Musings and news from our Fellowship's members
Surviving and Thriving - Lughnasadh 2014
|Posted by RN Druid on August 5, 2014 at 1:00 PM||comments ()|
So...Another Festival of Lugh in the books. It was a windy, cold and wet Gathering, but it is one that I will never forget. We had an amazing time of fellowship, discussion and workshops; all of which will broaden my spiritual understanding and practice. Thank you for allowing me the honor of writing this year's ritual. It was well worth the two weeks of research and writing that it took to put it together. For those new to our group, there may have been some aspects that you haven't seen as of yet. A lot of this years ritual came not only from the Order's current Lughnasadh ritual book and the Book of Ritual itself, but also from the Order's "Alternative" and Original Rituals. The original Ritual of Lughnasadh is by far the oldest of the 8 seasonal festival and can be traced to a time before the creation of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and to that of the Ancient Druid Order, which developed during the early years of the last century out of the Druid Revival which began over three hundred years ago by a man named John Little in 1711. The actual date this ritual was written is unclear, but utilizing roles such as the Ovate of the Festival, Ovate of the Host, and of course the Pendragon, was a real pleasure; it took me back to the early days of our order and our more recent ancestors.
A huge shout out and thank you to Mike and Nicole for putting this hole thing together. Without all your hard work and tireless effort, our Gathering would not have happened. So, thank you. For me, a big Druid THANK YOU to Elizabeth for agreeing to take on the role of the Festival's Pendragon; you performed your role with grace, wisdom and a whole lot of style. And of course, Dawn; taking on the role of Ovate of the Festival, which is just an old term for what we now in our fellowship call the M.C.
With that said, I want to thank all who attended this Gathering. Without each and every one of you, this Gathering would have been just a windy, cold and wet experience. Instead, it was a wonderfully windy, cold and wet experience...There is a difference.
For those who were planning on initiating into the Order and the Bardic grade...the Goddess moves in mysterious ways and the weather was simply not cooperating, but I'm sure we can take care of this at Alban Elfed in September at the Autumn Equinox. I and all the other Keepers are looking forward to performing this once in a lifetime ritual; one that you will remember for the rest of your life. At last count, it seemed that there were 8 of you wishing to be officially initiated into the Order and into the Bardic Grade. I for one, cannot wait!!!
Thanks again to all of you...my Sisters and Brothers of the Star and Stone Druid Fellowship. May the Goddess shine down her grace and blessings upon this Fellowship of Druids.
Brightest of Blessings at this time of High Summer,
Spirit Fest April 2010 by Lewis/Lughaidh
|Posted by K. Seren on April 26, 2010 at 2:15 PM||comments ()|
Spirit Fest 2010 at MVUUC was a wonderful experience... Star and Stone Druid Fellowship was there to spread the "Good News" that Star and Stone is here with information on our Druid Order, The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, and Druidry itself.
We had a beautiful table set up... a table that resembled the forest floor... a tree, many stones, prayer crystals, a well... and well.... lots of things! This was born out of the artistic and Bardic imagination of one of our Ovates, Elizabeth.
Dawn, an Ovate from the San Diego area, made the long drive up to take part in the festivities and get to know us. We were so very glad that she made the journey.
Lewis sat there and looked extremely Druid...answered questions about the Order and its teachings, Star and Stone, and Druidry in general... we had quite a few people sign up for our mailing list. I guess we need to create one?
Kim on the other hand... was there in spirit. She created a beautiful tri-fold brochure (so Druid- the "Tri" part) that summed up OBOD and Star and Stone perfectly. She was truly missed.
We all agree that this was a wonderful test run for Pagan Pride in October...we can't wait!
Sacred Peace Walk 2010 by Kim/Seren
|Posted by K. Seren on April 10, 2010 at 2:23 AM||comments ()|
Last week, I danced, chanted, prayed, and walked with people of diverse faiths in the cause of peace and nuclear disarmament. Together, we engaged in ritual from our myriad religions with intentions focused on forging peace in humanity. We walked from Las Vegas to the Nuclear Test Site in Nevada- in the wind, the sun, heat and cold. We listened to the wind (howling at times), to the stillness of the desert, to each other. We shared meals, sunscreen, and duct tape (my blistered feet thank you!). We shared vision, desire, and dream.
My heart and mind are still raw with the memory of the pain of the land and the suffering of beings at the hands of war. On Friday, the Stations of the Cross were performed with a unique focus on the continued suffering of humanity in the violence of war, imploring us to find the peace that was offered by Christ. Meanwhile, the drones of Creech Air Force Base flew overhead. By about the fifth station, I could not repeat the sections of the performance that were for us all to read in unison. My voice caught in my throat and tears gathered as I opened myself to the pain of humanity- its fears, hatred, and grief.
As I walked on Saturday, I found a space of stillness, alone with my footsteps. With every step I took toward the Nuclear Test Site, I felt a weight on my chest increase, the burdened and belabored Earth Mother struggling to heal a tremendous wound. I opened myself as wide as I could, breathed out space for this suffering, and grieved with the Land as I would for my family. I touched the plants lightly, hearing their voices. I cried. I apologized. And then I gave what Light I could offer this place.
I began to breathe more deeply, more evenly. I called upon the Light of the Divine, called it from within and without, in me and through me. I envisioned this vast desert being cleansed and healed with this Light, pouring out past me, past the Nuclear Test Site fence, and across the land. I envisioned Light pooling from my footsteps, Light resting gently from above on every cactus and shrub, Light penetrating below the crust of soil and deep into the Earth. Light seeping into myself, then touching every human heart. Light bringing love and peace to all people.
For all the pain and suffering this Earth holds, mostly due to our own lack of mindfulness and our bowing down to fear, it holds much beauty too. When I had allowed the pain to wash over me, faced it, embraced it, and met it with courage… I began to feel a deep affection. Despite Her wounds, the Earth cooperated with the rain to cause the desert to gift us with the most amazing array of flowers. Flowers so small they were dwarfed by my fingernails fought to the surface to meet the sun. A wary burro eyed me cautiously, trotting off to the horizon. A pair of ravens took to the sky ahead.
In humanity, too, there is hope and the capacity for healing. Again and again this came to me- as we huddled together at lunch using a car as a windbreak, as we stood together in vigil at Creech Air Force Base… but mostly when we danced together. Thursday night, in the Temple of Goddess Spirituality (dedicated to Sekhmet), led by T. Thorn Coyle and Spinner McBride, we called upon the inner divine fire, the elements, and the Goddess Sekhmet. The rhythm of the drums, the warmth of the fire, the starry sky of the open dome of the temple… I could feel myself spiral into this Divine presence, this deep capacity for love and peace. Friday morning, remembering together Christ’s sacrifice and the continued suffering of humanity at the hands of violence, I felt this same spiraling- this unity despite difference. And Friday night, led by T. Thorn Coyle and Joshua Levin, recitations of Thomas Merton backed by drumming turned into spontaneous chanting and dancing. As I moved and sung, I felt my soul rise to meet the Divine presence, bringing the Light and Love of this Divine into me and my humanity.
Sunday morning, again we danced- this time to the drumbeat of Johnny Bob, the Tribal Chief of the Western Shoshone. Before dawn, we gathered around the fire, listening to prayers in the Shoshone language and dancing together in the solid heartbeat of the drum. As we went round and round, holding hands, circling as the sun rose, I began to lose myself in the circular swirl of energy around the fire, the vortex created by just a few dozen human feet, stomping out the rhythm of love and peace. At breakfast, my mind wondered: what would it be like to have a world of people dancing to that rhythm of awakening, holding hands in a never-ending spiral of life? What would happen if humanity as a whole, collective consciousness became mindful of how precious life really is? What if we knew our incredible potential to honor it in other beings and transform this world? What if we realized Earth is our heaven or our hell- that we choose which reality we create?
Nearly a week later, I sit here at my computer in my little mountain cabin and I still can call up the pain of the Land and humanity in the shackles of war. Yet, I can also still call up the hope of humanity moving in unison to the heartbeat of peace. Logic tells me that humans are a long way off from finding a collective consciousness of unity and friendship. Yet, perhaps because it is a deep-seated desire, my heart and soul tell me this is possible. In the meantime, whenever I can, I will hold hands with you and dance, and together, we can become filled with the joy and wonder of living. In those moments, we will create heaven on earth. We will become this future humanity, able to celebrate our differences and yet raise one voice for peace- so that no child is orphaned by violence, no mother buries her son in the name of war, and no land is poisoned and scarred by weapons.