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.

New Supply Store in Halifax!!

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Haligonians and HRM residents there is a new Pagan supply shop!!!

After Little Mysteries closed last August we were all at a bit of a loss for supplies in the local HRM area and turned to the internet. Well, now there is no need! The Neighborhood Witch store will be opening September 9th, 2015 for all our crafty needs. You can read more about Pamela McInnis’ new venture in the following links.

Good luck Pamela and to everyone else, shop local where possible 🙂

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http://www.thecoast.ca/Shoptalk/archives/2015/04/27/get-swept-away-by-broom-closet-tarot

https://www.facebook.com/putmeon?hc_location=timelines

AEGIS 2015

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We were fortunate this Lughnasadh in that most of the Grove was able to make the trip down to the beautiful Annapolis Valley to celebrate together, as a family and as part of a larger community, at the annual AEGIS Pagan Festival & Spiritual Retreat.

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This year’s festival theme was “The Wild Hunt”, which was reflected in the activities, feasts, and rituals. The GNSD was well-represented throughout the festival, participating in numerous rituals, stepping up to perform a number of volunteer duties, engaging in many a conversation, and taking home three “Golden Pine Cone Awards”.

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Overall, the AEGIS Festival proved a time for…

Connecting with old friends and meeting new, deep spirituality, bug spray, coyotes, bacon bacon bacon, a sense of community, “energy”, jaunts to the beach, campfires, marshmallows, mead horns, potlucks, baby coos, trees, breezes, sunshine, bare feet, face painting, workshops, offerings, playful puppies, broken tent poles, barbed wire, chicken saute, pallet bridges, water buckets, swollen feet, “bad” cider, coffee, ice cream, cool streams, smiles, laughter, love

…and photographs (some of which you see here).

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A wonderful and memorable weekend hand by all. We hope and intend to return next year.

🙂

Adopt a Highway

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The Proto-Grove of Nova Scotia Druids will be adoption a 5km stretch of highway though the Adopt a Highway Program http://novascotia.ca/agri/wins/adopt/

We are looking for volunteers to come out and help make our planet a little cleaner. If you like to spend time in the sun and help out Mother Earth please contact us using the email below. Date is TBD in August pending a permit and group availability and we are all very excited.

Hope to see you there!

Please email karen@aperturestudios.ca to join in the fun

Imbolc 2015 (Event)

Saturday night’s Imbolc event was a great success. The ritual was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the number of people positively flooding through the doors was fantastic!

Unfortunately, with all our focus being directed into set-up and participation in the ritual itself, none of us managed to capture any particularly share-worthy photos of the celebration. That being said, we did manage to get our hands on this one:

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The Triskele Altar (Clootie Tree and well), photographed by a friend of Alba Nuadh and posted with permission.