Beltane Ritual

logo
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 merlynn11@hotmail.com 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”.

 

Ostara: A Peak Into [Personal] Traditions

With Ostara behind us and Beltaine soon upon us, we realized it might be a good time (even if a bit belated) to share the personal Ostara traditions of one of our members and his family, before moving forward to new celebrations…

On the morning of Ostara, this member, his wife, and their young son get out big mason jars and fill them with water. These jars are then taken outside where they can catch the first rays of sunshine on that blessed day, and are left out to “charge” while the family returns to the indoors to enjoy a good brunch.

Following their meal, the three of them work together to do a clean up of the house, starting from the top floor and sweeping down and toward the front door, symbolically pushing out any bad energy they may have collected.

Following the cleaning, they collect the crystals they have placed throughout their home and, using some of the water from the jars outside, they cleanse or “recharge” the crystals. The rest of the day is devoted to crafts and games, and in the evening they  have friends over for a feasting.

 

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!

-K

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 : https://www.pinterest.com/tressabelle/adf-druid-kidsparenting/ 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!

-K

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:

Imbolc 2015 - Altar

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

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!

-K

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!

🙂