The Dates Are…

Druid Camp 2018 will run from Wednesday 18th July through to Sunday 22nd July 2018

Now you know, mark it in your diaries. Tickets won’t be on sale quite yet and neither is the full camp theme developed. Some things are known and some things hang yet in quantum fields of uncertainty. But one thing’s for sure.

It’s gonna be great!

Work in Progress

Samhain is passed, and winter approaches. The evenings come on faster, but due to our oddities with the clock we still wake to the dawn sunrise. All is slowing, the darkness holds a tighter grip on all the life in and around us. The ancestors are still close behind us. It’s still 2017…

But we’re already working on Druid Camp 2018! The web site has been migrated to a faster server dedicated to running WordPress. The old 2017 site is slowly dismantling, and the new 2018 theme should be up early in the New Year.

I’m thoroughly chuffed to be able to share Syre Byrd’s review of  last year’s excellent Druid Camp as well as a short video I took of the closing chant that finale’d the Saturday whole-camp ritual. You can discuss these perhaps in the Rainbow Druid Camp Facebook group.

Have a splendid Yule, folks. See you in a field on a hill by a river.

/|\ bish – for the Druid Camp team

Early Bird Tickets!

With just a few days to go before Druid Camp, we’ve decided to keep the tickets at the early bird price for everyone who books on line. Unfortunately we will have to charge full price on the gate, so why not book now to avoid disappointment.

Shamanic Fire with Martyn West-Wright

Bush craft is the study of wilderness survival. We have it today largely because of the early Christian Missionaries and their anthropological studies of ancient Pagan tribal peoples from around the world, as they tried to convert them to Christianity. Whilst doing this they made many documentaries about how their bush craft was not just about how to live with the land but was also their religion.

Although bush craft exists today with all the shamanistic rituals removed my aspiration is to give back bush craft to pagan peoples of today, and hopefully rediscover some of the shamanistic rituals that our ancestors would have used.

My workshops mostly orientate around making fire – the method I demonstrate will enable anybody to make fire with wet wood, with no matches and no accelerants; just using natural materials from the wilderness. The methods I will be demonstrating go back in history more than 8000 Years but yet as I say with all rituals removed. Maybe together we can rediscover the rituals that our ancestors may have used whilst making their campfires, hunting, gathering etc.

Archery Workshops

Outdoor Archery with Giles Meakin
We will be doing target archery over the course of the weekend. The activity is weather permitting, as the wind on site can be quite strong which makes it very challenging to keep arrows on target (I’d like to reduce the amount of time spent hunting for arrows in long grass!).

Feel free to bring your own gear, though I’d suggest keeping to lighter bows of around 20-30lbs pull as no one wants to be spending their afternoons struggling to pull arrows from targets! Any less than 20lbs, and the arrows will just bounce off the straw butt.  I’ll be providing bows and arrows for those that don’t have their own equipment. I will also be providing the target stand, butt and targets.

Juniors who wish to join the Outdoor Archery will require the permission and/or supervision from their parent, or in loco parentis.  They will also need to demonstrate competency and responsibility in the Junior Indoor Archery.  While we don’t have a hard and fast age limit, it’s important that juniors understand that archery is dangerous when the rules of the range are not respected.    
Junior Indoor Archery
We will be doing Indoor Archery for juniors in the Children’s Tent over the course of the camp, with low poundage bows and LRP Safe Arrows provided.  Format will be much like a tin can alley, where the juniors will be able to learn the basics of archery and the rules of the range, in a fun and competitive environment.  While there is no age limit, juniors have to be strong enough to be able to draw the bows and follow the instructions of the rangemaster, or their assistants.

Brighid’s Flame

Kevan Manwaring and Chatelle Smith are Brighid’s Flame, and are performing a new ballad and story show; an hour of Irish Myth and Legend reimagined through tale and song.

Additionally, Kevan is offering a workshop about turning songs into stories, and Chantelle one about turning stories into song!

Jojo Mehta on The Law and Ecocide

Jojo Mehta describes herself as an Earth Activist. She is probably best known for her work campaigning against toxic industrial practices such as fracking and incineration.

She is perhaps less known for what she spends most of her time doing: working with internationally renowned barrister Polly Higgins on the global introduction of Ecocide law, a law to criminalize ecosystem destruction.

Jojo will be outlining this proposition which has the startling capacity to turn the whole planetary ship around, simultaneously preventing dangerous industrial activity and enabling climate justice.

Graham Butcher – Creatures of Norse Mythology

Giant wolves, world encircling wyrms, resurected goats, ravens of the mind and other strange creatures…

Discover the wyrd and wonderful creatures of Norse Mythology

Graham Butcher will take you on an exploration of the animals who accompany, feed, serve, carry, battle with, and occasionally eat, the Aesir and Vanir.

We will also see if we can find your Fylgia, the animal guide which connects you with the nine worlds of Odin and Frigg, Frey and Freya, and giants and elves.

There will also be the usual Stav sessions each morning of the camp. Over the course of the four days we will do the runic stances in each session and manifest the animals associated with each rune through animal exercise training.

If you want to know more in the meantime please see Graham’s page at http://www.iceandfire.org

JJ Middleway and Adrian Rooke

JJ and Adrian will be offering two workshops during Camp.

Which Power Animal will choose me?

A brief examination of Power Animals and their relevance. How do Power Animals come to us? Using the Druid Animal Oracle as a tool, we will ritually discover which animal spirit is currently looking to communicate its wisdom to each of us. Having spent some time with our power animal, we will then look to share any knowledge and insight between us.

Druid Animals of the Four Directions.

An exploration into the qualities and meaning of each animal of the four directions as found in the western Druid tradition: The Hawk, the Stag, the Salmon and the Bear. Together we will embody and represent the spirit of each animal in order to gain fresh insight and a deeper understanding. We will share song, guided visualisation and ‘spontaneous recall’ to help us in this.

JJ will also be offering Sacred Singing in the style of Enchanting the Void as at previous camps along with a session of Sacred Sauna. This form of Western Devotional music has been offered fortnightly in Stroud for some years and has more recently been travelling in Europe to such countries as Holland, Belgium, Germany and Italy. It might equally be regarded as Druid Devotional music – very much rooted in and honouring and celebrating this beautiful land on which we stand together. It offers a deeply healing and joyous way of celebrating together. For more info see: www.enchantingthevoid.co.uk

Totem animals and natural magic in The Blues & English Folk – a continuing tradition

Two explorations illustrated with live music & song with Arthur Billington (aka Z Z Birmingham)

Who was the Tail Dragger? The Hoochie Coochie Man? The Dirty Groundhog? How would I get my ‘Mojo Working’? Apply ‘Hotfoot Powder’? And bargain at the Crossroads for immortal fame?

Arising as it does from pagan West Africa, the Blues is steeped in magical practices & beliefs. In this illustrated talk we shall unwrap the extraordinarily vivid symbolism of this seminal musical form and reveal its more arcane significance.

And who are the shapeshifters nearer to home in the British Isles, and why do they do it? As Druids connect shamanically with the natural world as part of our practice, how are we continuing this tradition through our songs and stories?

Informative, entertaining and the chance for a dam’ good sing!

Biog: Arthur Billington is an Honorary Bard in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, playing at their major events. As bluesman ZZBIRMINGHAM, he plays clubs & festivals nationwide, & presents the weekly ‘Blues Cruise’ for Glastonbury FM radio.