It’s been four weeks since the annual Samhuinn ceremony and four weeks of no Heraldic duties.
At Samhuinn, the Grove’s offices are left open for them to be taken by others who wish to take them on. With the exception of the Sword Bearer whom chooses to pass the sword on to the next person.
When I declared, as is done, the position of Herald being open again for another year, those in attendance were surprised when Greenfingers said ‘Yeah, alright. I’ll do it.’ He went on to explain that he’d thought about it and that he wanted to do it, also with him being retired he had the time to fulfil the role. After this, I realised I had the biggest grin on my face.
The GoC doesn’t have a chief and it doesn’t have a leader. This is why it has offices instead. The position of Herald is not to be taken lightly.
The Herald is responsible for the day to day running of the Grove. Keeping a calendar of the events ticking over, making sure those who run a ceremony or a meeting are able to do so, as well as informing attendees of anything to bring for those events. The Herald also makes sure that those who need lifts have them (or at least, have checked those people have already organised them).
The Herald is also the contact point for any new contacts or new potential members. Serving also as a screening process to see if the new potential is for us, and if we are the Grove for them.
The Herald also serves as treasurer and is keeper of the ‘Magic Pig, the fabric pot for contributions from members to pay for things the Grove may need: the website, any replacements for The Box, hosting a table at Pagan events etc. In the Grove’s past there was an office called ‘Keeper of the Magic Pig’, sad to say after the original pig and monies were stolen, this responsibility fell to the Herald thereafter.
As you can see, the role is not one of leading or supervising the Grove. It is event keeper, secretary, treasurer and occasional herder of cats (Cough-Druids-Cough).
Each Herald has approached the role in different ways, adding something of themselves to both the office and the Grove. I wasn’t in the Grove during Glamorgan and Luch Dorcha’s years as Herald.
Cthulhudruid had ended his time at my first Samhuinn with the Grove. I was struck with awe at that very first Alban Elfed ceremony, the first meeting had us making medicine pouches for ourselves (led by Tatterhood, I still have the bag), the second meeting was at a members house and I got absolutely wasted on mead and red wine! Just ask Ladymorgana! I cannot say what he was like as Herald, but with the headers of the GoC symbol attached to paperwork and knowing how deep he is, I can imagine him being methodical and giving all to the Grove.
Tatterhood was Herald before me and she added a lot of creativity to the flavour of meetings, with us painting, writing poetry discussing a lot about the concepts of Druidry. In the meetings, she was quick to make sure we didn’t get carried away on tangents. Tatty, wasn’t afraid to explore our psychic sides either and balanced this with making use of the Question Cards. It was a shame she had to step down, but the circumstances were totally understandable.
I was ‘Acting Herald’ up until Samhuinn in 2014. By this time we had our own Group on Facebook and I used that to my advantage, utilising the Events generator and using the public forum to keep people in the loop. I also gave the Grove a yearly Eisteddfod, wanting everyone to take part. Like the previous Heralds before me, I had to make snap decisions for last minute meeting and ceremony dilemmas, some of which weren’t popular but necessary.
Greenfingers has a tough road ahead and has already proven himself with this month’s meeting, turning it into an AGM and getting us to organise the next year. I look forward to what he brings.
The Succession of Heralds
1996 – 2000 RhuMaere- later known on here as ‘Glamorgan’ (Office held under the nebulous title of Grove mother)
2000 – 2005 Lorcha (the Hairy Herald) – aka Luch Dorcha – aka ‘Mr Fluffy’
2005 – 2010 Cthulhudruid
2010 – 2014 Tatterhood
2014 – 2017 Locksley
2017 – Present Greenfingers
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