Workshops for 2021
Legends and Myths from the Central Alpine Regions—Christian Brunner
In the Alps, once inhabited by Celtic people of various tribes, and then occupied and overrun by Romans, Goths, Huns, and all kinds of Germanic peoples, a large treasure of lore has survived to this day. Coupled with magical practice, these body of knowledge can be traced back all the way to pagan times, once the layers with which the centuries have varnished it are peeled off. In this workshop we will explore lore and magic still practiced in remote rural areas, where the origins may be found, and discover how they the can be used in modern Druidry.
Christian F. Brunner was born in Austria and lived there for more than 30 years before he moved to the United States in 1997. In his teenage years, he started to research ancient and contemporary indigenous methods of alternative healing, and practiced with a group of pagan naturopaths in Vienna for several years. This practice, based on folk lore and customs of the Alps, has been the core of his work for almost three decades, and has eventually lead him to Druidry. Now, as a Druid of the Order he is working on becoming a celebrant. Christian is also the Author of three books in German: a novel, a cookbook for the eight festivals of the year, and a book on his research on Alpine lore and customs. He presented several workshops here at ECG and co-presented a two day event with Philip Carr-Gomm in Austria.
The Magic is in the Story—Sandra and Tyler Lembke
Sandra and Tyler will facilitate discussion on our connection with the ancestors through their stories and legends and how each of us uses the magic in these stories to inspire us to form a bridge between our inner selves and the gods.
The workshop will include a story with a short meditation after which there will be an open discussion of how the story inspires the creative magic in each of us.
Sandra Lembke has been a practicing pagan for 21 years. She joined OBOD in 2012 and met other OBOD members while attending the East Coast Gathering, now reformed as DOOR. She serves on the DOOR council since its inception in 2018. Prior to joining OBOD, she was a High Priestess of Y Tylwyth Teg coven for 14 years. Her interests include herb lore, runes, crystal and candle magic, potion making, astrology and tarot.
Tyler Lembke has been a practicing pagan for 20 years and also joined OBOD in 2012. He attended the East Coast Gathering from 2014 through 2018 and serves on the DOOR council. Prior to joining OBOD he was a Priest in the Y Tylwyth Teg coven. He enjoys studying tree lore, mead making, wild crafting/local native plants and playing the Great Highland Bagpipes.
Aside note: The mead served at DOOR in 2019 and much of the mead that will be provided in 2021 is of Tyler's making.
Connecting with the stories of the Indigenous peoples of MesoAmerica--Frank Martinez
The Mayan Hero Twins and Transformation - We’re all familiar with the story of Taliesin and the transformations he went through. The two twin heroes of the Popul Vuh, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, transformed their older brothers, themselves, the Lords of Xibalba (the Lords of the Mayan underworld) and then themselves... again. As magicians, basketball players and deities, I find their story fascinating and will enjoy sharing it with you.
Frank Martinez is proud of both his Mexican and Native American heritage from Mexico. As a Bard in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, he serves (among others) Tonantzin and Xipe Totec. He is a descendant of both the conquerors and the conquered, recently discovering that his 10th great-grandfather fought on the Spanish side in the Chichemec Wars, while also being the son of a Guachichil Native Woman.
Working with the Ancestors—Kristin McLaughlin
In this workshop, Kristin will discuss the basics of beginning an ancestor-based practice within a Druid context, including ancestors of place, spirit, and blood. Participants will gain ideas on where to start, common pitfalls and blockages to doing the work, and the benefit of the connection with our individual and collective ancestors.
As part of this workshop, participants will work together to build an ancestral shrine that will remain in place for the weekend. This will allow us get to know a bit more about each other, and also invite our ancestors to be part of our weekend together.
Those intending to participate in the Working with the Ancestors workshop are encouraged to bring a photo, memento or other representation of a departed loved one to be included on a temporary collective ancestor shrine for the weekend. This does not need to be a blood relative, but could be adopted or chosen family, a friend, mentor, or even a pet. Because the item will be in a group space throughout the weekend, it is suggested that photos not be original and any memento not be valuable, breakable, etc. Supplies will also be available for participants to make a representation of a departed ancestor if photos or mementos are not available to you, or if you forget.
Two rules, and three suggestions:
- RULE: DO NOT bring a photo that includes a living person for the shrine.
- RULE: Do not bring items from cemeteries/graveyards.
- SUGGESTION: The departed loved one should have been “on the other side” for more than one year.
- SUGGESTION: Use your spidey sense/intuition/divination skills/whatever- we’re druids and know how to do this - to see if any ancestor jumps out at you as wanting to participate.
- SUGGESTION: Please do not bring ancestors who have had nefarious pasts, were questionable people, or died violently. If you have someone like this that you are called to bring, let’s talk first.
If you want to discuss this process in more detail, have questions, need help or suggestions, are confused/concerned/uncomfortable, etc. please reach out to Kristin.
Kristin McLaughlin’s interest in genealogy and ancestry began when, as a preteen, she spent summer vacations exploring cemeteries and staring at microfiche machines at local historical society. This interest has continued unabated over the past 25 years, and has incorporated ancestral work and veneration with her druidry since joining OBOD in 2014. In the past six years, she has attended East Coast Gathering and DOOR for five seasons, is a member of Sun Spiral Grove in Pennsylvania and served as the 2020 Event Manager for the OBOD Mid-Atlantic Gathering, U.S. (MAGUS).
Standing Stones: An Illustrated presentation and discussion-- George Slentz
We know Standing Stones have been around for thousands of years. When we think about the Ancient Celts, their culture, and symbolism…we often visualize Standing Stones. Whether thinking about places like Stone-Henge in the UK, or local parks in the USA, I think we recognize that the stone structures offer us new thoughts about old structures. And so we ponder: Who were the original architects? What were the purpose of the Standing Stones? Where do we find Standing Stones today? When and Why were Standing Stones erected?
Dr. George Slentz is a retired United States Air Force Major, who spent one half of his 20 year military career living in overseas locations including: Japan, England and Germany. He also retired from Wilmington University in 2017, after serving 15 years as the Graduate Department Chair in Information Systems Technology. Since the spring of 2016, George has been studying with the Order Of Bards, Ovates and Druids, continuing to expand his knowledge of Celtic traditions, history, and spiritualism. After visiting Columcille Megalith Park in Bangor Pennsylvania, George became a dedicated volunteer serving the park. He was later elected to Columcille’s Board of Directors and currently serves as the Park’s Facilities and Project Manager.
Connecting with the stories of the Indigenous peoples of North America Part 1-- Lorraine Soria
Rainbow Crow, or how Crow brought fire to the People and lost her colors. Since Netimus itself is on ancient Lennai Lenape and Delaware tribal lands it seems fitting to learn more about our indigenous heritages. Join Lorraine in a two part adventure to learn about Crow and her "true" colors. In part 1, we explore the symbolism and teachings of the story of Rainbow Crow as she journeys to Sky World.
Connecting with the stories of the Indigenous peoples of North America Part 2-- Lorraine Soria
A Journey with Rainbow Crow to meet the People--Take a guided journey with Lorraine to meet the Lenni Lanape ancestors with the Rainbow Crow story as a backdrop.
Lorraine "Kat Lady" Soria has been a member of OBOD since 2004. As a gift to the Order and its members, she founded the gathering now known as DOOR in 2009. In college, she was a Secondary Education English major with a minor in Native American studies. This course of study combined her love of literature and storytelling and her appreciation of Indigenous North American peoples' culture. She is a self-proclaimed "stone" druid (not to be confused with a "stoned" druid) and her dragon horde of stones and crystals can be found scattered throughout her home. She enjoys writing modern fables and when she is not playing Blackjack with Death, journeying, or writing musings from inside the belly of a dragon, she can be found curled in a corner arguing with her dragons or reading a good book.
Aaaand more to come!