October Meeting 2016- Drumming meditation journey

Meeting took place on Tuesday 11th October 2016. 

Arriving at Thorsson’s house, I tried to be good, I really did.  As he was hosting, Thorsson offered drinks and I had never seen him lost for words before.  I mean, there were words: “Well, I wasn’t expecting that.” In response to my request of a cup of tea.  The logic being we were going on a spiritual journey and I thought I’d save the alcohol until afterwards. After showing me his collection of mead, our Heathen member had fully convinced me a glass of Dark mead (soft, sweet and tasty) was definitely the way to go forward….. This was followed by a glass of Loki (soft, sweet and green!).  As any follower of this blog will account, I am not the Grove drunk, but I do enjoy the odd tipple and feel guilty if I decline any offers! 

There was a handful of us last night, myself and Thorsson of course, Danceswithweasels, Briseilid (leading the drumming), Cyberdragon, Teller & Vyvyan and Strider.  After catching up and managing to stop devouring Thorsson’s German ginger biscuits, we were finally able to calm ourselves down and found places to sit, relax, or even lie down.  The rhythm of the drum was soothing and helped to keep pace of the journey which started in a familiar place. A portal led us to a long avenue of trees where we met someone, who gave us a gift.  After roaming miles and miles we came to a boundary, that had another portal which took us to a totally different place.  Here we met a being who had a message for us, and we in turn gave a gift to for their message.  Behind us, the portal brought us back to the living room where we entered our bodies once again. 

All this Briseilid did with her drum and her voice helped shape the nature of our journey as well as what happened in it, but each of us had different experiences or found things that did/did not work/worked in an unexpected way. The beat did not offend me and I found it easy to go along with.

Perhaps it was the mead, perhaps it was the drumbeat, but I went deep and was the last to come out.  Yet I emerged feeling relaxed, calm if not a little floaty, probably because I felt reluctant to come back into my body again.    

As we ate and drank, I won the crown for the most tumbleweed moments in one night, but we joked and compared notes and shared with what we felt comfortable to do so.  Teller played some of his didgeridoo and Thorsson showed us the delights of an indoor Northern Lights display. 

Photo by travelyukon.com 

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Double Whammy: Lughnasadh and Eisteddfod 2016

Gifts and blessings of Lughnasadh, photo by Locksley2010. 

Ceremony took place on Sunday 31st  

Teller had made a request of the GOC and it was of asking if he could possibly have his initiation at a different occasion other than Samhain (when we normally do such things) as he won’t be around then due to a gig he’ll be doing at the same time.   This move would break from our normal tradition, so the initiated members discussed and voted for Teller’s request.  And seeming as we secretly conspired this to be done at Lughnasadh, it created something unique: a full member of the Grove done at Lughnasadh. 

Fortunately, the one running Lughnasadh was Teller’s wife, Vyvyan, who was more than happy to have Teller’s initiation take place on what was her first ever ceremony for the Grove. 

Lughnasadh is a strange celebration when you think about it, it’s about the first harvest and the last part of summer.  By this time, the night’s are becoming noticeably shorter and as a celebration, it feels we are saying goodbye to the Summer season…… Though this year, it appeared to be a rain season! But thankfully, come Lughnasadh and it wasn’t that bad. 

Vyvyan, wanted to focus on Lugh being the  Samildanach , he who is equally skilled in many arts and crafts.  And so, the invitation was given for us to present an offering as a symbol of our own individual crafts. This was also given with an offering of ale (wheat, darling) to the Earth. Or as appropriate, Lugh’s mother, Tailtiu.  We also shared strawberries (harvest, and YES it counts!) In an offering and sharing that reminded me of the sharing of water from the Robin of Sherwood Television Series (the bowl was passed around by Robin’s company with the phrase “May Herne Protect Us”. 

Alas, the slugs had found the strawberries when it came to the picnic so we let them have them.  

Vyvyan’s ceremony was beautiful, it had simplicity and reverence and allowed us all to contribute.  There was even a bit of theatrics involved with her script of Lugh and the Gatekeeper, being enacted by Dumbledore and Strider.  Vyvyan was playing King Nuada. 

Notes: Vyvyan can do a ceremony and we now are all aware of this. 

Dumbledore enjoyed his role of Gatekeeper so much, he kept doing this when ever folks needed to leave the circle to get their offerings….. Dear gods, what have we created!? 


Took place on Tuesday 9th August. 

 Our yearly evening of performance went on for its third cavalcade, Dumbledore hosted it and even opened up with a song from the Mikado…. Something about “Bugger the flowers of spring“. 

Vyvyan played us Carwash Blues by Jim Croce and did so on guitar and her voice like a silky breeze.  Later she gave us a rendition of Pleased To Meet You by Sisters3, after just noodling and strumming. 

Strider was next and began by telling the story of ‘The Devil Rides Out’ which he told us all last year, but as the story went on, he, me and Dumbledore assailed everyone with a taste of our Tales From The Fireside…. I must admit that I was a bit unsure as to whether or not Teller would like it, but he seemed to be laughing enough, so we must have done good.  

Danceswithweasels brought out the Saxophone and played two tunes by Stan Getz, these were Desafinado and Girl from Ipanema.  Apparently Dumbledore had requested some Jazz and Danceswithweasels wanted to oblige.  I’m glad she did as her playing brought a smooth calming quality. 

I gave a Shakespearean monologue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where Oberon tells of Puck his idea for getting his own back on Titania to distract her whilst he takes the Indian Child away.

Teller gave a rather interesting observation in that he compared Oberon to the Welsh Arawn and Puck to Pwll! Something I had never thought of! 

And Teller, keeping in theme with the Fey Folk, told us what he and I jokingly call: The Irish one about whether the Fair Folk will make it to Heaven on Judgement Day.

The rest of the evening saw us reading aloud from various books of stories and poems all of a folk tale nature, then we started playing about with Northern accents, becoz Shakespeare sahnds be’er wi’ it.  

Ashes joined us as a spectator this year, but promised us a representation of agony and blissful despair through the medium of modern interpretive dance…..   Just kidding! 

It was with puppets! 

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Double Whammy: June meeting & Alban Heruin 2016

Meeting took place on Tuesday 14th June 2016

Due to a great administritive cock-up by yours truly, we had to relocate our meeting to a pub, the White Lion in Beeston, Notts.   This gave us a good chance to socialise and even have some friendly debate (worship of deities and how, 10 mins on politics and then normal conversation resumed) as well as catching up and chilling out.

The White Lion has Brazilian owners and food, so when there was confusion over whose dish had arrived (plus, the waiter did call it the name of what I ordered) so I ate it…… to discover it was in fact Danceswithweasels dinner!  I repaid her by letting her have my one instead, once it arrived.

Being a little drunk at the bar, I was delighted to discover they sold cigars! Damn my Tinnitus for making me thing I heard the barman say they were £13 each….. I was charged £30! It was a bloody good cigar though.

Honorary Title: June meeting 2016: The Grove Herald Makes a Tit Out of Himself!


Pure indulgence....

Midsummer Misadventures.
Ceremony held on Sunday 20th June
June has been a month of rearranging plans, Alban Heruin was no exception.  The original MC had to pull out for personal reasons and having volunteered to fill in, I had to move the GOC ceremony to the Sunday as I was leading the ceremony for another group on the Monday.  This meant only four of us could attend: One was recovering from an operation, one was coming home from Sweden (hope you had a good time, Tatterhood! X), one had come home to find her electronics had blown due to a fallen tree cutting powerlines, two were ill and a few were celebrating Father’s Day (quite right too!- I knew there was a reason we originally said Monday).

So, me, Cthulhudruid, Greenfingers and Teller endeavoured to make sure the Grove of the Corieltauvi were present for Midsummer…… As the rain fell.  No matter what the weather, our Grove is a beautiful and serene place and it was actually good just to be surrounded by the trees and long grass.

Having moved house that week, I had little time to think of an elaborate ceremony, so drawing inspiration from the Druid Animal Oracle, I went with the Bee (reversed) card about knowing my place and celebrating the hard work.  I worked with good ole’ alcohol and tobacco: mead for the blessing of the Sun, and toasting achievements accomplished this year so far.  My cigar as a gift of peace and pure indulgence as well as sharing all our thoughts on the Solstice and what it meant for us individually.

Our soggy boots were badges of honour, we trampled the grass to make our circle, the small fire spat in the rain and flared at the mead (for there was mead and it was good) then died out as the ceremony reached its end.  There was fellowship in our small company and the blessing of rain was all around us.  Sunshine? Pah! Blue skies? Don’t make me laugh! You can keep your dry solstice celebrations and shove them up your chakras! We embrace nature in all of her forms……

….though I did enjoy an nice warm drink once I was tucked up in my warm, dry duvet that night.

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Oak and Ash – The living legend.

Duir and Nuinn combined

As you all will have seen by now the centre piece of the Corieltauvi Grove Symbol is the Ogham fidha Duir and Nuinn, or Oak and Ash. Their symbolic use within our Grove Sigil can be found in this article: Symbol of the Grove
Which is also somewhere in the Grove blog

However, little did I know until tonight, whilst discussing Solstice plans with a friend, that there is a living embodiment of the combined Duir/Nuinn characters in a conjoined tree near Earl Shilton in Leicestershire (approx 15 miles from where I live). The Oak and Ash have been growing together for the best part of 200 years and essentially have formed into a single tree.

You can read the full story and the folk tales here:

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Poetry Please! – Grove May Meeting

art changes everything

Poetry Please!

May’s meeting was hosted by Taleteller & Vyvyan.

Looking forward to “Inspired Language for Poetry and Storytelling” I along with 2 other hardy souls set forth to find Taleteller and Vyvyan ‘s abode.  A warm welcome awaited and after the now usual greetings and joviality we made a determined start.

Taleteller led us through a number of word games which were very effective at leading us to look and many everyday objects in a completely different way, and soon radiators became ‘Fire mazes’, and pictures as Windows on a parallel universe.  We pushed the boundaries a little further and became small animals describing objects around us in similar circum-abstract ways.  Things were really hotting up now and this is the point we moved to the surreal with Dumbledore painting a picture of writing poetry while under strange chemically induced states of mind!  This led to a further discussion asking ‘What is poetry?’, to which I still have no idea.

Taleteller manfully pulled us back on track and we worked with our new found ability applied to folk tales and similar stories of legend.  A break was well earned and we retired to sample some delicious Frittata, bread and cheese, washed down with equally lovely refreshments.  Further unscripted discussion took in circuitously the demise of night clubs, what today’s youth get up to, and the beauty of books.  Unusually Dr Who and aliens were not mentioned!

We returned to work with the energy and determination of coiled springs.  Producing at the conclusion a set of individual Haiku.

All in all a wonderful and enlightening evening in the best traditions of the grove.  Many thanks to both hosts for a memorable meeting.

Signed, the under assistant deputy in waiting to our beloved Herald who was away sunning himself.

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Beltane 2016

Ceremony performed on Sunday 1st May.


The Grove Hearth... Before we got to it.

The one thing about the lighter months is that we actually get to see the Grove in the last hours of daylight.  The grass was long and even the bluebells were out, all heralding the promise of summer.  Even Briseilid’s missing watch was found in the earth.


Corieltauvi bluebells of wrath. Fear them!

The rain from earlier made it difficult for the flames to take, but with great persistence and team effort, it caught and our fire was ready for the ceremony.

Greenfingers had volunteered for his first leading of a ceremony and a grand job he did of it too!

Taking it directly from the OBOD sources, we went old school and had the union of the Goddess and the Green Man.  There was no ritual hanky panky however (we ain’t that kinda Grove!) but any deity based bowowchikkawow was purely symbolic in the poetry read by the representative.  For the Goddess, we had Briseilid and for the Green Man, we had Strider (complete in camouflage).  And together they led a dance between the two fires to purify ourselves and celebrate Spring going into Summer.  I even used my old Morris dance stepping to be part of the dance.
After the dance, words were given on the conceiving of the Mabon as the child within and how we should nurture this being within us all.
There were even gifts of tulips and Hawthorne and yes, the fire was leapt too!

Well done Greenfingers for a stirling celebration of bringing in the May!


A circle not of our design.

All pics by locklsey.

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Beer! March meeting 2016


Meeting took place on Tuesday 12th March, 2016.

“The gods gave us alcohol so we can cope with our mortality”- Danceswithweasels on talking about Gilgamesh in his search for immortality.

We’d been trying for years to get Danceswithweasels to do a talk for the GOTC and she’s managed to get out of it so far, that is, until we pinned her down during the January AGM and got her to talk about the cultural significance of beer…. It was her idea, we just wanted to hear it.

Mixing her talk with storytelling, it made for an interesting session.  Where we learned that yeast (important for the fermentation process) wasn’t just treated as an ingredient, but as a creature in its own right.  Almost like a pet if you will.

The talk began with humankind and bees, because of honey being a natural source of sugar- the food of yeast.  Danceswithweasels went on to explain that mead was originally made with heather honey, which often came with a ‘fog’ that had psychotropic side effects.    No wonder the Scandinavians wrote about the ‘Mead of Inspiration’!
Also, Heather mead often came as thick and gelatinous and choc filled with protein, so much so that the Germanic people had a saying that a mead drinker could become just as strong as a meat eater….. That kicks Guinness’ arse right away!

The yeast was treated with respect and it was a custom of the Norse to give a portion of yeast on a stick to a newlywed couple so that each house hold could craft their own ales.  In fact, German law today still prohibits the transference of yeast out of the country as they take their yeast brewing very seriously…… That never stopped a certain Mr. Carlsburg from smuggling some out mind you.

Danceswithweasels gave us the stories of how Odin stole the Mead of Inspiration, and by doing so accidentally gave it to Humankind.  There was also the Finnish poem saga of the quest for certain ingredients to be be given to the ‘virgin with the dainty hands’.  This took some doing as it was a very long poem that often repeated itself with mnemonic devices; think of it as the Beowulf of the brewing instruction world and all the main characters were women and woodland creatures!

It appears that cultures the world over have discovered how to make alcohol in it’s myriad of forms, some including saliva to help the fermentation process.  And in almost every culture the making of the alcohol, in all its aspects, was seen as a reverential act.

And yes….. There were samples! Which Mr and Mrs Chutney enjoyed for allowing us to use their home for the meeting.  I might have enjoyed one, or two…. Alright more than several!

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