Well! What an amazing ten days that has been. I have just got back and if I sit and close my eyes this is what I see: a dozen of us seated around the fire in the Celtic village of Sunna. As the flames dance, so do two remarkable women whose movements are led by Celtic instruments; a dord, drums, rattles and even a reconstructed 'gong'. 'Druids Delight' (Mead and sparkling dry white wine) is drunk, spirits soar.
The next day, high on a hill, at the site of an ancient settlement, we gaze out at the volcanic landscape of former East Germany, with two great salt piles in the distance, like surreal white mountains in the green landscape.
Then the memory changes to Stefan and I running around Bonn the next day trying to catch glimpses of Green Men (or Women!) in some of the old churches, before getting to the airport.
And now the scene changes to that extraordinary day at Externsteine. What a place! I know it has been visited by unsavoury characters in the past, but there is a clear energy here, coming no doubt from the two springs, the rocks themselves and the beautiful landscape around it. It's a shame that at the old festival times too much of a party atmosphere arises. The same thing happens in England with Stonehenge filled with 60,000 people - many of them drinking too much - at the Summer Solstice. But for us it was sheer magic. Volkert guided us around the site expertly and the 'surprise' he arranged for us was extraordinary. The flaming torches, the old chants, the Swan story and dance - all turned the evening into one I will never forget. It was quite simply remarkable!
Druids are good at creating memorable events - part of a Druid's work seems to be re-enchanting the world so it is no longer 'ordinary' but out of the ordinary, unimagined, tantalising!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made the tour possible - all the participants (and it was so good to meet members of the Order whom I hadn't met before even though we had communicated sometimes for years by mail or email); Volkert and his grove who went to great lengths to create a spectacular evening for us; the two Reinharts (you know why!); Steffi who took really good photos and Bjorn who made the lovely little movie clip you can see on this blog; Stefan of Arun Verlag, who publishes The DruidCraft Tarot in German, and with whom I enjoyed long and vigorous conversations about challenging and difficult subjects; and Dirk Grosser of Aurum Verlag who publish the Druid Plant and Animal Oracles in German, and who arranged most of the tour. Dirk and Aurum are remarkable for the care they take of their authors. Thank you!