A QUICK LOOK FROM DEC 2003 THRU OCT 2004
-ed chapman, scribe
October 14th: Herbalism Workshop at Rutgers Pagan Students Assoc. Grove member Maria Raven talked about Herbs, Preparations, and their uses, and brought in a big basket of herbs for everyone to play in........... October 7th: Intro to Shamanism at Rutgers Pagan Students Assoc. Josh and Deb presented an engrossing workshop on Shamanism........... Saturns Day September 25 An Equinox Ritual to Freya Dragynphyre, Senior Druid of Grove of the Midnight Sun, ADF, and GOG members dedicated to Freya, planned this ritual in Her honor. Dragynphyre led the ritual, and she and Patrick and Hillary and performed the main invocations. 27 people attended a ritual of good, old-fashioned heathen idol-worship centered around an image of Freya as a large cat in chainmail. Attendees decorated the image with necklaces, recalling Her purchase of the necklace Brisingamen. A beautiful ritual, with good omens........... Saturn's Day, September 18th: Crucible: A Gathering of Magicians! The second annual Crucible Magick Conference. This time it was in Edison, NJ. Jeff Mach, and the Omnimancers hosted. "Crucible is a large get-together of people, from a very wide variety of backgrounds, who are serious about the practice of magick, and want to have a good time. " (For more info check out http://www.cruciblecon.com) Isaac Bonewits, ADF's ArchDruid Emeritus gave workshops on An Irreverant History of Magick and Magick: Use It or Lose It and caused quite a stir on the Dark Magick panel discussion. Norma was also on the panel, and later performed a Kali pooja. Other grove members vended their magickal wares........... Thor's Day, September 10th:ADF Druidry 101 Lecture at Rutgers Pagan Students Assoc. Rutgers University. Norma and Ed talked about Druidry in general, Ár nDraíocht Féin Druidry in particular, and the ADF Druid ritual........... Sun's Day, August 22nd: Lughnasadh: The Passion of Llew & Blodeuedd! A Wedding, a Death, and a Resurrection. On the afternoon of Sunday, August 22nd, 2004, we held a ritual reenactment of the marriage of Llew of the Many Skills to Blodeuedd of the Flowers. A Reception and a Wake followed. 31 people attended a fantastic ritual. Patty and Lauren were Llew and Blodeuedd. Nora married them (reluctantly) as Brigid. Nej was Math (and the director) and Jenniforensic was Gwydion. Norma was Gronowy. Ed was Druid-in-Charge. Go to our website for: photos / random quotes from the ritual by Kristen / The story of Llew and Blodeuedd, as told by Kiddoh / Llew's side of the story, as told by Kiddoh / Blodeuedd's side of the story, as told by Lauren A........... Saturn's Day, August 14th: Hands of Change NJ Pagan Picnic! Isaac Bonewits, our ArchDruid Emeritus and the founder of ADF, appeared at the picnic and gave a well-attended workshop on Pagans and Social Issues. Many of our grove got to meet Isaac for the first time, and he cordially autographed their 'nubile flesh.' Go to our website for photos. 21 GOG members volunteered to man and organize the food tables this year. Ed created a Botticelli labyrinth for the picnic........... Saturn's Day, July 31st: Craft Day A day spent making Pagan-oriented Crafts. 9 attended at Tracey and Rook's. We even got to learn the basics of how to soft-weld!........... June 26th: A Summer Solstice Storytelling Safari! A special ritual dedicated to our local Land and Nature Spirits, led by Crow and Coyote (in the form of Deb and Hillary). We paraded through town in masks and costumes, took the ritual on the road, and had a storytelling contest (surprisingly, Ed won) and Crow and Coyote told us their stories. Later, we all tried to break a sun piñata that Pat and Maggie made, filled with sugary goodies and omens. Our omen for the ritual was "confusion, chaos" and our omen for the day was a story in that day's paper (which was lying on the porch) about the 1500 coyotes living in NJ and the yummy sheep they like to eat. We had 27 for the ritual, 32 total, and collected 84 cans and boxes of food for New Brunswick. Go to our website for Summer Solstice Storytelling Safari Photos Go to our website for Hillary's Summer Solstice Storytelling Safari Ritual Report Go to our website for Coyote Newspaper Story Omen........... June 15th to Sun's Day June 20th: The Free Spirit Festival! Here Comes the Sun! 9 grove members attended the festival in various capacities. Deb and Hillary and Norma and Ed participated in Mugwort's ADF Regional ritual (a lovely ritual to Sunna), and Deb and Josh vended Goddess Dollies and they and Norma helped at the sweat lodge. Pat worked security all week. Deb and Josh nearly got struck by lightning (but didn't) and Ed and Joanne nearly crushed by a falling tree (but they were running away). All in all, it was sunny, for a change, mostly, and happy and warm........... May 29th: A May Crowning Ritual A special event led by Nej and the Order of the Groovy Pajamas: a May Crowning Ritual. 13 grove members dressed up special and honored and crowned Mary, Our Lady, the Madonna, The Blessed Mother "Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May" in Her many forms with song, flowers and procession. Go to our website for May Crowning Photos........... May 22nd: Ritual for the Raritan River Watershed 9 of us had a fine time honoring of The Raritan River and Her Tributaries (Among them: the Millstone, the Neshanic, South River, South Branch, North Branch, Black (Lamington) River, D&R Canal, Lawrence Brook, Stony Brook, Manalapan Brook, Green Brook, Bound Brook, and various lakes, reservoirs, tidal marshes...). The Raritan watershed is the largest in New Jersey. Many of us get our potable water from some part of the Raritan's domain. If we are indeed 99 percent water, many of us are the Raritan! This long-awaited ritual, designed by Patrick and Ed, was held at the confluence of the Millstone and Raritan. Go to our website for River Ritual Photos........... May 8th: DRUID BELTANE MAYFAIRE! Grove of the Other Gods ADF Druids and White Horse Grove Druids held OUR 12th ANNUAL BELTAINE MAY FAIRE at a park in Morristown, NJ: Floral Headwreath Making! Silly English Folk Traditions Lecture! Drum Jam and Dancing! Druid Ritual! Parade with Dragon and Other Beasties! Traditional Hobby-Horse Song and Cavort! "Deer Run" Spirits of Place Ritual! Labyrinth! May Pole! Knot Dance! Feasting and Barbeque! 42 people attended. Omen: "Birds of a feather flock together." MVP: Chuck for grilling beyond the call of duty, and special mention to Patrick for planting the maypole. Go to our website for Beltaine MayFaire Photos........... May 1st: BELTANE at DAWN in PRINCETON! 7 stayed up all night for the Vigil, and 19 joined together at THE BREAK OF DAWN on May 1st to watch Morris Dancers, Molly Dancers and Maypole Dancers do traditional dances to wake the earth in Princeton, NJ. Our Grove contributed to the Dawn festivities with our usual Hobby Horse frolic and a traditional May Song, in front of about 100 happy spectators. Pretty amazing, all around, as usual. Go to our website for May First at Dawn in Princeton Photos ........... April 22, to Sun's Day, April 25th: Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance Presents: Beltane 2004: Akasha This was not a "GOG Event," but GOG members attended and we did 2 workshops: the Druid Wheel of the Year, and GOG ADF Druidry 101. Compliments to Marc, Robin and the MPA for a great, fun festival!........... April 24th: American Chestnut Foundation Tree Planting The American Chestnut Foundation (ACF) has been working on re- establishing the American Chestnut tree in its native range. The chestnuts used to dominate the eastern forest until an imported fungus all but wiped them out. The ACF has used a breeding program to try to develop an American Chestnut tree that is immune to the fungus. Patrick led 3 grove members in helping to stake and plant Chestnut trees........... April 17th: A Magic Wand-making Workshop! A special workshop and a Hands-on Wandmaking craft experience organized and led by Nej. Wonderful workshop, we're definitely going to do this one again. 13 attended. Go to our website for Wandmaking Workshop Photos........... April 8th: The Ogham Alphabet, Ancient and Modern GOG lecture at Rutgers Pagan Students Association led by Ed. We looked into what we really know about how the ancients used this alphabet, and also how Pagan seers and magicians are using it today. 10 attended. Go to our website for notes and Ogham info. ........... March 20th: Spring Equinox Ritual Planned and organized by Jenniforensic (led by Norma, Nej and Ed at the last minute, as a family emergency came up for Jen) at Portal of the Porcupine in Piscataway. As always at Spring Equinox, GOG honored our Patron Manannan MacLir, Opener of Gates, this time with an emphasis on doors and gates. 35 attended. Go to our website for Spring Equinox Ritual Photos. ........... March 19th: Beach Ritual to Manannan Mac Lir We traveled to Pt. Pleasant for our annual beach ritual to honor Manannan Mac Lir, our Gatekeeper, and collect 9-waves water. A cold, magickal day. 7 attended........... March 11th, 7pm: Rutgers University Pagan Student Association's Annual Pagan Panel Discussion This year's topic was "The Crisis in the Pagan Community." Speakers represented Asatru, Bluestar Wicca, Protean Wicca, ADF Druidry and Discordianism. A lively discussion on the value of formal clergy, paid clergy, children in the community, sex in the community, the decline of Pagan student groups nationwide, and the value of community in general........... Feb 26th Oracle: Divination without Devices Norma's lecture at the Rutgers Pagan Students Association ... Humans spend a whole lot of time trying to talk to their Deities. We want to get advice, comfort, but mostly we want information about the future. Throughout history there have always been a few folks who were anxious to have (or unable to stop) the presence of the Gods in their heads and they've served as oracles for the rest of the populace. This strange little workshop presented us with a bit of history about human oracles and lots of practical advice about how to start, stop and work with the presence of your Deities in our own heads. 18 people attended........... February 15th: Egyptian World of the Dead Workshop 12 people attended an overview of the Egyptian World of the Dead, based primarily on the New Kingdom period Mythological Papyri. Illustrated with a slide show and new translations of some of the original texts. Presenter: Root Doctor Jake, PhD Classics, Brown, author of "The Rotting Goddess" and many other books. More information on Dr. Jake's Egyptologic work at http://www. geocities.com/yewneserser/. For more info, go to the Temple of Osiris at: http://www.geocities.com/osiriseternal/Temple.htm ........... February 7th: Imbolc! Our annual ritual to Brigid, Goddess of Healing, Music, Poetry, Smithcraft, Hearthfires, and Our Grove. Betty was Druid-In-Charge as 28 of us welcomed Brigid and the underground beginnings of Spring. We checked to see if sheep were lactating; they were, right on Deb's shoes. Lauren drew down a groundhog. Jack drew Brigid during the ritual (Drawing reprinted in this very newsletter to the left!) and Jenne, Ed, Sue and Nora drew her down as Sovereignity Goddess, Muse, Hearth Deity, and Smith. Nora made a gorgeous Silver and Gold Brigid's cross. We all made butter! We had a fire and lots of candles. Monika played the fiddle. Jenne sang. Jenniforensic and Nej handled the Kitchen. All really lovely. Go to our website for Imbolc 2004 photos........... Saturn's Day, January 31th: Wassail! Wassail! 14 Druids blessed Sue's Apple Tree & Mulberry Tree. ........... Saturn's Day, January 3rd, 2004: New Year's Yemaya Ritual ! 12 of us spent a beautiful afternoon on the beach in Pt. Pleasant NJ. Deb led a lovely New Year's Day ritual for Yemaya at the ocean, and almost all of us got our feet and knees wet. None of us wanted to leave- it was such a beautiful day, and the ocean was calm and recieved our offerings with grace. There were a surprising amount of people out there........... Saturn's Day, December 20th: Our YULE Hogamany! What's a Hogamany? 28 people making noise and christening and lighting a ship on fire to the sun and burning clothes as an offering to the old year and honoring the sun in an ADF Druid ritual. We wish everyone could have seen the sheer amount of talent and piety and balls displayed in a ritual where the invocations were assigned to random groups of people as "waits" 20 minutes before the ritual! We had good omens, and felt the wheel of the year turn us away from the dark and into the light. This was a really great ritual! Go to our website to see photos!