Words of Days Gone By

In 2017, the 20th Anniversary year of SerpentStar, a project was conducted to electronically archive hard copy back-issues of our newsletter. The fruits of those efforts can be found below. Thanks and blessings to all the scanner volunteers. /|\


With thanks to Elkie White, we present the VERY FIRST edition, SerpentStar Alban Hefin 1997!!!!



Alban Elfed 1998 Or, as it was known back then, Alban Elued. Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “There’s some really interesting stuff in this one: assembly plans, including Philip’s inaugural visit to Australia, Eisteddfod, and an article on Australian native tree essences. Enjoy! Elkie” There’s also mention of the formation of the seed group which was to become Macadamia Grove!

Alban Arthan 1998 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes: “I’m having fun going back through these old editions. I had forgotten that I had called for 100 songs that we could sing at assemblies; that was an ambitious vision!!! But thanks to Jo White we did have about a dozen to sing at the 2010 assembly – so it may yet happen! I notice that Keith also made a request: for people to write about their Sacred Places. I’m not sure how far we got with that; perhaps it will be apparent as I keep scanning. Kathy also made a request – that’s 3 in one small SS – for a Sacred Tree Register. It would be grand to pick up these threads in the anniversary edition you are planning (I agree! – Ed). There’s also a letter and article from Philip, some ‘Grove Talk’, and Anzac Day ceremony, an article on Vervain, Members Skill Share and Bards Corner. I’m impressed!”

Alban Eilir 1998 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “A couple of great little articles from Joel and Steve in this one.”

Alban Hefin (Heruin) 1998 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “It’s longer than the previous ones and I note that there are articles from people that we haven’t heard from in a very long time, particularly the WA folks: Kennan and Murray. Kathy continues her tree register, extending it to the Canyon Sanctuary. Sacred Place is taken up by Jeanette, inspiring me to visit sometime! And Rosemary continues her Australian Native Essences. There’s news from NZ by Bill, an astrology article by Alice, and reports on the assembly.”


Alban Elfed 1999 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “This edition begins with plans for the third Assembly – the first at Corringal – including the idea of making a CD of our own songs. (It was great fun). It was interesting to read of Kennan’s plans for a course in Traditional Medicine Ways, (which would later morph into something else on the OBOD website). Another delightful article from Bill in NZ along the lines of how they conducted their summer ceremonies (being a person who loves ritual, I relish such articles). More tree essences from Rosemary and another article on astrology from Alice, and another fascinating piece from Murray Barton in WA, plus a Member’s skill share segment.”

Alban Arthan (Arthuan) 1999 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “This one didn’t take long to scan as there are only nine pages but it’s interesting nonetheless. There is an article by astrologer Alice Portman on the first Saturn Return, which is one of the best I’ve read on the subject. Bill continues to share his seasonal celebrations in NZ and Rosemary continues her Essences of the Journey series, this time writing about the Victorian Mountain Ash, the Snow Gum, and the White Mangrove, plus Samhuinn at Windang by Carole.”

Alban Eilir (Eiler) 1999 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “This edition includes an introduction from Ruiseart, and an article from Akkadia about Brighid, and reversing the NH cycle; her preference being not to. Another astrology from Alice, this time about the Solar System, and Rosemary’s final Essences for the Journey, this time focused on the Giant Honey Myrtle, Silver Banksia, River Red Gum, and Victorian Christmas Bush. There’s also an article from Emma Restall-Orr – Druidry: Inspiration, ancient and modern – ahead of her visit to Australia in 2000.”

Alban Hefin (Heruin) 1999 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “Final edition for that year, decade, century and millennium! In this edition Keith and Kirsty share their experiences of Christmas in Australia. Plans are afoot for more overseas visitors, and Murray Barton has written a fascinating piece called Plainsong. Carole initiates the idea of introducing ourselves and includes her own bio (I can’t remember if anyone else took up the idea). She also includes an excellent article from the OBOD website.”


Alban Elfed (Elued) 2000 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “The first SS of the new millennium! With 16 pages, it’s the biggest so far. There’s a couple of superb long-ish articles in this one, and I especially like Druidry in the Southern Hemisphere by Carole. It’s as relevant today as it was then. Kennan Elkman from WA has also written quite a lot in this edition as he gears up to host the 4th Assembly. His article, Reconciliation and the Land explores ideas around the concept of ‘healing’. There’s a letter from Philip too, who was in New Zealand at the time, writing the new bardic course. He writes: “What excites us tremendously is the feeling of newness, of freshness, that exists in the southern hemisphere. I believe that druidry has a chance to develop and grow in new ways in this part of the world, precisely because it is evolving under a different sky, and listening to the songs of a different earth and different peoples.” Don’t you love that?!”

Alban Arthan (Arthuan) 2000 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “It’s not especially big but there’s a lot packed into this edition! SerpentStar goes online for the first time, with room for members to fill with poems, writings, artwork…and anything relevant to druidry in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s an article on using triads as an oracle, and two reports on the visit from Emma Restall Orr addressing the issue of the isolation of members here in the Southern Hemisphere, there’s an article about NOBOD and celebrating the seasons online, and from Vivienne (Wyverne): The Wyeuro Circles and a Blessing of the Plough ritual. There’s an article by Keith MacNider called Images, which is about lots of things like symbols, rock painting, and photographs. Bard’s Corner includes Oh Merlin, in your Cloak of Stars by Vivienne, Moon Time and Magpie by Sionnach, and Water by Raelene. There’s a letter from Philip in New Zealand and a full and beautiful ritual for Alban Arthan in that country; written for 5 people: the 4 Directions + the Mabon. Carole has included a Southern Hemisphere seasonal night sky constellations map with some comments about eclipses. There’s a bit more about the up-coming assembly in WA and a little piece on Reconciliation, which is its theme.”

Alban Eilir (Eiler) 2000 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “This edition begins with a report on the Ganieda Assembly in WA. There’s also a report on Philip’s workshop in Sydney, an introduction from Sue in the Getting to Know You column, and five poems in the Bard’s Corner. There’s a long and beautiful article called A Druid Path in New Zealand by Tamzin, followed by a report of the Alban Arthan Ceremony in Whangarei by Bill. It finishes with an article by Philip called ‘Wild & Wise’ in which he expresses the need to bring those two qualities of human nature together.”

Alban Hefin (Heruin) 2000 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “Plans for the 5th assembly are afoot. Correspondences for the Blue Mountains per Kathy or the Sunset Garden Grove, just west of Sydney: January, February (Lughnasadh), and March (Alban Elfed); weather, wildlife, vege garden, flowering etc. Contributions to the Bard’s Corner from Sandra, Sionnach, Kirsty, and Bran-wen. Sionnach announces that she is taking on the job of Sacred Grove Planting Program co-ordinator for Australia and New Zealand (I wonder what became of that?). Another article on Reconciliation, this time from Wayne, and a poem by Murray B called ‘Circle of Belonging’. In ‘Quest of the Green Fire, Part 1’, with much about dragons, and a poem – Something moves in deep dark ponds – by Carole.”


Alban Elfed (Elued) 2001 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “Plans for the 5th Assembly at Yulara to coincide with the Winter Solstice and a Solar Eclipse are now in their final stages. Correspondences for the Blue Mountains, part 2, (April, May & June), and Green Fire, part 2, by Vivienne come next. NOBOD webmasters put out a call for SH ceremonies. Bard’s Corner is again well stocked: A Bard’s Winter Journey by Bran-Wen, The Well of Fire and Water, by David, The Waterlily by Raelene, and Poututerangi by Kirsti in NZ. In More Wisdom and Healing from the Trees, Rosemary turns her attention to the works of Edward Bach and Ian White. There’s a notice about a Bardic & Healing Workshop by Jay Ramsay and a skill share request from Ruiseart agus Ceit. This edition finishes with a long article entitled The Goddess in Druidry by Gwalchwen.”

Alban Arthan (Arthuan) 2001 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “This final edition by Carole begins with a full report of the 5th Assembly by Raelene and her daughters Kerri & Tracey, and includes some good photos of Australia’s beautiful Red Centre. Correspondences for the Blue Mountains continues, this time for July, August/Imbolc, and Alban Eilir/September. In the Noticeboard section there’s a brief letter from Philip, and also a letter from Ngaire about her new job as Australian Grove Coordinator. Bard’s Corner has two substantial contributions: one from Vivienne and the other from Keith. The final pages include a Winter Solstice Dawn Ceremony from Kirsti in New Zealand and a brief note from Kennan about his foundational course in Traditional Medicine Ways.”

SerpentStar took a break between Alban Arthan 2001 and Alban Arthan 2002


Alban Arthan 2002 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “There’s poetry on the first page, and Sionnach puts forward the idea of A Book of Druid Poetry From the South Lands (what would eventually become Southern Echoes). Sionnach introduces herself as the new editor on Page 2 under the new heading ‘Editor’s Spot’. Vyvyan writes about druidry in the Southern Hemisphere in an article called ‘Bringing It Home’, and Moonwind Rose writes part one of her Celtic Wheel of the Year Astrology. There’s now a column titled ‘Seasonal Recipes’ and, to finish, Sionnach initiates a Children’s Page with a Green Man to colour in and a word-find exercise based on Australian animals.”

Alban Eilir 2002 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “In this edition you’ll find Parts 2 of Vyvyan’s ‘Bringing It Home’ and Moonwind Rose’s Celtic Wheel of the Year Astrology, and also the final instalment of Kathy’s Correspondences for the Blue Mountains (October, November/Beltane, and December/Alban Hefin). There’s poetry by Taran, Vyvyan, and Patrick, and a Spring Fever Pot Pourri in the Seasonal Recipes section. This time the Children’s Page is dedicated to Celtic Goddesses.”

Alban Hefin 2002 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “In this edition you’ll find evocative images of summer in Australia by Sionnach. There’s also a poem about Uluru by Raelene, and A Christmas Poem for the Forces by Patrick. There’s an article called ‘Takin’ It All Home: Translating Our Ritual Structure to Personal Space’ by Kami Landy, as posted on the free_druidry_course mail-list, and a Maori story about ‘How the Kiwi Lost its Wings’ from www.maori.org.nz. The Children’s Page is this time dedicated to native animals of New Zealand.”


Alban Elfed 2003 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “Strong poetry features again in this edition: by Unikorn, Branwen, Taran, Raelene, and Patrick. The Book of Druid Poetry proposed by Sionnach when she first became editor has taken on the name it will keep – ‘Southern Echoes’ – and is now coming together under the guidance of Murray Barton. Thom has written about The Druid Network in Oceania. Vyvyan titles her article ‘Credible Druidry’, intended as the first in a series of articles examining the powers commonly attributed to druids. Vyvyan has also written about the 5th SH OBOD Assembly, which she is hosting from Wyeuro in South Australia, near Punyerloo and the Murray River. Susan Jones is attending and so it will also be the first Tutor Convention in the Southern Hemisphere. Finishing this exciting edition, there’s a couple of articles about Bunyips and a Children’s Page dedicated to faeries.”

Alban Arthan 2003 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “A poem by Taran – ‘Winter, A Tree’s Sleep’ – opens this edition. Further poems include ‘The Druids’ by Patrick and ‘Listening to Enya’ by Raelene. #2 On the Legitimacy of Talking to Trees by Vyvyan Ogma Wyverne is the feature article. There’s also an article by Mara Freeman titled ‘The Selkie’ and another titled ‘Fact or Fable’ by Kelly Whittaker. Inkeeping with the winter theme there’s a couple of soup recipes in the Seasonal Recipes section, and inkeeping with the Arthurian theme, the Word Puzzle comprises Arthurian characters.”

Alban Eilir 2003 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “There’s another major contribution by Wyverne in this edition: ‘Druid Timescapes’, an article, and also a mystical poem by her on the Bard’s Page. Other bardic contributors in this edition include Patrick, Unikorn, Taran, and Raelene. Lesley writes about Corringal Grove. There’s a little story about How Sun, Moon and Wind Went out to Dinner, and the Children’s Page features the names of constellations. There’s information about the impending 6th Assembly at Wyeuro Grove and a repeat of Raelene’s article about the 5th. The Definition of a Druid by Patrick Murphy provides further food for thought.”

Alban Hefin 2003 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “There’s a rich and comprehensive report on the 6th Assembly in this one, including an announcement that Southern Echoes, which was launched at the Assembly, is now ready for purchase!  You’ll also find the next instalment of Vyvyan’s Credible Druidry series; this one titled ‘Enchantment, Charms and Glamourie’. Poems abound, from Cherry, Vyvyan, Taran, Moonfox, StormWolf, and Raelene. StormWolf also writes about St Stephen’s Day and the Hunting of the Wren. The Seasonal Recipes this time are Mango Sorbet and Lavender Biscuits, and the Word Search this time is focused on the Ogham.”


Alban Elfed 2004 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “A highlight of this edition is the play that Keira created. Based on The Tale of Taliesin, per OBOD Gwers 2, it was first enacted by The Melbourne Grove at Lughnasadh, and would go on to become a enjoyable feature of the next Assembly. Included also is an invitation to that Assembly by Cherry and Denis. As usual there’s also lots of poetic contributions, this time by Keira, Patrick, Taran, Branwen, Unikorn, and Raelene. There’s The Lady of the Lake story as well and some more Seasonal Recipes. This time the Children’s Page is focused on Celtic Gods and the Green Man.”

Alban Arthan 2004 Scanned by Cherry and Denis Carroll. Due to the age of the original copy the poem on page 2, “The Groves” by Patrick Murphy, is no longer legible. Elkie White also tried unsuccessfully to scan it, then got out her magnifying glass and provided the following translation:

From the circular temples
Of Ireland to Stonehenge
In Britain the ancient ones
Left an enigma of the past.

In the groves of our time
Druidry lives on
With the revival of
The groves in the
Light of the moon.

A past to remember
And a future to reach for
Not acclaimed by war
Or dogma
In the groves of man. 

Alban Eilir 2004 Scanned by Mandy Gibson. Faint text in this copy can be read by zooming into the pdf.

Alban Hefin 2004 Scanned by Mandy Gibson. Most faint text in this copy can be read by zooming into the pdf. The exception is the poem “Fire Keeper” by Dean Gentilin on Page 9, reproduced below:

The sun had but set
The light is shallow
Looking through the heat haze
The stillness begins to dance
The dreaming has begun
Time was no more
Life rested in thought
Seconds flowed into minutes
Minutes to hours
Hours to years
Then centuries drifted away
I am alone in a time unknown
No man before me has seen this land
Nor the moon that rises in the sky
I am still, my breath is slow
The bats head south
Leaving their mountain roost
Their cries are like stories
As the trees begin to chant
I feel their energy pass into my soul
It feels good and I begin to smile


Alban Elfed 2005 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “Goodbye Summer by Taran, The Domain of the Owl by Tracey, The Voice of Danu by Branwyn, Heralds of Autumn by Cherry and a Bardic Grade Poem by Debora are the member’s poems in this edition. Holly (Fern) from Port Macquarie has written in search of druid friends (and I hope by now she has found some). StormWolf alerts readers to a movie called Finding Joy, which is produced by, and stars, two Australian OBOD members: Billie and Andrew from Braidwood near Canberra. There was a shortage of submissions and so a variety of articles from various websites have been included. The Seasonal Recipes continue, and the Children’s Page is quite striking with its autumnal colours.”

Alban Arthan 2005 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “Poems from Cherry, Mandagora and Raelene are the highlights of this edition. The Five Ages of Mankind by Lorraine MacDonald (1992), first published in Dalriada magazine, fills out the majority of it. There’s exciting information about the 8th Assembly, an appeal to readers to participate in Blessing the Water, and a suggestion from Carole and Cherry that the theme of this year’s Assembly be Water. “We could make a Water Dragon…build a simple labyrinth and perform a dragon dance” – sounds wonderful – and it was! The Children’s Page is about bird watching.”

Alban Eilir 2005 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “I guess the feature-article of this edition was mine about the OBOD Assembly that I attended in Glastonbury; I had such a fabulous time and wrote in detail with pictures! Another article was More Rapt(-or) News by Cherry about her encounter with an eagle on her property at Kingaroy. There’s also a Scandinavian legend titled Saving Spring, and an excerpt from ‘Ostara’ by Anna Franklin. The 8th SH Assembly is taking shape, there’s poems by Mandagora and Raelene, the Seasonal Recipe is Decorating Eggs, there’s a SH star map, and the Children’s Page is about growing seeds in a jar.”

Alban Hefin 2005 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “A photo of the dragon we created at the 8th Assembly and the verse we sang to it as we walked the labyrinth is on page 1, a report of the Assembly on page 3, and more photos on page 4. There’s even a ode to Syd the Bard who was 4-legged companion throughout the assembly. Further bardic contributions come from Raelene and Branwen, plus the story of Connla and the Fairy Maiden. Tamzin asks what do OBOD members do with the knowledge and understanding they gain from the course and shares what she has done with it. There’s some star lore and another map of SH constellations. Jessica informs us of her perpetual seasons diary made for, and created in, the Southern Hemisphere. The Seasonal Recipe is Cherry’s Rich Sticky Gingerbread. The Children’s Page is titled Beach Treasures and focused on what you can create with the shells and pebbles that you collect from the beach.”


Alban Elfed 2006 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “The bulk of this edition is about Religious Rights in Australia, specifically the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Submission on Paganism. There’s poems by Raelene – Little Frog – and Branwen – The Cloak of an Ovate Witch. Also a book review by Branwen, the book being Maiden, Mother, Crone: Voices of the Goddess by Claire Hamilton. Carole has submitted an article about Pole Shift, and Ngaire has included a story from Japan titled The Spirit of the Willow Tree. There’s an invitation to the 9th Assembly from Rafayard. The Children’s Page is a crossword to challenge druids of all ages!”

Alban Arthan 2006 Scanned by Mandy Gibson, includes a great article by past editor Wyverne. With thanks to Cherry and Denis Carroll for supplying the original.

Alban Eilir 2006 Scanned by Elkie White, who writes “This edition includes a notification of the first Lughnasadh Camp in Aotearoa/New Zealand from January 26-29 2007, and the program for the 9th SH Assembly in Port Lincoln, South Australia. There are articles about the Piri Re’is Map, the Untiring Ones, the Myth of the Sacred Triangle, and a Wolf Story. There’s also a little piece from Robin about plugholes! The Seasonal Recipes are a Spring Equinox Incense for burning on a charcoal block and Marzipan. There’s a new crossword, this time based on Ritual Tools, plus the answer to last edition’s crossword.”

Alban Hefin 2006 Scanned by Cherry and Denis Carroll (thankyou!)  🙂


Alban Elfed 2007 Scanned by Mandy Gibson, with thanks to Cherry and Denis Carroll for supplying the original 🙂

Alban Arthan 2007 Scanned by Cherry and Denis Carroll (thankyou!)  🙂

SerpentStar took a break for Alban Eilir 2007, after which it switched to being released on the Fire Festivals.

Beltane 2007 Scanned by Cherry and Denis Carroll (thankyou!)  🙂


Lughnasadh 2008 Scanned by Cherry and Denis Carroll (thankyou!)  🙂

Samhuinn 2008 Scanned by Mandy Gibson, with thanks to Cherry and Denis Carroll for supplying the original 🙂

SerpentStar took a break for Imbolc 2008.

Beltane 2008 Scanned by Mandy Gibson, with thanks to Cherry and Denis Carroll for supplying the original 🙂


Lughnasadh 2009 Scanned by Mandy Gibson, with thanks to Cherry and Denis Carroll for supplying the original 🙂

Samhuinn 2009 Scanned by Mandy Gibson, with thanks to Cherry and Denis Carroll for supplying the original 🙂

Available editions from Imbolc 2009 onwards can be found on the Home page

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