Penny Billington

The madness of Merlin with Penny Billington

In times of crisis, what sustains us?

The figure of Merlin could be a rich and textured resource for modern Pagans; but not if we’ve limited our understanding to make of him a stereotype rather than archetype. What do our sources tell us about the nuanced nature of this demi-God? Prophet? Psychopomp?

Together, we’ll explore just how relevant working with his legend may be to our spiritual life in these troubled times.

Biog: Penny Billington has had a significant role in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids for many years, and has edited Touchstone magazine for more than 15. She is an author and speaker, and regularly leads ceremonies and workshops. Published work includes The Path of Druidry; Walking The Ancient Green Way a best selling Druid study course and guide, The wisdom of birch, oak and yew’ and The Keys to the Temple, Unlocking Dion Fortune’s Mystical Qabalah Through Her Occult novels in collaboration with Ian Rees. (all pub. Llewellyn Worldwide) as well as a series of Druid detective novels.

Druidry for the Future

Nimue Brown will give a talk and discussion on Druidry for the future: how Druidry can keep us hopeful, and able to respond to climate crisis.

Nimue Brown has been a Druid for many years. She’s OBOD trained, but has gone a bit feral. She blogs at in an ongoing exploration of lived Druidry, and writes for Moon Books and Pagan Dawn. She’s also a volunteer for The Woodland Trust and an active member of Transition Stroud.

The Sauna Returns!

We know that many of you missed the sauna last year. Well it’s back.

The sauna is constructed from a horse box, internally clad with timber and heated with a woodturner itself made from an old gas bottle. Sounds a bit naff? Not a bit.

It’s roomy, and clean, and smoke free. It’s also hot and suitable for any number form one to… oh, I don’t know, a dozen? There’s a cold water shower outside for pre-sauna cleanliness and post-sauna shock.

There are few rules, but those are quite serious ones and we have never had reason to enforce them – because you’re all so lovely.

Dress is optional. Respect is expected.

We generally make time during the middle of the day for our younger folk to get together in the sauna. They like some private space and we’re happy. Please, older folk, don’t visit the sauna during those times. Which will be advertised.

In the evenings there is opportunity to participate in such intimate events as Sauna Choir, Sauna Chanting and Sauna Social. Times will be advised on site and in morning meetings.

And as long term campers will know, we rely on nominated volunteers to feed the sauna fire so you don’t have to. Please respect that and don’t add wood or stoke the flames. If there’s a problem, contact the Gate.

Walking with Hawks

We are delighted to confirm that Walks with Hawks will be on site on the Friday. They’ll be at the morning meeting and then there is a static display for 10:30 to 11:30 and a flying display then until 12:30 where you can get directly involved. How fab!

If you were here a couple of years ago you may have experienced the flight of birds of prey right over your head! Made what little hair I have stand on end, I can tell you.

You can read about these intimate up-close experiences on their web site

image courtesy of

Healing Area

Camp regular Mouse Maskens will be heading a team of professional qualified and insured healers, providing a variety of treatments.

All treatments are subject to availability for a nominal fee and quickly snapped up.

People wishing to take advantage are generally invited to “list up” after each morning meeting.

2019 – such busy times

We are well into the year now and we’ve not had a face to face meeting of the Druid Camp Association! Life is full, times are mad, and there’s so much to do.

However, behind the glowing light of the computer screen and across the text messages and mobile phone calls, strange and ethereal beings are probing the multiverse and pulling from the creative pool of Awen. No, really, we are ethereal.

The theme is set. The site is secured. Bands are booked. Tickets are even now being sold. Eager Druids and speakers of eloquence are offering their inspiration and being added to lists and schedules. We’re all rocking the returning light and the burst of green spring! We now need to

  • Pull all the risk assessments together
  • Ensure accessible toilets booked and managed better than last year
  • Prepare a FAQ sheet for distribution on arrival

Druidry in Times of Crisis

Druidry in Times of Crisis

The theme for this year’s Druid Camp, as the title suggests, reflects the chaotic period through which we are living. So much of what went before has built the foundation for this moment, and maybe some of the things to come cannot be avoided, and we must learn to surf the tsunami… but there is still beauty, and nothing is born without struggle.

Neil: I won’t say anything ’cause no one ever listens to me, anyway. I might as well be a Leonard Cohen album.

These are times when digging your head into the sand might be seen as appropriate. Times when hedonistic partying into the cataclysm could be argued as rational reaction. In these times, extreme and polarising opinions garner momentum, and take centre ground. And those who feel the interconnectedness of all things feel pain and struggle to find sense in a world in crisis.

The theme is huge!

Resource depletion, population explosion, biodiversity loss, political madness. How can we make the differences that may mitigate the impact we are having on our planet, in our country, in our community… in our heart. How to help, when to oppose, where best to be active.

image from The Druid’s Garden blog

So many of us wear our emotions externally, and take harm when the absurdity of our overwhelmingly selfish society impacts our own well being. How do we look after ourselves. How do we manage to remain a loving functional human being when all around is hurting. How do we look to our gods with confidence that we are living the ethics we swore to them.

As Druids, how do we act in honour. How do we speak out, and when and how and why. Where do we find creativity and the simple joy of being in the world – in the now.

And, in a global civilisation that seems set on self destruction, on ecocide and extinction, how do we have a good time and look forward to tomorrow!!! Because life continues, life adapts and love grows.

Well, we’re going to address as much of that as we can. With fun, and with music, and with dance and with community. The theme is serious; the fun is even more essential. Come with us, be in the centre of a wooded field and explore the power of positive and determined Druidry.

Mad Magdalen

Mad Magdalen play Druid Camp

Mad Magdalen are really chuffed to be invited back to play to the camp. Playing English Folk Music in the “Locked and Loaded” style – previous years have seen the crowd dance into the night.

Wayne Danewood

Knife Throwing and Axe Throwing Workshops

Dane has been a regular facilitator and member of the Rainbow Family for 17 years. As in previous years he is offering two sessions of the fun Circus skill of ‘Target Knife and Axe Throwing’. Whether you are a regular thrower or have never tried it, you will be welcomed by Dane and his Assistant Instructors

Happily, the Druid Camp site is extensive and we’ve got plenty of space in which to hold workshops that need a little extra safety margin!

With over 30 years experience in knife throwing and 13 years as an instructor in both Knife and Axe throwing , Dane is a full Member of ‘The Knife, Axe and Tomahawk Throwing Association UK’ (KATTA). Dane follows National Guidelines ensuring that his Range and his Sessions are run to the highest level of Safety and enjoyment for all his participants and Assistant Instructors.

Graham Butcher

Graham Butcher.

This year Graham will give a talk on the theme of

Philosophers, Warriors and Healers; what kind of people do we need to become if we are going to use ancient wisdom to thrive in a changing world?’

It is a theme he is working on this year in his Stav teaching and we would love to hear his ideas and thoughts at Druid Camp.

Graham will also do morning Stav sessions as usual and will be available for rune counselling sessions in the divination area.