Mabon/Autumn Equinox 2010 - Priston, Stonehenge, Glastonbury and Avebury

This page includes reports and photographs from the various events I attended during the season of Mabon/Autumn Equinox in 2010. This celebration at 23 September see the sun rising due east but only rising to its half way point. The season is the second of three harvest festivals, sitting between Lammas and Samhain. For the next six months there will be more dark than light, with the light ever declining until Winter Solstice. Mornings and evenings are increasingly dark. The season started for me on 19 September at Priston with the Morris Dancing element of the village's Autumn Festival. On 22 September I visited Glastonbury for the Autumn Equinox event at the White Spring. Managed Open Access occurred at Stonehenge for sunrise on 23 September. I returned to Glastonbury later that day for an event at Chalice Well. And I was out and about that evening photographing the Harvest Moon. The following day it was off to Avebury for the Cauldron of Cerridwen, the Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri and to witness the creation of the first Archdruid of Spain. It was back to Avebury the following day for the final event of the season - the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri.

Priston Festival 2010 (19 Sep 2010)

Priston held its 2010 Festival between 17 and 19 September. I looked in on the Sunday afternoon for the Morris Dancing. Four sides were present - the village's own Jubilee Morris, the ladies from nearby Somerset Morris and two other visiting sides - Mr Wilkins' Shilling from Bath and Winterbourn Down Border Morris. A manic two-hour session was on offer, with each side doing one dance before handing over to the next. While this was going on Andrew Neil from the BBC Daily Politics Show was interviewing the local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg!

Montage of the Sunday afternoon

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Priston Jubilee Morris

Priston Jubilee Morris

Priston Jubilee Morris

Priston Jubilee Morris

Priston Jubilee Morris

Priston Jubilee Morris

Priston Jubilee Morris

Priston Jubilee Morris

Priston Jubilee Morris

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Mr Wilkins' Shilling

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

The White Spring (22 Sep 2010)

A group gathered at the White Spring on this evening to celebrate the Autumn Equinox and the Moon. Max invited everyone inside to form a circle. With everyone linking hands, Max talked about the season. He then invited everyone to find a part of the building to contemplate in. The end of this period was signalled with Max toning the Ohm sound. He was delighted when the group spontaneously returned several more tones of the mantra, prior to reassembling. Back in circle Max took the group through a meditative journey linked to the moon and our personal harvests. It was then time to gather around the main pool to connect with the water. The group then went through a chant about the honouring of water. This was followed by three more Ohms. Food and drinks were available and songs were performed on guitar. Later I performed my Equinox poem in the courtyard.

Gathering outside the White Spring

Managed Open Access at Stonehenge (23 Sep 2010)

A large group attended a very wet Stonehenge on 23 September for what turned out to be an excellent event.

Merlin and Linda wait to go in (Photo courtesy of www.stonehenge.mercurymoon.co.uk)

Rollo chats with visitors (Photo courtesy of www.stonehenge.mercurymoon.co.uk)

Arthur and Rollo chat with visitors (Photo courtesy of www.stonehenge.mercurymoon.co.uk)

In amongst the stones (Photo courtesy of www.stonehenge.mercurymoon.co.uk)

In amongst the stones (Photo courtesy of www.stonehenge.mercurymoon.co.uk)

Chalice Well (23 Sep 2010)

A good-sized group gathered around the wellhead at midday. Natasha welcomed everyone and talked about the nature of the season. She then commenced a 10-minute silent meditation. At the end of this she sang a beautiful song and the sun began to appear. She then invited everyone to put their hand on their heart and to visualise peace and balance being sent out to the world. There was an invitation for other contributions and so I performed a shortened version of my Equinox poem. Everyone then linked hands and toned the ohm sound three times. Natasha thanked everyone and gave details of an up and coming retreat at the site. She then asked for silence to be maintained as people made their way back down the gardens. Down on the main lawn a fire was burning and refreshments were available.

Montage of the event

The Harvest Moon (23 Sep 2010)

Out and about with the Harvest Moon

Out and about with the Harvest Moon

Out and about with the Harvest Moon

Out and about with the Harvest Moon

Out and about with the Harvest Moon

Out and about with the Harvest Moon

The Cauldron of Cerridwen Ritual at Avebury (25 Sep 2010)

The Cauldron of Cerridwen Autumn Equinox event took place at Avebury on 25 September. The group met at the Red Lion and then moved near to the Sun Circle to set up. Tyto started by teaching the group a short chant to be used later. Sian welcomed everyone to the event and handed over to Raveness for an introduction to the season. Sian followed by blessing the altar. Saulire stepped forward to accept the sword, before walking around the circle to cast it. The four quarters were then opened by individuals from the circle, with me taking West. Saulire invoked Cerridwen in Sian and Lucara invoked Cernunnos in Taran. The Charge of the Goddess saw Sian welcoming the Lady, leading to the Charge of the God with Taran welcoming the Lord.

Owlswing returned as Lord of the Dark and everyone spiralled in to the centre to see him, passing on an achievement for the year. Once everyone had done this Tyto returned to lead the group in the chant learnt earlier. This was accompanied by beats from the Earth Star Drummers. After a few minutes of this, Owlswing released all the information he had been given. At this point Taran blessed the ale and Sian blessed the bread. I was then asked to perform my Spring Equinox poem, followed by Owlswing who did a couple of jokes. The Earth Star Drummers did several additional numbers, including their Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and others for dancing and spiralling. It was then time to thank the Goddess and God and to release the quarters. Saulire collected the sword again so he could release the circle. The event concluded with three readings of the Druid Vow and a Merry Meet, Merry Part and Merry Meet again.

Montage of the complete event

Tyto teaches a short chant to the group

Sian welcomes everyone

Raveness reads some text to introduce the season

Sian blesses the altar

Saulire casts the circle

Opening the South Quarter

Saulire invokes Cerridwen in Sian

Lucara invokes Cernunnos in Taran

Charge of the Goddess

Charge of the God

Waiting to see Owlswing as the Lord of the Dark

Everyone reveals their achievements this year to Owlswing

Tyto leads the group in the chant learnt earlier

The Earth Star Drummers accompany the chant

Owlswing releases all the information

Taran blesses the ale

Sian blesses the bread

Distribution of the bread and ale

Owlswing tells a couple of jokes

Dancing to the Earth Star Drummers

Spiralling around the Earth Star Drummers

Spiralling around the Earth Star Drummers (Photo: John C)

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Thanking the Goddess

Thanking the God

Closing the North Quarter

Saulire calls back the circle

A Merry Meet, Merry Part and Merry Meet Again

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri (25 Sep 2010)

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri followed at about 14:00, with the group processing from the Red Lion to the Sun Circle. This was a particularly large group, swelled by a delegation of visiting Basque and Spanish druids. 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, Kim on West and Pagan Chef on North. Arthur and Cas welcomed in the God and Goddess. Willth asked 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. He then stepped in to the centre for a short talk about the season. Robyn y Glas read a poem for his new granddaughter and followed with a song. Linda came on next and took the group through her poem/chant.

Willth blessed the bread and mead and started their distribution around different parts of the circle. More performances followed. I did another reading of my autumn equinox poem. Septimus followed with one of his works. Lou Purplefairy read one of her poems. Dreow Bennett performed his superb Mabon song. Ray stepped through one of his poems. One of the visitors played his accordion, which caused a few people to enter the centre to dance. Arthur got the group to do the "We All Come From The Goddess" chant and Willth asked the group to honour the sun. With that it was time for Arthur and Cas to thank the God and Goddess. The quarters were then closed. I often share South with Kes and so she invited me to close it on this occasion. It was then three cheers for the Autumn Equinox. The circle stayed in place for the next event.

Montage of the complete event

Processing to the Sun Circle

Forming up the circle

Willth performs the Call For Peace

Kim opens the West Quarter

Arthur and Cas as the God and Goddess

Terry performs the Druid Prayer

Terry talks about the season

Robyn y Glas reads a poem for his new granddaughter

Robyn y Glas follows with a song

Linda performs her chant

Willth blesses two bottles of mead!

Matthew performs his poem (Photo: John C)

Septimus performs one of his works

Willth blesses the bread

Lou Purplefairy reads one of her poems

Dreow Bennett performs his Mabon song

Ray performs one of his works

A musical contribution from one of the visitors from Spain

Arthur and Cas dance to the music

Dreow and friend dance to the music

Arthur starts the group off in the "We All Come From The Goddess" chant

All hail the sun!

Thanking the God and Goddess

Closing the West Quarter

Three cheers for the Autumn Equinox

Creating The First Archdruid of Spain (25 Sep 2010)

Terry then took over the circle for a special event - the creation of the first Archdruid of Spain. Arthur stepped forward to help. The candidate was radiographer Gracia Chacon and her husband (the singer Roberto Salazar) was on hand for translations. The circle was unusually rich with esteemed guests on this day. Each took it in turn to direct a question to the candidate. Arthur asked his own question as well as another for Rollo, who could not make it. A vote was taken and Gracia was confirmed as the first Archdruid of Spain. She was given several gifts and she made her way around the circle to sing. Some of the Basque and Spanish visitors also danced for her. An historic event.

Montage of the complete event

Terry takes over the circle

Arthur steps forward to help

Gracia Chacon is quizzed by people around the circle, with husband Roberto Salazar on hand for translations

A positive vote comes through

Step forward Gracia Chacon as the first Archdruid of Spain

Traditional dancing for the new Archdruidess

Traditional dancing for the new Archdruidess

The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri (26 Sep 2010)

The Mabon ritual of the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri was held at Avebury on Sunday 26 September. The group formed up at the National Trust Cafe. Morgan welcomed everyone and roles were nominated. The silent procession to the Entrance Stones then began. Patricia took on the role of Avebury Guardian and led the procession, ending by sitting in the Goddess Seat. Morgan led a few minutes of drumming to allow everyone to tune into the site. She then asked for permission for the group to enter the stones. I went next and many others followed. The Guardian granted permission and myself and Ray made an archway with staffs and everyone processed through to the Ring Stone. Morgan welcomed everyone to the main circle. As per tradition the circle opened with the Round of Amergin, where everyone says “I Am” and the archetype they represent. I joined Morgan for the Call For Peace in English and Welsh from North clockwise, with the rest of the group confirming. The four quarters were then opened, with me taking South. Rebecca came into the centre to welcome in the ancestors. And Morgan asked Steve the Stag Lord to give his thoughts on the season.

Morgan talked about the season and its theme of balance. She then asked everyone to walk around the circle to a drumbeat. Rebecca then represented Cerridwen, stirring her cauldron. Everyone had the chance to cast off negativity by shouting it out. Once everyone had finished all of the group was asked to shout at the same time, with Rebecca running quickly around the Ring Stone to eradicate the problems. The group then closed in around the Ring Stone and everyone had the chance to manifest a new wish over a candle. Morgan distributed a few seeds to each person. These were to take home for planting. The group toned the Awen three times. Morgan, Rebecca and Ray blessed the apples, bread and mead and then began their distribution around the circle. While this was going on, Jennie came forward with her guitar to perform a song. I stepped forward next and did the last performance of my Autumn Equinox poem for 2010. Steve talked about his thoughts on the season, Pete performed a song, Ray performed a poem and Jennie returned for another short song. Steve the Stag Lord entered the centre to give a blessing. The group then linked hands to perform the Druid Vow. With that the quarters were closed anti-clockwise from North. Morgan asked everyone to add their voice to the Avebury landscape. And it just remained for everyone to pose for a group photograph.

Montage of the complete event

Meeting up at the National Trust Cafe

Processing to the Entrance Stones

Processing to the Entrance Stones

Processing to the Entrance Stones

Patricia in the role of Avebury Guardian

The group tunes into the site

Morgan asks for permission to enter the stones

Various people make offerings to the Guardian

The Guardian grants permission for the group to enter the complex

Keith exits through the staff archway

Processing to the Ring Stone

Setting up around the Ring Stone

Opening the North Quarter

Rebecca welcomes in the ancestors

Steve the Stag Lord gives his thoughts on the season

Moving around the circle to a drumbeat

Rebecca as Cerridwen, stirring the cauldron

Running around the Ring Stone to release all the problems

Manifesting the new with a candle

Morgan distributes seeds to everyone

Blessing the apples, bread and mead

Jennie plays a seasonal song

Steve gives his thoughts on the season

Pete performs another song

Ray performs one of his works

Jennie returns for another short song

Steve the Stag Lord gives a blessing

Closing the West Quarter

Everyone leaves their voice in the landscape


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Page last updated: 18 Jul 2011