Druids of North America
The State of Colorado
(Instituted on the 1st of May 2005)
I, David John Drew of the City of Aurora in Adams County, in the State of Colorado, The United States of America, in the month of May the first, two thousand and five do hereby establish a Drunemeton or Grove of Druidry to further the exploration of the ancient path of Gaelic spirituality, history, literature, and community, with the aim of making more orderly our investigations and learning, and to encourage the growth of fruitful bonds between our companions in this faith in the pursuit of scholarship and friendship within a peaceful enclave.
This Grove will also seek to contact and establish links with other Druidic Groves across the nation of North America and throughout the world, for the enjoyment and profit of learning and comradeship. This Grove will offer the hand and heart of peace to all of various faiths, religions, and spiritual paths regardless of origin, in an attempt to further understanding and global cooperation for the development of all citizens of this earth, to promote equality, education, and interfaith dialog to demolish poverty and ignorance.
This Grove will not suffer or promote discrimination of any sort amongst its members, whether based on sexuality, race, religion, age, or any other possible permutation of individuality. The administration of this Grove will be established on the basis of communal and democratic principles and will not suffer any dictatorial authoritarianism. Membership will be open to any person of interest; any member may be expelled by common vote for failing to adhere to the principles, aims, and articles of this constitution and charter of the organization know as ‘Hesperus Aurora Grove.’
I call upon the strength of heaven
The brilliant light of sun
The reflected radiance of moon
The burning splendor of fire
The sharpness of lightening
The broad swiftness of wind
The hidden depths of ocean
The sound stability of earth
The firmness of mountain;
I call upon the ancient Gods, the Tuatha De Danann as witness;
Danu, Great Mother Spirit of Earth, of Gods and humans, the source,
Daghda, Eochaidh Ollathair, The All-Father, of Wisdom,
Boanne, Virgin-Goddess of the ever-coursing river,
Brighid, Burning-Arrow, Goddess of Fertility, inspiring and healing,
Morrigan, of Badh, Macha and Nemain, Phantom Queen of War, Death and harvester of the dead,
Manannan Mac Lyr, Lord of Elysium and of the deep oceans,
Aengus Mac Ogh, son of the young, patron of love-poets,
Lugh Samildanach, master of all arts, God of light,
Oghma Cermait, honey-tongued, and ‘grainainech’ sun-face,
Dian-Cecht, most noble physician and healer, God of restoration,
Mare, Goddess of sovereignty and nobility, of prophetic dreams.
O’ ancient Gods, Spirits, Noble ancestors, indwellers of the deepest Sidhe, arise from your slumber to witness this honorable charter of formation and a new birth. Join us this day to bless our virtuous venture, protect, nurture, and inspire our well-intentioned efforts. I humbly request that you prevent any impediment in our progress, guide and guard us, make smooth our journey along the sacred path of the earth and illuminate our spirits and sight on dark days.
I call upon the spirits, ancestors and guardians of this place, the Arapahoe, The Bison Path People, the Chiefs ‘Oh-Has-Tee’ and ‘Little Raven’ and ‘Left-Hand’ and White Antelope’ and ‘Neva’ and ‘Bosse’ and ‘Heaps-Of-Buffalo’ and ‘Notanee’ and ask you for permission to dwell in this place for a short time, to rejoice in its beauty and drink from the wisdom of this earth, I ask for your blessing and protection at this time, so that we may prosper.
In a sacred manner we live,
To the heavens we gaze,
In a sacred manner we live;
The Great Earth is our benefactor.
I call upon the ancestors of this ancient land, the Dine, honorable people to beckon and invoke the mighty Gods and Goddesses of this land to bless our venture and protect us. We ask for the assistance of Na’acdjei Esda (Spider-Woman), and Etsan Natlehi (She-Who Changes) and Yolkai Estaan (White Shell Woman) and Johano-Ai (Sun-God) and Niltshi (Wind-God) to watch over us, provide guidance and assistance along difficult paths to a golden land.
Here Begins the Articles of This Grove of Hesperus-Aurora.
The name of this organization shall be Hesperus-Aurora Grove, of the Druids of North America in the State of Colorado. The title of the Grove comes from the sacred mountain of the Dine People (the Navajo) known as Hesperus, which lies in the south-west of Colorado in the La Plata mountain range, and is known to the Dine People as Dibe Nitsaa or Big Mountain Sheep, or Baashshinii Dzil or The Jet-Black Mountain because of the profusion of obsidian there. Thus shall the obsidian stone be the elected totem-stone of Hesperus Grove. Hesperus was the name given in ancient times to the evening star, which is identified by our esteemed astronomers as the planet Venus, and thus shall Venus be elected as the totem-planet of Hesperus Grove. In the works and knowledge of the learned astrologers, Venus is the ruling planet of Taurus the Bull, and so shall the mighty horned bull be adopted as the totem-beast of Hesperus Grove and which also represents the great Irish epic myth the ‘Tain Bo Cualigne’ or ‘Cattle Raid of Cooley.’ Of the native flora and fauna in the State of Colorado I have most carefully selected and elected three distinct species of creature as companions in our path; The osprey (Pandion haliaetus carolensis) to represent the element of air and of sky, the raccoon (Procyon lotor) to represent the element of earth, and the Kokanee salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) to represent the element of water. As a botanical I have elected the chokecherry shrub, whose Latin name is Prunus virginiana. This is in honor of the first inhabitants of this area, the Arapahoe tribe led by Chief Little Raven who dwelt at the base of the shining mountains along ‘Cherry-Creek’ where it meets the South Platte river. The Arapahoe named the area after the wild chokecherry bushes growing along the creek. I also have adopted the native oak species Quercus gambelii as a ‘grandfather’ totem for our presence as a Grove here, a qualifying act recommended from the European tradition. The choice and acceptance of these native species in the immediate environment is representative of the Grove in the true tradition of Druidism; that which expresses a love and respect and reverence for the land, nature, the earth and that which populates and sustains it.
The Primary Aims of Hesperus Aurora Grove shall be:
1) The advancement of learning, education and training.
2) Worship, spiritual and religious activities.
3) Within the Celtic concept of ‘soul-friendship’ or anamchara the grove will exist for the nurturing of companionship, spiritual guidance, mutual support and friendship.
4) The Grove will recognize life events within the community, such as births, marriages and deaths. The administration may develop rituals and rites to mark these occasions, in order to enhance their significance and depth of meaning within a communal context. Such is the practice amongst most societies based on ancient native spiritual values.
Hesperus-Aurora Grove will be administered by three principal officers:
1) The Ollamh-Draoi or Arch-Druid, shortened to OD or simply Draoi. This shall be the official organizer of the grove. The Ollamh-Draoi will preside over all services, meetings, and convocations. The Arch-Druid will be the official representative of the grove in all matters. He/She may be a lay person with sufficient experience to effectively manage the organization and/or be trained and/or ordained by a spiritual authority. The traditional and historical role of a Druid is as an advisor, judge, teacher, authority in spiritual matters, natural philosopher, mediator, and diplomat, although these categories are not limited.
2) The Faidh or Ovate, in a very traditional sense is a diviner, seer, and/or prophet. The Faidh held the ability and skill to see and sense beyond physical space assumed time. In a modern sense the Ovate may be seen a the protector of the Grove and its members, marking the boundaries and carrying a symbolic shield. They may also hold the tools and skills of divination, to advise on past, present or future events. Many Ovate’s also possess a sound tree-lore (or ‘laws of nature’) and have healing skills, a knowledge of herbalism or other medicine-craft.
3) The Filidh or Poet/Bard. Traditionally the Bard kept the oral traditions of the tribe. There were several educational grades of Bard; Ollaire or Principal beginner, Tamhain or Poets Attendant, Drisac or Apprentice Satirist, Cli or Pillar, Anruth or Noble Stream, Eces or Man of Learning, and Ollamh or Doctor of Poetry. In a modern administrative sense the Bard is a secretary who maintains the written records of Grove meetings… ect. In a more spiritual sense the Bard is involved in the generation of creative works, forming character through expression and development, recording inspiration, a translator of the voice of nature, a herald of events, a vital link between the spiritual and the physical realms. He/she believes in the restorative power of nature and the flow of ideas is the Bardic stream of thought, channeling that energy in identifiable forms. A craftsperson, a maker or one skilled with hands, voice, and movement.
The grades of officers in Hesperus Aurora Grove are not intended to be hierarchal, but represent the specific skills, abilities, training, and knowledge of individuals. As a triad they personify the mind, body and spirit of the grove and should equally provide inspiration, education, and protection.
Elections for the posts of Ollamh-Draoi, Faidh and Filidh will be held annually on the last day of the Celtic New Year which is October the thirty first. All posts will be filled by voice vote, or via electronic communication which is by email, telephone or other. The Ollamh-Draoi reserves the right to appoint any member amongst members of the Grove to fill an unexpired term, and may appoint any member to serve in his/her place pro-tem. The annual General Meeting (AGM) of Hesperus Aurora Grove will be either at the same time as the election of officers or within two weeks of that date.
Hesperus Aurora Grove shall convene for a minimum of twelve meetings per year, and of this number the eight official ‘high-days’ are incorporated. The Grove shall adhere to the Celtic eightfold path of seasonal observances. These consist of four agricultural or earth celebrations, and four solar or celestial festivals. Where members of the grove cannot convene as a whole on these sacred days, individuals shall follow a personal ritual.
The Earth Festivals are:
1) Beltaine on 1st of May.
2) Lughnasadh on 1st of August.
3) Samhain on 1st November.
4) Imbolc on 1st of February.
The Solar Festivals are:
1) Mean Geimreadh on 21st December.
2) Mean Earrach on 21st March.
3) Mean Samraidh on 21st June.
4) Mean Foghmar on 21st September.
Hesperus Aurora Grove will convene in a specific, pre-arranged location in the absence of a permanent venue. In addition, Hesperus Aurora Grove recognizes the observance of the division of the year into lunar months. The new moon is the beginning of each month, the calendrical year begins on the first days of the season of Samhain and ends on the last days of the season of Lughnasadh. These are the first new moons prior to these festivals. The lunar calendar has been accepted on the basis of archeological evidence extracted from the Coligny Calendar (a bronze tablet discovered in 1897 in France and which details a Celto-Gaelic solar/lunar calendrical system). A similar system is detailed in Ireland in an ancient stone fragment known as the Knowth Site Stone. Hesperus Aurora Grove understands that the beliefs, practice and acceptance of a lunar calendar vary greatly from community to culture, and therefore is not in a position to force one system upon anyone. For the purposes of guidance the modern Irish calendar is given here:
Deireadh Fomhair October to November.
Mi na Samhna November to December.
Mi na Nollagh December to January.
Mi Eanair January to February.
Mi Feabhra February to March.
Mi Marta March to April.
Abrean April to May.
Mi na Beltaine May to June.
Meitheamh June to July.
Mi Luil July to August.
Mi Lunasa August to September.
Mean Fomhair September to October.
All members and officers of Hesperus Aurora Grove shall endeavor to uphold and follow the three essential tenets and moral principles of Druidism, being; truth, justice and knowledge. This is together with fifteen key Celtic virtues, extrapolated from the Audacht Morainn or Testament of Morann Mac Moin, a Brehon Judge and Druid. The fifteen virtues are summarized as follows: Mericful, just, diplomatic, conscientious, reliable, generous, hospitable, curteous, honest, courageous, strong, eloquent, steady, composed and objective.
The most basic cosmological belief in Gaelic-Celtic and Druidic practice is An Thribhis Mor or The Great Triskele, which represents the three essential elements of earth, water and air, or land, sky and sea. This Grove adopts this view and its traditional basis on which all oaths are formulated, although it does not seek to persuade any member or individual pursuing membership to adopt this belief.
This Grove recognizes that throughout history Druids have fulfilled many roles in traditional Celtic society, that they were a professional class of men and women who were historians, analysts, judges, arbitrators, diplomats, ambassadors, keepers of myths and tales, masters of chanting and music, artists, poets, doctors and physicians, magicians, cup-bearers, diviners, bards, lawyers… amongst other professions. Any member of this grove may pursue to qualify themselves in any of these arts or others not mentioned or listed, and will be supported wholeheartedly by the Grove administration.
Hesperus Aurora Grove recognizes thirteen points of modern Druidic Spirituality, which are based on a desire for and love of nature, the world, humanity, and all of its aspects in the search for a truly harmonic existence:
1) The Love of Peace.
2) The Love of Beauty.
3) The Love of Justice.
4) The Love of Myth.
5) The Love of History and Ancestors.
6) The Love of Trees, Herbs and Plants.
7) The Love of Mountains, Stones, and Minerals.
8) The Love of Truth and Wisdom.
9) The Love of Animals.
10) The Love of The Universe and Cosmology.
11) The Love of The Sacred Body.
12) The Love of Humanity and Community.
13) The Love of Life, Celebration and Commitment.
No discriminatory behavior will be tolerated in Hesperus Aurora Grove. All members will be treated as equals without exception. No person desiring admittance to the Grove will be refused on the basis of race, religious belief, gender, or other, but will be accepted solely on the basis of a presentation of a petition which may be written, oral or otherwise, stating their belief in the basic tenets of this Druidic Grove, which are:
1) Druidism is an ancient spiritual path with many dimensions and aspects, although primarily it is ‘earth-centered’ and seeks wisdom and knowledge through direct contact and study of nature and the universe. It is the basic belief of this Grove that nature is complex and interrelated, that the human being is but one of the many elements in this creation and that an understanding if the relationships with nature is one key to spiritual happiness.
2) A belief in and desire to follow the eightfold path of cyclical observances oitline in Article IV.
3) A belief in and desire to follow the three essential tenets of Druidry, and the fifteen virtues outlined above.
4) An understanding of the basic Celto-Druid cosmology of land, sky and sea.
5) A belief in the role of Druids in Celtic society as a professional class, and by extension that this professionalism may be emulated in our own time for the benefit of this group, the general community in Colorado, and both nationally and internationally.
6) An understanding of, an willingness to follow the thirteen aspects of love outlines above in Article VI.
Membership shall not be limited by location. Any individual expressing their desire to join Hesperus Aurora Grove shall be admitted regardless of their origins. No member shall impose or seek to influence any other member/s in religious, theological or spiritual doctrine. Members may share experiences, impart objective knowledge, teach or lecture on topics of specialization, or generally, or offer insights into their spiritual values, but there should never at any time be an intention or resolution to convert or change the spiritual or religious beliefs of any other member/s. It is the sole and unchangeable view of Hesperus Aurora Grove that absolutely no spiritual path is inherently superior to any other.
Hesperus Aurora Grove cannot accept responsibility for any criminal damages caused by members whilst committing illegal activities. This Grove does not support any unlawful activity. Hesperus Aurora Grove cannot be held responsible for any mental illness contracted as a result of beliefs or doctrines contained within this constitution.
Amendments to this constitution may be enacted after two consecutive meetings of members with majority votes on items for correction or addition.
The constitution and organization of Hesperus Aurora Grove is put into motion with the following members, who join of their free will and may likewise choose to leave:
Jan Preston Dunn. Ed. Le-Rae. Sam Kuntz. Shawn. Simon Shupp. Ben Alexander. Ryan. Shirley. J. W. Rockies. Laura. Laura Allen. David J. Drew. Shannon.