“Happy Yule”

IMG_4616

IMG_4618

IMG_4633

IMG_4627  IMG_4629

IMG_4635

IMG_4615

From our Grove and family to you and yours, may we extend a very “Happy [belated] Yule“, “Merry Christmas“, “Happy Holidays“, and all the rest!

We are all oh so fortunate to find ourselves surrounded by amazing and inspiring people. On this day of celebration, we have feasted, exchanged gifts, laughed, and loved. To each other and to you we say thank you for being. May your days be eternally filled with love and warmth, and possibly an overload of cookies.

🙂

Family Times: Mead Making

One of the greatest aspects of this Grove is that we are, above all else, a family. We comprise a group of individuals who genuinely value each others’ thoughts, opinions, and feelings. We consult each other on all matters of importance, we share in stories, experiences, hardships, and sweet memories, and (!) we actually enjoy each others’ company outside of formally sanctioned, structure-based events (e.g. rituals).

This past weekend, most of us were able to get together for a morning of mead making. The process of making mead, like that of other alcoholic beverages (e.g. wine, beer), actually requires several steps, thus we were only able to complete the initial phase. (This basically involves measuring out and dissolving pounds and pounds of honey into large, sterilized buckets, and then mixing in a few key powdered ingredients. The full step-by-step instructions can be found at the link at the bottom of this post.)

The event proved to be a lovely kick-off to the Thanksgiving weekend, complete with love, laughter, baby-snuggles, coffee, and honey. (Mostly that last one.) The following are a few snapshots of the morning. Enjoy!

IMG_3985  12031557_830265680496_8289176205793009192_o

12087760_830265685486_5494201615187741641_o

12068577_830265730396_1125225425321328586_o

12068470_830265675506_1074781836227858926_o

IMG_3987  IMG_3988

“Look sexy, Dan! This is going on the blog.”

IMG_3989

IMG_3992  IMG_3961

A wonderful time spent among family!  -Karina xo

[Mead-making instructions will soon be posted here! Please check back later!]

Save

Save

Save

Mabon Ritual Celebration

What a fantastic Mabon celebration this weekend! Ritual and picnic went off without a hitch and, despite the rain, we even had a few guests, including (but not limited to) Erin Picard, our ADF Regional Druid who was down to visit all weekend. Thank you for visiting us! We were very pleased to have you with us for Mabon.

Mabon-10

The ritual took place at York Redoubt and highlighted the Harvest, with a strict focus on the rebirth that comes as nature falls. In our moments of reverence for the passing of the trees and the impending winter, we are also reminded of the regeneration that will come with spring and the fun new projects the winter months can yield. All participants were handed acorns as keepsakes or plant-ables to emphasize these values. The Oghams pulled were “Fir” and “Gooseberry”; great omens for a Harvest Festival.

Mabon-3

We’ve said a physical “goodbye” to one of our longest standing members, Marc, who is moving away but will be keeping in touch regularly and will come home to us again in what will hopefully be a short two years. He will always be in our thoughts and the Grove will always be his family.

Also of note this fine Nova Scotian murky day was the signing of our Charter. We will be sending off the paperwork to the ADF “Mother Grove” to acquire Full Grove Status, something we have striven to accomplish for many years.

Mabon-9 Mabon-8

Please enjoy a few pictures of our celebration. It was so nice to have guests come out and express their fondness for the Grove’s organization and comradery.

Mabon-11 Mabon-2 Mabon-4 Mabon-5

Mabon-7

 

AEGIS 2015

IMG_2994  IMG_2996 

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.

IMG_3003  IMG_3011

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”.

IMG_3046  IMG_3175

IMG_3055 IMG_3063-

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).

IMG_3081 IMG_3082

 

IMG_3098  IMG_3083

IMG_3111  IMG_3124

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

🙂

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”.

 

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.