A few pictures from today’s Druid Ceremony. I have loads of these – just a few tasters below. [Edit: August 2010 - some formatting in this post has been lost in the move from Typepad - might adjust it when I get round to it)
Starting with a gathering at the Rose and Crown at Burford (the Shropshire side of the river) where Suzanne Thomas set out the programme for the ceremony – with differing active and speaking roles for several people.
Volunteers were found for most of these – though I didn’t volunteer, as I’m not a druid, and wouldn’t know what to say…
A quick marshalling in the car park, with the new Mistletoe Foundation banner, and 2 community policemen to help us over the road.
Then off over the Teme Bridge, into town, singing, in theory (but where I was at the back, we couldn’t hear when to join in, and we got a bit out of synch, so gave up) , a little mistletoe ditty:
All Hail the Mistletoe
On the sacred trees doth grow
Our blessing we bestow
All upon the Mistletoe!
Down Teme Street and off into the Burgage, a small park area close to the town centre. Here’s Suzanne leading the procession.
And here’s one of the Elaines (we had two) carrying the banner…
By the time we reached the Burgage the druid procession had been joined by a small crowd of onlookers, which was encouraging (the druid group didn’t attend events in town last year, 2008, because of the feeling that some townsfolk weren’t keen – so we were anxious to heal any rifts this year).
The ceremony itself, honouring the mistletoe in a way that reflects ancient beliefs, was fairly complex relative to previous versions – but most of our onlookers stayed the course.
Spirits of time and place, ancestors of land and traditions were asked for blessings. Peace was called in the Quarters (E. S, W and North), and fire and water were used to consecrate the circle.
Local traditions of Caradoc and Arthur were described and then Teme valley local produce was given special mention – the local hop-growing represented by beer, the local apple growing represented by apple juice, all shared around the circle and over the central mistletoe.
The central mistletoe was then divided up amongst druids and onlookers alike before the remainder was ceremonially flung into the River Teme.
Where it sank very convincingly and instantly.
After the druid vow and awens the circle was uncast and the ceremony closed…