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" A good traveller has no fixed plans,

and is not intent on arriving "

Lao Tzu

The Coming Solstice

June 15th, 2021

In this tea, I mention two solstice events happening this weekend. On Saturday, the Order of Bards Ovates & Druids will be holding a gathering at various times through the day: with talks, a ceremony and an eisteddfod. Participate live or watch the recordings on the OBOD FB and Youtube channels.

On Sunday, I will be offering a solstice meditation combined with music curated by Youth. This event is on zoom and you have to register first with The Synthesis Institute who are hosting the event. That will allow you to participate live or watch the recording later. Register here.

Awen & the Grail

May 31st, 2021

There’s a great deal of talk about the search for the grail.
But why search for the grail when that’s not really your goal?
When you are looking for a good meal or a coffee, you’re not looking for good crockery, surely?

Why don’t we talk about the search for what fills the grail?
Well, in Druidry we do – we talk about the search for Awen – spiritual illumination and inspiration.
But we miss something if we do not first tread the path of the grail-seeker,
because there’s a great secret in this – a great gift!

The gift of limitations, of containment. We search for the grail first, because we need to have the container ready first. Without the container, it’s like saying we want coffee and the waiter obliges, and just pours it all over us and the table.

In the world of art, the limitations of the medium govern the resulting artwork.
The limitations of language dictate the ability of the written word to move us, to even make sense.
The container of the Self, of ourselves, is the grail, the container, into which Awen can flow.

This turns everything on its head. It allows me to understand my limitations, my vulnerability, my weaknesses, my strength – everything I am, as the container, the grail vessel that will receive the elixir of Awen.

That’s why the first step is always ‘Seeker, Know Thyself’:  attending to the crockery rather than the meal. Getting the wine glasses out before pouring the wine, sweeping the house before the guest arrives. Not making things perfect. Making them ready. Finding emptiness before you can find fullness.

Finding the grail within, and then calling in the Awen.

It Turns and Softly Speaks

May 20th, 2021

It Turns and Softly Speaks

Night after night the empty road,
the home-light diminishing then vanishing
as you travel out into the world again,
hungry for a love that you can never allow.

If only you could pause for a moment,
look down at your feet and not at the horizon,
you might spot the small grey pebble of love
lying discarded where you flung it as a child.

What was the hurt that made you a loner?
How did the wondrous gift become a wound?
You’re alone. You’re still giving
but you’re giving from an exhausted place.
Listen to the sound of love: allow, accept, receive.

William Ayot
The Inheritance
 Sleeping Mountain Press

Beltane & The Seven Valleys

May 5th, 2021

In this Tea, I talk about the way Beltane urges us to engage with the outer world, just as Samhain at the opposite side of the year encourages disengagement and a move towards the inner life. I then go on to talk about a new project that has just been launched: The Seven Valleys.  This is a book and online programme that works with an ancient Sufi story to help us grow spiritually, and which has been used in the sophrology world for helping people achieve a peaceful transition at the end of their lives on Earth. The book introduces the story and how it can be used in this way, and then gives an updated version of the story, written by RoMa Johnson.

The Greek Basil plant – star of the Seven Valleys music.

The online programme gives a video workshop on the method, reference material and recordings of the journey, which include music by that wonderful outfit The Mind Orchestra. The star in the music is a Greek Basil plant who sings for us. If you’re not familiar with plusic – plant music – and how it is generated, see here.

To find out more about the Seven Valleys project, go here.