GryphonSong Clan – Feast of Harvest Ritual

During the Grove’s Choice at the Feast of Harvest ritual, GryphonSong Clan constructed a small cairn from black river rocks inside a beautiful dragon mazor (made by Sweetwater pottery). We directed energy into the repository for positive growth of Keltrian Druidism and the Keltrian collective. Our offerings to the fire focused upon the vitality and longevity of the Keltrian teachings and practices.

Photo of a Keltrian Druid Altar.

Keltrian Druid Altar: Feast of Harvest - GryphonSong 2017 - Photo by Govannan

 

From the Groves: Harvesting gratitude in Gryphonsong Clan

For the second Wheel/Feast harvest this year, we chose to focus on gratitude. Our Clan has seen many transitions in this past year and it has given us moments of joy, sadness and opportunities to pause and to reflect on the lessons we each are being presented in different ways.

Within and throughout the many shifts of our respective Paths, the one consistent and solid theme we kept returning to was "gratitude for community (of blood, heart and spirit)". In being reminded of our triad of existence, each of us in various ways was brought to a place where, no matter how heavily our experiences were weighing on us at the time, there was always this light – like the star in the Hermit’s lamp – that spoke of hope and heart home.

So we gathered at the balance point before the dark time of the year and spoke our gratitude. As we speak to our Matron and Patrons each time we come together:

“…Let us hear you with open and grateful Hearts – Let us grow and serve, always reaching for the light…”

May your harvests bring laughter and joy to your lives,

GryphonSong Clan

fall-equinox-feast-of-fallow-2016-gratitude-altar-1 fall-equinox-feast-of-fallow-2016-gratitude-altar-2 fall-equinox-feast-of-fallow-2016-gratitude-grail

Feed the fish: Drop your hazelnuts into the Well of Wisdom! We're always looking for submissions: poetry, photos, essays, recipes, random musings related to the Henge and more! Share your imbas with your fellow Keltrians. Contact HH-Editor@keltria.org, HHSubmissions@keltria.org or dulcimergoddess@keltria.org.

From the Groves: GryphonSong Clan

Dragonflies and Lightning

Ruby (Red) Johnson Widner – a formidable and loved Elder Mother and Friend – has taken on her final adventure in her transition to the Summerlands.  A woman who stepped out fearlessly and walked a spiritual path that called to her heart and led her to travel to many places and to touch many lives, she loved her children, both physical and spiritual, with a deep reverence.  She lost one son far too soon and held her surviving son, daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren as the most precious parts of her long and fascinating life.

Ruby's Shrine on Summer Solstice

Ruby's Shrine on Summer Solstice

She often spoke of her love of dragonflies and how they always seemed to gravitate to her. Storms gave her thrill and joy to watch rolling in and she actually experienced having lightning strike her vehicle; she remembered with awe watching the blue light dance over and around her. The smell of freshly mowed lemongrass always reminded her of Kentucky.  She loved fresh tomatoes and annually did battle with Georgia’s ever-present hornworms to protect her plants. She loved roses and surrounded herself with them in art and various richly colored rose bushes in her yard.

Ruby's Solstice Fire

Ruby's Solstice Fire

She was fierce, strong and sometimes seemed impossible to the people in her lives. But she lived her life and walked her Walk as authentically as she could. She brought knowledge, grace and a sense of family to those who heard the call and sought her out as a craft wisewoman for more than 70 years. We were blessed with the gift of knowing her.

May starshine light your path ,dear Mother. That which is remembered, lives.

With Love and Reverence,

GryphonSong Clan

GROVE REPORT – GryphonSong Clan

Originally published in Henge Happenings - Beltaine 2014

Our clan members are enjoying the first signs of Spring in Georgia and we enjoyed a beautiful evening under the stars for our Feast of Flowing/Equinox Rite. The weather in our part of the U.S. is a little unpredictable this time of year but usually settles down by our Feast of Flowering in May.   We focus our energy to stir and lift with the life emerging all around us. It is sheer joy to be able to bring our Tree Selves together under the canopy of massive Ash, Oak, Beech, Hickory and Sweet Gum that embrace our much loved Nemeton. The tree frogs are singing, Cranes fly through our vision to the healthy wetlands just over the crest of our Northern hill. Soon we’ll have the gorgeous fire flies making the tree tops sparkle with their flickering brilliance.

We wish all of our Henge Kin a blessed, positively abundant and deeply contented Spring and Summer. Welcome back the Life and Vibrancy of the Land!

Walk with Wisdom, Strength and Gratitude
Eíbhlean/Ulchabhán


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From Garrán an Eich Órbhuí – Imbolc 2011

At the beginning of October, TopazOwl, founder of Garrán an Eich Órbhuí, received an official-looking envelope in the mail addressed to “Rev. C. Leigh McGinley.”  When she opened it, she found an embossed invitation from the Chancellor and President of Syracuse University to the celebration of the Installation of the New Dean of Hendricks Chapel at the University, being held over October 25th and 26th. Since Druids are rarely (if ever) invited in their clergy capacity to the installation of Deans of colleges, this seemed a momentous occasion, and she decided that she should accept.

It was a special occasion on many counts. Reverend Tiffany Steinwert would be the 6th Dean of Hendricks Chapel since opening its doors in September 1930, and its first female Dean. And though Tiffany is a Methodist minister, she is very accepting and even embracing of the Pagan community in the greater Syracuse area. Hendricks Chapel itself has a history of serving all faiths, and there is a Pagan chaplain on campus, but this is the first time Pagan clergy from the surrounding community have been asked to attend such a prestigious event at the University. Needless to say, we were very excited.

The event was very nicely organized. There was a formal procession into the Chapel that consisted of the Chancellor, University Deans and former Deans of Hendricks in their various scholar gowns, and the invited Clergy in all their varied religious regalia. There were Christian clergy of every denomination, along with Hindu priests, Buddhist monks, Wiccan high priestesses, Druids, Islamic Imam, and Rabbis of several sects. It was a colorful group, seated front and center (a place of honor) in the Chapel for the ceremony.

The Deans, Chancellor, and Chaplains took their places on the altar/stage. The ceremony was opened with a Native American Thanksgiving prayer by Regina Jones of the Oneida Nation. The Reverend Kevin Agee of the Hopps Memorial CME Church gave the Invocation, and Jikyo Bonnie Shoultz, the Buddhist Chaplain of Hendricks Chapel, welcomed us all to the event. There were greetings from representatives of the Board of Trustees, the University Faculty, and the Students, along with stirring musical tributes performed by both the Hendricks Chapel Choir and the Syracuse University Black Celestial Chorale Ensemble. Tanweer Haq, Assistant Islamic Advisor and Counselor of Hendricks Chapel, gave the Benediction.

Rev. Tiffany Steinwert addressing the Gathering of Clergy at Hendricks Chapel

The response from Reverend Tiffany Steinwert was eloquent and warm, and it was easy to see why the University had chosen her for the position. She thanked everyone, and spoke of unity between faiths and working together. Topaz-Owl remarked, “Reverend Tiffany’s exact words are lost on me now, but I remember at one point she turned to the multi-faith clergy seated there before her, and with an inclination of her head, indicated and spoke of her “fellow clergy” -- and at that moment I felt so proud to be there representing the Henge of Keltria, so gratified to at last be recognized as an equal among the clergy of all those other recognized faiths.”

Fellow Druids Skip Ellison of ADF and TopazOwl attending the installation of the Dean.

After the Installation of the Dean, the University held a reception in another building where flavored waters, juices, and soft drinks were served along with several different kinds of hors d'oeuvres. The new Dean of Hendricks Chapel was at the door to greet everyone with a friendly handshake and a warm smile. TopazOwl remembers, “When I introduced myself as Reverend C. Leigh McGinley, Druid, Henge of Keltria, Reverend Tiffany’s smile got even brighter and she said that they had received the best response to the event from the Pagan community, and that she was so glad I had come. She also offered the use of Hendricks Chapel for any Keltrian religious services or rituals.”

Our Grove was honored that our Chief Druid was given the opportunity to represent Keltrian Druids in our local community. We feel that the more of these events we can attend, the better it will be for Druids (and Pagans in general) concerning our desire to be accepted as a valid part of the religious community and society at large.

From the Groves – Samhain 2010

Hawk Haven Grove (Georgia)

For information regarding what is going on at Hawk Haven Grove, please join our Yahoo List Group. Send an e-mail to: HawkHavenGrove-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

White Cat Grove (New York)

White Cat Grove’s blog, “The musings of frisky Druids” is at http://whitecatgrove.wordpress.com/

White Oak Grove (North Carolina)

The White Oak study group is getting started in Raleigh, North Carolina. Please contact the Henge Office for more information.

On-Line Study Group

Those interested should contact Ailim through the Henge Office.

Lake Healing

The Grove of the Golden Horse has been working on healing one of the most polluted lakes in the United States as our Grove's Choice every Samhain (and randomly at other times as well) for a few years now. Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, NY was defiled many years ago by industrial waste, so much so that almost 50 years ago, fishing and swimming were not allowed there anymore. There have been many business proposals to clean up the lake, all costing millions of dollars and using elaborate methods, yet our lake remains unclean.

A few years ago, Chief Druid/Grove Leader TopazOwl read a book by Dr. Masaru Emoto entitled The Hidden Messages in Water (a New York Times Bestseller). In brief, the author discovered (to quote from the book jacket) that "crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors." The book contains actual high-speed photographs of frozen water crystals under several different conditions. The pictures consistently show that good thoughts and words directed at polluted water actually helps it form more complete crystals; in effect, it becomes healthier water.

The implications of this are astounding. It means we can heal water (and by extension, other things that contain or are made of water, including humans) simply by projecting good feelings and saying nice things! Of course, this is transformative magic, so we know that it is a magically sound practice. TopazOwl began to realize that we could actually help to heal the earth by healing the water in this manner. She decided that we should begin on a smaller scale and in our own back yard, where the pollution of the lake has been such a blight on our community for so many years.

Members of the Grove collected water from the lake in a clear bottle before our ritual. Dr. Emoto found that the water responded best to words and thoughts of love and gratitude (judging from the crystals it formed), so the Grove directed strong feelings of love and gratitude to the water in the bottle. We thanked the water for its beauty and its life-giving properties -- all of the many things we could think of to thank it for and praise it for -- and we drew loving and healing symbols with intent on a white paper, which we then wrapped like a label, except the symbols show from the inside (so the water can "see" it).

After the water was exposed to the "loving label" for a time, it was returned to the lake. It is our belief that the energy-purified water, even though it is only a small amount, will spread its energy to the polluted water still in image029the lake, and so help to "entrain" the lake water with love and gratitude as well, starting a sort of "chain reaction." This way more is done with less energy, because to try to heal the entire body of water at once would be daunting task.

The interesting thing we observed is that, after the bottled lake water spent some time in the bottle with the loving and grateful words and symbols, it became much cleaner to the eye than when we first collected it.

Recently it was reported on the local news that there is evidence that the lake is slowly cleaning itself, that she is actually less polluted than she once was. This is good news, and Golden Horse Grove, for our part, will continue to help her indefinitely.

-  The Topaz Owl


[This project was a The Druid Academy Nomination Award Committee (DANAC) Golden Oak Award winner for 2008 for most  Inspiring external project begun in 2008 by a grove or member (s) of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, OMS/RDG. Non-exhaustive examples include: activism, ecology, public outreach, legal moves, publishing, charity, civic involvement, interaction with other religious organization, etc. See: http://www.geocities.com/mikerdna/danac2008.html for details. - Ed.]