From the Regional Druid
It’s really hard to believe that it has already been a year since I was elected your Regional Druid. Beltainne is fast approaching, and spring is definitely in the air. It’s been a nice few months of since Pantheacon, and it looks like everyone is starting to catch their collective breaths. I’m looking forward to the coming year with anticipation of positive growth for our region. All of us here make the folk, and it is through all of you that ADF exists. I don’t tell everyone enough how much you all mean to me, but in the truest sense of the word I love you as my family.
We have some really good news coming from Portland. Columbia is busy, busy busy! They just applied to become a Chartered ADF Grove, and the team up there continues to do good work. Aside from the prison outreach and holding meet-ups, the Grove is now doing a podcast. This is very exciting as we can see the growth of an area that very recently was void of an ADF presence. Columbia also has a festival at Trout Lake Abbey called Beyond the Gates happening July 7-10.
Eight Winds 2016 follows right on the heels of Beyond the Gates, and we are looking good as far as workshops go. Newly elected Archdruid Jon Drum will be in attendance, as well as special guest Jason Mankey. This event is being sponsored by Sierra Madrone Grove, and yours truly (with help) will be catering the food plan.
Cascadia, Eternal Flame, Valley Oak, and River Rose continue to do the work that makes this region—and ADF—the best Neopagan organization out there.
Rev. Sean W Harbaugh
Congratulations to our new Archdruid – Jon “Drum” Pagano!
You can see the full election results on the ADF Website
From the Editor
Thank you to everyone who voted in the recent elections! We have a new Archdruid and Vice Archdruid and we’re looking forward to seeing what they will add to ADF!
In this issue, we’re swapping over to using more of a blog style for our newsletters. Once we work the kinks out, we’ll be sending out instructions on how to subscribe to the RSS feed to get the newsletters delivered to your mailbox automatically!
We have two great events coming up – information for both of them are posted below, and this summer looks to be a great one! As a quick reminder, California is still in a bad drought – please be mindful of your water consumption at home and while you’re out camping.
I hope you enjoy this issue.
May the blessings of the Kindreds be with you!
Beltane is the first of the fire festivals and the beginning of the summer season. It’s the high day that is opposite to Samhain, and it is believed that the fairies are particularly active and powerful on this day (Morgan). In some cultures, it is believed that you should appease or protect against the Fae or they would play tricks on you (Morgan). Fires were also used for celebration and purification on this High Day. Bonfires would be used in rituals for purifications and blessing of the crops and cattle. In the early 20th century, the Irish would hang rowan and hawthorn branches, decorated with ribbons and garlands, were hung over the doors in celebration of Beltane (Wikipedia, “Beltane”).
May Day is the secularized version of Beltane and is still celebrated by many, especially in Ireland and England. In some areas of England, they still celebrate Beltane with celebrations and burning wicker men (Lambert). Today, neo-pagans celebrate with Maypole dancing, bonfire rituals, handfastings and weddings and planting rituals (Wigington, “All About Beltane”).
For me, Beltane celebrates the beginning of summer and my favorite time of the year. This is the season of growth and activity; it’s a time to be outdoors and a time to tend growing plants.
by Victoria S (Leona Oigheag)
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Images by Victoria S (Leona Oigheag) unless otherwise indicated below
Beyond the Gates image from Trout Lake Abby
The Cosmic Oaks group shot from the prisons CCCF