Even though the second annual OBOD East Coast Gathering has been a week past, it’s still very strong in my mind. The week before was pretty much consumed with making my robes, which my grove bro helped me finish at 3 AM the night before we left. (Of course, then I forgot the clasps and the grove banner, but happily my husband brought them with him when he came up the next day! What’s an event without a little last-minute sewing?)
The Gathering itself really hit its stride this year. It felt like the core group had really solidified, and that we were able to embrace guests and newcomers into our traditions. Now we were friends coming together, not just folks with similar interests seeking companionship.
The two guest-speakers were Philip Carr-Gomm, the Chosen Chief of OBOD, and John Michael Greer, the Grand Arch-Druid of AODA. It has long been a wish of mine to put these two men in the same room and be a fly on the wall during any following conversations. I more than got my wish! Hopefully their open discussion will be broadcast on an upcoming episode of DruidCast (available free on iTunes). Both gentlemen were approachable, eager to answer questions, and had an amazing depth of knowledge across a variety of subjects.
In fact, JMG was able to answer a question that had been bugging me for nearly five years, namely why did the Golden Dawn change the correspondences from the traditional Hellenic Elements (Earth/West, Water/North)—used from to what is so commonly used today in Neopagan circles (Earth/North, Water/West). It was apparently not, as some have suggested, a geographical change to better match Britain’s climate, but one based on the different elemental associations of the four Hebrew letters that comprised the name of god, Adonai. In hindsight it’s a little ridiculous how much this question was bothering me, but it’s so nice to have an answer other than “the Victorians are doin’ it wrong, again.” Now I feel like I can make an informed choice between the systems, and that’s a great weight relieved.
We were then lucky enough to host the Carr-Gomms for our Alban Elued celebration back in Boston post-Gathering. We all brought gifts for a crane bag that we presented to the Chosen Chief and Scribe. My contribution was a glass spiral pendant on a silver chain, and a set of meditation beads. Meanwhile, between these, my robes, and pouring a candle for the ritual, I feel like I’ve gotten my crafting groove back. Fall is really a time of fruition in more ways than one for me; it feels like the long drought of summer has finally broken and awen is able to flow freely through me.