Ancient Winter Solstice Rituals.

For the last Winter Solstice I went to Castlerigg stone circle in Cumbria. Earlier in July of the same year my guides had told me to go there and had given me a short prayer (for want of a better word) to recite while I attended the solstice rituals. Now I’m not a person who does ritual. While I’m doing energy work no-one would actually know it because I just stand and ‘watch’ what happens. This feels like both watching a dream and participating in it. Doing energy work is not supposed to be all about ‘show’, it has a purpose and the only tool you really need is awareness and allowing, and maybe the occasional crystal if impulsed to use one.

The day before the Solstice  I went in search of two stone circles (left) in Broomrigg Plantation.  There are only the remains of the circles now but walking into the circle I began to feel a Druid presence and a real sense of joy. I took some photos and my guide reminded me to take some video of the stones too. When I was finished investigating the physical aspects of the circle I tuned into the largest stone. I felt myself draw down energy from the universe and I held it in my arms until I was holding a large white sphere. I then brought this down and it felt like it was moving down through my body and into the earth. It continued to flow into a blue line deep below the circle. I felt that this was a water course and that the energy would then flow out with the water. Next a gold disc was laid inside the stones, right to the edge and I saw a hand place a blue topaz in the centre which became a key. The key activated the site.

After a few minutes I saw a large satellite dish appear in the centre and it moved around slowly, trying to pick up the right frequencies. When it located them they moved through the centre of the dish as data which then was placed as a small white ball, like a pearl, into a holding machine. I was shown that this data would be distributed along the four energy lines that moved out of this circle. All the while I saw this going on I could feel the energy and data moving through my body and into the earth. I couldn’t move until it was finished. I was told that this circle was a ‘satellite station’. Chris had found a line of stones which ran out from the circle. Next we went to the next circle remains and I was told that this was the ‘Mother’ circle. The energy here was high, nearly too high, but at least it was still active. When I tuned in I could feel very little. Initially all I saw was lines of solar light moving out from the centre and connecting to where the stones should have been. But I wasn’t getting much else.

Broomrigg Stone Circle

My guides told me to ‘go back in time’ so I allowed myself to ‘travel back’. As I stood on the stone I saw a druid standing in the centre of the circle. A sheaf of corn was placed in my arms as I stood at the edge of the circle watching the druid. He began to strew corn around him in a circle while reciting a prayer which seemed to be directed at me:

‘O blessed of Artemis, purveyor of good, bring fertility to all this land and its people.’

He repeated this a couple of times. Then I saw myself draw down a golden thread of energy from the sun and it went into the earth fertilizing an ovum there deep beneath my feet. I watched as the solar energy line filled the ovum up with liquid light and then it retracted, leaving the fertilized egg in an earthy womb to gestate and be born at end of summer. When this part of the ritual was finished the druid began to distribute water in a circle just as he had with the corn. The water would ensure that the corn would grow and be abundant.

I realise now that this is what the true function of the May queen was. She wasn’t just chosen at random, she was a priestess who represented the Goddess of fertility and she worked with connecting the energy to the ovum, ensuring the energies would flow properly and allow the crops to grow abundantly. She would have had to have reached a certain level of proficiency before she would have been able to fulfil that role.

Artemis

Artemis

Amazing! But why Artemis? I did some research and found that Artemis (right) was a Goddess of Fertility, childbirth and the wild. She brought all life into the world. Her priestesses were called ‘Dryads’ or Druids. Dryads were also said to be her nymphs and resided in trees. I couldn’t understand why a Greek Goddess of fertility was being honoured in Celtic England! But some of the Celtic groups originated in the Mediterranean so I suppose they would have brought their beliefs with them. My guides have suggested that the practice of building Fogous has parallels with Knossos in Crete so I’ll have to look into those connections. She is depicted with thousands of eggs on her body (left)which have been interpreted as breasts, bulls testes, eggs or bees eggs. As her temple priestesses at Ephesus were known as Melissa or ‘bees’ then the latter is more probable. However, all four are symbols of fertility. Certainly the latter two would seem to fit more closely.

Watching these ritual ‘memories’ is a fascinating experience. It shows me more and more the connection between Wiccan ritual and ancient ritual, although Wiccan ritual is only the ‘outer’ part of the ancient ritual. It is what is left of them. Many years ago I joined a coven but only lasted a week because it felt incomplete. Watching these ancient rituals shows me how they were supposed to be enacted. They were very real energetic processes which ensured the continuance of the tribe and the planet, keeping everything in balance. They worked with the active earth energies, knowing and understanding the many levels of consciousness that they lived in. Something we are now learning to do again.

When I was finished I was told to go to Castlerigg stone circle after dinner, just to connect. It was pitch dark and the field was full of sheep shit! But it was nice at night and there was nobody else there. I was told that we needed to go at 8 in the morning for whatever reason. The following morning we were at stone circle at 8 o’clock like we were told to be. It was pissing rain, very windy and freezing! There were very few people there unlike my previous visit with another archaeology colleague, Kathryn, in 2002. We stood in the half-light, sheltering behind a large stone. I waited for my guides to give me the go ahead.

Greenstone Axe

The first thing I saw with my inner vision was a male priest, dressed in white standing in front of me. He began to remove my shoes, replacing them with small white ones. Then he began to remove shackles that I had around my ankles. He told me I could now walk free. I had gained my freedom, but from what? I brought down a column of white universal energy then brought up a golden earth column. I was told to put three Gaia Method symbols in the centre and then to visualise the coiled golden serpent waking up and uncoiling, raising its head up until it emerged from the ground. Then I was told to read the prayer they had given me. When I did it I was told to pass it to Chris so that he would read it too. The prayer had to be spoken to the golden earth energies and the circle and everything had to be done in a certain order.

When this was finished, after a brief wait, I saw the golden disc in the circle and a receptacle in the centre where I had to put the greenstone axe I had been carrying since my last solstice visit. This created a shift in the disc which then moved into alignment opening up the median line. The energy flowed along it. Macchu Picchu’s sunstone was mentioned. Next I was told to find the minor frequencies so I tuned in. I could see them as gold threads criss-crossing from the top of each stone, stretching across the entire circle.

I tuned my frequency to theirs and a priest appeared to lead me to the centre of the circle. There was a group of priests and priestesses there. The priest told me that I was being offered as a candidate for initiation and he turned to the group and asked them if they agreed or not. They all answered ‘aye’. A Lady with light all around her head stood in front of me. She was beautiful and regal and full of love. She gave me the tools I would need at this level. I was given a sword which I placed on my left hip and then she gave me silver-wood wand. This was somehow connected to summoning the elementals. Then she held in her hand a beautiful bottle of light essence. She gave it to me and told me to keep it in my heart. It reminded me of Galadriel giving the bottles to the hobbits for their journey. I was then led to the centre of the circle to join the group of more experienced priests/esses. We formed a circle around a group of three priests who were in triangle formation and then we moved in a clockwise direction.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

This seemed to activate a white light pattern of immense beauty which grew in intensity until it reached a high level. When the energy had stabilised the group stopped moving and silently walked backwards to a stone and stood looking at the light they had created. It was done. This was amazing and it told me masses. It’s also given me a lot to think about! When we had finished, the sun did not miraculously appear over the horizon as it was grey and wet. So we went, soaking and cold, to Broomrigg once again. We stopped on the way to have some more breakfast! I had felt that I had not gotten all the information I could have yesterday and wanted to go back and get the rest. It was well worth it! I stood on the big stone again and tuned to where I had been yesterday.

Once again I saw the circle with the Druid in the centre. He was sprinkling the water over the grain in a circle saying ‘ I give this water to mix with the earth asking that it bring fertility to the grain’. Then it was night and he placed a fire torch in a holder to the east of the circle, in the two o’ clock position. (Is this a reference to the Spring equinox?). He then gathered up the grain from the ground and bread was made from it. This bread was then distributed between all the houses so that every family would be promised a share of the harvest. Each person in the community contributed to the welfare of the group and so each was given an equal share.

Communion Bread

I wondered how this fit in with our modern Christmas dinner tradition and was reminded of communion. It was bread which represented the ‘body of Christ’ but originally would have been the solstice bread made of the body of the earth Mother fertilised by the Solar energy (Christ). When Christianity began to take over from the Mother Religion (if religion it can be called) it ‘borrowed’ many of the symbols and practices of that system and made them their own. But now the Father was the benefactor of humanity and we had to pray and ask for what we wanted. We became dependent on him for everything and forgot that in order to create both male and female energy is necessary. The Mother became less and the Father more.

Now we can bring back the understanding of this union and can learn to create using a balance of both male and female, the way it is supposed to be. But before we can truly do that we need to heal the imbalance we hold inside of us. We need to heal our male and female sides and learn to understand that both sexes have a role in creation. Once we understand this we are more likley to succeed both as individuals and as a race. Here’s hoping!

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