Sorry it took me awhile to get this started. Things have been a bit hectic recently but I didn’t forget!
We’re going to finish our discussion on the novel Bard the Odyssey of the Irish by Morgan Llywelyn on the blog. Our last discussion didn’t happen because of schedule changes and our next meeting will include our Lughnasadh games… So there might not be a lot of time for book chat.
Here are some points that might be worth discussing:
Morgan Llywelyn’s portrayal of the Tuatha de Danann?
Morgan Llywelyn’s portrayal of the Tuatha de Danann
Amergin’s relationship with his brothers
Amergin’s relationship with Shinnan
The life and death of Odba and Taya
The role of bards, warriors, and sacrificers in Ireland and Celtic culture in general
Morgan Llywelyn’s portrayal of Druids
In addition, I’m curious as to whether you found this book enjoyable and if you’d like to read another book as a grove in the future. I’ll let some of you chime in. I’m going to visit family for a couple days, but I’ll add my two cents when I return!
Most of you know that we’ve been reading Bard the Odyssey of the Irish by Morgan Llywelyn. As planned, we discussed the first twelve chapters at our Beltaine meeting. We had scheduled our discussion of chapters thirteen through twenty-four for our Summer Solstice meeting, but an emergency put it on hold. I suggested moving our second discussion to the blog. Now I’m wondering if those participating would like to finish discussing the book here. Let me know what you think. If you haven’t shared your thoughts on the beginning of the book, feel free to add those thoughts to this thread.
Our last discussion of the book includeded:
the role women play in Celtic societies and their strength
the role of the bard, warrior, and sacrificer
the complicated character of Colptha
brief thoughts on the portrayal of the Tuatha de Danann
I will post some questions about the next section shortly. I look forward to more discussions!
We had a great discussion about Bard Saturday evening. I’ll post more about it later as I’m only on a quick lunch break from work. I wanted to share this article – shared by another ADF member on the discussion lists – about a recently found Celtic grave. It belonged to a woman and is full of finery! It made me think of the discussion we had about the rights of women in Celtic society. Very interesting archaeological find!
Thank you to those of you who participated in the last poll. I really feel it’s important that everyone contribute to the decisions. Five people voted in total. One wanted to divide the book in half. Four wanted to divide it in thirds. Thus, after the business meeting at Beltaine, we will discuss the first twelve chapters of our selection. We will discuss the next twelve chapters at Summer Solstice, and finish the book for Lughnasadh.
I can’t wait to discuss the book with you! I’m really enjoying it thus far. I can’t put it down!
Brian suggested dividing the book into thirds. In other words, we would discuss the book three times and be expected to read 12 chapters for each meeting. It’s a good suggestion. Would that be more doable? One chapter a meeting is too little and it seems the whole book is too much. Let’s have one more vote. I want to find a good compromise! This poll is opened for a week.
Our meeting/Beltaine celebration is quickly approaching and we need to decide upon what’s expected of everyone interested in the Book Club. I posted a poll last week and gave everyone a week to choose how much of the book should be read by our next meeting. Unfortunately, that hasn’t exactly helped as we have a three way tie. Two people want to discuss one chapter per meeting. Two people want to discuss half of the book for Beltaine and the other half for Summer Solstice. Two want to finish and discuss the whole book. Obviously we are all over the place on this one.
Here are my thoughts – One chapter per meeting is just too few considering how often we actually meet. If there is concern about reading a lengthy novel, perhaps our next selection should be shorter? Anyway, back to the numbers. Four out of six want to read/discuss more than one chapter so, clearly, the “one chapters” group is the minority. The real trouble lies with the other two possibilities. I will be open and say that I voted to discuss the whole book. That said, I am fine compromising and discussing half. I don’t know who else voted for discussing the whole novel, but I am hoping this is an acceptable proposal. We really need to have this set in stone so that people know how much to read. As the facilitator of this activity, I’m going to have to be the bad guy to make sure everything is organized and everyone is on the same page. So let’s plan to read 18 chapters of Bard and discuss them after the Beltaine business meeting. To those unable to read all 18 chapters in time, I can’t promise that spoilers won’t be discussed. That said, continue to read at your own pace and do the best you can. Nobody will harass you for not finishing the selection. People get busy and I think we all understand that.
I’m sorry for the delay in posting the minutes. Here they are! They are also on the website.
Spring Equinox Business Meeting Minutes
Meeting called to order at 3:35 pm
Members present: Skip, Sharon, Mel, Ellie, Candee, Brian, Jen K., Jen E.
o We discussed the grove’s tabard tradition and how to make one
o The grove supplied the material
o New folk of the grove are to finish the tabards at home and decorate as desired
o Skip will email a template of Celtic knots for decorating * New Traditions
o Jen K feels that grove accomplishments should be celebrated. She brought an ice cream cake to celebrate Mel and Skip’s finished DPs as well as Candee’s submission. Everyone seemed to enjoy this.
o Jen K also expressed the desire to say a prayer before the potluck begins. Mel seconded that idea.
o Preregistration is opened
o There was discussion on who is and isn’t planning to attend
o There will be a North East Region camping site
o Everyone was reminded to participate in ADF’s election
o There was a brief description on the merits of voting * Grove Attendance
o Jen K is concerned about grove attendance and, in particular, why people do not visit or return. Possible suggestions were the mosquitoes in the summer and emphasis on academics in ADF overall.
o Mel gave some updates on the MM website. She is experimenting with CSS in an attempt to make the site easier to view on older browsers.
o There is a new section for poetry, art, and music. Please send anything you want to share to firstname.lastname@example.org.
o Mel would like to create a section just for Druid Scouts
o There is a new Muin Mound blog. * New Grove Book and Bardic CD
o Skip reported that the grove’s “Wheel of the Year” book is officially out of stock. He intends to rewrite a new edition.
o The grove would like to record a new CD of chants for members to use
o There was discussion about finding a drummer and/or other musicians willing to help. * Druid Scouts
o Jen K updated everyone on Druid Scouts. At the last meeting, the children discussed virtues and created patches to represent each if they could explain or demonstrate their understanding. Thus far, Abby, Brice, Rhiannon, and McKenzie each earned a patch.
o Jen K and Jen E have been brainstorming what to use for a uniform. At the moment, they are thinking of making satchels instead of sashes.
o Jen K would like to work with the kids in Druid Scouts to come up with content for a Druid Scout section on the MM website. * Book Club
o Mel introduced the idea of starting a book club within Muin Mound as an attempt to further unite us between High Days. She expressed the desire to discuss books after the business portions of the meetings as well as online on the new blog.
o Jen E suggested Bard The Odyssey of the Irish by Morgan Llywelyn. Several interested members agreed. Further discussion on how much to read before the next meeting will be online.
o Jen K also suggested everyone look into A Pagan Ritual Prayer Book by Ceisiwr Serith. * Outreach
o Skip will be presenting on Druidism and ADF at Syracuse University on April 20th from 7-9 in the Hendrix Chapel.
For those of you out-of-the-know, several grove members have agreed to try starting a book club. Our first selection is Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish by Morgan Llywelyn. Candee asked an excellent question in reply to my last post about the book club – how will we go about this?
What does everyone think? There’s no reason why we couldn’t discuss the reading on the blog, in my opinion. There is at least one person who may only be able to participate on the blog anyway. In addition, I’d really like book discussions to help us keep in touch between High Days. We should try to keep spoilers out of our discussions until everyone interested finishes, of course. Does everyone think they could finish by Beltaine? Do you want to split the reading up? Personally, I think the final discussion of Bard should take place at a grove meeting after business is completed. It could be a sort of culminating activity for a majority of the grove to take part in.
Some things to keep in mind while you’re reading –
How does the story compare to your understanding of the lore?
Does this story inspire your spiritual practices?
Do you think the author handled this ancient story respectfully?
I just started the novel a couple days ago and I really like it so far. I can really sympathize with Amergin in the beginning as I often felt like a quiet outsider in school. I’m curious how many of you have read Amergin’s famous invocation of Ireland? It’s so beautiful and I’m curious to know how the story will progress to get Amergin to that point.
At the last meeting, I brought up an idea I had: starting a very informal book club within the grove. Why? I don’t know if I articulated it very well or not, but I wanted us to have something to do/discuss between meetings with my grovies. There were some favorable comments on it, and the Senior Druid thought I should remind everyone on the blog – just in case there truly is interest!
Jen E suggested Morgan Llywelyn’s Bard. It’s a fantasy novel based on the famous myth of the coming of the Sons of Mil to Ireland. I’ve read Llywelyn’s book about Fin Mac Cool and enjoyed it immensely!
Discussion will occur on this blog and at the next grove meeting – after the business, of course. Participation is not required, but if you do decide to read it would be nice to hear some of your opinions. If you don’t have a copy of the book, you can find cheap used copies on Amazon.