On Feb. 26th, Isaac
Bonewits came down to Rutgers University for a lecture on Druidry jointly
sponsored by the Rutgers University Religion Students Association and the
Rutgers University Pagan Students Association.
Carol was one of
the many in attendance. She wrote this review for the NJ Pagans list.
Yes, I went to Isaac
Bonewits's speech at Rutgers. It was pretty good. Here are the highlights
from my perspective:
Isaac spoke of the Human
Diaspora in general, starting way at the beginning, the Out Of Africa
and into the Middle East journey of mankind, then into the territories
the ancestors of the Indo-Europeans settled, followed by Europe, contact
with the peoples who built Stonehenge (NOT the Celts!) and finally to
the Celts themselves and neighboring Indo-European peoples. From that
point on it was about commonalities in tales, lore, and roles amongst
the Celts and their neighbors, followed by what is known about paleo-paganism,
meso-paganism, and neo-paganism, persecution by the Romans, Persian
Zoroastrian Dualism, contact with the monotheistic religions, especially
Christianity, and how all that relates to Druidry in general as it is
currently practiced in North America and Britain.
He told us the entertaining
history of the Reformed Druids of North America, the group of students
at Carleton College that "invented" a Druid tradition so as
to dodge Carleton's requirement that they attend a weekly service at
"the church of their choice." What started out as a joke ended
up spawning several Druid groups that persisted way beyond their origin
at Carleton, and he mentioned not just ADF, but Henge of Keltria, the
New Reformed Druids, the Hassidic Druids, etc. He also mentioned some
groups that are not of that "lineage" (my term), but which
originated in Britain and came to North America independently. Also
those with a non Neo-Pagan focus that are more service-to-the-environment
and service-to-the-community oriented.
It was a good basic
lecture and tied together several strands of thought on current Druidry
rather well, mentioned some of the more famous hoaxes, along with news
on what Isaac was currently up to (writing books and lecturing). Many
of the attendees were from ADF- GOG (Grove Of The Other Gods), ROG (Red
Oak Grove), and RU Pagans, and the Rutgers Religion Club, but we had
some people from Hands of Change and some solitaries that I've seen
from the local Pagan picnics. There was a brief question and answer
period, some of Isaac's books were for sale and autographing, all of
which was finally followed by a mass exodus to the Noodle Gourmet on
Easton Avenue for food and chat.
I give this one a definite thumbs up!