Berengaria Order of Druids
Web site: http://www.warband.org/cobdo/berangaria.htm
The Berengaria Order of Druids was founded in June 1996 at the time of the Summer Solstice after its founders had attended the Wolf 359 'Encounter' Sci-Fi convention at Blackpool, which featured some of the cast members of Babylon 5. Sci-fi buffs will know that Wolf 359 is the name of the rendezvous point in the ST:TNG episode 'The Best of Both Worlds', it is also the name of an actual star. The Order's name comes from the Classic Trek episode 'This Side of Paradise', where Spock refers to the planet Berengaria, 'where there be dragons..'.
Berengaria is also the name of the Plantagenet queen and wife of King Richard the Lionheart of England, the name of a Celtic chieftain from the Isle of Man, and there is as well a USS Berengaria, need one say more?
We are a Druidic Order dedicated to the aims, ideals and whatever else of Star Trek (i.e. IDIC-Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) and Babylon 5 (we suggest you follow the story arc, you'll be surprised!), plus any other sci-fi that takes our fancy. Plus, of course, lots of traditional Druidic silliness!
As a response and a call felt by us for there to be more fun and light-heartedness in Druidry, and by the noticeable numbers of Wiccans, Druids and other Pagans who were also sci-fi fans, the Order was born with our growing study of the plot story-arcs of Star Trek (in all its incarnations), Babylon 5, The X-Files and others, with certain references of a metaphysical nature n these series, which we felt was too much of a coincidence by the writers of these shows and also not highly un-noticeable on closer examination.
The Order of based on fun, silliness and the lunacy that is characteristic of Sci-fi fans. We plan to meet up at conventions, and also Druidic events and gatherings. Members need not be Druids to join, though we have an Initiation Ceremony for those interested with a sci-fi theme! Sci-fi dress is encouraged, any alien race, though we do also hope that members will attend in traditional robes. In addition to this, we hope that the odd drop of Druidic wisdom is shared and experienced by all in Awen (the Welsh word for 'Inspiration').
As the Order sufficiently establishes, we hope to conduct the Eight Festivals as appropriate according to Inspiration, Originality and Imagination. There are now ceremonies written for each of these, plus those for the Five Rites of Passage, sci-fi style. And there is also a Basic and Advanced 'Book of Lights and Shadows', too. Copies of all these are available on receipt of an SAE to the Archdruidess.
The Order is dedicated to education through the media of Druidic sources (and others) in popular sci-fi shows, which manage to convey more than the odd grain of truth in their content. Also, studies of a Druidic nature in the Bardic, Ovate and Druidic fields is equally important for those so inclined-please contact the Archdruidess for details of this, sci-fi style, of course!
We are also now finally affiliated to the Council of British Druid Orders (COBDO) with Full Membership, since they have let us in, much to our amazement! Please note that this is a DRUIDIC order and NOT a Sci-fi fan club. The Order does have a serious side, (Life, the Universe and Everything), but unfortunately it CANNOT run as one, however much it may seem to be so. There are plenty of other organizations and groups who serve this purpose for those wanting that.
The founders are the Archdruidess, Sarah Rooke, Priestess Hierophant of the Fellowship of Isis and also Ardbandraoi of the Druid Clan of Dana, Dame Commander of the Noble Order of Tara, Bard of Caer Abiri & Cor Gawr and Taruka Quauhtezcatl. The Order has its Chief Oracle, Ceilaer, the Sacred Oracle of Murp, and who appreciates an offering of tuna-flavored cat-biscuits for her wisdom. She is assisted as and when they feel like it by Lucky, Zev, Ro Laren, Jadzia, Sapphira, Spot, Cleo and Delenn.
The Order has its Grove of Minbar located at the Archdruidess's address. The Order is founded on the premise of love, beauty and truth, and at the time of writing, is free to join, though there is a subscription fee of £ 5.00 a year to cover printing and postage (we accept payment in stamps).
The Order also has its newsletter published by the Archdruidess. For those who are interested in going where no-one has gone before, please write to Sarah Rooke at Flat 3, 20 St David's Rd, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hants, P05 10N (tel: 023 92 3419461. Remember, the truth is out there and what do you want …… Live long and Prosper!!!
From Sarah Rooke, Archdruidess of the order. Used with permission.