Around the Cauldron · Pagans Down Under

The Awen I sing

First and foremost, I wish to extend my thanks and gratitude to the Wind Harp Seed Group of Adelaide, for coordinating their first Druid Camp over the Easter break. I wish to extend my thanks and gratitude to Kristoffer Hughes, Cerri Lee and Dave (Damh the Bard) for coming over from the UK to facilitate the workshops and rituals. It’s safe to say I’m still going through withdrawals from that weekend.

I’ve been living in a state of limbo for the last few months. For someone who needs to constantly be busy, to constantly have something on the go, I’ve been focusing on all the things that aren’t in my control rather than the things I can, so my head is a bit sore from the brick wall it’s been frequenting.

At the beginning of March, the Muggle and I ended our marriage of seven and a bit years. At the end of the day despite the love we have for each other, he’s a straight male and I’m beginning my transition to be…something. We’d rather have each other in our lives as best friends than not be in each others lives at all. I’m having my third (in twelve months) weight loss consultation tomorrow because why should that be simple. I’ve had two psychologists in the last twelve months state that they can’t help me because what will work for me isn’t a tablet for a new form of mentality – it’s all down to three surgeries and an injection (which I can’t begin until one of the surgeries) which brings in the idea of ‘patience’, with one alternative to one singular issue not being legal in Australia.

Ahhh limbo… you prick of a place to be in!

This time last year I was given a pamphlet for “Advanced Notice – Druid Camp, Easter 2019”. It’s been living on my fridge ever since (I believe it’s still there, actually). It’s something I’ve been so ridiculously excited to attend because despite not being the only Pagan in the village, I’m certainly the only OBOD Druid in the village (and possibly within a 300km radius) and I miss being a part of that greater community. Camps like this provide that connection – where I can meet others, share tales, act like a sponge and just soak in everything that these camps have to offer; utilize every opportunity to learn, converse, grow.

Camp was amazing. It was phenomenal. It helped me gain a better understanding of the Bardic grade as I conversed with others about Cerridwen’s actions, and sparked the goal to actually finish it (stopped in 2012 due to beginning uni). It reminded me of things I learnt long ago and pushed me to put them back into practice. Shared visions within meditation, confirmation from the land about questions I forgot I had once asked; topics and teachings of things I had never considered.

Spiral Dance and Damh the Bard performing

The ritual was beautiful. How it was constructed, the meditation, how it ensured everyone had a part to play in it. And the howl! Oh how I’ve missed a good group howl! The power, the buildup, the release! The emotions at the end of it became so overwhelming I had to disappear into the “gym” for a good hard bang on my drum just to release it all.

My one personal annoyance is that I had to send myself to bed with an impending migraine before I could attending the Eisteddfod and Bardic Circle on the Sunday Night, but I’ve seen the videos and all the performances were amazing.

The Awen that flowed from beginning to end was so deep, melodic, so endlessly inspiring. Through each workshop, each meditation, each SoundScape invocation, each ritual, each dorm-room and dining room conversation.

I left having formed new friendships and new goals. I left with a greater understanding and deeper acceptance of self.

‘Song of the Rising Moon’ talisman for the Wicker Man.

The day after I arrived home I reinitiated myself into the Bardic Grade, within the waters of the Murrumbidgee as the sun began to set, shortly before my Circle came together for our own gathering.

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