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The Singalong-A-Wicker-Man Scrapbook: In Search of the Pagan Heart of Britain

June 7th, 2023

Many of you will know David Bramwell from the fabulous podcast Adventures in Nutopia.  As well as being a talented broadcaster, writer and musician (do check out his wonderful music here), David has also created and hosted Singalong-A-Wicker-Man which OBOD members were treated to at last year’s gathering in Glastonbury. It’s such good fun!

He has now written a book entitled The Singalong-A-Wicker-Man Scrapbook: In Search of the Pagan Heart of Britain

Since 2010 David Bramwell (Oddfellow’s Casino) has been performing as Lord Summerisle in Sing-Along-A-Wicker-Man, a show that attracts more than its fair share of pagans, despite the film’s portrayal of them as a homicidal cult. Across history and culture in the West, pagans have invariably been portrayed as purveyors of the dark arts. But what is it that has led us to demonise a way of life that honours nature and gave us such beloved festivals as May Day, Halloween and Yuletide?

In this entertaining and thought-provoking ‘scrapbook’, Bramwell unravels the history of The Wicker Man and its irreverent and popular sing-along and charts how, despite an unpromising start, the film’s current status as an iconic cult means that it has been referenced everywhere from comedy shows and a Radiohead video to a homespun Muppets comic book remake.

Undertaking a quest to understand our relationship with paganism in contemporary culture, Bramwell hangs out with druids at Glastonbury, rewrites the ‘unholy trinity’ of folk horror, participates in May Day rituals and meets The Wicker Man’s Robin Hardy and musician Julian Cope, revealing an island still alive with rituals and traditions that the author himself will come to fully embrace.

David’s work is always a joy and this is another fascinating and entertaining read ~ copies of the scrapbook are available to buy here.

Connection & Nature Experience Retreat

May 30th, 2023

I’m on the team facilitating the following retreat. If this speaks to you, do email in!

Monday 9th to Friday 13th October Cae Mabon, Snowdonia, Wales UK

For mental wellbeing professionals working with people and communities, espcially those wishing to deepen their understanding of the role of eldership in this time of climate emergency.

The number of places is very limited. To apply, email with Connection & Nature Experience Awakening as the title and include your name, contact number and one-sentence description of your background and the people your work is directed towards.

An exceptional 5-day retreat for wellbeing professionals designed to facilitate Adult and Elder transitions, using traditional knowledge and wisdom to enable deep connection for participants, giving them an increased ability to take this wisdom back to their communities and continue the work. An Elder-level understanding of the essential role of nature, community, people and meaning in the ecology of the planet.

The People
Philip Carr-Gomm: Psychologist and former head of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. “How Druid ideas and practices can foster mental health and nature connection”

Dr Rosalind Watts: Clinical psychologist, former Clinical Lead for Imperial College London’s psilocybin trial, Founder of the ACER online peer support community. “The nature codes & Tree Journeys – What trees can teach us aligning ourselves with the rhythms and patterns of nature, for increased wellbeing”

Professor David Peters: Pioneer in the field of integrated healthcare within NHS and private practice, founding faculty of the University of Westminster School of Integrated Health, editor of the BHMA Journal. “Evolution, emotions and a meaning & purpose informed approach to heart-brain connection”

Stefan Chmelik: Co-founder of New Medicine Group, now dedicated to global mental health impact through sound technology company Sensate. “The use of sound to access body sensation”

With Eric Maddern: ‘The Wild Man of Cae Mabon’, mythic storyteller, Honorary Bard of OBOD and visionary eco- builder. “A Storytelling Pilgrimage to Dinas Emrys through Mythic Snowdonia. Journey along the Math- Mabon-Merlin Songline to the Fort of Fiery Higher Powers”

The Place
Cae Mabon Eco-Retreat Centre, Snowdonia, in one of the most emotive and deeply rooted locations on the planet. Cae Mabon, called the ‘Welsh Shangri-La’, sits within an ancient valley, beside a river that courses down from hilltop waterfalls to form a llyn (lake) in the foothills of Eryri (Snowdonia). The 800 acres around Cae Mabon is profoundly rich in myth and legend and forms the ‘songline’ of the Math-Mabon part of the Mabinogion, part of ‘the most mythically rich twenty miles in Britain’ as Cae Mabon founder Eric Maddern calls it. Professor Tom Woolley declared Cae Mabon the ‘number one natural building project in the UK’. Nearest station is Bangor. Attendance, all meals, accommodation, events etc are included. Further details and cost (est £600) following application.

To apply, email with Connection & Nature Experience Awakening as the title and include your name, contact number and a one sentence description of your background and the people your work is directed towards.


May 20th, 2023
An evening of magical entertainment on June 21st starting at 7pm.
* Liz Pearson & David Asher of Chalk Horse Music will play a small collection of original music inspired by local stories, legends and places.
* Philip Carr-Gomm, author and druid, will talk about the magical significance of the summer solstice and how sacred landscapes like The Long Man of Wilmington can deepen our connection to the natural world.
Tickets cost £25 each, including a 2 course solstice supper and must be pre-booked. Restricted audience of 30 people.
01323 368525

Please Vote for The Children’s Forest!

May 15th, 2023


In this week’s tea, Anna Richardson reveals how they work with Tree-Lore and the Ogham at the Children’s Forest project. Your vote could help them win a Lottery Fund to help further their work. Please cast your vote here:

The vote closes soon: 25 May 2023 and when you vote please make sure you confirm your vote when the email comes through to you. Here’s a great film about their work:

“They Tried to Bury Me – they didn’t realise I was a seed” Sinead O’Connor

May 12th, 2023

Stephanie and I found this film so powerful and moving. Sinead O’Connor is an extraordinarily talented woman – and this film shows how she was way ahead of her time. She stood up for abused women and children against the might of the Catholic Church and the Establishment decades ago and paid a price for that. This film powerfully conveys her true status. Available on Amazon films.

Listen to her singing Danny Boy – stunning!

a groundswell for change

May 12th, 2023

“In these darkest of times, with all the greed and corruption, the pollution of the planet and our abuse of nature, I feel such a groundswell for change and a fundamental need for love and understanding, a new universal spirituality of alternative ways,
and a compassion and a love of life and our planet.”
Jamie Reid, artist, activist, Druid.

I’m working on a book illustrated by the artist Jamie Reid about the Eightfold Wheel of the Year. In the photo below I’m up in Liverpool with Jamie’s agent and galleryist John Marchant, in front of a collage of Jamie’s work at the Florrie.