Contemplative Druidry | Druid Life

Contemplative Druidry

By Nimue Brown

Some years ago, I joined a facebook group, themed around Contemplative Druidry. From there I was invited to join a local group, and became part of a mailing list. A day of contemplation was planned, and I said I might go, and then chickened out. I had a family court hearing too close to the date to be equal to any kind of calm. I didn’t know anyone else, I would have been travelling alone. Not far, but far enough to worry me. It was simply too much. I was very fragile back in those days, and largely in a state of retreat from the world, hiding in my narrowboat and trying to heal.

Last summer I moved to Stroud – where the group is based. I’d come out of hiding a bit, all the court nightmares were behind me and I felt bit more able to engage, so when the next contemplation day came along, I went. It was daunting, and taking a whole day off work was intimidating in its own ways. By then however, I knew some people – I’d wrangled Tom in, my good friend Mr Bish was involved and I knew another participant just a little from Druid camp. OBOD supports its mentors by pairing new ones with more experienced folk who can offer advice, and my mentoring mentor was also part of the circle. (Stroud is a hotbed of OBOD activity, there are lots of us!) It became rapidly evident that I was in a good place, with people who were safe to be around, inclined to be gentle with me, and where very little was asked or expected.

Over this last year, I’ve gone to monthly meet ups and a second whole day, the third is coming round fast and the group has become an important part of the rhythm of my life.

via Contemplative Druidry | Druid Life.

Dyfi Osprey Project • Ospreys – Coming to a River Near You…? | Blog

Imagine if there were fewer than three hundred robin nests in the whole of the British Isles. Questions would be asked, letters would be written to the Times, and the price of Christmas cards would go through the roof.

Yet, although ospreys have been one of the conservation success stories here, that is the situation with them. There are still fewer breeding pairs of ospreys than there are of golden eagles, choughs, hen harriers, or many other species that are regarded as “rare”. Ospreys may be recovering as a population, but they have not by any means recovered yet – despite the over-complacent view put forward by major bird charities and certain well-known TV presenters. Across the whole of Europe, best estimates of osprey numbers are between nine and ten thousand – and that’s a scary low figure for such a huge geographical area.

Why is this important?

Ecologists regard ospreys as a key “indicator species.” As with many specialist apex predators such as otters, seals and pine martens, their whole lifestyle depends on a complex and diverse food web. If ospreys are to be present, it means that the area supporting them must be in good health and ecological balance – clean rivers, varied (and mature) tree cover, and productive seas. This does not mean that ospreys can only exist in virgin wilderness: in many places they live happily in association with people – provided that the people concerned haven’t messed the whole place up beyond redemption.

The Dyfi valley is a good example….

Beautiful, isn’t it? Yet almost everything we can see here is the result of man’s handiwork, and even the river itself no longer runs in its former course.

There’s an increasingly popular view that, if only we would leave Nature alone to “get on with it”, then wildlife would thrive and everything would be fine. Well, the inconvenient truth is that – here in the UK at any rate – that train left the station several hundred years ago and it ain’t coming back any time soon.

via Dyfi Osprey Project • Ospreys – Coming to a River Near You…? | Blog.

The White Cat Walking. – Jackie Morris Artist

The White Cat Walking.

Posted on September 28, 2014 by Jackie

I am The White Cat and I walk with dogs, over the hills and far away.


I walk where the air is still, where the only sound is the rattle of wings and the calls of the tumbling ravens overhead.

via The White Cat Walking. – Jackie Morris Artist.

Owls …

tawny owlTawny owls call here each morning and evening, several males and females, here above the Barle on Exmoor. They live in the woods to either side and we’re on the top of the hill here, above the river Barle … the place is alive with owls. I’ll be going up to bed soon and lying there just listening to them calling as they hunt and talk with each other around the woods.

The grass out in front of the cottage is all rough and tussocky – no lawn grass here – and so its perfect habitat for small rodents  … which are perfect food for hungry owls.

It never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully well Nature works but after all she has, of course, some four and a half billion years of experience of getting it right, making habitat for all of her creatures – like the grass for the rodents for the owls. Our owls here know how it works and they give me such pleasure as they call, as they hunt, as they speak with each other …

Sickle Moon

Sickle MoonSickle Moon

Cupped in my right hand

Hangs above the forest

And the Barle …

Interview with O-Books

I really enjoyed doing this interview – hope you enjoy it too :-)

Elen Sentier interview with O-Books

Elen Writing

The Woman Who Walked 10,000 Miles (No Exaggeration) in Three Years –

The Woman Who Walked 10,000 Miles (No Exaggeration) in Three Years –

I can imagine this. If I was young enough (in body) and, even more importantly, fit enough I would love to do this. Everything of our citified, terrified, horrified modern society would fall away. I suspect going into a town or city after days, weeks maybe, in the real world and probably mostly alone would be a shock – would be for me anyway!

I can’t do this. I’m too crippled and weak and unfit and need too many meds to stay on my feet! If only …

I’ll journey it with her …

Deer TrodsShaman Pathways – Following the Deer Trods will be published on 30 Jan 2015 … will let you know when it’s available for pre-order.

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Reaping Moon published on Moon Books Blog

Elen Sentier:

another good one from Lorna Smithers …

Originally posted on From Peneverdant:

Link to my poem ‘Reaping Moon’ on Moon Books blog accompanied by a an atmospheric and fitting photograph by Stephen Chapman, well chosen by Moon blog editor Nimue Brown. This was a piece I wrote last year, following scything The Friends of Greencroft Valley’s wildflower meadow.

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Spirits of Annwn fly over reaped fields

Elen Sentier:

Beautiful poem …

Originally posted on From Peneverdant:

Spurned birds circle
fields weeping
for all that is good
in the world

dry harvest
all the legions of the dead
strewn fallen scattered
let them seed
this world in the arms of their loved ones

the circles begin again
hearts cut in twain

by the reapers’ blades
hear them come
softly sweeping bare-footed
with the silence of a love song

pile straw onto carts

the hallowed dead
ascending in a cloud of wings

spirits of Annwn fly over reaped fields

then down and under
circling circling

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