Tales from the Road – Yorkshire’s Sacred Land

On the weekend of the 26th July me and Cerri traveled to Yorkshire to play at the Oakleaf camp. The location was an amazing farm on which the owner had built a reconstructed Roundhouse, and a huge stone circle. There was also a beautiful natural sacred spring. What a location for a Pagan camp! It also seems that there’s a waiting list to get to this camp as it sells out every year, no surprise really.

We arrived and were met with gusto by our good friends The Dagda, and then directed to the traders field (Cerri had a stall for her T shirts). After a long drive I sometimes find it hard to get into the vibe of events – we call it our ‘albatross landing’, and we seem to have to go through it. So we just set up the tipi and made a cup of tea (the good old ‘Eastender’s’ solution – works every time!). I was due to play in the marquee on the Saturday night, so we had a night, and a full day to chill out, which was lovely.

Pagans love drums. And on the Friday night the firepit circle was alive with dancing and drumming – really good drumming too! Some of the best I’ve heard. There was a real tribal feel, and everyone seemed to know each other which is always a good thing, but it wasn’t cliquey. We were welcomed wherever we went and had a great night.

When it was getting dark Cerri and I went for our first visit to the stone circle. What an amazing place! Each stone had the image of an animal carved onto it, and we were told later that the skeleton of each animal was under the appropriate stone, including two horses, one under each entrance stone (all died naturally). I love old stone circles, but this one was somehow even more special. We know why it was built, exactly why. No archaeologist can diss us for working our magic within its ring. A real modern Sacred Site.

The Saturday night concert arrived and the drummers had been told not to drum until after, as I did the gig completely acoustically. The marquee was packed, and I just knew by the vibe it was going to be a good night. I was going to play for 45 minutes and then have a break while the floor was opened to other performers, then play for another hour. A made the mistake of mentioning that I’d played The Wheels on the Bus at the PF Devon and Cornwall conference (see a previous blog entry for the video!), and was inundated with requests (all tongue in cheek I’m sure) for that song, but resisted playing it…

We had high moments of joy together, and moments of depth. I love playing music. There are few times I feel more alive than when I’m entertaining an audience, and I loved every minute playing at Oakleaf. The floor spot entertainment was great too, and I’m sure a few of those who performed will have recorded music out soon.

The great news is that they’ve asked me back next year, and this time we’re going to try to stay until the end, and see their Wickerman ritual.

7 responses to “Tales from the Road – Yorkshire’s Sacred Land”

  1. I was there, sat almost at the front and I have to say – It was the most magical night and I had the great delight of introducing 4 of my dearest friends and my 2 children (12 and 14) to your music – My daughter – who was in the sort of grouchy mood only 12 year old girls can get into at the start was enraptured by the end and my son – who being that age doesn’t like to admit to liking anything his mum suggests enjoyed it hugely as well.

    My friends also enjoyed it hugely – It was a brilliant night – Thank you so much – Your music and the OBOD podcasts that you produce have been a complete inspiration to me and my path – so much so – I’m hoping to begin the Bard grade of OBOD in the near future

    Hope to hear you at the Mercian gathering and next years Oakleaf

  2. Sorry, Damh, but you`ve been misinformed about who built the roundhouse and the stone circle – it was the Oakleaf group members who built them; the owner has just benefitted from them! x

  3. Thanks for putting the record straight Lynn. I knew the Dagda and many others had been involved with the Stone Circle, but I didn’t know that the Roundhouse was also an Oakleaf construction. Amazing stuff, and what a magical place!

  4. I too enjoyed the Satudray night concert, it was wonderful. I am proud to say I was one of the groupies, (probably the oldest) standing at the back. Not so much standing as dancing and singing along to one of the best concerts I have been to.

    The whole camp was fantastic and the icing on the cake for me was meeting you and having a picture taken with you and the first book in the Stonewylde series.

    Looking forward to next year and your next album.

    Thank you for that amazing evening at Oakleaf, one many of us will remember, especially a little boy called Regan.


  5. I’m one of the friends Amethyst Dragon speaks of in the first comment above, and can fully endorse her view of the evening. I had a wonderful time, and really connected to your music and, thereafter, the podcasts. It was brilliant, thanks so much for coming along and making that Saturday night extra special! x

  6. Just caught up on your post about Oakleaf Camp – thanks for all your wonderful comments and for your great music on the Saturday night. You’re both coming back next year? Fantastic! I really hope you can stay for the Wickerman ritual, it’s worth it! (You missed Kali’s pants this year – ask Carol!)

    The website for the farm where the camp is held is http://www.limetreefarm.co.uk – there are some pictures of, and lots of information about, the roundhouse and the stone circle there for those who would like to find out a bit more about the site.

  7. Another of AD’s friends here … I’d heard her talk of your music beforehand and had seen a youtube but to see you live … wow, loved it! Loved you at the Mercian Gathering too … I was the cheeky one who nabbed the last copy of Herne’s Apprentice which I’m listening to and loving right now :o)

    See you at Oakleaf next year!

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