Lughnasadh/Lammas 2008 - Uffington, Glastonbury and Stanton Drew

This page includes reports and photographs from the various events I attended during the season of Lughnasadh/Lammas in 2008. This celebration at 1 August see the sun heading to its quarter down point, halfway between mid-summer and the autumn equinox. The land is very warm and so the days are still hot even though the sun is in decline. But the decrease in light is already noticeable at the beginning and end of each day. This is the first of three harvest festivals, a time for school and work holidays and of baking bread from the first wheat. The season started early with a concert from Kellianna and then a visit to Stanton Drew with her for further performances. Then it was on to the Uffington White Horse on 27 July for the Gorsedd of Rhiannon and The White Horse. On 29 July it was off to the Goddess Temple in Glastonbury. 1 August started with a climb of Glastonbury Tor to view the sunrise, followed by a Lammas picnic and games later in the Fairfield. The next day it was off to Stanton Drew for an event with the Dobunni Grove with the Dolmen Grove in attendance. On the Sunday it was over to Avebury for the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri, followed by Kellianna's farewell party in Glastonbury. Also available are five videos of the outside activities on the final day of the Goddess Conference.

Page Updates

13 Sep 2008 - Fairfield videos are now high quality with full screen option.

10 Aug 2008 - Goddess Conference videos 4 and 5 plus explanatory text added.

5 Aug 2008 - Five Kellianna 'Pot Luck' Party photos added.

5 Aug 2008 - Goddess Conference videos 1-3 and four photos added.

Kellianna in the UK during Lammas 2008

Two separate pages are available for Kellianna's pictures. The first covers her concert at Chalice Well on 18 July. The other page covers her visit to Stanton Drew with me and our various performances there a week later. She went on to run workshops and perform at the 2008 Goddess Conference.

The Gorsedd of Rhiannon and The White Horse - 27 July 2008

On Sunday 27 July a small group gathered in the car park of the Uffington White Horse at the Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire border for the Lughnasadh Gorsedd of Rhiannon and The White Horse. At around 12:15 the group processed through the field at the east of the carpark, to be within sight of the monument. An interested member of the public had heard about the event and came along to watch. The call to peace was made by Bill and the four quarters were opened, with me taking South. The circle was opened using water and the ancestors and other deities were invited in. The three worlds of land, ocean and sky were then accessed and everyone was asked to express what they found inspiring about each of the three. Strawberries were offered around and we were each asked to take something forward with us from this season. We had taken a large bunch of wheat in with us and we took it in turns to add contributions of this to create a representation of John Barleycorn. We then sang the Ballad of John Barleycorn, before the image on the ground was broken up. There was then an opportunity to say prayers for those who have passed over or who were in need of healing. Following this it was time to bless the bread and mead. While these were coming around I gave my Lughnasadh poem its second reading of the season, the first being at Stanton Drew with Kellianna the previous Friday. This was followed with other contributions, including a couple of stories. We enjoyed these as we sat in the field under the blazing sun. With that it was time to close the circle, thank the ancestors and deities and close the four quarters. We left the field as we had found it and began processing back to the carpark.

The White Horse at Uffington

Processing through the field with the bundles of wheat

Lammas at the Goddess Temple, Glastonbury - 29 July 2008

The ritual at the Glastonbury Goddess Temple was held on the eve of the Goddess Conference. The colour for this season is yellow and many of those attending had made the effort to observe this. Lammas is one of three Sabbats that the Goddess Temple attempts to run outside in the courtyard of the Glastonbury Experience. The weather had been variable during the day but the right call was made by holding this well attended event outside. Everyone was given an information sheet and yellow ribbon upon arrival. And I handed out my Lammas chocolates before and after the event. Following a brief welcome it was straight into the eight directional blessings of the Invocation of Britannia's Wheel of Goddesses - Banbha, Danu, Domnu, Artha, Ker, Bride, Kerridwen, Rhiannon and ending with a call to the Lady of Avalon.

Then it was into songs from Vocalana and another poem from Rose. The Temple Dancers performed She Walks in Beauty and everyone swirled around a garment held in the centre to the chant of “Blessed be the corn in the golden light of Lammas; Blessed be the Goddess at the centre of the maze; Blessed be the mother that will feed us through the winter; As we merry meet and merry part and merry meet again.” This concluded with everyone approaching the garment and adding their ribbons to it. With everyone now stopped in a new location, children brought around blessings from the goddess such as bread, grapes, strawberries and seeds. Sally Pullinger and friends then performed several songs, with Katinka leading on her own excellent number. The Abundance Song then followed with a collection for the Temple. With that the eight point wheel was closed down again and people began to make their way home.

Montage of the complete event

Meeting up in the courtyard of the Glastonbury Experience

Meeting up in the courtyard of the Glastonbury Experience

Karin Dewilde on her annual pilgrimage from Belgium to the Goddess Conference

Kellianna arrives

Priestess after the ribbons have been added to the central garment

Kellianna turns up again!

In between songs on the balcony

Katinka leads her excellent new song

Lydia Lyte does her usual excellent job of accompanying on her drum

Children bring around gifts of the goddess

More songs from the balcony

At the end of the ritual

The Goddess Conference 2008 - Final Day (3 August 2008)

These five videos come from the final day of the Goddess Conference 2008 in Glastonbury. Things start with the famous procession from the Town Hall to Chalice Well. In the second video everyone gathers around the Vesica Piscis Pool in Chalice Well to sing and chant. This is normally followed by a climb of Glastonbury Tor. Unfortunately this year a large part of the top was sealed off by the National Trust to allow the grass to re-grow. Permission was therefore requested from Patricia and Clifford Gould to use Chalice Hill. The third video shows the procession up Wellhouse Lane to Chalice Hill. And the final two videos show the Invocation of Britannia's Wheel of Goddesses prior to everyone tucking into the fruit feast.

 

Processing to Chalice Well and gathering around the Vesica Piscis Pool (video: mikesey)

(Click here to watch in full screen or high quality)
 

Songs in Chalice Well around the Vesica Piscis Pool (video: mikesey)

(Click here to watch in full screen or high quality)
 

Processing up Wellhouse Lane to Chalice Hill (video: mikesey)

(Click here to watch in full screen or high quality)
 

The Invocation of Britannia's Wheel of Goddesses prior to the fruit feast (video: mikesey)

(Click here to watch in full screen or high quality)
 

The Invocation of Britannia's Wheel of Goddesses prior to the fruit feast (video: mikesey)

(Click here to watch in full screen or high quality)
 

Kellianna at the White Spring (Photo: mikesey)

Lydia Lyte drums the group up Wellhouse Lane (Photo: mikesey)

Lydia Lyte drums the group up Wellhouse Lane (Photo: mikesey)

Lydia Lyte and friend take shelter on Chalice Hill (Photo: mikesey)

Lammas Sunrise on Glastonbury Tor - 1 August 2008

Picnic and Games at the Fairfield, Glastonbury - 1 August 2008

The Western Order of Druids celebrated Lughnasadh by holding a ‘pointy ear’ picnic and games in the Fairfield at the bottom of Glastonbury Tor, starting at lunchtime on 1 August. A circle was held to open the event and then the picnic began. Early and prolific bardic performances came from Pixi with some accompaniment from a pilgrim from Holland. Pixie came on later with his famous Mushroom Song, as well as several others. Steve was in charge of the Lammas games and sack racing, welly throwing, tug-of-war and jousting were soon in full swing. Jay was eventually crowned Lugh's Champion for the year. Overall everyone had a great time and it made a great change to the usual rush up and down the Tor for the rituals during the rest of the year. Four videos are shown below, along with a collection of photos.

Pointy Ear Picnic - Video 1 (video: mikesey)

 

Pointy Ear Picnic - Video 2 (video: mikesey)

 

Pointy Ear Picnic - Video 3 (video: mikesey)

 

Pointy Ear Picnic - Video 4 (video: mikesey)

 

Montage of the complete event

A circle to bless the afternoon

A circle to bless the afternoon

A circle to bless the afternoon

The picnic awaits

The picnic begins

The picnic in full swing

The picnic in full swing

The picnic in full swing

Pixi and the 'Lady of Avalon'

Pixi with a head full of songs and some accompaniment from a Dutch pilgrim

Pixie gives it the max on the Mushroom Song

Pixie gives it the max on the Mushroom Song

Pixie gives it the max on the Mushroom Song

Sack racing with St. Michael's Tower above

Throwing the welly

Dobunni Grove of OBOD at Stanton Drew - 2 August 2008

On this day a group gathered at the North East Circle at Stanton Drew. At around 11:15 R-Druid called the group to the nearby tree to introduce the event and the season. Everyone then got in a line and processed through the nearby avenue and back into the circle, with everyone stopping to honour the East, the point of the rising sun. Led by drummers from the Dolmen Grove, the group made its way around the stones until everyone was inside. The circle was cast with R-Druid’s oak wand and directional peace blessings were performed by Nina. Taloch then performed the Dolmen’s traditional ritual to open the four quarters, with other members of that Grove assisting him.

Jim had the role of John Barleycorn and took us through his many attributes. But in doing this he faced the figure of death and eventually lost the battle. Fortunately he was soon reborn to offer gifts of the harvest - bread, beer and barley water. Volunteers came forward to take these around the circle. Nina took on the role of the Lammas Hare and was soon protected by all the men from the circle. The woman of the circle then had to use force, persuasion and cunning to remove the men so they could release the Hare. The men soon succumbed to the force of the women and Nina went on to invite all to contribute to the remaining part of the event. R-Druid asked for poetry, songs and words at this point. I stepped forward to read my seasonal poem, revealing where it had been so far and how it would be ending the next day at Avebury. I sounded my bowl after each verse and three times at the end. Other people followed with words, including Taloch who talked about children and Frank, who revealed he had stolen something earlier - some seasonal words that he was taking back from Christianity! Taloch then closed the four quarters and the circle was undone. The group processed back out of the circle and then old friends and new chatted amongst the stones before beginning the journey home or heading on to the Druid’s Arms.

Montage of the complete event

Meeting up in the stones

Meeting up in the stones

R-Druid introduces the event

The group begins to process through the avenue

Forming up a circle inside the stones of the North East Circle

Forming up a circle inside the stones of the North East Circle

Forming up a circle inside the stones of the North East Circle

Jim as John Barleycorn talks about his attributes

Jim as John Barleycorn talks about his attributes

Jim as John Barleycorn talks about his attributes

John Barleycorn faces death

John Barleycorn faces death

John Barleycorn is dead...

...but is soon reborn

And he finds gifts of the season

Including bread and beer

And barley water

Volunteers step forward to distribute the gifts

Bread, beer and barley water make their way around the circle

Nina takes on the role of the Lammas Hare

 

Nina takes on the role of the Lammas Hare

The men protect the Lammas Hare but the women soon release her

Nina invites everyone to contribute to the next part of the event

Taloch takes the stage

More thoughts for the group

Franks takes a few words back from Christianity

Taloch closes the east quarter

Taloch closes the south quarter

Taloch closes the west quarter

Taloch closes the north quarter

Gathering at the end of the event

Leaving the monument field

The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri - 3 August 2008

The Lammas ritual of the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri, led by Morgan Rhys Adams, was held at Avebury on Sunday 3 August. An impressive group formed up outside the National Trust Cafe and made its way through the stones of the South Western Quadrant of the Outer Circle to the stones of the South Entrance. The group was met by the ‘Guardian of Stones’ who was sat in the Goddess Seat. Offerings were made to her and permission was then granted for us to enter the Southern Inner Circle. Everyone was asked to say which ancestor or spirit they represent, either out loud or silently to themselves. Bill and Morgan performed the directional peace blessings in English and Welsh respectively. And the four quarters were called, with Morgan drumming behind each one prior to the call. I was asked to call the South quarter. This was followed by three people in the centre forming a triangle and calling to the three worlds of Land, Sea and Air.

Keeper of the Stones Terry talked about the activities of 1 August, with his annual baking of Lammas cookies and ascent of Silbury Hill. Everyone was then invited to use the materials provided to create the Corn King in the centre of the circle. Chuck entertained us with some songs while this was going on. The Corn King then had to die in order to be reborn. Morgan broke him up and used the red juice of the berries to anoint everyone. His sponge heart was also removed and cut open to release seeds around the circle. The new Corn King then appeared and everyone danced around to celebrate his rebirth. Blessing of the mead and bread came next and the bardic performances began at this point. Chuck performed a piece of music and I followed with the final reading of my Lammas poem for this year. Another poem and music on a whistle were performed and Chuck did several more songs. Including one of his excellent Avebury song and another where he received help on backing vocals. The Awen was then toned three times and we joined hands to recite the Druid vow, with Terry following with the Druid Prayer. Things were now drawing to a close and so the quarters were closed and ancestors thanked. A cleanup operation then began to remove all trace of the old Holly King. Heavy rain had threatened all afternoon but we managed to get away with the lightest of rain showers.

Montage of the Lammas 2008 event

Meeting up outside the Cafe

Meeting up outside the Cafe

Meeting up outside the Cafe

Meeting up outside the Cafe

Processing off to the Entrance Stones

Processing off to the Entrance Stones

Processing off to the Entrance Stones

Processing off to the Entrance Stones

The Guardian of the Stones awaits

The Guardian of the Stones awaits

Offerings are made to the Guardian of the Stones

Offerings are made to the Guardian of the Stones

Setting up in the Southern Inner Circle

In the Southern Inner Circle

In the Southern Inner Circle

In the Southern Inner Circle

Calling the West quarter

Calling the North quarter

Welcoming in the three worlds of Land, Sea and Sky

Terry talks about his time on Silbury Hill on 1 August

Making the Corn King

Chuck entertains during the building of the Corn King

The Corn King is dead and everyone is anointed with his berry blood

Celebrating the death and rebirth of the Corn King

Blessing the mead and bread

Distribution of the mead and bread

A poem is read

Chuck performs again...

...and this time with backing vocals

Closing the West quarter

Closing the East quarter

Thanking the spirits and ancestors

Kellianna's Leaving Party - 3 August 2008

Lammas began with Kellianna's Chalice Well concert and our visit to Stanton Drew. And it finished with a 'pot luck' party for her at The Summerlands in Glastonbury, the night before she was returning home to Massachusetts.

Kellianna hears the plane to Massachusetts is just touching down at Heathrow (Photo: mikesey)

Kellianna makes the most of her last night in the UK

But Alex wonders if it's going to be another two years until his next Reiki treatment!

No more poetry pleads Kellianna!

Kellianna finds room for a bit more (Photo: mikesey)

Kellianna finds room for a bit more. Alisha looks on enviously

Mike gets some camera tips from Alex

Ra-el finds something nice to eat (Photo: mikesey)

Ra-el finds something else nice to eat. Alisha has already finished (Photo: mikesey)

Ra-el finds something nice to eat (again). And Alisha is eating again! (Photo: mikesey)

Kellianna reminisces about Stanton Drew

We hope to see you soon Kellianna


Training | Treatment | About Reiki | About Matthew | Practitioner Info | Get in Touch | Shop | Event Photos | Home

Page last updated: 11 Jan 2009