2011 Gathering

Celebrations of the 30th Gathering

Some people have emailed and requested information regarding the refrains that were used in our 30th anniversary ritual. The full lyrics are from Beltane Fires by Christopher Bingham and are readily accessible during a search for the same. Photographs to accompany this post, are courtesy of Mel who gets snap happy at the best of times but Franklin remains a favourite place to photograph the amazing array of flora and fauna :))

Excerpts from Christopher Bingham’s “Beltane Fires”

<Men chant moving anticlockwise>
Eo! The musky Piper playing
Eo! The One Who Calls the Dance
Eo! The howling earth is saying
Eo Evohe!

<Women chant moving clockwise>
Eo! The Maiden and the horned one
Eo! The call to spill the seed
Eo! The stirring of the Cauldron
Eo Evohe!

Some have also emailed who were curious about the spiraling chant used this year.  It is entitled “The Witch’s Reel” or “Gelie Duncan’s song”- a woman accused of Witchcraft in Scotland and one of the songs she and three other conterparts were accused of singing over four hundred years ago in Scotland. Allegedly all four women were executed. The entire reel is as follows:
“Cummer, go ye before, cummer, go ye
If ye willna go before, cummer, let me
Linkin’, lithely widdershins
Cummer, carlin, crone and queen
Roun’ go we
Cummer, go ye before, cummer, go ye
If ye willna go before, cummer, let me
Loupin, lightly widdershins
Kilted coats and fleein’ hair
Three times three
Cummer, go ye before, cummer, go ye
If ye willna go before, cummer, let me
Whirlin’, skirlin’ widdershins
De’il tak’ the hindmost
Wha’er she be”
Some of the more challenging linguistics of this reel were kindly translated by the Prestoungrange Arts Society:
cummer, carlin and crone = are all words for “witch”
ring-a-widdershins = go anti-clockwise in a circle (meant to be bad luck)
linkin’ lithely = join arm in arm
loupin’ = jumping
skirlin’ = screaming or howling
de’il = the devil
The Prestoungrange Arts Society is a fantastic website with all manner of interesting articles and information-a site well worth the effort to visit and peruse.
Anne Ross is a former research fellow in Archeology at the University of Southhampton, her books also provide an immeasurable amount of resources and information regarding Pagan-Celtic Britain. Well worth investing in :))

Our 30th Gathering Began…

Our 30th Birthday began…..

After 12 months of solid organising the Gathering was here and kicked off with the Marquee up as a hub for the Organisers and Friends of MFAPG. With such a bunch of artistic people it was fantastic to see everyone add their LED lights through the trees and around campsites and give the Mount a real feel of welcome and celebration. So many added amazing decorations to the Marquee, from lanterns and lights to Hawthorn, Ribbons, Obby Oss, skulls and Stangs.

The beginning decor 🙂
So great to see so many friends we’ve not seen for such a long time. And, how amazing to meet new friends and greet those who were around right at the very first one 🙂

Tan, Clivey & Chappy
Oi Dave flip me the bird while you chat with Caroline eh?
Crown amongst the hawthorn

Although it rained somewhat late Friday night, Saturday was a glorious Spring Day with gorgeous sunshine and the first hints of summer drifting across the crater. Meeting so many great people, including the wonderfully obliging ladies from the Coven of the Eternal Goddess being flung into roles they least expected, and young Corey a newcomer to the Gathering diligently attending to his new role as the Beltane Lord of the Dance. Lou our gorgeous and beautiful Maiden looked stunning in her majestic floral crown made by Mel.  Julie arranged a sound ritual from various sources-a number of people have asked for access to the material and we will place this up in another posting. The outfits were to be believed…Obby Oss, The Raven, The Nightmares, The Faceless Men, The Firebirds and Our Teaser complete with Bladder :)) To PM,  Des & Nick for the musical accompaniment both during the ritual and the Maypole.

Our Maiden
Our God
Our Teaser and Des
Teaser , well teasing 😛

 The Nightmares, The Nightmares!!!

The Raven
 Awwww whats the matter Josie Jo? Raven gotcha??
Faceless Men
What is your deepest nightmare?
The ritual was fantastic, with a large drum created by friends of Linda & Michels’ to enable us to continue our balefire tradition.
Obby Oss!!
Another imposing Faceless Man

Sooo many great folk enjoying the sunshine, great food and company. With a very special Irish stew bubbling away in the Cauldron for feasting after the ritual, everyone was laughing and preparing for what looked like one of the largest and most inclusive rituals seen a couple of years. The normal camping folk unconnected with the Gathering or paganism looked on slightly concerned, slightly bemused. However all but a couple refused the Sabbat cake offerings. From the non-pagans came questions, laughter, inclusion and curiosity. Almost all, remarked how joyous and intriguing our Gathering was. One woman said her children enjoyed the care and the thoughtfulness extended to her children with the pinata bashing at the end-pics to follow!

Guitar Des

 Linda doing (just) one of the many many things she does best!
Prepared and ready for ritual the procession left Gathering HQ calling out to all to come to the ritual in a  grand procession circling the crater. With Obby and Teaser leading and goading, followed by our Maiden and all other particpants. And what a circle!! We estimated approximately 80 people in the circle with another 40 standing around outside. Perfect weather and no rain who could have asked for more!! After the conclusion of the ritual, it was so heartwarming to see kids pagan and non pagan running around playing together and people from all backgrounds and beliefs chatting, laughing and coming together in the true spirit of humanity.

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