A few quick and mostly Lughnasadh-related data bursts this week:
Lughnasadh is next weekend! Well, okay, for most of you reading this it was probably this weekend, because that’s what all the pagan textbooks that ripped off Starhawk have listed as the official date for Lughnasadh, or “Lammas” for the folks who prefer to use Christian names for their pagan holidays. Nah, I’m sure it sounds like I’m being harsh, but if folks’ traditions say that the holiday is August 1st, then the holiday is August 1st for them. But between the “halfway between solstice and equinox” date being August 5th, and not wanting to compete with everyone else’s celebrations, I’m very glad that we’re doing our next weekend instead of this one. Indeed, a few Grovemates on Facebook mentioned how happy they were to be able to attend the local Highland Games *and* our festival, so maybe we should plan it this way every year. We’ll see how our attendance is for this year.
Schedule wise, we’re about as late on finalizing the weekend schedule as we usually are! Kestrel is definitely doing a Norse ritual involving Freyr and bread, but that’s as much detail as she had last I talked to her. This puts her way ahead of me and Gen, who haven’t even chosen a deity (or deities) for the Greek ritual on Saturday night, though I’m leaning toward the muses at this point, based on the review of my CTP submission a few days ago, more on which below. We’ll be finalizing plans for the main rite at our planning meeting on Tuesday, other than getting some kind of “Balor head” constructed between now and Saturday, I think that’s pretty much set. (When I asked on the Grove’s e-mail list about borrowing a spear for the rite, I had three responses within twelve hours. Only in paganism or SCA!) The workshops will likely be about what the Web site says they are now, I did get the canvas labyrinth laundered and bleached but the stains didn’t come out (on the bright side, the paint didn’t come off either), but I’ll go ahead and bring it if I can find room in the car.
And I went through our old box of Lughnasadh supplies, dating back to when we did it over three or four days at a conference center and had people from all over the country join us. I do miss that time, then again I don’t miss the several hundred dollars of losses we had nearly every year. Some day I hope we can do a big festival again (though nowhere near a high day, I’d prefer April or October), but our more recent Lughnasadhs at Botsford have been a lot of fun, and very spiritual, and not forced anyone to shell out their personal savings to keep us out of court, so I’m quite happy to keep doing it this way for a while. Not to mention that going through the box is like doing a mini-archaeological dig, seeing how our festival changed throughout time. We still have the walkie-talkies, which are pretty much no use to us on the smaller site we use now. But the security whistles still come in handy, and of course flashlights are good at any overnight outdoor event. Oh, and the croquet balls we used back when we did our Championship Games! Maybe we can bring those back if we ever get any young fit people to join! >8) Better still, I found the big box of toys we used to bring every year, after losing track of it last year. I have no clue whether any children will be there, but knowing our crows, the adults will probably get plenty of amusement out of them too.
Oh, if you are coming this weekend, don’t forget that we’re doing a food and dry goods drive for the HIV/AIDS Resource Center, the same folks who invited me to speak at their event last December. For details on what to bring, and the current (soon to be final) schedule, visit: http://www.shininglakes.bravehost.com/lughad.html
And finally, the unrelated note I hinted at above: I’m two courses away from being an official ADF First Circle Priest! My submissions for Magic I and General Bardic Studies I were due Friday night, I had them done Friday morning and they were both approved within hours. (If anyone on the Clergy Council deserves a salary for the amount of work they do, I’m sure it should be Michael Dangler.) So now all I have left is a rewrite of Indo-European Languages I (which I could probably do tonight if I felt like staying up a little late, after getting two 3000 word papers done in three days a single 600 word paper shouldn’t be an issue) and Research and Composition, which is pretty much just “write two 1500 word articles on anything and provide proper citations”. Well, technically there is one restriction, one has to be expository and the other argumentative. I’m sure they’re both doable, but after going through ten courses with explicit exit standards, the open-ended nature of this course is gonna be weird. Like the difference between boating down a river versus an open water crossing. Still, I’ve got two months before my self-imposed (and oath-taken) deadline, so the only real concern is getting the proper reference materials through interlibrary loan on time. Oh, and choosing the topics. >8) I’m leaning toward a study of ancient Greek purification and miasma concepts for one of them. Burkert and Zaidman/Pantel have some content that I can use for that, if I can get a copy of Robert Parker’s book on the subject I should be set.
Also, I went ahead and entered the Second Circle CTP courses into the wiki I’ve been using to track my progress (WikidPad is my friend!), and wow. One of those courses is gonna be about 12000 words, and the others are still bigger than the 2500 to 3000 word requirements of most of the First Circle courses. But I really didn’t expect the requirements to get any easier for the next rank up!
So have a great week, and hopefully I’ll see lots of you on Friday and Saturday!
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF
PS – Almost forgot, if you’re on Facebook, the Huron River Watershed Council (one of the groups we regular do volunteer work for) now has a page there! Visit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Huron-River-Watershed-Council/99590498013