls "neopagan Druids," the UVA sites calls "modern Druids." I mostly use the UVA terminology.3

How do Classical Druids relate to Revival and Modern Druid Groups?

We don't much about what the classical druids did or thought. Although we are gaining increasing amounts of information from archaeology and through multi-disciplinary examination of literary sources and material culture sources about Celtic religions, we still do not have enough information to form definitive pictures of what the religions were like or how the druids were involved in them or how the druids were involved in the structures of various Celtic societies. Based on Irish literature and some ancient Roman commentaries, it appears that the classical Druids were a class of intellectuals and priests in their society and that Druids filled many roles, including teaching, presiding at rituals, being judges and lawyers, being poets, philosophers, prophets, and many other roles. But exactly how it all worked over time and within each Celtic society is unknown.

This lack of knowledge has made "druid" a useful name for spiritual/magical societies. One can ascribe all sorts of knowledge and practices to druids and it would be hard to disprove them. The Reformed Druids of North America consciously used "druid" in just that way—they were looking for a name that had connotations with spirituality and religion, but for which little was known.

Revival Druid groups did try to model themselves on what, at the time, was the cutting edge of scholarship on the classical druids. To fill in the gaps, they added influences and ideas from hermetic magic, masonry and Judeo-Christian mysticism and created working systems that have stood the test of time.

Many modern Druid groups also try to model themselves on what is now the cutting edge of what is know about the classical druids and fill in the gaps with ideas from other ancient pagan religions or from Asian religions, with different interpretations of hermetic magic and with modern psychology.

Some Currently Existing Revival Druid Groups

There are a number of Revival Druids groups still in existence. Many of these are now charitable/social/fraternal organizations similar to the Masons or the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, but others still have some mystical/spiritual emphases. Some examples of Revival Druid groups that still survive are the Druid Circle of the Universal Bond, said to be formed in 1717; the Ancient Order of Druids, formed in 1781; and the Gorsedd of Wales, formed in 1792.

Some Modern Druid Groups

In addition to the six groups I will be exploring today, some other active modern Druid groups are: the Covenant of Avalon, the Tuatha de Brighid, the New Reformed Druids of North America, the Loyal Arthurian Warband, The Berengaria Order of Druids, The Druid Order of the Yew and many others. The UK's Druid Network,, has a comprehensive list of Druid groups from around the world on their web site.

What do Druid groups have in common?

Common to both Revival and modern Druids is the idea that Druids were intimately connected with the study of nature and the one widespread characteristic I have found for the Druid groups I have studied is a devotion to and study of nature to a degree not found in other Neo-pagan religions I have encountered. They also tend to honor a Celtic heritage to one degree or another. Each group, in its own way looks to what is or was known about how Druids functioned in Celtic societies and have tried to incorporate that into its philosophies and practices. The quest for "awen" or "imbas," respectively Welsh and Irish words that can be loosely translated as "flowing inspiration," is also a prominent feature of many of the Druid groups, especially those that are British-based or Revival-Druidry-based.

Notes to the Introduction

[Author's note—This is an expanded version of my notes for a class I gave at the Sacred Space Conference,, on July 10, 2004.]

1 Greer, John Michael and the Ancient Order of Druids in America. "Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed July 16, 2004. [] Insert in brackets is my own.

2 Bonewits, Isaac. "Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo- 2.5" Published 2001. Accessed July 16, 2004. []

3 Junker, Karen. "The Religious Movements Homepage Project: Druids" Published 2001. Accessed July 16, 2004. []

Section Two: Capsule Histories

OBOD (1964, revived 1988)

The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids is derived from the Ancient Druid Order (AKA British Circle of the Universal Bond), believed to have been founded in 1717. Ross Nichols split from the ADO to form the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druid in 1964. The Order went inactive after Nichols's death in 1974 and was revived in 1988 by Philip Carr-Gomm, who still serves as Chief of the Order. It is one of the largest Druid groups today with over 7,000 members worldwide.

BDO (1979)

The British Druid Order was founded in 1979 by Wiccan High Priest, Philip Shallcrass, who became convinced that Druidry was the native British version of shamanism. Shallcrass also became a member of OBOD in the early 90s and he was joined as Join Chief of the Order by OBOD Druid Emma Restall Orr in 1995. In 2001, Shallcrass withdrew from the Order and Orr went on to create the Druid Network and the Druidic Order of the Yew. The Order was on the brink of dissolution, but has been revived and Shallcrass has returned to guide the order.

AODA (1912, revived 2003)

The history of the Ancient Order of Druids is America starts with the Ancient Archaeological Order of Druids (1874), which changed its name to the Ancient Masonic Order of Druids (1886). A charter for an American branch, the Ancient Order of Masonic Druids in America was obtained in 1912. This group separated from Masonry and changed its name to the Ancient Order of Druids in America in 1976. The Order went inactive in the 1990s and was revitalized by John Michael Greer in 2003.

RDNA (1963)

Around the time that OBOD was being created, some students at Carleton College in Northfield, MN USA, in 1963 objected to a college policy of mandatory attendance of religious services, so they protested by creating a outlandish religious group, the Reformed Druids of North America, and attending its services regularly. The requirement was soon withdrawn, but members continued to participate in the group in order to explore world faiths and personal paths. As they graduated, they started groups in other states. By the 1980s there were about 10 groves scattered across the country and now there are some 40 or so groves and protogroves.

ADF (1983)

Ar nDraiocht Fein was founded by Isaac Bonewits in 1983. Bonewits was a member of RDNA who also had ties with other Neo-pagan groups. He had a vision of molding the Reform Druids into a Neo-pagan group that could have scholarly rigor in its training and theology, but most of the other RDNA members didn't buy his proposal. Ultimately, Bonewits created ADF in his own image of what a Neo-pagan Druid group should be. A fuller account of the formation of ADF can be found in Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon or The Reformed Druids of North America's A Reformed Druid Anthology.

The Henge of Keltria (1985 or 1987)

The Henge of Keltria was founded in 1985 or 1987 (I've seen both dates given in Keltrian materials) by Tony Taylor and Pat Taylor in response to "theological differences, administrative goals, and other perceived shortcomings of ADF." The founders were seeking a more Celtic-centered path than ADF's Indo-European-centered path. 1

Notes to the Capsule Histories

*1 Topaz Owl. "A Druid Alone." Henge Happenings Vol. 42. Published 1999. Accessed July 16, 2004. [].

The Arch Epistle

By Mike Scharding, Digitalis Grove

August 2004, c.e.

Note: Written in reply to Ian's "Alphabet Epistle" (pg. 184 of Main Volume of Arda in Apocrypha) when he asked Mike how to be an excellent Archdruid, and went mystic about the letters "s" and "b".

Chapter the First

1. Dear Brother Ian,
2. Thank you for your welcome e-mail on Friday the 13th, alleviating an otherwise thankfully uneventful day.
3. I was deeply moved by the sigil inspiration you have drawn from B & S, which is a good part of every conversation I can remember on Druidism. Your words will fertilize much contemplation in the future.
4. Coming as it does in the middle of the Athens Olympics, I can not refrain from appending comments on the Greek alphabet, for Caesar said that the Druids (at least in Narbonia) only used Greek letters when it was necessary to write down matters. Greek keys open some Celtic mysteries.
5. Have you not noticed that the letters alpha and omega are but the same line twisted and crimped?
6. Omega reminds me of the strongly twisted Druid's torc worn around the neck, from whose synaptic terminals a leap of faith is required to complete of a perfect circle.
7. And is it not also amazing that the letters phi are so similar to our Druid Sigil? And is it not strange that pi so irrationally resembles the megalithic henges?
8. Now that I'm done with my letters, I will continue with your letter.

Chapter the Second

1. I noted the question at the end of your missive, "How can I be a good Arch Druid?" I thought you already knew.
2. But, I feel like the Japanese monk who exhorted his disciple, "Strike me hard like a bell, that I may peal even louder in my reply."
3. You will indeed have more of a challenge organizing humans, as opposed to your ministrations to penguins and monkeys in your last few Grove attempts.
4. I caution you to be careful as the former are less forgiving and far more unruly, for they resemble cats when herded.
5. I feel a word to the wise on the matter of Arch Druids is enough, but in your case, a single letter should suffice.
6. As you mentioned, locked into every word of our language are associations and roots which give a hint as to what a word means and what we should do.
7. The word Arch Druid (or its alternative Archdruid), doesn't appear in the dictionary, so I will instead concentrate on "arch."
8. As I attempt to define "arch", I must paraphrase Brother Irony that "Like a moth before a flame, the Druid is doggedly drawn towards their doom in definitions."
9. I also hesitated to write this as every bit of advice I will give here is often a painful reminder of a lesson learned by failure or missed opportunity.
10. Hopefully, you will avoid my mistakes and surpass my successes and find the path to greatness more well-lit and cleared of obstacles that trip or slow you.
11. Yet, so I must try to define the indefinable.

Chapter the Third

1. Literally, the prefix "arch" in Arch Druid is derived from Latin "archus" or Greek "Arkhi," meaning "chief, highest or most important." And much is hidden in that meaning.
2. In the Roman Church, there are Archdeacons, Archpriests, Archbishops who are the head of the deacons, priests or bishops in their domain. In this way, you are the chief of the Druids in your Grove.
3. You are high, in that you are raised by the election to hold much responsibility. No matter how high you go, do not forget those who support you.
4. You are most important, in that without an Arch Druid, the Grove cannot function well as we know it. However, beware of pride, for although the role is often necessary, you are not irreplaceable; and it were far better for a Grove to have no Arch Druid than a bad Arch Druid.

Chapter the Fourth

1. The most obvious origin of the arch is a bow, the tool from which the archer derives his occupation [L. Arcus], and you are indeed a tool of the Grove.
2. The bow directs immense power to the task of flinging objects; whose speed, distance and trajectory are uniquely determined by many combined factors: the degree to which the bow is flexed, the direction & strength of the winds, the skill of the archer, the angle fired, the whims of Gods, the laws of Physics, and most importantly; the strength, shape and material of the bow and arrows.
3. Take these elements into consideration when assisting fledgling [fletching?] Druids on their way, and do not quiver before the task, and so be of good aim and choose your targets well.

Chapter the Fifth

1. Some history about buildings and its relation to Druidism.
2. The ancient Greeks, although they used bows, did not significantly use the arch in their largest buildings, which relied on columns to support the dead weight of roofs vertically.
3. As a result, the space between columns had to be kept short, resulting in large building being filled with a forests of columns, choking out the interior space; but the columns could be shifted a little without endangering the building, which is important in an earth-quake zone.
4. The ancient Romans lacked the immense marble slabs of the Greeks, and used smaller materials like bricks and molded-concrete, so they adopted the arch and oval as their standard.
5. Roman architecture abounds with arches, bridges spanning unthinkable rivers, and domes providing more spacious and taller buildings at lower cost with less materials and difficulty.
6. But the graceful arch has many weaknesses in addition to its strengths; for if one stone in the arch should be removed the whole structure will collapse, and an arch requires a solid, immovable foundation, pulling the bases of support towards each other.
7. Using this analogy, an Arch Druid's authority rests on two foundations; first their wisdom and Awareness of Nature, and secondly the trust and goals of the membership which elected them. Without that, there is rubble and grumble.
8. But remember, of course, that we Druids are an outdoor people, for even the grandeur of the cathedral pales before the majestic canopy of an oak forest.
9. Indeed, our churches are without walls, roofs or boundaries, ever present in the world around and within us.

Chapter the Sixth

1. Arch also implies an attitude that is "mischievous or roguish," as in an "arch glance."
2. For though an Archdruidcy is a serious undertaking, it need not be a dull or stuffy one.
3. Since our beginning, the RDNA has been a thorn in the side of many pretentious civil and secular authorities; and the Arch Druid has often been the wry mouthpiece of the Grove.
4. Verily, in those ventures, we are a bit like foxy outlaws, bound together by circumstances and camaraderie, on the fringes of the respectable mainstream of religions; without the laws or the easily recognizable traits that most large traditions have embraced. Mobile, clever and stinging in our forays of Guerilla Druidism.
5. Without our humor, impishness and joviality we would become dour and disapproving.
6. Without our rebellious nature, we would congeal into a ossified religion of superstitions and dogma.
7. It is a delicate balance, like riding a tiger, too much disorder and the group loses its focus or becomes frenetic; too much order and it is unable to adapt or adopt new practices or goals.
8. It is your job to steer the Grove towards its goals in this manner.

Chapter the Seventh

1. The term arch is also used to mean "principal or strongest," as in archfoe, archenemy, archfiend, archangel, archrival, archconservative or archliberal.
2. This term implies a bit of extremism that discomforts me, for Druidism is about the moderate third way between the unlivable environment of the extremes.
3. Like it not, you are the role model for new Druids, and your virtues and vices will be noted and scrutinized; so act and speak with care in times of trouble and historic moments.

Chapter the Eighth

1. Finally, there is the term archetype, archive and archaic which have implications for Druidism, derived from Greek "Arkhi," meaning "beginning" or "primordial."
2. The Arch Druid is often the first Druid in an area, and the one who bears the seeds of wisdom, Awareness and traditions for founding a Grove, always in a unique blend.
3. Choose carefully, for the Grove will undoubtedly in the beginning mistakenly believe that all Druidism is in your mold; but you should always make them aware of alternatives, for one day they may have to steer a new course in uncharted waters without your assistance.
4. The Arch Druid must archive the actions and words of her Grove, either on paper or in her heart, so that they can be brought up again for review and amendment. To know a Grove's future, you must know and understand its past.
5. The Arch Druid must also avoid the deadening hand of archaic tradition, for if the origin of customs becomes too difficult to recognize or justify, then they must be dropped to better utilize the time and effort of the Grove's members.
5. Thus, by carefully selecting, creating, collecting and explaining the terms and practices of Druidry to incoming members, instead of relying on blind faith, you will soon realize how many and which customs and traditions can be best borne and applied by the Grove.

Chapter the Ninth

1. And so Brother Ian, these are my rambling thoughts on running a Grove as an Arch Druid.
2. I may have more advice on the topic later, but this should be enough to get started.
3. You need not do it all, for you will often rely on the other Druids in your grove, nor need you be the only Arch Druid.
4. I hopefully can live up to my own advice, which I'm far better at giving than following.
5. Finally, I must add that it is in service to others that we best serve ourselves, for that is why we are called to Archdruidry, and we will often have to choose the more difficult course if we are to succeed.
6. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
7. Write more often, even if things go well.

Yours in the Mother,
Mike the Fool
Day 20 of Foghamhar, Year XLII of the Reform
August 20th, 2004 c.e.

Pagan Chant-Song Project

Hello everyone,

My name is Brendan Cathbad Myers, and I've a project in the works now for which I would like some help from the pagan community around the world.

Having attended Pagan ceremonies of various kinds in five different countries over the last four years, I am always impressed by the way pagans use music and song, both in ceremonies as well as well as at gatherings and parties. I keep hearing several of the same concepts and sentiments expressed in the lyrics, and sometimes I hear the same tunes and melodies as well. But I'm also sometimes surprised at how many pagan groups use recorded music, or never sing at all, and equally surprised at the reactions provoked when someone tries to sing instead. People say things like, "I wish I knew more pagan chants and songs", or "We pagans should sing more". Well, I quite agree. Singing together is one of the ways that group of like-minded people becomes a unified community, able to share and build and live together.

The project for which I am looking for help is this. I would like to put together the largest collection of pagan chant-songs possible. I am interested in both the short repetitive refrains used in rituals, as well as longer 'performance pieces' used at parties, gatherings, and similar events. The songs that people sing together, whatever kind of song it is, are the ones that interest me most. I want to track different regional variations, track their popularity, track the usual circumstances and situations in which certain songs are performed or not performed, and if possible find the authors to the most popular ones.

Please, if it should not trouble you to do so, email to me the words of as many pagan songs as you know, along with, if possible:

1. Where you are from (i.e. what country, and what city or region)
2. The author (if known to you),
3. How often you usually sing it, or how popular you think it is
4. In what situation (i.e. a ritual, a party, etc.) you usually sing it
5. Where and in what situation you learned it, and
6. Any other information you think may be relevant.

But please keep these extra remarks short (one sentence each, preferably) as I am hoping for thousands of people to write to me. Please do not assume that someone else might already have sent one to me. I'm also interested in the popularity of the most well known songs.

Please email me at , and put the words "Pagan Chant-Song Project" in the subject line. And please spread this message to as many friends as you know. I will accept responses for this project starting today, 18th April, until 1st June, 2006.

Also, please forgive me if I do not respond quickly, or at all, to thank you for your contribution. My ability to reply will largely depend on how many responses this call for help generates.

Once this is all put together, I also wish to write a philosophical commentary on them. For it is my theory that in the great collection of pagan chant-songs, there is already a wisdom-tradition, mostly orally transmitted, in which the most important beliefs, principles, proverbs, and ideas are expressed with the greatest clarity and beauty.

The results of this project, along with any conclusions I may reach, will be made available probably in the late fall or early winter of this year. I will publish some of the results on my own web site, and will look for a mainline book publisher to publish the whole results. If I do find a mainline book publisher interested in carrying the results in book form, I will acknowledge the community contribution to this project by donating some of my royalties to pagan community development projects.

Of myself, should anyone wish to know, I studied folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and philosophy at NUI Galway in Ireland, and so I feel well prepared to undertake a project of such far-reaching scope.

I hope you agree that this is a worthwhile and useful community-building project, and I hope that you will consider helping me out.

Blessed be,

Brendan Cathbad Myers, Ph.D
Author of "Dangerous Religion" and "The Mysteries of Druidry"



Fiction Written by Irony Sade, Hemlock Splinters Grove
Part One of Two
Copyright 2002, Irony is seeking publishers for his stories

It was the children that found him, a grey-skinned man lying naked on the rocks on the island of Kal where they scrambled, seeking the soft-shelled crabs. They whooped, and others came, then still others, until half the island was gathered round the prostrate form.

At last Eldest sent Sixteen Storms, his daughter, to fetch Jugoom, the man who had been once buried, once drowned, once struck by lightning. Jugoom came, dark-skinned, deep-eyed, and rolled the body over. He touched the cracked lips, the bleeding palms.

"It is human," he pronounced. "The ban applies."

"Good," replied Eldest. "It has unhealthy skin. I wouldn't want to eat a thing that looked like that."

They carried the body back to the village and tended it till life returned. The women clothed the man in sea wrack and taught him to pound bark for their weaving until he was strong enough to stand the sun. The children taught him their indoor games, burying nuts in the sand and seeing how fast he could find them. Gradually he began to learn Tari, the language of sailors.

One day he was allowed outside and given one of the great wide hats the islanders wore to take the shade out with them.

"Where are you from, Foundling?" Eldest asked as they sat together sorting seaweeds. "I have sailed as far as the chain of Url and spoken to men from Malomar, but I never saw a man with skin like yours."

"From far beyond Url," the man answered.

"Beyond Malomar?"

"Where is that?"

"You must have sailed far indeed not to know where that is. Do your people live underground that their skin is so pale?"

"No," Foundling smiled. "But the sun is less fierce in my country."

As Foundling became more skilled in their ways he became more useful to the people of Kal. He learned to tie their root-wound nets, to boil gum from the spiny cactus, and after weeks of work, managed to grind his own knife from a whale's tooth.

"I will never look at a blade the same way again," he remarked to Sixteen Storms, who sat nearby, chipping holes in seashells. "I had no idea they took so much work!"

"Is that not how they make knives on your island?" she asked.

"No," said Foundling, looking at the polished tooth. "Where I come from we have knives which cut stone."

"That would be a good thing to have. Did you bring any?"

Foundling studied the girl across the grindstone. Her dark clear eyes reflected the sea behind him; a great buttressed tree hid them from the sun.

"What would you do with a knife like that?" he asked her.

"If it could cut stone, it could cut seashells," Sixteen Storms considered. "I could carve beads for necklaces instead of grinding them, I could cut twice as much seaweed before the tide came in, and maybe even kill the pig that ate lame Lok-lok back before you came."

"What if there was only one such knife? Would you share it with the others?"

"Of course. But it would be silly of you to bring only one, when many would be more useful."

"If I brought many would you still make these?" Foundling handed her the blade he had ground. It was curved, lashed in the design of curls and angles that identified it across all the islands as a blade from Kal. Growth lines glowed in the shadows on its edge.

"Yes. Maybe." The girl frowned. "What do you mean?"

"I mean making these knives is what people from Kal do. You tie your nets like no one else in the world, hunt the whales each season and grind their teeth into knives more beautiful than any I've seen. If you did not do that you would not be Kal."

"Just because we had sharper knives doesn't mean we would stop making these," answered the girl. "And even if we did stop, we would never forget how."

"You would," said Foundling sadly. "People always do."

The young girl handed back the blade.

"You didn't bring any after all did you? You'll just have to practice. Twelve Storms can grind a sharper knife than that."

"Come," she said, standing. "Its time to teach you a game."

"Another one?"

Sixteen Storms led the grey skinned man down to the coast where dozens of young ones were gathered. A huge bundle of leaves and rope ends lay upon the rocks.

"This is the gum nose game," she told him. "It is good practice for whale hunting after the storms." She handed him an empty water gourd. "Throw this as far as you can into the sea."

The gourd sailed out and splashed, a pale dot bobbing on the dark heaving waves. Boys and girls scattered along the rocks shrieking in laughter, dripping bundles clutched beneath their arms.

"The whales here are very big," Sixteen Storms began. "It takes a lot of spears to hurt one, and they swim too fast to chase. They still have to breath, though, and their nose holes are only as big as that gourd." She knotted a short rope around a large, hairy leaf, and began to slather the outside with cactus gum until the end became a tarry lump the size of a child's head.

"Each year after the storm we all sail out and wait for the whales to pass. When one surfaces close enough to your boat you try and stick this down its nose." She whirled the bundle in a short arc and let fly. It joined a swarm of others from the children nearby and hissed into the sea half a meter from the dancing gourd.

"One perfect shot will plug the airway and force the beast to stay surfaced. Then we all sail over, climb on its back, and try to hack it to death before it can snort out the gum and escape."

Foundling stared at the slim girl aghast, remembering the size of the tooth he had ground.

"Isn't that dangerous?"

"Oh, yes. They snap and roll, and throw us off, but we have to catch one each year, and it is a great honor to be the one to stop a whale. Here- you try it."

Foundling knelt, scooping gum onto his own missile. The tar clung to his hands, ran down his arms, and tangled his hair when he tried to wipe his eyes.

"Does everyone get this sticky?" he asked.

"Only the clumsy ones," she teased. "But after the gourd sinks, we all strip and jump in the sea to wash off."

"What! You boys and girls go swimming together naked?"

"Certainly- and you as well. Jugoom says you are still a child on this island, so it's all right," Sixteen Storms smiled. "So long as you act like one."

Some days later Foundling stood with Eldest near the shelters on the beach, tying a new sail to one of the fishing boats. A voice hailed them from out of the sea while they worked. A black ship was rocking in the swells beyond the reef. A tall man stood in the bow, chanting at them through long cupped hands. Eldest stiffened and chanted back. Foundling found he could not make out the words.

"What was that?" he asked when the chanting stopped and the ship sailed on.

"A boat from Url," Eldest replied. "We were speaking the high tongue which you have not learned yet. It is used for special things, pronouncements, namings, formal declarations... The black boat is spreading the word that Kern-win of Url is outcast. He has broken the taboo. No one is to shelter him, feed him or speak to him until after the storm. If the gods do not see fit to kill him he may return to Url and be given another chance to live."

"What taboo?" asked Foundling.

"The taboo- the ban against violence to another human."

"That is a good thing to have."

"It kept you alive. The boys were for roasting you, but Jugoom decided you were human, even if you did look like a sick fish."

"What if I had proved violent when I woke up?"

"Then we would have known you were no man at all, but a sea demon, and the ban would no longer protect you."

Foundling stared out to sea at the diminishing boat.

"You amaze me. I have never heard of a place with such a ban."

Eldest peered at him, as one would study a dog gone mad.

"Is violence not forbidden on your island?"

"It is organized," said Foundling dryly.

"How horrible. Have you no taboos at all?"

"We have some, but none against violence." Foundling stood silent, gazing out to sea. "I broke one of the others."

Eldest paused, his hands still amongst the ropes.

"So you are outcast, too¡¦"

"Very much so."

"You should not have told me."

Eldest resumed, silently knotting the thin lines so they would run freely over the smooth poles of the vessel. After a time Foundling joined him. When they had finished Eldest stood, studying the grey man's face.

"You have not broken any of our taboos. I will tell no one."

"What taboo did you break?" Sixteen storms asked Foundling when she found him later that day. They were alone beneath the shade tree with a tangle of fibers the man was learning to braid into rope. He looked up at her wordlessly.

"Eldest didn't say anything," she assured him. "I just came down to teach you a new game and heard what you were saying. I won't tell anyone either. So what was it?"

Foundling shook his head.

"Not violence?"


"Something sacred?"

"No, Sixteen."

"You can't call me that much longer, you know." She dropped down beside him and began toying with the brown fibers.

"Why not?" asked Foundling.

"Because it is almost storm season, and after seventeen storms we take our real names." She glanced up at him. "So what was it?"

Foundling sighed and let fall the rope.

"Let me teach you a game," he replied.

"You! Teach me?"

"Yes. Gather the children."

"This is a game called Selling," Foundling continued as the young ones came running. "Everyone plays it where I come from. The idea is to get a person to agree to something they do not understand."

"How does it work?" asked Sixteen Storms.

"Well... How about if I give you a special green stone I carried all the way from the place where I live in exchange for that necklace?"

"All right," the girl decided. She unknotted the strand of shells and handed it to Foundling. "Here."

"Sold," he replied, handing her a stone.

"But this is just a polished shell!" She exclaimed. "We have thousands of them!"

"Yes. I picked it up at the boathouse. That is where I live now."

"That isn't fair!"

"No," said Foundling. "It isn't."

"How do I get my necklace back?" Sixteen Storms asked.

"Sell me something else for it."

"I'll give you a weeks worth of bread fruit for it."

"Fine," said Foundling, passing it back to her.

Sixteen Storms rattled off a string of Tari too fast for the grey man to follow. A young boy disappeared into a hut, soon to return with a large leaf basket.

"But these are raw!" Foundling said in surprise. "You said these were poisonous till they were cooked properly, and no one has taught me how to do that."

"Sold," smiled the girl, as the other children cackled.

"Very good," grinned Foundling. He held out his hand and said something in his own language.

"What does that mean," she asked, taking his hand.

Foundling glanced down at their handclasp and smiled.

"You just agreed to cook them for me."

When the storms came the population of Kal fled to their caves in the highlands. The boats were hauled up to the first solid trees, a hundred meters above the sea, tied down, and covered. For two weeks the sky and sea experimented with different quarters before deciding they liked their old arrangements best. The winds returned to their established haunts, and the ocean sank back to its level, dark and thick with debris from the lands. Sea creatures swarmed up from the depths for the annual feast, and behind the last of the long-fading swells the whales came, feasting on feasters.

Every able-bodied person of Kal took to the boats, stretching a great line across the whales' path. Foundling went with them, but was nowhere near the kill when it happened. Ululations leapt from one ship to the next when the beast was stopped, those nearest racing in to join the butchery, the others ceasing their slinging. As Foundling's boat neared the song-filled fleet hauling the great carcass back to Kal, he spotted Eldest and Sixteen Storms in the lead, both spattered in blood and standing proud. The girl shook her spear at him, laughing, and Foundling's heart thumped with an unaccustomed joy.

The morning before the great feast the girl who had lived through seventeen storms found Foundling, knelt before him in her loose dress of flowering vines, and addressed him in the language of ceremony. He breathed the perfumed oil combed through her hair and asked Thirteen Storms near him what the girl had said.

"This is her naming day," the boy answered. "She may only speak the high tongue until she is named. She requests the honor of your presence at the ceremony."

"Certainly," agreed Foundling, standing.

"You will need to wear this," said the boy, producing a matted skirt of woven leaves.

Foundling tied the skirt over his wrap of sea wrack. The girl took his hand smiling, and the three of them climbed the hill behind Kal, atop which lived Jugoom.

Foundling saw that the whole town had gathered, a great ring of brown skin and finery, white teeth and laughter, with Jugoom and a great wooden cauldron standing at the center. Thirteen Storms pressed a wreath of flowers into Foundling's hands.

"Go with her," he whispered, "and crown her with this when they call out her name."

As they passed through the ring Foundling observed that each man and woman held a polished nutshell filled with sweet liquid. The same scent rose from the cauldron, and a final cup was balanced on its rim.

Jugoom raised his pink-scarred arms as the two approached. They stopped before him, and he began to sing. His voice was wind-worn, but true. Within the staccato rhythm Foundling caught brief snatches of meaning, the names of the girl's parents, a glimpse of her childhood, the tale of storms she had lived through, and a heroic rendering of the last hunt.

How can she stand so calmly, he wondered, and listen to her life sung out for all to hear?

Without a pause Jugoom swung one arm down, scooped the brown shell into the cauldron and held it out before him, amber drops sparkling as they patterned the golden sand below.

"And her name is?" Jugoom bellowed.

"Lau-dean!" roared back the town. "The quick one!"

The girl laughed, blushing as the circling ring drained their cups and Foundling stepped forward to crown her with flowers.

Jugoom refilled the cup and passed it to Lau-dean. She drank, dipped, and passed it to Foundling. He swallowed the pungent liquid and handed back the cup. She stretched up on her toes and kissed him on the lips.

"Foundling!" the crowd roared. They swarmed forward, pressing him to the girl and mobbing the great cauldron. Golden droplets flew everywhere as shells were dunked and raised.

"What is this?" cried Foundling in horror as her arms locked his body to hers.

"Sold!" cried the children.

"Sold! Sold!" they cackled.

"You have just promised to share a roof with Lau-dean, to cook together, sleep together, and make babies," smiled Jugoom. "On a woman's name day she has the option to choose a mate. Sometimes she waits a few years. Then I have to crown her. We are delighted you agreed to do it, and are very curious to see what color children you will make together."

"But I can't- I didn't know!" stuttered Foundling.

"Too late!" laughed Jugoom. "That was a fine game you taught the children. She is getting very good at it!"

"Eldest," begged Foundling as the sea curled golden beneath a fire edged sky. "Do something, please!"

"Why should I want to?" asked the old man, his veins full from the half empty cauldron. Round-bellied men lounged about the high fire, the occasional ripple of laughter coursing between them. The women had stolen Lau-dean away and were preparing her for the night.

"For her sake, not mine."

"Do you not like her?"

"I like her very much! But Eldest," Foundling glanced around them. "I am an outcast, remember? I broke my people's taboo. If they find me here I must run or die, or they will take me away. Then where would your daughter be?"

"What did you do?" Burped Eldest.

"I said that my people were evil. I said it was wrong to make people want a thing they did not need, and make them destroy their own lives to get it! I said the selling game must stop and that I would end it or die trying."

"That does not sound so bad. I thought you murdered someone."

"You don't understand!" wailed the grey-skinned man. "You never understand! Six different worlds I've taught this on! Every one, when the Sellers came, traded up their lives for junk! They come with their glamour, with their lies, with their violence, and you buy it- you give up your land, your lives, your world to them and see too late that what you've gained is worthless next to what you've lost.

"I was one of them!" He cried, "I know what they do! They will come, and I must flee or die, and Lau-dean will be widowed and your world ruined, and all my love and effort will have come to nothing."

Foundling found he was standing before the fire with trembling knees, the spilled drink pooling golden around his feet. The round-bellied men blinked up at him in silence. Several burped. Foundling stared around, then sat suddenly. He rocked back onto his heels, head on his knees, palms pressed into the sides of his skull.

"Young Foundling," pronounced Eldest, sitting up and clasping the grey skinned hands. "Lau-dean is almost ready. Go live with her. Enjoy her. Forget about your people. None of us know how long we have- Death could take us all at any time. That is why we make babies!"

He sat back and smiled as the mothers of the village cackled up and pounced upon Foundling. Shrieking and laughing they dragged him away to the doorway of his new home.

To Be Concluded in Next Issue



Position title: Sudden Oak Death Outreach Assistant
University of California Cooperative Extension

Position description: The purpose of this project is to update and revise outreach materials as suggested by responses to an outreach survey conducted last year. Through this internship, the Intern will learn about the ecology, management, and outreach efforts surrounding Sudden Oak Death in California's forests, landscapes, and nurseries. The Intern will also have direct input into outreach tools, especially the California Oak Mortality Task Force website, .

Job duties: Under supervision of Janice Alexander and Ellie Rilla, assist in the revision and updating of Sudden Oak Death outreach materials with duties to include but not limited to the following: * Compile comments and suggestions from previous outreach survey;
* Develop a prioritized plan to address noted outreach deficiencies;
* Contact researchers and other experts for updates to technical information;
* Revise key educational materials, primarily the COMTF website;
* Contact end-users for feedback on revised materials;
* Draft report of activities for use in COMTF and UCCE publications;
* Conduct additional outreach-related activities as needed.

Basic requirements: Must be a student. Knowledge of common computer web browsers, email, and word processing programs are required.

Additional requirements: Education/outreach experience is required. Good writing skills are necessary, and experience with web design and publishing software is a plus. A cooperative attitude, time management skills, and computer experience are essential. A background in natural resources is beneficial and relevant.

Salary: Student Assistant III ($11/hr; negotiable with experience).

Email resumes to Janice Alexander ( . ) by May 10, 2006.

For questions or more information, contact: University of California Cooperative Extension in Marin at 415-499-4204, or email .

Janice Alexander
Sudden Oak Death Outreach Coordinator
California Oak Mortality Task Force
University of California Cooperative Extension
1682 Novato Blvd. Ste. 150B
Novato, CA 94947
415.499.3041 (ph)
415.499.4209 (fx)

New Plans for Stonehenge Centre

English Heritage has resubmitted plans for a £67m visitor centre at Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

Salisbury District Council turned down the original application in July 2005 due to environmental concerns. English Heritage then lodged an appeal.

The new application includes a grass-roofed building and a land train to ferry people to the monument.

From Thursday, Salisbury District Council opens a six-week consultation period on the plans.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/04/12


JUNE 10-11, 2006

April 16, 2006
CONTACT: Michael Gorman
Festival Coordinator
(916) 443-2866, ext. 3
Email: _poetgorman@aol.com_ ( )

The free "Celtic Midsummer Faerie Festival" features Celtic music, dance, folklore and food. (Sacramento, CA) The annual Celtic Midsummer Faerie Festival will be celebrated June 10-11, 2006 at the Greater Sacramento Area VFW Hall and property, 8990 Kruithoff Way, Fair Oaks, CA. The event, FREE with a donation of non-perishable food at the entrance and open to all, features two stages of Celtic music, dance, drumming, and poetry. There will be good food with places to lounge in the shade and a Celtic Village to explore. The festival is sponsored by the Sacramento area Celtic and Pagan communities.

Everyone is invited to sample some traditional Celtic food, shop, wander into an ancient round house, meet the Warrior Queen Boudica and her brave tribe of Celtic warriors, dance with the faeries around a maypole, listen to the bards, hobnob with magical creatures, and celebrate Midsummer as you never have before. Actors will portray the gods and goddesses of the ancient Celtic people, Queen Boudica and her warriors, faeries, sprites, druids, magicians and other magical folk in exciting and fun filled street theater throughout the festival!

There will be vendors and sword fighting displays, processions and ancient ritual reenactments; and¡Äin faerie land, a fire-breathing Dragon! The festival will feature an extensive children's area with games and crafts and storytelling. So grab the family, dress in your Celtic and "magical" finest, and come spend a beautiful day under the warm midsummer sun in a place of true magic.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Grove of the Oak Community Fund, a tax exempt program of the Sacramento Grove of the Oak, Inc.

What: The Celtic Midsummer Night's Dream Faerie Festival
When: Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11, 2006
10:00 am to 9:00 pm Saturday
10:00 am to 6:00 pm Sunday
Where: The Fair Oaks VFW Property and Halls
8990 Kruithof Way, Fair Oaks, California 95628
(50 East, Hazel North, Kruithof Right)
Why: Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Grove Oak Community Fund, a tax exempt program of the Sacramento Grove of the Oak, Inc., which provide social services to the Celtic/Pagan heritage and spiritual communities of the Sacramento Valley.

To Schedule an Interview, or for more information, please contact Michael R. Gorman at 916-443-2866 ext. 3, or email . For pictures of other Grove festivals, visit .

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