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Breathing some life into the site

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FB_IMG_1436390718743Litha altar.

It’s been a long while since this page has been updated. Grove of the Ancient River continues to celebrate the Lord and Lady, working to grow our Outer Court and to provide outreach to the Pagan community. We now are full members of Covenant of the Goddess and count legal clergy among our members.

Our clergy is available for Wiccan and Secular services. Our Esbat and Sabbat celebrations are open to the public, on a first come first serve basis.

We have a goal of providing a Pagan Crisis fund, to help Pagans in need with items.of Religious significance.

This space will be updated monthly and we are working out the.kinks of what to feature.

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Bringing a National organization to Wilkes-Barre!

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We are excited to announce that The Grove of the Ancient River, the founding coven of American Wicca and the Pagan Pow Wow has applied for and is pending membership into the Covenant of the Goddess!

This will bring a chartered member of the COG to North East Pennsylvania! 

We are excited to begin working with the Local Council of the COG, The Hills and Rivers headquartered in Pittsburgh, and run by some very knowledgeable and personable Wiccans! 

Here is to a bright future for Wicca and Paganism in NEPA, and for the hopes of perhaps someday bringing the National Organization here for their annual meeting!

Bringing in 2013 with a bang

2013 has started off with a bang for American Wicca and our founding grove The Grove of the Ancient River. 

We started the month off reading one of the cornerstone works on Paganism in the United  States “Drawing Down the Moon” by Margot Adler, and then discussing it at the seventh Pagan Pow Wow event. 

The Pow Wow itself was very productive. We all said “Merry Meet” to fresh faces Lynn,Heather and Rachael, and had a great discussion about the book, particularly, the chapters on Feminism and the history of the Craft.

To top the evening off Alan won a candle magick starter bundle through a raffle. He seemed to be quite happy with his prize! 

 Then, in other news, a major discussion has been taking place concerning the future of The Grove of the Ancient River, American Wicca, the Pow Wow and perhaps even NEPA Paganism. The members of the Grove as well as a few solitary members of the Pow Wow were involved in an Skype meeting with ranking pagans from Pittsburgh to discuss bringing some exciting news to the Wilkes-Barre area. We hope more news will come very soon on this exciting endeavor!

 

The Many Levels of Energy

In a lot of pagan practices we work with energy and that energy is drawn up to heal us, help us, and/or transform us.  In order to use specific energies correctly we need to understand the many levels of the energy and all its facets and forms.  Some of the energy forms we need to […]

A very merry Yule: An Alternative Reality

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A very merry Yule indeed,” I thought as I stood outside my home. The snow was coming down thick, crystal ice clinging to my eyelashes. I blinked it away and gazed up at the roof. Twinkling lights lit up the edges of the house and there were a few poinsettias next to the door. Atop the pointed front of the house, a wooden pentacle laced with gold and silver ribbon adorned the siding. I loved the way our house looked at this time of year. It was the day before the Solstice. I felt good knowing everyone had off of work tomorrow. No one worked on Yule.

As I turned my gaze to our neighbors home, images of the season could be seen along the block. Lady Greendragon’s front yard was littered with those plastic light-up figures. I noticed elves, gnomes, and all sorts of Fey folk dancing around what looked to be a light up Goddess cradling a small horned babe. From the tree in her yard hung silver and gold lights, as well as mistletoe.

“God help the soul who gets stuck under the tree the Lady Vivian Greendragon,” I muttered and shook my head. Just then she emerged from her door. Her green velvet cloak swooped around her, clasped with a gleaming silver pentacle, and she held 3 or 4 packages wrapped in bright red shiny paper underneath her arm.

“Merry meet and merry part my dear,” she called to me in her raspy elderly voice. “I’m just off to my grandaughter’s for Yule dinner! If I don’t see you, have a very lovely Solstice!”

“You too, Lady Greendragon” I called, and with that she got into her dark purple ’69 Volkswagen and putted down the road.

I had some gifts to buy myself, so I headed down the block towards the main stretch of town. No doubt it would be bustling with those grabbing last minute Yuletide cheer.

I passed another neighbor, the High Priest Edwin Bloodserpent. I was unsure which coven he led. “Good evening my dear,” he said under his breath, as he hurried along. He held a broom in his left hand and a briefcase in his right. “Ritual, or a meeting?” I wondered to myself and I continued on.

I entered the local WalMart. I’d been procrastinating buying gifts. Money had been tight, but a prosperity spell I’d done earlier in the week had sent me a Yule bonus check at work.

I scanned the cards, looking for any that struck me as purchase worthy. The first had a beautiful painting of the Goddess, cradling a baby, with a vision of a ghostly horned man poised over her shoulder. “The ghost of the God,” I mused. Another had the sun rising over a mountain. The text read, “The sun is reborn, the light returns” on the front in gold letters. The third had a simple golden pentacle, and underneath it, a cauldron, the symbol of rebirth. Smoke spiraled up out of the cauldron all around the pentacle, and wrapped around the top of the cauldron were red and green ribbons adorned with suns.

Local witches buzzed around the Yule cards like bees on honey, plucking the cards out, reading them and replacing them. Everyone had a hurried energy about them. Their cloaks dripped wet slush on the ground. Though busy to get back to their families for Yule, everyone had a friendly and neighborly attitude. “Blessed Yule,” and “Have a wonderful Solstice” and “Enjoy your Yule Log” greetings came from every corner of the store.

I moved out of the card aisle and into the aisle of Yule yard decorations, I noticed a few. The first was a figure that had a long white beard, a jolly rosy face, and holly leaves and berries strewn all through his hair. He held in his arms a little babe, the God (and I guess himself…) reborn. On the opposite side of the aisle, a beautiful moon goddess stood, with a crown of stars, holding her arms up in the goddess position. She has a long silver gown glistening with twinkling lights. There was a spiral on her belly, symbolizing rebirth, in particular the rebirth of the God. Next to her was a light up Holly King and Oak King in mid battle, plugged into an electrical socket. The Holly King’s arm came down and retreated in a mechanical fashion, as he slayed the figure of the Oak King. “Kind of cheesy,” I thought, but these images made me smile.

As I moved along to the gift section, I found those pre-assembled “good for anyone” template gifts. I noticed one particularly pretty Tarot gift deck that included a book of layouts, adorned with a green ribbon. Next to that, a small gold box read “Paint your own runes” and showed a sampling of mottled wooden blank runes through the top of the plastic box. There were altar tools lined up: beautiful Yule themed besoms, athames, bells, cauldrons, staffs, wands and chalices. There were oils, incense, candles, pre-made spell kits, and so much more. I knew I could find exaclty what I was looking for.

I wondered what people of other faiths thought about our figures, our decorations, our cards, our symbols being the main focus of the holiday. I imagine Christians might be feel slighted, knowing they can’t find a simple nativity scene in WalMart. There wasn’t an image of their baby Jesus or their mother Mary anywhere in sight. And how about Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, or any other faiths? They might not have a similar equivalent to Yule, but man, we Wiccans really make a big scene for the Solstice in all the stores.

New Age/Pagan Study & Discussion Group #2

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Our second discussion group is still on for this Saturday. It will be held at the same location, The Garb Wench, 13 North Main Street in Ashley, PA at 7PM. Bring an open mind!

Please remember our study groups rules:

1) Be polite, be courteous and Be Open Minded.
Debate is encouraged, argument is not!

2) Stay on point and On topic.
Social time usually follows study time.

3) If the bell rings.. times up!
Everyone needs a chance to speak their mind.

4) In the event of an argument, remember the Three C’s…

Congratulations, you’ve Conquered. Now SEE your way out.

Find more details by reading our WitchVox.com post, or on the Facebook page for The Garb Wench. You can also join our Facebook group, Pagan Pow Wow, if you plan to attend. Then we will send you a Facebook invite to the event. Blessed be and we hope to see you there!

Any suggestions, questions or comments can be posted here!

Altar Tool Spotlight: Beautiful Athames

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While these daggers might be a little elaborate, we thought they were worth showcasing on our Altar Tool Spotlight. Whether you use them to direct magical energy or open letters, they look so elegant and powerful! Feel free to comment with your favorite or a link of your own!

Celtic Cross Athame
Celtic Cross Athame from WiccanWay.com, $15.99

Valkyrie Queen Winged Athame
Valkyrie Queen Winged Athame from SpellsofMagic.com, $27.96

Egyptian Dagger
Egyptian Dagger from 13moons.com, $31.75


Templer Dagger from 13moons.com, $16.95

Celtic Open Knotwork Athame
Celtic Open Knotwork Athame from TheMagickMoon.com, $29.97

Tree of Life and Pentagram Athame
Tree of Life and Pentagram Athame from SpellsofMagic.com, $27.96