From the President – Samhain 2013

By Tony Taylor

Photo of Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor, Editor
Keltria Journal

[ Note: This is from Last Year's Henge Happenings, Issue 100, Samhain 2013.]

This, our 100th issue of Henge Happenings, marks twenty-five years of publishing the newsletter.  Over the years it as gone from a one-page, dot matrix printer letter to a replacement of Keltria Journal and on to it’s current form.  I hope you find Henge Happenings useful and informative.  I want to thank all of the contributors, officers, editors, and proof readers we have had over the many years.  It has been a great twenty-five years.

Wren and I were “Special Guests” at the 46th Annual Fall Gathering of the Tribes & International Leadership Conference, held September 5th - 8th, 2013 near LaFayette, GA. The event was sponsored by Celtic Church of Dynion Mwyn. Wren gave a workshop about ritual based upon the new “ritual” chapter which will be in the Book of Keltria. I gave a workshop regarding views of deity (theisms) which I have given before at other venues.  It is also covered in greater detail in the forthcoming Book of Keltria.

Publications

Speaking of which, the Book of Keltria is coming along nicely. The new theology and ritual chapters that replaced the previous correspondence course material is completed. The “Gods” is currently in a new rewrite to include more about myths and mythology as well as the Gods and Goddesses we celebrate.
I am working on a substantial rewrite of the Book of Ritual.  I am adding a lot of fresh detail plus additional notes for solitaries. I would like to have the new version available shortly after the Book of Keltria is available, however, I suspect it may not be ready until next spring.

Help Wanted

I am looking for individuals who will help with many of the Henge Projects. They include the following:

  • Keltria Listmaster (Admin.)
  • Keltria.org WordPress Administrator
  • Keltria.org Webmaster
  • Keltria.org Administrator (inc. eMail)
  • Keltria USPS Mailbox
  • Henge Happenings Editor
  • Henge Office Manager

I will work with anyone who volunteers to help them come  up to speed.  If you are interested, please contact me at tony_taylor@keltria.org.

-TT

[Positions lined through above have been filled.  Thank you new volunteers.]

 

A Light in the Darkness

A Light in the Darkness

by Eíbhlean

Photo of Secretary Eibhlean

Secretary Eibhlean

Darkness.. The Void… The Abyss..The Absence of Light… For many of us whose personal and community spirituality encompasses the use of magickal practice as part of our worship – there is a “Light” time of the year and a “Dark” time of the year.  Whether your path walk celebrates this time as running from Samhain to Beltane, Imbolc to Lughnasadh or anywhere in between – if your particular practice includes acknowledging the duality aspect of existence – you will be observing a Dark period of energy work.

Dealing with Darkness can evoke all manner of concerns.  The unseen, deeper currents of the vast vibrating energetic sea that we all swim in can pull and tug at places within our own personal “Inner-scape” that trigger various levels of intensity in our inherent “fight or flight” impulses.  Many feel that is a black mirror into which they do not wish to peer.  Moreover, many really should not – if their personalities are particularly fragile or otherwise hyper-sensitively wired.  Nevertheless, with a grounded and reverent approach – this can be the time of truly embracing our own individual Great Work.

It is my belief that magick is not some historical relic that can be harnessed into a “one size fits all” practice.  To me, magick is a living essence and our diversity in how we each practice it shows its myriad beautiful faces.  Birthed in the unknown antiquity of the universe, magick reflects change and evolution.  While maintaining its birthright, magick adapts to the nuances of mundane time, place, person, and purpose.

Masculine or Feminine, Lunar or Underworld, Dark Hunter or Veiled Crone - whatever faces or aspects you are most familiar and comfortable with – the Dark Time encompasses and goes beyond them all.  Who would willingly choose to face, embrace, and pull in the lessons from our less than admirable aspects?  Who wants to stand – open and completely vulnerable – and allow the very tangible pain of having our outmoded definition of our selves be torn down and reborn newer, stronger and, paradoxically for this time of year, “lighter”?  In the path that our collective walks, it is part of our responsibility as a Druid.

It takes no small amount of courage and an ability to accept that even with the best of intentions – we all screw up - repeatedly.  We hurt people.  With what we think might be the most casual of actions or words – we sometimes unintentionally rend the very fabric of another person’s personal perspective of reality.  When we choose to face and step through the portals of painful experiences and potentially the past life baggage that we all carry – what we emerge as impacts everyone around us.  As we grow, evolve and expand we touch something in each person who interacts with us and a spark is planted that may <or may not> begin to reach out.  It is a reaffirmation of our connection and it is based on how we choose to engage ourselves in our Lives.  Most of us hold that we are – in essence – light.  It is an expression of the balance of our reality that our greatest life/light work comes from our dreams in the dark.

- Eíbhlean of GryphonSong

From the President – Samhain 2012

Samhain 2012

By Tony Taylor

Keltria Journal

Photo of Tony Taylor with deer staffThe first new edition of Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick was published in time for Fall Equinox. All members of the Henge should have received access to the download edition.  If you had trouble getting your copy of Keltria Journal, please let the Henge Office know. Print and electronic copies are available on line at www.magcloud.com.

The theme for the next issue of Keltria Journal, number 41 is "Nature Spirits."  How are birds, animals, and reptiles observed in divination? How do you relate to the Nature Spirits in your everyday life?  In what way can or should our interactions with the Nature Spirits impact our daily lives and activities?  Submission guidelines are posted on the Keltria website. If you don’t have access to the internet send a SASE to the Henge Office to request a copy of the submission guidelines.

In the Works

The Council of Elders project, The Book of Keltria is still in progress. Current estimate of completion date is the first of the secular year.

Publishing a 2013 Henge of Keltria Calendar is still in progress.  The Board of Trustees has reviewed the submissions and selected the ones they think were best both in terms of content and reproduction quality. A special emailing will be sent to announce its availability.

[Ed Note: The Calendar has been published. It is available from Cafe Press.]

Keltrian Druid Calendar

Tony’s Druid Blog

Reminder that many of my thoughts are posted to Tony’s Druid Blog http://keltria.blogspot.com/ on a regular basis. Recent Blogs have included:
BBC Radio - The Druids
Tony's Recommended Reading
Druid ritual closes Paralympics in London 2012

- Walk with wisdom, peace, and honor.

From the President – Samhain 2011

By Tony Taylor

This issue’s cover of the Kilclooney Dolmen captures the magickal nature of the sacred site as well as the quietness of the portal tomb. A stunning photograph by Henge member, Steward of the Wood.  And no, it wasn’t photoshopped.

Projects

Due to technical problems, the minutes of the 2011 Annual Meeting aren’t available. They will be available shortly and we expect to present them in the Imbolc issue of Henge Happenings.

Tony and TopazOwl, with the help of Nick and Ailim, are working on marketing the Henge by improving search engine rankings, and increasing our Facebook presence. If you have a website, please create a link to the Henge website.  Please mention the Henge in your blogs and postings, which will help create a buzz about the Henge.  Be sure to “Like” the Henge of Keltria on Facebook.  We are also looking into a more focused email marketing process.  If you are interested in assisting in these activities, please contact the Henge Office or the webmaster.

Various board members are working on new and improved publications and other resources.  The Council of Elders is working on a “Book of Keltria” which will provide a central place to learn and understand the key elements of Keltrian Druidism. Others are working on a new and improved Grove Leaders Handbook, which will incorporate special rituals, such as handfastings, coming of age, and other rituals.

I look forward to next year’s Gathering of the Keltrian Tribe and Annual Meeting.  If you would like to host the Gathering, please submit your proposal to the Board of Trustees, via the Henge Office, by Winter Solstice. Please see the article in this issue for more information.

Thoughts

Certainly Samhain is traditionally the time for reflection on those who have passed on to the otherworld.  As I grow older I see more and more of my contemporaries pass on. Fortunately, the Henge had only one Henge member,  John Brown, take that journey. Please remember him in your Samhain remembrances. Many of us experienced the loss of loved ones; family, personal friends, and, of course, special animal friends. If you know of someone who had a particularly close spirit pass over, please acknowledge the loss to them and ask their permission to include them and their loved one in your prayers.  If you suffer a loss be sure to let the Henge Office know so we may remember them and give solace to you.

In the Keltrian Tradition, Samhain is also the time to make your plans for the coming year which is declared in ritual.  This should not be something simple to be accomplished by Imbolc, but a longer, more ambitious goal. What is it that you want to accomplish? We would like to hear from members regarding what your goals are and how they were formalized in ritual.

For many years our Grove has taken a large piece of slate and had each of the Grove members make a drawing as a representation of that goal on the slate. The slate is displayed during rituals during the year to remind everyone of the goals and plans that were set forth that past Samhain.

Walk with wisdom, peace, and harmony.

Review: Pagan Astrology

Pagan Astrology: Spell-Casting, Love Magic and Shamanic Stargazing

by Raven Kaldera

Reviewed by Karl Schlotterbeck, MA, CAS, LP

There are two worthwhile gems at the heart of this work. One is the author’s insight that we can be more than a passive recipient of cosmic cycles. In fact, we can be an interactive and creative participant in the unfolding drama of our relationship with those forces personified as gods and goddesses in astrology.

The second gem is in the set of practical ideas he presents to give us the tools to show us how to be active participants with the forces. These tools include rituals, altars, stones, colors, icons, invocations, prayers, and associated magical objects. In fact, his general approach could be used without reference to actual astrological data, but as ways of affirming and balancing the various energies operating in all of us. And so I see here the potential of a psychological development program.

That being said, some of his assertions are not equal to the brightness of these two gems. (As we look at some of the shortcomings of this book, however, they do not invalidate the value of his central thesis: that we can participate with cosmic forces represented in astrological figures in a way to maximize beneficial aspects and to ameliorate afflicted ones.)

He makes reference to a “Celtic solar calendar of eight holidays” even though there is no evidence that the Celts celebrated anything but the four “cross-quarter” holidays (which are not really solar). In addition, he would place these cross-quarter days “exactly between” the equinoxes and solstices, which would place them not at the first of the month on which they are now celebrated, but around the 6th of the month in the case of Samhain. (He makes no mention that Samhain, like Beltane, is a month name and would hardly begin on the 6th.) Even if the cross-quarter holidays were placed at the full moon near that time, they would seldom fall exactly between the other holidays.

I found his “Astrology of Magical Tools” interesting since those associated with my own Sun, Moon and Rising signs have always attracted me. He also recognizes the eight phases of all planetary cycles – common in reference to the moon but generally forgotten for the other planets and pairs of planets. He makes a significant error, however, in describing the quarter phases of the moon as falling in particular signs, given the starting position of the New Moon. His description implies a static cycle when, in fact, the sun also advances during the cycle and, if the New Moon is late in a sign, the subsequent phases may advance to later signs than he suggests. Thus, one would do better to check a calendar for the moon phases than using this particular system.

A hefty book at about 350 pages, more than half of it consists of tables of associated implements, colors, stones, invocations, poetry, spells and actions for signs, planets, events and combinations thereof.

I’d never considered that astrology might be sectarian and therefore to be Pagan or otherwise (although some Christian sects decry it). Even with the Pagan deities’ names for signs, planets and asteroids, the Pagan connection seems irrelevant unless one identifies the planet Mars with the god Mars. The breadth of the book’s value is larger than its title and its basic thesis can be applied by anyone of any persuasion. However, Pagans and those with a New Age background may find the concepts more accessible than many mainstream readers, for sure.

Again, these very real shortcomings still do not erase the value of the author’s realization that we can take an active, participatory, and interactive role in addressing the forces in our lives, whether they come from deities, cosmic forces or mundane challenges.

I recommend this book for all readers who can keep their eyes on the prize here (the possibilities in interacting with the forces of our “fate”) and not take Pagan Astrology as a source book for Celtic studies or history.

  • [amazon_link id="1594773025" target="_blank" ]Pagan Astrology: Spell-Casting, Love Magic and Shamanic Stargazing[/amazon_link]
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books; 1 edition (September 28, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: [amazon_link id="1594773025" target="_blank" ]1594773025[/amazon_link]
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594773020
  • List Price: $18.95

[amazon_image id="1594773025" link="true" target="_blank" size="medium" ]Pagan Astrology: Spell-Casting, Love Magic, and Shamanic Stargazing[/amazon_image]