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" Seek the truth and run from

those who claim to have found it "

after André Gide

Chance Encounters & How Much You Can Say in 3 minutes

May 25th, 2012

I recently met a film-maker, Mike Hax, on the train to London and we’ve exchanged emails. He told me of a short film he’d made and in watching it I was struck by how much information one can convey in just three minutes or so. Mike asks a hypnotherapist Nicola Preston Bell to talk about her work:

Mount Haemus Day 2012

May 25th, 2012

The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids invites you to The Mt.Haemus lectures
at the Medieval Hall, Salisbury  from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 29th September 2012

Druidic scholarship *  lunch * a rare display of Nuinn’s artwork
and incidental musical interludes

With  four papers exploring:
What is a Bard?

Druidry and Transpersonal History
Entering Faerie
The Influence of the Solar Progression on Human Health

It is with great pleasure that we bring together the four scholars who have been engaged in druidic research on our behalf.
As before, the lectures will be held in the magnificent Medieval Hall in the Cathedral Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EY, with a simple lunch across the Green in the Cathedral Cloisters. Salisbury is easily accessible by public transport: the area is rich in natural beauty and  history, including the landmark sites of Old Sarum and Stonehenge.
For B&B enquiries & local information, including parking, city maps and park &  ride, contact  Salisbury Tourist Information Centre, Fish Row, Salisbury, SP1 1EJ   Tel: +44 (0) 1722 342860   Email: visitorinfo@salisburycitycouncil.gov.uk
The Mount Haemus Day occurs only once every four years, and it offers a unique opportunity to explore the latest research, to meet friends old and new, and to be entertained with music and inspired with meditation. Members coming from far away can enjoy combining the Mt Haemus Day with a visit to the city and its surroundings. Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge and Old Sarum are nearby, and the Medieval Hall offers a warm and historic environment, and Salisbury Cathedral is just next door.


What is a Bard?Dr Andy Letcher
Much of what we assumed to be true about Druidry has been revealed as the wishful thinking of Romantic laudanum addicts, Edwardian anthropologists and other fantasists. If we are drawn to call ourselves Druids or Bards, how do we answer the challenge thrown to us by the new historicity? Upon what principles can we base our practice?

Druidry and Transpersonal HistoryDr.Thomas C. Daffern
Religious studies scholar Dr Thomas Daffern examines what light the newly developing field of transpersonal history can shed on the history of Druidry in a wide-ranging survey.

Entering Faerie: Elves, Sidhe-folk and the AncestorsDr James Warren Maertens
Modern Druids must walk a fine line between the study of old folklore and the creation of new folklore. How do we live in a culture of scientific materialism and yet challenge the dominant knowledge paradigm?

From Solstice to Equinox and Back Again: the influence of the midpoint on human health and the use of plants to modify such effects Julian Barker, member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
Herbalist Julian Barker examines the relationship between human health and the seasons, with particular reference to the neuro-endocrine system and the significance of the solstices and equinoxes.

Conference Fee, including lunch (vegetarian) and refreshments through the day, Early bird booking rate: £20 (for bookings made before June 30) From 1st July: £25. To book just click on the Paypal button here.

No tickets will be mailed: your Paypal email confirmation will be your receipt and ticket. Please bring it with you to the Medieval Hall, in the Cathedral Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EY on Saturday 29th September 2012 and ensure you arrive before 10am! Please note down these access directions:

The Medieval Hall, Cathedral Close,
The Cathedral is surrounded by ‘walks’. The Medieval Hall is just off the West Walk; it is not visible from there, but is clearly signposted.
SatNav instruction: The post code for the Medieval hall is SPI 2EY. But please be aware, especially if travelling from the south, that SatNav may direct you to the bottom of the West Walk car park which is one way  only & has dragon’s teeth to prevent access.
For local information, including further parking information, city maps and park &  ride, contact Salisbury Tourist Information Centre, Fish Row Salisbury SP1 1EJ     Telephone: 01722 334956 email: visitorinfo@salisbury.gov.uk

Any queries please email touchstone@druidry.org

DruidCraft Tarot Workshop in Germany

May 23rd, 2012

The Pheryllt card from The DruidCraft Tarot – painting by Will Worthington

A workshop in English and German exploring the Major Arcana.

Wilde Weisheit des Druiden-Tarot – Ein Workshop mit Philip und Stephanie Carr-Gomm, den Autoren des DruidCraft Tarot.

28.6.-1.7.2012 in Birkenfeld, Germany.

Philip schreibt:
«The Tarot offers us doorways into the depths of our own psyche and into the Great Mystery that lies just a breath away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living. We will use dialogue, mask making, music, meditation and enactment to develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with the keys of the Major Arcana.»

«Der Tarot öffnet uns Tore in die Tiefen unserer Psyche und führt uns ein in das grosse Geheimnis das nur einen Atemzug von der Emsigkeit und der Hast unseres alltäglichen Lebens entfernt ist. Wir benutzen Dialog, Maskenbau, Musik, Meditation und Performance um eine tiefere und intimere Beziehung zu den grossen Arkana zu bekommen»

For more information please contact: 09532/981060  atelier@wandlungskunst.d

Self Awareness: Global responsibility workshop

May 23rd, 2012

Self Awareness: Global responsibility.

Great News for those of you wanting to come to the Scilla Elworthy event on June 9th.
We have changed the venue and reduced the cost to enable more people to benefit from this inspiring and profound workshop.

We’re moving to the Subud Centre, Station St Lewes, East Sussex (1 hr from London by train – very easy!)

Cost now £40, concessions still available.

Scilla Elworthy, 3 times Nobel peace prize nominee, Founder of Oxford Research Group and Peace Direct, will conduct a day workshop to include:

* Why self awareness is a vital ingredient when we undertake work for the world
* The value of a spiritual practice
* Principles of Local and Global Peacework – 7 Basic Steps
* The qualities of a Master Peacebuilder
* Exercises to help you discover your path in life,
* What you would like to contribute to the world

What to bring:
Your notebook
An object or a photo that represents either what’s calling you and/or your sense of your future potential.
Comfortable, informal clothes.

Lunch available in town or bring something to share. Teas provided.

Booking direct on: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/3460878581

or  Contact: Prue Rankin-Smith.  Tel: 01273 473244 or email rankinmissp@live.co.uk or suemfleming@gmail.com

Holy Cows

May 23rd, 2012

I took many photos in India in March, but this is my favourite. The early morning light and the disposition of the cows seems to create a very soothing effect. If you click on it the image enlarges and looks better.

For Robin Gibb

May 21st, 2012

Robin Gibb 1949 – 2012
Photo credit: Beeld En Geluid Wiki – Gallerie: Toppop 1973

Dear Robin,

May your journey to the Isles of the Blessed, to the fields of Bliss, to the land of freedom and splendour, be swift and sure.

May the Light be your guide on the journey.

By the beauty of the fields, the woods and the sea, we send you our love and blessings.

Protect the Amazon Rainforest

May 21st, 2012
This is a map location of the Amazon Basin. Th...

This is a map location of the Amazon Basin. The yellow line encloses Amazon Basin as delineated by the World Wide Fund for Nature.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Brazilian Congress has just passed a catastrophic forestry bill that gives loggers and farmers free rein to cut down huge swaths of the Amazon. Now only President Dilma can stop it.

Fortunately, the timing is on our side — in weeks Dilma will host the world’s biggest environmental summit and insiders say she cannot afford to open it as the leader who approved the destruction of the rainforest. She’s facing mounting domestic pressure, with 79% of Brazilians rejecting this new bill. Now, if we join them we can turn up the global heat and push her to axe the bill, not the rainforest.

Dilma could make her decision any day. Let’s get her to veto the bill now. Click below to sign the urgent petition to stop the Amazon chainsaw massacre and if you have already signed — send this to everyone:


The Tarot Garden in Tuscany

May 20th, 2012

Just back from a workshop near Milan on the Tarot. Afterwards we traveled down to Tuscany to visit the extraordinary Tarot Garden of Nikki de St.Phalle.
Just heard that an earthquake struck in northern Italy last night – its epicentre east of Milan in Modena. Let’s now hope there will be no after-shocks. Here are some photographs of the Tarot Garden:

The Tarot Garden also has figures which are not of the Tarot – such as this mirrored statue.

Courtyard in Tarot Garden, Tuscany

‘The Empress’ – the first figure built in the garden. Nikki de St.Phalle then lived inside her in an interior covered in mirrored shards of tiles.