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JULY
Here we are in high summer, and I'm preparing for my th
ird talk on Druidry for the Glaston Centre of Learning:
The yearning for connection: Druidry's mythic resonance.
I have enjoyed preparing and delivering this series; there have been stimulating questions and a great audience on each occasion.
Find the details in the events column on the home page

Grove news is that we've found a great yurt on the Somerset levels to hold our between-festival meetings in.


JUNE

The OBOD midsummer gathering in Gastonbury was a joy as usual, and especially exciting for me as I'd timed my booklaunch for the Friday.
thanks to the shop full of Druids who attended and ensured that Labyrinth Bookshop sold out by the end of the evening!
04-IMG_3790

The robed
bear, I was told, is Princess Mistletoe and has graced many august Druid occasions and celebrations. She arrived courtesy of a fellow Druid who facilitates annual rituals for the Mistletoe Foundation, and I'm pleased that, as royalty never carry money, one of her ladies in waiting bought a copy of the book for her.
www.mistletoefoundation.co.uk/






MAY

Oh, I'm still catching up with the news... more filling in of the gaps very soon.


APRIL

MARCH

FEBRUARY




Early in January we took down the community Christmas tree from St John's. It was our second year of contributing, and I chose the title 'Awen; the flowing spirit of inspiration' as appropriately Druidic yet referencing an aspect that every religion and spirituality would be comfortable with - and as there are over 50 faiths represented in the Glastonbury community, that's a real consideration.

Then  we wassailed the GLASTONBURY ABBEY ORCHARD - again, our second year, and this time we built on the success of the first. producing a poster that in turn produced some members of the public who sang  lustily and joined us in the blessings and the toast.

In the last week of January, I took the opportunity to call in at  the beautiful Glastonbury Reception Centre and Sanctuary.
http://www.unitythroughdiversity.org/the-sanctuary.html
This meditative space really speaks to all spiritually minded people and accords well with the Druidry approach, as the images and materials are natural without allegiance to any specific faith path: it allows the visitor mental and spiritual space for their own thoughts. Our Grove were proud to make a small contribution to this initiative, and to see the beautifully painted eggs which mark each contribution.


  -



Archive news:
I've been g
lad to receive the French translation of my article 'Does God exist'. Thank you Dany, for a great job which is now in the OBOD archive.


After  the great reaction to our Druid Christmas Tree at St John's Church, High Street Glastonbury, we took it down on 12th night.It was called 'Tree of Life', included Druidic Ogham leaves and Awen signs, and drew many admiring glances.
Thanks to Jacki for the  photo.
And that's the round up of the news....


2013_12_05_4589




2013
August - Lughnasadh celebration
The Ash Grove met to celebrate the 2013 first grain harvest on the outskirts of Glastonbury with ritual drama, music and song, bread and barley wine. The guardian ash tree and the small jidden residents were honoured later with the remains of the feast, and the weather blessed us too. A very happy occasion: happy Lughnasadh to all.


May/June 2013 Working with trees

A small study group will be working with the qualities of three trees important to Druids, to workshop ideas and how we can access their beneficial aspects in our lives.
For more on Druid Treelore, go to

http://www.druidry.org/druid-way/teaching-and-practice/druid-tree-lore


Sing for the Trees; Wells, Somerset. Earth Healing Day, April 2013

A wonderful event in Wells recreation ground, about which I'll post very soon. Meanwhile, thanks to all who came, for the joy, the spirit, the fin and the harmonies. It was wonderful.

Tree planting at Bride's Mound,

Glastonbury February 2013

The Druids, the Oak and a number of Holes

Sunday 3rd Feb: Imbolc afternoon and what the Irish call ‘a soft day’, and we were gathered where x marked the spot on the fields of Bride’s Mound.

An oak sapling. Druids, a hole, spades, trowel,  bronze knife, offerings and a Brides’ Cross.

Each had a back story, of course. The oak had travelled with us in its half barrel when the years of exile had ended with our moving to Wells seven years ago. It had grown fast and been pleading for a new home for over a year.

The seven Druids are an OBOD group who have been celebrating the season’s turn by the Mound for nearly a year now, invited to make a ceremony of the planting.

The hole? Two of us had walked the fields with Jaine, been advised by Miranda, had checked preliminary digs whilst on the Friend’s Imbolc pilgrimage walk.  Placing the holes – plural - had taken the previous week; this was the third tryout, and the only one in the waterlogged fields not to have filled with water by the next day.

And so the place was selected by the land:  a corner of the third field, looking through to Bride’s Mound and the distant Tor. Near to what Serena had told us was the Neolithic ceremonial way from the ford into the Sacred Isle. Perfect.

Before and during the planting ceremony we kept in mind the associations. Our oak resonated with Brie’s shrine at Kildare – the Church of the Oak. It was taking its place in history, remembering the ancient oak avenue that once marched to the Tor. In honour of Bride, we libated the root ball with milk and with water; and added home made tree essences from Gog and Magog. And with each trowel full of earth, we added our wishes for strength, health, beauty and grace. With a bronze knife, its space was protected. When it was planted, we circled it, to signify its strong growth through the turning of the seasons, singing an oak chant. And lastly, we held hands around it, a Grove of Oaks ourselves, supporting it with our strength and care, and placed a Bride’s Cross by its trunk.

And one of us put that into action the next day – after a sleepless night imagining ravening deer chewing it to a stump – replacing our netting with a proper tree guard to protect it whilst it grows. A new tree has arrived in the Friend’s fields; mute witness to all the wonder of life in this sacred place, through the years to come.

Penny Billington

15.2.13


 
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