Last Sunday I went over to the Can y Gwynt Grove to celebrate Alban Elfed. This is the pagan celebration around the Autumn Equinox, which actually occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The Can y Gwynt hold their meetings all across North West Wales, this one is the nearest to us, being held just over the Cheshire border in Mold.
I’d promised to go long before the Wildwood came in to being and so we didn’t hold our own celebration, instead a took a car full of Wildwood/Setantii people over with me! We’re actually holding a ritual as part of EarthWeb on the 4th October instead, which I’ll be writing more about in due course no doubt!
The Alban Elfed ceremony was held on an organic farm which is owned by the Grove’s Pendragon, Stuart. He’s constructed a wonderful circle from tree stumps in the field behind the farm house, and also a labyrinth. I didn’t take any photos as I thought it would be a bit cheeky – I don’t know them very well! We started off with the ceremony which was fantastic, there were 15 of us in total which meant the circle had no large gaps and it went off very well. The Can y Gwynt are quite formal and so we were all in robes which gave it a lovely ambience. It was a lovely sunny and warm day, and we were all relaxed but focussed which made good working.
After the ceremony it was time for a bite to eat and then we all sat in a circle in the front yard for a bit of a meeting. The Grove study a different tree between each festival and this time it was the chestnut – sweet and horse! We had a couple of hours sharing memories, anecdotes, stories and findings. Badger had translated a poem about sweet chestnuts from the original Spanish which he declaimed with his usual aplomb! He is a natural Bard 🙂
After this we had an extra little ceremony to celebrate Stuart and Carol’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. We were joined by their family and friends and Caryl conducted an Affirmation in the Circle. A ring of family in the centre, surrounded by druids. It was a really touching and moving rite, the directions bound them with ribbons to a wand made from bramble, which was the Tree Moon at the time of their marriage. I should think bramble is one of the more difficult materials to make a wand out of so Caryl did very well, it was beautiful!
Afterwards we all repaired back to the farmhouse for more feasting. Badger had been given a birthday cake by a friend at Thornborough Henge the day before, and he very generously brought it over with him. Carol and Stuart were given the honour of cutting it!