May 4th 2013

Beltane at Stonehenge

Beltane is the time when by ancient tradition the God and Goddess consecrate their love in sacred marriage and we all want to join in the celebrations. In small towns and villages across the UK people  ‘bring in the green’, dance the Maypole, wear flowers in their hair, morris dance or follow the Oss through the streets. Sadly, these traditions that bring communities together have been dying out but they are not gone and in some communities are starting to return once more.

In Amesbury we had so many blessings last year: The Mesolithic dig confirming Amesbury as having Britain’s oldest sacred site and settlement, the new museum, a fire festival at Stonehenge in advance of the Olympics, another fantastic carnival involving the ‘Stone-age Games’ for the first time, a visit from the Olympic flame, we got to show off our town culture and heritage to Her Majesty the Queen, we had another successful lantern parade, and of course we received honoured visitors to Amesbury and Stonehenge from Bolivia and the world heritage site of Tiwanaku. All this was possible because our community is coming together, people from all backgrounds, to make Amesbury a great place to be. This Beltane we wanted to celebrate this unity alongside the traditional spiritual union taking place at this time.

The Amesbury 2012 committee chaired by Andy Rhind-tutt coordinated a special access to Stonehenge purely for Amesbury residents and Aes Dana Grove of Druids. No-one knew quite how it would turn out, but it seemed right that the people of Amesbury celebrate our community spirit together and in the place sanctified by the ancestors. This provides continuity between the past, the unfolding present, and future generations for whom we are setting down strong roots.

Aes Dana Grove would like to thank Andy and Becky for organising this event, and all those who attended for each bringing along their own special magic to the occasion. It is an honour (and a great joy) for us to be part of this wonderful community.

Our ceremony was simple. We processed to the heel stone, where Frank led the opening of circle. Then the ladies led by Kate, with Jazz performing her role as grove May-Queen, Claire carrying the Maypole, Becci carrying the Aymara flag in honour of our union with Tiwanaku and the Amautas; circled Stonehenge to invite blessing of the Maypole. When they had returned the Maypole to the centre of the Circle we asked the spirits to bless our community, the landscape and local economy. Then we closed circle.

Grove members present were Frank, Bex, Claire, Jill, Jazz, Becci, Kate, & Richie, and Nicola.

Above and left, the community gather at the Stonehenge visitor centre before processing through to the ‘monument field’

Above, the ladies taking the Maypole around Stonehenge for the blessing

Bright blessings to everyone in the northern hemisphere as you celebrate Beltane!

To grove members who couldn’t come today, or who we didn’t get to contact in time, apologies. We missed you!