What is Druidism?
Modern Druidism is based on or inspired by the spiritual practices of the ancient Celts. It often (although not always) embraces traditions, art, music, and food from Celtic nations such as Ireland or Wales.
Why are you called “Northern Rivers?”
Please see our explanation here on the “About Us” page.
Who can attend one of your events? How often do you meet?
Most of our rituals, workshops, and social gatherings are open to the public provided visitors have an open mind and respectful attitude. Rituals are run by members but we encourage group participation through music and offerings. Some of our gatherings are opened to members only because they may take place at an individual’s private home. Those who feel called to study Druidism and enjoy their time with us may want to consider joining. Our High Day rituals are always opened to the public and we strive to offer eight each year. Workshops and meet-ups are scheduled as possible. Please check our event page.
What should I wear?
Please wear whatever clothing you are most comfortable in! Most of our rituals take place at the Kripalu Yoga and Wellness Center and so you needn’t worry about uninformed strangers in a park judging you if you want to wear a robe or cloak. (In fact, you may want to wear a cloak when it’s cold!) If you are not interested in wearing “garb,” you may wear street clothes. In fact, many of our members do just that! If you come to our Samhain ritual, you are invited to dress in costume. Always keep the weather in mind when choosing your outfit. Our rituals are often outside in a mowed field. You may also want to pack some insect repellant and sunscreen. Please do not come skyclad; our venue is not clothing optional and many newcomers are not prepared or comfortable with that.
Can I bring my children?
We aim to be a family-friendly Druid group. You may bring your children but you must stay with them at all times. Please talk to your children about fire safety before coming and keep them away from the bonfire or candles. Many children are quite capable of participating in meditation. We like to remind them that they are using their imaginations at that time. Before coming, talk to your child about how there will be times in ritual for singing and talking, and times to be quiet and still. You may leave the circle at any time if your child needs to use the bathroom, is crying, or isn’t feeling well. Your little one is encouraged to give offerings when we reach that portion of the ritual. Kids love to give the Kindreds drawings, flowers, and seeds. Some may like to sing a song! Please let the ritual leaders know in advance if you are bringing children. We may be able to arrange a special, seasonal activity for them before or after ritual!
For a more detailed look at our policy about children, please read this.
Are animals allowed?
Because most of our rituals are held at the Kripalu Yoga and Wellness Center, pets are not allowed. The exception would be service animals. Please let us know in advance if you have a service animal so members who have allergies can plan to bring their medication if necessary.
How long are the rituals?
Since ADF Druid rituals are devotional in nature, and we honor many spirits, our rites often last at least an hour. We feel that taking the time to honor the Kindreds, celebrating the season, and allowing for community participation is more important than a quick rite. Certain rituals, especially if we have major magical workings to conduct (handfastings, baby sainings, mother blessings, memorial for the dead, etc) may last up to 90 minutes. There is seating available at our indoor and outdoor rites.
What kind of offerings should I bring?
Guests are encouraged to bring offerings for the Being of the Occasion, or personal spirit allies. We ask that any offerings you bring are biodegradable or fire-safe (won’t give off toxic fumes). Suggestions include birdseed, flowers, a fruit or vegetable, a small beverage to pour (such as milk, tea, ale, or wine), a small piece of art you produced, a poem, a song, a dance, incense, or a candle. You may also bring fresh or dried herbs from your own garden or cupboards. Out of respect for Native American concerns, we strive to not pour alcohol directly on the Earth Mother. Modern Druids in the ADF tradition do not practice animal sacrifice. If you are uncertain about an offering, please just ask!
Is there food?
Yes! We always have a potluck after our rituals. Gusts are asked to bring a dish or beverage to share. If the event is at the Yoga Center, we have access to their kitchen which includes an oven and stove for heating meals, a fridge for storage, and a few plugs for crockpots. Please try to bring your own place settings. We encourage reusable plates, cups, and cutlery as much as possible to respect the Earth Mother and Nature Spirits. Disposable place settings are often available for those who forget – no judgement.
What about cellphones and other electronics?
We like to take photos of our altars, shrines, and workshop creations before and after ritual. Depending on the magical working, it may be appropriate to take photos during the ritual (such as a rite of passage), however we usually ask that guests silence their phones and refrain from using them until the ritual is over. If you receive a call that you absolutely must take, please quietly leave the ritual space and speak quietly so as to not disrupt our workings. If you want to take photos, please ask before including people.
Why are you asking for a donation?
We ask that all guests make a donation at our events to help cover the cost of renting the Yoga Center or other facilities. We also use the funds for ritual and workshop supplies. All donations and membership dues stay in the protogrove account for protogrove use. A detailed treasurer report is given at each quarterly meeting. If a guest cannot make a donation for whatever reason, he or she will not be turned away.
What isn’t allowed at our gatherings?
Illegal drugs and weapons (knives over the legal length, guns – loaded or not, etc), proselytization, and acts of vandalism or sexual harassment are not allowed at our gatherings. As Northern Rivers strives to be a positive example of the local Pagan community, we follow all state and federal laws. In addition, although we are able to utilize alcohol at the Yoga Center for the purposes of ritual offerings and communal beverages, the purpose is not to become inebriated. Please do not bring extra alcohol to events for consumption. Out of consideration for allergies, children, and the general health of our members and visitors, smoking is not allowed at our functions. Any individual who compromises our integrity to ADF, the local community, local and federal laws, and the Kirpalu Yoga Center will be asked to leave.