A Druid in the Woods
Interview by Christopher Blackwell (AREN – Alternative Religions Educationell Network) with Fearrac Dearraich /I\ Nemeton Dearraich Grove Comardiia Druuidiacta Keltia OBOD
While reading through the pages of the Order of Bards , Ovates and Druids I found Volkert. He lives in the middle of Germany and works as a natural healer with many methods including Herbalism, Chirotherapy (manipulation of the bones in cases of illness ) Music, Song and Dance. He seems to be an interesting interview partner and so this interview was made.
Während des Lesens durch einige Ordens der Barden, Ovaten und Druiden-Webseiten stieß ich auf Volkert, der in den Wäldern von Mitteldeutschland lebt und als ein Heiler arbeitet, der eine Vielzahl von Methoden, einschließlich Kräuter, Chiropraktik, Musik, Lied und Tanz. Er schien jemand zu sein, das wäre interessant, zu interviewen und er gab mir die Erlaubnis, ihn zu interviewen.
Christopher: Can you give us some informations about your background?
Übersetzung: Können Sie uns ein wenig Hintergrundwissen über sich selbst geben ?
I was raised in a pagan way by my Grand parents and parents. .This was the start of a long way… I was fascinated by nature , plants and animals and started to study Biology. Since my childhood I learned both ways – the names and History of plants and their ingredients like applications in herbal wines and crèmes . On the other side during the Study in the university I learned about chemistry and modern use in medicine.
During the time at the university I became very ill and modern medicine couldn’t help me. By the advice of an old friend of mine who was a studied Heilpraktiker and Drogist I started studying now the “green way” ( a synonym for natural Medicine )and then became healthy again. In the beginning of the eighties I graduaded the Study of Natural medicine and opened Rooms for working as a Heilpraktiker . I live now in a small village in a mountain woodland area full of celtic and Germanic History. So it seemed very natural for me to find out about my own history and cure illness with the plants here. I have made many journeys visiting North Europe to find my own roots. That was when I started learning the Runes and Ogham Systems by the help of Druids in Brittany (Bzh France) and England and I began to use music in my work..
Christopher: How long did you learn Music Song and dance?
Übersetzung: Wie lange wurden Sie in Musik, Gesang und Tanz ausgebildet?
I was seventeen when I was in Love with a french women. She invited me to a Folklore Festival in a small village. When we arrived the street was silent and empty – nobody there…. Suddenly a man came down the road with Pipes and a harmonium. He shouted out loudly througt the silent place “Would you like to dance?” It tooked only a few minutes and the whole street turned fully in a place of dancing and singing. I had never seen things like this before and so I wondered about the strong magic that made all the young and old people dancing. You may believe that this was the start of a 3 Day” Fest Noz” that I never forgot. After these Days I knew that this was something special I wanted to learn – making music that comes out of the heart and dance and sing-. But how can you manage that. I worked on playing Celtic Harp and started Folklore Dancing by many different teachers. By doing this I felt very happy and so I tried to share this feeling with my friends. From these activities we started regularly meetings in the seventies and celebrated the old yearly festivals. While doing this there is a lot of celebration with music such as Frame Drums, Bodhran (Shamanic Drums) Bells, Rattles, Celtic Harp and also the Nyckelharpa and so on. To learn in the old ways means that you can always learn some fine things more. So the so called session music with Jigs and Reels and old celtic melodies are very special.The wonderful thing is that all different people come together and restore their energy by having a lot of fun.
Christopher: Are you working with performances ?
Übersetzung: Haben Sie als Performer gearbeitet?
Yes I am working with performances. For example we are planting trees for now over 20 years with the local government. We perform events with Masks , Drums, Harps, Nyckelharpa and other instruments. We want to bring the Mystery of natural Religion and so being healthy and alive to everyone.Life is a journey and life processes take their time. There is not such a way as instant magic. One of my visions is to built places where all people can make their own experiences.We all are a part of a great family of beeings.To remember this I do such Events with Mask Theater and practice different Arts. I use natural material such as clay, grass and plants, quarz rocks, Fire spirals, Celtic Fire Houses and I choose the special places according to the so called Dragon or geomantic lines.
We had also the other sort of Music Performance like playing Live at concerts or special events.We had for example a gathering of german pagans in Fritzlar a few month ago. There was a monk named Bonifatius who got the order from Rome to missionate the pagans . Everywhere he went as a missionary he destroyed the holy places and so he also cutted down a big old Tree that was sacred to the german God Thor near Fritzlar. Doing this he was protected by soldiers . The people didn’t want him at all to do this! They had to become Christians or they were alive after being tortured. People had to hide themselves and during hundreds of years the natural pagan religion went underground. This man – a hero for Christians is a criminal for us.We have been returning again and we want to give these tortured and murdered victims a voice. To do this we founded the KultURgeister umbrella organization for pagans (www.kulturgeister.de) 20 Years ago.
I am also working with the ancient Arts of bardic and skald traditions.
Christopher: Which kind of music do you play ?
Übersetzung: Welche Art von Musik spielen Sie?
As told before I play nearly every kind of Drums and also Celtic Harp and svedish/norwegian Nyckelharpa, Guitar and keyboard.( If you like to listen see You Tube/ Viatores Donnerseele or visit the Homepage of our Grove (www.Keltia.de) .
I love to play outside in the woods or near a well or Rocks. I prefere old Trees and know a lot of them.We have many beautiful places here in the nature which are wonderfull and inspiring..
Christopher: When and how did you became Pagan and why a Druid.
Übersetzung: Wie und wann bist du Heide geworden und warum Druide?
As I told you I was raised in a pagan way. I was fully initiated when I was 18.
We believe that religion is a fundamental craft in life. In modern society we need to have the so called rites of passage for young people. It is very necessary for individuals to find their way into society and realize the role of women and men and so on. When I did the first “Quest” I had the vision that I am a Dreamgiver”. My dream is to built places where people can come back to their roots, where they can find their own middle center and feel the vibes of power.
So everyone is able to choose what he gets afterwards. Magic or wicca or shamanism are only a few words that try to explain. We have no prophets or charismatic leaders because everyone is able to find his own way of life. We don’t need a holy script or book when we can read in the nature of things. As I found out about our ancesters I found a hidden treasure of philosophy and all sciences are included. So I stopped to orientate myself in other cultures but
discovered my own background. Isn´t it funny that so many people know the Bible, the Koran,the Tao te King or Mahabarata and Popol Vuh but never heared about the Edda, the Mabinogion or the Kalevala. We want to bring back the old culture and knowledge. When I see Religion I know that is was (and still is sometimes) a means of getting free. Whenever you realize this, you find out that you can be a good friend with all people and cultures of the world. An harm it none do what you will- the witches creed says wisely..
When I started the Bardic work I looked around and found that our world is in a terrible mass. People can be bought – they sell their body and their life for little money, many of our politicians are corrupt and all states spend a lot for war and destruction machines instead of education and medicine. Our children suffer and have no chance for a good future while mighty industries try to buy our water and seeds/crops.
The Ovate work is to get in contact with true healing forces find out the missing link and get in contact with the spiritual forces. When you heal yourself you make the world a little more whole, and by this you begin to heal other beings.
The Druid I teaches the old way by celebration the yearly festivals, the rites of passage and organize official affairs like I did in gatherings, Radio or TV.
I play the harp for people planting trees and Tree circles during the events.
In the last 20 years we planted (without commercial interests) many thousand trees. As a Druid I speak also un the voice of our elders woman and men of our traditions who went before me.
I have close contact to the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids in England and we had a warm welcome when Philipp Car Gomm visited us a few years ago
Most of our musical inspirations comes from BZH Brittany, Alban Scotland, Wales Cymru, and others when we were travelling.
Christopher: How active ist he pagan society in Germany.
Übersetzung: Wie aktiv die heidnische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland ist?
To explain this we have to go a little in the past. In 743 was a Synode in Liftinae. All pagan activities were forbidden by government and church.
People were murdered and burnt for this. This “law” was official till the 1940-1950 years. In Germany the national socialism party took over and used the Pagan Runes for their own propaganda.This was one of the darkest times our natural religion had seen. In the years after 2nd world war mostly all of the runes were associated as Nazi Ideology. No wonder that I had many troubles in the past when I work for example with Oghams
When you go to Sveden or Norway you have Odin marmalade or Freyas fish conserves. When you visit GB there is a lovely pagan tradition, when you make a holiday in Brittany France you find a Triskell in every corner. Many people don’t want to be officially associated with natural religions. A teacher can loose his job here when he explains that he talks to plants. Within the website of our pagan umbrella organization (www.KultURgeister.de) you find different points of Anti Discrimination actions. So we don’t want people organizing “Witch burning Meal Partys” as advertising joke or selling Witches Blood (wine) as a drink in middle age Spectakulums. Sad enough that these things happen but they are very seldom now because of our interventions. .Many pagan groups were founded and many broke little time later.
We have many pagans in Germany who hide themselves till now. Our Group KultURgeister works in connection with ca 600 people but there are thousands of people orientated in natural religions.
Christopher: Do you work solo as individual or in a Grove (Druidic Group)?
Übersetzung: Arbeiten Sie als Einzelgänger oder arbeiten Sie in einem Hain?
Both. I work everyday for my own personal and spiritual development like druidic meditations and what I call Craft work. We are also one of the eldest groves in Germany. That means we have 3 people who are Druids. After we had very many guests we deceided to limit our Season festivals to 15-20. But we have many happenings with more guests like Full Moon wanderings in the woods with harp music and song ….. People are very interested to get informations about old ways.
Christopher: How long was your education as a Druid.
Übersetzung: Wie lange warst du in Ausbildung als Druide?
I learned from different people . One of my masters was a old man with an fundamental knowledge.He always smiled and said that a wise man always knows that he only knows little. It tooked years and years of learning for me to solve the different levels
Christopher: What is a Heilpraktiker ?
Übersetzung: Was ist ein Heilpraktiker?
Heilpraktiker is a special job like a Doctor who works only with natural Therapy. It is a very fine job. I try to see a person as a individuum and also as a social being. So I work with Minerals, plants, etheric essences and different kinds of remedies. I use Massage and chiropractice as well as Body Movements, Dance and Music. I work with this knowledge now nearly 40 years.
Christopher: How helps Music, Dance and Song and Masksperformance in a Healing? Is it similar to the shaman work.
Übersetzung: Wie hilft Musik, Tanz und Gesang und Maskenarbeit bei der Heilung? Ähnelt diesem schamanischen Heilung?
Yes it is similar to the shaman work. But it is individual and therefore different dependent on peoples background and the places where they live. I think a good shaman is able to get his client in a safe contact with the forces/entities (maybe you might call it the Inner Self) and find out about his own ressources that can be activated. Then he is usually able to reach the state of energy by his own. So the shaman is a medium that is able to wander and connect between the inner and outer worlds. We use a lot of traditional music and dancing and song of our own culture to do this..
Christopher: What ceremonies do you do for people ?
Übersetzung: Welche anderen Zeremonien, die tun Sie für Menschen?
As I mentioned in the beginning of the interview I organize and celebrate the Season festivals and what ethnology is calling Rites of passage. We have regularly meetings to built up energy with rituals for healing and blessing. I am also coaching people in difficult situations of their live and often I visit schools.
To explain the natural religion. I also celebrate celtic sweat houses ( Teach an Alais) and Fire walking ceremonies (Gabhar Teine) for nearly 40 Years.
Christopher: How can people get informations about you and the services you offer?
Übersetzung: Wo erfahre Menschen mehr über Sie und die Dienste, die Sie zur Verfügung stellen?
You can visit our Homepage www.keltia.de or the german umbrella organization www.kulturgeister.de and listen to our music and see the pictures and photos of our workings. You can also contact me via Internet firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone.
Christopher: Is there anything that you want to let our readers know?
Übersetzung: Gibt es etwas, das Sie unsere Leser wissen lassen möchten?
While reading througt the lines you notice my message : Take your time for relaxation and love. Without inner peace you will never be able to practice magic or natural religion.
If you don`t have the time for your dreams , for music, dancing and singing something in your life is wrong. I had talked to many persons short before their death. No one said “ Oh I should better have worked much more “ but all noticed they would spend much more time for their beloved partners, children and friends. Remember we will survive as great families sharing the fruits of life together with all of mankind. As every culture has unnumerable gifts we want to share this with our spiritual sisters and brothers and all of the great family all over the world. At last I hope you don`t mind my English and read between these lines with your heart. By doing this we will recognize each other when we meet. May all our beloves Godesses and Gods grant you blessings and peace and may the beautifull roads of life open wide for you.
Please note that this interview is copyright for all photos and Text by Volkert Volkmann /I\ Fearrac 2013 / 3883
Veröffentlicht im “Action“-Newsletter, Ausgabe Juli 2013
„Action“ ist der Newsletter des AREN (Alternative Religions Educational Network)