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Henge Happenings: Official Newsletter of the Henge of Keltria

Henge Happenings #56


New Address: The Henge of Keltria, P.O. Box 1060 Anoka, MN 55303-1060

Samhain 2002


From the President

Feast of Death 2002

Perhaps, I think each Great Feast is my favorite when the Wheel turns. Perhaps that's why Samhain is my favorite now. However, there is something about the quietude after a busy and hot summer. My eyes feast on the browns, reds, golds and muted greens every time I look out a window or go outside and I am wrapped in a blanket of calmness.

My favorite place to sit is on our back porch where I can hear the dry leaves rattle like sabers. I feel the fresh wind driving though them bearing a small taste of the Atlantic Ocean. I love the way the slanty afternoon light plays in the rock garden. Snoodled in a warm, brown sweater I settle into a comfortable canvas chair to revel in my senses. Sometimes I enjoy a tart, crisp apple. This is bliss. It gives me time to reflect on my successes and defeats of the past year.

At my place of work, many are making Halloween preparations: this party here, that ritual there and conventional costumes to be constructed. I hear excited voices and raucous laughter as I move from one place to another. I feel odd. I ponder the Wheel of the Year and acknowledge that the carnival atmosphere is better suited to Beltaine. Indulging in a mental shrug, I continue about my business. You might observe, that while this is my favorite Feast, it is also my most dreaded. Truly, I'm not a wet blanket; I'm excited, too. However, my excitement is of a different nature. I feel mildly interrupted by a myriad of wild, well-meaning people while I have a lot on my mind.

Since the Feast of Fallow, Keltrians have measured and weighed their individual and Grove harvests. Some are insufficient while others are splendid. We have had weeks to assess our yields and now the time has come to address the question: What next? Should it be a continuance of the previous year's focus or something entirely new? Perhaps this is why I retreat to the porch without twenty-first century distractions to woo my mind away from the business at hand. I have much to carefully consider.

This New Year season is the time Keltrians create individual metaphoric seeds to represent the next set of goals to be accomplished. These goals are either of a highly personal nature or designed to have a local or global effect. These seeds are charged with our sincere intentions to create change.

This seed that I commit to the depths of my spirit must be protected and nurtured. I am responsible for encouraging it to grow though the rituals I keep and magicks made. I feel obliged to remain centered and focused on the task at hand. At the same time, I feel excited and joyful. Perhaps this truly is my favorite Feast.

I wish you a joyous New Year and safe Samhain.

Walk with Wisdom -- Wren


From the Vice President

I learned a major lesson this summer from the Nature Spirits garden I started this past spring. I had intended to start this garden to welcome the Nature Spirits into my yard. Of course, I thought, the Nature Spirits wouldn't want any assistance from me. Simply letting the garden grow wild will attract them. And it did. Only not the type I was hoping for. Spider mites were quick to move in and eat all the beautiful plants growing there. Soon it was a brown weed patch, overgrown and uninviting. It didn't really call out "Hey the Nature Spirits are here" either.

I walked by it one day while I was out doing yard work. I noticed how pathetic it was looking. So I stopped and pulled a few weeds. Under them I found a few ferns and some bulbs that hadn't grown this year. Then I pulled more weeds and noticed how much better it looked with some tender care and love. It seems what was missing in the equation was me. I was too busy thinking my grand plan would work so well to stop and literally care for the garden. All I had done up to this point is a small simple ceremony of dumping the libation bowl into the garden after ritual. Although this was important, it was not enough to give me the garden I hoped for.

Then I reflected on how much effort I was spending in getting ready to lead rituals for my study group. I spent a whole day cleaning, followed by a day of shopping for food and cooking. On top of this I would spend a day planning and preparing for Grove's Choice if it was a seasonal feast day. By the time ritual rolled around there was little energy left. Once again all my attention had been focused on an end goal of my making. I wasn't spending time giving the care and love that was needed to this project. It was beginning to feel like work to me and didn't hold the same spiritual high for me.

After tending to the garden it began to take shape. The yew tree growing there even came back a bit after the "mitey" attack. Now when I walk by I notice how well it was doing (alas, frost and cold are putting a halt to things for now). I think about what to do next year. That occasional weeding and earth friendly pest control are things that can enhance a garden and welcome Nature Spirits. That if I neglect things, neglect to nurture myself or the garden no one will want to come.

I wonder at how many of us continue to trudge on trying to force our will into shape when our spirits are not in on it. When finishing the work becomes the major focus of our lives, it leaves so little space for enjoying life. I know I enjoy ritual more when I've taken the time to meditate and come in tune with things, not just have a clean house and good food ready.

I hope you'll pause this Samhain as the dark half of the years arrives and take time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. For even as we look to what next year will bring and what we need to do, stopping to celebrate gives us the energy and reward to go on. To move into a new year with hope and promise. To leave behind the drudgery and gloom of goals not met because we didn't/couldn't devote enough energy to them.

Walk with Wisdom,

Rain


© Copyright 2002

All material published in Henge Happenings is
© Copyright by The Henge of Keltria, Inc.

All rights are reserved.

This publication is also:
Protected by the Berne Convention.

 

Submission Information

All submissions to Henge Happenings become property of The Henge of Keltria, Inc., a nonprofit religious corporation. Categories for submissions are based upon who they are from: Officers, Elders, Coordinators, Groves, Members and the Henge Office. Members submissions are further divided based upon subject matter, Bardic, Seer, Druid, or Solitary Special Interest Groups.


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The Druid's Path

The First Foundation

by Tony Taylor

I am often asked what do I consider to be the three most important or fundamental aspects or elements of Keltrian Druidism. I thought that I'd share my thoughts here.

The "First Foundation" of Keltrian Druidism says to, "Honor your Ancestors, revere the Spirits of Nature, and worship the Gods and Goddesses of our Tribe."

Ancestors can be viewed in many ways. Certainly, your direct lineage, genetic, ancestors are included, but also included are those who have contributed to your being the person that you are. Honoring them may take many forms. Certainly a personal altar or shrine is one way to do so. Working on your genealogy so that you may know more about your ancestors is another. Regularly thanking those people who have helped you to become the person that you are may be another. The key is that you honor your ancestors and you don't do it just at Samhain when it is easy. Do the people who know you well know that you honor your ancestors? Do the people who have helped to make you the person you are today know of your appreciation?

Nature Spirits also may be viewed in many ways. Do you revere the spirits you encounter. These may be magickal (faerie) or mundane (domesticated cat) Sometimes this aspect of Celtic religion can be as mundane as volunteering at the animal shelter or picking up trash along a highway or river. Sometimes it may be magickal like maintaining a sanctuary for the Faeries. In Keltrian Druid beliefs, we believe "that all life is sacred and should neither be harmed nor taken without deliberation or regard."

The gods and goddesses of "our tribe" are the Tuatha de Danaan. We honor and remember them as a group and develop fellowship in doing so. It doesn't matter if you believe that the Gods are individual, distinct deities, aspects of a single unifying god and goddess, or human interpretation of a single unmanifest deity. What matters in Keltrian Druidism is that you meet regularly and the Gods and Goddesses of your Celtic Tribe; that you give them thanks for the bounty in your life. Do you provide particular homage to a specific deities during your rituals?

Honoring your Ancestors, revering the Spirits of Nature and worshipping the Gods and Goddesses of our Tribe are the three most important aspects to our religion and compromises what we call our "First Foundation."


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The Bard's Path

The Winter Solstice

Somewhere in the deep black ocean
waves began to swell from a deliberate force
rhythmic crashes held dominion over lesser forms
while silently they raced towards the rocky shore

Crackling embers were all that remained of my fire
bitter winds blew strands of hair from my face
throwing off my nightdress, I ran into the wild night
… souls of the wind howled as the hour eclipsed

All my gestures were a tribute of remembrance
I built an altar by the edge of the turbulent sea
shells and stones reflected like celestial bodies
and I cried for the time when he once loved me

O'Ancient companions, awaken from your chambers
on the cusp of the Winter night _ few hours remain
This, is my time… I have become one with forever
Hear my devotions through the pounding rain

By what name shall I call him tonight
his sides will blend before my eyes
through the dark I'll see his silhouette
yet, not a word between us need be spoken

Strange shadows were clouds in that violent sky
I danced as the rain beat against my naked breast
birds of the sea screamed in a winsome chorus
as I summoned the gods _ Bring him back to me…

© 2002, Ni Bhrigid

 

Beliefs of
The Henge of Keltria

1. We believe in Divinity as it is manifest in the Pantheon. There are several valid theistic perceptions of this Pantheon.

2. We believe that nature is the embodiment of the Gods and Goddesses.

3. We believe that Natural Law reflects the will of the Gods and Goddesses.

4. We believe that all life is sacred and should neither be harmed nor taken without deliberation or regard.

5. We believe in the immortality of the spirit.

6. We believe that our purpose is to gain wisdom through experience.

7. We believe that learning is an ongoing process and should be fostered at all ages.

8. We believe that morality should be a matter of personal conviction based upon self respect and respect for others.

9. We believe that evil is not a matter of inheritance but of intent, therefore actions are not in themselves evil. Rather, it is through the intent behind actions that evil can manifest.

10. We believe in the relative nature of all things, that nothing is absolute, and that all things, even the Gods and Goddesses, have their dark sides.

11. We believe that individuals have the right to pursue knowledge and wisdom through his or her chosen path.

12. We believe in a living religion able to adapt to a changing environment. We recognize that our beliefs may undergo change as our tradition grows.


Henge Happenings is intended for members of The Henge of Keltria. However, many of the particularly interesting articles have been made available to non-members. If you are a member of the Henge and need a replacement copy of Henge Happenings, please contact the Henge Office. Please report any broken links to the Web Master.

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