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Thursday, 31 July 2008

Report from the Druidic Gorsedd Investigation into Human Sexuality

Having investigated the runes, the Traditions of the Elders and the entrails of a chicken (which we bought frozen from Waitrose in Leighton Buzzard) the Gorsedd has made the following pronouncements:

  1. Everybody must stop whatever they are doing immediately.
  2. Unless it's not wrong, of course.
  3. Or possibly if they sincerely believe it's not wrong.
  4. Or if they're not sure if it's wrong, try and have a guess one way or the other...
  5. Or if they aren't going to take any notice of us anyway as they don't have to.
  6. But at least, be careful.
  7. And respect other people's views. That's very important.
  8. Except the ones we don't agree with.
  9. Especially the American druids. They just do what they like anyway. Swine.
  10. And the African druids. Telling us what to do like they think we're not the ones in charge.
  11. And to the writers of the minority report asking us why we all got here by plane and 4x4 (and Eileen's Archdruidic Helicopter) when the world is struggling with climate change. For goodness' sake, get some sense of proportion...

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Your cut-out-and-keep guide to Beaker Factions

Dear Readers, perusing my own previous postings and also those of the Archdruid, it has come to my mind that maybe you have trouble knowing your Primitive Beaker Folk from your Extreeme Beaker Folk. Therefore I have compiled a little guide to the various factions that make up our community and the various dispersed cyber-communities that take their Rule from Husborne Crawley. The Archdruid herself, being the titular head of all the factions, actually belongs to none - although she has definite Tealight Tendencies.

Tealight Folk
The major grouping of Beaker Folk are those that use Tealights in worship. Tealights are particularly handy in finding your way around dark orchards while waiting for moonrise. The Tealight Folk are generally fairly hardline against pebbles, but otherwise prepared to tolerate most forms of Beakerism.

Pebbles People
The most liberal and welcoming of the Beaker Folk are those that believe that through the contemplation of pebbles we gain an understanding of the smallness of the Created Order. Being the most liberal, they are prepared to listen and understand other people's viewpoints. They hate the Tealight Folk and the Primitive Beaker Folk with a vengeance, because these groups are less tolerant.

Julian Beaker Folk
Like Pebbles People, but with hazelnuts. Oddly, they are all in fact called Julian.

Primitive Beaker Folk
Eschew both pebbles and tealights. Normally to be found shivering in the dark because they are against modern forms of heating and lighting. Happy to burn wood to keep warm, but their strict prohibition on using matches means that starting a fire can be a bit tricky.

Extreeme Primitive Beaker Folk
Like the other Primitive Beaker Folk, but more Methodist.

Beakerdictines
Spend most of their time drinking french liqueurs. Friendly but generally incomprehensible.

Fertility Beaker Folk
Spend a lot of time dancing naked on Aspley Heath. Frequently arrested by Young Keith's uncle Brian, the police constable.


Third Church of the Moon Gibbon
Believe that the moon is in constant danger of being swallowed by the Moon Gibbon. Spend a lot of time praying desperately at times of New Moon. Can be paralysed with fear at times of lunar eclipse.

Beaker Folk Together in Husborne Crawley
Spend all their time trying to get other Folk to join them, on the grounds that they bring people together regardless of their detailed beliefs. Organise committees whenever possible, and for whatever reason. Only two of them.

Charismatic Beaker Folk
To be honest, they're not all that charismatic.

Finally, there are the people who worship Kirsty MacColl as the Moon Goddess. At least they're musically sound...



Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Druid Replica Surplices

With the new liturgical season commencing at Lammas (1 August) I'm pleased to announce this year's new strip. Sorry, surplice. It's a plain white with green piping, which is an elegant take on the Druid tradition. Change strip for visits to other communities is grey with orange. Both will match well with hi-visibility clothing in all traditional colours.

As usual, the 4"x4" square panel on the front of the surplices has been bought by a major local brewer. Some objectors have claimed that having alcohol advertising on druidic surplices encourages binge drinking, but I've not noticed that any of the Beaker Folk need the slightest encouragement anyway, and booze pays.

All members of the Druidic party are entitled to attract their own sponsorship for the 3"x3" space on their back. Some druids attracted sponsorship from some very dodgy sources last year, so please can you tone it down, lads and lasses.

Replica Druidic Surplices are now available in the Beaker Shop. Note particularly that we recognise that my own replica surplice (squad number 8), bearing my full title "Archdruid Eileen Victoria de Russell Mountebank-Fitzsmithers" came in a bit pricey at 20p per letter. So this year we have a discount version, simply saying "Eileen". You can also get a variety of "celebrity" surplices bearing names such as "Gerrard", "Torres", and "Carragher".

Monday, 21 July 2008

A few minor corrections

An interesting couple of talks over the Full Moon period, but maybe a few lessons to be learned.

The talk from our visiting speaker from the Easter Island Big Face people on "why we should all be nice to each other and learn to listen" was rather spoilt by an outbreak of pebble and brick-throwing from all sides in our recent "pebbles or tealights" debate. Apparently the tealight faction thought he sounded rather anti-tealight, while the pebbles people thought he was insufficiently condemnatory of tealights. I don't think this is the way we should greet our brothers and sisters from other cultures.

Young Keith's talk on Bloke-ist theology was if anything even more disturbing. It's important that we encourage our younger Beaker Folk to share their gifts. And I thought when we had discussed it that Keith's concerns over the "feminisation" of Beaker worship, and the Beaker tradition of strong female leadership, were worth unpacking. Unfortunately, it would appear that having read "Wild at Heart" just after being dumped by his girlfriend, Keith went slightly over the top.


To correct a few things that Keith said during his talk:

  • While it shares some religious aspects, football is still not, technically, a religion.
  • Gender is no barrier to becoming Archdruid. Not being the person who owns the Great House, on the other hand, is.
  • Hnaef's beard is not fake. He's just an empathetic and warm human being.
  • Ronnie Wood is a sad case of a man with problems who needs help through a crisis. He is not "an example to us all".
  • Even if you could find a bear in this country, it's probably illegal to shoot it.
  • The original Beaker Folk were gentle and peaceful. They did not spend their lives fighting endless border disputes. Apart from the sporadic and isolated massacres of other cultures, obviously.
  • There is no plan to put oestrogen in the Beaker water supply.
  • Painting yourself blue with woad, and climbing the wall of Woburn Safari Park to wrestle with the wolves is not a sensible, or indeed legal, rite of passage to prove you are a "Beaker Warrior".

Just as soon as Keith is out of hospital, I will be explaining the error of his ways to him.

Meanwhile, on the "festival of peace and reconiciliation" that young Dora organised for us at the full moon itself - thank you, Dora, for organising such a comprehensive assortment of items for contemplation - the pebbles, to remind us of the smallness of the earth. The hazelnuts, to remind us of Mother Julian's vision. I know that they were de-shelled and packaged, but hey it's July and that's all Waitrose had. The potter's clay, with which we could envisage our lives being re-modelled. The raffia, with which we could weave the tales of our lives into an autobiographical basket. And the "shredding station", where people could write their failings and troubles on pieces of paper and then shred them away.

Now, I know that the shredding station was noisy. But that was no reason for somebody to shove the potter's clay and pebbles into it. It wasn't big and it wasn't clever.

Mind you, at least the rest of the meditation was quiet. And you'll all be pleased to hear that Elouise is nearly over her anaphylactic shock now.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Burton loses it again

Please can all Beaker Folk try to avoid Burton Dasset. His time in the woods has had quite a bad effect on him, and I blame it on the rather suspect looking fungi he has been eating.

Burton has now declared that he is channeling the spirit of the Moon Gibbon. He has recently taken to hiding in the trees, and then chasing after dog-walkers and courting couples on the assumption they are egg-stealing. When challenged as to what he is up to, he says that he is merely the one who is making a path in the forest, declaring the way for the True Gibbon, whose fur he is not worthy to groom.

If Burton tries to explain any of this gibberish to you, please can you ignore him.

He's not the Moon Gibbon, he's just a very spaced-out accountant.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

1054 and all that

Solemnities to celebrate the 954th anniversary of the Great Schism

8am Pointless wranglings over obscure doctrine (will continue forever)

10am Filioqui-ists to gather in the orchard for double processions

12 noon - Lunch

2 pm - Guarded peace overtures

4 pm - Political overtones

6 pm - Linguistic misunderstandings

8.30 - Unexpected outbreak of ordinations

8.33 - Tuttings and Sighings

11 pm - Anathemas

NB today is an international celebration and therefore various people may be in different time zones. For example, for members of Gafcon, all timings must be adjusted to about 1500 AD.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Moon Gibbon Eggs

Message for all Beaker Folk - just because a respected member of the Celtic Christian community mentioned the expression "sure as eggs are eggs" in the context of the supposed Moon Gibbon does not mean that this imaginary being is, as well as mythical, oviparous. The Extreeme Beaker Folk who are currently wandering around Aspley Heath with baskets looking for the Moon Gibbon Eggs aren't going to find anything. Also note that, in accordance with the sacred words of the prophet (not the angel) Gabriel, the expression should be "sure as eggs is eggs". This should also be considered a warning to anyone planning to look for butterflies on Willow Farm...

On an unrelated matter, please can people stop shoving slices of ham and processed cheese under the potting shed door for Drayton Parslow and his unreformed friends to eat. I know you're being well-meaning, but I'm afraid that a certain amount of strong-arm treatment is needed if we're going to crush their shocking attitude of intolerance.

A bust-up at the Moot

My first moot was a real eye-opener, I can tell you.

The Archdruid put forward a motion - "That all Beaker Folk should be more tolerant of others, whether they like it or not". A number of members of the Moot suggested that the essence of tolerance is being able to respect people you don't agree with, rather than only those you do. So the Archdruid had them locked in the potting shed until they develope more tolerance.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Defeat of the Moon Gibbon

Dear Readers, I'm relieved to say that not only am I well, but I was able last night to escape from the Doily Shed to join in the last night of MoonWatch. Odd how it turned out that the Doily Shed was accidentally locked from the outside, with a padlock and a combination lock, and a tractor parked up against the door, but I was able to scramble out through the skylight in the end.
I must say that having joined what appeared to be a stray group of Beaker Folk over in the woods near Woburn Abbey, we're all very pleased that the Powers of Light have once again defeated the Moon Gibbon, and are now pulling the moon back out of its mouth. I can't wait to share this information with the Archdruid when I see her.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Good news about Burton

We're pleased to announce that Burton Dasset is feeling much better. He's still jumping at sudden noises, and expressed a fear that the Moon Gibbon would get him if he joined in the New Moon Moonwatch. So we've put him back to work in the Doily Shed while he recuperates.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Doilies

As our service of Moon Watch has now started, please can all Beaker Folk who are still mooching around the Great Hall moaning about the rain please come out into the Orchard to join us.

It's no good complaining that you can't see the moon because it's cloudy. You also can't see the moon because it's daylight and it's New Moon. But the service is the service. You'll just have to get wet and shiver with the rest of us. Just pity the poor souls on the Night Watch.

Oh yes - and please bring a doily.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Return of the Moon Gibbon

Every new moon and every lunar eclipse we have to scotch this ridiculous superstition about the Moon Gibbon. As some Beaker Folk may remember, this all started when a reference to the "Gibbous Moon" was mis-heard, and within a few hours a new religion had started.

The moon is not being eaten by a giant gibbon. It waxes and and wanes in a perfectly scientifically-explicable way every month. That doesn't make it any less wonderful, or any less of a spiritual experience when we commence tomorrow's Watching for the Moon service, but it does mean that the maniacs down the far end of Husborne Crawley, living in a tree as homage to the Moon Gibbon are not to be encouraged. However, out of our Beaker sense of respect for other faiths, neither should we pelt them with apples . (Hnaef, please take note - this is even if they persist in the view that the Gibbon commands a patriarchal society where the leader is always referred to as "the Old Man of the Woods").

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Beaker Praisebook

We've been asked whether the Beaker Praise book that has been released comes with a CD Rom for Video Projection.

No.

It comes with a pebble and joss-stick, for astral projection.