In ceremony we connect with and act out the fundamental principles of life, aligned to the directions of space and marking the turning-points of time. Ceremony is both invocation and evocation, heightening awareness of the inner in a tranquil state of mind while the play of the outer unfolds. Each participant embodies an eternal role and the moves and interactions of the ritual play out the story of the timeless in time. We conduct our ceremonies in a calm and meditative state, without the stimulation of alcohol and drugs, linking past and future in a conscious focus on the present. Without this it is an empty enactment devoid of meaning or purpose. The public ceremonies, traditionally performed outside in full view of all, complement the inner ceremonies and study groups of the Order, which run throughout the year.
We hold ceremonies to re-attune and re-align, to celebrate and give thanks to the inexhaustible and eternal, the ever-coming one that manifests with such inherent beauty and consistent harmony, giving us the opportunity to act and to rest, to live and to learn, like the pattern of nature itself. In wearing white robes and head-dresses, the colour of light that we aspire to radiate, we leave behind our everyday habitual identity and aspire to rise above our normal reactive selves.
Some participants fulfill particular roles. The Herald, the outer voice, organises and announces. The Bard, the inner voice, reflects on inner processes. The Sword-bearer leads the way. The four Element-bearers represent Water, Fire, Earth and Air and stand in the north, south, west and east respectively. The Triad, the Chief, Pendragon and Scribe, represent the three rays of light of the Awen. The Lady, attended by two maids wearing flower crowns, represents Ceridwen, the Earth Mother and comes bringing seeds or fruits according to the season. The Presider, chosen to honour their beneficial work in the world, distributes these around the circle.
© 2016 The Druid Order an druidh uileach braithreachas
The Autumn Equinox Ceremony
(September 22/23) Primrose Hill, London
“ The fruit of the field is the gift of the eternal. ”
In the golden days of autumn, where nature ’ s abundance is so richly shown, we hold a ceremony to celebrate the harvest. Ceridwen, the earth mother, brings token fruits which are symbolically scattered around the circle. This harvest festival is personal as well as universal and we celebrate the fruits of our endeavours for the year on a mental, emotional and physical level. The results are always a reflection of what we asked for, the fruit is a reflection of the seeds we planted, the material results are a reflection of our thinking. Winter Solstice (December 20/21) On the shortest day, in the dark depths of winter, we celebrate the return of the light. We meet privately, holding a meditation and party with friends, burning our grudges from the old year on the fire so that the new year can be really new, as the past is left behind.
The Spring Equinox Ceremony
(March 20/21) Tower Hill Terrace, City of London
“ No barriers enclose the light which guides, no gloom conceals the glory of the wise. ”
In the budding days of spring, where nature bursts out with fresh life and renewed vigour, we hold a ceremony celebrating the rise of the light. Ceridwen, the earth mother, brings token seeds which are symbolically sown around the circle. Spring is to spire upwards, an opportunity to plant seeds or thoughts to cultivate during the year. In planting uplifting thoughts for ourselves and others, we meet the needs of the moment and the seeds of love, plenty and gladness are scattered on the waste places of the earth.
Summer Solstice Ceremony
(June 20/21) Stonehenge, near Amesbury, Wiltshire
“We who are drawn by affinity to this sacred place, mark the symbolic circle as of yore, and measure, as did our forebears, the lines of the eternal plan. While so doing, leave all earth desires behind.”
Attuning ourselves to this time of greater growth and longest light, we hold three ceremonies, beginning with Midnight, where we connect with the self and create a blueprint, conscious or not, for the next day. This is followed by Dawn where we celebrate the rising of the light universally and in our own lives, renewing our link with the purpose of ourselves, which is larger than you and me. Ending with a Noon ceremony where we make a return for what we have received and share the proceeds. Unity to separateness and back to unity.