Archive for January, 2011

 

UK Government Will Back Down on Forest Sales

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Embarrassing information that investors keen to avoid inheritance tax are likely to purchase much of the land the government wants to sell by disbanding the Forestry Commission, means that it is likely the government will retreat from its plan to sell off our heritage. Since no inheritance tax is payable on forestry investment the treasury will actually LOSE money in the long-term from its plan, says Richard Murphy, director of Tax Research LLP. Since the idea has been touted as a plan to help pay off the nation’s debts that argument has now collapsed and revealed it to be an absurdity.

Still – we must keep a watchful eye. Here’s the timetable: there will be the announcement of a ‘public consultation’ within the next month. That will be the time for everyone to make their voices heard (which is why our best course of action now is to inform ourselves so we are ready to respond). At this point the plan may well be dropped. If not, and they foolishly and recklessly decide to proceed, a White Paper will be published in April. That will then have to be debated in the Commons and Lords and how long this will take cannot be determined at this stage. Meanwhile many groups and individuals are making their plans and for every day the government threatens to sell off our national forests it will lose friends in every corner of society: from former road protesters ready to stake their lives on protecting the forests at one end of the scale, through loyal members of groups like the Woodland Trust, the Ramblers Association and the RSPB, through to people who thought they were Tories and that their party would protect their countryside on the other end of the scale.

Juliet Marillier

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Multi-Award Winning Author Juliet Marillier

Australia’s Juliet Marillier has won numerous literary awards including an American Library Assoc. Best Book, a Le Prix Imaginales and 3 Aurealis Awards. Yet, writing professionally didn’t come until later in life. Ms Marillier is a gifted musician who taught high school and university music. An opera singer, she is also an experienced choral conductor.

Daughter of the Forest,” her first published novel, released to acclaim and was soon published in the U.S. and U.K. as well as New Zealand and Australia. This fairy tale told in an Irish setting became the first of the “Sevenwaters” trilogy (a fourth and fifth book have since been added). Her repertoire of stories expanded to four series plus the stand-alone novel, “Heart’s Blood.”

Ms Marillier’s unique blend of history, folklore, romance and family drama continually leaves readers spellbound and awaiting her next beguiling tale of human relationships and personal journeys. A member of the druid order OBOD (The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids), her characters’ interaction with the natural world around them reflects the author’s own spiritual values.

While Ms Marillier would appear at the top of her game, life isn’t always fair, nor scheduled, nor easy. In 2009, Ms Marillier was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was then, as so many women (including my own now deceased mother) can attest to, Ms Marillier had to find strength previously implanted in her fictional characters.

And, true to form, Juliet Marillier has risen to the challenge and chosen not to surrender, but to wage battle on her own terms against this disease.

Read more on dakentner.blogspot.com

The Government Has no Concept of the Opposition it has Begun to Stir

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Here is an article from the Independent by Johann Hari on the scandal that is occurring in Britain. I have highlighted some key points by changing the text to bold. What fools these people are who gain power to make such outrageous decisions!

For sale – Cameron’s green credentials by Johann Hari

Can you hear the silence of the huskies? When he was rebranding the Tory party, David Cameron promised us he would lead “the greenest government ever”. Since he came to power, he has broken every environmental promise he made – and then gone much further. He has opened up the coasts of Britain to the deep-sea drilling that worked so well in the Gulf of Mexico, and put a “for sale” sign outside every single remaining forest in England. Yes, as his own Environment minister puts it, Cameron is determined to “dispose of public forest” – and the timber companies and holiday parks are preparing their opening bids.

In order to raise £2bn, the Government is selling all 650,000 acres of our forests – a privatisation that even Margaret Thatcher blanched at. These are the most popular outdoor spaces in Britain. They are the last places where millions of people can go to escape their anxieties and glimpse what Britain looked like to our ancestors for millions of years. They are the site of some of our most potent national myths: what would Robin Hood say if he knew Sherwood Forest itself was now on the market? Is Cameron really taking the Sheriff of Nottingham as his role model? This is in direct contradiction to what Cameron told us he would do before the election. In 2007, talking about forests, he promised he would “take a more effective and strategic approach to safeguarding a priceless – and irreplaceable – natural asset.” He said the countries that were cutting forests down were “barmy”. The Government says there is no danger to the forests in selling them to timber companies and the other highest bidders. They say they will still be standing, they will be cared for as well, and the public will have just as much access. Does this match the facts?

It is true that once a company has bought a forest, it will still need planning permission to cut the woods down. This is a crucial brake. But – wait – Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has just announced he is “remov[ing] the structures of control” and making it “much easier” to get planning permission across the country. Planning is being massively deregulated, just as the forests are sold.

Not every buyer will cut them down, but some will. Why do the Tories think timber companies want to buy them – to abandon the work they do in every other country on earth and become druids? Confronted with this point, the Government admits there is a “possibility of established forest being bought by energy companies who would proceed to chip it all for energy recovery” – and then swiftly insists there is nothing to worry about.

The forests that remain will be less well maintained and harder to access. The Forestry Commission looks after our woods today, and 100 per cent of it is maintained to the international Forest Stewardship Standard. By contrast, only 25 per cent of private forests in England are looked after this way. After the sale, they will become more degraded, less biodiverse and less likely to survive for the long term.

And you will find it harder to get to them. The Government says that the legislation passed in 2000 granting us all the “right to roam” will mean we can enjoy them just the same. But the public only has a right to access woodland classified as “freehold”. According to The Ecologist magazine, half of privately owned woodland is barred to the public.

It gets worse still. The Forestry Commission works very hard to make our woods accessible to everyone. It builds car parks, bike tracks, visitor centres, picnic areas. When the land is privatised, most of that will go. They can put a massive fence around the forest, they just can’t put up a sign that says “keep out”. Look at what happened to Riggs Woods in the Lake District, sold a few months ago. The car park has been shut down, the picnic area has been dismantled, the visitors’ centre closed, and all you see when you go there now is a large, bolted gate that, legally, you are allowed to clamber over. And for what? To preserve our forests costs just 30p per taxpayer a year. Selling them off for ever will raise just half of the sum that one corporation – Vodafone – did not have to pay after the Tories came to power out of what Private Eye estimated was its total tax liability. (Vodafone denies this figure). So if you go down to the woods today, you’ll find the best metaphor for Cameronism. Change your party’s logo to a lovely green tree – then sell off all the real trees to corporations. Oh, and then say you are “empowering volunteers” by doing it.

The Prime Minister has said the forest sell-off “empowers local communities” to take over the forests for themselves as part of a “Big Society”. Yet sources within the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs say that, unsurprisingly, only about 1 per cent of the sales are anticipated to go to local co-operatives or green groups. The “Big Society” is a fluffy fig leaf for dismantling and demolition.

But, amazingly, this may not be the biggest environmental vandalism of the Cameron years. The Conservatives have just authorised the launching of deep-water drilling off the coast of Shetland. The White House investigations are only now uncovering quite how disastrous this tactic was in the Gulf of Mexico – but it would be worse in the Shetlands, where the very harsh, cold and windy conditions would make a clean-up dramatically harder and more expensive. It would have to be bigger too: Chevron has admitted that if things went wrong it would release 77,000 barrels of oil a day – 25 per cent more than went into the Gulf.

The Health and Safety Executive warned that serious accidents on British oil rigs almost doubled last year. These are the very warning signs that preceded the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Even if the oil is excavated “safely”, it will then release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and destabilise our climate even more, which doesn’t sound very safe to me. As if that wasn’t enough, Cameron has also authorised drilling for shale gas off the coast at Blackpool – an extremely controversial practice that is suspected by many scientists of poisoning water supplies at several sites in the US.

Britain’s forests and seas do not belong to David Cameron. They belong to us. As Bill Hobman, the former chairman of Forest of Dean District Council, says: “Mr Cameron should show us the deeds to the forest. How can they sell something they don’t own?… This is a wonderful part of the world and shouldn’t be auctioned off to the highest bidder to have their own little bit of heaven. We will fight this all the way.” The fightback will be ferocious, and, like the inspiring fight against super-rich tax-dodgers, it unites people from the Tory shires with amazing left-wing activist groups like 38 Degrees.

This is a fight about what we value as a country. Do we want to preserve Britain’s most beautiful places – forests and seas that were alive for our distant ancestors, and should be alive for our distant descendants – or do we want a few rich corporations to make a little bit more money from destroying them? David Cameron has made his choice. Now we need to make ours.

Thank you Johann for writing this. You are right – the fight back will be ferocious. Up and down the country individuals and groups, activists and just plain ordinary folk who love their country and their countryside are making their plans.

Tasting Druidry

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Last year we asked ourselves the question: Would it be possible to capture on film some of the magic that we experience as members of a Druid group? I wasn’t sure we could do it, but an old friend and film-maker, Kevin Redpath, came along to our summer solstice celebration in Glastonbury and then to our Lughnasadh camp near the White Horse in July, and he has created an 8 minute film that I think really does capture the essence of what we are about. Have a look and see what you think! A big thank you to Kevin and all those who participated in the film – it makes me feel so proud to be associated with such fantastic people! We’ll be putting up a Vimeo version of this on www.druidry.org soon, meanwhile here’s the Youtube version:

Psychomagic

Friday, January 14th, 2011

A fascinating interview with film director, Tarot expert and artist Alessandro Jodorowsky. I first came across his work when researching The DruidCraft Tarot. His book ‘Psychomagic’ was published in June 2010 in English. The introduction shows what an interesting thinker he is: “For some years now, Jodorowsky has been hosting, without publicity, a conference-happening to deal with therapeutic themes every Wednesday in Paris. The event is free of charge; five hundred spectators attend each week. At the end of the Mystical Cabaret sessions, volunteers pass the hat to collect the money necessary to pay for renting the hall. Three days before the conference, and always free of charge, Jodorowsky reads the tarot cards for some thirty people. At the conclusion of each reading, the person who received the reading is required to trace the words “thank you” with their index finger in Jodorowsky’s hands as payment.”

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.983912&w=425&h=350&fv=%26amp%3Bbackground%3D%2523ffffff%26amp%3Bdock%3Dfalse%26amp%3Bfile%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.realitysandwich.com%252Fnode%252F71973%252Fxspf%26amp%3Bfrontcolor%3D%2523000000%26amp%3Blightcolor%3D%2523000000%26amp%3Bplugins%3Dviral-2d%26amp%3Bscreencolor%3D%2523000000]

Psychomagic, posted with vodpod

 
PART TWO:
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Holding the Vision – Coming Home

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Last night I gave a talk for Villa Events – a local initiative a few streets away. Frustrated by the limitations of our normal social lives, where there is often not enough time to fully hear each others’ stories, my hosts decided to invite people to come and talk about their work, play their music, perform their poetry, in their living room: the ‘salon’ reborn for the 21st century! The speaker is invited to donate the ticket sales to charity and last night we managed to raise £200 for TreeAid – a fantastic organisation that the Order of Bards Ovates & Druids also supports.  Here’s the substance of the talk I gave:

HOLDING THE VISION – COMING HOME

Another Way of Seeing

Here’s the vision: there is a way of being in the world, seeing in the world, that can free us from the grip of the ordinary, the tired, consuming, reducing mind. The next time you are feeling in this grip, go to somewhere like Friends’ Clump in Ashdown Forest when it’s night-time. If you’re lucky the moon and stars will be out and all around you will be magnificent scenery. Set off through the bracken, down into the valley and into the forest alongside the stream. Gods willing you will be able to shake off the trance of consumer culture, of what has been called ‘consensus reality’, and you will find the magic that enables you to enter that Other World that is just as real – more real many of us believe – than the one you have just left.
All around us the landscape is positively brimming with magical sites that convey their own special powers once you have broken the spell of consensus reality. Of course every country has its magical spots and landscapes, but England in particular has a high concentration of them, and in The Book of English Magic Richard Heygate and I go into detail about this. Here in Sussex we are in a land of old trackways and pilgrimage routes, ley lines, tumuli and tumps, standing stones, chalk hill figures, sacred groves, holy wells, Romano-British temple sites and ancient churches. Imagine that these features are somehow alive, that they carry the power of myth and story, of magical energies even, and that all of these places form a matrix of sacred sites connected by lines of power. If this is true, you’ve ended up living in one of the most complex areas of the matrix, of Indra’s jewelled web, that covers the entire globe.
This is a way of seeing the world that is inspiring and exciting, but how do you sustain such a vision? It’s so easy for the daily grind to wear us down, to tell us that this is romantic hogwash and that the ‘real world’ is the one we see every night on the News at Ten and when we look in dismay at our bank statements and overflowing email.

The Deepening – Sustaining the Vision

Here are some suggestions on how to sustain the vision, drawn from the wisdom that can be found in the Bardic and Druid tradition, but that can be found elsewhere too – three activities that can be helpful in nourishing this other way of being in the world: walking, uncovering the old stories, and observing the eightfold wheel of the year.
Walking the land, perhaps along the old tracks or pilgrimage routes, in a spirit of openness and sensitivity, learning about the folklore and mythology of the places you visit, and going out to special spots in the landscape to celebrate the turning wheel of the year every six weeks or so, all help to keep us in tune with the land around us and help to keep the magic alive in us. If you can combine them, so much the better! Let me give you an example of how you can do this. Imagine gathering with friends in Firle village an hour before dawn on the winter solstice. You then start walking towards the Giant’s Grave on Firle Beacon which stands 540ft above sea level on the South Downs Way. As you walk you can almost sense the people who for centuries have walked these ways. As you reach the summit you look out across the valley to Mount Caburn and you know that off in the distance there is the home of the Wilmington Giant, who once had a stone-hurling contest with the Firle Giant, who now lies buried in the barrow you are standing beside. As the sun begins to rise you turn to face it on the horizon and join in the ceremony that is being created around you – drawing on ancient roots this ritual seems at the same time utterly new – and so it should be: helping to bring you ever deeper into the here-and-now, into this moment here in this place on the Earth. On Firle Beacon at the festival times these days you are likely to encounter several dozen or more people, and the rituals enacted there feel as if they stand at the cutting edge of a new global spirituality – at once rooted in locality and tradition, in this case of the Pagan and Christian heritage of Sussex, but at the same time global and universal, with elements familiar to every spiritual tradition around the planet.
By combining these three activities you have a practical way of helping to ground yourself and open your awareness to the Here and Now – one of the great aims of spiritual teachings. You take Time – a key moment in the year, and Place – a special spot on the planet, and put them together with an awareness of Story – which of course is rooted in Time and Place as well.

Snake River - The Cuckmere Meander photo by Marturius

Let’s look at some other examples. Take the local landscape here and look for a holy well, an old barrow, an ancient church, a chalk hill figure and a mound, tump or toot. And let’s say you plan four good walks this coming year at the time of the fire festivals: Imbolc on February 1st, Beltane on May 1st, Lughnasadh on August 1st and Samhain on November 1st.
At Imbolc you could walk to the Long Man of Wilmington. Imagine walking from the chalk horse at High and Over, looking down towards the sea and the cliffs of the Seven Sisters to your right, Snake River (the Cuckmere) winding below, the Waste of Ondred way off to your left. It’s about a three or four mile walk dropping down to the river, crossing it and then making your way to Windover Hill to stand at the feet of the giant. Time it right and you will arrive just as the Anderida Gorsedd begin their Imbolc Druid ceremony on the strange flat shaped hill that the prosaic will explain as the spoil heap from the chalk pit, but which you will know has been fashioned by the giant himself for worshippers to adore him. If you are wise you will then make your way back to the car park at High & Over; foolish and you will join the motley throng of celebrants in The Giant’s Rest in Wilmington village, which proudly displays its certificate of ‘the Most Druid-friendly pub in Sussex’.
At Beltane you could walk along the South Downs Way from Birling Gap, or from Beachy Head if you have to make the journey back again to a car, down to the Italian Gardens in time for the May Day Morris dancing celebrations. Unless, of course, you agree with Sir Thomas Beecham when he said ‘in this life try everything once, except incest and Morris dancing.’ If you feel that way you might prefer to linger by Beachy Head to see if you can spot the ghost of Aleister Crowley who once demonstrated his mountaineering prowess by climbing directly up it. But be careful you are not tempted to hurl yourself over the cliff by two other ghosts, a lady in grey and a monk in black, who are said to lure people into the Otherworld in this way. Then make your way down to that magical spot below the gardens where it is thought the name Holy Well comes from, where fresh water springs out from the rocks. Others think the name comes from a holy man who lived nearby, others think the spring was by a Holly tree and it was originally called Holly well. Here, if you are lucky the sun will warm you as you face the sea, and you can pause to meditate on the inner meaning of Beltane – the time when fire and water meet in creative union.

The Pinnacle at Holywell Eastbourne

At Lughnasadh you might like to walk from Glynde, walking quietly so as not to disturb the Gill giant who lies sleeping in a barrow there. It’s a fantastic walk, over Mount Caburn, where there was an Iron Age hill-fort or perhaps not a fort but a ritual centre. Between 3400 and 2000 BC the hilltop was covered by dark yew woodland, and as the Times correspondent writing about the archaeological research there in 2001 wrote: ‘In Roman times a broad, deep ritual shaft was dug, and this together with the other evidence leads the investigators to ask whether the Caburn “was not a hillfort at all, nor even a settlement, but rather an arena for the public display, at a discreet distance, of private ritual acts, an enclosure filled with holy pits and shafts replacing the sacred yew grove?” If so, they believe, it was almost certainly Christianity “that ended the old ways at Caburn”.
As you walk from Mount Caburn towards Lewes you could be anywhere – one seems miles away from civilization here. And then coming up from Bible Bottom onto the golf course you pass tumuli as you begin to see Lewes spread out below and you walk down the lovely Chapel Lane into town. Resist the cafes in the Cliffe and press on to the Lammas Mound of the tump beside the station. There, climbing the spiral path you might meet others who have come to celebrate this first of the harvest festivals. Or you may find yourself alone, able to sit or stand on the mound and reflect on all that you have experienced and received in your life. This is a time for recollection, for recognition, for thankfulness, and also for the beginning of endings as the harvest marks the start of the end of summer.
At Samhain you could sample the Vanguard Way, which is a 66 mile route that runs from Newhaven to East Croydon. Samhain is a time for reverencing the ancestors, so you could make a pilgrimage from one ancient tumulus and church to another, walking the two or three miles along the Vanguard Way from Berwick to Alfriston. At both places an old tumulus nestles beside a church neatly symbolising the way in which our past combines both Christian and Pagan influences, and both places are replete with stories to uncover. You could celebrate this time inside or out depending on the weather and perhaps on your religious convictions.

St.Michael and All Angels Church, Berwick, East Sussex photo Nigel Chadwick

The Eightfold Wheel of the Year contains eight festival times, but that’s enough for now. Hopefully these examples show how the three practices of pilgrimage, observing the festivals, and knowing the stories can combine to act as a way of sustaining our awareness of the magical nature of the world we live in. But to what end, you might ask?

Coming Home

Do you remember listening to Pink Floyd singing ‘Set the controls for the heart of the sun’? How many of us thought that this was a thrilling idea that somehow signalled piloting yourself back to the Source of All Being, going back to base? And how many thought, rather more realistically, that this was a frightening idea that would involve being deep-fried very fast? 88% of my blog readers who responded to a poll thought it was a great idea to head towards the sun. We all have a homing instinct, however out of whack it might be!
But what if we really could set the controls to take us home – this is the purpose of the practice I have suggested.  It is a way to help us come more fully into an awareness of being Here and Now, coming into a deeper realization of our incarnation – of our embodiment. In doing this our goal is to feel more and more at home – in our body, heart and mind, in the physical building we call our home, in our community, in the landscape and country we live in, and finally in the world. To foster these feelings is not simply to indulge in feel-good goals purely for ourselves. In these times of ecological crisis it is vital. Human beings have such a tendency to disassociation – which has its value in protecting us from pain – but it also allows us to carry out all kinds of acts of cruelty and harm to the planet. So there is an imperative here at this time of ecological crisis to do our bit by trying not to disassociate – by starting instead to feel at home here on this beautiful planet.

Set the controls for the Heart of the Sun

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Do you remember listening to Pink Floyd singing ‘Set the controls for the heart of the sun’? Can I have a show of hands: How many thought like me that this was a thrilling idea – that somehow signalled piloting yourself back to the Source of All Being, going back to base? And how many thought, rather more realistically, that this was a very frightening idea that would involve being deep fried very fast?  (there is a serious point to this research!…)

Quote of the Day

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I must be willingly fallible in order to deserve a place in the realm where miracles happen.

William Stafford, poet

A Healing Retreat – That’s What I need!

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

For years at OBOD we’ve wanted to create a regular healing retreat, and finally we’ve managed to organize it! It’s planned for September and you don’t have to be an OBOD member to participate. We’ve personally experienced all the healers (and the cooking of Jade – who’ll be in charge of the kitchen!) and I just wish it was happening next week and not in 8 months time! Here are the details:

'The Restorers' from The Druid Plant Oracle. Illustration by Will Worthington

Natural Healing Retreat

4-10 Sept 2011

Imagine spending a week once a year attending to your body and its needs: eating a healthy cleansing diet, exercising your body with swimming, Qigong and Tai Chi, participating in Druid healing ceremonies, having massage and saunas, and daily meditations – all in a beautiful setting close to Nature.

If this appeals to you, we would like to invite you to the Order’s first Natural Healing Retreat in September this year, led by Philip Carr-Gomm and Thea Worthington. Set amongst 17 acres of beautiful woodland near St.Albans in Hertfordshire, the grounds of the Sun-Folk Society and Spielplatz will provide a peaceful setting for this week of deep relaxation designed to help you open to the healing powers of Nature and your own body.

Philip and Thea will offer guided meditations and one-to-one sessions, while practitioners in a range of healing modalities such as deep-tissue massage, aromatherapy, herbalism, cranio-sacral osteopathy, Qigong and Tai Chi will offer individual or group sessions.  A carefully designed detox diet will be available, and there will be many opportunities for deep rest, exercise and spiritual practice.

Life can be stressful and sometimes we need to take the time to remove ourselves from daily responsibilities and habits, and discover new and healthy ways of nurturing the body, mind and spirit. By working to restore our health, we will hope to transform our relationship to the body, to the self and to the food we eat.

Sun-Folk with its ancient oaks, green lawns, sauna and splash pool is a naturist paradise and a perfect setting in which to enjoy a life-changing experience. We will enjoy the full use of the resort with two large yurts to provide sleeping accommodation and workshop space. In addition, members may camp, bring their own caravan or campervan or book accommodation in a nearby hotel.

Spielplatz adjoins Sunfolk, and is the Utopian naturist resort where Nuinn used to retreat regularly, and we have arranged access to this resort too for participants, so that we can walk in the grounds which include the tallest birch trees in England, and use their large outdoor heated pool and other facilities, such as tennis and badminton courts.

Spend a week in this beautiful place surrounded by Nature, learning to listen to your body and develop skills which will help you stay in tune with its needs. Meditation helps develop self-awareness, compassion and unconditional love for ourselves and others; and an informed and healthy relationship to the food we eat can be energising and healing. A poor body image can be the cause of real distress and inhibit the possibility of discovering our wild free soul-self. Whether you are a naturist or not you are welcome to join us for the week, which will be clothing-optional. This means there is absolutely no obligation for you to be either dressed or undressed. You are totally free in this respect, and the Retreat will provide a safe, respectful and sacred place in which, if you wish, you can let go of any damaging and limiting feelings about your own body and gain a sense of real freedom to be who you truly are.

Have fun, feel supported in your journey, play in the pool, walk in the woods, share stories by the fire, eat good food…relax and enjoy this very special place of healing.

All activities will be optional. A three-day brown rice mono-fast will be available if wanted. The detox diet will be varied and delicious and will be caffeine, sugar, meat, dairy, wheat and alcohol free. The healers will present themselves and their work on the first day and participants will be free to book individual sessions scheduled each afternoon. This retreat is ideal for those wanting to restore their sense of well-being, recharge after a period of stress, or change life-style habits such as smoking. To support these aims, in addition to the work of the healers, Thea and Philip will be offering individual counselling and oracle sessions.

The retreat will be held near to one of the most significant centres in the history of magic in England – St.Albans (See references in The Book of English Magic for details). Philip will give a brief talk about this, and participants might like to visit the town and surrounding area before, during or after the retreat. We will also be a walk away from Butterfly World – a 27 acre site designed in the shape of a giant butterfly’s head, with a 100m Biome (which is due for completion in autumn 2011) as its geodesic eye. Here you can see the world’s most amazing butterfly centre, and if the biome is ready on time you will be able to see ‘Giant Maya ruins based on archaeological sites of Belize and Mexico providing the backdrop to a kaleidoscope of up to 10,000 tropical butterflies and a variety of hummingbirds and many other creatures. The Biome will be an exhibition of living flora and fauna found within the rainforests of the world, including a lost civilisation, underworld caves with insects, spiders and scorpions, canopy walkways and intermittent thunderstorms – a lost world and a truly tropical adventure.’

The cost, including all catering and group activities and four individual consultations, one with Thea, one with Philip and two with healers of your choice, is £551.

To make a reservation and pay online email office@druidry.org or send a cheque for £100 deposit made out to OBOD to: OBOD, POBox 1333 Lewes E.Sussex BN7 1HB. The deposit is non-refundable. For the balance, cancellation at least 8 wks prior 75% refund. 8-4 wks 50%. No refund within last month.

You’ve always suspected this

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

And now for something silly…

You’ve always suspected this and, in Slovenia, it’s true.

Anyone who’s been in a TV studio knows how hot it is in there, so in reality this guy is just being sensible! They do the same at the BBC I’m told.