This meeting was held via Skype and recorded by Grey Catsidhe.
Held on 4/24/16
Meeting opened at 1:00
In attendance: Grey Catsidhe, Weretoad, Annette, Heidi, Daniel, Eve, and Cassandra (showed up later but updated on everything)
- Charter Request Update – Grey, Weretoad, and Cassandra planned to meet at a state office building in Watertown on 4/28/16 to have the charter request notarized.
- Updates on Upcoming Events – The FAE Fest is seeking sponsors if anyone is interested. Grey continues to call local state park office buildings in an attempt to reserve a pavilion for our Lughnasadh games. Will update ASAP.
- Treasurer Report – Although in attendance, Weretoad was in and out due to childcare needs. His report will occur at our next meeting.
- Member in Need– One of our members and dear friends (name withheld for privacy) is going through some difficult times. Although this person did not request such assistance, Grey suggested we do something to help. She wondered about collecting donations towards getting a gift card. If so, what? Annette suggested collecting money then getting a Visa or Mastercard gift card in order to provide more freedom of choice. Daniel suggested simply collecting money then writing a check for even more facility. Everyone liked the idea of collecting donations to help this member. We will have an additional cup next to our usual donation bin with a brief description of what we are doing (leaving out personal details). Visitors may leave anonymous, voluntary donations if desired at our Bealtaine celebration.
- Outreach to “Distance Members” – Since we exist near a military base, many of our members are only with us temporarily. Some of these individuals continue to affiliate themselves with Northern Rivers and even support us via dues despite the distance. In addition, we have some members in Central NY and in Canada who aren’t always able to attend our gatherings for various reasons. Grey wondered if we could do more to support members who don’t live locally. Grey mentioned her continued effort to reach out electronically through various platforms – email, Facebook, Google+, and now Twitter. Annette and Heidi both like the fact that we have an active web presence. Heidi said that providing as much info as possible in advance helps her family schedule. Grey suggested starting an annual or biannual newsletter (electronic but paper via snail mail if requested). This proposed newsletter would update members on everyone’s locations, accomplishments, and life changes. Annette suggested that members send photos. The newsletter could also have a list of upcoming events, protogrove projects, and other content related to Druidism that members produce. Cassandra was really excited about the idea and embraced helping as part of the scribe’s role. More info to come! We also discussed alternating physical and Skype meetings so that potentially more distance members could attend and maintain that connection.
- Bealtaine – We briefly discussed the history and purpose of Bealtaine. Grey suggested honoring the Goddess Airmed for this rite. She also shared a history of “beings of the occasion” our protogrove has honored, noting a desire not to focus on one gender too much. She also expressed an interest in moving away from honoring a mated pair at Bealtaine. Although there is definite history and lore behind this, she does not want to create an environment that is unwelcoming to people who are not heterosexual. This liturgical year, completed and planned rituals (Bealtaine aside) honored or will honor two gender neutral, three male, and two female spirits. Grey suggested Airmed in part because she is a Goddess, thus balancing our focus, and also because of her connection with herbalism and gardens – something appropriate to the season and of interest to many members. She is also associated with healing, and Grey suggested channeling some of that to send healing energy to one of our members. Everyone was very receptive and welcoming to these suggestions. Ritual parts were discussed. Annette was given first choice as this will be her last ritual with us.
Ritual parts are as follows:
a) Ritual leader: Grey
b) Outsiders: Weretoad
c) Earth Mother: Heidi
d) Nature Spirits: Annette
e) Ancestors: Cassandra
f) Gods and Goddesses: Cassandra
g) Airmed: Grey
h) Seer: GreyFor our magical working, we will stick with tradition and jump the bonfire or a candle for purification and luck. In addition, we will channel some of that energy, along with Airmed’s help, to a member in need of healing.
Grey reminded everyone that we are changing our usual times for this celebration as a result of the Labyrinth Walk at the Yoga Center. This starts at 1 and everyone is encouraged to attend if possible. Our workshop, the Maypole dance, will begin at 3. Grey bought a grapevine wreathe for the Maypole ribbons. We will have an early potluck at 4. Our ritual will start at 5:30 so members can enjoy the bonfire at a later hour.
- Goodbye Gathering for Annette – Annette expressed a desire to get together sometime in May before she leaves. She will suggest a desired location and we will work to make it happen!
Meeting closed at 1:45