Ostara 2010 (Spring/Vernal Equinox) - Stonehenge and Avebury

This page includes reports and photographs from the various events I attended during the season of Ostara (Spring/Vernal Equinox) in 2010. Related to the Christian festival of Easter, Ostara is a much older ceremony celebrating balance, light winning over dark, rebirth and the goddess Eostra. Easter Sunday is calculated as the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls on or after the Spring Equinox. On Saturday 20 March it was Managed Open Access at Stonehenge, followed by an event with the Genesis Order of Druids. Later that day it was off to Avebury for the Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri. The next day it was back to Avebury for the Cauldron of Cerridwen and the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri.

Managed Open Access at Stonehenge - 20 March 2010

A crowd gathered on the Drove at dawn and processed into the Stonehenge car park when the gate was opened. Once the signal was given the group made its way through the tunnel and into the monument field. A group of about 300 people formed up inside the stones. Rollo then welcomed everyone to Stonehenge and proceeded to open the four quarters. He then explained about the Druid Mantra and got the group to perform a practice tone. Several sets of tones were then performed for local issues, healing and political change. Rollo then performed a seasonal invocation before handing over to Emerald to read another. Rollo and Emerald then held up the cauldron of flowers in the centre for the group to bless with the Druid Mantra. Arthur then came forward to tell a lost and found story. A camping gas bottle had recently been stolen from his caravan. 26 years earlier his father’s medals had also been stolen from his caravan. Recently these medals have appeared for sale in London and he is now hopeful they will be returned. He reminded the group that he is still fighting for the return of burials remains to Stonehenge. He suggested that he would continue to campaign even if it took another 26 years! With that Cas joined him and they did a combined bardic performance to renew their commitment to this cause. Rollo then called me to perform my Spring Equinox poem. Arthur returned in the announcements section to talk about being a candidate for Salisbury in the forthcoming general election. And also to lead the group in three recitles of the Druid Vow. With that the quarters were closed again and there was a final tone of the Druid Mantra. Plenty of personal and group time was available in what remained of this two hour plus session. Lots of things were going on in the time that remained, including a performance of the Stonehenge Witch poem by Emerald.


Arthur leads the group in the Druid Vow (Video: Ryhoperanger)


Taloch and Dolmen Grove friends perform the Not I, Nor Thee (Video: Ryhoperanger)


Stonehenge Spring Equinox 2010 imagery set to music (Video: PeteUtonic)

Montage of the complete event

Waiting to enter the site

Going through the tunnel at around 05:45

Approaching the stones

Setting up inside the stones

Setting up inside the stones

Preparing to open the East Quarter

Opening the North Quarter

Rollo talks about how the Druid Mantra relates to the sunrise

Toning the Druid Mantra

Rollo performs an invocation

Rollo and Emerald bless the flowers

Arthur tells a story of loss and return

Arthur and Cas renew their commitment to have burial remains returned to Stonehenge

Matthew performs his Spring Equinox poem (Photo courtesy of www.stonehenge.mercurymoon.co.uk)

Closing the West Quarter

A final tone of the Druid Mantra

Mel shares her Awen bread

June with Emerald and daughter

Merlin and Linda

Arthur talks to some visitors

Mingling amongst the stones

Mingling amongst the stones

Mingling amongst the stones

Ray talks to a friend

Mark talks to Fee

Matthew talks with fellow members of the Dolmen Grove (Photo: Mark Vine)

A smaller circle practises the Druid Mantra with Emerald and Rollo

A smaller circle practises the Druid Mantra with Emerald and Rollo

Genesis Order of Druids at Stonehenge - 20 March 2010

Following the main event the Genesis Order of Druids held a small circle to the east of the monument. Quarter callers were arranged, with me taking North. Mel welcomed everyone to the circle and asked for the quarters to be opened. She then asked me to perform my Spring Equinox poem again. Other contributions were invited and we were introduced to an American visitor who had studied Stonehenge for many years and who had wanted to attend such an event for decades. A healing circle then followed, with various names offered before three tones of the Awen were performed. With that it was time to close the quarters again and Mel declared the event to be over. She had previously started sharing her Awen bread following the main event. There was still some of this available for sharing, along with some mead.

Mel asks for the circle to form up

Several guests joined the circle

Opening the South Quarter

An American's dream comes true!

Closing the West Quarter

Mel declares the event to be over

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri (20 Mar 2010)

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri took place on 20 March. The group processed from the Red Lion directly to the Sun Circle. Willth welcomed everyone to the event and quickly got things moving because of the weather. He performed the Call For Peace and connected to the three worlds. He then and asked for each of the four quarters to be opened. Terry took East, with Kes on South, Ray on West and Ghyll on North. He then 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. Willth asked him to step into the centre to talk about the Spring Equinox. Robyn y Glas had finished his second year and a day as Bard and asked if there were any challengers for the following year and a day. I was encouraged to challenge but declined, saying he was welcome to have another term. A negotiation then took place as to the challenge he would undertake next. He then led the group in the final of his eight chants.

Willth blessed the mead and asked newly handfasted Gary and Em to step into the circle to be the first recipients. He then asked me to perform my Spring Equinox poem. Terry came into the centre to talk about his traditional 12 hour observation of the sun on this day. Robyn y Glas returned with one of his seasonal songs, prior to a healing circle. Everyone linked hands again and names were read out, with three additional tones of the Druid Mantra performed. Willth then offered a small chocolate egg to each child present, before throwing the remainder into the centre for the adults to fight over. Robyn y Glas performed one more song before Willth started to wind the event down. He thanked the spirits that had graced the circle and then asked for the quarters to be closed. It was then three cheers for the Spring Equinox before people left to warm up and dry out.

Montage of the complete event

Processing to the Sun Circle

Forming up the circle

Willth performs the Call For Peace

Terry opens the East Quarter

Ray opens the West Quarter

Ghyll opens the North Quarter

Terry recites the Druid Prayer

Terry talks about the season

Robyn y Glas negotiates his next year and a day as Bard of Caer Abiri

Matthew jokes with Robyn y Glas about his next challenge (Photo: Sandy Cowan)

Willth blesses the mead

Willth offers the first mead to Gary and Em

Matthew performs the Spring Equinox poem (Photo: Kes)

Terry talks about activities at Avebury

Robyn y Glas returns to perform a seasonal song

Willth distributes eggs to children young and old

Robyn y Glas returns for another song

Willth begins to wind the event down

Terry closes the East Quarter

Ray closes the West Quarter

Ghyll closes the North Quarter

Three cheers for the Spring Equinox

The Cauldron of Cerridwen Ritual at Avebury (21 Mar 2010)

The Cauldron of Cerridwen Spring Equinox event took place at Avebury on 21 March. The group met at the Red Lion and then moved into the Sun Circle to set up. Everyone was welcomed to the event and Tyto read an introductory poem. Sian followed by blessing the altar. Woodoak 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 South. Woodoak invoked Cerridwen in Sian and Raveness 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. Taran then stepped forward to read one of his whimsical seasonal poems.

Something new was then attempted. Two people were asked to step forward - representing the Lord of the Dark (Owlswing) and the Lord of the Light (Saulire). It was planned for everyone in the circle to visit the Lord of the Dark to deposit any aspect of their life they wanted to get rid of. They would then move on to the Lord of the Light to manifest their wishes. Everyone moved around what was effectively a labyrinth. With guides from the Cauldron of Cerridwen group, it all ran very smoothly. After everyone had visited the two Lords, the Lord of the Dark plunged his sword into the ground and visualised all the negative energy dissipating. The Lord of the Light then came into prominence and asked everyone to visualise all their wishes in a ball of light at the tip of his raised sword, with a bird of prey taking this away for manifestation.

Once this had concluded, Taran blessed the ale and Sian blessed the bread. I was then asked to perform my Spring Equinox poem. Robyn y Glas followed with a song and details of his third tenure as Bard of Caer Abiri. Owlswing came forward to tell a pagan joke involving a bed pan and a car out of fuel! Following distribution of the bread and ale, the four quarters were released and Woodoak 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

Setting up the circle

Tyto reads an introductory poem

Sian blesses the altar

Woodoak casts the circle

Matthew opens the South Quarter (Photo: Chris Wormald)

Opening the West Quarter (Photo: Chris Wormald)

Opening the North Quarter

Woodoak invokes Cerridwen in Sian

Raveness invokes Cernunnos in Taran

Charge of the Goddess

Charge of the God

Taran reads one of his whimsical poems

Owlswing steps forward as the Lord of the Dark

Saulire steps forward as the Lord of the Light

The labyrinth process is explained

The circle begins to unwind as people appear before the Lords of Dark and Light

The circle continues to unwind as people appear before the Lords of Dark and Light

The Lord of the Dark plunges his sword into the ground...

...to release all the negative energy

The Lords of Dark and Light face each other

The Lord of the Light now dominates

The Lord of the Light prepares to send everyone's wishes off

The wishes are passed off in a ball of light carried off by an imaginary bird of prey

Taran blesses the ale

Sian blesses the bread

Raveness distributes the bread

Lucara distributes the ale

Robyn y Glas performs some songs

Owlswing tells a pagan joke involving a bed pan and a car out of fuel!

A visitor sings a song from the lyrics on his mobile phone

Thanking the Goddess

Thanking the God

Closing the East Quarter

Closing the West Quarter

Woodoak calls back the circle

Linking hands for the Druid Vow

A Merry Meet, Merry Part and Merry Meet Again

The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri (21 Mar 2010)

The Spring Equinox ritual of the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri was held at Avebury on Sunday 21 March. 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. Rebecca took on the role of Avebury Guardian and led the group, ending by sitting in the Goddess Seat. Morgan led a few minutes of drumming to allow everyone to tune into the site. Willth then stepped forward to be first to ask for permission for the group to enter the site. Morgan made an offering and everyone else followed. The Guardian granted permission and myself and Willth formed an archway with staffs for everyone to process through to the Ring Stone. As is tradition the circle opened with the Round of Amergin, where everyone says “I Am” and the archetype they represent. Willth joined Morgan for the Call For Peace in English and Welsh from North clockwise, with the rest of the group confirming. Finishing with a call to the three worlds. The four quarters were then opened, with me taking South.

Morgan talked about the season and its themes. The group linked hands to perform the Druid Vow and tone the Awen three times each. Kita came around the circle and gave everyone a taste of spring. It was then time for everyone to invoke spring - the season was running several weeks behind schedule. Robyn y Glas came forward first of all to sing a song and then everyone else invoked spring in their own way. The Green Man had not appeared at this stage and so the energy was stepped up with drumming and chanting. As if by magic the Green Man appeared and began to dance with Kita. Soon many others were joining in the new found merriment. It was then time for bread and mead. Rebecca blessed the bread and started to distribute it around the circle. Ray blessed the mead and took this around the circle as well. Next it was the bardic section. I started with the final performance of my Spring Equinox poem for 2010 - the fifth that weekend. Robyn y Glas followed with a seasonal song. As did Jennie with Here Comes The Sun. With that the quarters were closed anti-clockwise from North. Morgan asked everyone to add their voice to the Avebury landscape. And the event concluded with another group photograph for the record.

Montage of the complete event

Processing to the Entrance Stones

Processing to the Entrance Stones

Processing to the Entrance Stones

Processing to the Entrance Stones

Processing to the Entrance Stones

Drumming at the Goddess Seat

Drumming at the Goddess Seat

Willth asks permission for the group to enter the stones

Ray makes an offering to the Avebury Guardian

Robyn y Glas makes an offering to the Avebury Guardian

Heading through the archway

The Avebury Guardian leads the group to the Ring Stone

Forming up around the Ring Stone

Forming up around the Ring Stone

Forming up around the Ring Stone

Willth and Morgan perform the Call For Peace

Opening the North Quarter

Opening the West Quarter

Kita spreads a little of spring around the circle

Kita spreads a little of spring around the circle

Robyn y Glas steps forward to invoke spring

Everyone is invited to invoke spring

Ray invokes spring

Jennie invokes spring

Alasdair invokes spring

Kita and Morgan drum up more energy for spring

The Green Man appears

The Green Man appears

The Green Man spreads the energy of spring

The Green Man spreads the energy of spring

The Green Man spreads the energy of spring

The Green Man spreads the energy of spring

Rebecca prepares to bless the bread

Ray blesses the mead

Morgan takes the mead around the circle

Robyn y Glas performs a seasonal song

Jennie sings Here Comes The Sun

Closing the West Quarter

Closing the East Quarter

Preparing to leave our voices in the landscape

The group at the end of the event


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Page last updated: 18 Jul 2011