July 9th, 01
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 weve got to work to make it happen.
We worked hard before Beltane to plan the ritual and to overhaul our
old hobby-horse. Wed 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 Eds 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 Eds 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 &
Normas 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 didnt 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
ADFs dedicants assignments. The program has spurred a lot of interesting
talk and some soul-searching among the dedicants. And, we have a couple of
Weve been asked to organize the main ritual at the Hands of Change NJ
Pagan Picnic. This will be our Lughnasadh ritual. Itll be a standard
ADF Ritual, but weve 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
Wed like to thank Margaret for her generous donation toward MetroDruid
Nüz expenses. Rest assured that you wont 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