- a collection of essays on Neodruidic Studies
- a journal of Post-Reconstructionist Neopaganism

Saturday, February 4, 2017


So then, can I interest any of you in my campaign to re-educate our pagandom regarding this godzawful "Ooooh it's Imbolc, it's SPRINGTIME!!" - stuff? 

When my own astronomically-informed, folk-calendrically obsessive heightened seasonal sensitivity collides with what I perceive as sloppy Pagan scholarship, I literally flinch at every instance of the above that I encounter.

Y'see, there's a thousand years of folk references from Britain, Scotland, and the Continent (and who knows how much from preliterate times,) reinforcing the popularity of the Candlemas weather tradition of this likely being the midpoint in the span of winter's weather.

The old Irish references to Imbolc being the "beginning" of spring stand as an anomaly in relation to this larger body of European lore and IMO it's likely to the fact that the winters are far more mild in Ireland due to it being embraced in the warm waters of the "North Atlantic Drift" (related to the Gulf Stream). And, yes, I understand that American Neopagans find utility in this early spring reckoning since many of them live in the US' south and southwest...

Regardless, the February Crossquarter is neither a strictly Irish property, nor is the old Irish take on winter's run appropriate to the majority of the "Celtic" lands. For most them and most folks folks now, the February Crossquarter is the BEGINNING of the END of Winter and not so much the "beginning of spring".

( check back here later, I may expand this post further...

---------- NOTES:

1.) So, what is Irish weather like? See:

2.) It mostly all started with this quote from the Irish hero tales:

"No man will travel this country," she said,
"who hasn't gone sleepless from
Samain, when the summer goes to it's rest, until
Imbolc, when the ewes are milked at spring's beginning; from Imbolc to
Beltine at the summer's beginning and from Beltine to
Bron Trogain,* earth's sorrowing autumn.”

That’s Emer, reproaching Cu Chulainn, in the Irish tale “Tochmarc Emire” (The wooing of Emer), from a 15th Century text possibly copied from a 10th Century original. This is the the oldest citation known for a fourfold description of the Irish year… / * “Bron Trogain” is generally assumed to be a name for Lughnassadh.

3.) Let's not forget that the cultures that contemporary scholars deem "Celtic" first developing around 1100 BCE, deep in central Europe (Austria and thereabouts,) and expanded westward reaching Celticizing Britain and then finally, reaching Ireland between 600-400 BCE.

4.) So, when "does" a season begin or end ?
See my essay: FUZZY LOGIC and the WHEEL of the YEAR

Monday, January 2, 2017


The WHEEL of the YEAR,  
2017. . .

Solstice:   Either of the two extremes of the Earth’s constant 23.4° axial-tilt, relative to the sunlight falling on its surface. Only at the Summer Solstice is the Earth’s north pole tilted the full 23.4° towards the Sun... and only at the Yule Solstice is it tilted the full 23.4° away from the Sun.
Equinox:   The Spring or Autumn quarter begins for the Northern Hemisphere as the Earth’s terminator, the boundary line between night and day, crosses the North and South Poles simultaneously. Therefore, with the Earth’s day/night boundary line briefly poised over both poles, only at these times of year are the hours of night and day equal anywhere on the globe.
Crossquarter:   Here defined as the moment in time precisely half-way between an adjacent solstice and equinox.
Bliadhna:   (Scots Gaelic,) Pronounced “BLEE-an uh”,
 “the ring of the year” -or- “the wheel of the year”.

For a downloadable / printable PDF of the above charts,

( UK/IRE, European or Australian versions available by request )

SO, how good are you 
with your Moon-Phases?
Study that little chart for a bit and you'll be
throwing bricks at your TV set (like me) in no time!

Note: My apologies to our friends living far-south of the equator in the South Temperate Zone. The crescents there will seem opposite to those shown on guides based on the view from the Northern Hemisphere since we each consider the other as  being"upside-down, standing on one's head"! 
- e.

on MON. AUG. 21st !!
For info, START HERE...

IMO, It's not really exaggerating to refer to this
as a "once in a lifetime" event that
few of us would want to miss...
For the full DRUIDS' ALMANAC, 
there's always a link on this blog's
page-header, or,

Sunday, December 18, 2016


Carvings and photo by earrach

Here's a holiday a song I've been working on. 
It combines a beautiful old shape-note hymn's tune with my own lyrics, lyrics which are intended to blend-in the feel of our long passage from November's bleak Wasteland to the very heart of Yuletide and the Sun's return. The reasoning and imagery of its mythic theme are detailed in my pieces about the post-Samhain Wasteland, and in particular, my essay titled "The Old Man at the End of the Year".

My song is called "The Great Wheel is Turning" 
and the MP3 of me singing it is HERE... 
- the recording at this point is pretty rough, my "studio skills" are very poor but I couldn't hold on another year to share it, it means very much to me and I'm rather proud of it in concept. Please consider singing it yourself, wherever, if you like it...

The Great Wheel is Turning
Lyrics (c) 2015 Earrach of Pittsburgh; 

The tune is from the Kentucky shape note hymn Brightest and Best (Ritchie Family version)

Through the grey Wasteland of No-vembers twilight
Long-lost we wandered o’er hilltop and moor...
Thanksgiving’s past and at length we discover
Many miles henceforth the smoke from a hall

    (Could)’this be the hearth of our year-ending mystery?
     Will we meet He who will show us the way?

Trudging long onward through cold rain and snowfall
(With)’hope in our hearts we each persevere-on.

Comes now the Yuletide, the Sun’s de-scent en-ding
Standing astride the threshold ‘tween the years
En-ter the corridor on the Night of the Mo-thers
The sacred old cycle of Twelve Nights begun.

On the first morn of our bright Sun’s returning
let us rejoice and all raise up in song…

With eve-ry day now the Great Wheel’s ascending
(Pro)’claiming-its promise that Life will go on.

On the first morn of our bright Sun’s returning
let us rejoice and all raise up in song...

With ev-ry day now the Great Wheel's ascending
(Pro)claiming its-promise that Life will go on. 


A printable PDF file of these lyrics can be downloaded here...

With Yuletide blessings to all.

occurs at 5:44 AM Eastern Standard Time
Wednesday, Dec. 21st, 2016

Here’s a trove of Book of Sassafras 

YULETIDE goodies from days of yore…

"Bah- humbug?" - No way... 
Yes, Christians should keep
"the Christ in Christmas", 
belongs to everybody!

The three faces of the Spirit of the Yule and
the Fractal Mystery of the Twelve Nights
between Solstice Eve and New Years Eve...

The oldest records of Yuletide may be from
England of the Dark Ages, not Germany...

Don't overlook these basic themes when creating
ritual celebrations for the December Solstice...

It's just that simple, if you view it from the appropriate angle...

 Yes, it's true, you can hear the year turn...

Looking for  D R U I D  - ish 
Y U L E T I D E   T U N E S  ?
Check these out:
by Steeleye Span 

on their holiday album



Tuesday, November 1, 2016


The sanctity returned to us by the reverence we've invested in a spirit, object, place, or calendar date increases with our continued interaction with the object of our veneration. 

I call this "The Sanctity / Veneration Feedback Loop".

The Sanctity/Veneration Feedback Loop is one of the basic principles at work in aesthetics, religion, and personal magic: the more you venerate a principle or object, the more sacred it becomes in turn. Yes, you are the primary arbiter of the sacred and thereby, the holiness of the world is a factor that's largely in your own hands, it's up to you.

The veneration of holy things not only makes them holier to us but it can have a profoundly healing effect on us as well. We do not belittle ourselves by worshiping something, we elevate ourselves in the process… To a Pagan the world is full of things worthy of veneration, not solely the ghosts wrought from a grossly misunderstood book and forced upon them by red-faced men in bespittled pulpits spouting brimstone, politics, and fear.

So, RELAX,  it's really all up to you...

Only you define what “worship” means... Just don’t sell yourself short.. 
Here's a few models for the terrifying W-word, ranging from the mild to the extreme:

"Worship", defined as...

     Willful remembrance and acknowledgement.

"Worship", defined as...

     Tribute and respectful salutation.

"Worship", defined as...

     Overt acts of veneration of the sacred.

"Worship", defined as...

     A willful act of submission to the sublime
     spiritual aspect(s) of a deity, spirit or thing.


- Earrach, Samhain 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

What if GHOSTI is NOT what its all about?

What if 


- not  -

what it’s all about ?

The Rites of the Wheel and priorities

IMO, although it’s a critically important factor in the execution of our rituals and, to a degree, in our relationships with the gods and spirits, the *ghosti principle is not the only thing to be concerned with in the design and execution of our annual eight high day rites. It should not be the primary reason for doing the rites nor should it suffice as our motivation when we find ourselves having difficulty in creating one. It is my contention that there is more to Our Druidry than that.

Then, who are we and what are we here (in ADF) “for”? - - I have come to feel that although ADF was founded on a certain set of intentions, those that one would cull from a current survey of its membership would differ in point and degree significantly from the original.

Yes, for one, ADF was intended to be a “priest-making machine” and in this I would concede that the organization is now well along its way toward that goal.

And then?

Then, the perennial question: “Whom does the Grove serve?”

On the other hand, and more central to my concerns, is the matter of Isaac’s earnest desire for ADF groves to be an open and continuous service to their local communities. This means that our high-day rites were to be not only open to attendance by non members but one of the main reasons for these groves and these rites is to serve the spiritual needs of our greater Neopagan communities. The vision rendered to me in the early 1990’s when I was founding my own grove was simply that: we were here to serve others, not our own memberships. We were to find ourselves best serving the Gods, Spirits and Ancestors through our ability to facilitate the spirituality of our neighbors. Our membership was to consist of those who wanted to join us and lend a hand in carrying out that service, not to be inwardly-oriented groups primarily serving their groves’ own interests. Quite simply, a grove was to be a “team”, not a “club”.

Isaac saw Neopaganism as a great field for potential development, both in ADF’s basic service to these communities through providing free, reliable, and quality public services, and also to address the great need for public education and the promotion of a more scholarly foundation for the future of Neopaganism. With his classic ADF tag-line challenge to Neopaganism at large, “Why not Excellence?” I feel he was also setting up ADF as a standard for other Pagan groups to emulate or to even do better.

So, our mission is not to solely be an exclusive haven for priests training in “reconstructionist” study and ritual. It is to serve the Mother of All Life, the Gods and other Kindred Spirits by serving our local communities. And by “serving” I mean to provide for them an annual cycle of high quality open, inclusive and inspiring public liturgies to enrich and facilitate the growth of Neopaganism in our culture as a viable and respectable form of modern spiritual expression.

A Priesthood of the Seasonal Mysteries...

Earlier I said we should not allow the *ghosti principle to be the singular reason for doing the Rites of the Wheel, nor should it suffice as our motivation when we find ourselves having difficulty in creating one. There is much more we can be achieving with our annual cycle of rites, for, just as is so easily seen in the practice of other modern western religions, the seasonal/traditional factors often trump the role of the deities involved, and for good reason, for that is where many of the most important motivations in tribal religious societies become motivated. From my perspective, the spirit being venerated in our rites is as much or more structured in the seasonal traditions and the season itself as it is in the deities ascribed to the season’s expressions.

- Earrach, 2016




* Ghosti: building a reciprocal relationship with the gods and spirits by honoring them with appropriate offerings.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Summer Solstice sunrise
(c) 2016 earrach
Worshipful Things
A personal inventory...

I am not a monotheist or panentheist, nor am I in agreement with any definition that would end up positing a Universal-Godhead separate from This World, nor even of “One” utterly permeating it.

Nor do I believe in a "Creator" or a Creation.

I believe that there is a spectrum of Worshipful Things: 
- - things to which I reflexively feel a profound need to render my reverence.

They are not all "spirits".   Nor would they all qualify as "beings".
Note here that I am actually more comfortable worshiping THINGS than beings...

We are trained by Western Culture to assume that “worship” is
            (a.)       for “God” (only.)
            (b.)       who is an entity…
            (c.)       who is of a discarnate, transcendental, nature.

I do not feel constrained by those criteria in the least.
As a matter of fact, I find them particularly offensive to my religious sensibilities.

It might actually help to cite a couple of the things I worship…
( Listed here in descending order; the greatest first, followed by the successively lesser...)

1. The Earth, Our Ultimate Mother (Land/Sea/Sky).
The Thing; not the "idea"...)

2. The Sun
The Thing; not the "idea"...)

4. "Bliadhna" - The Seasons
("blee an-uh" Scots.Gaelic for The Wheel of the Year )

3. The Great Way of Things / -a.k.a. "The Wyrd"
The great virtually ineffable and interconnected Fabric of Existence.

5. "The Kindred"
-An ADF term for the IndoEuropean set of the three kinds of Spirit-Folk, inhabiting the Three Worlds (Middle, Lower and Upper realms) recognized in the IE lore:
i.   The Wordly Spirits: the others, dwelling along-side us in the World of Form:       
                 The Creatures/ The Fey/& certain genius locii(Spirits of Place).
ii.  The Ancestors: in the Underworld Realm/Eternity
iii. The Blessed Ones: in the Celestial Realm/ the Ideal- or Perfected Ones/ 
                 certain ancient Gods and Goddesses; including ehumerized Heroes 
                 (the undying oversouls of certain superb once-mortals).

To me, these things are worthy of veneration.

There's a start.
                                                ( False Gods "R" Us ® )


The following is an excerpt from my essay "Neopaganism and Belief"...

Ok, ok, but what do you REALLLY believe?? "

In case you've read this far and aren't aware, like most of my essays, this is an opinion-piece. I just wanted to check-in with you on that before I proceed to my next point. For a start, I shall hereby submit an admission of my general SKEPTICISM toward most persons' ( all persons' ?) statements-of-belief as not being truly representative of their personal "reality-constructs." I suppose that makes me somewhat of a cynic, but I believe that this is a terribly important idea, no matter how bitter a pill it seems.

Perhaps a logician could show us an equation illustrating the "reasoning" behind each of the various contemporary "faiths"... yet even if these people have achieved logically-valid systems of "belief" –in my opinion, the fact remains that most people internally sustain numerous conjectural models, sorting them and finally grooming a current "preferred" model to "bind" themselves-to ( re-ligio: "to bind").

Initially an intellectual choice and later an obligation to one's personal history and self esteem, they do NOT always (or even "often") represent the basic reality-construct that the person employs reflexively to apprehend the world from moment to moment. No, I do not have a lot of facts to support this notion; just a very strong intuitive conclusion based on careful observation of others and as objective of an analysis of my own behavior as I can muster.

The ordinary "statement of belief" springs from the reflective realm, not from the reflexive. More a matter of politics, they all too clearly resemble press-releases: public statements to others, and to ourselves, of

(a) how we'd like to think of ourselves -and-

(b) how we'd like to be thought-of by our peers.

This is why, in the Glossary, instead of saying "the theist believes in god" I've chosen to use the phrase "the theist asserts a personal faith in the existence of a deity."

Don't get me wrong, I think statements of belief are wonderful things; I think everyone should sit down and write one out right now. And then write another one tomorrow. And another one the next day... So yes, I'm taking the position that it's more useful to discuss statements of belief as being simply what people choose to say about themselves, today, and that we should always reserve judgment on knowing what it is they actually "believe", regardless of what they say.

(end of excerpt.)

Monday, August 1, 2016


painting by Winslow Homer


Saturday, June 25, 2016

BRYAN PERRIN This is Why You Should Know Who He Is

Bryan's Blog...
Bryan's ADF Grove...

BTW,    Bryan is a professional artist and holds copyright on all of his works, so please don't repost his work without his express permission.  -earrach