Evaporating in the storm, bathing in the rainbow

September 11, 2015

Well… what a weekend that was!


Lammas is the point in the wheel of the year which lies between the element of Fire at the Summer Solstice and the element of Water at the Autumn Equinox….

… and fire and water are two great transformational agents, and so we were in for a treat working with them over our Lammas wildcamp.

In the days running up to the workshop we kept a close eye on the forecast, which was looking rather dubious to say the least. Torrential rain and electrical storms did not bode well for a camping weekend up in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

But, as always, as our Guides had forewarned us, we were given exactly what we needed.

When we think of fire and water, the first thing that comes to mind is water putting the fire out. But when perfectly balanced between the two elements, real magic occurs, and over the course of the weekend we experienced this magic several times, in ways we couldn’t possibly have imagined.

The intention of the weekend was to work with an element, deepen our connection.

After journeying to find which element to connect with, we then went into the landscape to reflect on what we each had achieved this year, the lessons we had learnt, and what we would like to give thanks for. We each made a Grain Mother to express our gratitude ready to burn on the Lammas fire that evening.


There was a rare electrical storm forecast that day coming down from the Lake District, but it never came… until we began the ceremony that evening.

As we walked up across the field to the fire we heard rumbles in the distance. The thunder and lightning serenaded us whilst we each put our Grain Mother on the fire, and then once the last person had placed theirs and we closed the ceremony, the rain came down. It poured. It completely drenched all of us within seconds, delicious warm rain, and we all chose to stay by the fire, under the boughs of the ash and sycamore. Then the storm moved around us, with lightning lighting up the skies on both sides, for what seemed like hours. We steamed ourselves by the fire, rotating round front and back drying ourselves, evaporating what was no longer needed, and drying our drums so they would keep on playing.  We had been gifted a Wet Lodge!

We sang, drummed and shared wine until sleepiness set in. Then, just as I retired to our bell tent there was a final almighty thunder clash right over me, and the switch was flicked and the rain stopped.

The next morning the camp was strewn with piles of wet clothes outside tents, bits of our broken gazebo lying around… and lots of happy smiley people. It looked like a scene from Glastonbury festival. It had been quite a night and for some their first camping experience!


We rounded off the weekend with a Lammas Pilgrimage across the limestone pavements and wildflower meadows, and picnicked at one of the most beautiful waterfalls in England. When we arrived the river was swollen with last night’s heavy storm, and the waterfall was a torrent bursting through the rocks. As we perched in the swollen river together, our bodies cooled by the water rapids and our faces warmed by the sun, fine spray rose up and in the mist we saw rainbows, some more beauty emerging from the interface between fire and water.

We journeyed down the waterfall into the Underworld below, seeking guidance on what we should carefully gather in and take into the winter, and closed with a meditation listening to the song of the water.


On the way back we closed the weekend at a beautiful Ash tree anchored in the limestone and windswept from the air. The wind whipped around us, a last embrace with the elements before our departure. We each shared what we were taking from the weekend, and gave thanks for all the deep connections we had received from each other and the elements. A song, an elemental meditation, and the closing of the directions and we were done.

Well and truly. It took many many days to come down from that weekend. In fact, I am not sure I actually have!!

We will be back at Lower Winskill Farm next summer as we can’t wait.


Our next workshop

Our next outdoor workshop is on Sunday 20th September at Robin Hoods Stride in the heart of the Peak District, where we will be working with the Green Man. Click here to find out more.


Buy a picture

If you have fallen in love with any of these images and would like to have your own print, Jason has made them available to buy through this link.

A4 print: £19.99

A3 print: £34.99

About the Author


Nicola Smalley is an edge-dweller, shamanic practitioner and writer living in Anglezarke on the edge of the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire, England.
Following a career in corporate sustainability, she now runs The Way of the Buzzard with her husband Jason. Her passion is anything connected to nature and the mysteries of the Earth.

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