Just back from the Court of Math and Cheesehenge. An extraordinary experience! (Stephanie tells me we were at an OBOD Retreat held at Cae Mabon in Snowdonia, and that Cheesehenge was in fact only a few inches tall. I refuse to believe her! We were at the court of Math and I was there at a sunrise ritual amongst the Red Leicester and Caerphilly Blue. But Stephanie says No! Story-teller and Honorary Chief Bard Eric Maddern was disguised as the magician Math, and our ritual circle was produced by our wonderful caterer Jade Fellows-Smith,who not only fashioned these monoliths but has also produced beautiful Reiki Healing Cards and runs Nature Cater). I am dreaming on…
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
A poem by Rumi…
We are the mirror
as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste of eternity
We are pain
and what cures pain.
We are the sweet cold water
and the jar that pours.
Soul of the world,
no life, nor world remain,
no beautiful women and men longing.
the holy black stone
Where the lover is the loved,
This is a lovely event that Stephanie and I will be involved with this summer…
Global Spiritual Studies Presents Sacred Scotland
7-19 July 2015
“The roads and waterways I’ve travelled over the past two weeks can be traced on a map of Scotland. But there is no map of the inner landscape of memories, images and emotions that poured forth as the spirit of place in this timeless land led me home, ” says Linda Marson.
“I saw the remains of sacred sites, followed streams and waterfalls through fairy glens, lay atop a magic mountain and soaked up the sun and the breeze of a fairy tale landscape. No guide to this inner journey is needed, you simply live in the moment and trust what you see and feel.”
Linda, a tarot author and teacher, returns as special guest on the 2015 Scotland to help you use the tarot to interpret your inner landscape as you travel the magical outer landscape of this timeless land.
Anyone who’s been on a Gothic Image tour through Scotland will tell you it’s not only good for the soul but good fun! You travel in a small group of like-minded people with tour leader, Jamie George, himself a Scotsman who loves to share the secrets of his homeland with you.
Tour highlights include:
- 15th century Rosslyn Chapel with its ornate, arcane carvings, including many depictions of the pagan Green Man
- The enchanted fairy glen at Rosemarkie
- Islands of Orkney with their wealth of pre-historic sites – the 3000BC village of Skara Brae, the Neolithic stone circles of Stennes and Ring of Brodgar and the burial chamber of Maes Howe.
- Joining the tour on Orkney in 2015 will be Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Their knowledge of the Druid tradition will add a fascinating dimension to the sites we visit in Orkney and other locations.
- The Callanish complex of megalithic sites on the island of Lewis
- The stunning fairytale landscape on the island of Skye
- The beautiful island of Iona which radiates a special energy that brings peace to your soul.
Click here to register online.
£2,495 per person, twin share
Single supplement: £300 per person
Deposit: £500, payable upon booking
For further details click here.
There is a fantastic event coming up in June in London called The Shamanic Lands organised by Davyd and Emma Farrell. Davyd and Emma were responsible for the wonderful Plant Consciousness conference that I took part in last year and I have no doubt that The Shamanic Lands will be another inspiring and thought-provoking couple of days. Here is a press release with details of the event and a link to purchase tickets. I also include a link to The Shamanic Lands Blog and an interesting article by David Farrell entitled The Magic Of Plants: Helping Us Rediscover Our Own Indigenous Shamanism
OBOD member and author of The Druids Primer – Luke Eastwood will be one of an array of British and Irish wisdom keepers and shamans gathered together for a very special event this coming June.
The Shamanic Lands has been put together to showcase many of the various elements and traditions that survive to this day and indicate to us that we have our own very strong and important shamanic heritage.
Luke will be bringing all of his Druidic work and knowledge to the fore as he shows why looking to the ancient ways of the ancestors can be so important as he talks about ‘Reconnecting With Our Ancient Past To Build A Better Future’.
In many ways Luke’s presentation exemplifies the attitude of the organisers of this event – Davyd & Emma Farrell of Archetype Events who firmly believe that in this time of great change its important that we look to the old ways to find our reconnection to who we truly are.
By bringing those connections of the past into the present – we can anchor our links to the land, the ancestors, the trees and plants into our heart consciousness, and look at ways we can use that knowledge and strength of connection, to start bringing about a new way of living in harmony with our surroundings. In the same way that our Druidic ancestors did.
Attendees will learn:
- The importance of following the deer trods and how we can use that in the modern world
- Working with native plants through ceremonial plant diets
- How we can understand our shamanic experiences in the context of everyday life
- What role teacher plants have from other lands in our own consciousness evolution
- How to reconnect to our ancestors for deep healing in our own lives
- About the rich and varied history of our own shamanic past from Druidry to Paganism, Celtic Shamanism to Hedgewitchery and why this knowledge is important to us now in the modern world.
OBOD is officially endorsing this event.
The Shamanic Lands will be a highly interactive 2-day event taking place on June 6th-7th at Conway Hall, London with the organisers promising to take the attendees on a deep journey to reconnect to The Shamanic Lands of Britain and Ireland but also connecting to our global brothers and sisters as well. Expect audience participation throughout the weekend with drum journeys, visualisations, meditations, energy work, live music, story telling, art and more.
Tickets are available at – www.theshamaniclands
A beautiful and moving poem by Jay Ramsay…
You know the story. After months of grey
rain, wind and weather wet
the cherry blossom suddenly appears
with the merest touch of late April sun,
its three or four day lover. Blossom
filling the branches, and up against the blue
as you gaze up…its delicate pale pink chandeliers
each hanging by a thread, intact.
But then three days of blasting wind
billowing up the path, around the house
battering it, beating at it, torn
down in bucketfuls, coating the front bed
and the lawn inches deep—
with the waste of it only just blossomed.
Why do you care ? Because it’s moved you
because every beautiful thing you’ve seen
has entered your heart, aware or unaware
becoming part of you extending out
you can’t escape now, it’s too late
your heart is open and it can’t close again.
You care because it’s all you are
this beautiful ravaged world now
resurrected then crucified…and as the wind dies
with all we still have, as it returns.
I call it poetry, with or without words
the one language we know without speaking
that seeks us out from the Beginning
because it knows we must blossom
there is no other hope, no other way
to become human, but to love, and lose
turned inside out and outside in—
and this, my God and yours, is the operation.
~ Jay Ramsay
I’ve just added a brief article and pdf to the Order’s Library, which follows on from yesterday’s post about E.Graham Howe and the latest Mt.Haemus paper. Here’s the start of it:
Nowadays it is quite common to see psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists aligning themselves with Druidry. We live in enlightened times. But even in earlier years, before the ‘Great Enlightenment’ of the 1960s, there is evidence that some of those working in these professions were drawn to Druidry. One of these figures was the psychiatrist E.Graham Howe, who helped found the influential Tavistock Clinic in London, and was a friend and advocate of the revolutionary psychiatrist R.D.Laing. Howe developed Jung’s theory of the four functions to include an understanding of esoteric anatomy, and wrote The Mind of the Druid – a book which is explored by psycho-spiritual psychotherapist Ian Rees in his Mount Haemus paper, which you can read here. Another was Professor Henry Chellew, a member of the Ancient Druid Order, out of which the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids emerged fifty years ago.
For those who love browsing in second-hand bookshops there is nothing more exciting than discovering an obscure volume tucked away on a shelf in one of these shops, forgotten for years perhaps, that speaks directly to our interests. Some years ago I came across just such a volume: The Encyclopedia of Psychology published by the Psychology Foundation in Brussels in 1928. The copy I found, perhaps in one of those lovely old shops in Hay-on-Wye, I can’t remember exactly, had been in the main library of Pius the Twelfth College in Basutoland. Here was a collection of short articles, each accompanied by an earnest portrait photograph and the signature of the author. Contributors were not only academics, but lay writers too: Madame Tamara Karsavina giving us tips on ‘Poise and Power’, Miss Fanny Lea writing on ‘Needless Apprehension’, the Rev.Thomas Cameron on ‘The Seven Deadly Sins.’ In ‘Dangers Incidental to Boyhood’ Dr R.D.Reid, ex-president of the Oxford University Archaelogical Society, and House-Master of a boy’s school in Dorset, advises adults to warn a young lad ‘that wastage of his life fluid will result in lowered efficiency all over his body. Eventually, it will bring utter disaster.’
What a relief it was, then, to find amongst this odd collection an article by someone who had actually studied psychology – the druid Professor Henry Chellew, lecturer on Psychology at the University of London…
The article in library includes a pdf of Chellew’s essay.
Click on the thumbnails below for the full photo and a bio
A book with a fascinating title came out in 2009 – The Druid of Harley Street, edited by William Stranger. It is a collection of writings by the psychiatrist E.Graham Howe, who helped found the influential Tavistock Clinic in London, and was a friend and advocate of the revolutionary psychiatrist R.D.Laing. In William Stranger’s brief introduction to Howe’s work, he writes of Howe’s ‘Psychology of Incarnation’, of his dialogues with Carl Jung, and of the way Howe developed Jung’s theory of the four functions to include an understanding of esoteric anatomy. Stranger outlines Howe’s biography, and gives only one clue as to why he has chosen ‘The Druid of Harley Street’ as the title for his collection. Stranger writes: ‘In the early 1970s…he [Howe] fulfilled his longstanding desire to reside in Wales, the site of ancient Druidic culture that he felt exemplified many of his principles about life and spirit. Howe and [his wife] Doris lived for a while in a small stone house near Bala…’
The collection then offers us excerpts from every book that Howe wrote, bar one: The Mind of the Druid – a book whose most recent edition carries an introduction by David Loxley, Chief of the Ancient Druid Order.
Despite this strange lacuna, which seems almost perverse given the title of the collection, we must be grateful to Stranger for having produced this volume, which gives students of spiritual psychology the opportunity to study material which risked being completely forgotten.
And now, I am delighted to say, this omission has been addressed. Every year The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids invites a scholar to research a topic of relevance to students of Druidry, and this year psycho-spiritual psychotherapist Ian Rees has contributed a paper which focuses on Howe’s The Mind of the Druid.
Howe’s writing is not easy – he is reaching for depths of insight that are hard to express, and Ian Rees’ paper is equally challenging. But if coming to a greater understanding of spiritual psychology, especially in relation to Druidic studies, is your passion, then do have a look at this latest addition to the Mount Haemus collection. You can find it here: The Sixteenth Mount Haemus Lecture: Gathering Mistletoe – an approach to the Work of E.Graham Howe by Ian Rees
The Chapel in the Forest – An Illustrated Talk on the Grail Chapel in Tréhorenteuc, Brittany: In the 1940s, a Catholic priest in Brittany remodelled and redecorated a church as a grail chapel beside the mystical forest of Brocéliande, with its many associations with Arthurian legend. I will be giving an illustrated talk about this chapel, and the surrounding area at Sacred Space at Steiner House, Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, London NW1 6XT on Thursday 18 June at 7.30pm.
Contact: Marion Briggs
Tel: 0870 766 9657* E-mail: email@example.com
* charged at national rate
Entrance is £12 Concessions and donations possible – all welcome
A beautiful poem by David Whyte:
An open sandy shell
on the beach
empty but beautiful
like a memory
of a protected previous self.
The most difficult griefs,
ones in which
we slowly open
to a larger sea, a grander
sweep that washes
all our elements apart.
So strange the way
we are larger
than we imagined
we deserved or could claim
and when loss floods
like the long darkness it is
and the old nurtured hope
is drowned again
even stranger then
at the edge of the sea
to feel the hand of the wind
laid on our shoulder
how death grants
a fierce and fallen freedom
away from the prison
of a constant
and continued presence,
how in the end
those who have left us
might no longer need us
with all our tears
and our much needed
measures of loss
and that their own death
is as personal
as that life of theirs
which you never really knew,
and another disturbing thing,
And they for themselves
are glad to have let go
of all the stasis
and the enclosure
and the need for them to love
like some prisoner
that you only wanted
to remain incurious
and happy in your love
never looking for the key
never wanting to
turn the lock and walk
like the wind
unneedful of you,
~ David Whyte from Everything is Waiting for You