This weekend has been a hectic one. I took part in an Autumn Equinox ritual with UCLan Pagan Society on Saturday (1) and hosted an Autumn Equinox and Harvest celebration for the Oak and Feather Grove on Sunday.
The Oak and Feather Grove is run by Phil and Lynda Ryder and covers East and Central Lancashire. I have been a member for nearly three years. As it was Phil and Lynda’s talk on Druidry that inspired me to start connecting with nature close to home and to set up The Friends of Greencroft Valley it was great to introduce the grove to my local area.
We began with a slow walk through Greencroft Valley to connect with the place. I showed them Fish House Brook and the Trysting Oak, our recently scythed wildflower meadow and apple trees and spoke about the valley’s history (2).
After this we had a ritual in a friend’s garden. We began by settling into the season by sharing how we relate to this time of year and our personal harvests. Then we welcomed (or greeted) the spirits of the elements, place and the ancestors. This was followed by sharing bread and mead then toasting the earth, our gods and ancestors and stating an intention to hold until Samhain.
After saying farewell (temporarily) we went inside for a feast of spicy lentil soup and apple crumble made from local blackberries. For the final part we returned outside at twilight to read poetry and sing the Awen.
By the time everybody was ready to leave night had fallen and the stars were emerging. Afterward walking home I noticed the temperature had plummeted, a reminder that although we have had a long warm September this is a pivotal point (3).
(3) The Autumn Equinox will take place at 2.29am tomorrow morning.