On Saturday the Assembly officially began with the whole Order meeting in the Town Hall. Philip couldn’t make it this year so Damh had to do all the introductory session himself, with the help of his iphone! After the usual Opening, we split into our separate Groves – Bards, Ovates and Druids, in order to work on our parts in the Ceremony that afternoon. Each Grove was to work with their Inner Fire in order to imbue a staff with their particular qualities. The Bards were exploring how they use theirs to fire their creativity, the Ovates for healing and the Druids for service to the community. We had a beautiful rowan staff from the Snowdonia mountains, which had been harvested at a full moon. The staff had never been used and arrived wrapped in a cover which was replaced once the Grove was complete. The Bards had an entirely appropriate birch staff, which was completely unworked and still had the silvery bark attached. I’m afraid I have no idea what the Ovate staff was made from but it looked as though it may have actually been someone’s staff. I shall try and find out!
There were forty Druids in our Grove which was incredible, when I first started going to the Assembly there used to be about 15 of us huddled together at one end of the Council Chamber.
After the Groves finished we had a little spare time before the Ceremony began. As usual Mr Stoatie and I decided to walk up to the Tor in plenty of time, so as to avoid the lung bursting climb against the clock. We dawdled up the other side of the Tor, which is a nice gradual climb until the last 100m or so, and had half an hour sitting in the sunshine. It would have been glorious if the wind hadn’t been so strong, instead it felt rather chilly and I got Goosebumps. Eventually we could see that those Druids that had decided to join in the traditional Procession up the Tor had begun their climb, and so it was time to robe up.
Most of the people taking roles in the Ceremony are volunteers. We’d said that we’d all like to do a role and the Grove was given the Bard, Ovate and Druid of the North, the Earth Bearer and the Peace Giver of the North. We were all robed up, even the Setantii who were holding the circle, and of course we were all wearing our much admired slate Awens.
As usual Mr Stoatie was out and about with the camera – apologies for some of the shots taken behind the Tower, it didn’t like the sun and a few are a bit blurry. Can I ask that if you share the photos could you please credit us and post a link back to the blog, thanks 🙂
Each Grove chanted an Awen, then we had three Awens together facing the centre. We then turned and gave three Awens outwards to disperse the energies outwards across the Land.
Setantii on Tour (Tor)
Coming up in the next post: the Avebury Ceremony