Winter Solstice- Stonehenge- 2013

The Stonehenge Druid Order, (established 1988); were pleased to welcome members of the Glastonbury Order of Druids, The Dolmen, The Dorset Order of Druids, and the Wiltshire Order of Ancient Druids, along with 3,500 enthusiastic members of the public; to Winter Solstice at Stonehenge, 2013.

Special guests; who were not announced, but attended by courtesy of the Wiltshire Order of Ancient Druids; were Richard, and Scarlet, of the L’Ordre du Sangreal, a tiny community perched half way up the mountainside, beneath the ruined castle of Montsegur in the Pyrenees….

The weather started a bit blustery, but soon settled down, once proceedings were under way, the usual openings pronounced, the crowd soon settled down (after the sun and earth invocations; and the blessing of the flowers); to the more serious work in hand for the day; inc, our 3 very best wishes, for current World Healing. Those wishes were:-

1) Fukishima nuclear reactor no 4; and propping it up, so that it can be dismantled, properly, and safely.

2) Syria; sending any spare fivers anytime to help feed, clothe, and medicate, the first casualties of recent civil was displacement, the mothers and children. Recommend 100% The British Red Cross, who operate behind the lines in Syria and the other middle eastern countries affected by the crisis,  by means of their Red Crescent wing;-
British Red Cross, 44, Moorfields, London, EC2Y 9AL (0844 8710087)

3) First Nation    anyone who saw John Pilger’s brilliant but tragic account of the Australian outback, on tv the other night, will know that we are talking here about Australia, where recent figures damningly convey the full truth about this former colony’s atrocious race hate laws, that currently see 6-8% higher incarcerations for black aboriginals; than at the height of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

We were reminded, that Stonehenge itself; is only 5,000 years old. The Aboriginal Culture of Australia, is known to be at least 40,000 years old.
Let’s wish all our brothers and sisters in the “First Nation”; rapid improvement in their circumstances; and an end to oppression……

With our serious and committed World Healing prayers and spells and offered up to the Divine Spirit by means of the Awen, (or druidic mantra of the west), we all then moved swiftly  on to our more traditional tributes.

Una Woodruff; already a well-known artist with a string of credits to her name; but few know that she is also an archeries; originally the first of the Secular Order of Druids; circa ‘86, 87’; before forming her own order, the Wiltshire Order of Ancient Druids, (WOAD). She called on all of us to remember, first Stonehenge/Festival Archdruid, Tim Sebastion, of the Secular Order of Druids; his ardent belief in the Eisteddfod; as the way forward; and his original vision; of seeing the landscape around Stonehenge; “opened up” for greater activity; much as is being done now….
Rollo then called on everyone to remember the wonderful name of “Lady Olivia Durdin-Robertson”, who passed on but recently, at the ripe young age of 96. She lived in a castle in Ireland, with shrines to the worship of over 100 different pagan goddesses from all around the world, which, as President of the Fellowship of Isis, she promoted. A cousin of Robert Graves, (who wrote the “White Goddess”), Olivia personally organised, with her brother, the re-kindling of more genuine ancient power sources of the eternal goddess mystery; than any other…..

Which made it time to remember and recognise the big one, ie our great Archdruid of the 18th century, William Blake, who originated so much of the ceremony, that we and other druids now use, today. (See “The Truth Foursquare”, on the occasion of William Blake’s 256th anniversary, in the Blake Room, Tate Britain.

Rollo asked the crowd if they had had enough by then, but enthusiastic shouts of “more”, encouraged him to proceed, and read out the poem, which although it was first read out at Tate Britain, is actually set in Stonehenge….

Afterwards, everyone was all set to close, but at the very last moment, there were shouts amongst the audience, and a young couple, who had been hand fasted at one of the previous celebrations, stepped forward, and asked if the assembled company, would do a baby naming, for their small newborn son, Jim! Rollo pronounced the blessing, and the spectators joined in a rousing “3 cheers!” for baby Jim! You couldn’t script it and get it more on cue!

With this happy and fortuitous start to 2014; it was time to recite in unison the Druid’s Vow, swearing, to stand, in Blake’s words “heart to heart, and hand in hand!”----and then close the circle, as we had begun, with the words, “and may there be peace throughout the whole world!”

PS We would particularly like to thank, for their participation; the Greenman and Unicorn. It is beautiful costume creations like this, that inspire us all. And last, but not least, we would like to thank you, ladies and gentlemen, of the general public, pilgrims all, for your enthusiastic singing, and chanting, and drumming, and active participation, in our rites. YOU, are the STONEHENGE CHOIR!!

ÓRollo Maughfling, Friday 27th Dec, 2013,
South Gower.
See link for ITV news report and pictures.