We walked out into pure Autumn this afternoon. Symbolic of the turning of the wheel at the Equinox on Saturday at Thornborough Henge. What a contrast the two days are: Bright, warm Autumnal sunshine on Mabon (but with cold evenings – VERY cold!); and today, lashing wind and rain.
Our umbrella being turned inside out by the wind, making us both laugh, while I paddled through puddles in my wellies. I am so grateful to the Harvest Goddess’ and Gods for the beautiful weather at the weekend on our celebration. But, I am also grateful for the washing away of the old and welcoming the new. Such an emotional time.
And, Thornborough Henge, as usual, was no different with its enormous energies drawing in the western element. The energy of the main henge has woven its magick into my workings and is pouring through my soul. Gushing with a fluid energy, while I desperately try to ground – oh stubborn Taurean Earth Sign me!
As we crossed over the River Ure, in North Yorkshire, that familiar wave of joy, the feeling of coming home, warmed my heart. Through the quaint village of West Tanfield and winding down the ribbon of a country road to Thornborough. The most special place on Earth I have ever visited.
Every time I have been, I have learned valuable new lessons -: Beltane was our Handfasting; Midsummer was scary; Imbolc romantically cold. It is truly the one place on Earth that is constantly a world between worlds.
As we arrive, we are greeted at the gate, directed to the camp site and we trundle off into the cow-pat filled field. We chose our pitch, possibly the most cow-pat ridden area on the field and promptly had an argument. Tent erection is not our forte.
We then met Dancing “Guru” Dave as we have named him and one of the two lovely American gents, all the way from Alabama. They offered to help with putting up the tent, while I chilled (I think they could clearly see how much of a stress-head I am). The stubborn bull in me however, had other ideas. We managed to get it sorted, had some lunch changed and went off to explore the festivities!
The henge was filled with stalls, people and a marquee where talks were given and musicians performed. Unfortunately, I missed the talks as there were so many people to catch up with, and shopping to do. Pagan wares of all types, including robes, incense, witches, wands, chalices, cauldrons, books, crystals, athames trinkets and many, many more wonderful items. Food was on sale (even ice-cream!) and you could indulge in a reading, a massage or Reiki Treatment or even a meditation or two. We wandered around, bumping into both old and new friends, too many to list here, and there did seem to be a pink-haired revolution going on
We sat on the northern side of the Henge, upon the mound and looked down upon the festivities, watching the world go by. The glorious golden rays of the Sun God shined down on us, saying his farewell, before the onset of Winter.
The Mabon Ritual itself, began at four pm and was wonderful in its simplicity and eclectic flavour. A circle cast of holding hands, wonderful elemental callers, the High Priestess and High Priest working with their deities in perfect harmony. Offerings of fruits were given and the mead horn was passed around. All of the participants and guests looked beautiful in their ceremonial robes and cloaks.
After quaffing Hawkey’s delicious mead, we decided to head back to our tent for a BBQ, before watching the musicians and specifically Mimi O’Malley. We sat on the Western mound of the Henge and watched the most deliciously romantic sunset I have ever seen, listening to Mimi’s cover of “Running up that Hill” by Kate Bush and her valiant battle against the pipers.
The pipers were awesome too, as they celtically piped down the Sun on this Equinox-day-eve.
We headed back to the main camp fire, joining in the drumming, watching the Poi and gazing at the carpet of stars strewn across the black sky, that comprise the milky way. What a beautiful sight. We really hoped we would see a meteor as one had been seen on Friday night and it was apparently beautiful. Alas, the cat foiled us on that one! (The cat decided to don his cloak of invisibility on Friday afternoon when we were meant to leave and drop him at the Cattery – so we were forced to leave early Saturday morning instead).
I was so glad though when we returned to the tent and put on the heater. It was cold and the bottom of my robe and cloak had become soaked in the grass. We made a cuppa, and snuggled down under our duck down duvets and drifted off to the distant sound of drumming.
Waking on Sunday morning to a misty morning, cooking bacon and drinking tea cooked over our little camp fire. Saying goodbye to old and new friends until the next camping season. Arguing this time as we dismantle the tent in the cow poo. Travelling south, down the highway, back towards Worksop, we hit Autumn head on with rain and clouds.
This season of change is often difficult for those of us who are sensitive to energies. I myself have moved from a buoyant high to the Black Dog low, as I work through the lessons I have learned at this harvest festival time.
“Go with the ebb and flow of life Debi…..”, the Goddess whispers on the wind and beats out “Repair your soul and take time out” with the drumming of the rain. I listen quietly and learn.