If you’re starting out on writing, or are interested in the craft of writing, here’s a podcast for you: a conversation between Solutions-Focused therapist and author Barry Winbolt and myself about writing.
The Equinox feels very much like a brief pause; a moment of stillness. At this time of equal night and day, before the scales tip their balance and we journey into growing light or darkness, may this moment of equilibrium be reflected within you today, and may it bring your peace, clarity and strength. /|\ /|\ /|\
Druids are guys with beards in white robes at Stonehenge.
Wrong! That’s not how it is today. Druids are more likely to be female (about 60% in The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids) and wearing colourful clothes in ceremonies held in their own gardens, or out in nature wherever they live.
The majority of authors on Druidry are now women, major Druid groups such as OBOD and the AODA are led by women, and recently a Women in Druidry conference was held online.
OBOD has just published its second Mt Haemus Lecture of the year – ‘The Feminist Druid: Making Way for New Stories/New Work’ by Dr Michelle LaFrance – that looks at contemporary Druidry, sees the influence of the Feminine within it, and asks how we can build on that. Her study celebrates the role of women in Druid history, and the contributions of women to modern Druidry as a global spiritual, religious, and eco-conscious movement. And, as she writes, “it is also a feminist reflection on the present and future of modern Druidry.” It’s a great paper, and you can read it here.
“O pure Goddess… scatter peace across the earth!” So sings the Druidess in Bellini’s opera Norma as she stands within her sacred grove. A magical event occurred some years back when a member of the Order of Bards Ovates & Druids told me she was a professional opera singer and could sing Casta Diva by heart. We cooked up a plan in secret. While leading a workshop on the Tarot, I invited members to imagine they were in a sacred grove lit by moonlight: “Into the grove steps a druidess, who begins to sing a prayer for peace to the moon and to the Goddess…” Henriëtte stood up and begin to sing…
‘Casta Diva’ is the aria that launched the career of Maria Callas. Learn about Henriëtte de Groote here. If the combination of opera and the Tarot interests you, look at The Opera Tarot here!
One of the most sublime duets in opera, ‘Au Fond du Temple Sainte’ from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, this is not the best recording for sound quality, but it has the virtue of subtitles: “It is She! The Goddess who today reunites us!’ sing Placido Domingo and Rolando Villazon.
A number of years ago I met a bishop in the Celtic Orthodox Church who made a strong impression on me as a person of great warmth and generosity. I discovered he was starting a monastery in Virginia, and is deeply versed in the works of the mystical poets of many religions. I’ll be talking in-depth with him on 6th October: