The Stone Creed Grove Quarterly Newsletter
|Hear ye, hear ye! As members and friends of Stone Creed Grove, we endeavor to bring you the latest news, updates, articles, and a calendar of what is going on with the Grove. If you really don't want them, let us know, and if you know someone who is interested, let us know that too. If you have news, articles, poetry, or other artistic work that you would like to be included, please send them to the SCG Scribe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, our gatherings are open to all Pagans of good will, as well as sympathizers and respectful friends. Come and join us as we keep the Old Ways in our days!
Final Reminder: 2014 Book of the Dead
One of our Samhain traditions is the reading of the Book of the Dead. This is a book of the names of those who are close to us that have passed on in the last year or have heavily influenced us, and at this time we ask the deities that rule over the dead to welcome these newcomers into their halls. If you have a name you wish to include in the Book and have not yet notified John Hilliard, please make sure to bring their names and a couple of words about their role in your life or the life of society at large.
It's Not All About the Gods and Goddesses â€“ Part 1: Ancestor Worship
In ADF practice, we regularly make 3 offerings, to the ancestors, nature spirits, and deities. Those who were raised in other faiths quite often have the easiest time understanding worshiping the deities: After all, in the lore, deities are wise, powerful beings responsible for the making of and upkeep of this world. In that kind of model of worship, where you are bowing down before wise and powerful beings that you cannot comprehend in the hopes that they will aid you rather than harm you, it is hard to understand worshiping those who have died, especially those who have died very recently.
This probably has a lot to do with the word â€œworshipâ€: In ADF practice, this is not about bowing down or giving up one's will to obey the being you are worshiping. Instead, it is about remembering that being's existence, and setting up an exchange of gifts â€“ we offer to them, they help us with knowledge or luck or health or wealth or other forms of success.
Once you see worship in those terms, offering to the honored dead, particularly those we knew in life and/or are related to by blood, makes complete sense. These are our parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends, and whatever existence they have in the next world, they wanted to do right by us in life, and still want what is best for us. Because we continue to remember and honor them, they remain a force in this world, and can help us. We can give them gifts of food and drink and other things they would like, and they can happily pull up a chair and lend a hand.
Spiritual practices involving deceased ancestors are nothing new: For example, there are documented festivals in honor of the heroes of Greek city-states. And of course the idea of looking to other humans from further in the past is quite possible too in this light: After all, if they were effective ancestors 150 or even 1500 years ago, why wouldn't they be effective now?
What makes ancestors unique among the spiritual powers of the world is that they are just like us living people. We can relate to them just like we would treat our best friends, and they will do well by us.
(A future issue will continue this series with Part 2: Worshipping the Nature Spirits)
Upcoming Rite: Samhain
Sunday, November 2, River Grove, North Chagrin Reservation
As the nights grow longer, we light the Fire of Blessings in remembrance of all our honored ancestors and call for the Waters of Life! The Feast of Samhain is the beginning of our cycle of the year, as established by our Celtic ancestors, and we take this time to honor the Morrigan, Donn, and those who lived before us. We encourage the folk to bring photos or mementos of any of your personal ancestors you wish to honor.
We will have our usual pot-luck feast following the rite. In addition, our younger folk share in the breaking of a piñata, and a 50-50 raffle to raise funds for the Grove. Folk are asked to bring candy for the children of the Grove, and dishes for all to share and enjoy.
Upcoming Rite: Yule
Sunday, December 22, River Grove, North Chagrin Reservation
In the darkest time of winter, we keep the Fire of Blessing lit and call for the Waters of Life! The Feast of Yule is the holy turning of the year established by Norse ancestors, and we keep this time to remember Yngvi Frey and his sister Freya, long-time patrons of our sacred Grove, as well as giving honor to all the Aesir who aid and guide us. We also take the opportunity to make personal oaths for the coming year.
We will have our usual pot-luck feast following the rite. At Yule, we encourage frith by a White Elephant gift exchange (under $10 value, please), and the singing of songs from our Yule song collection. Drumming and dancing is especially encouraged.
Mark Your Calendars: Wellspring 2O15
Thursday, 5/21 - Monday 5/25
Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman NY
A Pagan festival and retreat. Vacation with the Druids!
Our twenty-sixth year - America's oldest Druid Gathering.
Host of the ADF National Meeting;
Warrior's Games, Brewing Competition;
The Sixth Annual Wellspring Bardic Chair Competition
Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman NY
Meetings of ADF Interest Groups, Kins, and Guilds
Schedule of Events, 2O14-5
See the Stone Creed Online Schedule.
P.O. Box 19261
Cleveland, OH 44119-0261