1. Raven’s Hollow Protogrove is a local affiliate of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc., also known as ADF, which is the legal structure for a Neopagan Druid religion based on the beliefs and practices of the ancient Indo-Europeans, adapted to the needs and sensibilities of modern people. We are a nonprofit religious, scientific, educational, artistic, and charitable corporation, organized to practice the full spectrum of legal activities practiced by any religious organization.
2. As we define it, Neopagan Druidry is a polytheistic, non-dualist, non-sexist, non-racist, scientific, holistic, and ecologically oriented faith. We are dedicated to the preservation of our Holy Mother Earth, the full achievement of human potential, the revival of the worship of the Old Gods in a modern context, and the creation of a world of peace, love, freedom, health, and prosperity for all intelligent beings.
3. Raven’s Hollow Protogrove supports the purpose and vision of ADF. We accept the Bylaws of the national organization.
4. The following bylaws are intended to help Raven’s Hollow Protogrove achieve the ideals of ADF.
Article 1: Purposes
1. Raven’s Hollow Protogrove will provide open public or semipublic worship opportunities on a regular basis, including all eight (8) High Days, and a public service will be completed each quarter. The overwhelming majority of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove activities are to be open and inclusionary. Smaller groups may be formed within Raven’s Hollow Protogrove, and may engage in closed activities, provided that no such group excludes more than half of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove’s members.
2. Raven’s Hollow Protogrove’s primary cultural focus is Irish and Hellenic, though this does not preclude rituals conducted within the context of other hearth cultures.
3. Members of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove are not required to swear allegiance to Raven’s Hollow Protogrove or to the Protogrove Patron, the Morrígan.
4. Members are encouraged to continue their spiritual development both inside and outside of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove.
5. Non-Indo-European ethnic focuses, pantheons, and liturgical languages are not appropriate to official ADF activities, except that local aboriginal traditions may be respectfully integrated into Raven’s Hollow Protogrove’s official activities, according to policies set by the Mother Grove of ADF. Non-Indo-European practices may be appropriate to events that are not official ADF activities.
6. Raven’s Hollow Protogrove is committed to a vision of social and ecological justice, including but not limited to support of racial, gender, and sexual equality, opposition to cultural appropriation and the oppression of minorities, as well as the cultivation and encouragement of environmentally sustainable lifestyles; and organizes and participates in such activity as befits this vision.
7. Undue pressure on any person to participate or donate funds falls clearly outside the purpose and goals of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove.
8. Raven’s Hollow Protogrove advocates and practices, as an integral part of our faith,
(a) many sciences, arts, and disciplines, in order to change ourselves, each other, and the world around us;
(b) open, inclusive, and public ceremonies to worship the seasons of Earth, the Gods, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits, the rites of passage that mark the cycles of our lives, and magical rituals to accomplish our other goals in an honest and ethical manner;
(c) scientific and scholarly research and debate about the ancient Druids, the Indo-Europeans, comparative religion, folklore, ethnomusicology, and all fields of human knowledge;
(d) ecological and environmental research, education, and responsibility, in keeping with our reverence for and worship of Earth;
(e) a wide variety of auditory, graphic, movement, dramatic, liturgical, and other arts and crafts;
(f) the investigation, dissemination, and performance of a wide variety of healing arts and technologies, including herbal, nutritional, mental, magical, and spiritual methods (see Article 1:8:h1);
(g) the use of divinatory arts and sciences as tools for spiritual counseling and liturgical guidance (see Article 1:8:h1); and
(h) the investigation, dissemination, and performance of a wide variety of counseling and conflict resolution arts and methods, including techniques to mediate and judge disputes between organizations and/or individuals (see Article 1:8:h1).
h1) As required by civil law, we advise all parties concerned as to the presence or absence of appropriate credentials.
Article 2: Calendar
1. The eight (8) High Days of the Druid calendar, as referenced in these bylaws and all legal documents of ADF, are as follows: Samhain, Winter Solstice (Yule), Imbolc, Spring Equinox (Ostara), Beltaine, Summer Solstice (Midsummer), Lughnasadh, and Fall Equinox (Mabon).
2. Raven’s Hollow Protogrove recognizes the following dates:
Samhain = 1st November
Winter Solstice (Yule) = 21st December
Imbolc = 1st February
Spring Equinox (Ostara) = 21st March
Beltaine = 1st May
Summer Solstice (Midsummer) = 21st June
Lughnasadh = 1st August
Fall Equinox (Mabon) = 21st September
3. For ceremonial purposes, each High Day may be celebrated upon either the legal date, the astronomical date, or upon a date mutually convenient, within a fortnight, to the participants of the particular celebration involved.
4. Since the Druid year traditionally runs from one Samhain to the next, the legal and ceremonial Druid year shall run according to the legal and ceremonial dates for Samhain described previously in this article.
5. The fiscal year of the Corporation shall begin on the first day of January and end on the thirty-first day of December in each civil year.
Article 3: Categories of Membership
1. Persons under the age of eighteen (18) must adhere to the Mother Grove’s Bylaws pertaining to them.
a) Anyone under the age of eighteen (18) is considered an underage participant.
b) All persons under the age of sixteen (16) must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to all Raven’s Hollow Protogrove sponsored events.
2. National Member: defined as a person who is current with their National ADF dues, but is not a member of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove. They can participate in National elections, but cannot participate in local Protogrove elections unless they have become a Full Grove member.
3. Friend of the Grove: defined as a person who contributes to the Protogrove with time, energy, or in a monetary fashion, has been regularly attending Raven’s Hollow Protogrove functions for at least three (3) months, but has not joined ADF or applied for Grove membership. Friends of the Grove cannot vote in National or Protogrove elections or policy decisions. They will have the ability to voice their opinions and be welcome to all meetings and events, but may not hold a major role as part of the ritual team without approval by the Executive Officers.
4. Probationary Member: defined as a person who has applied for Local or Full Grove Membership, and is undergoing a review process by the Executive Officers. They retain the same privileges and restrictions as a Friend of the Grove until such time as they have attended three (3) High Day Rituals with the space of one (1) ceremonial year as described in Article 2:4 of these bylaws, have had their application approved by the Executive Officers, and been accepted into the Protogrove by a majority vote of the Protogrove members. As long as the applicant has attended the required number of High Rites, the approval or rejection of their membership shall not be postponed longer than one (1) calendar month, at which time they will be notified by the method they select as ‘preferred’ on their application, and if approved they will be welcomed as a Local or Full Member of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove at the next High Day Ritual.
5. Local Grove Member: defined as a person who has applied for membership, attended at least three (3) High Day Rituals, been approved by the Executive Officers, and accepted by a majority of the Protogrove membership, but is not a member of ADF. Local Grove members cannot vote in National or Protogrove elections or policy decisions or serve in an elected Protogrove office. They will, however, have the ability to participate in the decision-making, voice their opinions, hold major positions in ritual, be welcome to all meetings and events, and be publicly recorded as members in official records following an oath of service to Raven’s Hollow Protogrove. All Local members receive Protogrove literature and event happenings.
6. Full Grove Member / Wolf of Raven’s Hollow: defined as a person who has applied for membership, attended at least three (3) High Day Rituals, been approved by the Executive Officers, been accepted by a majority of the Protogrove membership, and is current with their National ADF dues. Full Protogrove members vote in both the National and Protogrove elections, and are awarded one (1) vote per year as a member. All Full Grove members receive Protogrove literature, National literature, and event happenings, and are welcomed as members at the first High Rite after completing their membership requirements and swearing an oath of service to Raven’s Hollow Protogrove, at which point their membership will be publicly recorded in official records and they will receive the title of ‘Wolf of Raven’s Hollow’. Only Full Grove Members may run for elected Protogrove offices. A person who resigns from Raven’s Hollow Protogrove, either by an absence of more than three (3) months, or for personal reasons, and then wishes to re-join at a later date will have a re-welcoming ceremony at the next High Day ritual.
Article 4: Membership Requirements
1. Membership in Raven’s Hollow Protogrove will be conferred upon an individual who has
(a) attended three (3) public Raven’s Hollow Protogrove High Rites within the span of a ceremonial year (Samhain to Samhain),
(b) applied for membership and been approved by the Executive Officers of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove,
(c) been accepted by a majority of the existing membership of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove,
(d) passed their eighteenth (18th) birthday, and
(e) not been expelled from Raven’s Hollow Protogrove or ADF.
(f) Full membership privileges will only be conferred on members of ADF; otherwise members shall be known as Local Grove members.
2. All attendees of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove events, regardless of membership status, are expected to be courteous, supportive, and respectful, and to contribute to an environment of hospitality and friendliness, both towards other attendees and other religious congregations. A failure to maintain such an attitude may result in barring from future events.
3. Membership may be resigned at any time by notifying the Senior Druid verbally or in writing. Membership will considered to have been resigned after an absence or lack of communication of more than three (3) months, except in extenuating circumstances to be determined by the Executive Officers.
4. Membership may be revoked or refused by the Executive Officers of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove if an individual:
(a) has been found guilty of committing a felony, of a violent, sexual, or financial nature, as defined by civil law and current criminological opinion, or
(b) exhibits disruptive or abusive conduct which works directly against the aims, activities or welfare of ADF, Raven’s Hollow Protogrove, or its members.
b1) Disruptive or abusive conduct does not include: the temperate expression of disagreement, such as public or private written or verbal criticism of ADF or its leadership; vigorous debate over matters of scholarship, art, spirituality, or politics.
b2) Disruptive or abusive conduct does include: the spreading of slander or libel against ADF, its leadership, or any members or Friends of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove; bigoted communication or behavior; or active efforts to persuade members to quit or to dissuade nonmembers from joining; intentional disruption of public or semipublic events; inappropriate use of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove name or materials (ritual supplies, e-mail lists, websites, etc.).
4. Currently, no membership dues are required.
Article 5: Expulsion, Suspension, or Resignation of Members
1. Members may resign from membership at any time for personal reasons, and will then be eligible to rejoin Raven’s Hollow Protogrove at a later date.
2. At the request of the resigned member, or by majority vote of the Executive Committee, a notation shall be entered into official records indicating the date and identity of the resignation and such other actions as may be desirable. Such action shall not include erasing, deleting, masking, or in any way altering the original mark of membership.
3. The Executive Committee may, at its discretion, from time to time, review official records and determine those members who have failed to attend three activities of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove in any single ceremonial year. The Executive Committee, at its sole discretion may accept such extended absence as a declaration of the member’s intent to resign, and notate it as such.
4. A member may be suspended or expelled from Raven’s Hollow Protogrove by a majority vote of the entire Executive Committee. Suspensions shall be for a period of a year and a day, unless otherwise specified by the Executive Committee. Suspended or expelled members may not hold office or act in any way as representatives of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove, and have no right to receive any Protogrove publications or attend Protogrove events.
5. Members who have been suspended or expelled may be banned permanently or temporarily from attending Raven’s Hollow Protogrove activities, including public worship, by a majority vote of the entire Executive Committee. Such bans may be announced in Protogrove and ADF publications. Lifting of ban, expulsion, or suspension is contingent upon the member in question making restitution to the Protogrove as determined by the Executive Committee.
6. At the time of suspension or banning, the Executive Committee shall state the specific conditions under which (at the future determination of the Executive Committee) the suspension or ban shall be revoked. These may include, for example, the restitution of a specified sum of money, or a demonstration on the part of the person in question that they have understood the nature of their offense and have ceased the (specified) objectionable behaviors which provoked the action.
Article 6: Voting
1. Each Full member shall have one (1) vote.
2. Except as otherwise mentioned in these Bylaws, a quorum for voting purposes shall consist of a simple majority of votes cast.
3. Voting will occur at regularly scheduled Raven’s Hollow Protogrove meetings. All reasonable attempts will be made to notify the members at least seventy-two (72) hours in advance if there is to be a vote. Except in extenuating circumstances (to be determined by the Executive Committee), only the votes of members present at the time of the vote will be counted.
4. Executive Committee voting will occur at scheduled Committee meetings using a “Yea/Nay” system.
5. The members of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove may, by a vote of not less than three-quarters (¾), revoke the voting privileges of any member demonstrating a pattern of behavior antithetical to the goals, ideals, beliefs and practices to which Raven’s Hollow Protogrove is dedicated, as specified in these bylaws.
Article 7: The Annual Meeting
1. The annual meeting of the members of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove be held during the period between Samhain and the Winter Solstice, at a time and place to be designated by the Officers of the Protogrove, and published to all members not less than twenty-one (21) calendar days before the date set for said meeting.
2. A quorum at the annual meeting shall consist of fifty percent (50%) of the total voting members of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove.
3. When a quorum is not present in body or proxy at the annual meeting, those present may adjourn to such a day and time as a majority shall agree upon, but not less than seven days from the date of adjournment. At the reconvened annual meeting the necessary quorum shall drop to ten percent (10%) of the total membership vote.
4. When a quorum is present at an annual meeting, elections for all offices open shall be held as described elsewhere in these bylaws.
5. The Executive Committee will hold quarterly membership gatherings to apprise the members of changes to policy, procedures, and bylaws and to have these changes ratified.
6. Voting members will retain one (1) vote per year of membership up to 10 votes for purpose of elections and major policy changes.
Article 8: Election of Officers
1. At the first annual meeting after ratification of these bylaws by the then-current serving Officers of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove, including both those officers required by the bylaws of ADF and such other Officers as Raven’s Hollow Protogrove may have identified and filled by public declaration, all Officers shall stand for re-election. At that and every subsequent bi-annual meeting, the voting members shall vote to fill those offices in Raven’s Hollow Protogrove required by the bylaws of ADF and such other offices as the members may find agreeable. The term of each Officer is two (2) years, with an optional third (3rd) year of term.
2. Any Full member of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove may run for election as an Executive Officer. All candidates must have passed their eighteenth (18th) birthday, have access to e-mail, and fulfill the requirements for office listed elsewhere in these Bylaws.
3. A candidate is elected by a majority of votes cast. Two-thirds (⅔) of the active membership must be present to constitute a quorum for a valid election.
4. Should there be no quorum achieved for the elections, then all incumbent candidates shall be deemed to have been re-elected.
5. Any Officer of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove may be removed for nonfeasance or malfeasance of office, by a three-quarters (¾) vote of the voting members. No such removal may be made without written notice by registered mail to the last known address to the subject, giving thirty (30) days to respond. Failure to respond constitutes acceptance of the removal. In an emergency, the remaining Executive Officers may elect to suspend an Officer subject to the review and approval of the entire voting membership of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove.
6. In the case of the death, removal, expulsion, resignation, or permanent incapacitation of any Officer, the remaining Executive Officers may, at any time thereafter, elect a qualified voting member to finish out the departed Officer’s term.
7. All Officers elected or selected at the annual meeting shall take office as of sundown on the Winter Solstice.
Article 9: Executive Committee
1. The Executive Committee is made up of the Senior Druid, the Scribe, the Pursewarden, and any past Senior Druids who have remained members of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove.
2. The members of the Executive Committee may exercise all the duties, responsibilities, and privileges normally held by the Directors of a non-profit religious organization.
3. Members of the Executive Committee must be members of ADF.
4. The Executive Committee will hold meetings at least once between Samhain and Beltaine, and once between Beltaine and Samhain.
5. A majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.
6. The Executive Committee may appoint non-elected Officers who must then be ratified by a majority of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove membership.
7. The Executive Committee may amend these bylaws. Amendments must be approved by a quorum of the Executive Committee and by a two-thirds (⅔) majority of the present membership.
Article 8: Incapacitation
1. A two-thirds (⅔) majority of the Executive Committee may request any member of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove who holds a position of responsibility or trust, including any Officer, to submit to evaluation by two (2) or more appropriate medical or psychological specialists, who shall be chosen by the Executive Committee and paid for by the Corporation. A member of the Executive Committee shall be selected to consult with said specialists and shall make a written and verbal report of the specialists’ findings and their own.
2. Upon receipt of this report, the Executive Committee may then declare that the person so evaluated is temporarily or permanently incapacitated. Said person shall then be immediately removed from all positions of responsibility either temporarily or permanently, depending upon the declaration.
3. Restoration of their previous positions, whether through election, selection, appointment, or simple resumption of duties shall be contingent upon a statement by the same or other acceptable specialists that the individual is once again fit to execute their responsibilities.
Article 9: The Senior Druid
1. The Senior Druid shall
(a) preside at all meetings of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove,
(b) have normal executive control over the affairs of the Corporation;
(c) perform all those other duties that would otherwise be performed by a corporate President;
(d) be responsible for articulating the spiritual vision of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove;
(e) be responsible for completing any required ADF reporting.
2. An individual eligible for the office of Senior Druid must
(a) have been a member in good standing of ADF for over one (1) year,
(b) have reached their twenty-first (21st) birthday,
(c) have been a member in good standing of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove for 2 years,
(d) have demonstrated a thorough knowledge and understanding of the tenets of Druidry and Druid ritual structure,
(e) have access to a computer and e-mail with which to perform their duties,
(f) not hold Officer ranking or equivalent in another religious congregation, and
(g) be a member of ADF.
3. The Senior Druid will serve a term of two (2) years unless they resign the position, are incapacitated and no longer able to perform the duties of Senior Druid, lose membership in ADF, or are voted out by a three-quarters (¾) majority of the entire Raven’s Hollow Protogrove membership.
4. All past Senior Druids, except those forcibly removed, shall remain an honorary member of the Executive Committee in the capacity of advisor and be known by the title of Senior Druid Emeritus.
Article 10: The Scribe
1. The Scribe shall
(a) keep a record of all votes and minutes of the proceedings of all meetings of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove,
(b) organize all incoming correspondence for reply, and
(c) perform all those other duties that would otherwise be performed by a corporate Secretary.
2. An individual eligible for the office of Scribe must
(a) have the ability to take minutes and possess good word processing skills,
(b) have a knowledge of all basic information regarding ADF history, policies, polytheology, etc.,
(c) have access to a computer and e-mail with which to perform their duties,
(d) not hold Officer ranking or equivalent in another religious congregation, and
(e) be a member of ADF.
3. The Secretary shall serve a term of two (2) years unless they resign, are unable to perform their duties, lose membership in ADF, or are voted out by a two-thirds (⅔) majority of the entire Raven’s Hollow Protogrove membership.
Article 11: The Pursewarden
1. The Pursewarden shall
(a) have responsibility for provision of the overall fiscal operation of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove: the disbursement of funds for the corporation
(b) have the responsibility of a CFO, including but not limited to all monies of the Corporation received or disbursed, and
(c) supervise the deposit of all monies and valuables in the name of and to the credit of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove.
2. An individual eligible for the office of Pursewarden must
(a) have demonstrable organizational management skills,
(b) have access to a computer and e-mail with which to perform their duties,
(c) not hold Officer ranking or equivalent in another religious congregation, and
(d) be a member of ADF.
3. The Pursewarden shall serve a term of two (2) years unless they resign, are unable to perform their duties, lose membership in ADF, or are voted out by a two-thirds (⅔) majority of the entire Raven’s Hollow Protogrove membership.
Article 12: Other Committee Members
1. Additional Committee Members (CM), such as Bookkeeper, Chronicler, Sacrificer, Bard, etc., may be created and appointed at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
2. A CM must be over eighteen (18) years of age but is not required to be members of ADF.
3. Only CMs who are members of ADF may vote on Executive Committee matters.
Article 13: Discrimination
1. Membership in Raven’s Hollow Protogrove, attendance at public or semipublic activities, and participation in any Study Program, shall not be denied to any person on the basis of race, ancestry, color, physical disability, age, gender, or affectional orientation, but may be denied to individuals practicing creeds deemed inimical to Neopagan Druidry.
2. As used herein, inimical creeds shall include varieties of conservative monotheism, atheism, demonism, racism, or other such faiths, as shall be determined by the Executive Committee.
3. Raven’s Hollow Protogrove shall make strenuous efforts to facilitate the participation of differently-abled individuals. Nonetheless, all aspirants to any given rank or position must be able to meet all the relevant qualifications previously determined for said rank or position, unless the Executive Committee shall rule otherwise in a particular instance.
Article 14: Open Financial Records
1. All members of ADF are entitled to see the accounting records. The Pursewarden shall make these available at a nominal fee for reproduction and mailing. Raven’s Hollow Protogrove shall regularly publish balance sheets and other similar summary reports.
Article 15: Non-Profit Nature of the Corporation
1. No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributed to, its members, directors, officers, or other private persons, except that the Corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the Preamble and Article 1 of these bylaws.
2. No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
3. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Articles of Incorporation or these bylaws, this Corporation shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the purposes of this Corporation.
4. Upon the dissolution of this Corporation, the Executive Committee shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the Corporation, dispose of all the assets of the Corporation exclusively for the purposes of the Corporation in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for Neopagan religious, educational or charitable purposes as shall at that time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as revised (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Executive Committee shall determine.
5. It is the preference of the members of Raven’s Hollow Protogrove that, upon the dissolution of the Corporation, any assets remaining, as noted elsewhere in this Article, shall be distributed first to those other local Groves of ADF as shall be desirous of them. The Right of First Refusal for all or any part of the remaining assets shall go to the closest Grove, and continue to subsequently more distant Groves.
6. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the Corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such Neopagan organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
Article 16: Amendment and Replacement of Bylaws
1. Amendments to these bylaws may be made at any annual or special meeting or referendum, as described elsewhere in these bylaws, by a two-thirds (⅔) vote of the entire voting membership; or by a two thirds (⅔) vote of the Officers at any regular or special meeting of the Executive Committee.