Photo by Steve Pollard

Photo by Steve Pollard

I have the privilege and honour to be able to organise the Mabon celebrations at Thornborough Henge. Along with the many helpers and volunteers who enable the event to take place we also have my friends at Leodis Pagan Circle who write, lead and perform the annual ritual for the Autumn Equinox. For me this is the whole reason for the event and why so many people gather at the close of summer to celebrate the harvest and the turning of the wheel. One last gathering before the dark time.

Almost immediately after last year’s gathering Debs was already thinking of the theme for this year, where her inspiration comes from I can only guess, but year on year she comes up with the goods and once again a wonderful ritual is created.

In the weeks running up to Mabon there is a frenzied rush to get everything in place, no good trying to write rotas or schedules months in advance, too many changes happen, people drop out for various reasons so a month before my time is taken up with chasing up performers, caterers, you name it, they have to be contacted, throughout all this Debs is there with a calming influence even though I know only too well she has more on her plate than me.
The day dawns, Sunday 21st September 2014 and the rain has gone, Sol is in the sky and it’s promising to be a good day. Drag myself out of my cosy bed at some unearthly hour, run across the field to the portaloos, what joy! Gate duty beckons so a quick breakfast and away to greet the visitors. Where is Debs and the rest of Leodis, why am I panicking, it’s only 9am lol. As the morning wears on more and more people come through the gate, smiling and looking forward to a day in the henge, a bit of shopping at the craft stalls, entertainment and workshops and of course the highlight of the day, the opening ritual. The Leodis family arrive, joyous and encouraging, it’s going to be a lovely day. Meanwhile, it’s now 11.20am and I am still on the gate in my jeans and hi viz, where is everyone? All getting their best clothes on ready for our sacred ritual. 11.30 and I start shouting down the radio, I need to get changed, please come and replace me, eventually help arrives and I dash to the tent, frock on, make up slapped on and a quick brush of the hair, phew, in the henge just in time!

What followed took me far away from everything and everyone, the theme of balance struck home, the need for balance in my life, the need for balance for the entire world. I drifted into a kind of meditation, I was aware of the ritual and the deep meaning behind it but I was also aware of the ancestors gathering around us on the earthworks, some coming a little closer, listening to Deb’s words and nodding their heads in agreement. My heart was beating loudly and the emotions welled up within me. Marie’s poem became alive, many things seem to fall into place, the whole point of the weekend was for these few precious moments in time, this wonderful ritual that some special friends were performing.

Spirit was with us that day, the Gods and Goddesses were smiling upon us, the weather was wonderful, our reward for honouring the sacred henge, I felt uplifted and grateful beyond measure that I had a small part in this celebration. This feeling remained with me right through the rest of the weekend and is still with me now, life is about balance, light and dark, warm and cold, good and bad, you cannot have one without the other, I accept the rough with the smooth, I learnt something and I shall keep that lesson with me always.

All too soon we were thanking Spirit for joining us and the circle was opened, everyone went about their business and the Leodis family dispersed, I still had things to attend to but the lightness in my step and the smile on my face must have been noticeable to anyone who looked.

There was a feeling of joy all through the weekend, laughter and music throughout, no one seemed to want the time to end but end it must.

Monday morning, ugh, clean up time. Again a small army of volunteers patrolled the entire area, barely a sack of rubbish was found, everyone had cleaned up after themselves so well, I walked and walked around and around, nothing, people had really taken good care, what an amazing feeling I had that not only did I care, everyone else did too. I couldn’t help but feel that many had been moved by the ritual, some magic was created and had affected everyone present.

Well, a few weeks rest and then back to planning next year’s event, great helpers on board now and with Leodis Pagan Circle with me we shall again create a celebration to be proud of.