Last night we had a business meeting. The following were present:Grey Catsidhe, Weretoad, Cassandra (and her husband), Tj , Catherine (our wonderful hostess), Tara Loughborough (and her husband), and April. As decided at a previous business meeting, only those who have attended three public gatherings, shown a dedicated interest in the group, and demonstrate a positive attitude are asked to come to the private business meetings. Business meeting minutes will be made public after the meeting within a reasonable time.
1) Samhain Ritual Reflection
We began by reflecting on our Samhain ritual. Everyone agreed it went well. Grey’s only concern was the chanting. She will work harder to pick songs that are easier to sing so those in attendance don’t have a difficult time. Everyone was really pleased with the site at the Yoga Center and we wish to continue going there.
2) The Winter Solstice Ritual
We started to plan our Winter Solstice ritual. December is a very busy time for everyone and it was determined that Saturday the 15th would be the best day for our gathering. We will plan to set up at 3 and start ritual at 4. Grey will contact the Yoga Center to verify the time and date.
After some discussion, we decided that the deities of the occasion will be An Dagda (a God of plenty – quite appropriate for the gift giving) and the Cailleach, the winter hag. The main offering will be a garland of fruits. Those planning to attend are asked to make a small garland prior to attending. We will tie these together during ritual to make a large garland and wrap it around a tree. More on this later!
Several people volunteered for ritual roles.
Cat will honor the Bardic deity, Brighid.
Grey will make the peace offering to the Outsiders.
Tara will honor the Earth Mother.
Grey will honor and call to the Gate Keeper
Cat will honor and call to the Nature Spirits
Cassandra will honor and call to the Ancestors
April will honor and call to the Gods and Goddesses
Cat will honor and call to An Dagda
Grey will honor and call to Cailleach
The position of seer is still being decided upon.
Those working on the ritual will be discussing it throughout the upcoming weeks to prepare.
3) Winter Solstice Gift Exchange
It was decided that we should do a gift exchange in the spirit of the season. We’ll do a musical chairs sort of swap. Gifts may be purchased (with a spending limit of $10) or made. Since this is a gift anyone may receive, it is suggested that gifts be Druidic or magical in nature (candles, incense, offering bowls, etc). You do NOT have to bring a gift to attend the Winter Solstice ritual, but you do have to bring one to take part in the gift exchange out of fairness.
As always, there will be a potluck feast!
The temporarily appointed treasurer, Weretoad, reported that we received an impressive $72 worth of donations at the Samhain ritual. As a sign of goodwill and gratitude to the Yoga Center, $65 went to them. The Druidic Study Group kept $7 towards future ritual supplies – especially fire wood.
We once more discussed the possibility of dues and the majority of people in attendance agreed that dues are going to be necessary given the need to rent space at the Yoga Center.
We were told by Steve from the Yoga Center that we could pay a flat rate of $25 for a half day. Everyone felt this was appropriate and it was suggested that a full member of the group pay $25 a year as dues. There was discussion about having wiggle room for people unable to pay $25 all at once. Nothing was set in stone and discussion will continue.
There was a general agreement that donations should still be accepted from people willing to give (full members or visitors taking part in the rituals). The use of these donations will have to be explicit.
Once we become an ADF Protogrove, donations can become tax deductible (I hope I’m saying that right).
5) Membership Levels
Grey Catsidhe explained that ADF Groves have membership levels – people who are full members (both dues paying members of ADF and the individual grove), people who are just grove members (not ADF members but dues paying members of the grove), and then “everybody else” (people who are neither ADF members nor dues paying grove members but like coming to social gatherings and rituals). She explained that only people who are both grove and ADF members may hold an elected position in the grove and vote on policy changes. This protects the grove’s identity. Grove members, although unable to hold an elected position or vote on policy, may give their opinions on planning rituals and social events. They may also help run rituals. Non grove members, while their input is valuable, will not be able to vote on elections, policy, or run rituals. Again, this is to protect the identity of the group and ensure that those helping to make decisions and organize events are fully supportive and invested in our grove.
These rules are official once we become an ADF protogrove. At the moment, we are only discussing these changes to be sure everyone is aware of them.
To reiterate, people ***do not*** have to be dues paying members of ADF or the Druidic Study Group/hopeful protogrove to come to social gatherings, study group meetings, or rituals. Those will always be public events. The only private events (thus far) are the business meetings.
We closed the meeting and ate snacks!
Thanks again to those of you who came! Looking forward to the Winter Solstice Ritual!