Mabon/Autumn Equinox 2012 - Priston, Stonehenge, Avebury and Local Photos

This page includes reports and photographs from the various events I attended during the season of Mabon/Autumn Equinox in 2012. This celebration at 22 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 first activity for me was to attend Avebury for a small gathering to mark the 35th anniversary of Children of the Stones - the TV programme that affected me more than any other. We were joined by child star of the programme Kate Levy and we were all interviewed by BBC Radio 4. The programme aired on 4 October. Next it was down to Priston on 16 September for the Morris Dancing element of the village's Autumn Festival. On 22 September I undertook a dawn walk and photographed the Calendar Equinox sun as it began to appear. Managed Open Access was occurring at Stonehenge at this time. Later that day I visited Avebury for the Cauldron of Cerridwen and the Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri. The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri was marked at the Avebury the following day under torrential rain. It has been a difficult year for photographing the sun. I was pleased to be able to capture the sunrise on the Equal Day - 25 September. The report starts with all the sun photos taken from 1 September.
     

This report is dedicated to the memories of:

 
Liz Shoosmith R.I.P. 28 Aug 2012   Koko Newport R.I.P. 19 Sep 2012

Sun Photos (From 1 Sep 2012)

The following photos were taken in my village in the days before and following the Autumn Equinox. The sun timings are for the nearby city of Bristol.

Sunset on 1 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 48s less light than the previous day, 3h 4m 57s light lost & 5h 41m 19s to lose. 35.14% to the dark

Sunset on 2 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 49s less light than the previous day, 3h 8m 46s light lost & 5h 37m 30s to lose. 35.87% to the dark

Sunset on 3 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 49s less light than the previous day, 3h 12m 35s light lost & 5h 33m 41s to lose. 36.59% to the dark

Sunset on 4 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 50s less light than the previous day, 3h 16m 25s light lost & 5h 29m 51s to lose. 37.32% to the dark

Sunset on 5 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 50s less light than the previous day, 3h 20m 15s light lost & 5h 26m 1s to lose. 38.05% to the dark

Sunset on 6 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 50s less light than the previous day, 3h 24m 5s light lost & 5h 22m 11s to lose. 38.78% to the dark

Sunset on 7 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 51s less light than the previous day, 3h 27m 56s light lost & 5h 18m 20s to lose. 39.51% to the dark

Sunset on 8 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 51s less light than the previous day, 3h 31m 47s light lost & 5h 14m 29s to lose. 40.24% to the dark

Sunset on 9 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 52s less light than the previous day, 3h 35m 39s light lost & 5h 10m 37s to lose. 40.98% to the dark

Sunset on 17 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 53s less light than the previous day, 4h 6m 40s light lost & 4h 39m 36s to lose. 46.87% to the dark

Sunset on 18 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 54s less light than the previous day, 4h 10m 34s light lost & 4h 35m 42s to lose. 47.61% to the dark

Calendar Equinox sunrise on 22 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 54s less light than the previous day, 4h 26m 10s light lost & 4h 20m 6s to lose. 50.58% to the dark

Equal Day sunrise on 25 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 54s less light than the previous day, 4h 37m 52s light lost & 4h 8m 24s to lose. 52.80% to the dark

Sunset on 27 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 54s less light than the previous day, 4h 45m 40s light lost & 4h 0m 36s to lose. 54.28% to the dark

Sunset on 28 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 54s less light than the previous day, 4h 49m 34s light lost & 3h 56m 42s to lose. 55.02% to the dark

Sunrise on 29 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 54s less light than the previous day, 4h 53m 28s light lost & 3h 52m 48s to lose. 55.76% to the dark

Sunset on 29 Sep 2012, the day with 3m 54s less light than the previous day, 4h 53m 28s light lost & 3h 52m 48s to lose. 55.76% to the dark

Harvest Full Moon 29 Sep 2012

Sunset on 6 Oct 2012, the day with 3m 53s less light than the previous day, 5h 20m 41s light lost & 3h 25m 35s to lose. 60.94% to the dark

The 35th Anniversary of Children of the Stones (12 Sep 2012)

On 12 September 2012 a small group of people met at Avebury, to contribute to a BBC Radio 4 documentary to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the cult TV programme Children of the Stones. Joining me were Kate Levy who played Sandra in the programme, host of the documentary Stewart Lee, BBC producer Stephen Garner, website owner James McGowan and Juliette Pearson. We were also joined for a short time by pop star Julian Cope and archaeologist Mike Pitts. Gareth Thomas, Veronica Strong and Jeremy Burnham had already been interviewed for the programme.

We based ourselves around the National Trust Cafe and then went off in turn for our interviews. These were carried out in different parts of the Avebury complex. Kate, James, Julian, myself and Juliette were each interviewed by Stewart. We were joined later by Mike and the chance was taken to interview a member of staff in the museum. There was loads of time to chat to Kate while the interviews were being carried out. She brought along an amazing album of photographs taken by her mother. It was wonderful to see these behind the scenes images from this programme and others such as Follow Me. Including one of a fake stone being carried across the road at Avebury by one man. There were also lots of photos of the production personnel and 1970's HTV. Kate was happy to pose for photos and to sign DVDs.

Once all the interviews were complete we assembled at the Red Lion for a group photo. A taxi then whisked Kate, James, Stewart and Stephen to their train. Myself and Juliette made our ways home by car. We both agreed it had been a wonderful day. I never thought such a day would be possible, although I had met Peter Demin at Avebury three years previously. Please click here for a report on that. A few photos from this event are shown below. The documentary was broadcast on 4 October 2012 at 11:30 a.m. on BBC Radio 4 and was added to BBC iPlayer immediately afterwards. The programme was also previewed in the Radio Times and the Daily Telegraph.

Matthew with Kate (Photo: Juliette Pearson)

Juliette with Kate

Matthew being interviewed by Stewart with Stephen on audio (Photo: Juliette Pearson)

Finishing with Mike and getting ready to interview Juliette

At the end with Stephen Garner, James McGowan, Matthew Holbrook, Juliette Pearson, Stewart Lee and Kate Levy

Priston Festival 2012 (16 Sep)

Priston held its 2012 Festival between 14 and 16 September and I looked in on the Sunday afternoon for the Morris Dancing. Six sides were present - the village's own Jubilee Morris, Mr Wilkins' Shilling from Bath, Winterbourn Down Border Morris, Somerset Morris from Marksbury, Hips & Haws from Chippenham and Rag Morris from Bristol. A manic two-hour session was on offer, with each side doing one dance before handing over to the next.

Festival Montage 1

Festival Montage 2

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

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Winterbourn Down Border Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris

Hips & Haws

Hips & Haws

Hips & Haws

Hips & Haws

Hips & Haws

Hips & Haws

Rag Morris

Rag Morris

Rag Morris

Rag Morris

Rag Morris

Rag Morris

Managed Open Access at Stonehenge (22 Sep 2012)

The group forms up inside the stones. Photo: Lou Purplefairy

Donna blesses the cauldron of flowers. Photo: Lou Purplefairy

Arthur addresses the circle. Photo: Lou Purplefairy

Ray performs one of his invocations. Photo: Lou Purplefairy

Offerings of word. Photo: Lou Purplefairy

A gorgeous sunrise. Photo: Lou Purplefairy

The Cauldron of Cerridwen Ritual at Avebury (22 Sep 2012)

The Cauldron of Cerridwen Autumn Equinox event took place at Avebury on Saturday 22 September. The group met at the Red Lion and then moved into the Sun Circle to set up. Taran welcomed everyone and Tyto followed by blessing the altar. Oakroot stepped forward with an athame, before walking around the circle to cast it. The four quarters were then opened by individuals from within the circle, with Sian on East, Steve the Stag on South, Keith on West and Kes on North. Carricks invoked Cerridwen and Afon invoked Cernunnos. The Charge of the Goddess saw Tyto welcoming the Lady, leading to the Charge of the God with Taran welcoming the Lord.

Kumani and Owlswing then took on the roles of Morrigan and Dagda. A table, chair and mirror were placed in the centre, along with quills and notepads. The idea was for each person in the circle to visit the centre and then write down something they wanted to get rid of and something to manifest. The item for clearing was handed to Morrigan and the item to be manifested was given to Dagda. These were then all processed together once everyone had completed their slips. This was followed by a few minutes of spiral dancing involving the whole group. Taran blessed the mead and Tyto blessed the bread and their distribution commenced. I then did the first performance of my Autumn Equinox poem. Owlswing followed with a joke about slowing and stopping. Kes then came into the centre to deliver a message that had been received from spirit. The Druid Vow was performed before the God and Goddess were thanked, the four quarters closed and the circle released once again. The event concluded with a short singing session from Tyto.

Montage of the complete event (Photo of Matthew by Druid of the Hill Photography)

Taran welcomes everyone

Tyto blesses the altar and asks for the circle to be cast

Oakroot casts the circle

Sian opens the East Quarter

Invoking Cerridwen and Cernunnos

Invoking Cerridwen and Cernunnos

Kumani and Owlswing in their roles as Morrigan and Dagda

Tyto writes out her things to let go of and things to manifest

Kes writes out her things to let go of and things to manifest

All wishes are processed at the altar

Doing the Spiral Dance

Doing the Spiral Dance

Taran blesses the mead

Tyto blesses the bread

Owlswing tells a joke about slowing and stopping

Kes brings in a message from spirit

Beginning to close things down

Keith closes the West Quarter

Oakroot calls back the circle

Performing the Druid Vow

The event concludes with a short singing session from Tyto

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri (22 Sep 2012)

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri took place on Saturday 22 September. The group met at the Red Lion and processed to the Sun Circle. Willth welcomed everyone to the event and then performed the Call For Peace. He then asked for each of the four quarters to be opened. Terry took East, with Rie on South, me on West and Joe on North. Willth connected to the ancestors and the three worlds. The group linked hands and performed the Druid Vow and three tones of the Druid Mantra. Terry followed with the Druid Prayer. He then came into the centre to talk about the season. Robyn y Glas played the first of his songs and I went next with another performance of my Autumn Equinox poem. Gary spoke about the weather and food. Willth blessed the mead and started its circulation around the circle. And Joe played his classical guitar at this point.

Jim debuted a song written about gatherings at Avebury. Willth then blessed the bread and Terry came in to talk some more about the season. Ray recited some seasonal words and Fay made her debut at the Free and Open Gorsedd with one of her amazing songs. Jim followed with his Ancestors song. This was a nice sunny afternoon and it was then time for the group to turn and hail the sun three times. Joe played his clarinet and Robyn y Glas did another song, with several other people joining in. Following this Andraste gave out some information on protesting against the badger cull. Willth then started to wind things down. He thanked the ancestors and closed down access to the other worlds. The quarters were released and everyone was thanked for coming. As there was still drink to consume, some of the bards stayed on to provide further entertainment. As at Summer Solstice, a small group of us took Ghyll to the Moon Cove to conduct a healing session on him immediately after the Gorsedd.

Montage of the complete event (Photo of Matthew by Trish Conniffe)

Processing to the Sun Circle

Willth welcomes everyone to the event

Willth calls for peace in the East

Rie opens the South Quarter

Willth accesses the three worlds

Linking hands for the Druid Vow and Druid Mantra

Terry talks about aspects of the season

Robyn y Glas plays the first of his songs

Matthew performs his Autumn Equinox poem (Photo: Trish Conniffe)

Gary talks about the weather and food

Willth blesses the mead

Joe plays classical guitar as the mead makes its way around

Jim debuts a song about Avebury gatherings

Willth blesses the bread

Terry talks some more about the season

Ray recites some seasonal words

Fay makes her debut at the Free and Open Gorsedd

Jim performs his Ancestors song

All Hail the Sun!

Joe plays clarinet

Robyn y Glas plays another song

Andraste gives out information on protesting against the badger cull

Willth thanks the ancestors and closes down access to the other worlds

Terry closes the East Quarter

Willth declares the event over

Ghyll gets up from an intense healing session near the Moon Cove. This took place directly following the Gorsedd

The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri (23 Sep 2012)

The occasion was marked by a small group on this afternoon of torrential rain over the south of England. This was a very special day as the Gorsedd was celebrating the end of its first Metonic cycle. Click here for a report on its foundation.

The group sheltering on the other side of the Goddess Seat (Photo: Jessica Jordan)

The group at the end of the short ritual (Photo: Jessica Jordan)


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Page last updated: 28 Oct 2012