Cylch Blodeuwedd

Druidic Grove in North-West Wales

Gŵyl Gwanwyn/Spring Equinox 2010

by gillian - March 22nd, 2010.
Filed under: Past Rituals. Tagged as: , , .

Well, despite the rain, we had a marvellously enjoyable and inspiring ritual for the Equinox last Sunday! There were only six of us present, but as Christine pointed out, it just made it cosier for us! And despite having lost a lot of weight, and sometimes getting tired and panting a bit, Christine’s Irish Wolfhound, Malachai, was in great spirits with a real spring in his step.

We gathered for noon and opened the ritual at Christine’s Tree. It was still sunny then! As I stood leaning against the craggy bark, it came to me that the tree is always there for us… doesn’t matter when we come, or how we are feeling, it stands firm, offering us shelter, protection, wood and essence, wisdom and strength. I came away in awe and admiration…. praying that I can grow to be more like the tree… steadfast, dependable…. always there for my friends…. indeed, for anyone who wants/needs me. It was a remarkably humbling experience.

Christine had made some absolutely delicious vegetable soup for lunch, and while we ate, we discussed the various ideas that we had all brought to contribute to the ritual. It never ceases to amaze me that people find such an infinate variety of ways to express and celebrate the same topic or theme. And this Equinox was certaily no exception! Rather than try to orchestrate a “ritual”, we decided to write down all the various activities on pieces of paper, put them all together in a bowl, and select one at a time. Because it was by now so very wet, and because most of the activities could not have been performed in the rain, even if we had been willing to do so, we stayed inside. Christine and Merfyn are in the process of transforming their large “back room” into a very comfortable living space, with lots of room for all manner of ritual activities, and, perhaps best of all, a large wood-burning stove that throws off a glorious amount of heat!!!

Our activities were numerous and varied, starting with egg painting and decorating… some to keep and take home…. others of the hard-boiled variety to “roll” outside later. Alison led us in some dancing, working through the life-cycle of a seed, from plant to flowering, seed-forming and back to “death” and rebirth as another plant… and Merfyn’s “bee” was possitively hysterical!!!  (This was relatively simple but remarkably profound!)  We also brought the whole idea of “balance” into our lives as Holger encouraged us to each attempt to find our balance on a small seasaw, reflecting the equinoxs’ focus of balance between equal light and darkness (and a lot of other things besides, if one thinks about it!) Christine led us all in some mirror gazing, which was deeply and surprisingly revealing as we keenly observed our own faces and the hidden secrets deep within our own eyes…. incredibly moving! Holger helped us to re-enact the old welsh custom of the maid servant returning her wax candle to her mistress and being given a wooden replica in it’s place. This portrays the time when the household could rise and go to bed by daylight, without the need for lighting a candle, etc.. Dafydd brought the wherewithall to plant seeds (in this case, Earthwalker sunflowers)  Merfyn did actually write “wine and cake” twice on the papers that went into the bowl, but he was foiled as they were the last two papers to be drawn out anyway! Ah! ha! But we did enjoy Carraway Seed Cake and Gorse Wine before playing a game around the fire (which Merfyn introduced us to) and which involved a lot of winking!

Later, we walked back to Christine’s Tree. ( Having a wild episode of rolling our decorated boiled eggs down one of Christine’s very steep slopes on the way! This tradition in Christianity symbolises the rolling away of the stone from the mouth of Christs’ tomb after His death at Easter, but actually belongs to much older beliefs and represents the turning wheel of the year) In the gently pattering rain and the failing light, we all closed the ritual together, and returned through the dripping shadows to the warm and inviting cottage where we thoroughly enjoyed an excellent feast of food!

It was a hugely enjoyable day for all of us, and the whole concept of bringing activities and democratically sharing the execution and organisation of the whole day worked really well! It is certainly an approach that I shall repeat in the future!

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