Well, it's been an adventurous few days. Our first public rite with the World Drum was at the great Avebury henge in Wiltshire. We gathered in the South Circle a little before noon and announced our intention for the rite. About 60-70 people joined us, including a group who had flown over specially from Canada and a family from India. Peace was called to the four quarters and the powers of the directions were invoked. Morten Wolf Storeide's 'Speech For Mother Earth' was read, our ancestors and the spirits of place called upon, and the heartbeat of the World Drum sounded. Lorraine took the World Drum around the circle with a spare beater so that everyone in the circle played the Drum, including several children. About twenty other drummers in the circle picked up the rhythm of the World Drum, joining the beats of their own drums with the heartbeat of Mother Earth. Energy gathered and folk danced and swayed with the sound. It was a beautiful, free-flowing, powerful and energetic rite, closing with the Druidic Oath of Peace and a chanted awen. Matthew Holbrook put up a photo-montage of the rite on the Net a couple of hours after it ended and received over 1300 visits in the first 24 hours. Afterwards, we talked to people about the Drum, its journeys and its message. Later the same day, at around 5.15pm, a much smaller group gathered in the visitors' car park at Stonehenge. We had contacted the Gorsedd of Bards of Cor Gawr, a group the BDO founded 17 years ago to enable ritual access to Stonehenge, to ask if they could arrange for us to take the Drum there. Christine Cleer and Helen Tarrant of the Gorsedd made the arrangements, though we were only able to take 12 people into the stone circles, apparently because the grass had been trampled to mud in parts of the henge by a larger gathering there at the Spring Equinox.
In the event, two people didn't make it so we were only 10 and the World Drum. Most of the 10 brought their own drums. Again, we called for peace, using a bardic branch of peace decked with bells, we called the powers of the four directions, the ancestors, the spirits of place and the gods of our ancestors. We drummed, passing the World Drum from hand to hand. We then placed the Drum and our own drums on and around a low domed stone near the centre of the henge, linked hands and chanted a rolling awen.
The following day, we were atop Glastonbury Tor in brilliant sunshine with a circle of about a 100 people, at least one of whom had flown over from America for the event. This was an amazing rite. We called upon Britannia, the ancient goddess of our lands, daughter of Neptune. We called upon Albion, the sleeping giant who is the spirit of the people of our lands, all of them, of whatever race, religion or culture. We called upon the goddess Brigit, patroness of bards. We called upon the coiled Dragon who resides within the Tor. And then we drummed. There were, I think, about 30 drummers in the circle and wow did we drum! The energy in that sacred place under the blazing sun was just amazing. The power flowing up from the earth was palpable. It was one of most powerful rites I've ever taken part in.
Today is Wednesday, April 3rd and our fourth public rite was at Ironbridge in Shropshire, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. 20 years before the Industrial Revolution, 80% of our population lived on the land and worked in agriculture. 20 years after it, 80% lived in towns and cities and worked in factories, mines and mills. Many of us thus lost our close connection with Mother Earth, so this seemed like the right place to bring the World Drum's message of re-connection with our great Mother. Again, we were blessed with brilliant sunshine and blue skies. Our rite was divided between an observation platform overlooking the River Severn, the town's war memorial, where we prayed for peace and played the Drum, and the centre of the iron bridge itself, with the waters of the great river flowing below us. Here we heard an invocation of Sabrina, the goddess of the river, given by Elaine Wildways. And then, yes, we drummed. We were photographed and Greywolf was interviewed for the Shropshire Star newspaper and attracted considerable attention from visitors and locals alike. It was a moving rite.
The town of Ironbridge, formerly a polluted hive of industrial activity, is now a peaceful, beautiful place nestled in its steep river valley, proving the extent to which our Mother Earth can return beauty and peace to the world given a chance and a little time. Yes, definitely the right place to take the World Drum.
Next events are at Clee Hill in Shropshire this weekend, including a Drum rite followed by a folk night at Hope Bagot village hall on Friday evening, a rite on Titterstone Clee on Saturday, and a rite at the local church on Sunday morning. ... Then Anglesey ... and more ...
Working with the World Drum is a profoundly moving experience. Knowing that it has passed through so many hands before us, so many countries all over the world, so many cultures, all linked together, heart to heart, in sacred ceremonies for our Mother Earth and for World Peace. It is a powerful, undeniable spiritual call and one we are honoured to respond to in these rites. May our Mother Earth be honoured by all, and may all know peace and joy. So may it be!