Hi all.. Am organizing the following seasonal festivities in the woods as usual. Just click the links/ pictures to visit the relevant events under my `London woodland witches’ meetup events. Bright Blessings. -Mani
“Winter approaches.. night-hours are long. Day light is short. And in the deep caverns below the Earth, the great Goddess gives birth to the Sun-Child! We gather to mark this sacred event and celebrate Winter Solstice”.
Practical Details —————–
*** Fee: £3 ***
Date : Sunday 17th December 2017
venue: Queen’s Woods (gather at Woodman’s pub first)
meeting point: Please gather in the beer garden of `The Woodman’s pub’ (Archway Road, High Gate) between 2pm- 2.30pm. We will be walking together to the woods (15 min walk) to do ritual..
Duration : 2pm to 6pm (includes meeting at pub first).
Details near the time.
Out ritual Team will conduct key aspects of the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the actual ritual – ie with elements calling, chants, magical work and so on.
**From the moment you arrive at sacred space in woods, you are kindly asked to observe stillness and reverence throughout the ceremony. All willing are expected to participate – during which moments, you are asked to be calm and not disruptive of their inner-work. **
Magical Safety ————-
** Once Circle is cast, we do not allow anyone to enter the sacred space..or leave without an appointed Priest/Priestess opening a doorway in the circle. If you arrive late or must leave at any point, please seek the appointed Priest/Priestess for this. Please do not Crash the circle – as it can cause magical weakness for the whole ritual and let outside energies enter or leak our own built up energy**
RITUAL items to bring:
– Your ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
-Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)
-All Pagans of any spiritual are welcome..
** This event is NOT suitable for children.**
What to bring/ Food & drinks to share ——————-
Here are some suggestions–
-Home made/ baked items are exceptionally welcome (Bread, cakes, buns, salads, soup, pre-cooked potatoes).
-Wine & Mead are popular for the pre-ritual social and for feasting & socials afterwards!
– shop-bought items (sausage rolls, short-eats).
-Cheese / ham/ butter/ crisps/ dips
-Chicken (cooked pieces)
– Water / soft drinks/ tea & coffee in flasks
-vegetarian food/ vegan food
(Basically any items that add towards a sensible feast/ meal).
Cutlery etc: Plastic cups, paper plates, forks & knives, spare bags (to pack items not eaten), bin bags – we usually bring these. But if you can bring some too – that will be good.
Torch light – Some evening gatherings finish in dark. So a torch light helps to find things when tidying up & packing.
Seating : Folding seats / ground sheet ( for your self to sit on) – optional.
**wear sensible outdoor cloths***.
Join our meetup for this event Woodland Yule/ MidWinter ceremony 2017 (London)
Dear all.. Am facilitating 2 outdoor (woodland) Yule- Winter Solstice open rituals this coming weekend.. On saturday we’re in Croydon, with Hern’s Tribe.. from 2pm onwards for a shamanic ceremony & social, and on Sunday we’ll be at Queen’s Woods (north London), for our outdoor wiccan Yule open ritual from 3pm onwards. Here are short details. For full details, do visit my Meetup event links../ subscribe etc..Hope to celebrate Yule with you. Bright Blessings. -Mani
Hern’s Tribe MidWinter Gathering (croydon)
Winter approaches.. night-hours are long. Day light is short. And in the deep caverns below the Earth, the great Goddess gives birth to the Sun-Child! We gather to mark this sacred event and celebrate Winter Solstice.
Inspired by the TV series `Robin of Sherwood’ and stories of the Windsor-Hern myths, I started Hern’s Tribe- a pagan ritual & self-development group in Spring 2004. Drumming, masks, pre-ritual socials, feasting after ceremony, ceremonial fire..are all part of what we do. Now in its 12th year, Hern’s Tribe continues to evolve…exploring and experimenting with friendly down to earth shamanic, eclectic ritual styles for the gatherings.
Date: Saturday 19th December 2015
Time: 2pm – 8pm (this is a `gathering’ so includes pre-rite socials, ritual, and feasting/ socials/ drumming / chants etc ..)
venue: Meet at Coombe Lane Tram stop (please do NOT go into the woods looking for us.. we change location.. Stay at tram stop so we van come get you..and lead you to the ritual spot).
Meetup event link
Yule – Woodland Wicca Seasonal Open Ritual
We are combining the Wicca Full moon & Wicca Winter Solstice rituals and running it as one event at Queen’s Woods.
“Winter Solstice is the time when the Sun is at it’s lowest (nadir), resulting in the longest night and darkness appears to be enveloping all. Inwardly, it’s a time when hope and faith may be ebbing low and the future looks bleak. It is precisely at this point that the festive energy is needed to shift the magic within, and to celebrate the birth of the Sun Child! From here onwards, the night time starts to reduce, and daylight grows.. to a point of balance between dark and light (at Spring) and to the long days at Summer! As a symbol of hope and life, celebrants decorate the Altar and indoors with bright objects and keep greenery (ever Greens.. ie Yule tree and of course holly etc). A Yule log is also burnt in the ire, symbolising the coming of warmth and fire.” (taken from http://www.WitchcraftandMagic.uk )
Date: Sunday 21st December 2015
Venue: Queen’s Woods, North London (nearest tube: High Gate – northern line)
Time / meeting place: Please gather in the Woodman’s Pub..on Archway Road from 3pm..in the garden area. We’ll be having pre-rite drinks, ** talk-through* of ritual, assign roles…*before* going to the woods.
Winter Solstice is one of the 8 major festivals celebrated by Pagans, Witches, Ritual Magicians, and generally Esoteric & New Age people! And in the UK, Stonehenge (ancient neolithic stone monument) is one of the places where people of all beliefs gather to mark this festival.. thanks to English Heritage – who owns and allows access to people.. Normally visitors are allowed to only walk around the Stonehenge (after gaining entry by paying a ticketed fee)…But at Summer Solstice & Winter Solstice, they allow people to enter into the stones.. to worship, commune, attune, mark and celebrate the event.
Here is the info, taken from English Heritage website, pertaining to the coming Winter Solstice event.
Note: Sun enters the Sign of Capricorn at 23:00hrs on 21st December 2014, so the nearest morning for celebrating Winter Solstice (Pagan festival of Yule) is on Monday 22nd December 2014…when Stonehenge access is open.
Bright Solar Blessings
English Heritage will once again welcome people to Stonehenge to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Sunrise is just after 8am on Monday 22 December and visitors will be able to access the monument as soon as it is light enough to do so safely. Please be aware that parking is very limited and there is a thirty minute walk, in low light, from the parking areas to the monument.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY FOR WINTER SOLSTICE
These conditions of entry are written to ensure enjoyment and public safety for everyone. Contravention of any of these conditions may result in entry being refused or your removal from Stonehenge. English Heritage reserves the right to refuse entry. Stonehenge is a sacred site to many. Please respect it and please respect each other.
Managed Open Access
English Heritage is pleased to be providing managed open access to Stonehenge for the Winter Solstice. Please help us to create a peaceful occasion by taking personal responsibility and following the conditions of entry and guidelines. We have a duty of care to ensure public safety and are responsible for the protection of Stonehenge and its surrounding monuments. If we are to ensure that future access is sustainable, it is essential that everyone observes and abides by these conditions of entry.
Admission to Stonehenge
Monument Field opens 07:45 (7.45am) Monday 22nd December (approximately, depending on light levels)
Monument Field closes 10:00 hours (10am) Monday 22nd December
Parking is extremely limited and the area you park in may be a 30 minute walk/1.5 miles from the monument
Please Be Aware
Stonehenge is situated in a field and the weather will be cold and possibly wet. Sensible footwear and warm, waterproof clothing are essential.
Toilets in the Monument Field will only be available once the access period begins.
There are no catering facilities.
Conditions of Entry
Stonehenge is a world renowned historic monument and it is seen by many who attend as a sacred site. Amplified music is inappropriate and will not be permitted
Only small amounts of alcohol for personal use will be permitted on site.
Drunken, disorderly, and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. Offenders will be ejected by security staff or police, with no re-admission.
Illegal drugs are prohibited at Stonehenge. The police will be on site during the access period and will take immediate action against anyone breaking the law.
Glass is not allowed at the Monument as many people walk barefoot and livestock and wildlife graze in the area. Any glass items will be confiscated.
Do not climb or stand on any of the stones. This includes the stones that have fallen. This is in the interests of safety, the protection of this special monument and respect for those attending.
Camping, fires, Chinese lanterns, fireworks, candles, tea-lights or BBQs are prohibited at Stonehenge, in the parking areas, and anywhere in the surrounding National Trust land.
On the night of 23rd of December, I celebrated the Winter Solstice in a private coven (withchy) Yule ritual in south London. Then on the night of 24th of December, I attended a small local Church service in north London. Quite a bizarre one for many pagans and Witches, am sure. Many pagans have woken up to it, and have been previously unfulfilled or unsatisfied Christians. So when they hear about an initiated Wiccan / pagan going to a Christmas service ..it must raise questions such as – has he started to waver? is he going over to the other side?
Unusually for our coven, especially at Yule, we had 5 guys (Priests or male Witches) and 1 gal (High Priestess). Almost 5-6 of the other Priestesses had not turned up due to one or other personal circumstances. Initially, when I turned up, the other 4 guys were almost at a point of giving the Yule ritual a miss and going straight on to the celebrations, feasting and sipping of the wines! But after some discussions, we decided to do a rather informal ritual.. (which ended up having almost all the ritual components anyway, albeit in different order at places!). Yule is about the birth of the Sun-child, so considering the numbers present, I suggested the Priestess holding a Cauldron, and the 5 Priests lighting (in turn) candles inside the Cauldron. That seemed a good symbolic ritual.. where the Cauldron is the birthplace of light!
Following day, I went to be with my partner for the Christmas / festive 3-4 days.. and we went to a local church for a short service. Some bus-driver talked about Jesus, sin, loving God, following the rule of the God (people who sinned can;t go to heaven) and Gods’s love and own sacrifice (God sent his only Son into mankind to take on all of our sins, so mankind can be free to enter heaven). Now this `sin’ part was not something neither my partner nor I ever accept or agree. Needless to say, we believe we are all born free and pure – no sin – full stop! It’s what we do there after that creates a sort of `good/ bad’ person. Sadly, seeing that this sin-issue is at the heart of Christianity makes it impossible for any pagan to digest.
We were not there to infiltrate, nor recruit, spy, disrupt or anything of the sort. We were looking for a bit of rejoicing.. festive experience. Singing..!
To give it perspective, I must mention – few weeks back, we had both unexpectedly went to a Service at St.Paul’s Cathedral in Central London, and it had been hea
venly..the ethereal singing that echoed through that Cathedral. I guess we wanted a re-experience of that. It could also be that after many years of being practicing Witches/ pagans, we are feeling certain elements to be lacking. Christianity may have come only 2000 years ago, in contrast to Paganism that has existed for many thousand years, but at least in modern times – pagan celebrations of Yule does not seem to nearly even match the festive atmosphere and celebrations of Christmas, it’s choir and carol singing, the lights and decorations. And it is that festive element that we seem to miss, and sought in that Church service.
Another factor to add – one of my friend- a Christian – came to a pagan open ritual recently.. only few days prior to this – to see what it’s like. So I guess we were just completing the exchange – not that it was some contrived exchange. Truth is – we all seem to have did it for our own personal genuine reasons.
In the case of my partner and me, (despite my bad-back experience which started on Christmas day).. we had a quiet and personal few days together – sipping wine, watching period dramas on TV, Xmas films on old videos (Scrooged, Miracle of 34th street..) and having the Christmas meal for 2 evenings in a row – with a X’mas / yule tree and plenty of candles around us. That in the end gave us what we had been searching for – which neither coven nor church seem to provide for us.
This all reminds me of the old pagan principle – “If that which you seek you do not find within, you will never find it without!”
It featured the Horned God in a cloak in the back, Earth Goddess seated naked on a small hill, with a child on her lap.. There have been many other manifestations of that energy… 3 annual `Gaia conventions’ which I created for PF London in 2007,08,09…a new e-magazine Gaian Times launched earlier this year.
But the art work still awaits painting.. until late last night!
I did this `pin hole/ paper-cut’ mini-version of the Gaian Trinity.. scanned it and coloured it (animated it with colours, but that’s only for my beloved wife’s eyes only.. it’s her special Yule card..online..:-)
Here’s one of the frames from that animation..
I’ll let you know when the actual art work is done..
Winter Solstice – when the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn.. shortest day..longest night..!