In March 1994 I sent off for the introductory leaflet for the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I remember receiving it in the post a few days later, opening the envelope, seeing the stone ‘trilithon’ on the cover, and then reading about the Druids, the Ovates, the Bards. As I read I realised that I’d thought this way for years. I was so excited that I immediately sent off for their introductory pack. Soon, this large brown envelope appeared through my letterbox, so I took it to Ditchling Common pond, to read it by the water. It was a beautiful hot day. I settled down and began to read…

How the price of a stamp can change your life.

16 years later I am standing in Glastonbury Town Hall with 200 other Druids. A ceremony has been prepared for two people – the Pendragon of the Order, Will Worthington, and myself – the person who will shortly step into the role he has so wonderfully fulfilled over the past 19 years. I am feeling excited, nervous, a waterfall of emotion is flooding over me as I see Will stand before the altar, and return the Order’s sword. He is honoured, he is celebrated, he is loved. Tears are filling my eyes as I know just how much he has gone through during those 19 years, and what this moment must mean to him.

Then I am brought forward.

I have been a facilitator of the Anderida Grove for 13 years. I have initiated many people into the Bardic tradition, as I was initiated as a Bard at the Spring Equinox in 1995. After completing the training courses of the Order in 2002 I asked my Grove to re-initiate me as a Bard as this is where I felt my life’s journey had led me, and it’s where I wished to stay. So I hadn’t been through a rite of passage like this for 8 years. It’s good to remember what it feels like. The unknown, the way it can feel like the Universe is watching you, seeing what you do, listening to your responses, taking note, and shifting things into alignment. There is no need to go into any detail about the ritual itself. All of those feelings returned to me, and reminded me once more of the hidden power that lies behind this modern Druidic tradition. I was given the blessed scabbard, and the Order’s sword, and proclaimed the new Pendragon of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. With it, new doors have opened. I felt as I did the day after my Bardic initiation. It’s like my eyes have opened even more to the wonders of life. It’s hard to explain how this all feels. I am so full of the excitement for life I could just explode! But there are quieter, subtle shifts too. Magic is happening.

I’m off to the USA on Saturday to play some concerts at the Pagan Spirit Gathering. It’s a week-long camp so I’ll hopefully have some time to just sit quietly and meditate, and allow this all to sink in. But I don’t think they’ll let me take the sword on the plane! I’m sure this won’t be the last post about this experience, and I thought long and hard about posting anything at all. I didn’t want it to seem like an ego driven thing, but silence can also be interpreted as ego. I take this role on humbly, with honesty, and integrity, and with the aim of service to the Order, and this tradition I love so much.

20 responses to “Pendragon”

  1. I cannot think of a more worthy successor to Will. May you fullfill your office for many a long and happy year, Damh, and may the Spirit of the Land and the Goddess of the Earth make themselves known to us through you.

  2. Damh! The word Inspiration is easy to say. But you somehow in your very Be-ing – encompass what it is to live, the Awen, the Inspiration. I am honoured to have met you, honoured to see you become Pendragon of our Order.

    Thank you for always being real. Thank you for reminding me once, when it most mattered, to re-turn to the Source of Druidry. I did, I do.

    Kirsti – Aotearoa styles

  3. How wonderful, I cannot think of anyone more appropriate to hold this title. You are an inspiration to so many!
    I am inclined to think you have held this title in previous lifetimes too, so you will bring great wisdom from the past into the now!! Love and Light,
    Annie xxx

  4. What a wonderful ambassador you are for the order and how proud you must be to become Pendragon! Bright blessings for the future

  5. Oh wow, is all I can say.. how wonderful and don’t you deserve it……….the Pendragon… Somehow I see you in the days of Arthur and Merlin…… Maybe you are stepping back in time. I’m sure you will fulfill your role beautifully.

    You have prompted me to resume my studies with OBOD.


  6. Damh, very many congratulations. I have thought that you have long been a great ambassador for OBOD and being bestowed Pendragon confirms this.
    It is not an ego thing to be proud of one’s accomplishments – and certainly would not be you 😀

    Once again, congratulations.

  7. Damh ! It was a lovely ceremony and you Sir are a worthy Pendragon !!! Blessings to you on your path ahead !

  8. I know you will love Missouri. Salem is the town of my mother’s birth and her homeplace for growing up. With her 7 brothers and sisters, they survived the great depression and the wars to come. In the churchyard of a small baptist church off state highway z, my grandparents and their parents are buried. That place brings back memories of cousins, listening to my grandfather around the wood stove, smelling the pies that my grandmother made in her kitchen, watching her braid her long hair in the sunlight. It’s a wonderful place filled with wonder, magic, and the simpler life of rural Missouri. Just at the end of the Ozark Mountains, it’s a place to relax, watch the stars, and listen to the great mysteries of life and ancestors all around us.

    Even though we can’t make the trip due to work, we will be there in spirit. Enjoy the birth place of mother’s family and of my soul. You WILL be inspired by the trees, the sounds, and the beautiful streams. Just watch out for chiggers and snakes.

    Wishing we were there – Pam

  9. Blessed be to you for your accomplishments! The earth is alive to know that you are such an inspiration to us all, as is you should be. As the birds wisp a tune with their wings the wind sounds off a melody of peace and accomplishment. You are an honor to us and the mother is proud!

  10. Hi Dave
    Really pleased for you. You are an inspiration to lots of people and have certainly changed mine and my OH’s outlooks on life and spirituality and I thank you for it. An honour well deserved my friend.

    Lin x

  11. Pendragon – now there’s a title with some history to it! May your eyes, ears, mind, heart and spirit be ever open to listen as much as you speak, learn as much as you teach, and may your role be as full of fun as it is of responsibility! Here’s to the road ahead. Blessed be, and may our paths cross soon!

  12. Damh, your music led me to OBOD and I too know the feeling of opening that first brown envelope and feeling I had come home, thanks to you. Congratulations, I’m totally chuffed for you! 🙂

  13. Damh – I can think of no one more appropriate to follow on from Will as the orders Pendragon, you have inspired many people including myself with your exellent music and interpretations of Albions great gifts, that of re- telling the wonderful myths and legends in song…….a true Bard in every sense of the word!

    Rob M

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