I’ve been on hiatus here for a while due to dealing with some major family health issues. Anyway, I’m back.
On July 22 through 24 I attended the FoDLA Druids’ Conclave at a park in Southern California called Sage Ranch. We arrived late at night; the view from the road leading up to the park looked eerie, especially when we passed the gate to the former Rocketdyne Aviation (originally a division of North American Aviation, the developer of many famous fighter planes) testing facility, officially known as the Santa Susanna Field Laboratory and currently owned by Boeing and NASA,, with its concentration camp-like lights. This was the site of a 1959 US government cover-up of a nuclear core meltdown, one still amazingly little known. This facility tested liquid rocket fuels for the Space Program as well as doing nuclear development. The site is also associated with UFO sightings and contains a cave of Native petroglyphs. I have long noticed the military often (or in this case military contractors) will have installations near sacred sites. Certainly, something that leads to much speculation… The fact that my mother once worked for North American added another dimension of resonance to this weird (emphasis on the deeper levels of the word) place.
Further up the mountain is a wonderful terrain of striking rock formations on chaparral-covered hillsides; the campsite itself is set within a beautiful grove of oak and elderberry. The conclave was held within the deep shade of the wide-canopied oak trees; it was an enriching experience to sit there and have focused discussions on gods and goddesses, ancestors, the numinous, and the spirits of nature facilitated by Chief Druid Todd Covert. The Saturday night ritual included strong storytelling by Druid Michael McGuinness. FoDLA also carried out an initiation rite for installing its newest clergy, Druid Jim Wood of the Hudson Valley region of New York.