The Druid Order, dressed in white robes, celebrated the Autumn Equinox and the fertility of the earth on Primose Hill. London, UK. 22/09/2009.
The Druid Order celebrated the Autumn Equinox (Alban Elued) with a ceremony on top of Primrose Hill in London at noon Greenwich Mean Time - 1pm BST - in their traditional robes.
After processing up the hill to form a circle, a long horn was sounded to the four corners of the world and then the sword was held aloft to each in and pulled loose in its scabbard with the call "Is it Peace?" and on receiving the reply "Peace", pushed back.
The lady, representing the Earth Goddess Ceridwen then requested permission to enter the circle with her two attendants, and it was granted. They brought a horn containing cider and a basket of fruit and flowers, the harvest of the earth to the chief druid. The cider was tasted, then carried around the circle with libations being poured onto the earth. He also received the basket of fruit and flowers and this too was emptied out as he walked around in the circle.
The names of members of the ancient order no longer with us were read out, including that of the artist William Blake and other well-known historical figures who are a part of their mythic past. We observed a minute or two of silence and there was a long address. As the ceremony drew to a close, the druids joined hands around the circle and renewed their vows and then in a final act, four druids came to the centre of the circle and raised the hands in turn to proclaim peace.
All present were thanked for coming and taking part in the ceremony and invited to attend their regular public meetings to find out more about the order.
The druids then left the circle in order through a gate made by two of their number and processed away down the hill, again forming a circle briefly before beginning to disrobe.
It was a fine day and I walked back to the top of the hill to sit and admire the splendid view over London - and to eat a delicious apple from the fruit they had scattered there.