THE SUMMERLANDS COMMUNITY
The Summerlands is indeed a community, as opposed to an online forum. And as such, we are constantly seeking ways to grow and work together in harmony. It is our goal to be responsive to the needs and wishes of our community members. With that in mind, we instituted the following services:
Rites of Passage
There are certain rites of passage in all of our lives that demand acknowledgment. These include births, coming of age, croning/sageing, death, and marriage (or divorce). As a community we should support and celebrate these life changing events together. To that end, we will gladly host celebrations in The Summerlands for our members. Just let us know what your needs are.
Gathering of the Clan
Once a year, at The Vernal Equinox, The Summerlands will make camp (preferably in the Appalachians) for a real time gathering of our community. Any member who wishes to join us in the woods for a bit of Pagan fun and frolic is more than welcome. This is a great chance to strengthen the ties of the community and actually meet, face-to-face, all of the friends you talk to all year. We will also have Pagan clergy available to perform handfastings, naming ceremonies, and other formal rites at that time. As the community grows we'll look into holding possibly two or more Gatherings per year so that we might all be able to attend.
Land-Based Pagan Community
We are putting a percentage of all proceeds from this cyber community into a savings fund for the purpose of purchasing a land-based Pagan community in the Appalachian Mountains. This land will have Pagan families in permanent residence with ceremonial and camp sites available to the Pagan community for events year round. We hope to be able to consecrate a portion of the land as a Pagan burial ground. The buildings will be constructed using the latest Earthship Homes technology and will be totally off the grid, using solar powered and wind & water-driven devices to provide the necessary power. Products such as the Sun Mar waterless toilet and LPG stoves and refrigerators will make this truly an environmentally responsible, low-impact community.
Pagan Religious Defense Fund
We are attempting to establish a Pagan Religious Defense Fund. This fund will be a resource for Pagan folk who are brought into the courts purely because of their religious beliefs and practices. Often times, the "Pagan trump card" is played against people in hopes that this information will prejudice the court/jury against them. At other times, Pagan folk are discriminated against purely and unconstitutionally because of their beliefs. This must stop! Once a sufficiently successful precident of defense and victories against such cases has been achieved, they sould and will be stopped. Currently, the only recourses for Pagans is to use their own funding or to relie on the ACLU (gods bless them). By working and standing together, we can defend our rights and protect our ways.
Summerschool Druid Seminary
The Summerschool Druid Seminary expects to be posting links to its courses and curriculum very soon. Current topics include Ogham, Druid traditions, Philosophy, Animal Studies, Botany and the Irish Language. We hope to also offer courses on the other Celtic languages, herbs/medicine, Druidic/Celtic astrology, Celtic/Druidic ritual techniques and methods as well as Magical methods. Please stay tuned to the Summerlands for ongoing announcements about these exciting educational opportunities.