Ostara 2013 (Spring/Vernal Equinox) - Glastonbury and Avebury

This page includes reports and photographs from the various events I attended during the season of Ostara (Spring/Vernal Equinox) in 2013. 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 17 March this year and 18 March was 'equal day'. 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 Goddess Hall. On 23 March I visited 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. Finally, on 25 and 27 March I returned to Glastonbury to hold the space in the Goddess Temple. The report starts, though, with a collection of the sun and moon photos from the season.

Sun and Moon Photos (From 2 Mar 2013)

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

Sunset on 2 Mar 2013, the day with 3m 54s more light than the previous day, 3h 8m 48s light gained & 5h 37m 22s to gain. 35.88% to the light

Sunset on 4 Mar 2013, the day with 3m 55s more light than the previous day, 3h 16m 38s light gained & 5h 29m 32s to gain. 37.37% to the light

Sunrise on 14 Mar 2013, my day has 3m 57s more light than the previous day, 3h 56m 4s light gained & 4h 50m 6s to gain. 44.87% to the light

Equal Night begins. Sunset on 17 Mar 2013, the day with 3m 58s more light than the previous day, 4h 7m 57s light gained & 4h 38m 13s to gain. 47.12% to the light

Equal Day ends. Sunset on 18 Mar 2013, the day with 3m 58s more light than the previous day, 4h 11m 55s light gained & 4h 34m 15s to gain. 47.88% to the light

Full Storm Moon 27 Mar 2013

Sunset on 29 Mar 2013, the day with 3m 56s more light than the previous day, 4h 55m 21s light gained & 3h 50m 49s to gain. 56.13% to the light

Sunrise on 31 Mar 2013, the day with 3m 56s more light than the previous day, 5h 3m 13s light gained & 3h 42m 57s to gain. 57.63% to the light

Sunset on 31 Mar 2013, my day had 3m 56s more light than the previous day, 5h 3m 13s light gained & 3h 42m 57s to gain. 57.63% to the light

Sunset on 1 Apr 2013, my day had 3m 56s more light than the previous day, 5h 7m 9s light gained & 3h 39m 1s to gain. 58.38% to the light

Sunrise on 2 Apr 2013, the day with 3m 55s more light than the previous day, 5h 11m 4s light gained & 3h 35m 6s to gain. 59.12% to the light

Sunset on 2 Apr 2013, my day had 3m 55s more light than the previous day, 5h 11m 4s light gained & 3h 35m 6s to gain. 59.12% to the light

Sunset on 3 Apr 2013, my day had 3m 55s more light than the previous day, 5h 14m 59s light gained & 3h 31m 11s to gain. 59.86% to the light

Sunset on 5 Apr 2013, my day had 3m 54s more light than the previous day, 5h 22m 48s light gained & 3h 23m 22s to gain. 61.35% to the light

Sunrise on 6 Apr 2013, the day with 3m 54s more light than the previous day, 5h 26m 42s light gained & 3h 19m 28s to gain. 62.09% to the light

Sunset on 6 Apr 2013, my day had 3m 54s more light than the previous day, 5h 26m 42s light gained & 3h 19m 28s to gain. 62.09% to the light

Spring Equinox at Chalice Well (20 Mar 2013)

The Chalice Well meditation was held at midday on 20 March. A very large group gathered around the wellhead. Following the silent minute Sophie stepped forward and welcomed everyone to the gathering. She spoke about aspects of the season before handing over to guest Lynne Orchard. Lynne began a guided meditation and let the group continue in silence for a further 10 minutes. She then brought the group back. Sophie asked if there were any public contributions. I was first to volunteer and moved down the path to be more central. Following my poem various other people came forward with songs, words and thoughts to mark the occasion. We finished by leaving our voices around the wellhead. The event continued down on the main lawn with refreshments and the Conversation Cafe.

Montage of the complete event (Additional Photos: Juliette Pearson, Lara Abbink and Celtic Inspiration)

Gathering around the wellhead

Matthew does his first performance of the season (Photo: Juliette Pearson)

Spring Equinox at the Goddess Hall (20 Mar 2013)

The event at the Goddess Hall was well attended, as many people were visiting Glastonbury on this day. This was a different event to normal, with no calling of the wheel. Instead it was focussed on the energy that Artha brings at the Spring Equinox. A night of drumming, jumping and dancing. Katinka led the hall in the various movements. Michelle took on the role of Artha and spread her energy enthusiastically around the hall. Everyone was offered a T-light candle and these were lit towards the end. The evening rounded off with songs and chanting. It was great to make new connections as well as to see Chen and Marion from a course I’m doing.

Altar taken at the end of the event

The Cauldron of Cerridwen Ritual at Avebury (23 Mar 2013)

The Cauldron of Cerridwen Spring Equinox event took place at Avebury on Saturday 23 March. The group met at the Red Lion and then moved into the Sun Circle to set up. Oakroot welcomed everyone on this cold day. Tyto followed by blessing the altar and Owlswing stepped forward with the sword, before walking around the circle to cast it. The four quarters were then opened, with Steve the Stag on East, Taran on South, me on West and Kes on North. Saulire invoked Cerridwen and Kumani invoked Cernunnos. The Charge of the Goddess saw Tyto welcoming the Lady, leading to the Charge of the God with Oakroot welcoming the Lord.

Afon came into the centre to talk about the role of the Goddess at this time of year. Tyto then showed the group a Rose of Jericho. A plant that looks dead but which comes alive an hour after being watered. Afon then explained how people would enter the centre in pairs to pour water on the Rose. At the same time thinking of something new to manifest. Each person was presented with a small packet of flower seeds as they returned to their position in the circle. Oakroot blessed the mead and Tyto blessed the bread and their distribution commenced. I performed my Spring Equinox poem and I was followed by Gordon, who performed The Old Ways Are Not Dead. Saulire remembered 'Yana', who was killed for her pagan beliefs. And Steve the Stag told a story about rescuing a bird. The God and Goddess were then thanked, the four quarters closed and Owlswing called the circle back. Everyone then linked hands to perform the Druid Vow and Tyto finished with her usual short song about the circle being open.

Montage of the complete event

Oakroot welcomes everyone

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

Owlswing casts the circle

Taran opens the South Quarter

Saulire invokes Cerridwen

Kumani invokes Cernunnos

The Charge of the Goddess saw Tyto welcoming the Lady

The Charge of the God with Oakroot welcoming the Lord

Afon talks about the Goddess at this time of year

Tyto shows the Rose of Jericho

Afon explains how everyone will pour water on the Rose

Wetting the Rose and manifesting wishes

Oakroot blesses the mead

Tyto blesses the bread

Gordon performs the Old Ways Are Not Dead chant

Saulire remembers 'Yana', who was killed for her pagan beliefs

Steve the Stag talks about rescuing a bird

Beginning to close things down

Beginning to close things down

Steve the Stag closes the East Quarter

Owlswing calls back the circle

Linking hands for the Druid Vow

The event is now over

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri (23 Mar 2013)

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri took place on Saturday 23 March. The group met at the Red Lion on this very cold day and moved to the Sun Circle at around 14:00. Willth welcomed everyone to the event and 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 Jim on North. Willth connected to the ancestors and the three worlds. Willth pointed out that it was cold for those who believe the Spring Equinox is the middle of spring. Robyn y Glas reminded him of the heatwave experienced the previous Spring Equinox. 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 measuring time. Willth followed with a comment about monitoring time through the position of the midday sun. Robyn y Glas played the first of his songs and I went next with another performance of my Spring Equinox poem. Jim played one of his songs and Mark performed a poem in a modern style.

Tom went next with one of his songs and Rie read out a poem that had been submitted by Linda. Willth blessed the bread and the mead and started their circulation around the circle. Robyn y Glas then announced that his fifth year as Bard of Avebury was coming to an end. He asked for challengers for the new contest at Beltane. Jim took up the challenge and Willth allocated a subject of Love and Unity Within Community. Michael performed a shamanic chant and Gary came on to talk about global warming. Robyn y Glas asked the group to remember work colleague Bri Wadsworth. Everyone linked hands again and performed another three tones of the Druid Mantra for Bri. Willth now 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 out on this bitterly cold afternoon.

Montage of the complete event (Photo of Matthew by John C)

Meeting up at the Red Lion

Processing to the Sun Circle

Willth welcomes everyone to the event

Willth calls for peace in the South

Terry opens the East Quarter

Willth accesses the three worlds

Terry talks about measuring time

Willth adds a comment about monitoring time through the position of the midday sun

Robyn y Glas plays the first of his songs

Matthew performs his poem (Photo: John C)

Jim plays one of his songs

Mark performs a new poem

Tom performs a song

Rie reads a poem sent in by Linda

Willth blessed the bread

Willth blessed the mead

Robyn y Glas is given some light refreshment during his second song

Jim challenges Robyn y Glas for the bardic chair

Michael performs a shamanic chant

Gary talks about global warming

Remembering Bri Wadsworth

Three tones of the Druid Mantra for Bri Wadsworth

Willth begins to wind things down

Terry closes the East Quarter

Willth declares the event over

The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri (24 Mar 2013)

The Spring Equinox ritual of the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri was held at Avebury on Sunday 24 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. Tracey 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 myself and Steve the Stag formed an archway with staffs for everyone to process through to the Ring Stone.

Morgan welcomed the group 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 Pauline on North, Les on East, Jack on South and Caroline on West. There was then an energy raising session for spring and summer to hurry along. This involved drumming, chanting and shouting. Mark did his poem and I did mine at this stage - earlier than normal. The group linked hands to tone the Awen and perform the Druid Vow three times each. There was no bread today so Pauline and Morgan both blessed the mead. Once the mead had passed around, the group gathered in closer to listen to Morgan talk about gorsedd and Avebury matters. It was now time to close the quarters - from the North anticlockwise. As per tradition we left our voices in the landscape and Morgan thanked everyone for coming and closed the event, on what had been an even colder afternoon!

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

Processing to the Entrance Stones

Processing to the Entrance Stones

The Guardian settles in the Goddess Seat

Drumming at the Goddess Seat

Morgan ask the Guardian for permission to enter the stones

Offerings are made to the Avebury Guardian

The Avebury Guardian grants permission for the group to enter the site

Setting up around the Ring Stone

Morgan welcomes everyone again

Pauline opens the North Quarter

Raising energy for the spring

Mark reads a poem

Raising energy for the spring

Linking hands for toning the Awen and performing the Druid Vow

Pauline and Morgan bless the mead

Gathering in closer to hear some words from Morgan

Pauline closes the North Quarter

The event is over

Holding Space at the Goddess Temple (25 and 27 Mar 2013)

On 25 and 27 March I returned to Glastonbury to hold the space in the Goddess Temple. Spring Equinox is the time of Artha and the Temple is decorated accordingly.

The Goddess Temple decorated for the Spring Equinox


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Page last updated: 07 Apr 2013