Rob Wilson - A Little history.........
For the last 25 years Rob Wilson has explored the Pagan heritage of Britain; expressing his deep, raw, rich, vital Pagan spirituality through modern animistic path. For Rob being modern day Animist is about building and deepening our sacred spirit/soul connections to nature; the nature within us and without us. Finding the freedom to allow our soul to sing its story without fear and inhibition. To know the spirit of tree, stone and bones of our ancestors it to take the responsibility of being a priest of nature. Rob shares this wisdom and helps others to express their spirituality creatively, wildly, deeply, all rooted in this sacred land. Being exposed to teachers of various Pagan traditions, Rob has grown and matured through Druidry and his Traditional Craft that he says ‘allows me to live in the mad, intolerant, materialistic 21st century’. Professionally his degree in Geography and Environmental Studies and Psychology has led him to be involved in Environment Education for the young and old, and community outreach work.
A little history...
As a young Lad growing up in the East End of London, he found it difficult to ‘fit-in’ and conform to the community around him. Being very much a loner, he had very few friends who truly understood him, his school days didn’t hold any happy memories, yet his childhood life at home was the best, with his parents supporting Rob on his decisions and interests, and giving him the freedom to explore and grow. The most memorable days of his youth are those when he spent time in the English Countryside, with his family; either in the hidden Kentish valley, Knatts Valley and his Gypsy friends or the many camping trips to Cornwall, Norfolk and Kent. It was the time spent in Knatts Valley that, with hindsight, his animist craft began to form. Helping an elderly lady who was simply known as “Joan” to look after her garden, she taught him about the properties of plants, the countryside and how everything had an essence/spirit. It was not until he left school and went to college and found a real freedom of thought, that he discovered the Pagan Federation, and Likeminded folk of the London Pagan and Occult scene. It was during this time he was initiated into a Coven, studied Shamanism, Druidry and Traditional Witchcraft.
In the early 1990’s Rob’s parents bought a house in Vigo (the village in the woods), Kent, moving the family to countryside they all loved so dearly. It was during this time of great change that Rob found himself in a deep depressive state, and relied on his spirituality to carry him through those dark days. At the same time he joined the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and started the relatively new correspondence course in Druidry. He also joined a new working group “Rhiannon’s Wheel”, which he ended being initiated into and running with Traditional Witch, Margaret Pearson.
Not long after moving to Kent from East London, he took up the challenge to volunteer as the Pagan Federation's regional coordinator for Kent. He established the reweaving of the Pagan community of Kent, offering open rituals, rites of passage, talks, walks and pub moot visits. After a few years as regional coordinator, Rob decided that the time was right to pour his energies; time and commitment into forming a Grove, and resigned from his duties with the Pagan Federation. This Grove was to be founded on the principles and ethos of the earthy, raw, vital Animism he worked with on a solitary basis. The North West Kent Grove was born and affiliated to the British Druid Order. At the same time, his love for sharing and deeply exploring this path lead him to form Woodspirit, offering outdoor workshops, walks and talks.
Within the physical Grove that Rob knew so well, many nights were spent, alone, weaving the magic of this Grove, nurturing its vision, into the realm of physicality. And then free from all burdens and previous commitment the Grove was about to be reborn and emerged, re-named as the Greenwood Grove. In 2005/6 Rob left working with Touch the Earth. In the beginning of 2008 The Greenwood Grove dissipated and was closed. This was a hard and difficult journey for him to take. As the ebb and flow waxed and waned upon his soul. He found great clarity and inspiration in all that had happened during those years. At around the Lughnasadh full moon in 2008, a vision, and new grove energy was at the edge of his soul’s intention. Roharn’s Grove started to emerge and inaugurated at Samhain 2008.
In early 2009 Rob met his partner Iain, by July of that year their union was blessed at Druid Camp in a simple ceremony. By December 2011 they had a Civil Ceremony at Maidstone and then a Handfasting in the woods of their home. Iain supports Rob’s work as his partner, providing a lot of practical help with his work through Woodspirit and the many groups/workshops and events they now run together.
In 2015 Rob started to cut ties with organisations and groups that he had been fully immersed in, in order to find a renewed clarity and to take time to find and expression of his Animistic path that was tugging at his soul. Stripping his beliefs, experinces and teachings down to a simple yet deeply profound way of working, with land, spirit, the gods, the ancestors, herbs, root and bark. He found a new word that held the power of his animistic path, Wildcraft! Today Rob refers himself as a Druid, Wildcrafter, Folk herbalist and Bone Singer!