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.

The 20th Annual Witches’ Ball and GNSD Raffle Basket!

 

Come out to support your local Pagan CKDU Radio Show, The Witching Hour, and to just have a ball. There will be music, drinks, and a costume contest!

The event will take at Menz & Mollyz Bar (2182 Gottingen St.), November 4th, starting at 9PM.

The Grove of Nova Scotia Druids will be hosting a raffle to raise funds for our “Land Acquisition Project”.  The basket will include lovely gifts from Rustic Revolutionary Pottery, Nude Bath Products, Mighty Oak Workshop, and much, much more. Tickets will go on sale at the event, so be sure to pick yours up for a chance to win a lovely basket of goodies.

A Declaration of Intolerance

In an effort to create a sense of solidarity for the right and good, while also taking a stand against such intolerance as racism and Nazism, the Grove of Nova Scotia Druids have added their name to a Declaration of Intolerance.

Please take a moment to read and consider.

www.pagandeclaration.com

Imbolc 2017

Now is the time of stirring, when the earth begins to soften and the waters to flow. While frost still bites and winds blow, and the light is growing stronger, and life begins to wake.

Imbolc is the day that we celebrate the passing of Winter and make way for Spring. It is the day we honour the rebirth of the Sun. It is also a day of celebrating the Celtic Goddess Brigid. […] This is a time for communing with her, and tending the light of her sacred flame. At this time of year, we will light multiple candles or lanterns to remind us of the passing of Winter and the entrance into Spring, the time of the Sun.

     

This past weekend, we joined the Pagan Presence Committee in the celebration of Imbolc as part of the 2017 Interfaith Harmony Week, a week which sees groups of multiple and diverse religions, faiths, and spiritualities open their doors to the public, inviting anyone interested in learning about and experiencing various traditions.

The evening opened with our Grove hosting a ritual, and followed with a “meet & greet”, where attendees got to explore a number of pagan tables and ask questions about the different paths and denominations. Snacks (including a chocolate fountain!! –yes, too exciting not to mention) were shared, and wonderful conversations were had. It was a lovely event, and we were pleased to be a part of it.

Happy Imbolc, everyone! <3

(All quotes are excerpts from the evening’s ritual, and photocred goes to Karen.)

Imbolc 2017 & World Interfaith Harmony Week

We are happy to announce that we will be conducting our 2017 Imbolc ritual as a part of Halifax’s World Interfaith Harmony Week, in conjunction with the Earth Spirit Society of Nova Scotia (ESSNS), on Saturday, February 4th.

The ritual will take place in south end Halifax, at the Universalist Unitarian Church (5500 Inglis Street), and will be followed by a “meet & greet” where various pagan organizations in the city will have displays and information about their traditions

Doors open at 6:30pm, and the ritual (with an opening welcome statement and introduction) will begin promptly at 7:00pm.

Thanks to the hard work of the Pagan Presence Committee and ESSNS, the Pagan community has had an increasing involvement with interfaith in Halifax, and the Grove of Nova Scotia Druids is happy to be a part of it again this year.

For more information about Interfaith Harmony Halifax, visit:  http://ihhalifax.ca/home/

For copy of the 2017 event guide, including all the events put on by different faith groups click here.

“Good Witch” – “ Bad Witch”

good-vs-bad

I recently came upon an article discussing the “crazies” in Pagan communities. Here, you should read it too:

http://badwitch.es/pagans-know-total-douchebags/

But I’ll give you some highlights…

 

A lot of pagans? Douchebags. Complete tools. So, so fucked up.

 

The thing with paganisim, witchcraft, wicca and all that jazz is that it is a religion of individuality, and the shadow side of that is that it can really easily turn into a religion of ego.

 

I couldn’t take it. I was done with the events where one douchebag would talk over the main speaker, just to prove how much he knew.

I was done hanging out with people who wanted to be witchy because they wanted to be edgy and cool.

I was done with the shallowness of it all, with the constant ego battles, with the drama and the showing off

 

 

Yes, yes, I know every community has them. But don’t you feel like ours attracts just a few more?

I have personally hit this wall more than once and proclaimed that, “I AM DONE” or, “THAT’S IT, I AM GOING SOLITARY.  But here’s the thing: each time I do, I somehow come back… With the support of the wonderful people I have met though my Grove, I continuously end up attending and even hosting “Meet & Greets”.

I can relate to Demi’s desire to draw back from what I call “holier than thou” pagans or the ones who believe the world is owed to them, but if I truly gave up I would never have met some of the wonderful people I now call my Grove.

So, keep trying. Pulling back can sometime give you much needed time to heal, but, when you are ready, be sure to reach out again and tag in someone new.

#prayfororlando

In light of the recent tragedy concerning the massacre of 50 individuals at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Halifax Pride, like a number of Pride organizations around the world, held a candlelit vigil as a show of support, solidarity, and love. The vigil, which was held Monday night, was incredibly moving, with well over 1,500 LGBTQ+ community members and their allies in attendance.

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(Photo cred: Stoo Metz)

Karina Furlan, a member of this Grove as well as the Halifax Pride Board of Directors, provided the following statements in a short interview, pre-vigil, with Halifolks:

“We’re all reacting to a big shock. We all already know that there’s hate out there towards us and there’s acts of violence towards members of our community every day, but something of this scale… I mean, just look at all of the people here today. In one day, hundreds and hundreds of people have rallied together to come out and be here to acknowledge what’s happened.

“Safe spaces are already kind of too few and far between in the LGBT community. I don’t even mean ‘spaces’ in the sense of physical places, but even existing in day-to-day life and being out is a big deal for a lot of people. So going to a place like a gay bar, where you’re assuming that you’re going to be accepted by everyone… and then to have that essentially shattered. It’s devastating.

“There are vigils and events that are happening like this all across the world right now and yesterday. I hope that everyone who is here this evening is looking around and seeing all the people who are here in solidarity and support of one another. I want people to carry this sense of solidarity always, not just as a reaction to something terrible. All these people are always here; love wins, and being aware that we’re stronger together is what’s most important right now.”

* * *

The following statement was also issued from the Mother Grove:

Our hearts go out today to all of the victims, family, and friends of those in the LGBT community who lost their lives in the senseless violence that claimed 50 lives and even more injured in Orlando, Florida yesterday. We struggle to understand how hatred and violence can tear apart the fabric of a city, a state, a nation, and the larger global citizenry that we look to as members of the human community. Let us please ask the Kindreds for guidance and blessing as we send our prayers and any help that we can muster to those shattered by this human tragedy. Please include the victims and all those touched by this great loss in your prayers and offerings.

Rev. Jean (Drum) Pagano
ADF Archdruid

Feature in The Wild Hunt

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A little feather in the cap of all Nova Scotia Druid Members: We were mentioned in the latest publication of The Wild Hunt.

Have a look: http://wildhunt.org/2016/06/pagan-interfaith-on-cape-breton-island.html

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Ottawa Pagan Conference

Had a wonderful day at the Ottawa Pagan Conference today.  While it was more a planning session with the various pagan groups within Ottawa, and less really what I expected as a conference, some wonderful things did come about from it.

Firstly, there is something wonderful to be said when the leaders or representatives of the various paths can come together to report on their groups’ past activities, give a brief look at what is being planned, and, more importantly, discuss common issues and devise ways to deal with them.  If the day was spent only doing this then, in my mind, it would be time well spent.  But more than that it fostered a wonderful working relationship between the representatives of the various groups…. Heathens, Druids, Witches… all collaborating.  It was a very refreshing atmosphere, and one I feel we could use more of.

Also included today was a wonderful talk given on Communication and Community by Marie Francois.  She teaches religion and such at the university.  I found this talk fascinating.  Many of the things we have expressed as a grove were touched upon in her talk through the fundamentals she laid out.  At the risk of a long blog entry, I will attempt to capture some of it.

To have effective community in any form, she postulated it requires very key elements:

  1. Proximity.  They either have to live close together or at least have more than sporadic physical interaction with each other.  We live and are dying as communities because the physical comradeship has been replaced with electronic messaging, phone calls and the like.  This is one of the reasons I feel the ADF made it that all rituals should be open and celebrated.  To bring people back together and in person, to reforge the bonds of community that are being lost.
  2. Continuity.  We have to be able to pass on what we know and what we learn.  We have to be able to share it with others.
  3. Custodians.  Every one of the community members needs to take responsibility to learn and share the history, myths, and customs.  By doing so, we create common language and understanding.  Furthermore, it allows the history to be alive and active.
  4. Common language.  As mentioned above… if we don’t understand the metaphors or myths that we work with, or we can’t find commonality, then we can’t communicate effectively
  5. Common vision.  In which direction do you want the community to strive?  This also represents the legacy that is passed down.

While I can’t put everything from the talk down into this blog, these are the basic points with which every group, and society in general, should be aligning itself.

My thanks to the organizers of the event.  I am also going to include a link (below) to a wonderful group that runs several of the festivals up here in Ottawa.  If you happen to be traveling this way, you might want to check out their schedule and see what is being offered.

Many Blessings

Raven’s Knoll Special Events Campground – they handle festivals for any and all of the pagan groups up here….  ravensknoll@rogers.com   or www.ravensknoll.ca

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.