In this post I want to bring together some of the themes of the year, and associate key posts with those themes. Together they forms a description of my spiritual year for 2016.
THEME 1 – Taliesin: bardic work, light, awen and courage.
IMBOLC: Brigid at Derbyshire sites such as Gawton’s Well. I experienced the re-kindling of my spiritual flame. I felt the bursting of an embryonic bag of light using the awen of Taliesin – this powered me to begin to write my first book. I discovered the courage to get back into spiritual work after Kal’s death.
AUTUMN: Taliesin and the Uneasy Chair or Cadair Idris. This was another ‘bardic episode’ where the awen flowed, and poetry emerged. Not for a long time had I done that. I met with The Lady of the Lake. The tarot draw from the start of the year had depicted “Mordred at Avalon”. There was certainly a challenge to overcome, and the archetype of Mordred – Arthur’s son – was my own former, younger self.
THEME 2 – Cailleach and Merlin: recovering ancestral connections and artifacts
MARCH: The Mesa Luna Amulet. A strange vision of a symbol which I thought was a real piece of jewelry that I would find. I realised later that it was an emblem, and I carved the mesa luna crescent moon shape onto my new staff. It is the symbol of Cailleach for me.
SEPTEMBER: The Ring of Kinship. A concept which had many levels to it. Firstly it was a gathering of my past, present and future selves. Then it was a link to my ancestral river – The River Wye. Finally I realised that it was also the group of friends that had developed from my meditation circle, and I sought to bring them closer together, and to keep them close through the Winter.
SAMHAIN: The Thin Veil. The tarot had predicated “Cundrie at Castle Mortal”. This was a Grail link, and so it brought about a visit to Valle Crucis. There was an odd sense of danger. Cailleach acted as the crone figure, as Cundrie.
THEME 3 – Merlin: Creativity returns
The Merlin Oak Staff is carved. It contains the shapes which have been given to me as symbols of my power, and of my link to the magickal archetype of Merlin. I have not yet used it in 2016. Instead it is prepared for outings in 2017. I await a sign that I am ready and the staff is ready for work. As I gathered this staff with Kal, and carved it myself (badly) I hope it contains some potency which will be revealed in the coming year.
My book Natural Meditation is written. The spirit of creativity spurred me on to complete it. Now, 2017 will hopefully see an attempt to get the work published.
THEME 4 – Bringing in the Energies
A repeated ritual this year has been to draw in the energies of the surroundings, particularly bringing hills together and linking them to special places like hilltops and stone circles. It is an act of gathering forces, and if this year has any theme running throughout then this is it: a bringing together.
THEME 5 – Sharing the work – service and tuition
- The rise of Bewildercamp. We did three trial camps last year to see if the concept worked, and if people enjoyed it. The attendance was small, but the enthusiasm and the results were astonishing. This has inspired Lewis and I to believe that we are on the right track. We are therefore going to do three camps again (Spring, Summer, Autumn), and to offer single day events for those who can’t do the full immersive off-grid experience.
I think it’s worth mentioning some of the druidic-type events which I attended this year. I got to have a brief chat with Philip Carr-Gomm (who was one of my original druidic inspirations), and to hear Caithlin Matthews and Dr Patrick MacManaway. Inspirational, emotional, valuable.
- Foraging course at Rhwel in North Wales
- The Shamanic Lands event – wonderful speakers, and amazing knowledge.
- Conscious Camp – a gathering of lovely people in the valley near to Llangollen.
2016 has been a difficult and diverse year. It has seen me move into areas of work in which I did not foresee myself getting involved. My quests related to forging kinship has seen the small meditation group that I run become a strong friendship group which inspires and rejuvenates at the same time. It warms my heart to see people developing spiritually, and as people dealing with spirituality in ordinary life.
As I look forward to 2017 I can see developments in terms of writing, and generally spreading the message about the benefits of meditating in Nature, and the inevitable unfolding of druidic connections with the world around as the mind, body and spirit develop their connection with the forces which interact with us when we allow them to.
See you next at Imbolc!