Yesterday about 100 people gathered on the flat hill beneath the Long Man of Wilmington to celebrate the Spring Equinox together. The Gorsedd Mound, as we call it, is probably part of the remains of the chalk pit on the right hand side of the hill figure, but to us it has formed the perfect place to gather for the Anderida rituals. The day couldn’t have been better. The sun was shining and the Weald and Downland looked breathtaking. The fields below the Long Man were green with freshly growing corn.
For the last few years the Spring Equinox has felt anything but Spring-like, so it was wonderful to be there and to actually feel and observe the changes. We created the circle, a space for our rites. We do this for a number of reasons – to ask permission of the Spirits of Place for our Rite, to set the space for the central part of the ritual, but also to help people who might have driven many miles, then walked up to the hill, still feeling somewhat hassled, to slow down and relax.
The circle set, we all faced outward and took in the view of Spring across Sussex. Then a horn was blown 3 times and the people, after each sounding of the horn, shouted “Wake!” to the God and Goddess of the Land. To let them know that we want them to return, that the realm of Annwn must now be growing colder, and darker, and that Abred needed them to bring their caress, to feel their feet falling on the Earth, to touch the bare branches and coax the leaves into being.
The Goddess spoke her words, giving her blessing to seeds we had brought with us, and she asked us to bless them too with our voices, as the Awen was sung 9 times. Then four children gave out the seeds, one to each person, to plant, and watch it grow.
The circle was unwound, and finally we held hands, closed our eyes, and imagined the darkness behind us, and the light before us. We were standing on the point of balance, the Equinox, and when we were ready, and with full intent, we awoke, took a step forward, and stepped into the Light of Spring. Hengwah!
As ever, the welcome at the Giants Rest pub was warm and friendly, and for the first time this year, we could sit outside, in the sunshine, with friends, and enjoy the moment.