Samhain 2007 (Hallowmass) - Glastonbury and Avebury

This page includes reports and photographs from the seven events I attended during the season of Samhain/Hallowmass in 2007.

Samhain Full Moon at the White Spring

I visited the White Spring on Friday 26 October for the Samhain Full Moon celebration. This was led by Gill Atkinson and around 15 people were present. Gill talked about the significance of the season and then let the group wander around the White Spring in silence to tune into the surroundings. After this the group formed a circle and did the traditional directional blessings. A large plate was then placed in the centre of the circle. This contained sand and a candle. Everyone took a large handful of sand. Splitting it into the thirds this was added to the plate, whilst thinking of people who have died this year, relatives who have died in previous years and thoughts for all the ancestors. This was followed by a Samhain ritual using the “Will You, Won’t You” song whilst tapping sticks on the ground as well tapping the stick of a partner. This was followed by a guided meditation with a starting point of Wearyall Hill. After this the group gave feedback on their experience of the meditation. I then debuted my new Samhain poetry and this was followed by a short poem from another member of the group. The circle then re-formed and the directional peace blessings were performed again. Everyone seemed to have an excellent time and old friends and new then went out into the dark of the night, to return home or to attend other events.

The main entrance to the White Spring

Samhain Concert Featuring Kellianna and Jana Runnalls

A fine Samhain concert took place in the Assembly Rooms in Glastonbury on the evening of Saturday 27 October. This has its own picture page on this link.

Samhain at The Goddess Temple

The Glastonbury Goddess Temple held its Samhain celebration on the evening of 31 October. The Temple Melissas gave everyone a programme, a song sheet and red and black threads as they entered the Glastonbury Experience. The venue filled up very quickly and it was absolutely packed by the time the event was underway. The first activity was the traditional eight directional blessings of the Invocation of Britannia's Wheel of Goddesses. This was followed by a song from Vocalana and the appearance of the Crone Nolava of Avalon. The Crone welcomed everyone to the Isle and Season of the Dead. Everyone was then invited to appear at the altar to light a candle and give a blessing to someone who has died. I gave an emotional tribute to Nikita Moore. Quite a few people took up this chance, with each name being rattled. There was then a poem by Rose Flint and Jacqui Woodward-Smith then led a Blessing of the Red Thread meditation. There were then songs from Oshia Drury and Sally Pullinger, with Gabi Pullinger reading a poem. I then read out my Samhain poetry and immediately followed it with a new poem about the Lady of Avalon - I had been requested to write this latter text at my last visit to the Goddess Temple. Sally then led a meditation on the dark and light aspects of the self. There was then a song called Digging in the Dark and then everyone queued to receive a blessing from the Crone Goddess. The group then went outside to a small fire where the black threads were burnt. Jana Runnalls and group drummed away at this point. A collection was then taken to the tune of the Abundance song and the circle was closed around the fire.

Matthew delivers his Samhain and Lady of Avalon poetry [Photo: Mary Bancroft]

Matthew delivers his Samhain and Lady of Avalon poetry [Photo: Mary Bancroft]

Matthew delivers his Samhain and Lady of Avalon poetry [Photo: Mary Bancroft]

Matthew delivers his Samhain and Lady of Avalon poetry [Photo: Mary Bancroft]

Outside at the Glastonbury Experience with the small Samhain fire

Outside at the Glastonbury Experience with the small Samhain fire

Samhain Sunrise on Glastonbury Tor

There was no formal Druid event on the Tor for 1 November. Even so a group of a dozen or so people waited patiently in anticipation of a spectacular Samhain sunrise on this clear morning. For many it appeared to be their first experience of a Tor sunrise. The group ranged from lone travellers to people on an Hawaiian Massage course at the Healing Waters retreat. Many said they would be back to do it again. Following the sunrise I took advantage of a quiet Wellhouse Lane to collect 200 litres of water from the Red and White Springs.

Around 15 minutes before the expected sunrise

Around 12 minutes before the expected sunrise

Looking to the south - the moon can be seen near the top

Looking to the North

Around six minutes before the expected sunrise

Around a minute before the expected sunrise

Sunrise beginning

Sunrise beginning

Sunrise now underway

Sunrise now underway

Sunrise now underway

The sun is now clearly visible (12x optical zoom on camera)

The sun getting ever higher

The sun getting ever higher

The sun now more than half exposed (12x optical zoom on camera)

The sun continues its rise

The sun continues its rise

The sun continues its rise

The sunrise viewed from the side of St. Michael's Tower

The sun is now nearly full exposed

The sun is now nearly full exposed (12x optical zoom on camera)

The Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri Samhain Ritual at Avebury

The Samhain ritual of the Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri was held at Avebury on 3 November. The group gathered at the Red Lion and at 13:30 made its way to what remains of the Southern Inner Circle to carry out a traditional Druid event. This included directional peace blessings, reciting the Druid Prayer, several toning sessions with the Druid Mantra and saying the Druid Oath three times. There was a chance to give a blessing to the recently deceased - as above I did this for Nikita Moore. I was the main bard for this event and so recited my 12 verses of Samhain poetry, tapping one of my bowls after each verse and three times at the end. Another person contributed part of a short poem and we also received an update on Tara and Silbury Hill. This was an enjoyable ritual held in brilliant sunshine with plenty of onlookers.

Assembling at the Red Lion

Entering the south east quadrant of the Great Circle

Assembled in circle

Assembled in circle, facilitated by Rollo Maughfling

Blessing in progress

Blessing the flowers with the Druid Mantra

Blessing the flowers with the Druid Mantra

The flowers used in the ritual

Directional peace blessings underway

Directional peace blessings underway

Directional peace blessings underway

Getting back into circle

Parish notices at the end of the ritual

Parish notices at the end of the ritual

Parish notices at the end of the ritual

Parish notices at the end of the ritual

The large stones of the Southern Inner Circle

The large stones of the south west quadrant of the Great Circle

Stone 1 - the "Devil's Chair", part of the south entrance

Stone 98 - the other stone of the south entrance

The stones of The Cove

Samhain New Moon Healing Share at the White Spring

A Samhain New Moon Healing Share was held at the White Spring on Friday 9 November. This was run by Max Goodwin and involved the small group tuning into the surroundings and then releasing bad energies through a guided meditation. Experiences were shared before and after the meditation. I debuted my White Spring poetry at the end and I also played one of my bowls.

The main entrance to the White Spring

Inside the White Spring

Inside the White Spring

Inside the White Spring

Inside the White Spring

Inside the White Spring

The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri Ritual at Avebury

The Samhain ritual of the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri, led by Morgan Rhys Adams, was held at Avebury on Saturday 10 November. The group met outside the National Trust Shop and made its way through the stones of the Southern Quadrant of the Outer Circle to the stones of the South Entrance. The ritual began at the Devil’s Chair before moving on to the nearby lone Ring Stone. The directional peace blessings were carried out, with me representing North. There were several poems, including the final outing for this year of my Samhain poem. Our ancestors were remembered and there was an opportunity to recall the more recently deceased - again, Nikita Moore received a tribute from me. We also had the traditional toning, three recitals of the Druid Oath, bread and mead, rounding off with some impromptu music on flute, whistle, drums and my Tibetan bowl. The sun was out for much of the ritual but the persistent wind made things surprisingly chilly.

Setting off from the National Trust Shop, with the Western Quadrant of the Outer Circle to the left

Setting off from the National Trust Shop

Walking through the Southern Quadrant of the Outer Circle

Heading towards the stones of the Southern Entrance

Heading towards the stones of the Southern Entrance

Beginning the ritual at the Devil's Chair

Heading to the Ring Stone

The Ring Stone - bearing mead, bread, water etc.

At the Ring Stone at the end of the ritual

The stones of the Western Quadrant of the Outer Circle

The stones of the Western Quadrant of the Outer Circle

The stones of the Western Quadrant of the Outer Circle

The stones of the Western Quadrant of the Outer Circle


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Page last updated: 12 Nov 2007