An Introduction

Hello, my fellow travellers of the old ways.  We have now seen Imbolc drift past us, and before we could blink this was quickly followed by Alban Eilir, I don’t know where this year is going.  I have had so much planned but due to some personal issues I have not been able to get on and do them.  Work is also a big factor in this, it seems that it has been nonstop now for months.  I can’t complain though it helps pay the bills.


My spiritual practice is still taking me to that peaceful place where after the busy days of driving and juggling figures I can lose myself in the serenity of my meditative grove, and also in the restful woodlands of the Chilterns.


We have been getting out discovering new places to walk. Spring gets busy with all the new flowers that Mother Nature has furnished it with.  We recently walked along this little footpath taking our dog for a walk when I was hit by the magnificent aroma from the Laurel that was there, the scent filled the air, and I was captured by it.  I stood there for a while, much to the annoyance of my crossed leg doggy friend, “who’s walk is this by the way” I could almost hear him say.  Just in that short walk there was so much to take in.  It is so nice to have somewhere to forget everything for a few moments, but also in those few moments gain so much. 


During our walks I’ve been taking in a lot more knowledge of everything that is around me, I have always looked on the walks as a form of spiritual retreat, a way to put aside the pressures of everyday life and just relax and use all the other senses I have been given to appreciate the wonders around me.  Gone are the heavy scents of exhaust fumes that fill my head throughout the day, replaced by the soothing aroma of flowers, trees, rain, (yes that beautiful smell that first arrives after it has been raining, petrichor I believe it is called), The distinctive scent of the fox that has been marking its territory, all these things that I miss on a regular day to day in the office and on site.


I have also been gaining so much inspiration from the walks, I jot down notes constantly in my head which eventually turn into more poems.  I really need to start taking a note book with me, I know I could probably add them to my phone as reminders, but there is something special and almost ritualistic about putting pen to paper, unfortunately a dying art these days for the majority. 


I recently celebrated my birthday in mid-April and this had me thinking more and more about who I am, what I have become and inevitably where I am going.   Throughout my long and challenging life the one constant that has always been there for me is my love of nature, right back to my infancy when I ran off into the woods to be with the only friends that seemed to truly understand me, the trees.  Now, admittedly I have married a wonderful woman now and for the past thirty three years she has struggled at times to understand me but she does, she is like my tree.  She has been with me for more than half my life, (I am saving up to get the best counsellor I can for her, believe me she needs it putting up with me) and knows me better than anyone, just like my tree friends she has seen me cry, laugh, smile, frown and she has also understood when I just need to be quiet and think.  I am lucky to have someone who understands my path as it is a journey we share.  Although we do have different paths they compliment each other, as you know I am a Druid and she is a witch, there are so many things that connect us I consider myself very lucky.

When we walk together in nature, each of us has a different understanding of certain things and from this we can teach each other, no one knows everything, that would be almost impossible, but each of us knows and has knowledge of something and it is these things that help us grow by being able to share what we have with others.  I look at my path now and appreciate it a lot more than I did when I was growing up.  When I was small, I sought peace and quiet in the woods as it was a place I could go to hide and be away from the things I didn’t like, now I go into the woods to seek solace among the trees, not to hide but to find myself and feel that freedom to learn.  I see a plant growing on the floor in the woods, it may not be one I have seen before, it doesn’t matter, I look at it in a different way, I fill my eyes with its colour, I smell it, I touch it, this is now part of who I have become and as such I want to know more about it, what used to be a simple walk through the woods has now become a homecoming.  I get to meet all of the family I had forgotten, or not yet met, I use every one of my senses to enjoy everything that is around me.


I see the way my life has changed over the years and now more than ever I have started to share with other human people.  This is something I have always tried to avoid, don’t get me wrong, I like people and can interact with them on the many levels they seem to have, but it wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed.  I guess growing up I was a loner and to a certain extent I still am, I like the idea of people but prefer not to be with them too often, they are challenging and although I like a challenge, I’d rather avoid too much interaction as it seems to necessitate a lot of explaining.

“Why are you hugging that tree?”, “why are you just standing in the woods?”, “What’s the point in doing that?” and my all time favourite, “Why are you eating that plant?” although a lot of the time these questions are directed more towards my wife, as people see her as my care giver, and at this point she will smile politely at them, look at me and simply answer – “that’s what he does.”  

I don’t know what it is about my journey, but I have become a little nicer towards people, to the point where I actually enjoy spending time with some of them.  I have met some incredible people who I enjoy being around, the majority of them share a similar philosophy and enjoy nature as it is in all its glory.  I have a particular friend, who, although we don’t see each other often or in fact even talk much, I enjoy their company.  I came to meet them several years ago and despite initial misconceptions, I feel honoured to know, and enjoy spending time with. 


I think over time sharing my journey, not only on here, but in doing ceremonies and rituals on top of hills, in woodlands, in orchards and even in gardens, I have come to understand that we are all searching for something, and a lot of these somethings we are searching for are not known to us until we get to see them.  What do I mean by this, I guess, for example, every year at Beltane for the past few years I have been doing an all night vigil up on a local hill to me, it’s a form of retreat where I get to spend the entire night out in nature, no tents, or shelter of any kind just me and mother earth on our own, I honour my ancestors and the gifts around me, I commune with the deities, in particular Blodeuwedd, who for the past several ceremonies etc. has joined me, in her form as an owl, to share the tranquillity of the night in my company, I meditate and journey, I play my drum, my native American flute and blow my horn right up to the point of the first sunrise of Beltane.  People have stood up on the hill to watch the sunrise, they have seen me and have asked what I am doing, I have explained to them and without mocking, they have, in their own way understood, I now get people asking me if they can join me through the night which I am more than happy with.  It is a strange situation, but I think the old ways are intriguing and have a lot to offer, and when people see something like this happen, they want to know more, and this goes someway in their search to discover.  I haven’t explained it that well, but I think you can get a bit of an understanding of what I mean.

I know not everyone can do this, or even want to do this, that’s probably why I do but, I do encourage you all (if people are still following my blog) to spend time out in the woods enjoying everything we have around, its free and it will make you feel so much better on every level.  The benefits to you are endless and who knows you may get to meet a strange person in the woods hugging a tree that doesn’t mind talking to you these days.


Now I think I have probably gone on long enough, so without any more ramblings I want to share my latest poem with you, I wrote it around the end of the equinox, I was taking one of my usual walks and thoughts raced through my head as they usually do and I came up with this little poem and I really hope you like it, it is called “Dawn”



I hear a soft and gentle sigh

Upon the breeze as I walk by

I quickly stop and look around

Where once again I hear the sound


The echo of forgotten words

Carried on the wings of birds

Whispers held within the trees

Shared by rustlings of the leaves


Through the trees the sun does rise

Bringing golden light into the skies

The whispers turn into a song

As the woodland creatures sing along


The darkness of the night reborn

Into colours of a wonderous dawn

I stand and revel in this sight

My eyes filled with the brightest light


The sun climbs higher in the sky

To warm the earth from night gone by

The fragile webs that hang from trees

Swaying in the morning breeze


The flowers on the woodland floor

Open as they’ve done before

Basking in the sunlight rays

While all around them creature’s graze


I sit and quietly meditate

On what our mother can create

Each sound a gentle melody

That every morning calls to me


And there in peaceful solitude

I contemplate a dream pursued

Escaping to a realm reborn

Encouraged by the breaking dawn


This magical sight my eyes behold

As written about in tales of old

An endless piece of history

That mother nature shares with me.


Take care my friends see you all again very soon I hope.

Blessed Be /|\