The first quest in a new campaign my bard and the other player’s rogue are tasked with curing a mysterious illness coming from a Druid’s grove. We find and fix the issue, by becoming the host to the parasitic sentient plant causing the issue.
The druid is no where to be found, but there is a rod of cure minor wounds on the ground. My character takes it and writes in the sand “Saved your grove, took your rod as compensation”.
On our way out the druid finds us and thanks us heavily for saving his grove, vowing to always be our friend.
Me: So you think he will feel that way after reading that note I left?
Rogue: You mean the one that JUST said “Saved your grove” oh yeah, for sure.
Me: I knew we would get along well, thanks for the save.
Dear Open Journal: Journey to the Astral Ovate Grove
So part of my Ovate Grove work is learning how to astral travel, which I’ve been doing for ages so I’ve got the basics already on lock. The scary part of this work is that I’m traveling to a communal grove utilized by the Ovates of the OBOD! DUDE! I’ve never been to a communal astral area before.. at least not on purpose and not with living people in it.
So I started off in my own Grove and there were the three wolves I’ve already written quite a bit about. I don’t even know if they have names… you know… I’ve never asked and that’s quite rude of me! They were lounging around the small pool so I walked up and sat on the edge of the water with my feet dangling in the water. The youngest wolf was up on the rock, laying on it’s back, playing with some branches from the Hazelnut tree that hung low. The middle aged one was walking around the Grove and the oldest one was sitting up near the pond watching me. The old one asked me what I was here. I said I was here to learn again. He asked if I was looking to learn anything in particular. I said “um, well… I’ve been requested to travel to the Ovate Grove of the OBOD but I don’t know quite how to get there nor what I’m going to find when I do get there.”
He looked at me like he already knew the answer on how to get there and that he was a little amused that I didn’t know the answer already. I took that as a sign that maybe I wasn’t focusing enough so I focused more on the edge of my Grove to ascertain if there was a pathway to the Ovate Grove. There was, at the 1 o’clock position, a pathway in the woods that led somewhere else. The pathway was surrounded by beech trees and ferns and when I was getting close to the end of the pathway breathing got a lot harder… like physically more stiff. The air was heavy and full of knowledge and power and I knew I was getting close to my destination.
I got to the end and I slid inside to the right and sat down with my back against the last beech tree, facing the new grove but I closed my eyes. I don’t know why I couldn’t look at it but I didn’t feel like it was appropriate yet. I didn’t feel worthy of being there. I felt very young and inexperienced. I heard someone clear their voice which shocked me a bit and then a felt a tapping on my head. I looked up and there was this old dude in a hooded robe standing above me with a staff in his hand. He was calm and smiling. He said “Hey. Welcome to the Ovate Grove of the OBOD. What are you doing sitting down here?” I replied, as eloquent as ever with “just sitting”. He just nodded his head and sat down beside me, mimicking my sitting pose. We sat there for I don’t know how long. I appreciated him sitting beside me. He was a very warm presence. I just didn’t feel bold enough for much more this visit. Maybe next visit. I went back the same way I came and when I got back to my own Grove the three wolves were still there chilling. I sat down where I had and the oldest asked me if I had learned anything. I told him “I learned today that all of our Groves are rather like a complex beehive.” He just chuckled and said “as above, so below”.
This most sacred and mysterious of our native trees is thought of as the king of the forest. It is connected to the summer solstice and the sun. It exudes great love and warmth of a fatherly disposition.
It offers us strength, protection and courage simply by being in its presence for a while. It is also seen as a doorway or portal tree. By meditating near one you can find yourself taken to other realms. Your life battles are often made clearer and easier by its magic as a consequence. It is a great tree to go to when you need to calm down. It forces you to slow down to its speed and helps you to put tensions into perspective. Then its soothing caring side almost puts an arm around you and reassures you that all is well.
The ancient druids met in sacred groves of oaks. Legends and myths abound with famous oaks: King Arthur’s story includes Merlin’s oak at Carmarthen, Robin Hood’s tale includes the Major oak at Sherwood Forest and Herne the Hunter at Windsor park who has less than three possible contenders.