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Winter 2014

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Stone Facts

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 scribe@stonecreed.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!

Continuing Improvements at Tredara

As some of you may know, this last year has seen a major expansion of the summer home of our grove at Tredara in Madison. Over the course of this summer, grove members, volunteering friends and neighbors, and even a government agency were involved in many major changes, including improved drainage, road access to the northern area of the property, and most notably the construction of a new sacred nemeton that saw its first Stone Creed ritual in September.

This coming year, we will be continuing our efforts to make Tredara a stead capable of hosting not only grove events but larger gatherings and even festivals. Doing that work will require both funds and volunteer efforts. If you are interested in helping out and having an influence over what will most assuredly be a part of the grove's legacy, contact Ian or Sue!

It's Not All About the Gods and Goddesses - Part 2: Nature Spirits

(Part 1 of this series, exploring the worship of ancestors, was in the previous issue)

In Stone Creed Grove rituals, we regularly offer to the spirits of nature. Sometimes we address them by the name used for them in the culture of whatever deities we are honoring today, such as "sidhe", "landvaettir", or "nymphs". But what may surprise folks who aren't used to it is that we often give them the same level of attention as we do deities (or, as previously discussed, ancestors).

Part of the reason this doesn't always come to mind is that nature spirits are rarely named characters in the lore, and the legends tend to be about beings who dwell in the places where those legends were created, far from northeast Ohio. That means that instead of turning to the lore, you must turn more towards your own experiences and experiments – Do your house-wights like whiskey or coins? What kinds of offerings seem to make your garden grow better? What sorts of ways of treating the land or a nearby stream seem to make them happy? What angers them?

One other issue that needs to be mentioned when discussing nature spirits: Living creatures aren't really equivalent to nature spirits. A lot of nature spirits seem to be attached not to living creatures at all, but instead to places or rocks or bodies of water, and there are in my experience creatures that are just creatures. I've had more success honoring the spirits that dwell in my back yard garden than honoring a particular squirrel that lives there. In particular, pets are typically not nature spirits needing worship, just a living friend you can just enjoy in a similar way to your human friends.


Upcoming Rite: Yule, The Feast of Darkness

Sunday, December 21, 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.

Upcoming Rite: Imbolg, The Feast of Brigid

Sunday, February 1, River Grove, North Chagrin Reservation
At the far edge of winter's deep, we light the Fire of Blessing and call for the Waters to flow! The Feast of Imbolc is the holy rite of the Goddess of Hearth and Skills - Brigid the High One, and also of her father Dagda, the Druid of the Gods. In this season we give thanks for the blessings we have received through the winter, and ask for the blessing of new strength, health and inspiration for the coming spring.

We will have our usual pot-luck feast following the rite. At Imbolc we encourage folks to bring a scrap a lace or fine fabric to be blessed at the Hallows as a Brat Brid - a Brigid's Cloak. The Brat is an Irish healing custom, especially potent, it is said, for pain of the head and eyes. We will also once again renew our Grove Oath, and hear the oaths of those who might be beginning our training and practice.


Mark Your Calendars: Wellspring 2O14

Thursday, 5/21 - Monday 5/25

Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman NY
A Pagan festival and retreat. Vacation with the Druids!
Our twenty-fourth year - America's oldest Druid Gathering.
Host of the ADF National Meeting;
Warrior's Games, Brewing Competition;
The Fifth Annual Wellspring Bardic Chair Competition


Schedule of Events, 2O14-5

See the Stone Creed Online Schedule.


SCG ADF
P.O. Box 19261
Cleveland, OH 44119-0261