An Bruane: The Fireseed

by Fox

As our membership continues to grow by leaps and bounds I have realized that many of our newer members may be confused about the numerous activities and subgroups within the Grove. To remedy this situation we are in the process of writing a guide for new members to orient them to our ever expanding tribe and its activities. The following article is intended to explain one of our subgroups called An Bruane to help with this situation until the guide is published.

In the late winter of 1995 I began to feel that the spiritual growth of the Grove was starting to stagnate. We had conducted public High Day rites for a full turn of the wheel and it was beginning to feel routine. The High Days have proven to be a wonderful opportunity for the community to gather in celebration but I havent felt that they do much to bring Druidism into everyday life. I began to search for some way for us to deepen our spiritual experience and foster stronger contacts with the world around us. With these thoughts in mind I started the group called An Bruane.

An Bruane is an Irish Gaelic phrase that is translated as "The Fireseed". Its meaning is rooted in our ancestors' tradition of extinguishing all of the fires in the village twice per year, on the eves of Beltaine and Samhain. At dusk on these days the druids of the village would kindle a new fire, creating the first spark using a bow drill as we do today.

That tiny flame, kindled by skill in the light of the setting sun and coaxed into a roaring blaze, marked the beginning of the new season. Sacred woods were offered to consecrate the fire and it was tended through the night. The fire accepted offerings from the villagers in rites the next day and maintain the contacts between the folk and the surrounding spirits. When the celebrations came to an end each house- holder carried an ember from this sacred fire home where it was protected and sustained as a continuous spiritual presence in the hearths of the home. Eventually that first sacred fire, the source of the fires of the tribe, became known as "The Fireseed".

The selection of the name for this group was very deliberate. My vision is that An Bruane will become the spark of a spiritual revitalization of Druidism that will spread far beyond the boundaries of our sacred land. This spiritual fire will grow and unite with the tribal fires of other people. It will spread around the globe to bring great change as millions turn back to the spirit ways of the earth. As grand and ambitious as that sounds we have already seen strong indications that we are being divinely guided in our workings and that this dream will eventually manifest.

Since its inception the group has radically changed the spiritual life of the Grove. Our faith has become deeply connected to the land on which we live and a number of us have had profound religious experiences as the result of this work. An Bruane has been responsible for the initial contact with all of the Grove's Deities and has created a wealth of lore and magical practices that are being used to strengthen these bonds. We have expanded Druidism far beyond the public rites and have begun to transform it into a living and deeply personal faith.

We have only started on this long journey and only the Gods know when we will rest. We have plans for more workings than we have time to complete and new inspirations come to us at a furious pace. Due to urging and interest from individuals outside of our Grove I have begun writing a book which will hopefully make our evolving faith accessible to solitary seekers and other groups around the world.

Druidism has long been a vehicle for very impressive scholarship on the practices and lore of our ancestors. However, I feel that it has often fallen short in the practical application of this knowledge. We are striving to help fill this gap by acting as a kind of spiritual laboratory where the results of research, by myself and others, are brought to life.

A few examples of our workings from the past year are: the annual dawn rite to the Goddess Ana at the source of the Huron River; the consecration and empowerment of the Grove's bow-drill by the God Bel; a visionary exploration of our tribe's sacred tree; the Samhain trance ritual for contact with the ancestors; the work with trance techniques for induction of visions and contact with the God Mannanan; the work done to recover the tale of Ana's creation; the work to contact our tribal patron God Lugh; the rite of sacred marriage of Lugh to the Goddess of our land; and the rite to contact our tribal Hearth Goddess Brid.

Our plans for the future include the creation of a number of healing rites, the search for the navel stone at the heart of the land; a quest for contact with our fertility God; the creation of a Grove funeral rite; and the creation of an inner initiation for those drawn to a lifelong commitment of service to the Gods and our people

An Bruane is open to all members of the Grove and I encourage all of you who are interested in this type of spiritual work to join us in the adventure. Each month we gather to explore new rites and magical techniques. The vast majority of this work is conducted in the forest at various points on the land so come prepared for whatever the weather may bring!

The Crane Box Ritual

Upcoming An Bruane Events

An Bruane FAQ