December 31, 2011

Remembering Sir James George Frazer

Remembering Sir James Frazer

Sir James Frazer was born on 1 January 1854 -5/7/1941) and passed 7 May 1941. A social anthropologist, he is particularly noted for his work, The Golden Bough, which is now available (abbreviated form) at no charge on the Kindle Kindle and in an illustrated edition. Frazer's approach to religion focused upon what people did rather than theology. I have always wanted the 12 volume complete set, but have only encountered the abridged edition. I read his material first in the early '70's and was blown away. It opened my eyes to all of the similarities in religion. His material was among the first to have me understand how much of the Christ myth was a duplication of other, more ancient myths (virgin birth, resurrection, etc.). His work expanded my understanding that many religions share similar stories. The Golden Bough was probably the most eye-opening book I ever found any many later books, such as the Silver Bough, built upon my learning. Definitely on my "needs to be read again" list and on a special "I'd love to get the entire 12 volume set" list.

Today, on the 156th anniversary of his birth, I remember Sir James George Frazer and give thanks to him as an Ancestor.

OBOD Druids in Mass. Celebrate Winter Solstice

Very nice article about the OBOD Druids of the Mystic River Grove in Massachusetts who celebrated the Winter Solstice with an evening bonfire ritual.  Photos at
They met at "The Peace Abbey" which is an interesting looking organization.  Although they are moving, for members in the Boston Metro area, it may be good to look at their site for potential activities in the future.  They have a Bed & Breakfast as well as conference spaces for rent.  They also have a Pacifist Living History Museum and a Quaker room. It looks like a place it would be nice to have an Keltria Gathering and/or Annual Meeting.

Druid ceremony at Sherborn's Peace Abbey celebrates the return of the sun

The Order of the Bards, Ovates and Druids celebrated Winter Solstice at the Peace Abbey on Wednesday, Dec. 21.....

...the Boston “[Mystic River] grove” has been in existence for about 20 years....

..."the goals of Druid practices are similar to the practices of the Peace Abbey such as embracing Mother Earth.”

OBOD Druids mentioned in the article include:
  • Sarah Fuhro of Natick.

  • Cat Hughes of Berlin

  • James Dempsey (A Shamanic Energy Healer)

  • Liz Tobin

December 25, 2011

Remembering Carlos Castañeda

Carlos Castañeda was born 25 December 1925 and passed 27 April 1998.  Although an anthropologist, he is particularly noted as an author. In 1968 his published The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. Certainly, Carlos Castañeda was an important author in the late 1960's and early 1970's.  His work helped expand the ideas of Native American Shamanism (Yaqui) and Toltec wisdom.  I read his book when it first came out and found it both confusing and enlightening. I was still a teenager and the book was beyond my comprehension.  However, it did expand my understanding of alternative beliefs and practices and is thus provided an important step along my path in Druidism.  Today, on the 86th anniversary of his birth, I remember Carlos Castañeda and give thanks to him as an Ancestor.

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December 20, 2011

Mara Freeman led Celtic Journeys

Mara Freeman, author of the Henge recommended Kindling the Celtic Spirit, Meditation Leader (See: "Celtic Spirit Meditations"), and regular contributor to Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick during the 1990's is leading some wonderful Celtic Spirit Journeys. Besides tours of Ireland she also leads groups to Scotland, Wales, and Avalon. They look wonderful.  If you are able to participate in any of her tours, please say "hello" from me. Of course, we'd love a review of your experience.

Celtic Spirit Journeys - Spirit of Ireland Tour
Join Mara Freeman on an inspirational journey that will open you to the living presence of the Goddess in Ireland - and provide an opportunity for you to awaken to your innermost self deep within Ireland’s Spiritual Heartland.

Refresh your spirit in the heart of Connacht, the ancient western province of Ireland associated with learning, wisdom and magic. We will be staying in Sligo, traditionally known as The Land of Heart’s Desire, a breathtakingly beautiful county, with spectacular scenery and unspoilt landscapes: long sweeps of sandy beaches, rolling green hills, shining lakes, waterfalls, and magical woodlands. Sligo is home to possibly the most abundant ancient sacred sites in Ireland, stretching back more than 5,000 years

December 17, 2011

Another Mistletoe Article with the Green Santa at Tenbury Wells

Xanthe Clay, chef and food writer has a lovely article about Mistletoe in the Telegraph.  Another great photo of the Green Santa at the Mistletoe auction at Tenbury Wells, England.
Mistletoe, the kiss of Christmas - Telegraph
But kissing [under the mistletoe] only became a national Christmas tradition in the 18th century, thanks to the Victorians’ obsession with Druids, driven by William Stukeley, the first archaeologist to complete a serious study of Stonehenge.

Cherry Hill Seminary has course on Druids: Past and Present.

Cherry Hill Seminary is presenting a course in "The Druidic Past and Present."  It is pricey, (as are most things of value) but looks like it would be very interesting.  If anyone in the Henge attends, let me know.  I'd love to hear how it goes, maybe even receive a review of the course.  Humm... I wonder if we Keltrian Druids receive a mention.

Master’s Courses Spring 2012 » Cherry Hill Seminary
The Druidic Past and Present T6405
Instructor: James Acken, PhD Class meetings....

This course reviews evidence from several
disciplines and pertaining to the druids, analyzing the connections
between what we believe we know of their reality to the extant evidence,
but it will also look beyond the usual scholastic analyses to folk
customs and traditional lore.

New Druid Store in Columbus, OH - The Magical Druid Spiritual Resource Center

I ran into a "will be opening" Druid store in Columbus, Ohio.  The Magical Druid.  They already have some interesting Druid specific items on their website.  Of particular interest was a bundle of the nine sacred woods for a need fire.  Of course, it is better to collect the woods yourself, but if time or location keep you from it a purchased bundle would be a great resource.  They also have a Ogham Set made of aspen that look very nice. Anyway, I wish them success in their new enterprise.
The Magical Druid, Spiritual Resource Center
Welcome to The Magical Druid, your one-stop shop for hand-crafted ritual tools, earth-conscious art, workshops, rituals, and support!

December 13, 2011

Children's Story about Mistletoe

I was very excited when I first saw a children's story about a Druid collecting mistletoe in a magickal way.  I forgave the notion that the mistletoe was being collected during the full moon for the sake of literary convention. Then the mistletoe falls to the ground and felt a sadness, for mistletoe is too sacred to be allowed to touch the ground.  I then began thinking about children who hear the story and learn its lessons will also carry incorrect bits of knowledge about mistletoe.  Will the children later argue with their parents in the same way that children argue saying their teacher told them so.  Of course, their teacher (or storyteller) always knows more than their parents - or so kids think.

It is a good story, told with feeling and compassion but could be made better by including known facts.  Mistletoe was collected on the sixth night of the moon and was caught in a white cloth never to touch the ground.

Tell Me a Story: The Mistletoe (a Celtic tale) |
By -- Adapted by Amy Friedman and illustrated by Jillian Gilliland
(This story was first published Dec. 24, 2000.)

Long ago, in the darkest days of winter, a blanket of snow lay softly on the ground. A full moon rose. The men and women of the village watched the moon rise, and they knew that soon their priest, the sacred druid....
As the mistletoe fell to the ground, the snow began to fall harder....

December 3, 2011

Green Santa -

Great photo of Michael Pritchard as a Green Santa walking the mistletoe fields in Tenbury Well, England.  The Druids bless the mistletoe before buyers put in their bids.

The Day's Best | 11.29.11 - Nation/World -