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" The Holy Land is everywhere "

Black Elk

A Love of Bulgaria

Published by Philip Carr-Gomm

Preface to the Bulgarian Edition of  The Druid Mysteries

Dear Reader,

As you travel through life you meet person after person, and then suddenly through chance or circumstance you find yourself talking to someone new, and you discover you have made a special connection: you have met a soul-friend. And the same principle seems to apply to countries: some places, just like some people, can come to hold a special place in your heart.

This has been the case for me with Bulgaria: I first came to Sofia about thirty years ago when I came into contact with the Bulgarian spiritual teacher living in France, Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov. I learnt through his writings about the Universal White Brotherhood founded by Beinsa Douno in Sofia, and through a series of fortunate meetings soon found myself in Bulgaria – becoming good friends with members of the Brotherhood who had known Beinsa Douno, and with many other Bulgarians who became life-long friends. For fourteen years I travelled each Spring or Summer to Sofia, either with my wife and young son, or alone, often dancing the Paneurthymy in the Svoboda park early in the morning, or going up to the Rila mountains to small camps held in secret there.  The repression of the regime created an extraordinary intensity of spiritual life in those times, and we benefited from this intensity hugely. Life was vibrant and exciting, and every meeting seemed filled with potential and magic. I have so many memories of walking or dancing in the mountains, of listening to the elders of the Brotherhood explaining astrology or numerology; of eating lavish meals seemingly conjured out of a few potatoes, some kashkaval, yoghurt and a few olives; of walking in the crisp snow over Vitosha with dear friends, of sitting in Alexander Nevsky cathedral listening to the singing, of marvelling at the icons.

We loved Bulgaria so much we wanted to live there. I tried to get a job in Sofia, and planned to rent our house in London, but this didn’t work out. And then life took a different direction: I remarried and started another family, and I was asked to lead the Druid group I had joined years previously. And for Bulgaria too life changed. Communism collapsed and a new era began. I didn’t visit Bulgaria again. And then a surprising thing happened. A book I wrote with the fashion designer Paco Rabanne was published in Bulgaria (La Force des Celtes), then a collection of essays I had introduced and edited (The Druid Renaissance), and then Bulgarians started to join the Order. Two young members came to a Summer Camp we hold each year in England and we held a Druid wedding for them – the connection with Bulgaria had started to work its magic again!
With many blessings to all readers,

 Philip Carr-Gomm
2004