The 2010 Annual Golden Oak Awards

The Druid Academy Nomination Award Committee (DANAC) consists of a member drawn from six different Druid organizations that share a historical connection to each other and are primarily located in North America. The DANAC members wish to learn more about happenings in their own group, and in other groups, and encourage the best works of modern Druids by acknowledging their annual accomplishments.

The six judges are not official representatives elected by their respective groups, but were actually hand-picked experts by Michael Scharding, because he thought they were extremely knowledgeable famous folk who knew well both their own organization and the activities of other modern Druid groups. Therefore, their votes are therefore only a personal preference, not representative of any endorsement by their organizations.

The Judges

  • Tony Taylor of Henge of Keltria (HoK)
  • Rev. Kirk Thomas of Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF)
  • Michael Scharding of the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA)
  • Ellen Evert Hopman of Order of the White Oak (OWO)
  • Ellis Arseneau of the  Reformed Druids of Gaia (RDG)
  • Thomas Harris of the Missionary Order of the Celtic Cross (MOCC) [previously known as Reformed Druidic Wicca, RDW]

SIMPLE RULES

In the first round, each judge can nominate up to two entries for each of the eleven categories of awards, choosing Druids who belong to any of these six organizations. Naturally, most judges tend to nominate entries from within their own group, which they know the best.

In the second round, each of the judges can vote for one entry from each of ten categories, but can not vote for their own nominee.  If any nominee received two or more votes in the second round, then it will declared a winner.  If a nominee receives only one other vote in the 2nd round, then it will be declared to be an “honorable mention”.

Categories

  1. Most interesting internal grove project. Non-exhaustive examples include: liturgical design, fund-raising, recruitment, education, development, site-planning, web-development, meeting style, festival/meeting idea, etc.
  2. Inspiring external project by a grove or member (s) of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, RDG. Non-exhaustive examples include: activism, ecology, public outreach, legal moves, publishing, charity, civic involvement, interaction with other religious organization, etc.
  3. Greatest hardship overcome by a member of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, RDG. Publicly admissible, of course, no gossip please. Non-exhaustive examples incluede: persecution, financial obstacles, medical impairments, isolation, time constraints, educational restraints, etc.
  4. Best Poem or song released by a member of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, OMS/RDG.
  5. Best work of Art completed or released by a member of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, ORDG. Non exhaustive examples: painting, drawing, sculpture, digital art, clay, collage, photography, etc. Dance choreography will be considered if an internet video is provided. Collaborating artists will receive a single prize.
  6. Best craftwork completed or released in 2008 by a member of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, OMS/RDG. Non exhaustive examples: leatherwork, metalwork, clothing, needlepoint, moulding, weaving, jewelry, basketry, woodwork, stonework, etc. Food, drink, cosmetics and brewing can't be tested easily enough in disparate parts of the U.S. Collaborative craftspeople will receive a single prize.
  7. Best academic book released by a member of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, ORDG. At least 50 pages in length, can be on any subject somehow applicable to "Druidism", modern or ancient, such as history, religion, crafts, art, philosophy, spirituality, ethnicity, language, etc.
  8. Best novel released by a member of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, ORDG. At least 50 pages in length.
  9. Best short story by a member of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, RDG, usually under 50 pages with a Druidical bent.
  10. Best "Druidical" essay or article by a member of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, RDG
  11. Best movie or video-clip or instructional video, that advances the positive perception of Druidism in some way produced by a member of ADF, Keltria, RDNA, MOCC, OWO, or OMS/RDG.

Prizes:

Winners of each the 10 DANAC awards will receive a $33.33 prize from the Druid Academy, a blessed pretty rock, and international fame and kudos.

Past Winners

Past Keltrian winners include:

  • Grove of the Golden Horse
  • Maudhnait
  • Aauriane Veleda
  • Karl Schlotterbeck
  • Jenne Micale
  • Searles O'Dubhain

Past “Honorable Mentions” included:

  • Wren Taylor
  • Topaz Owl

Please see http://www.rdna.info/danac.html for a complete list of recipients.

Nominations:

If you want to be entered or know someone who should be entered into the 2010 Golden Oak Awards of the DANAC committee, then send an e-mail to Tony at Tony_Taylor@keltria.org (note the underscore) identifying a work from one of the eleven categories that was first released or completed between December 21 2009 and December 21, 2010.

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.]