Deer rutting (mating) season is upon us between September – October, and we return with our woodland walk in Richmond Park, for Stag-Watch, making magical wands & doing a discrete consecration ceremony!
**for safety reasons, please read this event info section FULLY**
This is a non-intrusive free-flow exploratory walk.. of 2-3 hours, spotting deer. We’ll also be looking out for suitable gifts from the Earth .. small twigs or branches – to make our own magical wands!! And for those willing to stay a bit longer into the evening.. we’ll be doing a wand-consecration ceremony..!
Many of us Witches & pagans worship the Horned God.. (Cernunnos – Lord of the wild Beasts) and Ellen – antlered Goddess. so here is a woodland event to get intune with all that, as well as create a magical artefact of your own (wand).
Facilitator – Mani – has been working with empowering Hern (Horned God) energies and been running a private ritual group called `Hern’s Tribe’ since 2004 (It’s the origins of all this `Woodland Witches meetup group’).
Fee/ contribution: £5 suggested.
The plan (approx):
We like to be organic with these new walks that we are organising.. These are not formal rituals but social walks & explorations – with practical magical & shamanic elements naturally integrated. So please do arrive with plenty of time allowed for this, fully prepared with right clothing/boots, and some essential food & drinks/water packed. A walking stick helps..but no worries.. It’s easy to find one in the woods within minutes of getting there.
1. We’ll meet at Richmond station foyer coffee shop.. (1.00pm). Gather all..Take bus to Richmond Gate. (stop `American University’ then 5 min walk).
2. At Richmond Gate (1.30pm) we’ll gather everyone – including those coming by cars (free car park inside Richmond park – please make your own arrangements but come meet us by the gate).
3. Start our exploratory walking from Richmond Gate. We’ll check out some beautiful Oak trees (some are hollow and can accommodate a human inside ..quite magical). We will not intrude on any Trees that are fenced up for their own protection..
4. Along the way we’ll collect small twigs suitable for shaping into wands. There will be breaks (bring snacks and drink for your self). We’ll be stopping often to observe stags and take photos , tuning in etc.
5. After a few hours , we’ll find a suitable place for settling down to make Wands. The follow up with a wand consecration rite including Ellen (Horned Goddess) and Cernunnos (Horned God) as deities.
6. Stags rutting intensifies at dusk onwards. So as we walk back to gates/ exit, we may stop for more explorations.
7. Weather: Unless it’s severe rain, we’ll go ahead with this event. So look out for notice in comment section on the morning of the event for (onl for any postponement).
8. We’ll take bus back to station. At Richmond town centre, we’ll probably stop over for a few drinks / snack / pub.. and continue socials.
***Those who wish to leave early may do so any time during the whole event. Just make sure you know the way back***
Children/ Dogs :
Due to the exploratory and magical nature of this event, we regret that children only allowed at the strict discretion of any parents / guardians who must accompany children. Dogs to be kept on leash at all times a sper park rules for safety of Deer, people and dogs themselves, as Deer are aggressive and can attack if provoked.
Due to the rough terrains, and potential need for brisk walk (moving away from any rutting stags), and end point being 2 hours away from exits, we regret that unless you are able to keep up, we can not provide special attention, or accommodate anyone with walking or other disabilities. We are very sorry for this.
What to wear:
Pleeeeeeeese! Please wear absolutely warm and sensible cloths/ coats/ rain proof/ boots etc!! It may start out sunny and hot but it gets cold quickly.. There’ll be midges and insects.. so cover up ankles with socks.. wear trainers or boots…(No slippers). You feel hardy.. but when you start shivering or feel uncomfortable inside ..it still shows and makes rest of the people feel uneasy. This is not a survival walk with Bear Grylls.. It’s an enjoyable comfortable magical social walk with csy pagans!! 🙂
What to bring?
Obviously we’ll be walking for few hours with breaks inbetween. So only carry essentials, and low weight items.. or you’ll get tired and won’t enjoy the event. Pretend you are the Fellowship of the Ring.. chasing Orks 🙂
That said.. do bring some of these for your own enjoyment:
- -Camera to take pictures of rutting Stags (from safe distance)
- -Hot flash of drinks for yourself
- -small ground sheet / blanket to sit on (optional)
- -Some food & drinks (extra if you feel like sharing)
- – any magical items you like to carry with you safely and discretely (no big swords)
- – walking stick (optional but helps) – note: this is an additional aid for those with No walking disabilities.
- -Torch light ( for later if staying in the evening).
- -insect repellant sprays (optional)
- – lantern (optional for later)
- – carving/ craft knife (optional for wand making).
Mani (facilitator) will provide some ground sheet, bring small craft knives. and a minimum ritual tool kit for doing a small ceremony later. But he’ll also be wanting to travel light and might need to run away from Oarks..or rutting Stags (as has happened before)!
Rutting stags are fiercely territorial and will be gloating their own powers against other stags. The key thing is to stay out of their way.. Never accidentally get in between 2 or more rutting stags ! They don’t care much about humans…but in their aggressive states, they may not tell differences between a human and a stag-threat and may get chasing you. (as it had happened to me once!)
Another matter is to be less intrusive..and not spook them. After all Richmond park is a wild life sanctuary for them.
If you are not comfortable working safely with a craft knife, please refrain from doing so. Some can be sharp and cut deep, if not careful. We’ll have small plasters ..that’s about it.
Obviously we’ll be going in search of the Deers/ stags…and it’s highly likely we’ll bump into their territories sooner or later.. But we have no control of the wild animals..and sometimes they migrate to far away sections of the park.
Bright Blessings . `May Hern protect us’
Author Teacher Wiccan
—Historical note: We first ran a `Stag Watch’ event for Hern’s Tribe on 29th October 2012–.
link to our meetup event: