Lammas (Lughnasadh) 2010 - Uffington, Avebury, Glastonbury and Stanton Drew

This page includes reports and photographs from the various events I attended during the season of Lammas/Lughnasadh in 2010. This celebration at 1 August sees the sun heading to its quarter down point, halfway between mid-summer and the autumn equinox. The land is very warm and so the days are still hot even though the sun is in decline. But the decrease in light is already noticeable at the beginning and end of each day. This is the first of three harvest festivals, a time for school and work holidays and of baking bread from the first wheat. The season started with the Gorsedd of Rhiannon and The White Horse at Uffington on 25 July. On 31 July it was the Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri at Avebury. A handfasting was going on as this event drew to a close and we also had the Lammas Games. The next day it was down to Glastonbury for a series of events. I climbed the Tor for the forecast clear sunrise but alas heavy cloud hid any sign of the sun. About 10 others were present but it wasn't a wasted trip as I collected 160 litres of drinking water from the red and white springs. Later I was outside the Town Hall for the start of the Goddess Conference procession. This visited Chalice Well and the White Spring before heading on to Chalice Hill. I also attended the separate seasonal events at the White Spring and Chalice Well. Following all this I headed to Stanton Drew to be with the Dolmen Grove. The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri event was taking place while I was busy in Glastonbury. There is reduced coverage this time through contributed photos. The final Lammas action was to meet up with Kellianna in Glastonbury prior to her returning home to Massachusetts. A few days later I had an idea to produce additional montages of the Goddess Conference using contributed photos. This proved to be very successful and the resulting 18 additional images are included in this report. Two of my own were already in the report.

Update:
4 Aug 2010: Added three videos of the Goddess Conference procession.
26 Aug 2010: Number of additional montages from the Goddess Conference now 18.
13 Mar 2011: Number of additional montages from the Goddess Conference now 21.
The Gorsedd of Rhiannon and The White Horse (25 July 2010)

On Sunday 25 July a small group gathered in the car park of the Uffington White Horse at the Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire border for the Lughnasadh Gorsedd of Rhiannon and The White Horse. At around 12:30 the group processed through the field at the east of the car park, to be within sight of the monument. Rainbow welcomed everyone and immediately asked for a representation of John Barleycorn to be made in the centre. Many of us had taken along grasses/cereal for this from our own localities. Green items were placed underneath with the golden ones on the top. This represented the additional ripening that was still required. The quarters were then opened, the Call For Peace was made and Firevixen and Rainbow cast the circle. The ancestors were invited in, followed by the three worlds of land, ocean and sky. This was a bigger circle than normal and so everyone was asked to keep their contributions for each of these to a single word. Rainbow brought around strawberries for everyone and asked them to reveal what their personal harvest would be this year. Firevixen led the group in the John Barleycorn song. Rainbow then destroyed the figure, rescuing the bread-based head to bring around the group. There was an opportunity to say prayers for those who have passed over or who were in need of healing. Three Awens were toned for these people. Those wishing to be admitted or readmitted into the gorsedd were asked to step into the centre for a blessing and for the group to tone the Awen around them. Following this it was time to bless the bread and mead. While these were coming around I played one of my bowls and gave my Lughnasadh poem its first reading of the season. Firevixxen followed with some further poetry, before we drummed in the season. With that it was time to close the circle, thank the ancestors and close access to the three worlds and the quarters. The event concluded with a picnic.

Montage of the complete event

Getting ready

Processing

The nearby White Horse

John Barleycorn begins to take shape

John Barleycorn is complete

Opening the South Quarter

Accessing the three worlds

Welcoming in the ancestors

Strawberries and revealing our personal harvests

Firevixen leads the John Barleycorn song

John Barleycorn must die

John Barleycorn's head is rescued

Joining the Gorsedd

Blessing the bread

Blessing the mead

Distribution of the bread

Distribution of the mead

Drumming in the season

Closing access to the three worlds

Closing the West Quarter

Lughnasadh Full Moon Rising (26 July 2010)

The 'moon rising above the hedge' shots become less likely as the year goes on. As the sun returns from its Solstice high, so the full moon rises ever further eastwards and away from the hedge. Also check out the recent 'best of' moon page.

A sign of things to come

The moon begins to show in the hedge

Power gently increasing

Power gently increasing

Almost fully exposed

Now there for all to see but complete cover by cloud is not far off

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri (31 Jul 2010)

The God and Goddess Walks were performed as at Beltane. The group processed from the Red Lion to a point near the NT Cafe. Splitting into the two groups, Allen led the God party the long way around and Willth led the Goddess party on the shorter route. Arriving at the Entrance Stones, the Goddess party waited for the Gods to arrive. Kes and Willth filled in this time with a talk on the meaning of the season. As the Gods walked down the steps, their way was blocked by Willth, Merlin and Kes and permission had to obtained to proceed. With permission granted, Allen approached Kes, who was now acting as Avebury Guardian. Other people had the chance to make offerings to Kes. An archway of staffs then began to form, initially with Allen and Merlin. And everyone then processed through to the Sun Circle. Willth welcomed everyone to the event and immediately performed the Call For Peace. He then asked for each of the four quarters to be opened. Terry took East, with Kes on South, Merlin on West and Lou Purplefairy on North. Willth then connected to the ancestors and the three worlds, before asking everyone to link hands to perform three recitals of the Druid Vow and three tones of the Druid Mantra. Terry immediately followed this with a recital of the Druid Prayer.

Terry then stepped in to talk about the season and Robyn y Glas followed with his first performance. I then performed my Lughnasadh poem prior, to the healing circle. Names were read out and three tones of the Druid Mantra performed. Willth then blessed the bread and mead and began their distribution around the circle. More performance followed. Linda did a chant to a drumbeat provided by Gareth. And Lou Purplefairy sung the John Barleycorn song with backing from Robyn y Glas. Terry then spoke about some of the previous Avebury Lammas events and Steve the Stag Lord spoke about the Lammas Games that would immediately be following the gorsedd. There was then some drumming and chanting. Willth started to wind the event down at this point. He thanked the spirits that had graced the circle, he closed access to the three worlds and then asked for the quarters to be closed. I closed South as I was sharing the task with Kes.

Montage of the complete event

Robyn y Glas assembles with the group at the Red Lion

Getting ready for the God and Goddess Walk

Willth explains the God and Goddess Walk

The God party set off with Allen

Willth leads the Goddess party

The Goddess party well on its way

Waiting for the God party

Allen requests permission to enter the stones from Merlin and Kes

Matthew makes an offering to Kes as the Avebury Guardian (Photo: Lori Aberle)

Ray makes an offering to Kes as the Avebury Guardian

Allen and Merlin are first to form the staff arch

Kes and Willth make their way through the staff arch (Photo: Dennis Wright)

Processing through the archway

Willth welcomes everyone to the event

Willth performs the Call For Peace

Merlin opens the West Quarter

Willth welcomes in the three worlds

Terry talks about the season

Robyn y Glas does his first performance

Matthew snarls through his Lughnasadh poem (Photo: Lori Aberle)

Willth blesses two bottles of mead!

Willth starts distribution of the mead

Willth blesses the bread

Willth starts distribution of the bread

Gareth drums while Linda performs her chant

Linda performs her chant

Lou Purplefairy sings John Barleycorn with backing from Robyn y Glas

Terry talks about some of the previous Avebury Lammas events

Steve the Stag Lord talks about the Lammas Games

Kes starts the drumming session

Keith maxes out on the drum

Chanting and drumming

Willth closes access to the three worlds

Matthew closes the South Quarter (Photo: Lori Aberle)

Lou Purplefairy closes the North Quarter

The event is over

An Avebury Handfasting (31 Jul 2010)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

The Avebury Lammas Games (31 Jul 2010)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

(Photo: Dennis Wright)

The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri (1 Aug 2010)

A reduced service this time as there wasn't time for me to get from Glastonbury to Avebury on the Sunday!

Morgan prepares to kill the Corn King (Photo: Dennis Wright)

Morgan annoints everyone (Photo: Dennis Wright)

The new Corn King is alive! (Photo: Dennis Wright)

The group at the end of the event (Photo: Dennis Wright)

The Goddess Conference Procession to Chalice Hill (1 Aug 2010)

The Goddess Conference is now in its 15th year. I joined my friends in this community on the last day of the event for the traditional procession from the Town Hall. A group of around 300 people set off at 10:20, turning into the High Street and then Chilkwell Street, chanting Kellianna’s I Walk With The Goddess for much of the way. Arriving at Chalice Well, the large doors were opened and the group formed up around the Vesica Pool. Kathy Jones led everyone through prayers, songs, chants and tones. Part way through this I had to leave for the White Spring. Lammas is often a time of overlapping events! The first montage below shows a selection of people waiting outside the Town Hall. The second shows the group gathered around the Vesica Pool. The remaining images in this section show me with friends, the procession through the town and more of the Chalice Well event. On 8 August nine additional montages were added to this section. But first we have three videos of the procession:


Setting off from the Town Hall (Video: mikesey)


The Chalice Well event (Video: mikesey)


Onwards to Chalice Hill (Video: mikesey)

The build-up to the procession to Chalice Hill via Chalice Well and the White Spring

Gathering around the Vesica Pool at Chalice Well

Matthew finds there is no escape from Graell! (Photo: mikesey)

The crowd parts and Matthew spots the inimitable Kellianna! (Photo: mikesey)

Starting outside the Town Hall

Turning into the High Street

Progressing up the High Street

Progressing up the High Street

Turning into Chilkwell Street

Progressing along Chilkwell Street

Progressing along Chilkwell Street

Progressing along Chilkwell Street

Progressing along Chilkwell Street

Progressing along Chilkwell Street

Approaching Chalice Well

Entering Chalice Well

Forming up around the Vesica Pool

Forming up around the Vesica Pool

Prayers, songs, chants and tones around the Vesica Pool

Prayers, songs, chants and tones around the Vesica Pool

Prayers, songs, chants and tones around the Vesica Pool

Lammas at the White Spring (1 Aug 2010)

The White Spring’s event was at 11:00 and a ‘bring and share’ feast was available from 12:00 until 15:00. The Glastonbury Candle was also present at the beginning of this event. A circle formed in the courtyard and Lisa welcomed everyone to the event. I performed my Lughnasadh poem and then Max told a story about Lugh. But before he could complete it the Goddess Conference procession had left Chalice Well and was turning the corner into Wellhouse Lane! The large group was soon at the White Spring and slowly started to make its way through the building, to a drumbeat provided by Diane, Paul and Alison.

Montage of the event

The Goddess Conference procession approaches from Chalice Well

The Goddess Conference procession approaches from Chalice Well

The Goddess Conference procession approaches from Chalice Well

Queuing to pass through the White Spring on the way to Chalice Hill

Queuing to pass through the White Spring on the way to Chalice Hill

Queuing to pass through the White Spring on the way to Chalice Hill

The Final March to Chalice Hill (1 Aug 2010)

After leaving the White Spring the Goddess Conference procession headed further up Wellhouse Lane and on to Chalice Hill. Ending with a feast of red fruit and chocolate!

Leaving the White Spring for Chalice Hill (Photo: mikesey)

Leaving the White Spring for Chalice Hill (Photo: mikesey)

On Chalice Hill for the red fruit and chocolate feast (Photo: mikesey)

On Chalice Hill for the red fruit and chocolate feast (Photo: mikesey)

On Chalice Hill for the red fruit and chocolate feast (Photo: mikesey)

Looking down on Chalice Hill from Glastonbury Tor (Photo: Stephen Goggin)

The amazing red fruit and chocolate feast! (Photo: Eriko Kawanishi)

Additional Goddess Conference Montages (Updated 26 Aug 2010)

People of the Goddess 1 of 7. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Miriam Raven, Joanne Ramesses II, Eriko Kawanishi, Annick Lentacker, Danu Lafaviere & David Spofforth

People of the Goddess 2 of 7. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Miriam Raven, Joanne Ramesses II, Eriko Kawanishi, Danu Lafaviere & David Spofforth

People of the Goddess 3 of 7. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Miriam Raven, Eriko Kawanishi, Elle Hull, Danu Lafaviere, David Spofforth & mikesey

People of the Goddess 4 of 7. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Joanne Ramesses II, Eriko Kawanishi, Danu Lafaviere, David Spofforth & mikesey

People of the Goddess 5 of 7. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Holly Owen

People of the Goddess 6 of 7. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Vera Faria Leal

People of the Goddess 7 of 7. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Anna Bordin

The Goddess Ball. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Miriam Raven & Elle Hull

The Lammas Fire in Bushy Combe . Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Eriko Kawanishi, Annick Lentacker, Danu Lafaviere & David Spofforth

Around the Conference. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Annick Lentacker & David Spofforth

The Sunday Procession and Feast 1 of 2. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Miriam Raven, Eriko Kawanishi, David Spofforth & mikesey

The Sunday Procession and Feast 2 of 2. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Eriko Kawanishi, David Spofforth & mikesey

Melissas at work setting up the Goddess Conference. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Leara Luna

Goddess Conference Miscellaneous Photos 1. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Becky Thomas

Goddess Conference Miscellaneous Photos 2. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Jana de Madrid

Goddess Conference Miscellaneous Photos 3. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Oona McFarlane

Goddess Conference Miscellaneous Photos 4. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Susan Boudica Hawksley

Goddess Conference Miscellaneous Photos 5. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Mandy Thorne

Goddess Conference Miscellaneous Photos 6. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Katinka Soetens

Goddess Conference Miscellaneous Photos 7. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Katinka Soetens

Goddess Conference Miscellaneous Photos 8. Montage: Matthew. Photos provided by: Drew Miles

Lammas at Chalice Well (1 Aug 2010)

Chalice Well’s event was at midday. Sophie welcomed everyone and spoke for a short time about the meaning of the season. She then revealed that the Glastonbury Candle was present, with emissaries from the Pilgrim Reception Centre. Sophie lit the candle and then 15 minutes of silent meditation followed. Following this she asked if there were any contributions and so I did another performance of my Lughnasadh poem. A special visitor was then introduced. Ganesh had sculpted the statue in the Sanctuary. He spoke about this for a few minutes and then gave everyone a blessing. Following this Sophie finished off the event by getting everyone to link hands and tone three ohms. Conversations then continued on the lower lawn, where a small fire was burning and refreshments were being served.

Montage of the event

The Dolmen Grove at Stanton Drew (1 Aug 2010)

The last event of the day for me was a visit to Stanton Drew with the Dolmen Grove. A picnic was well underway by the time of my arrival. The group was situated between the Great Circle and the South West Circle, with the young bulls showing quite an interest. I was able to catch up with many of my friends in the Dolmen Grove. Later we moved to the North East Circle and made our own circle within it. Taloch talked about the season and community and then led the group through the ‘Not I Nor Three’ - the first time I’d experienced it without accompanying drums. The group then sent out tones of Ohm, Awen and the Druid Mantra. I stepped forward to perform my Lughnasadh poem for the third time that day. Everyone else had a chance to express any thoughts or make any announcements. The circle concluded at this point and people stayed in this area to chat, prior to heading back to the picnic area. A lovely afternoon and I was delighted to have made it on this busy day.

Montage of the event

In picnic mode

In picnic mode

A small ritual in the North East Circle

A small ritual in the North East Circle

At the North East Circle following the ritual

Merlin and Linda test out the stones

Kellianna Goes Home (3 Aug 2010)

Matthew met up with Kellianna again prior to her hitting the road for Massachusetts. Both were maxed out after a very busy season.


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Page last updated: 13 Mar 2011