Photo by Tricia.

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!

--"Leila"