The Grove of Nova Scotia Druids and ADF

We are aware of the recent allegations brought forth concerning sexual misconduct by a former ADF Leader, the late Isaac Bonewits and we extend our compassion and care to those affected.

We want to affirm to our community that this type of behavior has no place within GNSD; it is directly opposed to our values; and is, quite simply put, wrong. We abhor any such behavior against any person, whether they are members of GNSD or not.

We understand many in our community are seized by these recent allegations; we are too. If you have suffered harassment or abuse, within our community our without, please know that we support you with compassion and care. We have clergy and leaders available should you wish to speak with someone. [The ADF Human Services Specialist and Member’s Advocate are available to listen and care and are reachable at humanservicesspecialist.adf@adf.org and adf-members-advocate@adf.org respectively.]

GNSD continues to be an open society focused on our family-knit structure. We remain committed to all practices of the ADF such as love and kindness for one another; courtesy and respect in language and actions; and refraining from actions that hurt or damage any person or property. We will be reviewing our own policies to ensure our community continues to grow with compassion and love.

If at any point you wish to speak on this, or any matter, do not hesitate to reach out.

Time as Senior Druid

My time as the Senior Druid of our grove is coming to an end. On Samhain, I will be stepping down and passing the torch back to Marc Meadows.

Over the past two years, I feel I was able to accomplish a lot of my wish list, but at the same time I feel I didn’t have quite enough time to finish. The plan, of course, will be to continue working on these aspirations, but I thought I might make a list of all that has come to fruition…

Grimoir

I have always felt that we needed a physical manifestation of what our grove represented –something that we can change and mold as we continue developing our paths. This would not be any sort of Bible or absolute law of what we believe, but would be a representation of who and what we are and where we came from, as well as a learning tool for our families. At this time, we have drawn up a lot in the sense of content and what we want to add to the book, but making it physical has not yet come to fruition.

Now, this doesn’t mean the project has been a failure. We have commissioned local artists for work and have streamlined a lot of our rituals into one standard look. The content of the book has very much come along and so far it looks amazing!

New Members

This has been more of a 50/50 project.

One of our stronger rules is “No Proselytizing”. We never push our beliefs or ideals on others and we hope to never make others uncomfortable with their own beliefs. Everyone is entitled to believe what they wish, and we strive to welcome and support all individuals who decide our path may be for them. In the last two years, we have attracted one new member and accepted a past member back into our grove, while at the same time saying “goodbye” to two members. The reasons of those two members for leaving are their own, and both left knowing they will always be welcome back.

As a leader, people leaving the grove is a little hard to swallow. Could I have done more to make them feel included? Did something happen that made them feel uncomfortable? What could I have changed that might have made them change their minds? In the end, as I’ve said, leaving was their choice and both assured me the decisions were for personal reasons unrelated to the Grove or it’s members.

I did my best.

Environmental Activism

This one I can say had little to do with our own shortcomings and more to do with government bureaucracy. I, personally, would like to see our Grove do more with the land, be it environmental activism or even participation. So far, we have attempted two highway clean-ups, but both times the government offices involved with these projects had mishaps with our paper work preventing us from legally cleaning up the highway. These experiences were pretty frustrating on our side, but we are making plans to try again this year.

Land Purchase

One of the larger project I want to see us accomplish over the coming years will be for us as a Grove to purchase land. This land, I hope to see used by all the members of the Pagan community. I’d love to see it be a place of pagan worship for all paths. So, this year, we finally took some steps to get this project started, and we have some exciting fundraising efforts set to take place over the next while. This was never a project I expected to completely in my tenure as Senior Druid, but I am happy to see it started and hopefully it will keep momentum.

Community Outreach

A difficult thing for most pagan paths is community outreach. I view this as a two part process:

  1. To reach out to the local Pagan community. To let them know we are here and welcoming, open to new members, and eager to help in whatever ways we can, be it holding rituals, hosting “meet and greets”, or simply taking part in larger community events;
  2. To reach out to the general, non-pagan population and just say, “Hey, we are here and there is no reason to be afraid of Pagans.”

We made a fantastic connection with the Nova Scotia Health Authority this year, where we helped them add religious identifiers (“Pagan”, “Wiccan”, “Heathen”, and “Druid”) to their administrative systems, and are presently working to a) identify individuals to serve as pagan “chaplains” for inpatients seeking  spiritual care and b) provide generic altar boxes containing such items as sage, candles, deity statues, etc. to have on hand. This project is something we are very proud of. Additionally, we are trying to actively partake in more charity events, such as donating backpacks and school gear at return to school time and turkeys to FEED NS at Christmastime. Finally, not so much me, but one of our members, Dan Negus, has represented our Grove and has lead and encouraged our participation in Halifax’s annual Interfaith Harmony Week. That has been amazing.

Regional Druid for ADF

The next step, I feel, for me is to become more involved with ADF. I have spoken to the current Regional Druid and hope, with her help, to run for the position when it becomes vacant in a year and a half. I put my hat in for this last year, but semi-abandoned the idea as the election approached, mostly due to personal time restraints and a desire to focus more of my attention on our own Grove. I now feel I am ready to step forward and help others.

Druid Retreat

The last major project I hope to focus a lot more on now that my term as Senior Druid has ended is the creation of an east coast “Druid Retreat”. We have been discussing a weekend where our Grove and anyone who identifies as a druid can sit and discuss community, philosophy, and the general world around us. I hope to have more info on this as the time comes.

Overall, I am very happy with what has happened over the last two years, but I feel it’s good to look back on what one has done well and poorly and to grow from that, much like a tree that takes damage and a new limb sprouts.

Turkeys for all!

2015-12-21 11.36.06 HDR Around Yule, it is easy to get pulled into the commercialism that surrounds the holidays and run out to buy everything in sight. Between decorating, having the “right snacks”, and picking ” the perfect gift”, things can quickly get out of hand. What’s more, not having the ability to participate in the holiday festivities (provided this is something you desire to do) can be even harder. No family (or individual) should have to go without if it can be helped.

This year, the Grove of Nova Scotia Druids decided to donate a few turkeys and stuffing to a local food bank. Each of us felt it was an extremely important and valuable experience. Feed Nova Scotia had the means to store turkeys weeks before the holidays, and allowed for drop-offs Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. We are happy to share that, thanks to the small donations made by our little group, three families got turkey with stuffing this year. We truly hope they enjoyed it!

Brightest Yule Blessings for all — we give thanks for the gift of giving.

Hail and Welcome!

You have just discovered the blog of the Grove of Nova Scotia Druids (hereby –probably– to be referred to simply as “the Grove” or “GNSD”). For factual and [hopefully] up-to-date information on who we are and what we stand for, click around the rest of the website or drop us a line, either through the “Contact Us” tab or by directly commenting on a post here.

In the meantime, let us tell you what this blog is –or perhaps “could be”– all about…

On this first step of our blogging journey, our direction remains somewhat ambiguous. In future posts, we may use this space to share our personal experiences, beliefs, and opinions, both as a group and as individuals of that group. We may use this space to present stories, legends, teachings. We may talk about virtues. We may highlight Paganism in the news. We may toss up pictures of past rituals. We may invite you to upcoming ones. Heck, we may just shoot ya a line here and there to let you know what we’ve been up to.

Either way, we are a fun-loving, passionate group of people who share a common belief, and we are ever looking forward to making new discoveries, growing as people, and sharing laughs. We invite you to join us.

Welcome!

🙂