Scribe's Report 04/99

ohhhh... what has Green Man Grove, in East Jersey, been doing?

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we last published theMetroDruid Nuz Dispatch! We trust all our local fans have been receiving our flyers and ‘e-nnouncements’, so you all know what’s been going on. As for the rest of you- let’s start with Beltane last year: (Actually, much of this was written up and sent to Oak Leaves, ADF’s nat’l publication, but never printed there... In spite of this, we’re happy with ADF’s new Chronicler, and liked the last All-Isaac-Bonewits edition of Oak Leaves. Good in the Spring to remember your roots before you start sprouting flowers, branches and leaves. And, the thing looks nice.)

Beltane 1998- We travelled to Princeton NJ to watch local Morris Dancers ‘wake up the earth’ at dawn on Beltane morn, and danced around and splashed dew on our faces. (This has become a regular Green Man tradition!) Our own Beltane in Morristown was well attended in spite of the rain. (Actually, it seems like it rained all spring and summer out here.) We shared Beltane with White Horse Grove, our sister Grove. We danced two rounds around the maypole (in the rain), made flower garlands for our heads, created a Cretan-style maze in torches and walked it in the dark (in the rain...), performed an ADF ritual with beautiful invocations and praise offerings, rolled a cheese down a hill, and held a spontaneous Hindu pooja to Lakshmi in the evening. The rain forced us to cancel our dramatic rendition of the story of Culhwch and Olwen. A good time was had by all.

Maria Raven held an herbal workshop in May, where we played in her muddy garden and learned to make tinctures.

A whole bunch of us attended the Free Spirit Festival (rained every day), and had fun floating on our air mattresses in the giant puddles inside our tents. Norma ran a Henna workshop (with Pattie’s invaluable help!) on one of the few nice afternoons, and Chuck ran a great workshop on Body Modification
Méan Samradh, the Summer Solstice, was in Jersey City. I don’t remember, but it probably rained.

Five of us made it up to the Starwood Festival, where, yes, it rained nearly every day. (We’re starting to take it personally now.) Skip Ellison saved us with his tarps and hospitality. Thanks, Skip! Still, Starwood was great, rain
or no rain.

Moishe Shenequa came down to New Brunswick NJ in August to teach us some West African drumming rhythms. We had a tremendous time, and the workshop went so well we’ve talked her into doing another one with us.
We had a Labor Day business meeting at Bryan & Sue’s hideaway cabin up by Woodstock, NY, where we discussed the Grove, ADF, Druidry, and the nature of fear to the sound of the rain on the cabin roof.

Méan Foghamhar found us up at Woodstock again, as the storm clouds passed overhead... We were delighted to get re-acquainted with our original Bard, the inimitable Peggy Kaan Bauman, (also formerly of Stone Creed Grove and co-founder of Green Creed Grove) and our old friend, her new husband John, whom she met through Green Man! (Congratulations, Peggy & John!) Peggy remembered all her songs, and sung ’em with style and verve! The ritual was dedicated to the spirit of the land we were on, a natural grove in a truly sacred site in the Catskills. The omens we received were excellent. Peggy and John also came down from Albany for Samhain. And it looks like we’ll be holding our Lughnasadh up Albany way.

In October we had another business meeting, and a Samhain planning meeting.

Our Samhain Ritual was held November seventh through the eighth, the midpoint between the Equinox and the Solstice. We performed a special version of the ADF ritual: creating a liquid potion, a food ogham, adding in
different ingredients at each of the invocations and stirring throughout the ritual. And then we divined omens from the effect on our own entrails. (Strangely, it turned out to be pretty good!) (And we also drew runes carved from apples floating in the ‘Punch of Potentialities’.) We had a nice crowd- about 30 people- but 30 very talented people. The praise offerings were amazing. We also had a special altar dedicated to the Ancestors, a group divination jam, a pooja at midnight to the maternal aspects of Kali, and a vigil to dawn.
(It didn’t rain.)

Our next Business Meeting was held before Yule.

Yule itself was held in Jersey City, in Suzan’s house. This turned out to be a crazy, raucus Yule, with jazz musicians, artists and rainbow folks from all over North Jersey and Manhattan. A lot of people. These folks took our ritual to a whole ’nother level, musically. We ended it by tossing a ball of yellow yarn around the room, unravelling it and tangling everyone up. We got to meet Jody and Jennifer Kennedy, and there very cool son Falan, ADF Druids from Alberta, Canada. Jody flew into Newark that night, got off the plane and drove directly to the ritual! He invoked the Goddesses and Gods for us, and Jennifer, a natural storyteller, told the story of Phaeton to a rapt audience. It was very special to have little Falan there at Yule. We wish them much luck and happiness with their Grove in Alberta!

We visited Lady Sue Wolfson’s house in January with a special ritual to Wassail her apple tree and blessed her house to bring it joy in the coming year. And our second Wassail was in Morristown, with White Horse Grove, to bless Pattie & Erica’s tree.

Another Business Meeting. And then Imbolc. See the separate article detailing the Imbolc happening.

In February Norma and I represented ADF and Green Man Grove on a Pagan Panel Discussion run by the Rutgers University Pagan Students Association. This was our second time at this; we had done one four years ago. Bard Dafydd of Red Oak Grove joined us on the panel, and we Druids had to work not to overwhelm the Norse and Wiccan representatives.

Another Business Meeting, and then the Spring Equinox- in which we travelled up to Nature Friends Farm, in Bloomington, NJ, and ran an ADF ritual in their fire circle, at the top of a lovely hill, a light rain falling gently from above. (And we thought we’d lost the rain!)

A Rainbow Tribe work council was in progress there, and we attracted a number of Rainbow folks. Nature Friends Farm is a intensely magical place (as Bryan and Suzan and Marcia have been telling us all along...) and we’ll be doing Summer Solstice there, from Friday to Sunday, in conjunction with Bryan & and fellow artist and Pagan Suzan’s handfasting, after their ‘high society’ wedding at the National Arts Club in NYC. The ritual and handfasting will be on Sunday, the 20th of June.

We’ll be at the Rutgers Pagan Spring Thing in April, where Norma and Pattie will be dying people with Henna.

Everything cycles around and soon we’ll be in Morristown for Beltane again!! See the enclosed flyer for information and amusement.

We’ve got some neat stuff planned for the summer- call 732-249-6680 or e-mail for information.

With any luck- (and fewer life interruptions- besides buying a house, losing a job, cleaning and selling Norma’s parents old house, and settling their estate, Norma and I spent a lot of time in the Yucatán last year- in fact, we were even considering starting Green Mangrove Grove; Bryan moved in with Suzan and out of his studio and prepared for married life; Pattie and Erica were in Egypt and England; Chuck was working too hard; as were Peg and John- and Peg had a starring role in a musical; Marcia and Maria Elena prepared for Marcia’s trip to Ghana....)--- as I said, with any luck, we’ll have another MetroDruid Nüz out for Lughnasadh!

Your humble scribe–

Edwin Chapman