How I met Philip Carr Gomm

I first met Philip in 2004. I had seen him before at lectures or festivals in the Netherlands, but we never spoke. So many people seemed to want his attention, and I understood why from the start. Philip has that special something some people have. You gravitate towards them. My personal opinion? Because they are good for your soul. They radiate light. He has it. In abundance, and people see and feel that.

Philip how I remember him when we first met in 2004

Flashback to April 2004. The Elf Fantasy Fair is coming up and for the first 􏰀time at Castle Keukenhof. Me and my friends are a􏰁ttending and Torc, my druid friend, is excited for me to meet the Order’s Chief, who will be there to give a lecture. My friend thinks the Order is just what I need to learn how to control my ‘abilities’ and privately I agreed with him, but I still wanted to know more, before I would make such an important decision. I wanted to read at least one book written by the Order’s Chosen Chief and as it was s􏰀till early, I walked over to the stand where the OBOD was represented to browse the books spread out on the table. Druid Mysteries spoke to me the most and I decided to buy that one.

A curly haired man smiled at me and asked if I would like something written in the book.

I remember thinking; “That’s so sweet, these people must be really committed to their order.”

And replied in the affirmative . I never looked inside, just put the book in my bag and paid. He looked at me again and stared into my eyes. The hairs in my neck stood up as I felt my normal defence wall crumble. He handed me a folder of the Order. I thanked him and started to walk away when he spoke to me.

“It’s en􏰀tirely up to you of course, but wicca might not be your only way.” He looked over to my group of friends and smiled at me. It was an open, friendly smile and he left me utterly confused. Who the hell was this man?

As I joined the others of my group, my druid friend looked pleased.

“I see you’ve met our Chief,” he said and I stared at him. A sense of dread slowly crawled into my stomach. Surely not? In my defence, I’d never even seen a picture of our Chosen Chief, I had no idea what the good man looked like. Of course he asked to write something in the book, he wrote the damn thing!

I asked the question I already knew the answer to.

“That’s Philip Carr Gomm?”

He looked confused. “Yes, of course. What, you didn’t realise you were talking to him?”

I told my friend about him asking to write something in my book and how I thought that was really nice of him. My friend practically doubled over from laughing. I think it became one of his favourite stories whenever someone asked how I came to join the Order, even years la􏰂ter. Now I can laugh myself, back then I thought it was utterly embarrassing. But join I did, and though it have been turbulent years, I never regretted that moment.

Philip has been many words to me these last 16 years and I know people who’ve known him the better part of their life. Mentor, inspirator, stimulator, aggravator, teacher, chief and last, but not least, friend.

This June a new wind will blow through the Order. Her name is Eimear Burke. The first woman to be Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Which I like. Can’t wait to see where she will lead us.

But I’ve never known anyone else. Philip will always be my chief. He was there at the beginning and there again when I officially became an OBOD alumni.

Thank you for all those years, your kind words, your peaceful silence and your advice (though perhaps I did not always appreciate it at that particular moment 😉). You’ve always inspired me to be a better version of myself.

Philip in 2020

I can’t tell you how sorry I am we won’t be able to be there and had to cancel our trip to the UK. But I’ll be there in spirit and definitely for everything that will be streamed online.

Wishing you loads of inspiration, love, laughter, magic and freedom.

Love & Light,

Lizzy

Ramblings of a modern druidess

It’s been a while, I know. I’m writing this blogthing for our local newspaper and it’s really nice, but as it’s also a weekly thing, I kind of forget to write my own column. Shame on me.

Just got back from a long weekend of Castlefest. For those of you who have never heard of it, it’s the Festival of Light, in honour of the sun-god, Lugh. It’s on the grounds of Castle Keukenhof. Yes, near the famous tulip fields. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, it’s well worth a visit.

Castlefest is always the first weekend of August, coinciding with the celebration of Lughnasadh, the first of three harvest celebrations. Every year there is a big wickerman, which took the form of the wise owl this year, it was magical. We had a lovely group meditation to tune in to the wisdom of the owl. The next day we had a lovely shamanistic dance of the beat of dozens of drums. Me and my dear friend danced blindfolded round the circle. It really increases your other senses and it was very special to share this with her. Neither of us danced blindfolded before, so it was a first for both of us. The drums appeared to be attached to my body, the sound seemed so close!

The wicker burning was very moving and brought a tear to my eye, in a good way. And the crowd went crazy when Faun started my favourite song, Wind und Geige. I jumped up and down like crazy, letting go of all the energy.

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Now I’m slowly preparing for another ritual and next year, we’ll have another Castlefest. Already looking forward to it.

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

“Rain, stupid, stupid rain.” As I’m sitting in my favourite coffeehouse, jotting down these words, I’m reminded of the film Impromptu and the fore-mentioned quote in said film. It doesn’t exactly do wonders for my state of mind. Suddenly I have a longing for a nice warm blanket, a hot coco and some Chopin.

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Alas, I have a deadline. Actually, I have several. The new edition of our Folk Harp magazine is coming up and the formal, educational part of my OBOD training has come to an end. As I mentioned last week, this year is kind of a special year for me. Ten years have passed since I first joined the Order. It’s unbelievable how much can change in a decade.

Do you sometimes wonder where you will be ten years from now? And can you actually imagine a life so far ahead of you? It’s important to live in the now, I think, with appropriate time to reflect on the past and to look to the future and the things we want from life every now and then.

As I’m looking back on these last ten years, it becomes crystal clear it’s absolutely impossible to try and see yourself in the future ten years ahead. I could never have imagined some of the things I’m doing now, ten years ago. I was in my late twenties and my whole outtake on life was just different.

Social media wasn’t a part of my daily life for instance, or just barely and suddenly it made me curious. Ten years from now, will I be a person who lives and breaths social media or will people turn against it and will we go back to basics? I honestly couldn’t tell you. Or what I would want it to be. This year, for example, I’m starting to experience a subtle feeling of caution. Especially with regards to the use of my iPhone. I think it’s too important to me. So I’m restricting myself and I have to. I ‘need’ these rules, otherwise it won’t work. So no iPhone on the table when I’m with someone.

Of course, the first thing I do when that someone has to visit the loo, is grab my iPhone. How pathetic. But hey, it’s a start and I’m making an effort. For me, by the way, not for others. And I find myself wondering what kind of effect that will have on my life in, let’s say, one year. Let alone a decade. Will it increase my attachment to my iPhone or will I come to hate it? Hmmm, interesting, isn’t it.

It’s a good thing we don’t know what the future holds, but sometimes, you crave for just a tiny sneak peek. At least, I do. Do you?

Until next week peeps, live in the now, love the now. Xxx

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Bla…. Is the first word that comes to mind. I mustn’t complain, I actually had a pretty good writing week. The Empath is coming along nicely, a had some nice interviews with musicians for a cultural venue contest, one of my dear fellow authors invited me to another blog party and I decided to pimp my final druidic review, so I ordered two hardcover copies. One for the Order, for for me. Pretty pleased, all in all, but now it’s Friday and suddenly it hit me. Good god, my own blog! I haven’t posted anything this week. Shame on me.

Normally I sit down for fifteen minutes and the words just appear on the pages, but now I’m finding myself at a loss for words. Is there something in particular you’d like to hear? What do you want to know, pray tell. I promise, I will answer, but you have to give me something to get the juices flowing. Merlin, that sounded disgusting!

So I’m afraid that’s all for now folks, but remember, if you want to hear more, just ask. I will oblige, without hexing your balls off, I promise.

Till next week peeps, keep it real! xxx

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

“But you’re not really doing rituals in nature, right? I mean, what if people see you?”

My first reaction was to laugh, but then I realized she was dead serious. So I cleared my throat and tried to hide my grin. Yes, I really do rituals. Yes, most of them are out in the open, preferably at the beach or in the forest and I’m seldom alone. Sometimes even with dozens of people. Yes, we sacrifice naked young men. Oh hang on, we don’t. Bugger.

There are little day-to-day rituals which I perform in the comfort of my home, in my car, or even in a cafe or restaurant, when someone calls me for example to ask for a bit of healing or positive vibes. But the seasonal festivals, I celebrate outside. At least as much as is humanly possible.

I guess it’s not necessary, but it does help me to reach a certain state of mind more quickly. I know some of my brothers and sisters have that with clothing. They feel more comfortable wearing robes, a pretty dress or a cloak. Others have it with attributes. The right cauldron, the perfect athame or sword, the right wand (yes, we have wands, Harry Potter doesn’t have a patent on it, you know), the right chalice and so on. I appreciate all those things, but performing a seasonal ritual inside is the only factor which makes it slightly more difficult for me. We all have our weaknesses.

I have had several ‘mentors’ if you will along the way, who would all tell me that none of this is necessary to perform the perfect ritual. I know a lot of Christians feel the same about the church. It is the house of God and it serves a great purpose and a sense of community, but you can be or feel close to God anywhere. The church, in this light, is a compliment to our beliefs. Just as I view a stone circle as a compliment to my beliefs. Do I need the stone circle to feel connected to nature? No, of course not, but sometimes, sometimes it helps.

As far as being worrried about other people seeing me or us, it actually doesn’t bother me. Some of the festivals are more dark, less appropiate for children I would say, so those rituals take place at night, when the little ones are fast asleep. Well, one assumes, in these days you never know 😉
But I’m never scared for other people to see me. I do realize it might be scary the other way around. I can imagine that sometimes we conjure a pretty amazing picture in the landscape. I’m not blind, I do notice when people in the distance stop to watch. Sometimes they even wait until we’re done and ask us some questions, out of curiosity. I always like that and take plenty of time to explain what it is they witnessed.

As to what it is I, or we, do, I’d like to leave you with this link.
A Magical Journey

It describes an initiation. Names have been left out of course, but this was such a beautiful occasion and it explains rather well what I believe and hold dear. Hope you’ll enjoy.

Wishing you dragons to fly away on and love and light in your heart.

Until next week folks!

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Back from the States. It certainly has been a most interesting ride, but for now, I have to say goodbye. At least for a while.

I really would like to know more about New Orleans culture and also about the Cherokee, so plenty of research ahead of me.

Also the task of finding a matching literary agent. One who gets me and my writing. I’ve reached that point where I have to admit I could really use one. There’s just too much to think about and consider. Gets in the way of my creative process, you know 😉
Ahh, spoken like a true diva. Thank you, thank you, I do try.

It’s good to be back though. Yesterday I visited my favourite coffeehouse Barista, which was just a blessing. Forgive me, but they don’t know shit about coffee in the South, unless you like plain black. I do not, unless my needs are very high.

It’s nice to be welcomed back. It really makes you feel loved. My parents had a lovely bouquet of flowers for us with a nice welcome home card. The people at Barista were glad to see we’re back and last night my dear friend got me chocolate frogs and mice when I came over for a visit, just love them!

Yes, it’s good to be back 🙂

Until next week peeps, jetlag free I hope.

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