Friday, June 1, 2012

New Thrones for the Gods



Wellspring 2012


Photos by A.J. Gooch
 One of the highlights of my year is always our Wellspring Gathering. Organized by our ADF Grove it is the host of ADF’s annual meeting, national Warrior Guild Games, the Wellspring Bardic Chair, the Artisan’s Guild gallery and competition and lots and lots more. It is also one of my best annual chances to see friends and colleagues from across the continent. I’m especially pleased at the growth of ADF in Canada and across the pond http://www.adf.org/groups/groves/ .


A table full of offerings to the gods.
 This year was packed with activities. We began at full speed on Thursday evening, with the installation of new images of the Earth Mother and the Keeper of Gates. For non-Druids, our rites always begin and end with special offerings to the Land Mother, or Mother of All, or Earth Mother. At the climax of each of our opening rites we open a Gate between the worlds, and ask a deity associated with sacred rites and limnality to aid us and ward us. In the Nemeton at the Brushwood Folklore Center that has always been Manannan Mac Lir, and so our Gatekeeper (GK) idol has always been male, this one is emphatically so…


The mound of the Nemeton, with the Old images.
 The installation rite was a work of Theurgy involving seven offerings to each of the idols, poetic invocation and vision. Once a good omen was received we began the ‘audience’, in which we sang as the entire company came up onto the mound to approach the eidola and see and be seen by the gods. Very juicy, and I must give special thanks to the artisans of Grove of the Midnight Sun for creating these masterly thrones for the Gods.

The rest of the event is a blur of activity. Four years ago we founded the Wellspring Bardic Chair competition. This year I competed for the first time, and won. Please allow an old bard a moment of smugness…

On the other hand my tolerance for whiskey seems to be changing as I get ever older. Live and learn – what choice do we have. Well we could learn before living it, but…

All life-lessons aside, we had an excellent Saturday night of food and music, a remarkable ritual full of music and poetry from the Bardic Guild and a powerful ordination and elevation of priests on Sunday night. I’m heard to grumble occasionally about ‘bureaucratic ritual’ taking over, however these community rites help us build our group reality across distances.

My comrades in Stone Creed, and all our gathered folk of Our Druidry, make an impressive array when we stand together. May the Old Ways grow in wisdom by our work.


4 comments:

Vanye said...

Congratulations on the weight loss, as well, Ian ;)

ditzydruid.com said...

Hubby and I had a wonderful time. Kudos to your grove and all their great work! Also, thanks for trying to help me get into the Artisan shed during the rain on Sunday. That meant a lot!

Ceworthe said...

Weight loss probably had alot to do with not being able to drink as much of the whiskey. Congratulations on both your weight loss and your winning the bardic chair. Wellspring was a good time as always, thanks to the hard work of Stone Creed Grove!

firewoman said...

In between allergy attacks I still did have a great time, even if I had to avoid going back into the nemeton after Saturday afternoon I think...

The icons are beautiful and as always SCG were awesome hosts. Thanks again!