Ostara 2012 (Spring/Vernal Equinox) - Avebury and Glastonbury

This page includes reports and photographs from the various events I attended during the season of Ostara (Spring/Vernal Equinox) in 2012. 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. The 'equal night' of the Spring Equinox actually occurred on 16 March this year. On 17 March it was 'equal day' and a trip to Avebury for the Cauldron of Cerridwen and the Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri. I returned to Avebury the following day for the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri. The calendar Spring Equinox took place on 20 March where Managed Open Access at Stonehenge occurred. Later that day I visited Glastonbury for events at Chalice Well and the White Spring. The report starts, though, with a collection of all the sun and moon photos from the season.
This Spring Equinox report is dedicated to the healing of Ghyll Lionheart (Ricky Brown)

This Spring Equinox report is dedicated to the healing of Ghyll Lionheart (Ricky Brown)

Sun and Moon Photos (From 1 Mar 2012)

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

Sunset on 1 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 54sec more light than the previous day, 3hr 5min 55sec light gained & 5hrs 40min 18sec to gain

Sunset on 3 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 55sec more light than the previous day, 3hr 13min 45sec light gained & 5hrs 32min 28sec to gain

Sunset on 4 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 55sec more light than the previous day, 3hr 17min 40sec light gained & 5hrs 28min 33sec to gain

Sunset on 5 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 55sec more light than the previous day, 3hr 21min 35sec light gained & 5hrs 24min 38sec to gain

Sunrise on 6 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 56sec more light than the previous day, 3hr 25min 31sec light gained & 5hrs 20min 42sec to gain

Sunset on 7 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 56sec more light than the previous day, 3hr 29min 27sec light gained & 5hrs 16min 46sec to gain

7 Mar 2012. A few hours before the moon was due to be at 100% illumination

Sunset on 11 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 3hr 45min 14sec light gained & 5hrs 0min 59sec to gain

Sunset on 12 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 3hr 49min 11sec light gained & 4hrs 57min 2sec to gain

Sunset on 14 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 3hr 57min 5sec light gained & 4hrs 49min 8sec to gain

Sunset on 18 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 58sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 12min 56sec light gained & 4hrs 33min 17sec to gain

Sunset on 19 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 58sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 16min 54sec light gained & 4hrs 29min 19sec to gain

Sunset on 19 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 58sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 24min 50sec light gained & 4hrs 21min 23sec to gain

Sunset on 23 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 32min 44sec light gained & 4hrs 13min 29sec to gain

Sunrise on 24 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 36min 41sec light gained & 4hrs 9min 32 sec to gain

Sunrise on 25 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 40min 38sec light gained & 4hrs 5min 35 sec to gain

Sunset on 25 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 40min 38sec light gained & 4hrs 5min 35 sec to gain

Sunset on 26 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 44min 35sec light gained & 4hrs 1min 38 sec to gain

Sunset on 27 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 48min 32sec light gained & 3hrs 57min 41sec to gain

Sunset on 28 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 57sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 52min 29sec light gained & 3hrs 53min 44sec to gain

Sunrise on 29 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 56sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 56min 25sec light gained & 3hrs 49min 48sec to gain

Sunset on 29 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 56sec more light than the previous day, 4hr 56min 25sec light gained & 3hrs 49min 48sec to gain

Sunset on 30 Mar 2012, the day with 3min 56sec more light than the previous day, 5hr 0min 21sec light gained & 3hrs 45min 52sec to gain

Sunrise on 1 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 56sec more light than the previous day, 5hr 8min 13sec light gained & 3hrs 38min 0sec to gain

Sunset on 1 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 56sec more light than the previous day, 5hr 8min 13sec light gained & 3hrs 38min 0sec to gain

Sunset on 3 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 55sec more light than the previous day, 5hr 16min 3sec light gained & 3hrs 30min 10sec to gain

Sunrise on 6 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 54sec more light than the previous day, 5hr 27min 45sec light gained & 3hrs 18min 28sec to gain

Sunset on 10 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 52sec more light than the previous day, 5hr 43min 15sec light gained & 3hrs 2min 58sec to gain

Sunset on 11 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 51sec more light than the previous day, 5hr 47min 6sec light gained & 2hrs 59min 7sec to gain

Sunset on 12 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 51sec more light than the previous day, 5hr 50min 57sec light gained & 2hrs 55min 16sec to gain

Sunrise on 13 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 50sec more light than the previous day, 5hr 54min 47sec light gained & 2hrs 51min 26sec to gain

Sunrise on 15 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 49sec more light than the previous day, 6hr 2min 25sec light gained & 2hrs 43min 48sec to gain

Sunset on 15 Apr 2012, the day with 3min 49sec more light than the previous day, 6hr 2min 25sec light gained & 2hrs 43min 48sec to gain

The Cauldron of Cerridwen (17 Mar 2012)

The Cauldron of Cerridwen Spring Equinox event took place at Avebury on Saturday 17 March. The group met at the Red Lion and then moved into the Sun Circle to set up. Taran welcomed everyone to the event and there were some opening words from Afon. Raveness blessed the altar and asked Owlswing to cast the circle with his sword. The four quarters were then opened by individuals from the circle, with Red Marsco taking East, Paul on South, me on West and Lucara on North. The Charge of the Goddess saw Raveness welcoming the Lady, leading to the Charge of the God with Taran welcoming the Lord.

Tyto then stepped forward as the Lady of the Dark and Sian joined her as the Lady of the Light. Everyone in the circle then visited Tyto to offload their worries and fears. Before moving on to Sian to empower their new projects for the light half of the year. The Lady of the Dark released all the negativity by plunging her sword into the ground. She then yielded to the Lady of the Light and handed over her crown. To empower everyone’s wishes, the Lady of Light got the group to spiral around her before manifesting the new energy in the air. Before moving on, Taran asked everyone to spend a minute to think about Ghyll Lionheart’s health issues.

With the main activity complete, refreshments were prepared. Taran blessed the juice and Raveness blessed the bread. These were then brought around the circle. I did my Spring Equinox poem at the point and Lucara followed with another poem. The God and Goddess were then thanked, the four quarters were released and Owlswing returned with the sword to release the circle once again. The Druid Vow was performed and the event concluded with a short singing session from Tyto. And it was then a merry meet, merry part and merry meet again.

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

Taran welcomes everyone to the event

Opening words from Afon

Raveness blesses the altar

Owlswing casts the circle

Invoking the Lord Cernunnos

Red Marsco opens the North Quarter

Charge of the God

Charge of the Goddess

Tyto steps forward as the Lady of the Dark

Sian steps forward as the Lady of the Light

Offloading on to the Lady of the Dark and empowering new projects with the Lady of the Light

The Lady of the Dark prepares to offload the fears and worries

The fears and worries have been released

The Lady of the Dark yields to the Lady of the Light

The Lady of the Light gets everyone to empower her sword by spiralling around it, before releasing its positive energy

Taran blesses the juice

Raveness blesses the bread

Lucara reads a poem

Thanking the God

Closing the South Quarter

Owlswing calls back the circle

A Merry Meet, Merry Part and Merry Meet Again

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri (17 Mar 2012)

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri took place on Saturday 17 March. The group met at the Red Lion and processed to the Sun Circle at 14:00. 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 a visitor on North. Willth then connected to the ancestors and the three worlds. The group linked hands and performed three tones of the Druid Mantra, followed by the Druid Vow. Terry followed with the Druid Prayer. He then came in to the centre to talk about aspects of the season. Robyn y Glas played the first of two songs and I followed with another performance of my Spring Equinox poem.

Gary came into the centre to talk about the equinox and also the pagan oath that can be used in court. Linda followed by performing her latest words and Merlin talked about recent astronomical events. Terry talked a bit more about the season and Willth then prepared everyone for the healing circle. He started by talking about Ghyll Lionheart’s situation and then went around the circle for everyone to suggest other people for healing. The group joined hands and performed a further three tones of the Druid Mantra. It’s traditional at the Spring Equinox to announce the annual Bardic Challenge to be undertaken at Beltane. Robyn y Glas asked if anyone wanted to challenge him. Joe committed to the challenge and agreed to prepare something for next time.

Willth blessed the bread and mead and started their circulation around the circle from the East. Robyn y Glas returned for a second song. This was followed by drumming from Alasdair with Woodpecker Drums and Emlyn. The sun began to appear at this point and everyone turned to hail it. Willth then began to wind the event down on this cool afternoon. He thanked the spirits that had graced the circle and asked for the quarters to be closed. The gorsedd was now over.

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

Meeting up at the Red Lion

Processing to the Sun Circle

Willth welcomes everyone to the event

Willth performs the Call For Peace

Kes opens the South Quarter

Willth welcomes in the three worlds and ancestors

Terry talks about aspects of the season

Robyn y Glas plays the first of two songs

Matthew performs a version of his Spring Equinox poem (Photo: Druid of the Hill Photography)

Gary talks about the pagan oath that can be used in court

Linda performs her latest words

Merlin talks about astronomical events

Terry talks some more about the season

Willth prepares for the healing circle

Robyn y Glas asks if anyone wants to challenge him at Beltane

Joe commits to the challenge

Willth blesses the mead

Willth blesses the bread

Robyn y Glas returns for his second song

Drumming from Alasdair with Woodpecker Drums and Emlyn

Linda dances

All hail the Sun!

Terry closes the East Quarter

Willth declares the event over

The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri (18 Mar 2012)

The Spring Equinox ritual of the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri was held at Avebury on Sunday 18 March. The group formed up at the National Trust Cafe and Morgan welcomed everyone and roles were nominated. The silent procession to the Entrance Stones then began. Pauline 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. She then stepped forward to be first to ask for permission for the group to enter the complex. Many other people took the opportunity to make an offering. The Guardian granted permission and several of us formed an archway with staffs for everyone to process through to the Ring Stone.

Morgan welcomed everyone again. The Round of Amergin was performed, with everyone saying “I Am” and the archetype they represented. I 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 all the worlds. The four quarters were then opened, with Pagan Chef on North, Ray on East, me on South and Keith on West.

Les took up his position on the ground as the Green Man waiting to be woken up. He had been in the same spot six months previously when the group covered him with leaves. The Avebury Guardian covered the Green Man with her veil. The group then tried to wake him up. Amanda and Caz read him some poetry, Robyn y Glas played him a song, Kes whispered to him and Rainbow offered her own encouragement. The Avebury Guardian then lifted the veil and the Green Man got up. He declared that he would rule over the season and started to awaken the land with his didgeridoo. Everyone joined in the celebrations.

Steve the Stag passes a ram's horn around the circle. And a basket of small chocolate eggs also came around. The event paused to think about healing for Ghyll Lionheart. The group linked hands to tone the Awen and perform the Druid Vow three times each. The mead, bread and cake were then blessed and Robyn y Glas played his second song. There was also a word about the occupy protests and Ray recited the Druid Prayer. It was then time to close the quarters from the North anticlockwise. As is traditional we left our voices in the landscape and Morgan thanked everyone for coming and closed the event. The group then assembled for a photo.

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

Meeting up at the National Trust Cafe

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

Gathering around the Avebury Guardian

Morgan asks permission for the group to enter the stones

Making offerings to the Avebury Guardian

The Avebury Guardian grants the group access to the stones

Forming up around the Ring Stone

The central altar

Morgan welcomes everyone

Opening the North Quarter

The Avebury Guardian with the Green Man's veil

Les as the Green Man waiting to be woken up

Flashback 25 Sep 2011: The Green Man had started his rest six months earlier at the Autumn Equinox

 

Six months on, the Spring Equinox group attempt to wake the Green Man

Amanda reads him some poetry

Caz also reads him some poetry

Robyn y Glas plays him a song

Kes whispers to the Green Man

Rainbow also encourages the Green Man to wake up

The Avebury Guardian lifts the veil

The Green Man rises

The Green Man declares his supremacy

He starts to awaken the land with his didgeridoo

Everyone joins in awakening the land

Steve the Stag passes a ram's horn around the circle

A basket of small chocolate eggs comes around the circle

Blessing the bread, mead and cake

Distribution of the bread, mead and cake

Robyn y Glas plays his second song

A word about the occupy protests

Ray recites the Druid Prayer

Closing the East Quarter

Leaving our voices in the landscape

Leaving our voices in the landscape

Chalice Well (20 Mar 2012)

The Chalice Well meditation was held at midday on 20 March. A very large group gathered around the wellhead. Following the silent minute Karin stood up and welcomed everyone. She spoke about the balance of the season and whether people could feel balance in themselves. She then got everyone to link hands and asked if they now felt more in balance? A 15 minute meditation then took place, the start and end of which was indicated by the sounding of a bowl. Following this, Karin asked if there were any contributions. I did another performance of my Spring Equinox poem and a couple of songs followed, as well as a Call For Peace. The event continued down on the main lawn with refreshments and the Conversation Cafe.

Montage of the complete event

The White Spring (20 Mar 2012)

A gathering at the White Spring took place at 14:00 on 20 March. Everyone gathered in the courtyard and Lisa called the group to order. Lyn sounded a horn and people linked hands, although the number of people present meant we had to spill into the road. Lisa spoke about the White Spring and the season. She then displayed a hard-boiled egg, peeling away the shell to reveal the ‘snow’ of winter. And then peeling that away that to reveal the ‘sun’ of spring. She opened things up and Shamus spoke about the situation in Greece could be improved, with follow-on contributions from Andy and Zosh. I then did the final performance of my Spring Equinox poem, Max followed with a short story and Amanda read her Green Man poem. Next the group moved inside and connected with the waters. There was chanting and splashing of the water. Back outside cakes and treats were on offer and people stayed around to talk. I returned later to collect 90L of water from the two springs.

Montage of the complete event


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Page last updated: 08 May 2012