Green Man Grove, ADF Report: Samhain 99 to Beltane 0

Samhain in New Brunswick was well-attended– over 40 people: Druids including Bard Daffyd of Red Oak, Emerald Dragyn & Dragynphyre of Midnight Sun, and Arne Erickson (long-time ADF member from Seattle), our own grove folk, as well as various Wiccans, Asatru, renegade Druids and Rutgers University Pagans. I don’t know if we’re the first grove to attempt the liturgy blindfolded, but we attempted it, and we found that blindfolding everyone on Samhain worked very well: it brought out emotions that might have been hidden otherwise. The ritual was intense and we thank everyone involved for the many powerful and heart-felt praise offerings. We also performed a pooja to Kali at midnight (according to the American Pooja Association, the last new moon in October is sacred to Kali). A number of us stayed up ’til dawn. The night was full of strange and powerful occurrences, not all of them under our control.

We had a business meeting at some point in December in Jersey City.

Yule was held in Jersey City— 30 to 40 people, a lot of the same crowd that was at Samhain, but also Rainbow folk, artists, musicians & Jersey City folk. We saw our Wandering Druid, Al, just back from Southeast Asia, and also Michael Mercandetti, who led us in a beautiful Earth Mother invocation.

Bryan and Ed started the procession into the ritual with an Abbots-Bromely inspired horn dance, accompanied musically by Norma. The ritual was lit by natural sunlight, and then candles as the sun set and the room grew darker. During the Omen reading, a small child in our midst told us to “beware of Santas in the malls, they’re psychopathic.” From the Mouths of Babes...

We held a business/planning meeting in January.

We celebrated Imbolc at Nature Friends Farm under the threat of a blizzard. Got 22 people anyway. The women chased the men out of the house and blessed the house. To get inside, each guy got a vagina bag stuck on his head and had to remember and recite a nursery rhyme. We marched outside and Peg Kaan Baumann and Susan Shaftan Perrin (our ‘gravid girls’) lit Brigid’s fire. (Congratulations to Peggy and John, and Bryan and Susan— Peggy’s due in September, Susan in August!)

The ritual was light-invoking and light-hearted: each invocation was accompanied by a children’s song: ‘row your boat’ for Manannan; ‘Brigid had a little lamb’ for Brigid; ‘Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m going in the garden to eat some worms’ for the Outsiders...etc.

The bonfire was lovely in the snow, and whooshed as we offered up praise, holly and pine, our dried up Yule greens, and finally a fancy lace-and-reed Brigid dolly in a wicker cradle.

A number of us had a meeting to discuss the ADF Dedicants Program, and have been researching the requirements on-line and in old Oak Leaves. At our first meeting we discussed books and meditation techniques with Bryan, our ‘mad-trad’ mentor.

We had another business meeting, another Dedicants meeting, and our Spring Equinox ritual was held at Portal of the Porcupine (a local Wiccan space) and well attended. The theme was “Wheels and Doors” and we invoked Mug Ruith and Sheela-na-gig. The many beautiful praise offerings included a cool “Let’s Make a Deal” game involving rebirth. Then we took our omens from doors in a shining sun wheel. Bryan did a meditation based on the Druids’ Egg, and at the end of the ritual we passed around a basket of snakes so people could literally “Bring Back the Snakes” to confound their Irish friends on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

We had a lovely Beltane with White Horse Grove (an independent grove)– 30-odd people at a park in Morristown. We got to play with our hobby-horse, horned man, giant puppet and our new creation: a big red Welsh dragon– this last in honor of Shãne who flew in from Wales for her second Beltane with Green Man and White Horse. We walked a labyrinth, danced the maypole, sang songs and had a pretty ritual by a flowing stream. On May 1, we got up before dawn and joined Morris dancers in Princeton to ‘wake up the Earth’.

We’ve got more Dedicants stuff happening, an upcoming workshop on genealogy, and we’re working to get our web site up and running and our newsletter out, and we’re looking forward to Summer and festivals!

—Edwin Chapman, Grove Scribbler, 5-15-0

Omens: Ancestors, Nature Spirits, Goddesses & Gods

Samhain— Nauthiz, Wunjo, Uruz, Cernunnos: Othila; Morrighan: Perth

Yule— Dagaz, Hagalaz, Ing

Imbolc— Uruz, Eihwaz, Teiwaz, Brigid: Gebo

Méan Earrach— Jera, Berkana, Wunjo, Mug Ruith: Teiwaz; Sheela-na-gig, Kano

Beltane— Raido, Isa, Fehu, Belenos: Thurisaz, Epona: Jera