WSolstice-Eve2011

Winter Solstice Eve

Stonehenge to Amesbury Community Lantern Parade Parade

Aes Dana was delighted to be an active part of helping the Amesbury Community re kindle an ancient tradition by holding a lantern parade. Starting at Stonehenge Avenue just before sunset, Aes Dana’s Frank and Kate led a Druid ceremony to reflect that being held by the heal stone by our brothers and sisters led by Merlin. Friendly greetings and Bright Blessings were exchanged between our group and those staying behind at Stonehenge as we departed towards Amesbury following as closely as possible the old Avenue route used by our Ancestors.

It was an amazing and magical sight to see the procession stretch out across the beautiful Wiltshire landscape.

Great credit to the 500 people of Amesbury for organising this event, with special credit due to Mayor Andy and his team on the council and the 2012 committee. Also Andy and Michelle of the Forge and in much smaller measure ourselves too.

This was not a procession of Pagans to or from a Pagan temple, it was a mixture of ordinary people sharing a community experience in harmony and tolerance. What a great place Amesbury is! Certainly shining a light into dark times.

We had a very pleasant surprise when a Bolivian gentleman, seeing the Aymara flag being carried by the druids in the procession made haste to catch up with us so that we could exchange warm greetings and talk of our Druid visit to La Paz in the summer where we were the honoured guests of the Bolivian people.

Back in Amesbury town centre we enjoyed minced pies and hot drinks. At 6pm Michelle lit a candle and placed it into a unique lantern made by Andy from the Forge, the candle was kept burning overnight to be taken to Stonehenge for the Solstice morning sunrise.

How did it all turn out in the end?

It was a great success !

Andy from the Forge with his creation the Amesbury Solstice Lantern.