Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


The Opera Tarot – Five of Wands

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
Five of Wands from The Opera Tarot by Linda Sutton

Five of Wands from The Opera Tarot by Linda Sutton

Another excerpt from Linda Sutton’s The Opera Tarot to be published 15th October 2016:

Five of Wands Keywords

Competition, Struggle, Conflict, Power struggle.

From the opera DON CARLOS. Composer: Giuseppe Verdi (1813­-1902).

The life of Don Carlos is a perpetual struggle against his father, Philip II, King of Spain. To aid a truce between France and Spain, Carlos’ beloved Elisabeth of Valois, is forced to marry his father, the King. The King’s jealousy of the love between his son and Elisabeth is deeply seated. Don Carlos gives his support to the liberation of the Netherlands, against his father and the heinous Grand Inquisition.
Linda’s tarot depicts tenor Jonas Kaufman in the title role.

And here is the legendary Maria Callas singing an aria from Don Carlos:

The Opera Tarot – Five of Cups

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Here’s another glimpse from The Opera Tarot by Linda Sutton.

Five of Cups from THE OPERA TAROT by Linda Sutton

Five of Cups from THE OPERA TAROT by Linda Sutton

Linda’s painting of Porgy, shows bass­-baritone Willard White in Trevor Nunn’s production at Glyndebourne in 1986. Porgy is dejected when he returns home to Catfish Row and finds that his beloved Bess has left the shack and travelled to the distant New York with Sportin’ Life the dope peddler and smuggler. He then sets off in his goat cart to look for her. The Five of Cups traditionally signifies despair or a sense of loss.

Below there are two clips from this opera. One from the production Linda based her picture on, and another with the familiar song ‘Summertime’ which is more well-known in its jazz version.

The Opera Tarot – Ten of Wands

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

I’m working this week on the small book that will accompany Linda Sutton’s magnificent Opera Tarot paintings, which will be published privately to ensure the very best quality reproductions. Here is her image for the Ten of Wands, which often signifies being weighed down by burdens and responsibilities.

Knowing the story of the opera the image is taken from – Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra – illuminates our understanding of the card’s meaning:

10 of WANDS from The Opera Tarot, Linda Sutton

10 of WANDS from The Opera Tarot, Linda Sutton

Simon Boccanegra, an heroic corsair in the service of the Republic of Genoa, is chosen by the people, as their Doge. He accepts this high and responsible office in the hope that he will at last be united with his beloved Maria. Her aristocratic father, Fiesco, is keeping her from him as Boccanegra is a commoner. Fiesco promises reconciliation if given his grand-daughter, the child of Maria and Boccanegra. Boccanegra explains that the child was put in the charge of a nurse, but has since vanished. He enters Fiesco’s palace to discover that Maria is dead. Twenty-­five years later, Boccanegra is reunited with Amelia, their daughter, before dying from poisoning.

Linda’s painting shows Placido Domingo as the Doge, heartbroken by the death of his love and the loss of his daughter, while burdened by his office and the rivalry of Genoa with the Republic of Venice.

The Tarot will be published in October and launched at the UK Tarot Conference on October 15th. There’s a great programme lined up – with Caitlin Matthews, Steve Hounsome on Tarot Therapy, the launch of the English Magic Tarot, and much more including a mini-workshop I will give entitled It’s Always Such a Drama – How life is sometimes like an Opera. Peek at the full programme here!

A Quilt from Around the World

Friday, May 20th, 2016

P1010016A parcel arrived at the OBOD office recently with a beautiful gift inside: a quilt made up of squares created by members of the Order from around the world.

In 2008 a member in Germany suggested the idea – a quilt on the theme of Druidry and Nature – and six years later here is the result! I’ll show you two of the squares here – from Canada and Australia, but to see the whole quilt you’ll have to come to an OBOD event where we display it, such as Glastonbury in June or the Mt Haemus event in September – details here.

Huge thanks and many congratulations to all those who created this wonder!P1010014

Correct Spelling? Why bother!

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

I always thought spelling was important! This is from a comment to William Bloom’s thought-provoking article on intuition you can find  here

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid! Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.
he rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh, and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

– See more at:


Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

The wonderful thing about the internet is that you can learn something new every day. After reading an article in our Order’s journal that mentions the term ‘asexuality’, I followed the link it gave to this informative site:

It offered this definition of the term:

An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or any better, we just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently. Asexuality is just beginning to be the subject of scientific research.

And this helpful and touching video:

TreeStory Campaign

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

TreeStory is a inspiring project that I have posted about before here on my Blog, sharing the first three of their wonderful short films about our relationships with trees. This last week, director Ward Serrill has launched a campaign to raise funds to continue the project. Here is Ward in his own words both written and on film explaining about the projects aims. To get involved click here and for more information go to the TreeStory Website


Treestory is a series of tree-inspired films and a MOVEMENT to plant trees. By inspiring a campaign to share treestories, we will awaken more awareness and care for trees around the world. The trees need us! We ask you to befriend a specific tree in your life during this campaign and we ask for your critical support to create films that inspire a radical change in how trees are perceived and treated.  

Thank you! – Ward Serrill, Director

Who am I and Why Tree films?

Everywhere I have ever lived I have formed a relationship with one particular tree. Over time this tree became a sort of companion that stayed with me. One tree in particular, a cedar in Alaska changed my life. I was living in a wizard’s hut by the sea, a place I called Shakri-La by a waterfall. One day I was up on top of the falls and found myself magnetized towards this tree. I could see markings where Tlingit Indians had harvested some cedar bark from its side, perhaps fifty years before. I fell into a deep communion and I made a promise to it that one day I would work for the trees. Treestory is the fulfillment of that promise.

What: Share TreeStories, Create Films, Plant Trees

Let’s ignite a campaign for the trees and make 5 new films! TreeStory is a series of dynamic short films about people’s relationship to our oldest companions on earth, the trees. I create films to heal and inspire and TreeStory reflects my deep appreciation and devotion to nature. All change and care begins with awareness and that is the aim of TreeStory. By telling and sharing stories about trees, we will create a network of greater support and care for the trees that support us.

You will be creating the first film series ever that puts trees at the center. Our first three TreeStory films were about an activist, a biologist and a tree rescuer. We plan five more upcoming films with the Chief Druid of the UK, two Native American singers, a mythologist, a photographer and a man whose mission is to save the seed stock of all of America’s most majestic trees.

Not only will you help co-produce these five films, but through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation when you join the campaign we will plant up to hundreds of trees in your name.

How Much and When?

The budget for each short tree film is $4,000. Each time we reach a threshold ($4,000, $8,000, $12,000, $16,000) we will make another film. 5 films = $20,000. The money pays for equipment, personnel, travel expenses, tape logging, transcriptions, music and editing.

The campaign runs through mid June. I will fulfill pledges by late summer. By October 1, I will create three new films and film two more. I will finish the last two films by December 31 2016.

The Challenge: 30 days with one tree.

To honor this campaign I am going to spend part of the next 30 days with a special and beautiful Madrona tree in Port Townsend where I live. On the last day of the campaign I will spend 24 hours in the tree. I will be exploring its secrets and reporting back to you in writings, poems, photographs and video what I discover about it and about myself in it.

Take the journey – befriend a tree

Take the journey with me and celebrate a relationship with a single tree in your life. During this campaign I ask you to find one tree and just notice it or be with it a little each day. It might improve your well being. It might help you to find hope amidst often discouraging environmental news. It might help you discover a new source of support in your life. We’ll have a conversation about the meaning and experience of trees. Who knows how it might change us…

Stand Up for the Trees

With the right kind of determination and support we will create something good, true and beautiful in the world. TreeStory is an offering to you. We are doing something here that has great potential, perhaps beyond what we can see right now. Like a small potent seed that grows a mighty tree…we’ll start a cool green fire of tree awareness around the world.

Let’s tell a great TreeStory!

Ward Serrill, Director and Madrona tree whisperer

Finding the Key

Monday, May 16th, 2016

I received a very touching post from a friend recently. Barry Winbolt is a therapist, coach and writer who has a fabulous Blog: Life doesn’t have to be like that. I always enjoy reading Barry’s daily blog entries, they are inspiring, deeply practical and helpful – I really recommend you take a look. I include here one of Barry’s recent entries, a video he discovered and shared about the power of music to heal and reconnect us with ourselves. It is truly moving and uplifting. Barry wrote,

This remarkable video challenges many of our pre-conceptions. It also demonstrates that in order to communicate effectively with someone, you have first to gain entry into their world. 

Barry Website Single Sessions Therapy can be found here.

The Shamanic Lands 2016

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Only a month to go until Caitlin Matthews and I will be contributing to The Shamanic Lands conference in London. It should be another fascinating and inspiring weekend of workshops and talks, so if you are free on the weekend of 11-12 June, come along and explore the traditions, practices and beliefs of British and World Shamanism.

TSL 2016 flyer 2


Berkoff’s ‘East’ in Brighton is Stunning

Friday, May 6th, 2016

You know you’re inEast_88LondonRoad_Brighton_Source_MilesDaviesMikeA859-342x228 the presence of something truly magnificent when you find yourself completely captivated by a play from the moment it begins. Steven Berkoff’s incredible script – as raw and shocking as it was when the play was first performed 40 years ago is so eloquent, so Shakespearean in its use of language, you are captivated from the start. Alan Perrin’s production of the play for the Brighton Fringe at 88 London Road is superb – the four actors give flawless, stunning performances. I’d have dished out BAFTAs and Oscars to them all if I’d had some in my pocket. (I’m running out of superlatives here. You can see I was knocked out by last night’s show!) The play is witty, provocative, challenging and utterly engrossing. If you’re in Sussex or London, anywhere you can get to Brighton, scoot down to see it before the run ends 21 May. If you are not truly amazed I promise I will eat my hat on video and post this on this blog. More info or to book.