An Enchanted Evening

Loreena Mckennitt was absolutely brilliant at the Royal Albert Hall last night. I have been a fan of her and her music for a quarter of a century now, and last night I got to see her and her ten other supremely talented musicians up close and personal.

She played all my favourites, from the new album Lost Souls and also from her older material, including many of my “witchy/pagan” favourites, such as All Soul’s Night, Pagan Trees (newly titled Ages Past, Ages Hence), the Mystic’s Dream and more. For the encore, she played my absolute most favourite song in the world: “Tango to Evora”, starting with just her on her Troubadour harp and Ana Alcaide on nyckelharpa, and then slowly all other ten musicians joined in, until it was just a beautiful wall of music and enchantment that took my breath away. Rousing favourites were, of course, Santiago and the mysterious and alluring Marco Polo. And ending with Dante’s Prayer, and the vocals trailing off into a whisper… “Please remember me.”

I can’t tell you how happy I am to have seen this and heard these wonderful musicians playing together in the incredible setting of the Royal Albert Hall. Overwhelmed. www.loreenamckennitt.com

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Blessings of Imbolc

Bright blessings of the returning light to you all! We’ve been filming this morning, for our Druid College Online Course which we hope will be available next year. Here’s one of my favourite spots…

The King Stag

The deer rut is in full swing here where I live, and out on the heath the stags are calling, fighting and just generally being splendid. Here are some shots that I got this week – sadly, I couldn’t take any photos of the clashes, as it was too dark with evening coming swiftly on!

Beauty and the Belly Workshop 2018

We had a great time at Mystic Belly Dance‘s Beauty and the Belly Workshop and Photography Session yesterday 🙂

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Diving headlong into my journeys with the Otherworld, I chose a faery theme for my photos, and we had a brilliant time walking the meadows and basking in the sunshine, smelling the blossom and the green. Welcome summer! Photographs by myself and Graham Haynes.

The Music of Autumn

Got my camera and harp out today, and had to snap some shots before all the leaves had fallen…

“Harp and carp, Thomas,” she said,
“Harp and carp, along wi’ me,
And if ye dare to kiss my lips,
Sure of your bodie I will be!”

“Betide me weal, betide me woe,
That weird sall never daunton me;
Syne he has kissed her rosy lips,
All underneath the Eildon Tree.

“Now, ye maun go wi me,” she said,
“True Thomas, ye maun go wi me,
And ye maun serve me seven years,
Thro weal or woe as may chance to be.”

extract from “Thomas the Rhymer” by Sir Walter Scott

October Skies

I adore this time of year. The light in the sky is amazing, the colours of autumn in their full glory, the smell of woodsmoke on the wind. Everything is turning, everything is changing, every day is so very different to the one before.

We just had our first weekend of getting together with the Year 1 apprentices from Druid College UK (all eighteen of them!) and once again we are truly blessed with a wonderful group. I am very much looking forward to working with them, as we move through the realm of the Land during the autumn and winter months.

Work is still in full swing for my eighth book, with Llewellyn Worldwide (working title “Hedge Druid – Beyond the Hedgerow”. I’ve gone and worked so hard that I’ve given myself RSI these last couple of weeks, so that’s why it’s been a bit quiet on here. I’m slowly getting back to the computer and keyboard, but must be more careful.

In the meantime, I’ve gotten out my camera, and today got the photos on the hard drive. THIS is why I love October…

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© Joanna van der Hoeven 2017

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Tasty Morsel © Joanna van der Hoeven 2017

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October Skies © Joanna van der Hoeven 2017

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Sahara Dust & Sun © Joanna van der Hoeven 2017

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