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.


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.