Preamble: PCG & TMG
The Pan-Corhanwarrabul Grove first came to my attention on September 17 2006 at sunrise as I entered the Mother Grove at Naomh for a private ceremony whilst other members of TMG conducted the group celebration at Silvan. It was not long after I had completed writing Pan’s Script, the book. A year later I called TMG together and shared what my year of study into the Ogam had brought. It included a vision of a Central Pool with 5 tributaries, akin to the Irish myth of Connla’s Well, here applied to an organizational structure for The Melbourne Grove. Much later, I realized that such imagery is a natural extension of the TMG’s name, the word “Melbourne” meaning “mill-stream”.
The main stream – our seasonal celebrations – was, from Winter Solstice 2008 to Samhuin 2011, aligned with the Ogam as a primal ordering system. Corresponding roles were assigned to each fid of the ogam in accordance with the Pan’s Script model. They were beautiful ceremonies and they strengthened our relationships with the land and with each other. However by Winter Solstice 2011, the TMG community was ready to explore a new idea for our main seasonal celebrations and the Ogam-styled ceremonies moved into the Pan-Corhanwarrabul Grove as a part of the ‘Affiliated Groves’ stream of TMG. When the Mabon’s Candle was lit at Winter Solstice 2011, it was twins entering our realm: the fully-formed PCG, and the newly-styled community event. TMG celebrations will continue to be conducted on weekends because this is more convenient for the community, whilst PCG events may take place during the week, closer to the actual time of solstices and equinoxes.
PCG: Definition and Purpose
This is the way the PCG was first represented in TMG’s ‘Past, Present, and Future’ document under the heading of Affiliated Groves (2008-2010):
Founded by Elkie, the PCG is an aspect of the Course in Druid Mysticism. Pan, who has been working with us since the beginning, guides and inspires this work. Hence the Pan part of the name. The other part – Corhanwarrabul – is the name that the place now known as ‘The Dandenongs’ was called by the aboriginal people. It means home of the wallaby. Thus the PCG has a specific Guide, Place, and Totem.
…OBOD or TMG membership is not necessary for involvement with the affiliated groves, although other criteria may be necessary. In accordance with their independent status, participation within these groups is by invitation only. (By 2010 two of these Groves was contributing to TMG by annually hosting an event for its members. The Elders host an Eisteddfod each May and GDK a ‘Cave and Coast’ day each February. The PCG serves TMG in a different way. Behind the scenes, it acts like an underground current, nourishing and enriching the Grove through meditation.)
At Winter Solstice 2011 this underground current broke through the surface and became fully visible. With a new idea being explored by the TMG community, the purpose of the PCG became to maintain the original triad of dispensations for TMG, which were: to convert the earliest OBOD ceremonies from North Hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere, retaining their essential mysticism, to conduct ceremony at the sites we identified around the William Rickett’s Spring, aligning direction and season, and to unite Druid Ritual and Druid Alphabet as a magical formula.
PCG & CDM
The Course in Druid Mysticism (CDM) evolved out of my research into the Ogam just as the PCG did. The research that led to both began in 2006 and is documented in my website: www.panscript.com.au
The CDM is structured around the Ogam. It begins with four blocks of five lessons correlating with the four Aicme of the Ogam, each of which contain five feda (plural of fid). It gives participants an opportunity to acquaint themselves with each fid of the Ogam through their corresponding trees. Participants thus have a solid real-world basis from which to create their private inner world. Once these foundations are in place, the second half of the program enables participants to furnish the details. To further stabilize their inner world, participants are invited into a cycle of seasonal celebrations: Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lughnasadh, Autumn Equinox and Samhuin. These are PCG Rituals and they are based on the Ogam in keeping with the entire CDM. The structure of these celebrations assigns a role to each fid. And these are not arbitrary but based on a careful system of correspondences. Each has its own harmonic within the circle thus contributing to the harmony we offer the land and the harmony within all participants.
Three images guide the magical potential of the PCG. The first is the Cauldron, the Place of All-Possibility. Imagine picking up a giant stick and stirring the astral substance within the cauldron, 9 times in a spiral from outer to inner. Then one by one drop the ogam feda along the groove created by the spiral. As each hits the groove they create resonance. Each placement is a specific harmonic and by the time you have dropped all twenty fid in, you have created a harmonic symphony.
In the Celtic Tradition the Cauldron was the magical gift of the Dagda, the fertility god. In his hand he held a giant club. Rather than a weapon, the imagery here invites you to think of this as the Stirring Stick that penetrates the Cauldron and forms the Spiral.
What follows is a diagram of the 9-fold Spiral into which has been placed the letters of the Ogam. This is followed by a visual representation of our Circle of Magic around William Rickett’s Sanctuary.
PCG: Who can attend?
The PCG is not for beginners. It’s too deep; these are Ovate Rites. But anyone with an established inner-world guide can come. Beginners can establish their allies through the CDM (or something simular) and then attend. Attendance need not be regular. PCG can be a fall-back position for those who cannot attend the TMG community (Bardic) celebration. Some of us will want to attend both.
I am committed to conducting these rituals for as long as I am able but probably won’t do them on my own for health and safety reasons. These sacred places want happy celebrators not martyrs. So come if you want to come and know that you are welcome. Some beautiful sites await you.