Saturday, 16 May 2009


Kd Lang sings Leonard Cohen a marriage made in heaven.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

If A Dog Were Your Teacher

If a dog were your teacher, you would learn stuff like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
And MOST of all... When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently
--Author Unknown

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Stonehenge at Summer Solstice

There has been much talk and argument on who has the right to say who can attend ceremonies at Stonehenge lately. My view is that anyone can attend but with one proviso, and that is those that do should do so with respect. Drug use and getting p##### does not in my opinion show respect neither does using the temple as a urinal. Summer solstice although a time of rejoicing is more than just a common place party if that's all you think it is stay away. Certain people say that makes me elitist perhaps it does but then when I was a Christian did the fact I did not want drunks at midnight Mass at Christmas make me elitist?

Friday, 8 May 2009

Love songs

So while were on the subject of love songs this is my all time favourite, "Who knows where the time goes" by Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention. Sandy had such a haunting voice and tragically died aged 31 from a brain haemorrhage.


I love it when I discover something new. I have known the song Thunder Road for what seems to be forever and consider it to be one of the great love songs. Then I found this version of the Boss and Melissa Etheridge (someone of who I know absolutely nothing) and magic is created.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Daily Om: Whale Medicine

Whale Medicine
Spirit Of The Sea

Native Americans teach us that the Great Spirit speaks to us through our animal brethren. The whale is one animal that we can learn from. Whales have existed for over 50 million years and are considered to be record-keepers who possess knowledge of the past.

It is through the vibrations of their unique sound that they release this ancient wisdom to us. At the same time, their sound carries across such great distances that whales can enter the realm of the future where they can acquire knowledge of what is to come. Every whale sings a song, and they never repeat the same pattern when they sing their song. Since whales must be conscious at all times in order to breathe, they cannot afford to fall into an unconscious state for too long. Never completely asleep, their brain has constant access to the collective unconscious where all answers lie. Whales float peacefully, secure in the ocean environment that supports and sustains them.

You can learn from the wisdom of whales by remembering to express what’s uniquely yours. Each of us has a unique "song" or gift to offer the world. Your song is meant to be sung by you and heard by others. No one else can sing this song but you, and your song is medicine for the healing of the planet. Like whales, you can choose to access information about the future when you go into a meditative state. Whales teach us to look at where we came from and where we are headed. Knowing that our past helps shape our future, we can remember to make positive choices regarding our lives, the environment, and our world. Like whales, we can remember to stay awake and actively engaged in a universe that supports and sustains us. When we express ourselves and share our unique gifts, we add our wisdom and vibration to the planet.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Revelation time.

I went outside at work last night and was taken aback. I was stuck by this overwhelming sense of completeness . The sky was full of stars and seemed to be infinite. Then there was the smell as if I could smell things growing on top of all this was a stillness as if everything was on hold. How long did this revelation last? All of two minutes, but those two minutes sum up being a Druid for me.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Info onMaiden Castle

Maiden Castle (Dorset)


Among the largest and most complex of Iron Age hillforts in Europe, Maiden Castle’s huge multiple ramparts, up to 6m high, enclose an area equivalent to 50 football pitches (18 ha), protecting several hundred residents. Excavations in the 1930s and 1980s revealed the site's 4,000-year history, reaching its apogee at a time of inter-tribal rivalry in the 2nd century BC. They also produced evidence of an extensive late Iron Age cemetery. Many of the burials had suffered horrific injuries in attacks or skirmishes, perhaps at the time of the Roman invasion. The name maiden was once believed to derive from the Brythonic mai dun, meaning great hill.

The site is maintained by English Heritage, and information panels guide you around the hillfort and illustrate its long history.

Open at all reasonable times of the day, all year round.

History to the present day

Hill Fort:

Excavations at the site have dated construction of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure back to around 4000 BC. An extensive bank and ditch as well as a bank barrow burial mound are evident from this period at the eastern end.

However most of the works at the site date from around 450 to 300 BC, when an earlier Iron Age hillfort dating to c. 600 BC was extended and enlarged with three new ditch-and-bank earthworks built creating the main fortifications in a set of three concentric rings with offset entrance points. The castle is very big.

Centuries after its construction the fort was probably occupied by the Durotriges, a Celtic tribe at the time of the Roman invasion. The site may have been attacked and invested by the 2nd and the 8th legion under Vespasian in AD 43. Mortimer Wheeler created a vivid account of the fall of the hill fort in his report following the excavations of 1934-1937. Later examination of his records by Niall Sharples has largely discounted this interpretation and it is no longer thought that the fort was besieged or violently taken by the Romans.

20th century English composer John Ireland (1879-1962) visited the area and later wrote Mai-Dun, a symphonic rhapsody evoking something of the prehistoric character of the fortifications, the people who lived there, and their lifestyle.

Roman Temple:

The Romans occupied the site but concentrated their efforts in the area around Durnovaria (now Dorchester) and the nearby Poundbury Hill. There was a large scale reconstruction of the site, just before AD 400. A small Romano-British temple was built in the eastern half of the hill fort during the late Roman pagan revival and the denfences were refurbished to form it temenos. The temple adjoined the site of an abandoned, but apparently remembered, circular Iron Age shrine and seems to have been used for the worship of a number of gods including Diana, Minerva and Taurus Trigaranus. It consisted of the usual sanctuary or cella surrounded by an ambulatory. A small rectangular structure, perhaps for the priest, stood alongside. The temple did not last long and the site was abandoned by the Romans soon afterwards. It was not re-occupied and remained deserted from then on.

Maiden Castle

We went for a walk up Maiden Castle yesterday. It's such an evocative place you can almost see the ancestors there. My spirit is always lifted by a visit there especially by the song and sight of Sky larks, Maiden castle being on of the places in Dorset where you are guaranteed to see and hear them. It is such a shame they are becoming such a rare sight today.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

The Alder


Ogham letter: F

Ogham name: Fearn

Celtic tree month: mar18th to ap14th.


The alder grows to a height of approximately sixty to seventy feet with a girth of twelve to fifteen feet. Juvenile trees are conical in shape rather like fir trees but as it matures its crown becomes more open and straggly. The leaves of the Alder are roughly round in shape, pointed where they meet the stem and slightly flattened at the other. In colour the leaves are a dark glossy green. There is no autumnal colour so to speak, the leaves just get darker and darker till they fall as, sometimes as late as December.

The Alder has male and female catkins on the same tree, the female catkins look like small cones which stay on the tree all winter.


The leaves of the Alder make an excellent poultice for all sorts of swellings and inflammations. This could be because the Alder is reputed to be able to balance fire (inflammations) and water (swellings) it is said placing Alder leaves in work boots and socks helps tired and aching feet, I wonder about this as I would think this to be jolly uncomfortable. Alder bark made into pills was said to have been beneficial in the treatment of general digestive weakness and enteritis. A decoction of the bark was once used to try and stem internal bleeding. The same decoction could be used as a gargle.


There are several possible meanings to the name Alder. One being that it is derived from the Anglo-Saxon root Alor or Aler meaning reddish brown. This could be from the fact that the wood of the Alder which is a pale colour turns red when cut leading the wood cutters of old to think that the tree was bleeding.

Another possibility is that in Scandinavian myth the first women was created from the Alder, and in Irish myth the first man so possibly Alder simply means Elder.

The Alder is closely associated in mythology with all forms of resurrection. The alder is closely associated with the yearly cycle of the Sun in fact the spring equinox falls within the month of Alder, a time when the power of the Sun is restored to us.

The Alder is known as a tree which is the King of the Fairies and as such carried people of into the otherworld. This other world thought pattern is carried on in that the bird most associated with the Alder is the Raven. As white birds such as the Stork became synonymous with birth so the Raven was associated with death and the otherworld. It is interesting then to find that the Deities most thought of in respect of the Alder, such as Saturn, Chronos and Bran for the Gods, and the Morrigan for the Goddess are also Raven deities.


The Aspen

The Aspen, or Poplar, can grow to a height
Of 100 feet (30 m) in some parts , although
It is more normally around 60 feet (20 m).
It is also known as the Quaking or Shivering Aspen, from the way in which its branches and leaves will move in even the slightest breeze. In the Autumn the leaves turn a bright yellow. Separate trees bear the light-brown male, and the green female, catkins. Its bark contains salicin and populin, and is useful in the treatment of fever, as a tonic and to ease urinary problems.
The Aspen is a tree of knowledge, particularly self-knowledge. It is also a symbol of achievement in combining physical and mental understanding, and of achieving personal humility. In the Celtic tradition the Aspen is linked to Scathach, the female warrior who trained Cuchulain and bore his son. The Celts used the wood of the Aspen for shield-making. It is said that to burn Aspen is to invite ill luck and sickness into the home. It was also thought that the tree could never be struck by lightning. An Aspen growing in the garden will protect the house against thieves. Use Aspen wood in anti-theft spells; keep a small piece of the wood in your car to protect it. The Aspen also has the power to increase eloquence, so place a leaf under the tongue to clarify the mind and facilitate communication. Add the buds or catkins to incense to attract money. Aspen used to be added to flying ointment, and such a mixture can facilitate astral projection and otherworld experiences.
"Stand up straight,
You've earned the right."
~Kate West~

Elders Meditation of the Day

Elders Meditation of the Day

"Everything really is equal. The Creator doesn't look at me any better than He looks at the trees. We're all the same."

--Janice Sundown Hattet, SENECA

Sometimes humans think we are the center of the Universe. Sometimes we think we are above or better than other people or things. The Great Spirit made a set of Laws and Principles by which all things should live. Everybody and everything lives by the same Laws. We are all made of atoms just like the trees. The life force in the middle of the atom is the life force of the Great Mystery. It is the same for everything. We are all equal in the eyes of the Creator.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Lullaby by W.H.Auden

Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While an abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit's carnal ecstasy.

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry:
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of welcome show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find our mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness find you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love.

Now This is How You Play the Bodhran

Self Worth

This is hard for me to admit but I have issues about self worth, they are not as bad as they were when I was in my teens, age seems to have brought about some sense of freedom in this area. I am less likely to base my self worth on what people think of me than before, but I still catch myself thinking in the old way sometimes.

A case in point is my poetry web page on witchvox. I look there and see that in the two years it has been in existence over 32,000 people have read something that I have written and I am chuffed to bits at this. But the old me creeps in and at the back of my mind I ask why. I don't want to sound as if I am blowing my own trumpet here but I know when I have written something that is good (we are always are own best critics) but accepting that others might agree with that assumption comes hard sometimes.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Lazy Days

Just for you MoonFrog.

Lazy Days.

Lazy hazy sunlit day,
Bees hovering over
Earth toned wallflowers
And purple lavender
Drunk with the scent
Of Summers colour.
While my cat slumbers
In the midday heat
Dreaming of birds that whirl
In the blue soaked sky.
Then at days dusky end
I sit listening to the drone
Of bees returning to
the hive sounding
like squadrons of planes
returning to their base.
Then my cat, charged with
Sun stored energy
Wakes, stretches,
And goes on the prowl.
While I sleepy
From the days heat
Sit and ponder.

Pangur-ban 24/04/2008

New Name

I have changed the name of my blog, I have not been overly happy with Bakers and Bards but it has served a purpose till I could come up with a better one. So with out further ado welcome to "The Way Through The Forest" Much better for a Druids blog.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Gwers 5

This is where for me it all starts to come together. To a great extent the previous teachings were almost like a history lesson, which of course is what they were meant to be. But how could I relate them to my circumstances at the beginning of the twenty first century and here in this Gwers we have the link between then and now and it is Mysticism.

It is this mystical view of life that forges the link from the Proto Druids down through the millennia to the Druid of the 21st century. The phrase in Gwers5 “The world of spirit transcends time” says it all to me, when I enter my grove I enter a place that is outside of time where anything is possible. And that means that when I meet the Horned God there in one of his many guises it is a meeting that is outside of reality. To some this will be classed as fantasy or wishful thinking, but mysticism transcends reality.

All the questions that the mind throws up such as do the Gods exist? Is there such a thing as a spiritual connection to the land? Can we communicate with trees? All these questions when viewed from the mystical viewpoint in my opinion are answerable in the affirmative. Again and it is only my opinion that mysticism transcends the laws of physics.

Thursday, 2 April 2009


I have been putting something off and that is starting my Journal for the Bardic grade. Well no more as I have started it today.

The time honoured way is to do this is in a hand written book I suppose but my handwriting is appalling, even I have trouble reading it. So I have decided to do this in word and save it as a document. I must remember to back it up on a disc regularly though.

Actually it will be quite therapeutic I feel to have somewhere to put down my thoughts, hopes and dreams in a place only I can see.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009


Well here it is my entry for the short poem category in OBOD'S message board Eisteddfod.


Silently owls, nights phantoms hunt
Along hedgerows which lie as yet
Untouched by the suns effulgent rays,
All is shrouded in shades of grey.

Hunting for scurrying mice foraging
Among the hedgerows undergrowth.
Lured out by natures burgeoning growth,
Unaware of the death that awaits them.

Perched above in Hawthorn boughs
Pendulous with snow white blossom.
Bedewed with mornings tears
Shed by natures gentle heart.

But this Beltaine morn the sun will return
And shine on Owl and Mouse alike.

Pangur-ban Beltaine 2009

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Mirabilia designs

Here is a link to my favourite cross stitch design company, and guess what they have lots of mermaid designs.

Friday, 27 March 2009


I have just been listening to Dvorack's cello concerto and my mind went back to Mr Clayton.

Mr Clayton was my music teacher at secondary school who thought it was a waste of time teaching a bunch of adolescent boys musical theory, so what he did instead was to try and instil an appreciation for music in us. What that entailed was him bringing in his beloved classical music albums and letting us listen to them.

Did it work? In my case yes. I still remember him playing us Grieg's piano concerto and from that opening drum roll I was hooked. So much so that at fourteen the first album I bought was that same concerto and it still moves me to this day.

Every so often he would play us something that was challenging like Mahler. I remember saying to him it was awful and boring, his answer was look for the emotion. I wish he was around for me to tell him that forty years later I have found the emotion and now wonder how I could live without Mahler's music.

So thank you Mr Clayton, you did not waste your time.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Philip Carr-Gomm

This is for Raspberry to show what a Druid spiritual leader is really like. His name is Philip Carr-Gomm the chosen chief of OBOD.

Monday, 23 March 2009

A Druids Word is His Bond.

Am I so wrong in expecting that when a Druid says something then he should stick to it. This does not seem to be the case when it is the self styled King Arthur Pendragon who is on a protest at Stonehenge.

This is a protest at his perceived mismanagement of Stonehenge by English Heritage. When he started his protest he said he would not enter the temple of Stonehenge until English Heritage mended their ways. This being the case why was he seen in the temple on the morning of the equinox.

I believe that a Druids word should be his bond obviously the King feels differently. If a Christian acted this way we would rightly say he or she was a hypocrite what then of Druids.

I have this thing for mermaids I think it could be that they are beings that inhabit two realms.
Of course it could all be down to Daryl Hannah in Splash.

Alban Eilir Ritual

Keeping the Mystery by Damh the Bard

Keeping the Mystery

snowdropsI’ve seen a lot of people recently talking about the need for proof, evidence and fact when related to Spiritual experience. There was something about this need for fact and evidence that was getting me down, and I just couldn’t put my finger on why. Then, whilst I was away on holiday I was reading a book that included the character Dion Fortune. The book was called The Chalice and was set in modern-day Glastonbury. It was a Glastonbury ghost story, and a great yarn to boot. In the book I found one of the characters feeling the same way as me, and he expressed it beautifully. He simply said, “Don’t destroy the mystery”. Simple.

See, to me, the Mystery is the Quest - be that for the Grail, the Awen, Faerie, Earth energies, it is The Quest. Would I REALLY want complete proof about UFOs? Nessie? Bigfoot? Ghosts? The Afterlife? …. Gods? If proof was found the Mystery would die, and it is The Mystery that has inspired poets, artists, musicians, songwriters, sculptors, writers, to create such wonders as to live up to its power. Yeats, Blake, the Classical Pagan Philosophers, Mozart, Shakespeare, Leonardo were all inspired by the Mystery. Although not in their league I understand the artist’s need for the Mystery.

If I want to experience the Mystery, I need to remain open to it, But when it feels like you are surrounded by the noise of people demanding proof, evidence, fact, it is easy to lose the Voice of the Mystery. It is delicate, like a fresh leaf in Spring that unfurls before the end of Winter’s Frosts. Preserve the Mystery, feel it, experience it, love it, but never set out to destroy it

Saturday, 21 March 2009



Blossom flies in flurries like
confetti, thrown by the Gods.
Wildly celebrating the union of
the young Mabon and his Lady.
While yellow trumpets of
new born Daffodils fanfare
the news that Spring is here
and Winters grasp is broke.
Icy streams run once more
growling over gravel beds
soon to be graced by
Salmon home from the sea.
Bare trees burst to life
with a soft green mantle
covering naked branches with
leaves like a whispered prayer.
And amid this newness of life
my heart dances.

Pangur-ban 2008

Thursday, 19 March 2009


My second lot of Gwers came yesterday. I did not realise how much pleasure could be gained by seeing a nondescript brown envelope laying on the hall mat.

Pagans and conspiracy

What is it with Pagans and conspiricy theories? Why are so many of us willing to believe any old thing without proof?

The latest one is to do with the regulation of the sell and production of herbal products The scare story goes like this.

"You know they are trying to ban the sell of herbal remedies don't you" "

You won't even be able to cook at home using garlic" "

And as for growing your own herbs for ritual use forget it"

Then along comes the voice of reason someone who is a Pagan and a health practitioner who uses herbal remedies who says "Actually this will only apply if you are involved in mass marketing, not small scale business" Ah yes the retort is but watch these videos, which turn out to offer opinion without any sort of back up fact. Which is the conspirators stock in trade. I just wish the Pagan world would get a brain sometimes.

I mean shock news folks Atlantis was probably not an advanced culture populated by aliens with nuclear energy.

There again George Bush senior may well worship a giant owl.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Green Man Cross Stitch

This is my finished Green Man cross stitch, fifty five greens in total. I hope you like him.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Such sad news today,at least twenty people killed in two gun incidents. When will we ever learn that guns only belong in the hands of professionals.

The sectarian violence in Northern Ireland is raising its head again. I know England has a lot to answer for in the situation there, and Churchill in particular, but we have to learn that violence is not and never can be the answer.

Jack in the Green

There is a song by Jethro Tull called Jack in the Green. Now Jack in the Green is a figure seen at Mayday festivals in England, he is a man covered in leaves and greenery and is meant to portray the Green Man. In the song it poses the question "Have you seen Jack in the Green" The lyrics pose the question can he be found in an urban setting. My answer is yes you just have to look a bit harder. It would not take long for nature to reclaim our towns and cities left to its own devices. So it may be a little harder to have a sense of your land in an urban setting but not impossible. This poem is about this

I am the spirit of the Green Man
The wildness of the green wood.

I am the snuffling of the Boar
Rooting for acorns on the forest floor.

I am the screeching of the Tawny Owl
Killing its prey.

I am the belling of the Stag
Heralding the dawn.

I am the mad march Hare
Running free through the green fields.


I am the weeds that push through
Their concrete covering.

I am the newly mowed lawn
On which children play.

I am the manicured garden hedge
Tamed and controlled.

I am the spirit of the Green Man
And you cannot control me.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

A Sight for Sore Eyes

A sight for sore eyes they were
a handful of jackdaws feasting
on blood red berries
till their cheeks bulged,
and I thought of You.

This mornings sunrise, whose
colours of red, pink and gold,
shone through the tree in my garden
Making it seem on fire,
and I thought of You

The three quarters full moon
a rich golden yellow, hanging,
in the sky, a hare captured on its face
as a reminder each time I see it,
and I thought of You.

May I do this often.

Pangur- ban Whitecat 25/10/2007

Why am I a Druid

Why am I a Druid? What does it mean to me to be one? I am a Druid because even as I sit here typing one story up I can feel the earth calling me through my feet.

To be a Druid is to be connected to all that surrounds. The sunrise and set. Trees, plants, rocks, animals and people there is no separation. This is the biggest truth of Druidism we are all one.

To be a Druid is to hurt with those who hurt. Laugh with those who laugh. To be a Druid is to feel others injustice and try to put it right.

To be a Druid is to have a sense of your land and your place in it.

To be a Druid is to honour your ancestors recent and ancient

To be a Druid is to honour the Deities of your land.

The one thing I have not said is to be a Druid is to perform magic, to many Druids all the above is magic.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Sacred Mists

I have cancelled my subsription to Sacred Mists, I could no longer justify paying fifteen pounds a month for something that I use as a forum.

I have no intention of completing my 1st degree or of even being a Wiccan so the time has come to move on.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

I have stolen Raspberries idea and posted a music player,on it are some tracks that I like, some that I cant live without and at least one that is still painful to listen to all these years later. Mor will be added I just have to resist filling it up with David bowie tracks, I could easily post the whole rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the spiders from mars album.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

It's Snowing

It's snowing Gret big snowflakes about an inch has fallen so far.
I want Spring! Waaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Friday, 27 February 2009

Folk Music

I have been thinking a lot lately about Paganism and music. What is Pagan and not? Is it just overtly Pagan musicians that make Pagan music?

I have this theory you see, I am a lifelong folk music lover and I see so much in English folk music that has Pagan overtones to it.

Even in the music that is not Pagan influenced there is something in the beat of it that says to me that this is music for me as a Pagan. The equivalent of a hymn in church.

Song of Awen by Damh the Bard

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

I Have my Mojo Back

I have my mojo back, and the poems are flowing again. Is it because I am working as a bard in training again? Who knows I am just grateful.

That night.

We walked
That night
On moonlit sand
White as ivory.
Our hearts sighing in time
With the suspiration
Of the waves.
Eternal love we pledged
That night,
Our hearts glittering as
Strongly as the stars
Shining in the firmament.
That night.
Then another night
We walked
The self same strand
Under the starry heavens
And I knew stars die,
Falling to the earth,
As did love
That night.

Pangur-ban 24/2/09

Monday, 23 February 2009


Blossom flies in flurries like
confetti, thrown by the Gods.
Wildly celebrating the union of
the young Mabon and his Lady.
While yellow trumpets of
new born Daffodils fanfare
the news that Spring is here
and Winters grasp is broke.
Icy streams run once more
growling over gravel beds
soon to be graced by
Salmon home from the sea.
Bare trees burst to life
with a soft green mantle
covering naked branches with
leaves like a vesper prayer.
And amid this newness of life
my heart dances.

Pangur-ban 2008

Sunday, 22 February 2009

The Silver Bough

The Symbolism of the Silver Bough:

So why the 'Silver Bough'?

A good question!

The Silver Branch is an important symbol in Celtic literature and culture, and a central theme of Celtic ‘shamanism’.
It is a musical branch, occurring in early surviving Celtic literature and folklore, laden with bells/magical birds/blossoms/apples/nuts/acorns,
often out of season, which combine to create the most beautiful and ethereal faery music,
lulling you into a healing sleep or enticing you to journey deep within or even beyond yourself…

It is also the hallmark or emblem of the Celtic poet: bronze, silver and gold branches all adorned with bells marked the different classes of poet.
It was shaken prior to storytelling, both to announce the beginning and also, perhaps, to alter the atmosphere…

The Silver Branch can also be seen as a passport into the Otherworld; a talisman almost always, in the stories, given to a mortal
by the Queen of the Otherworld or one of her Ladies to carry for safe travel and protection.

So the silver branch is very much a symbol of the Celtic Otherworld, calling us to explore this realm, which is a rich source of inspiration.
It is the initiatory call to adventure, to journey, to seek your truth.
It can be viewed as being a branch of the world tree, which is, of course, a way of bridging the worlds and travelling into other dimensions.
It has also been suggested that the silver branch may have been used in the Celtic lands as a rattle often is in other ‘shamanic’ cultures worldwide...

So, the silver bough branch is a great and inspirational symbol for the mythic arts!

© Susan Garlick of ‘DRAGONFLY MOON’ 2008

Friday, 20 February 2009

The Big Bad Wolf?

He was there again today, just watching
and waiting for me to acknowledge him.
Big Wolfy eyes glowing like molten gold,
full of timeless wisdom reaching out
from the spirit world.
As I gaze into those eyes I begin to see
what freedom means, the freedom of wildness.
I feel a change start in me a metamorphosis
my body merging with his bringing
a sense of freedom.
Let's run he says starting to bound away
across endless forests of the mind,
and I am lost, lost in the world of sound and scent
and the scurrying of little creatures.
But I am found as well, in him i find acceptance
the oneness and completeness of the pack.
All to soon its time to come to my senses and return.
This time is different though he leaves as well,
and comes with me as guide, protector and friend.


Open The Door

When I feel that a bit of the magic has gone from my life I play this. Enjoy.

This is not a live link so just cut and paste it.


I feel in a strange mood lately, introspective would be a good word for it. But it seems more than that. I am withdrawing from people (not those of us on blogger)I find the mists almost to much to handle at the moment and apart from journalling there, I am not doing much at all. I feel sort of detached.

What has caused this I ask myself? And the answer is I think starting the Bardic grade again. The Bardic grade is all about internal work and growth and it is this that is causing me to draw into myself. Maybe not such a bad thing.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Gwers One

I have been listening to the first Gwers and it all comes flooding back to me, the sheer joy of using my mind because make no mistake you will not go far in the training unless you do use it.
In the OBOD training there are no answers no right or wrong just what the teaching means to you. There are signposts to show the way but each individual has to come up with their own way through the forest

The first Gwers deals with initiation into the sacred grove and I have to decide whether to do it again. I am leaning towards doing it again as I think that this new start deserves it. I know that I was initiated as a Druid last year at Stonehenge, but this one is specific to the training.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A blessing for a new bard

A Blessing for a New Bard.

Step into the circle
in the wooded glade,
wide eyed with wonder;
sometimes afraid.

Greet the forest spirits,
who will guide you on your path,
the slender Birch will sing you
to your Bardic hearth.

Receive the gentle blessings
of the sacred in the land,
find your own way
as a Bard to stand,

with others in fellowship,
in the living stream
of wisdom passed down
through the ancestors’ dream.

Learn from the elements,
earth, water, air and fire,
working with the web
of your spiritual desire.

Feel the healing flowing,
to salve your soul and heart,
as through the Sacred Grove,
you feel your fears depart.

Step forth on a journey,
for some short; others long,
weaving the shape
of your own Bardic song.

Gather at the embers,
of each live-long day,
smoor the fire, then kindle
your spark upon its way.

Dance with joy at being,
a feather on the air,
and find a new beginning
with your initiatory dare;

And the web will stretch and hold you
as the gateway opens wide,
and the Order reaches out
to embrace you with pride.
Written by Cradlehag

Well this is new.

I am so not used to this but I shall learn. So why Bakers and Bards? Well I am a Baker and I am a Bard. To be exact I am learning with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and I am on the Bardic grade.

I have been a poet all my life well since my teens anyway but I did not write for a long time after someone told me I was no good when I was in my twenties. It was only about four years ago that I started to write again at the instigation I believe of the Goddess Brighid the patron of poets.

I have created this blog to record my Bardic journey and all comments will be greatfully recieved.