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

Back from the most amazing couple of days with my tribe. Reconnecting with my tribe and the end of a decade. It’s been ten years since I first joined the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. The official part has come to an end as I handed my final book review to our chosen chief, it was quite a special moment for me.

Not that my education will be over from now on, we learn every day, but in a official capacity, it has come to an end, which is both exhilarating and kinda weird. I met old friends and some amazing new people. Danced into the wee hours of the night, listened to poetry and stories around the fire and laid down on the grass to listen to the whispering of the trees.

I wrote this poem about this amazing couple of days when I got back, hope you enjoy.

The trees are whispering to me
While I listen to the sound of the harp
Telling me stories of our tribe
And I’m overwhelmed by this feeling of community

Visions of dancing and laughter
While the fire blazes to the beat of the drum
Beautiful poetry brings a tear to my eye
And a feeling that I belong

Here, with my tribe
It took me a decade to fully understand
And stay true to myself and my emotions
What made this year so special
I let go of me, and became part of we.

Roots & Branches 2014

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Happy Beltane everyone and a blessed Samhuinn to those on the other side of the hemisphere. I think these two are my favourite festivals, so it’s appropriate they are each other’s counterparts.

We had a lovely druidic/shamanistic ritual outside in nature. A cat came to join us in the circle and was also blessed with fire and water. It rained softly when we began, but once we got the fire going, the sun broke through the clouds and we were bathed in light. Beating our drums, people jumped over the fire together or in groups with friends and we moved around the circle with white and red ribbons, it was magical.

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Afterwards we shared food and drinks and me and a dear friend of mine brought our harps along for some live entertainment. We sat in a beautiful teepee, round the fire, sharing stories, rekindling the flame.

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It’s moments like these I feel truly blessed to have spirituality in my life. I really couldn’t imagine not having that feeling of connectedness, of belonging, in my life. Pretty soon I’ll be leaving for a long weekend of spiritual fun. Our international camp is coming up again, the Dryade weekend and I’m very much looking forward to it. The theme this year is Roots & Branches and I’ll be offering a hand massage with oils containing tree juice. There are loads of other workshops, herbal walks in nature, grove meetings, jam-sessions with musicians, rituals, morning meetings, story telling and lots of dancing. It recharges me. This year is my tenth year within the OBOD community, so it’s kind of a special year.

What lifts you up? What makes you feel giddy or really brings a smile to your face? Do feel free to share your thoughts and I wish you many beautiful moments!

Until next week peeps, Happy Beltane! Take care and feel giddy xxx

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Change. Most people don’t like it. Sometimes I don’t either, but mostly I encourage it. Same with succes. I love it when my friends excel at something. It makes me feel proud and never envious. Not of them, anyway. If anything, it inspires me to take a good look at myself and review whether or not I still like what I see.

Change is a funny thing, though. I now consider myself a writer. I never did that before. I always considered myself as someone who contributed to the social services system of our government. And I still enjoy working in this area of expertise. It just doesn’t define me at my core. Not anymore.

My partner, who’s never been anything but supportive, has seen this change from up close, of course. And it’s been building up for years. One could say my bardic side started to flourish once more. Sometimes I swear I should have done my studies at the OBOD backwards. I’m turning out to be more of a Bard than I am a Druid. But maybe realising that is druidic in itself? 🙂

Over the last few weeks I had the opportunity to see some old friends. They had heard about my carreer change and were so excited for me, it made me feel rather shy. In a good way though. It’s a nice feeling, when people you like or love, are truly happy for you. It makes you feel loved, understood, supported.

One of my best friends has an amazing writing ability. She’s doing rather well though in a completely other area of expertise. It must have been difficult to see me publish a book, but not once did I feel that. I only felt her pride and support.

People have different reactions to change. Some will support you, some will doubt you, some will work against you.

The important lesson here is to stay true to yourself. Just because people don’t expect you to move to Suriname or take that job at Shell, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Not if that’s what you really want. If they really care, they will respect your choices and with a bit of luck, even love you the more for it.

I will always try to do that. Sometimes I will fail, but that’s okay. Like my grandmother used to say: “There aren’t any perfect people, only perfect intentions.”

Next week you’ll catch me a bit sooner. On Monday, to be exact. I’m proudly participating in the ‘My Writing Process’ Blog Tour, so you’ll see me again just after the weekend. Have a good one!

Until next week peeps!

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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Promotion, promotion, promotion! Aaarrgghh! Give it a few more days and I’ll probably become allergic to that word.

Good grief, once upon a time I was responsible for the PR-section of a music venue, so you’d think I’d be used to the madness. Well, think again.

Making sure other people get enough attention is absolutely not the same as putting yourself out there. When do you overdo it? When are you not doing enough? At what point do people start to consider killing you because of the amounts of ‘spam’ they receive from you and when you’ve reached that point, where can one find the international hide-out for upcoming writers?

Thankfully, there are a lot of people who are willing to promote you, because they’re family, friends, colleagues, fellow druids, fellow writers and what not. To all of you, thank you so, so much!

Thanks also to Placebo fans, I got some very heartwarming responses, you know who you are 🙂
See, another reason why I love this band, the people who like them are just, so nice!

But I just started on this road of, granted, very exciting, but also, uncertainty. So bare with me folks, I’m afraid the ‘spamming’ will go on for at least another month or two.

So a friendly warning to those of you who at some point will be considering to curse my sweet arse. Do try and remember I’m also a druid priestess *grin*

What is that you say? Blackmail? Shocking! I would never stoop so low! I’m just looking out for your karma *sweet smile*

Until next week folks. Be a dear and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Come on, you know you want to! X

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