Mabon 2007 (Autumn Equinox) - Glastonbury

This page includes reports and photographs from the four Glastonbury events I attended on Sunday 23 September 2007.

Sunrise on the Tor

The Western Order of Druids celebrated the Autumn Equinox on Glastonbury Tor for sunrise on Sunday 23 September. The Order split into two groups. One representing the Gods went to the top of the Tor. The other, representing the Goddesses, remained in the Fairfield. The upper group waited patiently for the sunrise, along with members of the public. Thick dark cloud filled the skies and the prospect of seeing the sun seemed remote. But after a sharing of mead the sun began to make an appearance, a reward for those who had been waiting. The sun disappeared and re-appeared a number of times, as the thick cloud sailed on by. This group then moved down to the Fairfield. An inquisitive squirrel blocked its path momentarily. The oncoming group was greeted and I was asked to represent the God, with Petra as the Goddess. Both read out words for the rest of the Order to repeat. The three vowel mantra was then toned three times and there was a sharing of mead and ginger cake. The early morning was surprisingly warm and the Order didn’t feel like moving for a while. A discussion ensued and I read out my new Autumn Equinox poetry. I then lit a candle and placed it in a jar, ready to light a fire later on. The circle was then closed by direction and the oath of peace recited three times.With that the Order packed up and made its way to the Head of Order’s house. Here a welcome breakfast was served and the interesting conversation continued. I chopped some logs in the back garden and placed them in the wood burning stove. I then lit them from the candle brought down from the Tor. A roaring Equinox fire was soon apparent. As the fire began to subside, a collection of nearby candles was lit to continue the flame created earlier that morning. With that the group began to break up, some returning home and others visiting other seasonal events in the area.

In the early hours on the Tor

Sunrise now expected but low cloud spoils the early show

Signs of life just peaking through

The sun starts to reveal itself

The sun grows in power

Still powerful, but the sun will soon be covered again

Down to the lower the circle

The lower circle awaits

A squirrel stands in our way for a few seconds

The mead is passed around

The mead is passed around

In discussion in the Fairfield

Making our way to breakfast

Making our way to breakfast

An Equinox Fire produced from a candle lit on the Tor

The White Spring

It was time for me to move on to the White Spring in Wellhouse Lane. A small group was gathering here for an Autumn Equinox ritual. The group met up inside the building and formed a circle. Max took the group through a short guided meditation. This was followed by directional and elemental blessings - at short notice I took on the role of North and Earth. Max then gave some thoughts on the Autumn Equinox and Lisa led a song blessing the earth, air, fire, water etc. The group continued this with additional blessings for friends, the White Spring and so on. The circle then opened up and I gave my Autumn Equinox poetry its second outing of the day. Verbal contributions from some of the rest of the group followed, before the circle was closed down again by direction and element. A small feast of bread, cheese, apples and flapjacks followed and I played some of my Tibetan bowls near the group and also around the building. I managed to sample the delicious bread and flapjacks during short breaks.

Main Entrance to the White Spring

Side Entrance to the White Spring

Inside the White Spring

Inside the White Spring

Inside the White Spring

A feast enjoyed by the young and not so young

Chalice Well

With little time to spare I crossed the road and entered Chalice Well for its midday Autumn Equinox event. The site’s fifth anniversary as a World Peace Garden was also being celebrated on this day. A large group had gathered at the Well Head and our host today was Heidi Couture. Milagros Phillips got things underway with channelled voice work. Heidi then welcomed everyone and spoke about the significance of the occasion. She then took a bottle of water collected from the White Spring and poured it into the Well Head of the Red Spring - reminding us that we were at a point of balance. She then asked for words of empowerment to be passed around the group - with everyone taking the energy from the person on their right and passing it to the person on their left. Milagros then used more channelled voice to lead the group in a guided meditation. Following this everyone was asked to write some words about peace on some paper Jill had handed them at the entrance to the Well Head. Jill then talked about the peace flame that had been brought into the circle by Jenny. The source of this flame could be traced back to the embers of the destruction that had been caused by the Hiroshima bomb. Three people sat around the Well Head were asked to light peace candles from this flame. Heidi directed the group to travel to the Peace Pole in the meadow, led by the candle bearers. Once at the destination everyone was asked to tie their peace thoughts on to one of the nearby trees. The event concluded at this point and Heidi thanked everyone for coming and also Milagros for her contribution.

Gathering around the Well Head at Chalice Well

Gathering around the Well Head at Chalice Well

Gathering around the Well Head at Chalice Well

Gathering around the Well Head at Chalice Well

Milagros Phillips gets things underway with a channelled song

Host Heidi Couture welcomes the group and says a few words about the time of year

Heidi holds a bottle of water from the White Spring

Heidi pours the White Spring water into the Red Spring

Words of empowerment are now passed around the circle

Words of empowerment are now passed around the circle

Milagros Phillips channels more sounds in a guided meditation

People are then invited to write down words associated with peace

Jill reads text associated with the peace candle

Three other candles are lit from the peace candle

Heidi explains what is going to happen to the peace quotes

Heidi sends the group on their way, led by the candle bearers

Marching to the meadow

Marching through the meadow

Arriving at the trees near the Peace Pole

Attaching the peace notes to the trees

Peace notes hanging in the trees

The ceremony is now over and Heidi and Milagros thank each other

The Goddess Temple

The final port of call on this day was the Goddess Temple in the Glastonbury Experience. The Temple celebrates the eight-point seasonal cycle in its own unique way. A good-sized group had gathered by the start time and the room soon became very warm. The goddesses were welcomed in through eight directional blessings and the Lady of Avalon of was welcomed afterwards. This was followed by the story of the Tarot, with the Melissas distributing cards containing the key characters. A guided meditation followed, before giving way to a selection of home-made cakes. I was then called to do my 2007 10-verse autumn equinox poetry. I tapped my Tibetan bowl before the start of each verse and three times at the end. I was delighted with the initial reception of this performance. A variety of songs then followed and I joined in on drum, by voice and occasionally with my Tibetan bowl. Finally, the directional blessings were undone and the Goddesses were thanked for their help during the evening. All attendees were also thanked for attending. I was stunned at the number of people who approached me afterwards to thank me for the poetry. I’ve never had such an enthusiastic reception! I had requests to appear again and even requests to write on additional subjects. As I already have a full set of seasonal poetry I’m sure I can meet both demands. An amazing end to a wonderful day.

Matthew strikes his Tibetan bowl to start his performance [Photo: Mary Bancroft]

Matthew reads through the 10 verses of his Autumn Equinox poetry [Photo: Mary Bancroft]

Matthew reads through the 10 verses of his Autumn Equinox poetry [Photo: Mary Bancroft]

Matthew reads through the 10 verses of his Autumn Equinox poetry [Photo: Mary Bancroft]

Matthew reads through the 10 verses of his Autumn Equinox poetry [Photo: Mary Bancroft]

Further ritual at the Goddess Temple

Further ritual at the Goddess Temple

Further ritual at the Goddess Temple

Most of the figures are removed during ceremony to make space for guests [Photo: Mary Bancroft]


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Page last updated: 29 Sep 2007