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

The Summer Solstice is almost upon us. I feel very fortunate and blessed with the weather this year. We had so many lovely nights, outside on our rooftop terrace, talking with friends, as the sky only began to darken after eleven, it’s rare in Holland. Most years we have a pretty good Spring and September is usually a good month, but a real Summer? Not so much. We still have to begin of course, which always strikes me as odd, as the days get shorter after June 21, but I have high hopes for a good Summer.

As a Summer Solstice gift, my book The Elemental will be free for download at Amazon on this day. If you go to my website, you’ll find the UK and US links there, but it’s also available in other countries.

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As I’m jotting this down, waiting for a friend to arrive, I’m surrounded by trees and heather and I feel close to nature, looking forward to greet the morning Sun, beating my drum to celebrate the Light in all its glory. Each celebration reminds me of the circle of life. It is a moment of reflection, which is good, as so many things are changing, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, in the blink of an eye. Suddenly I’m an OBOD alumni, having just experienced the most beautiful, magical camp one could ever want and I ran my second Nike ‘We Own the Night’ run. The only thing missing is a concert by my favourite band. Unfortunately my muse is doing an excellent job of being somewhere I’m not, because there’s no way it can be my fault, as if 😉 So even when I’m visiting London, Sweden, Belgium, France or Russia, it never coincides with one of their concerts, how annoying. Oh well, one has to have something to dream of, right? 🙂

I wish you all an amazing Summer Solstice. May the turning of the wheel bring you many blessings.

Love and Light,

Lisa

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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

The sun has come out to play, finally! So when my friend came over for a nice cuppa, we took our drinks outside to the rooftop terrace. The temperatures weren’t that high yet, so who needs sunscreen? One hour turned into two, two turned into three. Big mistake. I didn’t even notice until after and it doesn’t stop when you’re out of the sun. No, no, no, it always feels like the fun is just about to begin.

That bit of colour transforms into a violent shade of red. That red begins to glow, slowly burning a way through your flesh, the first tell-tale signs of you being screwed. The after-sun helps, yes, for about twenty seconds before the burning sensation is slowly spreading through your body once more. Taking a shower becomes this whole new experience, almost like an African dance, with me jumping back and forth like a maniac. I’m sure it would be quite entertaining for other people.

After two days the red will fade and a golden soft brown glow will compliment my body. And just when I start to think maybe it was worth it, the itching begins. My skin will begin to peel and gone will be my beautiful colour. All for nothing, sigh. So unfair.

Will I learn? No, of course not. Yes, I will take care of my skin for two days. By next week I will have forgotten all about it and be stupid again. But hey, the sun is here and in the end, that’s worth a little sun burn, so I’m still smiling.

Enjoy the sun peeps, but take care of that skin!

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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

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

Friday. It’s a good day. My favourite day of the week. You still have the whole weekend ahead of you, the city starts buzzing and everybody comes to life, or so it seems anyway.

As I’m sipping on my coffee in my home away from home, Barista Café, while miss Ginger is glaring at my cookie, I’m pleased to report I actually got some writing done. The Empath is making progress, slowly, but progress nonetheless. Writers block is so hard to explain. I don’t understand it myself. It has nothing do to with my mood, as I first thought. I got some excellent writing done while in a foul mood and sometimes, when I’m perfectly happy, nothing. Nada, zero. Why is that?

You need concentration to write, a certain state of trance even. Well, for me at least, but I’m a bloody druid priestess. Creating a trancelike state should be a walk in the park for me. So why doesn’t it work when trying to write my second novel? Jack Croxall, an author friend of mine, wrote an interesting article about that dreaded second novel and it made me wonder if it was ‘the curse of the second novel’. Good title for a book or film. His book was categorized into Steampunk, a genre he never even heard of. I did, by the way *sticks out tongue at Jack*, but it can be tricky, because it raises expectations for the second novel.

Someone placed The Elemental in the Horror section. I get that, when you realize the Horror section has a subsection Occult. But just to be clear, The Elemental is certainly not a horror story. The Empath will be darker, yes, but it still won’t be horror.

I’m going to try and get inside Tristan’s head again. See if he has anything sensible to say 🙂

On a totally different note, I had a rather interesting interview with Roasted Coffee Bean last night. We talked and talked, so it’s going to be a two-part interview. I’ll keep you posted.

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