9 Jun 2007 - Companions' Day 2007 - Chalice Well, Glastonbury
 
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Waiting for the event to begin

Forming the opening circle around the Vesica Piscis pool

Forming the opening circle around the Vesica Piscis pool

Arriving in the marquee

Joint Chair Tyna Redpath and Manager Natasha Wardle get things underway in the marquee

Well known dowser, blacksmith and author Hamish Miller gives a talk entitled The Spirit of the Well

Well known dowser, blacksmith and author Hamish Miller gives a talk entitled The Spirit of the Well

Break time back in the garden

Break time back in the garden

The Chalice Well team then takes us through a year at the Well, complete with pictures. Head Gardener Ark breaks the microphone

The Chalice Well team then takes us through a year at the Well, complete with pictures

The Chalice Well team then takes us through a year at the Well, complete with pictures

Joint Chair Joanna Laxton talks about the things that will be happening in the future at Chalice Well

The Chalice Well team takes questions. Ark breaks the microphone again!

Queuing for lunch at the Meeting Room

Our contributions had been shared out into beautiful vegetarian and vegan lunches. Deserts too!

Lunch in garden

Lunch in garden

Fairies arrive in the afternoon!

Natasha introduces Nicholas Mann's talk on the Vesica Piscis. Sorry Nick - I forgot to photograph you!

The larger closing circle around the Vesica Piscis pool

The larger closing circle around the Vesica Piscis pool

The event is now over. Time for cream teas from the Abbey Tea Rooms

But a few seconds later the heavens open and rain comes down in buckets!


I posted this report to the Chalice Well Yahoo! Group on 9 June 2007:

I arrived in Glastonbury in good time. I only had two water containers
to fill today so I took this opportunity to go straight to Wellhouse
Lane and collect 70 litres of red and white spring water. There were a
few interruptions from people with small bottles to fill but that
seems to happen whatever time of day it is. Once the water bottles
were safely secured in the car I turned around and headed to Draper's
car park - the factory just along from Chalice Well. I was directed to
a space and advised that the car park would be locked until 16:00.

This year Chalice Well had returned to the shared lunch concept. I
dropped off my pasta salad at the Meeting Room and was given a lunch
voucher in exchange. I was greeted by trustees Sophie Knock and Mary
Priest-Coburn. I chatted with a few people I knew before people
started gathering at the Vesica Piscis pool at 10:00. The opening
circle was run by Sophie and Mary. Michael Calabrese was mentioned in
the context of those connecting in absentee. Mixed water from around
the world was poured into the pool as part of the ritual.

Once this was complete we headed for the large marquee that had been
erected on the main lawn. Joint Chair Tyna Redpath welcomed everyone
to the event and described what was going to happen during the day.
She then handed over to Manager Natasha Wardle who gave a talk about
the health and safety considerations for the day. This is something
Chalice Well is increasingly aware of in these litigious times. She
also revealed the times for the three meditations in the Upper Room,
with the option of a fourth if demand was there. Natasha then handed
over to well-known dowser, blacksmith and author Hamish Miller for a
talk entitled The Spirit of the Well. Hamish is one of my heroes as
his book `The Sun and the Serpent' changed my life. It was great to
chat with him before the event started. And it was great when he came
and sat with me at lunchtime and gave me his email address. Hamish
gave an inspiring talk about how Chalice Well had set him on his
current path 20 years ago. And he used photos to illustrate his visits
to sacred sites all over the world.

After the talk it was time for a break. On returning to the marquee a
slideshow was used to illustrate the last 12 months at Chalice Well,
including many of the events I've documented with photos. Different
members of the team took it in turns to talk about the events, from
Ark talking about aspects of the garden to Michelle talking about her
stay at Little St. Michael's before her wedding earlier this year.
Next up was Joint Chair Joanna Laxton talking about the things that
will be happening in the future at Chalice Well, such as a new website
and hopefully additional toilet facilities. She advised that keeping
existing buildings in good order is always the top priority. For
example, this year we've had two new roofs. Then it was over to the
entire Chalice Well team for a short question and answer session. I
asked about whether the website would be taken in-house to allow for
more rapid updates, with the answer being `yes'. Head Gardener Ark had
no luck with any of the microphones in these sessions.

Then it was time for lunch. We had to queue behind the ticket office,
to enter the Meeting Room via the back door. While the event had been
going on in the morning some very hard working volunteers had been
taking our individual food contributions and conjuring up plates of
exciting ready-to-go vegetarian and vegan meals. Bread, nibbles and
sauces were available to add to these. There was an opportunity to
return for seconds and several types of desert were also available on
the second visit.

Things got underway back in the marquee at 14:30, where Natasha
introduced Nicholas Mann. He gave a very interesting hour-long talk on
the vesica piscis symbol. Not only is this important to Chalice Well,
it is important to Glastonbury and in religion and history. He also
revealed a finding of his own that had literally occurred two days
previously. Using astronomical modelling software, he revealed that in
3000BC an observer standing on Windmill Hill at 04:00 on mid-winter's
day would have seen a vesica piscis symbol in the sky above Chalice
Hill. This feature moved below the horizon in 2800BC but he believes
it will become visible again in about 6,000 years!

After a few questions we ran outside to do the closing circle - the
sky was looking ominous. Natasha ran this part of the event and there
seemed to be quite a few more people for this than there had been for
the morning one. After the short meditation and toning session it was
time for cream teas provided by the Abbey Tea Rooms. But just at this
time the heavens opened and rain came pouring down. The marquee
provided a welcome shelter. As the rain looked like it had set in for
quite a while, I decided to leave at this point. I collected my food
container from the front of the ticket office and headed back to
Draper's. Overall this was another excellent Companions' Day and
everyone's hard work was clearly evident.

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Page last updated: 10 Jun 2007