Eisteddfod 2015 (Took place on Tuesday 10th March):
Following the success of last year’s Eisteddfod, and by popular demand, we held another night of stories, poems, music and puppets. Even Lady Morgana and D2 were able to come along and enjoy the evening.
Vyvyan and Taleteller were our gracious hosts, allowing us into their lovely home for a night of entertainment.
Once we were settled in and got food we were ready to begin.
And once the puppets came out, the night began with jokes about fisting and ‘spreading the love’. I would facepalm, but even though I didn’t start it, I did partake of this conversation.
Vyvyan kicked off proceedings with her acoustic rendition of Steve Goodman’s ‘City of New Orleans’. She did it beautifully and apparently has been criticised about her playing… Whoever did that to her deserves to be shot. In the knee. I’m not just saying this, she was brilliant!
Dumbledore was next, he brought some manouverable friends with him: Rasputin the Wolf, Quoth the Raven (I got to play with him for a while), Draco the (smaller) Dragon, Smaug the Dragon (greater) and Wol the Owl.
Dumbledore told us the story of ‘The Man Dressed as the Devil’ an amusing tale about a Mummer’s player who everyone believes is the Devil because of his costume.
Danceswithweasels played us a Pink Floyd track, then told us the real-life story of how her family became adopted by Spike, an emaciated Tom who grew to be a huge fluffy boy cat and feline bruiser!
Briseilid shared with us her words on the Northern Lights, or as they were called in this telling: Revontulet or ‘Fox Fires’ in Finnish. Not quite a poem and not a story. It was a painting of words speaking of frost and the beautiful, if spectral Aurora Borealis.
I told the story of Yallery Brown, a tale from Lincolnshire telling the dangers of contact with the ‘Fairy Folk’. I had to get Strider to give some examples of the Lincolnshire dialect… Didn’t understand a word!
Taleteller lives up to his name and gave us the Welsh story of Gwythyr ap Greidawl and Gwyn ap Nudd, both fighting for the hand of the Lady, Creiddylad. It was the first time I saw him in action and was blown away with how he engaged his audience and took us all into the realms of Arthurian myth.
Strider, last but not least, told us the Irish story of ‘The Soul Cages’ involving the strangest creature with the head of a fish, a humanoid body and wearing a hat as well as smoking a pipe!
It was a really good night and it was a shame I was sooooo tired as I felt I couldn’t take it in properly. I’m already looking forward to the next one.
Alban Eilir 2015 (Took place on Friday 20th March):
What a day! The Equinox, a solar eclipse AND and super-new moon all on the same date. I don’t know much about astrology, but from what little I do know, Friday was a whopper! Apparently when I got to the Grove, Greenfingers told me he had to have a word with a van blocking the gate… the driver and friend were using our entrance as a dogging spot!
It was a cool and crisp night, the stars were out and we had the pleasure of having both Taleteller AND Vyvyan attend the ceremony. About which, there seems to be a bit of a thing in our ceremonies: when calling the quarters, some of our callers are following the pattern of calling for peace in the quarters. Whilst not a bad thing, it makes an interesting observation.
Being a special time, I wanted us to perform a ceremony that involved working with the Life-force of the universe, to absorb the creative potential of the equinox, to receive inspiration into the subconscious from the currents of the solar and lunar event. And of course to tap into the energised stillness of the New Moon. So I made this a ceremony about drawing the concept of Nwyfre from Earth and sky. I was even inspired by a separate ceremony I was invited to on the day, so I borrowed the act of drawing the rune of the Sun on another’s forehead. In so doing, I was inspired to say the words “Strider, may you be blessed on this day and on this night.”
Strider, after this part of the ceremony, told us of something he saw while we were drawing on Nwyfre and putting the call out to the universe for us to get in touch with our own personal power. He saw life as what could be best described as a ‘Toilet Roll’. Where you could imagine a straight and pristine sheet as being a memory, a retaining of good experiences, whereas if we come across a bad one, we can tear it out and flush it away. He put it way more eloquently than that, but I thought it a very good example of an insightful metaphor.