Thoughts on Druidry

Finally trying to get my brain back into gear. Having done a few basic "what is paganism" videos, I'm having a go at at least one (maybe more in the future) recordings musing over ideas within druidry. I'm not aiming at an introductory overview, because there are loads of those already. Rather, these will be philosophical, ethical, possibly mystical meanders. If viewers would like more, please suggest topics. If you have had more than enough, well... endeavour to at least be polite about it.

Lover Talker

A token gesture to mark St Patrick's Day, with a reading of 'The Love Talker' by Ethna Carbery, and Irish poet of the 19th century. The poem is about the ganconer or geann-cannah, a seductive male fairy who breaks the hearts of maidens he encounters in lonely spots by big impossibly handsome and charming. There's a short waffle before the poem, if you want to skip straight to the words of Carbery.

Leaping Hare 2018

Next Saturday is the Leaping Hare convention in Colchester, Essex. I'll be talking about dog mythology and also giving some Irish storytelling along with the rest of Clan Ogma. There is a great array of speakers and workshops - thoroughly recommended if you can get there. The profits are split between various local good causes.

The planned programme for 2018 is (subject to changes) as follows ~ 09.30am     Welcome by Barry Bartholomew, PF District Manager 09.45am     Richard Levy, "Narrative Magic"; 10.45am    Sam Marks, "Walking the Antlered Road"; 11.45am    Connecting with the Egyptian deities, workshop with Adrienne de Roy, Side Room;                   12.00pm Women of the Mabinogion workshop with Jo van der Hoeven, main hall; 12.30pm     Lunch break;                    12.45pmSuzie Edwards's drumming workshop, adjacent woods 13.45pm     Robin Herne, "The Year of the Dog"; 14.00pmGuided Cognitive Pathworking with Emma Bromley, Side Room;

Dog tale

This short tale comes from the Inuit nations of Greenland. There are several versions of this story, but this is the one which I liked and which at least one anthropologist, Franz Boas, regards as an earlier version (some other accounts have merged with elements of the Sedna story which emanate from different nations in that part of the world). Thanks to Su Voke for advice on pronouncing the names.
I'm including a canine story because it is the Year of the Dog in Chinese astrology - I was initially going to tell the tale of the dog-warrior Pan Hu, but the versions I have read are so short as to be little more than anecdotes and I didn't think I could pad it out to full story without it ceasing to be identifiably Chinese in the process. Like this Inuit story, the account of Pan Hu involves the marriage of a woman with a magical dog and suggests that the descendants of their union go on to become modern day nations of people (in the case of Pan Hu there are at least two ethnic …

Ave Lupercalia

In Ancient Rome, the festival of Lupercalia was held on February 15th. In legend the twin-founders of the city, Romulus and Remus, were thrown into the River Tiber on the orders of their usurping great-uncle Amulius. The babies washed ashore by a wild fig tree, and were found by a she-wolf, who suckled them and raised them with her mate. Years later they were found, living feral, by the shepherd Faustulus and his wife Acca Larentia who took them in. Upon reaching adulthood they discovered their true identities, and set out to avenge themselves on their wicked great-uncle. Having killed him, they founded the Eternal City. Once restored to their regal position, the brothers rediscovered the den and called it the Lupercal (the wolves cave.) It became a sacred site along with the remains of the shepherd's hut. The Lupercalia ritual in Rome was held in the cave itself. Similar rituals held in other parts of the Empire had to use venues symbolic of the cave on Mount Aventine. Two high-bor…

Religious Studies conference

This Friday, February 16th, West Suffolk College is hosting a Religious Studies conference on the theme of Freedom of Speech and Conscience. The event is free to attend, but please notify me via my work email ( if you wish to attend.
The speakers include a Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, and Odinist weighing up the issues from their own perspectives. The running order is as follows:

10.00 – Welcome & housekeeping
10.10 – Gurmeet Sually; Words Have Power; Creative & Destructive 10.55 – Comfort break & coffee
11.05 – Reverend Canon Tim Jones; Pauses Fall Pregnant: Language and coercion
11.50 – Janus van Helvert; Dialogue is the Essence of Life 12.30 – Lunch break
1.15 – Robin Herne; Hope, Healing, and Harmful Speech 2.00 – Workshops ·Discussionled byGurmeet Sually – does free speech have its limits when it comes to cherished beliefs? ·Discussionled byRobin Herne – if freedom of conscience is not accompanied by freedom of speech and action, does it become meaningle…


I haven't added to the basic paganism podcasts for a while (much to the relief of all concerned), but Carol asked if I could do something on the festival of Imbolc. This is a bit basic, and there are various other practice and traditions that could be added, but this is the direction my brain meandered in whilst I baked cake. Authors such as Alexei Kondratiev have gone into a great deal of detail on the ritual practices from ancient to modern times, should you wish to delve into more background information.