Sunday 25 September 2016


By the fourth night of sleeping alone
at St. Nectan's Glen I'd finally cracked.
The visions had started and I couldn't handle it -
even though it was what I came here for,
was a crucial part of my training.
The fasting, the constant meditations -
all were taking their toll. I felt weak,
light-headed and shaky.

What a fool!
Naivety had fostered the expectation
of some gentle, easy transformation,
not this gruelling hardship
that seriously challenged my understanding
of life, time and being.
The biting wind and dampness of the forest
did little to help either.  I felt myself
physically and mentally fragmenting...

Bells tolling in the dead of night.
Struggling to my feet, half asleep.
Scrambling through bracken, ankle deep in mud.
Following the sound.
Up steep stone steps,
feeling my way in the darkness,
through dense blacked-out woodland.
Then, just as the ringing ceased,
I found the Hermit's Cell:
ruinous, sombre.
Much like my spirits.

Then the rain came.
Thick, penetrating drizzle
so typical of this part of the country.
Shivering, soaked to the skin and thoroughly miserable,
I'd finally had enough. Reaching
into an inside pocket for my phone,
intending to call my mentor and plead for a reprieve. signal.
Sense of total isolation and helplessness.

The rain ceased and a full moon appeared between the trees.
I stood motionless, watching the strange shadows
that seemed to flit around those crumbling walls
that were reputed to have once been home
to the tutor of Merlyn Himself.
The very stones appeared to be alive
and the unmistakable scent of incense
filled the damp air.
It was then that I noticed the figure.

Clad in hooded grey robe, it's face obscured
in shadow, I was sure
it was looking directly at me.
I froze, acutely aware of my extreme vulnerability.
But gentle words uttered in a language not my own
began to flow through me like Prana, allaying all fears.
And I understood them!
I haven't the slightest idea how.
I just did.

A kind of spiral enclosed me then
in soothing golden light - yet, simultaneously,
I seemed to be outside of it all,
observing the seasons, the planets, the suns
cycling through the aeons - and
I felt a part of this stunning spectacle,
so knew I had no end myself
and that only this body would eventually perish,
not this I who thinks, feels, and now
was just beginning to grasp the unfathomable.

And that knowledge filled my entire being
with an ecstasy like nothing I'd ever known before.
It was moving way beyond personality,
beyond thought or emotion -
even fear could no longer touch me.
So this is what it meant to be Druid -
to be part of the Old Gods' Grand Plan:
a messenger, an open channel...
with the Universe in her eyes.

Sunday 18 September 2016


Remember how we'd spend hours together
musing on the subject of life after death?
Well, now you know much more than I.

My face, that everyone used to say
so mirrored yours,
became bathed in tears, glittering
like diamonds hardened by pain
as I tried so hard not to feel.
Skeletal hands of grief were crushing and crushing
my insides to a mush. They wrung out emotions,
while my voice still called out your name - a
disembodied, alien voice that refused to believe
it had survived you.

Day-by-day my brother moved on,
speaking of you less and less, as if
in denial that you'd ever existed.
And it stung me to the core.

Each night I just lay awake in the darkness:
a Wounded King of Arthurian myth,
my shoulders knotted to a spinal column
that had grown painfully rigid.
In sleep, when it briefly came out of total exhaustion,
I dreamed I was buried alive - cramped
into the grim coffin beside your lifeless form.
I even fancied our Spirits were bound together
with barbed wire that tore my Soul to shreds.
Still I clung to you, begging you
to take me home with you
into your Spiritual World.

Then, I was comforted by the scratchings.
Throughout the year following your passing
they grew increasingly loud and frequent.
Oh how I wanted to believe
you'd returned to haunt me -
rather than accept the simple truth
that a squirrel had gained access to the attic
from somewhere beneath the eaves
and was raising a family up there.
That squirrel, to a tortured mind,
had become your disembodied Spirit.
I heard your voice in those sounds:
in their speaking for you and their mourning for me,
they seemed to weave me into the fabric of your Being.
And I lay there in your death,
already mentally beneath the frozen earth.

And such unwillingness to let you go
did eventually bring you back to me.
When the despair finally overwhelmed me
and I contemplated ending it all,
you came and held me in your arms
and told me I must go on,
that it wasn't my time yet,
and explained that a seed you'd planted long ago
still had much maturing to do
and had yet to fulfil it's purpose.

Oh the peace those words brought,
and how cleanly they cut through such galling despair!
In that precious moment I finally understood...
you were still closer to me than hands and feet.
Then later that night when I glanced in the mirror
I saw the whole picture - my true Spiritual Heritage -
for the first time.
It was there in stark clarity:
there, in the green of my Father's eyes.