Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids East Coast Gathering 2012

This article is reprinted, with permission, by John Beckett.  The event was attended by several Midwest Druids, including the Crescent Birch Grove in southeast Michigan.

Now that I’ve told my big story I want to share my impressions of the rest of this year’s Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids East Coast Gathering. This was the third year for this event and the second year for me attending.

The big difference this year was the size: 103 people were registered and I think actual attendance wasn’t much less. Word is getting around the OBOD community that this is a good event and the presence of two “Big Name Druids” was an added attraction. There were people from all over the East Coast (as far south as Florida), the Midwest, Louisiana, Texas, and California, plus one from the Netherlands. And of course, two from England.

Philip Carr-Gomm gives the Chosen Chief’s address

Philip Carr-Gomm gave a Chosen Chief’s address that was more conversation than lecture. Many people expressed the intuition that “something big is coming” – being a UU Pagan as well as a Druid, I added “yes, and it’s our job to help create it!” Philip talked about the major crises of our world and how Druidry is a response many people are finding helpful. He also emphasized OBOD’s religious inclusiveness: there are Pagan Druids, Christian Druids, Buddhist Druids, atheist Druids, and the growing Spiritual But Not Religious Druids. I am undeniably a Pagan Druid and my primary interests are religious, but I agree we should keep our tent as big and as open as possible.

Paganicon Opens Friday! – Interview

Elysia, LLewellyn Senior Acquisitions Editor

Elysia is the Senior Acquisitions Editor for Witchcraft, Wicca, Pagan, and magickal books at Llewellyn. She spoke with me about the new Pagan Conference this weekend, Paganicon.

You are representing Llewellyn Publishing at Paganicon, what is their role in the event?

We are one of the sponsors. This is the first time that we are stepping in as a sponsor for an event. What generally happens with regard to Pagan conferences, is sometimes I will be sent to them, and we’ll have a table or a display. We often provide items for a raffle or a charity cause. For many years I have been going to Pagan conferences, and it has been a loss that we haven’t had one here, in the Twin Cities.

When I heard that there would be one here, I let the management at Llewellyn know, and said, “We really should get involved in this”.  It is our community, and we want to support it, and hope it grows to be huge!  For myself, I want to be involved in the future so it is just as much a success as others I have gone to.  This year we are supporting by bringing John Michael Greer as Guest of Honor.  We are providing his transport and meals, and Twin Cities Pagan Pride (TCPP) is providing his housing during his stay.  This was a great way that we could work together, getting someone really interesting, and a “Big Name Pagan” (BNP) into the Twin Cities.
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John Michael Greer – Interview with Paganicon Guest

John Michael Greer

John Michael Greer is the Guest of Honor at the launch of Paganicon this weekend. He will be giving a keynote address at 8pm Friday night, to open the event. I got the opportunity to interview him, and listened spellbound to his articulate thoughts. I first asked about the path that brought him to be Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA). He treated me to his personal history from age 10, fascinated with UFO’s, Unexplained Mysteries, Magic, and reading the Lord of the Rings. He said he was a boyhood, “Geek before being a geek was fashionable.” His many books are references that are a must for every bookshelf. He is a gentle, polite, and soft-spoken man, but one with a passion, clarity, and eloquence that show through his writing, and promises a keynote address, not to be missed! His areas of mastery and expertise are lengthy, varied, and impressive. If anyone can be called a Pagan Visionary, I would say it is John Michael Greer.

What can you say about your keynote address Friday night at Paganicon?

There are two ways you can take a talk about Paganism and the future. One is what is going to be the future of Paganism, the other is how is Paganism going to deal with the broader future, that is breathing down our necks at this point. I will be talking about both. We are moving into a future that a lot of people are going to find very challenging, especially if they have bought into the attitude, that “Our ancestors were stupid. We are smart, and we are going to go zooming off to the stars.   We know the truth, and no one else has ever done so.” Continue reading