Deadlines approach
elen_pope
Whoosh!

the hibernation time was really productive, but now spring's come in with a whoosh and the deadline for my Druidry book for Llewellyn approaches...and the subject matter gets more interesting, more involved and of a greater volume with each passing day!
BAck to the work now, on a bright, sunny, cold spring morning. It's good to be alive.

Solstice approaches!
elen_pope
Well this appears to be becoming seasonal, following the sun festivals: least around equinox & now we're heading for Alban Arthan, the winter solstice.
since the last I have done lot more on pilgrimage & completely expanded my view of the magical countryside with the help of Nigel Pennick's book, the Celtic Sacred Landscape, which should be on everyone's wishlist.
If there's anyone out there who is intimate with Taliesin & Celtic starlore, now's the time to get in contact!
Working hard at the writing & it will become ever easier as the hibernating instinct overrides all & I can make a nest, sett, lodge or dray in front of the new woodburner with notes, a laptop & a never-ending supply of redhot tea.
Can't wait; Mmmmmmm.

Speech after long silence.....
elen_pope
That title is taken from a poem by Yeats, about resuming writing poetry: after a summer of internet problems & inability to post, I appreciate his feelings on the matter, & it's difficult to know where to start!
So, after a hectic summer & a great druid retreat in North Wales last week, just putting my toe in the water to say that I'm musing these days on community & pilgrimage.
I've done a lot locally & see this as the way for our everyday 'living druidry': enriching & being enriched by interaction with our locality & neighbours. BUT time out is important, to allow space away from the everyday world to connect deeply & for spiritual refreshment, & pilgrimage seems to be a very valid part of the preparation for this. I wonder how popular pilgrimage is now? i think interest in it is definitely on the increase.
Hm, I'll leave it there for now. P.

(no subject)
elen_pope
Monday 6/07/09

Windy, blowy day with scattered showers lancing down unexpectedly onto the washing.....
As the weather finally breaks, I'm looking back at a weekend of family, friends, outings and outside music, in that order...it was a very full schedule, helped along with large quantities of hummus.
A visit to Stony Littleton long barrow - approximately 5,000 years old - with 'the out and about club' was a wonderful reminder of the ancient roots of people's reverence for and interaction with the landscape.
A brief flurry of rainy in an otherwise fine day had us scurrying into its shelter, and the point was well made that it was entirely appropriate for us to have to get down on hands and knees to enter.
It's very near Bath, and well worth a visit: the passage is surprisingly long, with 3 chambers either side before the end one. I wonder if the triple Awen we sounded on the top will still be resonating somewhere.....
On Sunday we played blues on the bandstand in Wells. All this open air stuff is reminding me that sitting round a campfire is one of the joys of summer: think we'll have one tonight to celebrate the full moo.

Glitterati fun
elen_pope
As rain soaked the Glastonbury crowds on Thursday, we had taken a coach and were up in London celebrating the launch of Philip Carr Gomm & Richard Heygate's Book of English Magic.
it was a magical warm London evening and every detail was right: we were driven to within 20 yards of Treadwell's bookshop in a back BMW, found within many pagans and occultists with fascinating conversation, and knew enough of them socially to make the evening and the chat flow easily. this is how life is meant to be lived! After sitting at a pavement cafe eating olives and garlic bread, we were whisked back to Highgate effortlessly - the perfect end to a red letter evening.
I've posted a review of the book under the review section - it really is a treat.

(no subject)
elen_pope
Well, it's Monday now, and thoughts are with druid friends who were being a presence all night at Stonehenge on the actual Solstice night - 36,000 people is quite a party. Sure that, as usual, you were able to find a quiet spot in the mayhem to honour the time and space & hope you had as good a time as we did, doing the same in the magical Somerset landscape.
Now it's back to work, but the pull of the garden and its infinitesimal and constant changes is very strong.

Midsummer fun
elen_pope
Last weekend was a frenetic, wonderful happening, if i can use such a sixties word, with a couple of hundred druidsfrom OBOD (the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids) celebrating midsummer in Glastonbury.
The three morning Grove meetings led into a magical ceremony on the Tor, transporting us to Avalon with all its wonders, before returning for the by now legendary feast and eisteddfod.
Druids really know how to party! Dancing went way into the night, and a druid friend's spoof article - a 'druid fashion parade' - really came to life. Glamorous and individualistic was the order of the night, and lights, music and good fellowship made it an enchanted evening.
At about 4am the hardy amongst us went off to Stonehenge for a dawn ceremony: I was not among them, though I'll try to kid the mre serious that I was there on the astral......

All in all, a brilliant weekend. Yep, we know it wasn't the Solstice; this was celebration, and now we're all back in our home Groves to mark the highpoint of the Solar year; Alban Hefin.

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