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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "



February 1st, 2019

I’ve just returned from the first gathering together of OBOD members from New Zealand and Australia on the north island of New Zealand. In previous years, each country has had its own separate gathering, but on this occasion 23 members from Australia joined 39 members from NZ, with Stephanie and I from England and our new Chief-to-be Eimear from Ireland. We met over 6 days, and every night the air rang to the sounds of Eisteddfod and laughter. There were workshops and initiations, a Lughnasadh ceremony, and walking a magnificent labyrinth built at the Grove of the Summer Stars. I’m very aware of the need to reduce our carbon footprints, and we are trying to limit foreign trips as much as possible. In previous years I’ve participated by skype, but there are certain gatherings which I feel are important to attend, and in addition we went to visit family in Wellington. Many connections were made in those few days, links were deepened, and the gathering finished with a beautiful ceremony to mark the leadership transition we are going through, which will culminate in Glastonbury in June 2020.
The film above was created by Glenn Conroy. The song “AMAZING” came about as a result of a workshop in which participants explored their Bardic being through story, poetry and song. Random thoughts, words and phrases were written on slips of paper and tossed into the magic hat. What emerged, line for line, and with minimal editing is what you hear.
To get a feel for how it is to celebrate Druidry in New Zealand, have a look at the photos on the beautiful website of The Grove of the Summer Stars. Huge thanks to all who made our stay so wonderful!