I was back up on the Edge at the weekend for our Earth Web ritual. The Warrior’s Call have been calling on pagan groups and individuals across the world to join with them, to work ‘magically and practically’ against fracking and on Saturday they held another of their big international ceremonies. The main event was a large public ritual held at Avebury, with other ceremonies, group and solo, taking place on the same day. They had an interactive map where you could log your ritual and see where all the others were taking place.
We were free to organise our own rituals, but were asked to include a ‘painted’ stone. We were to chose a stone from a favourite spot, paint it with the Warriors Call sigil and then ‘charge’ it at the ritual, returning it to where we found it so that could anchor a web of protection around the earth.
The sigil was to be painted in water, I picked a pebble from work, and painted it with water from Chalice Well at Glastonbury. It was the last few drops in the bottle and was a wonderful red colour where the iron had precipitated out. I’m not an artist but gave it my best shot!
The organisers at Avebury did a dreaming to plan their ceremony and the Wildwood decided to do the same, there were interesting similarities in all the journeys. In the end our ceremony was in two parts, calling in Herne to charge the stones with warrior energy, strength and protection, and then the Lady Arianrhod to weave this energy into a web around the globe. I incorporated some of the elements of the Avebury ritual, in particular the Warriors Oath, which is a bit of a tongue twister!
The Avebury organisers decided to use ribbons to illustrate the web, and had worked out how to pass them across the circle to produce a pentagram in the middle. There were only six of us so I knew that would be out of the question for us. Instead I decided to adapt a maypole dance called the Spider’s Web. I placed my staff in the centre and we each attached two lengths of lovely cream chunky wool to it. When we came to weave the web, one of these was attached to a peg in the ground at the perimeter of the circle and the other thread we used to spin the web as we walked around. I’d originally envisioned using staves to hold the threads but we had difficulty getting them to stay upright (the central staff had a system of wooden poles to support it and was still rather wonky until it got pinned down!) Lucky for me, Lindsey had her tent in the boot of her car so we were able to use her tent pegs!
Un-weaving the web looked like it may be a bit of a challenge so in the end we just wrapped it around the staff as I crouched down holding it upright. It looked like it had been cocooned when we had finished. The ritual went really well, everyone enjoyed it which is always a good sign. The energy and atmosphere on the Edge was absolutely fantastic. It had been raining all morning but became dry and sunny while we were working. The little grove was perfect and we were only disturbed by a couple of dogs! I’m really enjoying writing and performing working rituals – that is a ritual with a definite purpose other than the usual celebration of the seasonal festivals.
Claire treated us to some lovely ginger snaps at the end and after we’d tidied up we finished off by visiting the cafe 🙂