DruBear's Cave

Welcome to my Cave! My name is Chris Sherbak, but my online handle is DruBear, which pretty much covers how I primarily think about myself: being a Druid and a Bear.

But don't get me wrong, I'm a computer geek for most of the week, here's my horribly out of date resume if you don't believe me. Or you can just contact me if want to register your amazement.

Being a Druid

Being a druid means many things to me - most importantly it means having a worldview that is grounded in ancient values, but watered by the accumulated knowledge we enjoy today. In less high falutin' terms, it means I believe in many Gods and Goddesses (the fancy term is polytheist) and I identify with a number of groups and religions that have recently emerged which we call NeoPagan. Neo means "new," which we contrast with Meso-, or Victorian/Fanciful, Pagans of the 17th and 18th centuries, and the Paleo-, or actual Ancient, Pagans of the early (and before) Christian Era. (You know, 0 BC and all that...)

I don't worship trees (even though most of 'em are pretty kewl), but I do regard the Earth as a Goddess, and deserving not only of honor and respect but having rituals to praise Her and the other Gods and Goddesses that inhabit our Universe. I don't do blood sacrifice (although the Ancients did, but not very often) but more likely cookies or barley or beer, depending on my mood, the Gods' moods or the season. I'm big on seasons, too, even though nowadays we're not so dependent on knowing when they occur or making sure it rains when it's supposed to or warm up when we need it. But keeping track of the cycle of the year is very healthy, and helps to remind us that we are but passengers on this Spaceship Earth, our Mother, albeit armed with some pretty nasty in-flight toys that could make the journey pretty unhealthy for ourselves (not to mention our fellow travelers.)

I express being a Druid by being a member of ADF (Ar nDraiocht Fein, or A Druid Fellowship if you just can't stand Gaelic) which was started many years ago by a somewhat wacky, but usually affable, dude named Isaac Bonewits.

How I got to that point is a rather involved story on its own.

I read his book "Real Magic" and thought his ideas were very kewl, and wanted to join up with the RDNA (Reformed Druids of North America) with whom he was having a love/hate relationship. We met, and he ordained me into the SDNA (the Schismatic Druids of North America) and I thought I was hot sh*t for a while. What I was was much too young to realize my potential, but I continued on anyway.

I also joined the Church of the Eternal Source (CES - a NeoPagan religion that was the refounding of the ancient Egyptian religion) and the Church of All Worlds (CAW - a religion founded by Tim Zell, who now goes by the name Oberon, that still exists - http://www.caw.org - and publishes "Green Egg," the arguably best NeoPagan magazine of all times.) At that point in my life (the late 70's and early 80's) I was pretty busy not being a Druid, but just a NeoPagan (and even cavorted with known Witches), but it helped me understand myself and my philosophical urges.

Isaac got very fed up with RDNA and decided to hive off and found his own group, called ADF. Although he'd stepped down as ArchDruid (basically a combination of president and pope), I stayed pretty deeply involved with the group, being a Senior Druid (leader) of the Grove (congregation) here in Chicago (Wild Onion Grove, ADF) and the Coordinator Emeritus of the Solitary Special Interest Group. (I wrote something to help new ADF Solitaries out - but you might find it helpful too: First Steps for Sols.)

Sadly, Isaac has passed on and it has been left to us to continue what he'd started. We shall miss the old codger and do our best to live up to his (rather extraordinary) hopes for us all!

I have my own love/hate relationship with ADF, but at the moment I'm sticking with it. Here's the ritual we used for Imbolg '04 which should give you an idea what ADF rituals are like.

Being a Bear

Being a bear means a bit fewer things to me: principally that I'm a gay man who enjoys being with other gay men who have a "bearish" attitude and style. That means facial hair and girth, but it also means an attitude of acceptance and joi de vivre that is sometimes (but not always) un-characteristic of the Mainstream Gay Community. In many way we bears are a community unto ourselves, of sorts, with our Bear Clubs and Bear Bars and Bear Businesses and Bear Events, but we are also less concerned with what's considered Mainstream Gay behavior (Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll) and "looks."

I'm a member of the Great Lakes Bears, Chicago, and was elected Membership Chairman a while back. That was real kewl, but a new regime has taken over and I've decided to step back a bit from leadership there and just concentrate on having a fun time with the Club and various other people I've met through them. Of course I'll still be going to Bear Pride, GLB's big annual fur fest, so don't think I've given up totally on this "bear thing." (Despite what you may have heard, I'm not quite "bear'd out" just yet...)

Links I like:

Contacting me via E-mail and the like

I'm not just a packrat in MeatSpace (ask me about the 20 odd boxes of books waiting for me at my old place in Michigan), but I've been collecting e-mail addresses for quite some time.

These are the ones I check semi-regularly:

If you have comments or suggestions, the best way to get them to me is at sherbak@attglobal.net

Speaking of responding very quickly, my very first Internet access was a shell account at the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (work with me, we'll get to it) which I still have 'cause the Well is trés kewl, even after all these years. It has aged a whole lot better than most of us, and I keep my account there to encourage them, and to make me think I'm part of something, well, special. My address there is csherbak@well.com. The only bad thing about my relationship with the Well (it's always about me,isn't it?) is that I don't really check it very often, although I still have the account (that's where you're reading this, silly) and there's FTP space available (see my file page for stuff I have there.)

My FOAF info is at .