Last Samhain during a powerful ceremony to honor the ancestors, i had a long talk with Ivan at his fire shrine at Dreamland. Ivan was at that time fairly new to his life in spirit, having left his ailing body a mere 5 weeks previously, yet he was and is very much at home in this realm. Despite my grief in losing his embodied presence, i smiled often as i sensed him dancing in ecstatic celebration of his freedom, with joy, humor and his huge heart beaming.
Ivan and i were partners in life, in work and in land. Our shared dreams, passions and skills manifested a home, a school, a stone circle and an amazing spiritual community that continues to grow.
During that Samhain ceremony Ivan shared with me his enthusiasm, encouragement and support of me stepping fully into leadership as Chief of the Green Mountain Druid Order. Although i had become his equal as teacher, director, and ceremonialist, it was still a big deal for me to hold this role solo. Ivan had a very large presence and it was easy for me to get lost in the shadow of his charisma. Will i be good enough? Strong enough? Smart enough? I spent the next the next three months processing his loss and preparing for this sacred honor.
I chose Imbolc as the time that i would become chief with and for my druid community. What a beautiful ceremony! With the blessing of the Green Mountain Druids in attendance, the goddess Brigid, and Ivan’s undying support, i felt truly held. I had the blue dragon spiral which Ivan had on his cheek, and Brigid’s triple flame tattooed behind my heart. I crafted an antlered crown to carry Ivan’s spirit which was used to pass his blessing to me as the next chief. I consecrated a new sycamore staff and was wrapped in a mantle blessed by Brigid.
At a time when we are seeing so blatantly what bad leadership looks like in our country, I intend to model a very different style of leadership. Here are some of the commitments i made during the ceremony.
As Chief of the Green Mountain Druid Order;
I promise to continue practicing leadership from heart, hands and head,
I value co-creation, circles and community.
I value networking with complimentary teachers, events, and organizations to encourage connection, engagement, perspective, and cross-pollination.
I continue to listen, learn and grow.
I listen to my mentors; human, ancestral and other.
I report to Dreamland, to Ivan, to the Divine, and to you, as needed and appropriate.
I apprenticed at Ivan’s side for 11 years and learned many things.
I know that this Druid School changes lives and empowers spiritual warriors who go out and change the world.
I commit to guide the order in alignment with our mission, to nurture its health, carry the dream, let it evolve, and manifest it.
I am committed to the sacred stewardry of the sanctuary that is Dreamland.
I am committed to uphold my students past, present and future of the GMDS.
I am committed to continue offering these teachings as long as there is interest and ability with the support of my staff, mentors and advisors.
I promise to do my impeccable best to serve the Earth, this school and community.
I know this is my path and I am deeply honored to serve in this way.
I vow by peace and love to stand heart to heart and hand in hand,
to heal myself and heal the Earth and bring the Sacred into birth.