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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "

Coleridge

Mt Haemus Awards

November 7th, 2011

Details of the 2011 and 2012 Mt Haemus Awards are now up on the OBOD website:

2011 From Solstice to Equinox and Back Again: the influence of the midpoint on human health and the use of plants to modify such effects

Herbalist Julian Barker examines the relationship between human health and the seasons, with particular reference to the neuroendocrine system and the significance of the solstices and equinoxes.

2012 Magical Transformation in the Spoils of Annwn and the Book of Taliesin – Exploring the Backbone of Druidry

Author and Head of the Anglesey Order of Druids Kristoffer Hughes explores and interprets material from the legendary Welsh manuscript ‘The Book of Taliesin’.

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Happy Festival

November 7th, 2011

While here in the northern hemisphere we have just celebrated the arrival of winter and communion with the ancestors at Samhain, in the southern hemisphere the spring festival of Beltane has just been celebrated. To mark that occasion here is a photo of a Beltane ceremony held in a forest in Bourgogne, France, this May. Here the May King and Queen are caught in an off-duty moment:

We can see how important it is for us to celebrate festivals, how deeply embedded is this need in the psyche, in the recent story of the Russian astronauts who have just completed 17 months pretending to be in in a spaceship, in preparation for a Mars voyage. One of the unexpected findings of observers was that the crew, unprompted, decided to celebrate festivals together, such as Christmas and the Chinese New Year.