OBOD Druid CampSite - 2008 Report

Report on Beltane Camp 2008

by Bear

This year the Beltane field felt different somehow but yet, always familiar, nestled under dragon hill.

Most years I have some idea of why I’m coming to camp, but this year was very different, and so I arrived on camp to the normal warm welcome of a cup of tea hug and a special gate biscuit from the not very well Garth.

I’d recently purchased a new bell tent, and ranged with a co bell tent novice to help each other with putting our tents up, and by one of those wonderful co-incidences there she was arriving at gate at the same time. There followed much innuendo about erecting and after a short break between tents soon both bell tents were up and secure.

The first day at camp is always a little on the odd side, and the main event of the day was to be the world drum ceremony up on dragon hill itself. Having just arrived I didn’t particularly want to go rushing off the site, and so found myself round the central fire with a handful of others.

The delightful and fantastically organising Kirsten; who facilitates crew and tat up and tat down asked me to give a healing session to Alex, and so we found ourselves in my bell tent.

It wasn’t quite the tent warming party I had planned but as we sat and talked and I gave him healing It because obvious what a great lovely heart Alex has, and in some ways that turned out to be the theme of the camp.

The world drum returned from the ceremony and Elaine made sure each of us seated around the fire got to play and put our energy into the drum before it went of on its travels.

An old friend from the old grove I used to belong to turned up on camp and we spent some lovely time together, soon enough she was away and gone to the world of work.

Through Sunday and Monday I remember Ronald doing a talk, and Anna doing an amazing production, there were lots of fabulous and amazing talks and workshops going on, and in between dodging rain showers seemed to be the other main activity, one in particular seemed like it might be a stern test for my new bell tent but sure enough it stood up to the worst the weather could throw at it.

Tuesday and the old king and queen lay down their crowns in very different ways, the closing of the camp and separating of men and women, and before you knew it we were in men’s lodge and the highly mysterious process of choosing our new May king.

Eight held the first day of the men’s lodge superbly and by Wednesday morning after our sharing there was a really great sense of closeness and companionship, as well as a really deep acknowledge of the beauty of our fellow men.

I’d volunteered myself to facilitate the second day, and into and through the process of choosing a new king, which is so secret I can’t possibly discuss it in case any women read this.

We were honoured to be invited into the women’s space to come back together as tribe, and once both king and queen were revealed, the sense of just absolutely right was incredibly strong, two finer people to walk the path of the god and the path of the goddess you would have been hard pressed to find. The women were stunning in their beauty, this year it seemed somehow magnified beyond its previous years effect, and you could tell they two had had a special process facilitated by Louise,

As the party started to kick off I excused myself and sat quietly by myself in the shelter of the kitchen space, utterly exhausted, a sense of a job well done and filled with quiet satisfaction.

I found Justin looking like he needed to talk, and we had the most fantastic conversation as men together, and so my bell tent held some more piece of magic.

The men went out to find a maypole, the women to make the garland, and at that point as the men came back with the new pole I said my farewells to Beltane camp, so beautiful, so wet cold and rainy and yet so warming of the heart. Thankfully I found a gap between showers long enough to get my tent packed reasonably dry, thanks to Loren and Justin for the help.

Blessings Barnowl, blessings Becky may your May year be filled with everything you would wish for in the journey of the year ahead.