Making Community – Forming a Pack

I haven’t written about the North Country Druidic Study Group in awhile.  We had our third meeting last weekend and it was very successful!  There were less people than the second meeting, but many had family obligations which is understandable – especially in the summer when everyone wants to visit and have fun!  We have been talking about Nature Spirits – who/what they are, how we impact each other, and how to work with them.  It’s mostly focused on the physical realm – what is corporeal and readily experienced by the average person’s senses.  I firmly believe that, even though the more mystical side of Druidism is very interesting and rewarding to study, you won’t gain much without feeling connected to the “here and now.”  We started to tap into magic and energy last time with a Two Powers exercise.

The group is still in its infancy.  Who knows who will stay?  Druidism won’t be for everyone, so I’ll understand if some people decide to part ways amicably.  There seems to be a core group of people – individuals who have been to each meeting, are very active on the Facebook group, and who really seem happy with what they’re discovering about Druidism.  One even joined ADF!

There’s been some discussion about the possibility of starting an actual grove in the North Country!  I did explain that we need to take baby steps toward that since it’s a lot of work.  My biggest concerns, at this point, are where we can meet and how involved everyone will be.

The meetings have been in three different places.  I’ve been communicating with a Yoga center in the area about the possibility of having our rituals there and we’ll see how that turns out.  If that doesn’t work in our favor, there are various parks in the area.  But in winter?  I don’t really feel the UU Church is the answer since I’m not a member and there’s already a CUUPs chapter there.  I am opened to having people I know in my home, but ADF rituals are supposed to be opened to the public.  I’ve always admired the Ellisons’ hospitality at Muin Mound Grove.  It’s on their property and new people come in and out of their house each high day.  I’m not as comfortable with that, at least right now.

So, we’ll see what happens with a location, but I’m taking steps.

With regards to group involvement, the “core” I described seem willing to work with me.  I’m hoping the core only grows.  I’ve never been a part of a Pagan group that didn’t have a dedicated core and then more casual members on the periphery who show up when able.  Muin Mound is the same way, as was the Mohawk Valley Pagan Network.  The local CUUPs too.  A good four or five people seem key to making sure things get organized.  I have heard of new protogroves having difficulty with members, though.  One person will feel like he or she is doing all of the work and nobody volunteers.  I know from being a president in a college organization that sometimes a leader has to delegate since people aren’t always aware you’re seeking volunteers.

For now, the group is small and everyone is learning.  My husband and I have the most experience with ADF Druidism followed by one of the core members.  I can’t honestly expect more involvement until people gather more experience. As the group grows, I’m hoping others become more involved as they grow and feel comfortable in Druidism.  Although I’m organizing and facilitating everything at the moment, I do want the group to feel comfortable making suggestions and even leading meetings in the future.

Before our last study group, I used my Animal Oracle to draw an omen and pulled the goose which can mean parenthood.  The second meeting’s omen was a wolf which I interpreted to mean pack.  The cards seem to aptly describe the situation right now.  I’m forming a pack and have to nurture those who are interested.

I’m hopeful for my little group – hopeful that we grow into a pack – a family 0f North Country Druids.

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

10 thoughts on “Making Community – Forming a Pack

  1. I am a lone practitioner who maybe interested in joining a group. If you have an opening I would be interested to come and check it out.

  2. Sounds exciting! My grove does most of our rituals at private property. We rarely get people dropping in completely out of the blue; most folk who want to attend will contact us first. If you are still worried, I’m pretty sure that the ADF rules allow for groves to have unpublished addresses for the rituals and therefore require that anyone who wants to attend contact someone in the grove beforehand to get the address.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts! That’s definitely something I’ll look into when we get more serious about grove status. I know there are others who are equally concerned about “stranger danger.” Especially parents. I can completely understand. I know other groups, like the Henge of Keltria, often want to meet prospective members.

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