You may remember that a few weeks ago I mentioned that I’d attended the Druid Gorsedd. This year it was held at Park Place which is a Catholic Pastoral Centre in the village of Wickham, Hants. This started off as a country house and then became a catholic school for girls, at which point I’m guessing, they built on the two accommodation wings at either side and the chapel (on the left above) The centre is run by Indian Franciscan Nuns who are all rather elderly now. They were all so lovely and the house had a wonderful peaceful atmosphere.
Because the centre is so large we were able to accommodate a lot more Druids than normal, and there were twenty seven of us in total. I felt rather spoilt to be able to speak at length to lots of old friends and new.
The theme for the week end was Polarity – hence the altar ornaments of the sun and moon. We had some wonderful discussions on what exactly that means over the course of Saturday, which was topped off by a ceremony held on the small lawn at the rear of the main building, underneath a huge cedar tree. The ceremony was based round one of Nuinn’s original Druid grade rituals, which was poetic, profound and very beautiful.
Saturday evening we had the traditional Eisteddfod which was the most packed one I’d ever attended, and ran the gamut of song, storytelling, poetry and art. One of the ladies told a funny story about the Virgin Mary, without realising that the Father who looks after the Nuns was in the room. I don’t know which was more amusing, watching his face as the story unfolded, or hers when she found out who he was!
I was also introduced to Luna Tart by Jacq, who did a recitation of her song “Life’s a Party” which she says she wants playing at her funeral. When I got back I looked up the original on You tube, but sadly the full length video seems to have disappeared, I’ll stick it on another rather seedy version at the end of this post for your delectation. I have to emphasis that this sort of drunken shambles is in no way a representation of a Druid Eisteddfod! 🙂
On the Sunday morning we were joined by Philip and Stephanie who gave us a brief resume of what’s happening in the Order at the moment. There was a service going on in the chapel at the time which was just across a corridor from our meeting room. At one point their Amens were being echoed by our Awens! Soon it was time for one more delicious vegetarian lunch and then to head off for home.
This is the statue of the Virgin Mary which is kept in the hall way at Park Place. Such a wonderful vibrant representation of the Goddess.