Summer Solstice Ritual Summary

Summer Solstice Ritual
June 22nd, 2014
Deities of the Occasion: Bel and Danu
Offerings: sun wheel, oil (also grains for the local land spirits during the processional)
Omen: Othala – Ansuz – Dagaz
Return flow: “the lemonade of life”
10 attendees


Summer rituals in the wooded area are a lot more pleasant than the ones out in the field were.

Not much to comment on for this one. As with most of our rituals to Bel and Danu, it was pleasant and they seemed approving.

Wellspring Thoughts

(I posted this on FB and G+ earlier, then thought, wait, why am I not posting this on the Grove blog?  So here it is.)

A few random thoughts on Wellspring:

* My thanks to Rob Steiner for getting me to and from Brushwood. With no car I can drive for the time being, my festival (and anything else) attendance will be limited to those I can convince people to drive me to. It would have been very very sad to sit at home all weekend with all the money and time off from work I needed, but still not be there.

* Getting myself around was easier than I’d expected. I was willing to beg people to push me to the events I wanted to attend, but that turned out not to be needed. The down side is that my right prosthetic started bending out of shape on Saturday night, almost certainly from overuse during the previous three days, but these things weren’t supposed to last me past the end of June anyway. My orthoticist appointment is tomorrow, so I’ll know then when I’ll be able to get new ones. In the meantime, I’ll have to do as little walking as possible. (Which, in a wheelchair in a handicapped-accessible apartment, means very little walking.)

* I did manage to get to every workshop and ritual I wanted to attend (though closing ritual was a close call thanks to the bent leg), but I couldn’t socialize as much as I’d have liked (and how often do I say that?) because I couldn’t just wander the site as most folks do. I never did make it to the roundhouse or to anyone’s camp site. Which also meant I barely got any face time with people I knew perfectly well were there. Something to aim to improve upon next year.

* Speaking of next year, my reg fee and someone else’s are already paid for! I won a two-person pass for next year at the raffle, along with a book by Skip, and a flying lantern, and a framed photograph. Definitely worth the $20 I paid for tickets!

* A Roman rite that uses the utterly Irish phrase “not hard” to begin an answer? Really?

* The White Owls definitely need to have a ritual to install a Hellenic altar of some sort in the nemeton next year.

* I’ll probably be saying this for every Wellspring I ever attend in the future, so here it is for this year: Damn there were a lot more people there than there were when I first started attending in 1997.

* No wifi signal in the cabin where I stayed, but the games I downloaded from my Steam account kept me amused anough during downtime.

* The Order of the Dead is doing some amazing work, and I’m seriously considering joining.

* I went to four rituals and had no ritual roles. I feel like such a slacker.

* It was good to meet my current DP mentee Tom in person. (Now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure he’s the first DP student I’ve been assigned that I’ve ever met in person.)

* Also awesome was going into Findlay Lake and eating hot wings with Michael. I can’t remember the last time I had alone time with an ADF member who wasn’t in my Grove. I miss that.

* Sitting by the pond listening to the peepers was as wonderful as ever.

* Everyone was amazingly helpful in terms of getting me places, and the Stone Creed folks made sure I had everything I needed throughout the weekend. The people in cars who thanked me for moving out of their way was a little silly, though. What, you think I want to get run over?

* Anything else? Oh, right, I got an award at the annual meeting for exemplifying the virtue of perseverance. The photo will be shared as soon as I have access to it. No, I had no idea it was coming. Really, though, sometimes perseverance is just being too stupid to know when to quit. >8)


* I’m glad I got to see as many folks as I did see!

 * Additional thought I forgot earlier: Based on conversations I had there, I really do need to be more in-your-face about promoting local river mother workings as an alternative to working with a planetary Earth Mother. There’s definite interest out there, I just don’t get to see it online. Time to make attempt number three at finishing my “why I hate the EM” article?

Beltaine Ritual Summary

Beltaine Ritual

May 4th, 2014

Deity of the Occasion: Aren

Offerings: oil

Omen: Tiwaz – Hagalaz – Ingwaz

Return flow: tulips, fire jumping

20 attendees



Sadly, I couldn’t attend either the nemeton clean-up day or Fire Watch, I’m told that other people did and that they were successful and enjoyed.

No Dawn Rite this year, for the first time since 1994, since I couldn’t get transportation to Big Lake and couldn’t find anyone else willing to do it that early in the morning. Hopefully we can resume next year.

Using my walker on the trail went well, not only did I not fall while going up and down the sloped part, it didn’t even require that much exertion. Hopefully with exercise I’ll continue to improve at its use.

After eighteen Beltaine ritual with SLG, I guess the odds favored me actually drawing the lot to be the May king . I was worried that the energy flow of running the ritual and being the May King would be awkward, but it seemed to go well enough. Jumping the fire was obviously out of the question, but Drum did a fine job in my place.

The many decorations really added a lot to the festive atmosphere, my thanks to Candy and Gen for organizing that!

It’s a shame nobody brought any May wine, but the tulips that Gen brought made a decent improvised substitute. (I wonder how Grove who don’t have florists as members do thing?)

Very happy to see so many new folks there!

Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF

Spring Equinox 2014

March 23rd

Deity of the Occasion: Ana

Offerings: group singing / collected eggs

Omen: Berkano / Ehwaz / Fehu

Return flow: seed packets

Attendance: 11



The high temperature was 25 degrees, once again very glad to be doing the spring ritual indoors.

With all of the last-minute things that happened that weekend, plus my inability to visit the river, I was definitely not in the best possible headspace for leading ritual. Hopefully I didn’t screw things up too badly.

Serena told the Story of Ana this time, and did a great job! The props really did help, as did the green hair (never an option for me).

My demonstration of my relearned walking skills did not get the huge reaction I was hoping for.

The newsletter wasn’t ready in time, so now I’m updating the article I sent and also writing a second one about my experiences at the clerk’s office on the one day that same-sex marriage was legal.

Next time, the first Beltaine at the new nemeton, and the double challenge of getting myself down the hill to the circle, and setting up a Maypole on a live tree.



Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF

Imbolc Summary

Imbolc 2014

January 26th (so as not to conflict with Super Bowl Sunday, or the even more widely celebrated Groundhog Day)

Deity of the Occasion: Bríd

Offerings: group singing / silver into the well

Omen: Hagalaz / Ansuz / Mannaz (gods and humans working together to overcome adversity)

Return flow: apple slices / passing the flame

Attendance: 11



Honoring Bríd as a goddess of inspiration instead of our earlier focus on her hearth/community aspects seems to be working well.

Good turnout given the snowfall and bad road conditions.  I know that at least seven more people wanted to be there but couldn’t.  If ADF allowed its Groves to skip one High Day per year and have the Grove members just celebrate at home, I’m betting most Groves would choose this one.

Wheelchair accessibility made this ritual a lot easier on me than Yule was.  Hopefully by the time we’re outside again I’ll be good enough with my new legs that we won’t need to do the “carry Rob and his wheelchair down the path” thing again.

I’m a bit sad that I couldn’t get a seven day candle to place in the well bowl for a combined well/fire altar.  Maybe next year.

No flubs, major or minor, during the ritual.  How’d we manage that?


Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF

Yule Summary (exciting, isn’t it?)

Yule 2013

December 22nd (originally scheduled for the 15th, date changed due to snow storm)
Deities of the Occasion: Danu and Bel
Offerings: wreath / Danu’s Wave of Power / paper snowball fight
Omen:  Ansuz / Raidho / Fehu
Return blessing: Danu’s meditation / mulled cider

(A quick post for folks who need it as a reference.  I hope to return to writing full reports on our rituals after Imbolc next weekend.)


Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF

Lughnasadh Stats

SLG’s Lughnasadh Ritual
August 4th, 2013
Number of attendees: seven
Deities of the Occasion: Lugh and Ana
Omen: Sowilo / Berkano / Gebo

Obviously I’m disappointed in such a low turnout for the High Day that honors our Grove’s patron deity, but I can take away at least one good thing about it.  We had two new folks attend, and they found out about us from our listing in the Ann Arbor Observer’s calendar section, pretty much the only non-Internet place where new people find out about our events these days.  If we had tried to change the date of our Lughnasadh after, say, the beginning of July, then it would have been too late for us to tell the Observer to remove the listing.  And I could have done all of the online “we’ve changed the date” updates to every one of our online calendar listings, and those guys would never have seen a one of them.  And they would have shown up on the 4th, and nobody would have been there, and they would have gone home convinced that we were just another flaky pagan group that can’t deliver on its promises.  However badly I think our ritual turned out with so few people and so little “juice” involved, we at least brought honor to ourselves and to our gods by keeping the promise we made to serve the Ann Arbor community.

Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes grove, ADF