Scribes’ Report July 9th, 01

Where did we leave off? Just before Spring Equinox, four months ago.
What have we been doing? Not hard.
Our Spring Equinox ritual was dedicated to Manannan Mac Lir, our Gatekeeper for many, many rituals. On the day of the Spring Equinox we drove down to the Jersey Shore and let 9 waves wash into a mason jar. For the ritual that weekend, at Portal of the Porcupine in Piscataway, we had people bring water from their homes and sacred places and add all that to our well. (For a full accounting of the ritual see the last issue of MetroDruid Nüz, May 2001 vol. 9 no. 2. on this web site) We had about 30 people. Our omens for the Spring were Temperance, X of Staves, and the IV of Cups (from the “Celtic Tarot”). The conclusion of our 4 Norns was that it would be a “working Spring”, not a time to sit back and relax. A lot of growth, but we’ve got to work to make it happen.

We worked hard before Beltane– to plan the ritual and to overhaul our old hobby-horse. We’d been invited to take “Happy Snappy” to Princeton at dawn on May 1st to dance with the Millstone River Morris and Shandygaff. (See photos on our Photo Page). We danced and sang as the sun rose over the misty fields.

Our Beltane ritual in Lewis Morris Park in Morristown was not one of our best (see description in this issue of MetroDruid Nüz, and photos on our photo page). The day, however, was fabulous, and we all had a lot of fun singing and dancing and drumming and walking the labyrinth and weaving the maypole. We had about 40 people. In spite of good invocations, the ritual was troublesome and the omens turned out to be the 4 of coins, 3 of swords, 5 of coins and Death. Marcia, in a dream, interpreted this to mean “protection from poverty, illness, heartbreak and death.” Others interpreted differently. Over the next two months we needed that protection as many of us dealt with our own health problems, or those of parents and friends.

Senior Druid and Reverend Norma Hoffman presided over a Wiccan-Druid hybrid handfasting and legal marriage for Ed’s cousin Grace and her husband-to-be Keith. The ceremony included the Kindreds, as well as invocations of the Wiccan elements and four directions– all this in front of Ed’s parents and 50 of his relatives. It went over surprisingly well with the relatives, and the day turned out to be a lot of fun.

Our Summer Solstice Ritual was experimental: we opened the gates in Ed & Norma’s back yard in New Brunswick and then walked the ritual around the city and the Rutgers University campus. This worked amazingly well– blessing a large circle and encouraging people to watch for signs in the land and animals and people and buildings. The ritual honored Cerridwen, Danu and the genius/juno loci of New Brunswick herself. (Also see this issue of MetroDruid Nüz for a full ritual report from the scribe). Our omens were taken from the land itself: the runes Gebo and Sowelu (two thick crossed sticks on the ground, and a stick that looked like Sowelu in front of them), and the fact that an impending storm cooperated with us as we were opening the gates (providing really dramatic wind) and didn’t pour rain until just after we closed the gates! We had 19 people (thanks, Greg, our Tally-minder).

Our Dedicants group has been meeting to take apart each ritual and to discuss ADF’s dedicants assignments. The program has spurred a lot of interesting talk and some soul-searching among the dedicants. And, we have a couple of workshops planned.

We’ve been asked to organize the main ritual at the Hands of Change NJ Pagan Picnic. This will be our Lughnasadh ritual. It’ll be a standard ADF Ritual, but we’ve got a lot of groups from various traditions involved in it. Last year the picnic was a lot of fun, we expect it to be even better this year!

We’d like to thank Margaret for her generous donation toward MetroDruid Nüz expenses. Rest assured that you won’t get a unwanted Cthulhu in the mail! Thanks to Xuk for his donation toward Solstice expenses. And a big thanks to Brenda for her multiple bags of motley– to be turned into banners and beasties and such-like!

— Edwin Chapman, Grove Scribe