Ros Briagha has spent the last 30 years working in the field of the occult, after becoming interested in astrology and Tarot when introduced to them by a friend in 1974. She worked at the first Festival of Mind, Body and Spirit at Olympia, with Russell Grant, and set up a branch of the British Astrological-Psychic Society, where speakers came to talk on various aspects of the occult, as well as teaching her own classes in astrology, from 1976.
She then joined a Alexandrian coven, and became its High Priestess for 7 years, during which time she and the High Priest, her partner Bel Bucca, moved to Wales and set up the first open pagan celebrations of the Eight Festivals.
In 1984 she attended a gathering in Glastonbury, which lead to her involvement in the first Glastonbury Camps, and then Oak Dragon, where she became managing director at the end of the first season, and had a major influence on the development of the camp scene, always encouraging a friendly connection between the different camps. She sponsored the first Peace through the Arts camp, by providing them with an Oak Dragon site and equipment, and encouraged the Unicorn camps too.
Teaching Astrology has been an ongoing theme of Ros’s work, at camps and at her home, Elfane, and she has also tried to bring into being a modern form of ceremony, based on her Wiccan background, but open to the participation of all, including children and those on other spiritual paths. There have been many ceremonies at Elfane, and at camps, and these have been important Rites of Passage for those involved.
Another form of ceremony that Ros has been deeply involved with has been the Sweat Lodge, which she first encountered through Brian Mongere, the founder of the Kings Hill community at Glastonbury, who lived on the land at Elfane for a year, working his Earth Dragon project, creating Sacred Space within the landscape.
This concept was brought to Tipi Valley, a community in west Wales, and she went on to do many sweat lodges there, and eventually moved to the Valley, in 1996. During her time there, she learnt much about the realities of astronomy and geomancy, living on the land and under the light of the Sun and Moon, and shared in many a wonderful tribal celebration.
After 7 years at Tipi Valley, where Ros lived in both a geodesic dome and a tipi, she returned to Elfane and stared running classes in Meditation, and Magical development in 2002. She also reconnected with Oak Dragon, which she had effectively ceased to run in 1995, and focalised the camp in 2005 and 2006. In 2006 she was assisted in this process by Will Berisch-Secrétan, and when he returned from his trip to Australia over the winter of 06/07, he came to live at Elfane and together they started the Oak Dragon School, carrying on the themes of Ceremony, Magic and connecting with Nature that have been so present in Ros’s life.
Bel Bucca has been a carver of pagan images in wood and stone for many years
now. He was part of establishing Elfane as a pagan centre in 1981, and now lives
in Wales, the land of his ancestors.
His work is mainly done to commission, when he will go out and find the right
wood to make that individual piece. This will be taken with care and full respect for
the tree, which helps to imbue his pieces with their powerful presence. The piece
will then be carved, stained and/or varnished, waxed and polished till the beauty of
both the living wood and the carving are revealed in their fullness.
Bel spends much of his time in the woods, connecting with the dryads, and
developing the visions that go to inform his artwork. For individual orders, he will
ask for details as to choice of wood, particular deity, and any other requirements,
so please consider these if you wish to make an order.
To contact Bel, please either email him via the Oak Dragon,
or write to: Elfane, Mynyddcerrig, near Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. SA15 5BD.