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.
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.
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 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.
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 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
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.
Trees are inextricably twined into Druid natural magic; a primary source of connection to the world of nature. But can a knowledge of the Qabalah, an esoteric Hebraic teaching which spread across Europe in the Middle Ages, have any place in our studies? Whilst we study tree myth and lore, is a system from such different root stock relevant to us as Druids?
During the camp, Penny also hopes to explore the intuitive interpretation of The Animal Oracle cards, and talk about the supportive nature of animal totems in the Mabinogion
Biog: Penny Billington has had a significant role in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids for many years, and has edited Touchstone magazine for 15. She is an author and speaker, and regularly leads ceremonies and workshops. Published work includes The Path of Druidry; Walking The Ancient Green Way a best selling Druid study course and guide, The wisdom of birch, oak and yew’ and The Keys to the Temple, Unlocking Dion Fortune’s Mystical Qabalah Through Her Occult novels in collaboration with Ian Rees. (all pub. Llewellyn Worldwide) as well as a series of Druid detective novels. www.pennybillington.co.uk
ZZ BIRMINGHAM BAND
Sharing the bill with INKUBUS SUKKUBUS for the Saturday night party is the ZZ BIRMINGHAM BAND.
ZZ (Arthur Billington) has been bringing his music to Druidcamp for some years. Expect goodtime blues, wailing fiddle straight from the Balkans and a rock solid rhythm section, giving you the lift off to get down and boogy.
ZZ Birmingham Band are:
- ZZB vocals, guitar and harmonica
- Elmos Grandez, Bass
- Miss Gonzoola Davis, Fiddle (Ushti Baba)
- Hudson Bullfrog, Drums (Pete Wagstaff Band)
Robin Larkham will be bringing his mobile windmill to Druid Camp again this year. A delightful mechanism and a huge yell for renewable energy, one day perhaps the Camp will be run from something like it. You can come see it working, and speak with Robin and his accomplices about it throughout Camp. Please bear in mind that, although supervised and safe at even a close distance, it’s not entirely friendly to anyone, big or small, who gets carelessly close!