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It's proving a difficult year for Druid and Pagan events. The Druid Network Conference was cancelled, and we've had to cancel the forthcoming Balfolket Sound Healing Retreat, the Midsummer Night's Dreaming concert and we've scaled back the Wild Ways Mini-Folk Festival so it'll now feature Jake Thomas and Greywolf. The TDN conference was cancelled due to low advance ticket sales, the other events due to Lena of Balfolket breaking a leg and three other members of the Norwegian party having family problems that prevent them from travelling. Our advance ticket sales would have enabled us to just about cover basic expenses, but only if Elaine took nothing for the hire of Wild Ways. Everyone who has paid for tickets will, of course, be refunded.
We also had to cancel the Bardic Storytelling weekend with Robin Williamson due to poor advance bookings.
The BDO can't afford to run events at a loss. Our aim is always to offer events at the lowest possible price that will allow us to pay for venues, cover the costs of teachers, speakers and performers and pay them a little bit on top. The latter is necessary because, while capitalism survives, those of us living in capitalist countries need money to buy food and pay bills.
We are told that the British economy is recovering from recession. For most of us who live here, it isn't. Money is tight. Many of us just can't afford to attend events, however low the cost. Another factor is that there are so many events on offer these days. Twenty year ago, there were perhaps half a dozen Druid-focused events each year. Now there are often that many on a single weekend, while the number of Druids wanting to attend them hasn't grown at anything like the same rate.
It takes a lot of work to put on an event and it's always disappointing to have to cancel one. To have to cancel several in a row is quite disheartening, especially when the events in question are ones we really care about and that we think are really worthwhile. Which covers every event we do, because if we didn't think them worthwhile, we wouldn't be putting them on in the first place.
Ah well, onward and upward,
Greywolf /|\

Greywolf with 900-year-old yew treeGreetings and blessings of Calan Mai! I'm writing this on May 1st, here at my home in Wiltshire. For the first day of the year's Summer half, it's a little chilly and overcast, though no rain and the trees have recently burst with bright new greenery. If you look down the left side of this page, you'll see that we've added many new events to the site this year, beginning with our bardic storytelling weekend offering a precious opportunity to learn from one of the greatest masters of the art, Robin Williamson, co-founder of the Incredible String Band and Primary Chief Bard of Britain.
Next comes the Druid Network Conference, this year featuring both a talk and an evening music session from yours truly, as well as talks from Graham Harvey, Gordon 'The Toad' Maclellan, Nimue Brown and others, plus entertainment from our very own Adam Sargant.
Then there's the ever-magical WildWays Folk Festival in the heart of rural Shropshire, this year featuring music from Jake Thomas, Andy (Telling the Bees) Letcher, Greywolf (i.e. me), Norwegian shamanic band, Balfolket, plus special guests. All for a mere tenner, with a special offer of overnight accommodation for only an additional £10. Staying overnight would make it easy for you to attend the Midsummer Night's Dreaming concert at the nearby Severn Centre the following night, featuring Andy, Greywolf and Balfolket performing different sets at a great indoor venue with seating for 100.
Balfolket2015bx600The following weekend there's an opportunity to both learn and experience a wide range of shamanic healing techniques, guided by Norwegian practitioners, Kyrre Franck White Cougar, LeNa Paalviig Johnsen, Bobby Kure and Anita Dreyer, four of the nicest and most spiritually attuned people we know. Rural setting, 40 acres of woodland, sauna, and a Norgwegian chef!
On the weekend prior to Midsummer (Northern hemisphere) we're promoting events for World Peace & Prayer Day. And that's only the next two months! We do like to keep busy 🙂
Blessings to one and all for a summer blessed with beauty and strength,
Greywolf /|\

The Druid TarotIt's been a while ... well, 15 years, so quite a long while really, but we're delighted to announce that The Druid Tarot, designed by Greywolf back in the early 1990s, is now back in print and available via our wonderful webshop. Do check it out by clicking here. We love it!

In other news, BDO head honcho, Greywolf, will shortly be zooming off to the USA for the first time in a decade, revisiting old friends in the Pacific Northwest, attending a gathering of the BDO-founded Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Pugetia in Seattle, and offering talks and workshops in the magical setting of LaPush, coastal home of the Quileute people who LaPush Shorelineare descended from shape-shifting wolves. Check out details of happenings at LaPush by clicking: LaPush 2014 flyer. For further details and booking, please telephone Seattle-based Pagan priest, great friend and long-time BDO member, Leon Reed on 206-329-6260.

Due to Greywolf's absence, there may not be many new posts here for a while as he tends to write most of them ... So, see you in a little while and don't forget, as another of our Seattle friends, guitar-maker, Denis Merrill, taught us to say, "Be the Awen!"

Greywolf at DRUID 2013
Greywolf in full flow at DRUID 2013

Having spent so much of the last seven years locked away in my home office researching, writing and editing our brilliant courses, I'm looking forward to getting out and about and seeing people this year, and there are some wonderful opportunities coming up 🙂

First, there's the Devon and Cornwall Pagan Federation Conference where I'll be speaking on the subject, 'Druidry On the Edge.' That's on March 8th at Penstowe Manor near Bude. Admission for the whole day and the evening's entertainment is only £25 on the door and accommodation is available at the venue. See HERE for details.

April sees the Druid Shaman's 'Call of the Wild' retreat at the Cae Mabon Centre in North Wales, led by BDO friend, Gillian Kavanagh with other BDO and OBOD members. See the poster here for details.

Then there's the return of our amazing shamanic friends from Norway in May for one full weekend (May 9th-11th) and one very full day and evening (May 17th) of ceremonies, teaching and music on the theme of connecting with primordial power through sound and the soul of nature. With five great teachers and musicians and two fabulous venues in Shropshire and Worcestershire, these will be very special. For more details and booking, use the links on the side menu or on this page.

Transformation through Body Art
Transformation through Body Art

From May 30th to June 1st, there's a Spirit Body Painting weekend at Wild Ways in Shropshire. These are truly transformative events in which you have the opportunity to choose whatever it is you most want to be, or to manifest in your life and then be body-painted as that. Animal, bird, element, tree, sky, the possibilities are endless. Project photographers then capture your transformation in beautiful natural settings so you can have a permanent record of what always proves to be an extraordinary healing and inspirational journey for participants. For more details, see the Wild Ways on the Borle website.

On then to July, which sees a Druid Remembrance Ceremony for peace held at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire on the 5th, organised by our friend, Geoff Boswell, who staged last year's wonderful DRUID 2013 Conference. Many groups and individuals will be in attendance for this specially created ritual with music. Members of BDO, OBOD, TDN and others will be taking part and all are welcome to attend.

Tewkesbury Morris DancerNext it's Tewkesbury Medieval Festival over the weekend of the 12th and 13th of July. This year, not only will the BDO and friends be providing a Druid blessing rite for the festival, as we have done for the last decade or so, we'll also be running a stall there, laden with Druidical goodies. I'll be running the stall with my sons, Joe and Mike, and Elaine Gregory will be there with a stall for crafts made at the Wild Ways retreat centre. It's a fantastic family day out and one of the best shopping opportunities of the year for any historical period from the Stone Age upwards. For details of the event, visit the Tewkesbury Festival homepage. We'll post times for our ceremony and a location for our stall as soon as we have them.

August sees me back in the USA for the first time in a decade, giving talks and workshops at venues in and around Seattle and, I hope revisiting the Quileute tribal lands on the Pacific Ocean coast to play once more with the drum circle who made me a member on my first visit there. Details of venues and booking will be posted here as soon as we have them.

All in all then, it looks like being a brilliant, if busy, year and I very much hope to see a lot of BDO members at these events. Oh yes, alongside all this, we shall also be re-thatching the roundhouse and continuing to work on the third and last of our courses, the Druid course, which we're hoping to complete somewhere around September 2015. I'll say one thing for Druidry; it keeps me busy 🙂

Many blessings,

Greywolf /|\