Lughnasadh Camp 2017

Last weekend we had our annual Lughnasadh Druid Camp. We say that Camp starts on Friday, but really it starts on the Thursday as we all troop in to set up tents, pick up the shopping (which was ordered online this year!), unpack it and set up the kitchen in the barn. This year we had delicious meals cooked by our wonderful Joarn and Martha.

Camp always has a theme and this year wimg_4273as Head, Hands, Heart and Hallows. Every morning we start with a camp meeting, where we each share a word for the day, we chant Awens and go over the plan for the day.

Friday was our Head day, were we got to put our thinking caps on! We started by having a opening ritual which naturally went over time so we pushed back the tree workshop we had planned. The great thing about this year’s camp was all the gaps we left in the roster so we could be flexible (and have time for naps.) I won’t say much about the tree workshop because that will be a post for another day. It was a great starting workshop that helped us find a tree each for camp. We ended this day with a Eisteddfod about the meaning of The Druid’s Prayer which led to lots of meaningful debate and a greater understanding for all.

Saturday was our Hands day. Before we could get started using our hands we had a Skype call with Philip Carr-Gomm so he could give us his thoughts on The Druid’s Prayer which created further discussion and understanding of the prayer. There were lots of creative activities for us to set our hands to, wood carving, fibre weaving, painting, drawing, Harakeke weaving, bread making and crocheting! I had set out to learn to crochet. With lots of help and support from many of the other ladies at camp I learnt to crochet one granny square but came away with half a blanket thanks to the generosity of those who could already crochet!

Saturday evening we had much delight having a sing along of many of our songs. Some of these we recorded. You can hear our song Lugh that our talented band leader, Moria, wrote by going here or listen to it below.

Of course, a camp sing along wouldn’t be complete without a short telling of Bob the Sheep God before we sung our Bob version of Lugh. Bob has become one of my favourite camp traditions as it is full of inside jokes. It is a story about the creation of myths and legends that has taken on a life of its own. It is also extremely ridiculous, giving us all a good laimg_4260ugh.

Sunday was our Heart day. We celebrated Lughnasadah with a ritual. Unfortunately we had to have this inside because the wind, which had blown down all the tents during the night, had blown over a ‘sacred’ gorse tree onto the path way to the Grove! After our ritual, and a delicious lunch, we had a Poetry and Prose writing workshop to get us all connected to the heart of story telling, and seeing how easy it can be to get words flowing through us. We continued this story telling on at our evening Eisteddfod where we played a story telling game.

Hallows day was on our last day, Monday. In the morning we had a beautiful sharing circle about death and entering the Summerlands. This was followed by a discussion on how to be practical and prepared in the lead up to entering the Summerlands. Here are some links to the documents that were discussed:

That evening we had a Eisteddfod discussion on where you believe your power is coming from when you do your working. It was proposed that there was two different ways of believing where the energy comes from and that neither is wrong. It was an enlightening discussion that helped us think about our own beliefs and practices.

After Eisteddfod we trekked out to the Grove to preform the closing ceremony, as the sun died down for the day which seemed very fitting.

On Tuesday morning we packed up, with the knowledge that it was our last camp for a couple of years. According to our fabulous planner Nicola it was the fastest pack up ever. I love camp, but it will be exciting to spend time developing the endeavours we are looking to spend our time on in the future.

~ Mary

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