Sassafras Grove (Pittsburgh PA) Yule Rite

Dear Friends of Sassafras Grove,

We welcome you to join us for our Yule rite to be held on Thursday, December 21, 2006 at Friends Meeting House, Ellsworth Avenue, Shadyside. All Grove members, Pagans and Pagan-friendly people are welcome to attend. The rite is scheduled to begin at 6:45. We’ll be coordinating our work with the actual moment of the winter solstice, so please be prompt.

Yule is a liminal time between the old year and the new. In Old English the months of December and January were known as "Fore-Yule" and "After-Yule" respectively. This is a time to reflect on the events of the past year and to prepare for the coming year ahead.

This year we’ll celebrate an Old English rite honoring the northern god Ing and his sister, the beautiful Fréo. Woden will be called to open the gates. Ing is the ruler of the elves and controls the sunshine. His sister Fréo is a goddess of passion and abundance. To the Scandinavians these two deities were known as Freyr and Freyja.

You are invited to bring a praise offering for Ing and Fréo. He appreciates fine breads and cheeses. She appreciates flowers, fruits and cakes. Quiet words of thanks are always appropriate as well. (Although ale and mead are traditional offerings NO ALCOHOL is permitted at this site.)

You will also have an opportunity to make an oath for the coming year. This is much like a new year’s resolution, although perhaps more binding.

As always our rites are free and open to the community, but monetary donations to help cover the costs of space rental and ritual supplies are most welcome and will be graciously accepted. Remember, even a dollar can help make the difference between having our costs covered and the members having to pay them out of our own pockets. Support your local Druids!

Please turn off all cell phones and beepers prior to the start of the rite.

For more information, please visit our website at or write to

Bright Blessings,
Scribe, Sassafras Grove, ADF
Pittsburgh, PA.

PantheaCon 2007

Hey guys:

I just want to let you know that the PantheaCon website (which has been down for awhile) is up and running again. Registration is $65.00 for the entire four day Presidents' Day holiday weekend until mid-January 2007; after that the price goes up.

There are quite a few of us Between the Worlds (BtW) guys who attend PantheaCon, in addition to quite a number of other non-BtW gay male Pagan guys; Christopher Penczak in fact had faciliated getting a BtW and general gay male Pagan party room for us there at last year's PantheaCon, which was a lot of fun.

I'm definitely attending PantheaCon in 2007; my registration is in and I'm just currently waiting and watching for an affordable airfare out to San Jose, California (SJC). And because I'm planning on moving out to Philadelphia by next September-October 2007, I'm definitely making it a point to attend PantheaCon as I'm not entirely sure now if I can make BtW 2007 next year with my planned cross country move. :-( I'm crossing my fingers though that it will work out for me to also attend next year's BtW; I would just hate to miss it.

I'm sensing a theme...

Disclaimer: This cheery post is in no small way fueled by the bittersweet hazelnut-currant chocolate left behind by my muscle-bound covenmate, and by the fact that I just cleaned my basement with the series finale of Buffy in the background...

It seems as if there are a lot of us pulling our hair out getting ready and getting things done before the gathering this year. I expect that's normal, but it seems like a lot of guys have some major life things going on at the same time. Put all that together with the general pain in the neck that is traveling--especially air travel, these days--and that's one reliable recipe for stress headaches and muscle cramps.

I wanted to mention, in big cyber-hug fashion, that we do have a big shiny full-moon coming up, as well as the changing winds of autumn crossing our paths as the whole living world moves toward a time of balance. There's a whole lot of stuff out there--energy, healing, the Gods, whatever you like--right in front of us if we need it.

I know that sounds a bit fluffy, and maybe I'm reminding myself as much as anything else, but as Falki reminded me, we're all in this together, and that includes all the preparatory hullabaloo.

Okay, I confess, I just wanted to use the word hullabaloo. Highly underrated noun, if you ask me. Tasty brownies for all. I promise.

The strength of the earth supports me. The peace of the air fills me. The rhythm of tides carries me on and the light of the fire guides my way.

Big hugs for everybody!

  • Current Music
    TMBG Flood

Meet & Greet

So, taking a look at the programming schedule, I notice the plans for the on-line community meet & greet, and I was wondering if anyone knew which day that might take place? I only ask because I was pondering the merits of bringing a special treat, since the LJ and Yahoogroup folks have been so great.

It looks like the days are going to fly by fast until we're there and fill up fast once we are!
  • Current Music
    TMBG Damn Good Times

Final Countdown Shopping

With just over two weeks to go, the preparation freak in me is going over shopping lists to make sure I can fit everything in safely. Looking around for fully biodegradable soap/shampoo, etc. things seem pricier than I had hoped. In the future, I'll have time to plan and just make my own, and since I won't have any hair this time next year that'll save me a step right there. For now I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations in that arena? What's a good, and reasonably affordable, line of nature safe soaps, etc.?
  • Current Mood
    restless restless

For Posterity

In his last post, julianhill mentioned my story from the No-Talent Show last year. Well, I could have sworn I posted the text in my journal, but apparently I didn't, so for all posterity:

Between the Worlds:
A Faeries’ Tail

By Grey TricksterWolf
Based on the drunken ramblings of Great Dionysos

Dedicated and Gifted to Garan Du, Ea and the Brothers of the Green Faerie Grove
Between the Worlds September 2005

Once upon a time, in a magical land far from the hustle and bustle of the mundane world called Wisteria, at the height of Summer, the Gathering of the Pagan Spirits had begun. It was here, in a special place within the Land of Wisteria called Rainbow Camp, that Garan Du and Ea were talking. Well,they weren’t so much talking as ogling all the cute Pagan satyrs cavorting around,and feeding the Bears. When they did speak, it was only because something or someone required a good snarking. After all,it was bloody hot out.

When lo, in the midst of a thoroughly vicious snarking about the atrociously poorly researched workshop given by a severely over-medicated, fluffy-bunny white lighter, Garan Du was interrupted mid-snark by a brilliant flash of light and glitter. From this brilliant flash did the Great Dionysos, God of Wine and Ecstasy - the feeling, not the chemical, thank you very much - step forth into the mortal world in all His grandeur and fabulousness.

He was nude save his leopard hide cloak, and his well muscled olive skin shone in the Solstice sun

He paused for a moment, letting the perfect drama of His entrance sink in. Then, in a deep and fluid voice, did the hottie God speak. “Behold, my sons, for I am Dionysos and I have come to impart upon you a Divine Mission.”

Great Dionysos waited, then, receiving no response, looked and noticed that all Ea seemed capable of beholding was the massive perfection of the Divine Phallus hanging between His legs.

The God cleared His throat several times. Finding that ineffectual, he finally just whacked Ea over the head with His Thyrsus. That appeared to successfully get the amorous mortal’s attention.

However, as Ea was ogling the biggest, most perfect cock he had ever seen, Garan Du found himself unable to behold much of anything, due to being sent into an apoplectic fit of coughing and sneezing by the glitter.

Garan Du managed to clear his lungs just as Ea was getting whacked and, turning to the sound beheld, and promptly became equally enraptured by, the Divine Phallus.

Great Dionysos sighed, and not wanting to waste anymore time just whacked Garan Du over the head with the Thyrsus as He had Ea.

While Garan Du and Ea rubbed their now sore heads, Great Dionysos muttered about how some mortals acted like they had never seen a massive schlong before.

However, Great Dionysos also covered his Divine Manhood with his cloak, lest the two queers be struck again insensate by it’s Glory.

“So, My sons, now that I have your attention,” said Great Dionysos, “I have come to impart upon the two of you a Divine Mission! On this day I charge you Garan Du, and you Ea, with the aid of the Brothers of your Grove, to create a festival for your queer brethren. One where they may gather in fellowship. Where they may commune in the unity of the Queer Spirit. And join their brothers in celebration of My Divine Mysteries.”

Fellowship, unity, and drunken debauchery, got it,” said Ea.

Great Dionysos again whacked Ea over the head with the Thyrsus. “No. The Mysteries of Ecstatic Madness and Transformation! Of Life, of Death, and of Rebirth!” said Great Dionysos, who was beginning to wonder if this had been such a good idea.

At last (and yes, it’s shocking that he managed to go this long without commenting) Garan Du spoke, “We will do as you command (even though it will probably be a royal pain in the ass and a totally thankless job) oh Great Dionysos.”

And then, with a glint of mischief, and good deal of lust in his eyes, Garan Du said, “But, before you go . . . how about one more little peak?”

Great Dionysos sighed deeply, and shook His glorious midnight locks. However, He grasped the edges of His cloak and, before vanishing in an other brilliant flash of light and glitter, Great Dionysos did flash His Sacred Tool at them, and Garan Du and Ea did drool openly, and their sarongs were seen to be well and impressively tented.

And so, as Great Dionysos commanded, Between the Worlds was born. And it served, and continues to serve its purpose as a place and time for Queer Pagan men to come together from all over in fellowship, unity, brotherhood, ecstasy, transformation . . . and just a little bit of drunken debauchery.

The End