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" A good traveller has no fixed plans,

and is not intent on arriving "

Lao Tzu

The Shimmering Threads of Magic

March 12th, 2019

Photo by Bob Fuhro

“Magic weaves shimmering threads that connect and reverberate beyond our edges; magic dissolves that sense of separateness that can leave us isolated and alienated from ourselves, others and nature.”

A quote from Maria Ede-Weaving who mentors the Lessons in Magic course.

Nature’s Wisdom: Tea with a Druid 63

March 6th, 2019

It’s “Magical March’ for the Tea with a Druid sessions! Each Monday evening a different Druid will host the tea! Today it is Pamela Meekings-Stewart from New Zealand. Next week, Eimear Burke from Ireland, then Julie Brett from Australia on 18 March and Paul Corcoran from Ireland on 25 March. The tea cauldron is bubbling!

In the video below Pamela talks about the wisdom of the forest, the cycle of the seasons and the way this echoes our own development and creativity, and finishes with a rose meditation. At the start of her talk, Pamela mentions her work with the Wheel of Segais divination system. You can find out more here.

Don’t Go Wider – Go Deeper

March 1st, 2019

The Church in the Square, Nerja, Andalusia, Spain

One of the perks of leading the Order of Bards Ovates & Druids is getting an advance copy of our  journal Touchstone. Next month’s edition is packed with fascinating goodies. Take this great piece from Harriet Sams: “As I was drinking a warming cup of tea, a friend sent a link to an article about deepening into what I already have. Do not buy a single more thing this year. No more new classes, or books, don’t start to learn the harmonica when you’ve been neglecting the harp. Dive deeper into what you have already and do not scratch the itch of going wider. Go deeper.” Harriet quotes from the article she’s referring to by David Cain: “I keep imagining a tradition I’d like to invent. After you’re established in your career, and you have some neat stuff in your house, you take a whole year in which you don’t start anything new or acquire any new possessions you don’t need…The guiding philosophy is “Go deeper, not wider.” Drill down for value and enrichment.” (Read article here) What a refreshing idea! The founder of The Ancient Druid Order that OBOD grew from, George Watson MacGregor Reid, wrote a book about the same idea, which he called ‘Simplicitarianism.’ I’m not sure we need another ism – the idea is so simple we don’t even need another book… we just need to do it!

Mary Oliver

February 9th, 2019

Thanks to Tom Cowan for sharing his beautiful poem honouring Mary Oliver who died recently. Tom’s website can be found here.

Mary Oliver
Soon now, I’ll turn and start for home.
And who knows, maybe I’ll be singing.
—from “The Pond” in Felicity

She listened to the earth,
and heard the universe singing.
Or as she might have put it,

This earth, I mean,
this pond,
the light on this tidal pool,
this path through the dunes.”

She was always in a place—
a real place, a truthful now,
and she listened,
knowing the songs of the earth
were merely a part—
but our part—
of the Great Song.

She seemed happy
to hear the small voices—
a wren, a snake, a lily—
singing here, now.

And if she were here, now,
she might say, “Listen! And
don’t worry if you can’t sing.”

No, she did not want to just visit
this place we call earth.
And she didn’t.

She sang about it,
and maybe we should be singing too.

~Tom Cowan
January 2019

Jacob Rees-Mogg Urged to Debate Naked

February 8th, 2019

Dr Victoria Bateman posing as Lady Godiva in a painting by William Holmes Sullivan (1836-1908)

A while back I wrote  A Brief History of Nakedness. In its first section I explore the topic in religion and spirituality. Most of the historical material on this topic – the theories and practices – were advanced by men. In the second section I explore the political dimension, in which nakedness is used for protest. Interestingly it is now the women who play the pioneering role. From the legendary Lady Godiva protesting about taxes to the ‘Breasts not Bombs’ movement against the Iraq war, through to the Femen movement, it is women who have led the way in using the naked body as a means of drawing attention to important issues.

The latest chapter in this story is occurring right now with Cambridge academic Dr Victoria Bateman appearing naked in public to express her dismay at the lunatic behaviour of the British politicians who seem determined to undermine democracy by ignoring the lies that were told to obtain a ‘Leave’ vote in the Brexit referendum, the Russian attempts to sow confusion, and the fact that it was in reality a minority of the adult population who voted to leave (so much for the sickening refrain: ‘We must obey the will of the people’!) Our friends abroad look upon us in dismay as they watch us wilfully self-harming.

Dr Bateman joins a long line of brave women who dare to use their own bodies to try to make people come to their senes. “Brexit is the emperor’s new clothes… ” she says, “Britain has sold itself a project that cannot possibly deliver on what it promised. Britain faces many, many problems right now from housing to the NHS, and the European Union is not the cause of those problems.” read more.

The usual argument is that such behaviour is exhibitionism. John Humphrys on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme suggested this. Dr Bateman’s reply: “I am completely comfortable with my own body, I view women’s bodies as one of the big battlegrounds that we face today and actually by engaging with society about women’s bodies, one of the things it shows is the way in which people are quick to judge women purely based on their bodies. For thousands of years men have controlled what women can do with their bodies, and women’s bodies have been seen as something purely existing for sex and for babies. So what is wrong with a modern-day woman taking control of her body and using it to give voice to what is the most depressing political subject in Britain right now?” She has invited Jacob Rees-Mogg to debate with her naked, but I doubt he has the balls.

Watch Dr Bateman talk to the BBC through this link.

From 4 hours sleep a night to 8…

February 7th, 2019

Don’t you hate braggers? And constant advertising? I do too, but I couldn’t help sharing this post on a facebook page that I run for people who take the Sleep Clinic course I have created. Angelica wrote:

“I wanted to share with everyone the progress I’ve had since I started this course. Truly astounding! These are my year long sleep averages. I knew they’d be better, but wow 😮 Thank you for this course, Philip!”

These images record the shift Angelica experienced from an average of around 4-6 hours sleep before the course, to a nice healthy 7.55 hours after taking it. When I saw this I was so pleased I replied to her and you can see our exchange here:

 

 

 

If you have trouble sleeping, have a look at the programme here!