December 14, 2005

November 7, 2005

Book Release: "Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter"

"Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter," Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield's new book, is a novel that porportedly draws upn the Druid Tradition. It looks interesting and has my attention. I've put it on my wish list and know several other Druids that will want to read it.

August 14, 2005

Oh My Gods!

I recently encountered "Oh My Gods!" which is one of the funniest comics strips I've seen in years. My first encounter was with the February 4th, 2004 edition and really enjoyed it. I think that I'll contact them when I decide to bring Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick back next Spring.

June 5, 2005

Supreme Court Upholds Prisoners' Religious Freedom

Americans United for Separation of Church and State reported that Supreme Court Upheld Prisoners' Religious Freedom:


A unanimous Supreme Court ruling reaffirmed religious liberty.

The court upheld the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), a federal law that prohibits government from limiting prisoners' religious freedom without first showing a compelling reason.

The lawsuit was brought by adherents of “nonmainstream” religions: the
Satanist, Wicca, and Asatru religions, and the Church of
Jesus Christ Christian who claimed the Ohio prison system failed to accomodate free exercise of religion.

We have had problems with several state prisons not delivering Druidic materials to inmates.

May 23, 2005

Druid Army?

I really enjoyed the original Star Wars, and liked the second and third installments. I didn't care for the fourth and fifth installments for many reasons. I was looking forward to seeing the final installment (Episode III) Revenge of the Sith but now I read , in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that there is a Separatist druid army that nspires the war-weary Senate to hand over its power to a dictator. Great. A Druid Army sounds like an oxymoron to me. I was looking forward to seeing the movie, but now.... Sigh. I guess I'll wait for it to come out on video.

March 25, 2005

Druid Candidates in Carlisle

The News & Star published an opinion regarding the upcoming election in Carlisle (UK) that "Careful scrutiny of election pamphlets will be needed, in order to eliminate those with a tendency towards the occult, citing membership of extreme religious cults or witches’ covens and attending Druid ceremonies."

Wow! From the sounds of it, there must be several Pagans running. What a progressive place. I'll have to add it to my travel plans.

March 23, 2005

Druid Temple in San Francisco

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the SF Girls Chorus was close to having a home at 44 Page Street. The building, nearly 100 years old was originally built as a druid temple. It apparently still has some charming architectual traces of its past including Greek column capitals and a sculpted goddess head here and there.
A quick look across the internet failed to find any photos of or from the building. Any Druid's in the San Francisco area want to take some photos? I'd be very interested in seeing details from the building.

March 13, 2005

Book Release: Oak: The Frame of Civilization

New book of interest to Druids on the Horizon.

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc. announced a publishing date of June 2005 for "Oak: The Frame of Civilization" by William Bryant Logan.

According to the publisher it is "An elegantly written natural, cultural, and eventful history of the oak tree -- and the interaction between oaks and men. Logan tells an enthralling story and makes a convincing case that as a supremely adaptable and generous instrument of human needs and desires, the oak tree not only was shaped by, but shaped the human.
Of course, as a Druid, I am particularly interested in what Logan has to say about the interactions between oaks and men. I've added it to my wish list.

You can purchase it on Amazon.Com (Advance Sales).

Product Details:
  • ISBN: 0393047733
  • Hardcover, 320pp
  • Pub. Date: June 2005
  • List Price: $24.95

March 12, 2005

Thieves steal statue from (OBOD) Druid Grove

The Contra Costa Times reported that thieves removed a carving from a Druid Grove (Grove of Mannan mac Lir) in Walnut Creek, CA. The report indicated that although the 100 pound statue was taken, the local authorities did not consider it to be a hate crime.

I was very pleased to see that the article did not ridicule or otherwise belittle Druids, their beliefs or their practices.

Grove of Mannan mac Lir is an OBOD Grove and has a web site.

March 9, 2005

Dial a Druid Chatline?

IOL: Travel: "Interestingly, there are still Druids in Wales today and, what's more, there's a dial-a-Druid chatline for help in life. For more on Welsh history, check out www.cadw.wales.gov.uk"

Saw an article "Visit a Welsh pub and make new friends" by Roger Godlightly in the IOL News (South Africa) that was promoting visits to Wales (March 04 2005).

The article mentions that there's a Dial-A-Druid chatline in Wales. I couldn't find an E-Mail address for Mr. Godlightly and I 've tried contacting VisitBritain and see if they know about the number. Anyone know the number or what type of "help in life" they provide?

February 21, 2005

Ancient Druid Altar for Druid Sacrifices?

The Juicee News Daily had an article about "Haunted Places in the United Kingdom."
The article talks about the Chislehurst Caves as "a labyrinth of dark, eerie mysterious passageways which have been hewn by hand from the chalk, deep beneath Chislehurst. There are over 20 miles of caverns and passageways, dug over a period of 8000 years. The vast complex of caves are a maze of ancient mines originally carved out in the search for flint and chalk. They are divided into three main sections, Saxon, Druid and Roman. Each section was later connected by digging joining passages. There is a haunted pond deep within the caves, the legend goes that a white lady appears and floats across the water. For many years there was a reward for anyone who could spend the night alone down in the caves, to date there have been some unsuccessful attempts, but so far nobody has been able to do it.. There is also an ancient Druid altar where sacrifices were carried out in the Druid section of the caverns."
It certainly looks like a place I'd like to add to my itinerary when I travel to the London area. Their website doesn't appear to have any photos of the alleged altar though. I haven't seen any clear evidence that ancient Druids actually performed sacrifices. I wonder what evidence they have....

Cedar Grove Druid Fellowship member presents paper.

Saw an article in The Western Front Online that indicated that Western students to attend United Nations conference:
"[Kipp] Trembley is a member of the Cedar Grove Druid Fellowship in Bellingham. He said Pagan Druidry is an earth-based faith and the fellowship focuses on services through eco-ministry, or environmental projects.
Trembley said he wrote his paper for the conference on a Druidic perspective of community. As a Druid facing judgment from many people, Trembley said he has a vested interest in communication. He said he is looking forward to discussing many aspects of religion and culture at the conference."
It is always good to see positive press for Druid groups. The group's web site indicates that they were established in 2003. Although they call themselves "A Druid Fellowship", they don't appear to be affiliated with ADF.

Ancient Druid Rituals inspire jewelry designs.

The News Letter, the Pride of Northern Ireland has an interesting article, "Pooling Together The Mystical Past And Modern Fashion Taste"
"Maureen McCullagh, 32, has been inspired to produce hand-crafted jewellery through her own interest in an ancient druid ritual involving gazing pools which druids used to tell the future. Maureen's company is named Gazing Pool Design, taking inspiration from the concept."
She has a brochure and some interesting concept in Jewelry making. The web site she has on her brochure doesn't appear to work.

------------------------

Follow-up:
Maureen (Nelson) informs me that the correct web address is: thegazingpool.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk
She also indicates that she has another site for her Celtic cards at celticards.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk

Action Alert: Writer disrespects Druid worship!

Matthew Lynn's article "Hunting Ban Shows British Tolerance Under Threat" take a low shot at Druids and Druidism.

Matthew Lynn at Bloomberg.com:
"It is quite respectable to disapprove of hunting. There is clearly something distasteful about setting hounds onto foxes for entertainment. Then again, there are plenty of things that people do that others find morally reprehensible: boxing, pornography, heavy drinking, druid worship, or paying hedge-fund managers millions of pounds a year to press a few buttons on a computer."

His equating Druid worship with pornography and fox hunting shows a clear lack of tolerance, respect, and the views of others. Does he know anything about Druid worship? I seriously doubt he has any understanding that Druid worship is about honoring the ancestors, revering the spirits of nature, and worshipping deity nor that he knows what Druid Beliefs are.

I suggest E-Mailing Mr Lynn at matthewlynn@bloomberg.net or his editor, Bill Ahearn at bahearn@bloomberg.net and let them know the portrayal of Druids with the very things they find distasteful is reprehensible.

Article about Emma Restall Orr in Church of England Newspaper

Attracted by the Druids
There is an interesting article about Emma Restall Orr (aka Bobcat) in the Church of England newpaper. The article explains a lot of her formative information and how she came to Druidism. There was an Interview with Emma back in 1996 that was published in Issue 30 of Keltria Journal.
There are many quotes from Emma including here belief that, “[Paganism] connects individuals and communities to the non human world.” It is a good read and provides excellent insight into Druidism and the head of one of the major British branches The Druid Network.

January 17, 2005

Druids should focus on spiritual issues.

MPs blast 'tawdry' Politics Idol show: "Although ITV is refusing to reveal the finalists' identities, the competitors include a former porn activist campaigning on prostitutes' rights, the druid Arthur Pendragon and a single mother who wants to reform housing benefit. The eventual winner will be allowed to stand in any constituency.

I've seen a lot of press about "Vote for Me," the British Reality TV show on ITV. Most of the material talks about the Celtic Druid who is lumped in with all of the other odd-ball people (porn star who insisted on taking her top off, a shaven-headed dude who want people offenders publically flogged)

Sir Bernard Ingham, Margaret Thatcher's former press secretary, called the group a "bunch of nutters" (see BBC News) and it is hard to disagree.

It wasn't until I saw this article that I learned who the proported Druid was. I think that Arthur Pendragon does a lot to damage the credibility of Druids world-wide. I sincerely wish he would focus his attention on valuable Druidic spiritual issues instead of narcissism.

January 10, 2005

No new Celtic or Druidic Offerings from Inner Traditions

I received the latest Inner Traditions/Bear & Company catalog (Spring-Summer 2005). I certainly have mixed feelings about the latest turn in books. Dan Brown's books are extremely popular but to see a catalog where none of the new books are Celtic or Druidic (or even Wiccan for that matter) is disheartening. On the other hand, maybe that means that being Celtic is no longer the "in thing." I didn't see any books of particular interest to me; but my friend Dan might find Colloidal Minerals and Trace Elements: How to Restore the Body's Natural Vitality worth looking at. There is a CD on Ritual Drumming: Evoking the Sacred through Rythms of the Spirit that is of interest. It is to be released in April 2005 ISBN 1594770727. I guess I'll put it on my wish list.