Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
Daily Goddess Awareness
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
A Celtic View of Samhain
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Ostara: Enter the Light!
Yule and the New Year
Witches Lost in Halloween
The Best Thing About Death
Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
A Story For Autumn
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
Solstice of the Soul
The Samhain Experience
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
The Sacredness of Halloween
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
Unity During Samhain
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
A Samhain Dance
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
The Blood is in the Land
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Imbolc Musings: We're All Broken
Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun
Samhain and the 'Witch Questions'
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
The Call of the Crone
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
Back to Basics: Imbolc
Sonoran Desert Wheel of the Year (Square Peg, Round Hole)
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
Samhain: the Sunbeam in the Twilight
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
The Maiden's Breath: The Vernal Equinox
Like Bread for Lughnasa: A Letter
Flashbrewing: Traditional Yule Ginger Beer/Ale
Ole Old-As-The-Hills (A Yule Story)
The Gift of Yule: An Illuminated Wheel
The Quickening Wheel: Imbolc
The Hermit's Light: Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox
The Light of the Harvest: Lammas
Observations for a MidSummer's Eve
My Yule Views
Mother's Flowering-The Summer Solstice
WD Allan's 2013 Holiday Message!
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Samhain at Chalice Well ~ Glastonbury ~ England
Article ID: 11058
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,979
Times Read: 4,166
RSS Views: 43,094
Author: Mystic Avalon [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 1st. 2006
Times Viewed: 4,166
I arrived in Glastonbury ~ Somerset ~ England, also known as the Isle of Avalon at about 18.30 and after an excellent meal at the internet restaurant on the main street walked up to the Well at about 19.20.
The night was clear and warm and wherever you looked there were people of all ages moving towards the top of the high street in the direction of the Well and many happy children with painted faces, pointed hats and magick wands returning home with their equally happy parents.
When I reached the Well, it was the first time in years that I had experienced a queue that reached into the street. There were a wide range of folks there, some quiet and reflective, others chatting gaily and others saying hi to the endless steam of children and their parents leaving, not by the lower gate, but back out thought the top entrance.
All the time there was the constant sound of young people enjoying themselves echoing over the garden wall.
When I reached the head of the queue, I was informed that the response was overwhelming and at least 600 people had attended so far!
At 19.45 I was standing above the Vestris Pool, just as the drum was being beaten by the gardener and the bell was rung to invite us all to the cress field.
As we processed to the field, I became aware of the hundreds of candles burning wherever one looked, lighting ones way to the netherworld, at this time when the veil is so thin and the ancestors await for our yearly thanks to them.
The procession took us past the Well, where a young couple was deep in contemplation. It so was strange that they seemed far away from us, as if in a sacred space untouched by our presence in this time.
As we processed into the cress field, there were four flickering torches ahead of us, set at the cardinal points and at their intersection stood a tall bonfire, lovingly crafted from old and autumnal wood with the still leafy branches catching the trembling torchlight which gave them an apparent life of their own as we all gathered in an expectant circle in response to the gentle rhythm of the gardeners drum.
As we formed a circle around the awaiting bonfire and our eyes adjusted to the magick of the night, we noticed the three celebrants who stood before us. One was the gardener still gently tapping his drum, who like the Green Man seemed uniquely relaxed and at home within these, his own surroundings.
Then Michael with his reddened face and Autumnal garments burnished like falling leaves who represented the male God as the Lord of Death, preparing souls for their next incarnation, and Lynne with her enigmatic silver mask, flowing cloak and truly frightening rattle as the Goddess in her "crone" aspect.
She, the Wise Woman who speaks the hard truths and carries the God within her who will be reborn at the Winter Solstice.
Michael welcomed one and all, explaining the history of Samhain, introducing the excellent pagan drumming musicians and the programme for the evening. The underlying emphasis was on love, friendship, honoring the ancestors and participation. As he was making this introduction I was conscious of the expectant sea of faces around the circle changing in the illumination from the four flames, and as the wispy cloud scudded across the face of the nearly full moon the light waxed and waned setting the aged branches of the trees above the well afire in a pale silvery light.
It is a true challenge to remember all of that which followed, the inspirational chanting, drumming and singing of the group processing deocil around the unlit fire, illuminated by only the four flickering flames is something that I will remember for a long time. As is the exquisite teamwork of Michael and Lynne as they led the proceedings with love, reverence and a heart felt passion. Lynne seemed to truly embody the Goddess and her echoing words and the emphasizing sound of her rattle would certainly summon or frighten any spirits that I am acquainted with.
There is little more that I can add about the ceremony, except that the most poignant and spiritual happening for me was in those moments prior to the fire being lit, when the four flames had been extinguished and when the solitary drum above the well head in the darkness was calling out to the spirits of the nether world. The misty moon was illuminating the Tor and we were awaiting, entranced by the flickering flame coming towards us from high up in the cress field.
Then, welcomed into the circle, the flame was split four ways to rekindle the lamps and the to light the Samhain fire, which caught quickly accompanied by the drumming, singing and chanting of the group.
That was truly a moment of pure magick.
As the flames grew higher and the light far brighter, we, a laughing happy crowd of intimate strangers and old and new friends collected a few ripe seeds from a bowl held by Michael, casting these into the flames as a very real present and yet very ancient ritual cleansing of the old and a magickal preparation for the new.
When all was well done, Michael thanked us one and all, and invited us to either stay by the fire under the autumn moon or enjoy ourselves even more by listening to the excellent story telling of ancient deeds of daring, on the lawn above the Vestris pool, plus partaking of the hot and very welcome refreshments in the gardeners’ palace.
I spent a few moments contemplating the ceremony and the symbolism of the fire and with a truly happy heart processed down to the garden. On the way down, as I passed by the well I noticed the couple was still there, and two others had joined them with a young child. They were all in their 20s, lost still in contemplation.
Why they were there I will never know, and as I passed by to view the Vestris pool, sat and listened to the marvelous storyteller with a hot drink in my hand, I sent them a silent blessing. Wishing them well and at that moment came the realization that all together we are all part of the miracle that is Chalice Well.
Location: Warfield, Berkshire, England
Author's Profile: To learn more about Mystic Avalon - Click HERE
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Mystic Avalon... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2017 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).