SonnenaufgangIt was the OBOD Winter Gathering on Saturday.

Twice a year, around the time of the Solstices, members of the Order gather in Glastonbury for workshops, music, ceremony and community. At the Winter Gathering we always have a morning ceremony in the Chalice Well Gardens, then down to the Town Hall for some kind of group activity. We have talks and workshops in the afternoon, then in the evening a feast and Eisteddfod.

Always a great day.

On Saturday, after the Chalice Well, we held an hour or so of chanting and singing. It was led by my Bardic buddy JJ and was built around his Touching the Void workshop that uses chant and voice to open the heart. I joined him for one of these at the OBOD International camp in Germany in May and a much smaller group of about 30 joined together, sang, and held silence for about 2 hours. It was an amazing experience. Would it work with 200 people? I wasn’t sure if it could, but it did.

The chants he works with are sacred chants from all over the world, and with each one you could feel the positive change happening in the room.

He then introduced this chant:

We are Angels,

We have forgotten these things,

Trailing clouds of Glory,

We are remembering.

I can’t give the melody here. It is beautiful, and simple. At first I felt resistance. I think due to the backlash within the Pagan community to all things fluffy I too occasionally have an inner cynic that very obviously is a defence mechanism to prevent me from completely opening my heart. I think many of us have that. Some people listen to that voice. I tend to tell it to shut up and back off. So I did again.

We started singing. The chant was sung over and over again. I closed my eyes, allowing the sound of 200 voices to wash over me, to enter into me, to join with my voice as one. I opened my eyes and saw people had tears rolling down their faces. They were smiling. The singing continued.

We are Angels, 

We have forgotten these things,

Trailing clouds of Glory,

We are remembering.

JJ raised his hands, and the chant ended on a long, drawn out note. We are rememberiiiiiiiiiing. Then, silence. People opened their eyes. Looked around at each other, nodded acknowledgement of that moment. We knew something very special had just happened.

As with the hunting Barn Owl in my previous article these moments help us to touch with the essence of our true humanity. These moments help us to connect with what we can be. That to hold peace at our centre is so important. Yes, it might sound fluffy but I don’t care. Moments like these are important. They help us reconnect, They help us remember that we are capable of so much more.

We are Angels, 

We have forgotten these things,

Trailing clouds of Glory,

We are remembering.