Becoming a Member

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Becoming a Member

Post by Aonghus »

Becoming a member of the Tuatha de Bhriain is a bit different from joining other groups or clubs. It can be best described as a process to foster mutual trust and ensure harmony between the newcomer and the tenured individuals of the group, while working toward the common aesthetic of Celtic re-enactment.

The hobby of medieval re-creation encompasses so many aspects, it would be a laborious task indeed for the individual to attempt a medieval atmosphere all by themselves (and in doing so who would it be enjoyed with?) In a group setting, tasks can be divided amongst the members and the many elements brought together to form an environment that can be enjoyed by many.

For a group to function with purpose, the individual is sometimes called on to sublimate a part of their individuality. However, this is sometimes difficult and not always something we want to do, especially for us Celts, who are renown for celebrating the individual.

Clann is the Gaelic word for family, and as a family, we seek to create an environment of cooperation and trust where one can feel at ease and enjoy the hobby of Celtic re-enactment to its fullest potential. It is a unique position to be in because, unlike most families, members of this family are here by choice.If this type of environment appeals to you, what you need to do is get yourself invited to one of our gatherings.

As a guest, the only things expected of you is to pay the site fee (to cover food, drink, and expenses), respect the atmosphere that we are trying to create, and have a good time. If you are completely new to the hobby, inform your host so arrangements can be made to loan you feast gear and garb to help you fit in. If you don’t already have one, you will be given an appropriate persona name.

Lets say you’ve been a guest at an event or two, you’ve really like the hobby so far, you’ve enjoyed the colorful people you’ve met and even made a few friends … So now you would like to be part of the action. What you need to do now is approach a member and tell them that you would like them to sponsor you for membership (sometimes a member might even approach you and offer).

You should understand, that the person you ask may not be able to sponsor you. Clann law only allows a member to sponsor one person at a time. In such a case the member will recommend someone else for you.

At this point, the member will go before the assembled clann and make a motion to accept you as a probationary member. On majority approval, you are now a Probate of the clann and the member who made the motion is your Sponsor.

Your sponsor assumes full responsibility for your integration with the clann. He is the main person to help you with any problems or questions you may have on clann issues. If your sponsor doesn’t have the answers you need, you can be sure he can at least tell you where to find them. He is also responsible for introducing you around to the other members and probates.

Your "job" as a probate is outlined as follows:
  • Help out wherever and whenever you can
  • Be a positive influence in creating a medieval atmosphere
  • Learn as much as you can about the people and culture of 5th century Ireland
  • Share your knowledge with others
  • Display your appreciation for Celtic culture as best you can
  • Familiarize yourself with the rights and responsibilities of members
  • Aquatint yourself with the members and other probates
You will also have two projects you must undertake before you can be made a full member. You must make yourself a torque, and you must work on your Persona Story. Depending on your particular talents, you may be asked to help out the clann by brewing, painting, writing, reading, or something much less abstract such as collecting firewood.

Though we have no set time limit, your probationary period will last about a year. Sometimes its longer, sometimes its shorter. This largely depends on the amount of effort you have shown and number of events you have attended. Remember, re-enactment is a participatory endeavor, the more you put in to it the more fun you will have, the more you will be recognized for your efforts and the more you will be praised in the song of the bards.

When your sponsor feels the time is right, he will approach you and ask you if you are ready to become a full member. Your sponsor will ask you if you are willing to abide by the laws of the clann and the judgment of its elected officials.

At a meeting your sponsor will stand up and bring up your vote for membership. You will be escorted away from the meeting area and asked to wait until sent for. During this time the clann will be discussing your accomplishments, starting with you sponsor, your deeds and input will be highlighted for the clann to judge, then other members may stand and speak on your behalf. After this, the vote will be called. A unanimous vote of"yes" is required to make you a member of the clann. After the vote, your sponsor will find you and tell you the decision of the clann.

On becoming a member, you in turn will be eligible to sponsor probates.

Some additional things for consideration

If, due to scheduling differences orfor whatever reason, you find it difficult to keep in touch with your sponsor, you may switch sponsors with out any penalty providing you clear it with your current sponsor and find another willing eligible member.

Also, though not a law by any means, it is customary for potential probates who have a good friend that is a member of the clann not to be sponsored by that friend but by someone else. This is done to foster more friendships and better communication within the clann and help the "get to know you" process moving along.
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