Renewal at White Spring

by Abaris

To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.
-Wendell Berry

I went to Glastonbury last June to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Druid Order I belong to, the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, or OBOD. I had never been to Glastonbury and the chance to both celebrate and witness history called me. I was asked to take a role in the ritual (Druid of the East) which was held on the Tor with over 400 Druids from all over the world participating in a rite to honor and mark the past, present, and future of the Order.

There were so many wonderful and amazing parts to my trip. The town itself, steeped in history and magic, the long weekend filled with celebration, education, and fun. Awesome talks by Philip Carr-Gomm, Caitlin Matthews, and Ronald Hutton, hearing Damh the Bard play "Spirit of Albion" live while watching Druids boogie down, seeing old friends and making new friends, a fireworks display among the Abbey ruins as well as many trips to the Chalice Well were just a few of my personal highlights.

The breakout sessions, interviews, and an incredible vegetarian dinner all showed great care and planning. I got to sit at both the Mentor's and Celebrant's tables, and talked with people and answered questions and shared in the overall joy and appreciation I felt from everyone concerning their experiences with not only the celebration, but the course-work and the Order itself. I had many confirmations that not only my experience with the Gwers, but most people's experiences showed the magic and foresight that goes into our self-study course.

Of all the many blessings and experiences I had, one stuck out. Possibly the real reason I went. And not one I knew about, until it happened.

At the end of a session about the harm of the Fracking Industry (the Earth is Not For Shale) we were invited to the White Springs for a renewal of our support and protection of the Earth. I waited almost two hours to enter the Victorian brick entrance to the White Spring, next to the more well known Chalice Well.

Inside were Druids in the roles of the Fisher King and the Lady, as well as a group drumming and chanting in the candlelit cavern that housed the Spring. A soon as I entered, I felt the presence of the Lady so strongly that tears came to my eyes. I saw an altar dedicated to Her and I left a piece of jewelry in token of gratitude. Since the first time I read the story of Ceridwen and Taliesen, I felt that it was the Sacred Feminine who liberated me to fully embrace my spiritual life. I sipped lots of water and dipped some of my power objects into the pool for a blessing, as well as leaving a coin for my continued good luck.

As I approached the source of the water, the actual Spring, I was overcome with emotion. The beauty of the lights, the sounds of water and chanting and drumming put me into an altered state. The messages from the ritual spoke directly to me, the land and I are one. The energy of the ritualists and the sincerity and awe in my fellow Druids, opened my heart and filled me with gratitude and clarity.

Leaving the hall, I spoke to the Druid leading the ritual. I thanked her for the ritual and for the time and energy they all put into that rite. I saw a line still waiting to enter after me and knew that that ritual went on for hours. I walked back to the town to go to my room, but I couldn't sit still, I just kept on walking for hours, basking in the glow. I wrote copiously in my journal and relived many of the life changing moments of my recent Druid past, all coming from the Goddess, through the Order.

At the White Spring, I renewed my commitment to the Sacred Feminine.