“Yes, I am poking Strider’s pork sausages…” – Locksley2010
The setting sun was a glorioous blood red as me and Dumbledore cruised from one shire to another, and the sky was a gorgeous orangey lilac by the time we came upon the marina. A familiar looking bunch were sitting on a bench whilst flames danced before them. Dear Gods! What was this!? Is it true that the Boat People had started their rebellion and had begun to overthrow society by burning all around them? Don’t be daft! It was a bunch of Druids all sat before a BBQ and waiting for the meeting to begin.
Ragamuffin was our location and Tatterhood was our hostess. What was supposed to be an evening on the topic of bones, had actually become something a little deeper (It’s ok Tatty, I didn’t tell anyone you’d thought it was NEXT week…. oops!).
I didn’t think to bring the Question Cards with me (Bad Herald! Go to your room, chant three Awens and recite Triads 12-24) which is when Tatterhood had a great idea: “How about we ask each other a question we’d really like to know about that person?” It didn’t quite work like that, but we had some interesting talks that just seemed to occur naturally.
Greenfingers was first, asking the Grove, about the meditation exercise of our own personal groves and does it keep on going or do we stabilise it? After much comparing and prodding and discussing, we came to the conclusion that as a visualisation exercise, The Sacred Grove can actually change shape. Yes we stabilise it and allow it to become familiar in our minds and subconscious, but it can also change depending on our mood and mentality at the time.
This lead on to the next question: What would be the best advice to anyone starting on the Druid Gwers? We unanimously agreed on not worrying about trying to do it right. There isn’t a right way per say, the only wrong way to do it would be of too much focus of trying to do it right. This, as all conversations tend to do, went off on a tangent and we started talking about the Inner Child and the concept of play. When we do ceremony, we are bringing something of ourselves out into the open. We also leave ourselves open to inspiration (Awen). When we do ritual, we are actually allowing ourselves to play. Like children playing at being ‘cops and robbers’, through ritual we allow ourselves to play at being our Druid self. This isn’t saying that we are faking it, not at all, this is saying that we use the inner child part of us to enact a role to make it believable and real. This of course depends on our programming when growing up: We are told when we are doing something wrong and this creates a barrier in our mind that we should not or cannot do a thing. Whereas when we allow ourselves to play, to set that inner child free… we break the barrier and convention and find we can do that thing. Deep, huh?
We paused from this to see the gorgeous ascent of the Moon, starting at the low horizon behind the trees as a rusty blood red colour (a bloody sun and a bloody moon, hmmm…) and rising high and glorious as she became the silver goddess reflected in the water.
Strider revealed (in his lit-up wizards hat, which reminded one of something out of the Unseen University)
that he had found some more to a story of folklore from Lincolnshire regarding the Green Mist. This went on to a talk about fairies and Tatterhood saying “They don’t like being called fairies, they are called fey…” So… next question was asked by us to her: Have you encountered The Fey and what are they like?
Tatterhood revealed that she has communicated with them and they are not tiny Cottingsley (which is where the connection from Lincolnshire lore to fairies came from) dainty things with wings. Most are definitely humanoid in appearance, in fact most are human sized, but some can be huge or subtle, looking like a rock for instance (brilliant camoflauge when you think about it!). Tatty revealed a conversation with a rock Fey who was ever so puzzled about the fascination Humans have with mobile phones…
My question was a bit boring as it was all about organising what The Grove wanted to do about filling in the wholes of our calendar: Any takers for the Alban Elfed ceremony? Did we want to try and do the Grove’s own Mummers Play from last year again? It seems that the Mummers will only be done if we organise it in advance (I tried last year… I really did! LOL). Cymro surprised us all when he felt inspired to take the Autumnal Equinox ceremony. I am really looking forward to what he comes up with.
I’m also curious as to what ‘Cock Flavour Soup’ tastes like….
As we ate the last of our sizzled food and huddled around the fire as it got a bit nippy, Dumbledore raised a very good question: Compared to other traditions, how come we don’t leave offerings for the land? I had no answer for this. All I will say is that in future, perhaps it is something worth doing, it would mean we are then actually giving back to the land and makes sense to do. As an act of taking note, I gave the last of my beer Old Peculiar to the spirits of the land, the spirit of the water and to the sky and Moon.
During the Three Sacred Breaths, as we drew a breath for the Spirit of the Place, the ducks replied quite loudly. Offerings in future it is then!