TROUT LAKE, Wash — This coming spring the Cascadia Grove of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF) is planning to break ground on a fourth shrine. This one will be dedicated to Cernunnos. Cascadia Grove is located in the Seattle, Washington area and plans to build the shrine next to the others that it has built at Trout Lake Abbey.
According to ADF, an international modern Druid group, Cernunnos is a horned God of liminality, commerce, and the forest.
The Grove hosted an online fundraiser in December for the proposed shrine and raised just under $3500 toward their projected costs of $25,000. The Grove has plans to host another fundraiser this Spring to cover the remainder of the costs of completion.The proposed shrine will be constructed with wood pillars, concrete walls and a reinforced sheet metal roof. This will form a sheltered area where persons can place incense and other offerings. The plans also include a fire altar and an oak tree wooden bench for meditation.
Kirk Thomas, Archdruid of ADF and co-owner of Trout Lake Abbey, said that the design for the shrines came to him while in a trance, “I designed the shrines and then hired folks to build them. I ‘see’ them in trance and hold the images in my mind. Now, some of the icons are original but others are riffs on drawings in an old RJ Stewart book.” He added that, in the past, he hired a local artist to assist in building the shrines and will use the same artist for the new one.
Thomas explained that the shrines are important as foci for veneration, saying “While we can always worship at our home shrines, there’s something special about being able to visit a place of multiple shrines where other people have also worshipped. It’s about community and about honoring sacred spaces. And, if I may say so, it’s really cool.”
Cascadia Grove already has built three other shrines, a stone circle, and a labyrinth at the White Mountain Druid Sanctuary located on the Trout Lake Abbey property. Previously, the other shrines were funded by members of the Cascadia Grove and cost about $20,000 each to construct.The other shrines built are dedicated to the Dagda, an Irish god of Appetite, the Morrigan, an Irish goddess of battle, death, and rebirth, and Lugh, an Irish god of many talents commonly depicted holding a spear. Thomas said that there are future plans for more shrines. They would like to create structures dedicated to Rhiannon, Lleu Llaw Gyffes, Taranis, Brigit and Fire Goddesses, an Ancestor Mound with an incubation chamber, and a temple to the All Gods. People are welcome to visit the current shrines and to stay overnight in the Abbey lodge.
Trout Lake Abbey is privately owned by Thomas and by Thay Kozen Sampson. Sampson is affiliated with the Mount Adams Zen Center, also located on the property. Both religious groups rent land and facilities from Trout Lake Abbey for $1 per year. Thomas said that there are plans to transfer ownership of Trout Lake Abbey to a religious 501(c)3.