Thursday, September 19, 2013

Druid Handfasting (pagan/neopagan)

Just to reiterate for anyone who doesn't already know, (mainly extended family on either side), this is a pagan Druid handfasting, though Jesus as well as the Irish goddess Brighid (who many consider the same as the once canonized Catholic Saint, Saint Bridget) will be honored.  This attempts to accommodate both Jack's Catholic upbringing, and our respective families.  Please spread this around to anyone invited either not on my friends list, Facebook, or anyone who isn't online.  I'd prefer no one be 'surprised' by this.... Anyone uncomfortable about this is free to avoid the ceremony, and then join us for the Celtic harvest feast to follow. 

Some background on the words:

Pagan actually means 'country dweller', just as heathen simply means a 'dweller of the heath or moor'.  In Roman times, when both words came into use, both originally had nothing to do with anything "satanic", but were used by city dwellers to describe what they considered to be the 'hicks' out in the country.  Only later did the Catholic Church come to use it to describe the pre-Christian religions of the 'country dwellers', since the 'civilized' city dwellers had been all Christianized.

'For the record', so to speak, 'Satan' is a Christian concept, and pagans don't believe in, much less 'follow' Satan.  So therefore pagans & paganism cannot be satanic.

Modern Neopaganism is a recognized Earth based religious movement ('neo' meaning 'new'), with many denominations, some organized as 'churches' and recognized by the federal government as religions, and accorded protected tax-exempt status by the IRS.

By 'Earth-based', pagans basically worship Nature, and the Earth that sustains us all.  Most recognize and worship many different Deities - Gods and Goddesses, honor our Ancestors as those who came before us, and honor the Worldly or Nature Spirits, such as the animals, plants, and spirits of place that share our world with us.  Druids, as a subset within paganism, often call these the Three Kindred.

The Druid church I (Lisa) belong to, is called Ar nDriaocht Fein, or ADF for short, and it's Irish Gaelic for 'Our Own Druidry'.  The church as a whole does NOT have an orthodoxy, which means a 'right belief'. In other words, ADF will not tell you what to believe - you have to decide that for yourself.  ADF DOES have an orthopraxy, which means 'right practice'.  That means that there are a set of practices and ritual ceremonies that define what ADF Druidry is, and certain practices forbidden from ADF practice (the prime example of what is NOT allowed is blood or animal sacrifice).  Oh, and for the record, 'sacrifice' simply means 'to make sacred', and is synonymous with the word 'offering'.  Think of it as a gift to the divine.  Putting flowers on a gravestone can be considered an offering, sacrifice, or gift to a deceased loved one who has gone on to join the Ancestors for example....

Druids, like myself (Lisa), without generalizing too much, since individual Druids can be quite independent in their personal beliefs, also have a code of ethics or conduct that we live by, and hope to live up to, and this is called The Nine Virtues.  We also have a belief in an afterlife, as well as some believing in cyclical reincarnation.  While Druids don't have an equivalent to the Christian concept of Heaven or Hell, we generally believe that one gets the afterlife one 'deserves', based upon how one lives ones' life.  Lives and afterlives are both places where we learn what we need to learn.  While we don't believe in original sin, or places of eternal damnation - living against the Virtues, or "evil" behavior, will reap what they sow, and so will living according to the Virtues, ie. living a "good" life.

For more info, or to answer any questions or concerns one may have, feel free to comment on this post, or email me at  Also, I can direct questions to the FAQ at

Slainte!  (Irish for 'Health!')

Lisa McCune-Noll

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Since we've been asked.... Registries

Since we've been asked, we are registered through and  In one sense, we don't need a lot, since we merged two complete households, but on the other hand, much of what we have is either older or less expensive versions, and we now need to replace or upgrade what we have... A few things are decor or just for fun...... ;) & search for John Noll

We'd also welcome gift cards for either of the above, or Lowe's or Home Depot.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A few examples of basic celtic garb or 'garb-like' clothes.....

Jack wearing Celtic-like garb....  note the pants, called 'trews', they can easily be replicated by wearing plaid flannel 'lounge' or pajama pants...  Just get plaids in earth tone colors, it looks more authentic.....

So this is one of my garb outfits, while this is much more Norse (Viking) than Celtic, the two cultures were neighbors, and for our purposes, this will work too......

Here, my friend Diana is wearing 'garb-like' clothes, a pretty peasant blouse type top, and a long skirt....  This works too.

I'll post more pics later......

A View of the Venue....

The amphitheater.

Chairs will be under the amphitheater facing out towards the hillside.

The wedding ceremony will have the hillside and trees as the backdrop.  The pavilion can be seen upper left at the top of the hill.

View showing the proximity of the pavilion to the restrooms.  There is a paved path from the pavilion to the restrooms....

Pavilion interior, with long rows of 'feasting tables'....

There's quite a big area surrounding the pavilion for relaxing, and for kids to run around....  even a horseshoe pit, LOL.....

Note the playground in close proximity to the pavilion.....

View down to the amphitheater...

Open area surrounded by trees....

Celtic or Medieval Garb

The important thing to remember here, is comfort.  True garb (as opposed to a costume) should be easy to wear.  Particularly celtic garb or medieval garb (which aren't the same thing, but either will work for our purposes) it's really pretty comfortable, and many of my friends would actually prefer to wear garb 24/7 if we had the chance.....  An important distinction, is look for 'medieval' or ancient, Viking or Celtic - NOT 'Renaissance', which is a much later period in history...

Easy options for ladies:

I don't usually hawk particular brands, but for the ladies, if you want something that can easily fit the part of a celtic looking dress, or blouses & skirts, that can actually be worn other places (and not just a Ren Faire), check out  Very wearable, and ranges from peasant blouses and tunics, gypsy skirts, to 'maxi dresses' and mini dresses.  Most with pretty embroidery.

All I ask if you order from Holy Clothing, is do not order the Arwen dress.  That one's mine!  ;)

Kids:  If any kids want to dress the part, any medieval princess dress would work, and a Merida costume from Disney's 'Brave' would be awesome.....  For boys, any medieval prince, Viking type costume would work - think 'How to Train Your Dragon' or 'Brave'...  Feel free to bring a change of play clothes too - there's a large playground at the reception pavilion.


If you're brave, there's ALWAYS the kilt option.  We're not going for the 'tuxedo jacket and small kilt' look here....  Think 'Braveheart'.  (Or 'Brave'.)  REAL kilts are extremely expensive. There are other options though....  Jack & Jason's kilts came from a great kiltmaker that attended the Great Lakes Medieval Faire in Ohio.  We are pleased with them, and received great service.  They are actually located in New Mexico.  Here's their site:  There is a kilt maker at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival,, called The Roguish Highlander,

For a modern twist on a kilt, check out

You can also rent kilts....  There are several Irish, Scottish, or pan Celtic stores in the greater Pittsburgh area, at least some of them rent kilts., does, but honestly, at the other links, you can buy one cheaper....

Not ready for a kilt, but still want to attempt garb?  Not hard - get one of the men's shirts @ The Roguish Highlander, or Wenches At Work, a heavy leather belt, AND - plaid flannel 'pajama' pants or 'lounge' pants in earthier colors.  Long before the Celts wore plaid kilts, they were wearing plaid 'trews' or pants.  I'll post a pic of Jack wearing this sort of garb.

OR - EVERYONE CAN JUST GO CASUAL.  This is a casual outdoor style wedding - we want you to be comfortable & have fun.  Khakis & sundresses, or whatever the weather dictates, will be perfectly fine!  ;)

Saturday, August 31, 2013


You can also RSVP by emailing Lisa @  Let us know how many will attend, and if you're attending both ceremony and reception.  Thank you.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Location of Renewal of Vows Ceremony and Celtic Feast

The location of both events is at Cedar Creek Park.    

Address is:  453 Evergreen Drive, Belle Vernon, PA 15012 • 1/4 mile North of I-70, just off Route 51. 

This park is located along the Youghiogheny River, and while the actual ceremony and feast will not occur riverside, I encourage everyone to take a side trip down past the rails-to-trails, and see the scenic river valley.

The ceremony itself will be held at the large outdoor amphitheater.  While there are some installed benches scattered about the naturally sloping hillside, everyone is encouraged to bring their own camp chairs, or blankets to sit on, picnic-style.  ***Note, we will be providing chairs.  Seating will be in the amphitheater itself - it's sheltered - and the ceremony will have the backdrop of the hillside.***  This will also provide more comfortable, relaxed seating after the feast at the pavilion, where the feast seating is the large park picnic tables with attached benches....  Both the amphitheater, pavilion, and nearby bathrooms are handicapped accessible.  

The Feast Hall is Pavilion #1, listed as having a seating capacity of 400, with plenty of flat open space and trees around it.  There is also a large playground nearby, which the kids are encouraged to take advantage of, with supervision....

Here's a link to a detailed park map:

And of course, if there are any questions, just email Lisa, or comment on this blog....