November 9, 2010

Norma to play in Kansas City

I noticed that Bellini's opera Norma is playing at the Lyric Theater in Kansas City.  ( is reporting.)

If you don't know the story line, it is a story about a Druid high priestess who loves a Roman proconsul. She has two children by him. He grows tired of her and goes after a young temple virgin.  What is a Druidess to do?  The story is about her responses and is a tragic story of love and betrayal. The opera is it is regarded as the supreme height of the bel canto (beautiful singing) tradition and is considered an very diffcult lead for a soprano due to the range of both voice and emotion that must be sung.  I've never seen it but am looking for it to come to a place nearby some day.  The folks in Kansas City are lucky.  See ‘Norma’ brings bel canto to KC — and it was worth the wait - for details.

November 4, 2010

Cherry Hill Seminary at Pre-PantheaCon

I see that Cherry Hill Seminary will be hosting a Pre-PantheaCon seminar that looks to be particularly interesting, "Folklore, Culture & Authenticity in modern Paganism."  I certainly wish I were in California in February.  If I were, I'd attend; it looks really interesting.  If any of you do attend, let me know how it went.  See Winter Conference 2011 for details. The Day-long conference will be held February 17, 2011, the day before PantheaCon, at the DoubleTree Hilton, 2050 Gateway Place, San Jose, California. I wish I could be there.

October 27, 2010

Thank you Phil Ryder!

Phil Ryder - Chairman of the Trustees for the Druid NetworkThere has been a lot of news reports about the Druid Network receiving recognition by the Charity Commission in the UK.  The Lancashire Telegraph is reporting that Phil Ryder, of Richmond Terrace, led the campaign.  Phil is the Druid Network trustees chairman. After a four-year fight, the Charity Commission recognised Druidry(sic) as a religion which qualifies it tax breaks.  As a 501(c)(3) organization in the US, we understand the importance of such recognition.  Most Americans don't understand how different it is in a country with an established religion and that religious diversity is new there.  Thank you Phil.  Your victory there paves the way for others to follow both in the UK and in other countries.   

I found it interesting that Phil mentioned some of the places Druids in Lancashire meet and worship.  Popular spots Sunnyhurst Woods, in Darwen, and Pendle Hill. I hope to get an invite when I visit the UK.

For more information see: Darwen man wins Druid campaign (From Lancashire Telegraph)

Interesting Article about Robin Gibb gives Druid connection

Ran into an interesting article regarding Bee Gee Robin Gibb.  His wife of 26 years, Dwina Gibb, is a Druid. According to the article she was ordained as a Druid Patroness at Summer Solstice in 1992 at Primrose Hill in North London.  A very Nice Photo is included with, what appears to be, Philip Shallcross in the background.

I'm looking forward to seeing Dwina's new project, an illustrated mythical storybook called Starchild.

October 21, 2010

California Prison Pagan Recognition Lawsuit

For those of you who don't know,  Rev. Patrick McCollum is engaged in litigation (McCollum, et al. v. CDCR, et al., C 04-03339 CRB) challenging
the California Department of Corrections' "Five Faiths" policy which recognizes only five major world religions for inclusion in California's prison chaplaincy program.

There is a short video, about the case on You Tube,

Circle Sanctuary has an update on their website and background information along with what you can do to support the process on their Patrick McCollum page.

I hope his appeal goes well. 

/|\ Tony


September 18, 2010

2011 Lunar Calendar

Our long-time friends at Luna Press have published their 2011 Lunar Calander. It has always been a great way to know what the moon is doing.  Check it out.


September 7, 2010

West Virginia - There Be Druids There

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that 130 different parties are registered in West Virginia including the Druid Party.  I wonder who they are?

See: If traditional politics bore you, consider the Toga Party for details.


August 21, 2010

Obama is a "Reform Druid"

The Atlantic had a really odd posting that was apparently meant to be a joke, but wasn't funny.  Jeffrey Goldberg indicated that President Obama is a "Reform [sic] Druid" which means he "only worships shrubbery."  I don't get it.  At least Mr. Goldberg capitalized "Druid."  See the entire bit at:

Is Obama a Muslim? - Politics - The Atlantic


June 24, 2010

National Geographic Photos for the Solstice

National Geographic ran a photo series of Solstice photos.  Stunning images included the ever photogenic Arthur Pendragon conducting a sunset service near Stonehenge, Slavic Neopagans gathered in a Russian forest, and Bolivian Indians welcoming the return of the sun (Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere).
Definitely worth seeing.  Some of the images will end up with my other "wallpaper" images.

Cornish Druid lifts curse on Engl

The Cornish Guardian reported that a Cornish Druid, Ed Prynn, lifted a curse on England's World Cup soccer team which was put on them by an African witch doctor.  I don't condone asking the gods to be involved in sports activities, but lifting a curse put on by someone else is okay.  Thanks Ed.
See: Curse of African witch doctor lifted from England squad by Cornish druid
England need all the help they can get to beat Slovenia today and advance to the second round of the World Cup....

Ed Prynn, the Archdruid of Cornwall, says he has lifted the magical burden that was placed on the team in Cape Town — by an African witch doctor.

The 73-year-old mystic, from Padstow, said that the likes of Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard, who have so far performed poorly at the tournament, will now be free to wreak havoc on opposition defences.

"I have lifted the curse put on the England team by a witch doctor in
Africa," he said.

June 3, 2010

Druid reduces traffic fatalities in Austria

Druids use rock and magnets to stop road accidents |
Certainly, I received more emails from folks pointing me to this article about Druid Ilmar Tessmann than I have received about any other news article in recent years.  It is a very interesting article about how he "tunes into the energy waves and apparently helps to reduce the number of fatalities at an accident blackspot."  I'm not sure that the photo nor the photo caption has much to to with the story, but, it is clear he's doing something.  He is apparently burying plastic slates with magnets to neutralize radiation from a cell tower and then reduce traffic accidents. He has no explanation about why it works, but shows a statistical improvement over the past years. Great article and positive press for Druids.  Well done Ilmar and keep up the work.

May 15, 2010

Wyoming prison supports volunteer faith-based organizations, including Druid

The Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, Nebraska) reported that the new Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution
Torrington, WY.) is teaming up with its host community in more ways
than one.  The article indicates that, "
Among the many religions and volunteer faith-based organizations
represented are American Indian, Baptist, Catholic, Islamic/Muslim,
Jewish, Mennonite and Wiccan/Druid. A sweat lodge is also under

It is always wonderful to see alternate religions included with mainstream religions in the prison systems.  So often Druids and other alternative practitioners are disenfranchised.  I'll be interested to see or hear how the Wiccan/Druid practitioners do at WMCI. 

Religious Tolerance is a Symbod of Civilization

The Times (London) has an interesting article regarding Witchcraft, Druidism, and Paganism where in they indicate that the sign of a civilized society is its tolerance and acceptance of alternative religions. They say, in part, "Today the wheel has turned full circle... it is a mark of civilised society that those who follow these beliefs are accorded the same rights as those who follow mainstream faiths."

The article also mentions that the "Pagan Federation — set up in 1971 — is gaining influence and has become
main liaison body between pagan ministers and hospitals, prisons and
authorities."  Besides, the Pagan Federation noted there, there is also a Pagan Federation International.

April 24, 2010

Two Druid Circles in Golden Gate Park

Melissa Griffin reports that the circles in are back in business -- two of them in Golden Gate Park (San Francisco). One is near the western boundary of the AIDS memorial grove, the other is west of the Japanese Tea Garden.  I don't believe either group is Keltrian, but, I'd be interested in finding out more about them.  Who they are, who is leading them, etc. 

Melissa go on to indicate that the park landscape architect was looking for rocks to finish up a Rhododendron Dell renovation. Near the AIDS memorial grove, he found a series of beautiful, hand-carved limestone rocks and began moving them to his project. (He works for the City and they are City property, after all.)  What he didn’t know was that he was dismantling a Druid circle. The Druids were, according to Melissa, upset and "demanded" their religious rocks back.  The Parks Department arranged for their safe return and all is well again.

March 20, 2010

Keltria web ranking dropping

I noticed that the Henge of Keltria website is dropping web popularity according to Alexa. If you have a website, please add a link to the Keltria website ( It will improve our "Sites Linking In" which should improve our web popularity. That will help raise us in web searches. See for links.

March 10, 2010

Thoughts on Keltrian Ritual

I ran into an interesting Blog where the individual talked about looking in to the Henge of Keltria.

thoughts on Druidry and Celtic Reconstructionism « Ozark Pagan Mamma
I read about a group that broke away from ADF mainly for this reason- the Henge of Keltria. I looked into this group, but was disappointed to find that in creating their form of Druidism, they changed too many things from the way they were done in their parent group. For instance, they made ritual even more elaborate than ADF’s– my tendency is toward KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). More steps were added to the rituals, and an elaborate system of ritual tools was created. They also made the groups initiatory and closed instead of public and open.
Certainly, the construction of ritual space is a little bit more complex than I recall ADF rituals being, but there isn't much more involved with the rest of the ritual. There are many things in Keltrian Ritual that are optional and, of course, the tools is one of them. Ritual tools in Keltrian Ritual are trappings and are not necessary to accomplish the goal. We often recommend that if you don't have, or can't use a sickle that a cupped hand can be used just as well.

Yes, Keltrian Druidism is initiatory. That said, the vast majority of the rituals are public or semi-public. I use the term public, because some groups can and do rituals where anyone can show up, but the majority of groves hold ritual in privately owned spaces, usually someone's home, where an invite is expected or the individual comes with someone who is known. I personally try to keep the "creep-o's" out of my home and I would never invite a "creep-o" to someone else's home that I wanted to be invited back to. The "Great Eight" Feasts and the Mistletoe Rite are open. Only the Vervain Rite is initiates only. The reason it is closed is that it is a magic working ritual. In working magic it is important for the group to develop group mind and work in unison as well as working with trust. It is difficult to trust someone you have little to no knowledge of and the initiation process provides a framework to garner trust from the other participants. It is also difficult to establish group mind unless the group has worked together on many occasions in a non-magickal way.

March 2, 2010

Thanks to Richard Thorpe and Dr Jacqueline Gibson for their support of Breton language.

There are many reasons to learn a Celtic language.  Certainly, it is difficult to achieve a cultural worldview unless you can think in the language of the culture.  I applaud any efforts to increase awareness of Celtic languages and promotion of their revival.  Gary reports on the Celtic Myth Pod Show site that a Cardiff couple boost the Breton language.

The articles says in part, "There are about 540,000 speakers of this Celtic language and a Welsh couple are helping to revive it."

"Richard Thorpe and his Breton partner Dr Jacqueline Gibson both speak Welsh and Breton and have been active raising links between Wales and Brittany since moving to France 18 months ago. More than 700 people recently took part in a sponsored run in Brittany in aid of Breton-language schools. The course began in Nantes and ran west via Lannion, which has been twinned since 1991 with Caerphilly. It finished in Carhaix-Plougher in central Brittany."

Thank you Richard and Dr. Jacqueline.  We appreciate your efforts in helping to keep Celtic Language alive.

February 27, 2010

New findings at Stanton Drew

The Bristol News is reporting that new evidence is indicating that the neolithic stone circle near Stanton Drew, is older than previously thought and has an associated barrow. A great article about a place I don't know a lot about. I definitely will add it to my places to visit when I next go to the UK.

Sacred site at Stanton Drew, neolithic stones | Bristol News
Ask anyone in Bristol to name an ancient stone circle, and 90 per cent of people will probably say Stonehenge. A few of the wider-read sorts might mention Avebury. But remarkably, few will say the words Stanton Drew.

While Wiltshire's two landmark sites are known worldwide, Bristol's own major neolithic stone circle goes largely unnoticed.

But all that might be about to change, thanks to a team of enthusiastic amateur archaeologists who have discovered some intriguing new evidence that suggests the Stanton Drew site, near Chew Magna, may actually be 1,000 years older than historians had previously thought....

February 25, 2010

 Interesting in a new Druid blog. White Cat Grove: The musings of frisky Druids. Check them out. 

Pagan weddings now allowed in Ireland

Congratulations to the people of Ireland. Religious tolerance seems to be growing. "Irish Central" is reporting that Pagan weddings [are] now allowed in Ireland. They say, in part, "Pagan weddings, in many cases performed by a recognized druid, will now be allowed in Ireland. Following a five-year campaign the Irish state has now recognized the right of the Pagan Federation Ireland to perform weddings."

Well done to Ray Sweeney, the Pagan Federation, and all the others who worked to get this important recognition.

February 6, 2010

Viking festival in Lerwick, Shetland Islands - Telegraph

Although visiting the Shetland Islands in January might not be ultimate vacation, if I were to go there in January, I'd want to be sure to visit during the last Tuesday in January.  It looks like it might be a great experience.

Up Helly Aa: Viking festival in Lerwick, Shetland Islands
Members of the Viking Jarl Squad march with burning torches during the annual Up Helly Aa Festival, Lerwick, Shetland Islands. Up Helly Aa celebrates the influence of the Scandinavian Vikings in the Shetland Islands and has employed this theme since 1870. Up Helly Aa is held on the last Tuesday in January every year, whatever the weather