Litha or Summer Solstice is on its way and it made me wonder…with all the different names for each holiday which is best suited (to me) and why are there so many names!? Well, to each his own but, I thought it may be interesting to discuss exactly what a “solstice” is.

A solstice is an astronomical event which occurs twice a year when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point relative to planet’s semi – axis in either the northern or southern hemisphere and that areas is most incline toward the sun. The word “solstice” itself is derived from the Latin “sol” (sun) and “sistere” (to stand still).

For us, in the northern hemisphere the Summer Solstice takes place late June. It is a time of year when the days are long and bright. The land is very fertile and warm thus we celebrate it for giving us nourishment, fertility and life.

It always boils down to being pretty simple doesn’t it J

Spreading the Ashes

wood-ashes-xIt has long been a dream of mine to have a nice fire pit in the yard, this weekend the dream was finally realized and we were able to burn the wooden archway from our handfasting ceremony. It has long since fallen over and crashed so I was happy to see it put to further use. But, this brought up the topic of what to do with the ashes…. I know Belfire ashes get spread in the garden and smudged on faces. The ashes would be sprinkled over the crops to promote growth and continue the full circle of life… but it made me wonder…how good can it be? Am I growing the right kind of crops? So I did a little research to share…

Wood ash, as oppose to coal ash, contains potassium / potash which is a vital nutrient for rich crops. The pot ash regulates the plants water balance (much as it does in humans) and makes the fruit or veggies firm and juicy. Without enough in the soil plants are susceptible to drought, frost, pests (like snails or slugs) and other diseases.

Pot ash can also be spread in the home compost (but not in green bins by HRM law) the ash is Alkaline and will raise the PH levels in your soil so sprinkle it gently rather than heaping it in. It is best used dry to maintain its potency and value.

Potash is great for crops like root vegetables, peas, beans, apple trees and soft fruit bushes. Acid loving produce like potatoes or berries do not thrive with too much potash. If you plan to use pot ash and are not sure what effect it will have it is best to test the PH of your garden and make reference to what you are growing. The see packet will have a recommended PH right alongside the sun, water and planting requirements.


Happy growing and bright blessings on your garden!

The Green Man

The other day I found myself trying to describe the Green Man to someone and it dawned on me that though many people have seen him, most don’t know his significance so I thought I might talk a little about that…

For many, the Green man is an old British character from folklore; a myth; a decoration and a popular name for pubs. For me however, he is a God of Growing, life, decay and death. He is the embodiment and life force behind all vegetation. He is the energy of the plant world and its continuous cycle. He is the intention behind all growth and the result of it.


The Green Man is not a compassionate god. He lives to live. In the Spring he is renewed and happy, growing and progressing. Come Summer, he becomes cautiously optimistic and at full potential but, Fall is coming and he knows the struggle that lies ahead with Winter respite. It is easy to see how the Green Man can influence and guide us in our every day life. All things are cyclical and there is comfort in that.


The topic had come up because I was commissioning a sketch for our family Grimoire and the artist had genuine interest in making this personal to us. While trying to find inspirational images for him I came across this fantastic tutorial (,-green-man.htm ) and it occurred to me that it would be a fun craft to draw you own and include some of the plants local to your area or yard. This could be a fun way to make him special to you.

Beltane Traditions

With May 1st just around the corner, I thought it a good idea to post some traditional Beltane activities. You can do these with your family, Grove or even in solidarity. Whichever works best for you. Take your time and practice mindfulness. Everything you do can be Spiritual this time of year (or any for that matter)


Beltane is the third in Spring Holidays and it celebrates the return of fertility to the land. It is a time where the veil between the two worlds is thin and a chance to promote fertility and purity where ever you seek it. Below a couple traditional activities for Beltane (May 1st)


Traditionally a large pole is erect with eight or so ribbons attached to be held while dancing creating a braid around the pole. This action symbolizes the union of the masculine and feminine with representations of both respective energies.



Well, it’s exciting! This time of year is best celebrated with children and children love to dance. The upward momentum aids in improving moods and displaying oneself. Not to mention it is just plain fun. At one time dancing would have aided main a young couple with courtship. May is a good time of year for Handfastings or year and a day ceremonies.



We all love fire. Fire is used to purify and protect. Farmers and villages would at one point guide cattle thought two large fires to bless them for the year. You can pass though two fires or (with care) jump the fire to promote blessings, purification and promote fertility in any way you seek it.


Land tending:

This would be my favourite. Just last week with all the snow melted I tidied much of the debris from my poor winter swept lawn and it was fantastic. May is a good time to rake, clean, plane and fertilize. This is a perfect activity for any Druid looking to commune with nature and deal with the Honey-Do list. Promote fertility in your own land.


I hope this has helped you think of fun ideas for your practice, whatever form it takes. Blessed Beltane Everyone!

Beltane Ritual

The GNSD will be conducting Beltane on  May 2, 2015 at 2pm all are welcome but space is limited. The day will consist of a Grove led Ritual; Traditional Games; Fire Jumping; Maypole Dancing; Outdoor Pot Luck and later in the evening a Bardic Fire.

Please contact Marc at for directions and availability.

The Beltane Ritual is weather dependent. In the event of rain (or snow) the event will be canceled and any subsequent planning will be posted.

Spring Cleaning

“Spring Cleaning” started as a matter of practicality. In the winter, it is too cold, too wet, and the days are too short to get much of the housework done. You wouldn’t want to air your quilts or carpets in the snow, and you couldn’t re-thatch bedding or furniture, so it all stayed inside and everyone simply did their best to keep the mess at bay.

As soon as Spring comes, cleaning strikes like an uncontrollable urge. The days are longer and, suddenly, that extra bit of light helps you see the dust bunnies in that corner you never sweep or the cobwebs that have suddenly appeared. For a couple of days, there is intense planning and all our mayhem to get the house, and maybe even the yard, in shape.

With all that motivation and pent up cleaning energy in mind, here are a few things to think about…

“One man’s garbage…”: The old saying still holds true. Something may be worthless to you but priceless to someone else. Try putting items on a local trading/selling website, barring that you can also donate many gently used things to local charities. Make it easy for yourself. Create piles and give yourself time limits on selling your “junk”, so you can avoid the same situation next year. Less in the landfill is always the right answer.

“Clean house, clear head”: There is a deep sense of reward when the house is tidy, and it will make your daily routines much easier! Clean out the junk, reorganize a few spaces, and voila! You may find yourself letting go of the tension you didn’t even realize you had. Besides, cleaning up and having a fresh slate makes room for new and exciting projects.

“Style is an option, clean is not”: I’m not fear mongering. Well, I’m not trying to… But here it is… A dirty home can affect your health and the health of your family in many ways, so if for some reason you are resisting the urge to dust, vacuum, and de-clutter, STOP IT! Cleaning up is well worth the extra effort.

When you’ve finished your physical cleanse, it may be a nice idea to tie in something spiritual as well. Try sweeping from the back to the front of your house, straight out the door. Or more generally clean from the back to the front of the house. This way, you can push all your dust and dirt right out the door for a renewed living space. If you would like to try something more formal, click here for a basic “House Cleansing Ritual”.


Funny hats, Green Beer and Religious Oppression?

It’s a thing… As fun as today is and as much as we all love the comradery, let’s not forget the origins and placement of Saint Patrick’s Day.

St. Partick’s claim to fame isn’t Beer, Leprechauns or Pots of Gold, but the fact that he drove all the “snakes” out of Ireland. During a 40 day fast, it is said that the snakes attacked St. Patrick and as a result he drove them all into the ocean. The snakes, in this case, sadly represent Pagans, Celts to be more specific.

What’s the harm? Let it be? Sure, but let’s look a little bit more…

March 17th isn’t an arbitrary date. It was carefully placed to supersede Ostara (Spring Equinox). I suppose this made the transition easier for some to convert, similar to the inclusion of the Mother Mary for those following a Goddess rich path. How about the traditional symbol of the three-leafed shamrock, a symbol of the Christina Holy Trinity perhaps?

So there it is. Drink your beer and have your fun, but perhaps raise a glass in memory of those who were exiled from their homes for their beliefs.

In preparation for Ostara

Continuing with the theme of family- or Grove-based activities, I thought it might be nice to share a couple of Ostara-based activities. Open yourself up like a blossoming flower and share your splendour.

Firstly, the traditional egg dye. This is always a winner, but why not put a fun twist on it and take the eggs outside! No muss, no fuss! Colour your eggs and set them out around the yard as decoration. You can hide them for little ones or just enjoy adding to your space. Better still, crush them up into a colourful fertilizer for the gardens. The calcium in eggshells will help your plants grow.

Looking for more fun in the new sun? Try a natural walk! I know, Druids suggesting natural walks… this doesn’t seem new. This time, try watching for emerging new life. You can document it by writing it down, drawing it or photographing it. It can be a fun game for those looking to add a little more to their stroll.

How about some Spring Cleaning? You can almost always use a good cleaning, but if your house is already spic and span try going outside and looking for something to clean up. Maybe around your favourite tree or park bench. There are lots of public places that could use a little TLC and if you want to work with your family or grove you can conquer even more. This is a great motivator for yard work as well. Take a moment to reflect and tie it back to your core values; the changing season or new growth and the chores will seem less daunting.

It’s nearly time to start planting flora for those who are interested, why not plant your bulbs with mindfulness? With each bulb that you put in the ground or in a pot, envision the new growth and let it embrace you.

Finally, if it is still chilly and you cant take the cold, get to the kitchen! Make some hot crossed buns and enjoy some icing fun with pretty knots and symbols that are meaningful to your group or family (not to mention a delicious snack).

I hope you all get to enjoy at least one of these fun activities!


Resources for Druid Parents

I want to start this off by saying I have not yet had children of my own, but I do know that sometimes you can be too close to a situation to see or reach out for easy solutions. So, for those of you who are looking for ideas to maintain spirituality in houses with the pitter-patter of tiny feet, here are a few things that might make it a bit easier.

Tried, tested and true, the book for all Pagan paths is Pagan Parenting by Kristen Madden
Some other interesting reads are :
Circle Round by Starhawlk
and Celebrating the Great Mother by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw

If you are looking for story books, try:
A fairy went a marketing by Rose Fyleman
or any of the Lets Talk About books by Siusaidh Ceanadach

Where none of these resources are strictly Druid in nature, they are a great place to start building traditions for your family and introducing your child/children to spirituality at a young age.

If you are looking for activities at home to learn or even just keep kids in touch with nature, try checking out this Pintrest Page : It is loaded with crafts indoors and out for all seasons, including handmade offering bowls and Goddess Paper dolls. With these activities you can make learning fun!


Looking back…

Imbolc though not traditionally a time of reflection has prompted me to look back on the past few months at all our goings-on as a Grove. As we welcome the Spring and more sun we look forward to all the wonderful things to come but, lets not forget about what we have accomplished…

We’ve recently welcomed more members and are continuing to really flesh out a standard ritual for each of the high holidays. We are continuing to grow our presence in the community and will be taking part in a local Interfaith Event February 7th, 2015 to promote awareness and accessibility.

On the business side of things we have welcomed Brian Larter as Grove Organizer, Karen Larter as Scribe and Mike Van Den Hoke as Purse Warden all moving forward to really get things rolling.

With a little perseverance this momentum will keep and we will have more to offer the community

Bright Blessings to you all and have a great day!