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Newsletter of the Reformed Druids of North America
Samhain, 38 Y.R. (Nov. 2000 C.E.)
The season of Samhain is upon us. Summer has finally come to an end in Northern California with the warm days of an Indian summer swept away by some of the windiest nights in 50 years. Cold, rainy weather has returned, heavy sweaters are pulled out of storage, the heat is turned on. Time for hot tea, mulled cider and wine!
Samhain, summer’s end. Traditionally whatever is left over from the harvest is left in the field for the birds, and mice, and other wildlife, and the Sidhe--the spirit folk , to glean for preparation of the coming winter. Samhain signals the beginning of the Celtic New Year. It is the end of the Summer half of the year and the beginning of the Winter half. This is the time when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest and when the ancestors, departed family and friends are said to return to visit the land of the living once again. The dead are honored and feasted on this night. Food is set out for them and they are remembered in word, song, and deed. Astronomical Samhain occurs when the Sun is half way between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice and is on November 6 this year. As the “night precedes the day,” Baccharis Grove will be celebrating Samhain on Sunday, Nov. 5 at sundown, which will be at 5:06 p.m.
After a nine year hiatus the Missal-Any has found a new home. Though it had been in the back of our minds to resume publication without any particular start date, this Samhain seemed to be fitting. Our Grove celebrates its one year anniversary and is going strong. Interest in the RDNA and what we do seem to be on the rise. It is our sincere wish that we are able to continue the tradition started by our noble founder, presenting information, resources, history, and not a little bit of humor. So it is to him, Emmon Bodfish, that we dedicate this first issue.
Baccharis Grove, East Bay celebrates its one year anniversary; It was named Baccharis due to the proliferation of said shrub in the East Bay Hills of Northern California and in honor and memory of the Missal-Any’s; founder, who had quite a fondness for it. Other names in the running were Bay Laurel Grove, Poison Oak Grove, and Fez Grove. Though following in the traditions set by Live Oak Grove, we have already started our own, such as the themed feasts for High Day celebrations. Ask us about the goats milk ice cream we made for Oimelc.; The recipe is available upon request.
On October 21 Grove member Stacey held her Third Order vigil up at the Grove site, on what turned out to be the windiest night in the area of the past 50 years. Sick with a bad cough and fever the AD stuck it out, and it became quite an ordeal for him as well as he ended up in the hospital.The new Third Order feels terribly guilty about it (though it wasn't her fault inspite of thinking that at the time) and sends her best get well wishes.
Mike Scharding, AD of the Carleton Grove from 1993 to 1994, has moved back to the U.S. from Japan; to attend graduate school in Washington D.C., and has founded Obelisk Grove. They are putting together a Presidential Pantheon for holding services. There aren't any female presidents yet, so they will be adding some famous female political figures. They are currently taking suggestions on which presidents are in charge of which attributes.
The Druid Chronicles, now compiled into the ARDA (A Reformed Druid Anthology), are available on the Internet and are downloadable and printable in PDF format. The url is: http://www.student.carleton.edu/orgs/druids/ARDA/
There are two RDNA websites. One is the Carleton College website at: http://www.student.carleton.edu/orgs/druids/ The other is Mike Scharding’ s which is updated almost daily and is quite extensive: http://www.geocities.com/mikerdna/index.html. It lists, as well as information about the RDNA current Groves, Hazelnuts of Wisdom (short edifying postings), and Fallen Leaves, a memorial to those Druids who have gone on before us.
For Scottish Gaelic books, tapes, and video cassettes contact Siol Cultural Enterprises. Siol is a distributor/wholesaler of Gaelic language and Celtic interest books, music, and videos. They are the North American distributor for Acair Limited, the largest Gaelic language publisher in Scotland and wholesale books from a number of other companies most notably Y Lolfa in Northern Wales, Canan on the Isle of Skye, and Gairm Publishing, Glasgow. Call (902) 863-0416, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through post mail at: P.O. Box 81, St. Andrew’s, Nova Scotia, CANADA, B0H 1X0
An excellent book to get started learning about the ancient Druids is Miranda Green’s The World of the Druids, published 1997 by Thames and Hudson. Order from your local independent bookstore today.
Two weeks ago, before your editor’s Third Order vigil and towards the end of a year of intensive study, one of the MIS people at work came into her office to do some work on her computer. He noticed her Maxfield Parrish calendar, which for the month of October featured the painting “Riverbank, Autumn, 1938,” depicting an ancient Live Oak tree. He said, “That looks very Druid.” Your editor tried very hard to suppress a laugh, thinking all the while, “Does it show now?”
Astronomical Samhain, when the Sun is midway between Equinox and Solstice, will occur on November 6, 2000 at 4:00 p.m. PST. (By the alternative method of calculation, the Sun will reach 15? of Scorpius at 6:49 p.m. PST.) Samhain services will be held on Nov. 5 at Sundown, which is 5:06 p.m. Please call for carpool arrangements (510) 654-6896. For the social observance of Samhain we will be going immediately after the service to Le Bateau Ivre, 2629 Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley.
Regular services will be held at Solar Noon on Nov. 12 and 26. Please call the above number to confirm.
The Missal-Any is published eight times a year. Post mail subscriptions are $4.00 and online subscriptions are free, but might not include everything that is in the post mail edition. Or write an article or send us a cartoon and receive a year’s subscription free. Write Baccharis Grove, c/o 309 63rd St, Oakland, CA 94618.
End of the Samhain 2000 Issue
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A Druid Missal-Any is an RDNA publication that began in 1983 by Emmon Bodfish and ran until 1991. This newsletter was re-established by his student Samhain 2000, Day 1 of Geamhradh Year 38