Top Banner
Welcome message from author
This document is posted to help you gain knowledge. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think about it! Share it to your friends and learn new things together.


    ISSUE 5


    THE DOLMEN GROVE Respect and care for the elders

    for they have aged with the wisdom of time


    The Dolmen Grove is a non political organisation; preferring to concentrate upon

    the quest for spiritual enlightenment and the manifestation of peace within a power

    hungry world of chaos.

    The Dolmen Grove was originally formed in Dorset England where it still has its

    main H.Q. existing as a Spiritual meeting place for people of all nationalities, and

    over the years has grown steadily with membership now spanning several continents.

    At the centre of The Dolmen Grove is the round table. This is made up of a

    group of people from all walks of life, following a variety of spiritual paths. These

    individuals get together once a month to plan and organize events, and gatherings.

    Because these people give both their time and energy voluntarily the hopes and

    dreams of The Dolmen Grove continue to be recognized.

    The Dolmen Grove do not have a hierarchy because we do not believe people need

    titles or labels in order to practice a spiritual path. However we do believe in

    spirituality based upon love, kindness and an open heart. We are fully aware that

    this policy which is upheld by the Roundtable of The Grove has upset people in the

    past and will no doubt continue to do so.

    It is NOT our intention to offend anyone and we do not condemn those who wish

    to use such titles, and we shall continue to welcome all spiritually minded people

    seeking to enjoy good friendship with good souls who share a common interest.

    The Dolmen Grove Banner - A Symbol of Unity



    1...Establishing the Future

    2...Parallel Crossings - Sem Vine Photographs by Sem Vine

    3...Rollright Stones - Denny Bottley

    4...Crystal Cleansing - Cheryl Waldron

    5...Poetry from within the Grove - including remembering a friend by Chris Hermon

    6...Diary of the Hedgewitch Rachael Moss Photographs by Rachael Moss

    7...Dolmen Gig Guide

    8...Husbands n Knives Louise Lisse Cd review by Diane Narraway

    Band Photographs by Aaron Salmon

    Album Covers by Julie Yesin

    Promotion Posters by Louise Lisse

    The pastel picture on the gig list is an edited version of a pic by Dennis Wright

    9... Spriggan Mist Gig Guide Dark Magi

    10...A Day in the Life of Kerry Morris

    11...Pagan Handfasting Diane Narraway, including personal experiences from: Oaklan Grove photographs by Jane Williams

    Cheryl Waldron

    Julie Weltch

    Sarah Sanford photographs by Jess Stephens

    Linda Moonbow photographs by Lou Purplefairy L.A.W. and artwork by Linda Moonbow,

    Beth Irving photographs by Stewart Crowther

    12... Sacred Scents Linda Meyer

    13...Dolmen Grove Midsummer Diane Narraway with photographs of Portland by Scott Irvine and Stonehenge by Laura Edwards

    14...A Spell for the Future Teach and Beth Irving

    15...Facing the Storm Witch Diane Narraway with Artwork by Sem Vine

    16...The Storm Camp...Denny Bottley with photographs by Mark Lockyear

    17...The Chairmans Chilli ...Diane Narraway

    18...Dolmen Grove Moots

    Cover photograph by Laura Edwards.

    Further information can be found at: All information is accurate at the time of publication and all articles are assumed to be the work of those

    being credited

  • Establishing the Future

    The last few years have gone by in a whirlwind. In fact since opening the camps, we have enjoyed a

    massive growth in membership resulting in the Dolmen Grove becoming the second largest independent

    grove in the world.

    The Dolmen Grove objective was always to bring together those individuals who wish to celebrate and

    advance their own unique spiritual freedom. This made the Dolmen Grove an organisation of united yet

    varying paths, committed to bringing strength and fellowship in the pagan/heathen and mystical world.

    As anybody who has been at the forefront of Paganism knows, the journey towards the magical rebirth,

    which was initiated by our predecessors (mainly in the last century) has not been an easy task. Even today,

    the pagan world is often hindered by mundane prejudice.

    The Dolmen Grove has served as a positive influence and an inspiration to many free thinkers within the

    Pagan world, with much of this being due to the open and friendly nature of its members and their ability to

    respect the individual and authentic spiritual views of others.



    As in all organisations that amass membership so quickly there are both positive and negative aspects, and it

    is the concern of the Dolmen Grove, that whilst we enjoy a growth in numbers we should not lose sight of

    our spirituality.

    The Dolmen Grove has reached a point now in its evolution where we are strong enough in spirit as well as

    numbers to establish The Dolmen Grove as a clan/tribe honouring the first builders of our sacred stone

    circles on which the mighty Dolmen have stood for thousands of years.

    With this in mind over the last couple of years a quest was instigated to raise funds to purchase land with the

    intention of acquiring somewhere that we can not only celebrate the key festivals of the year, but also build a

    Pagan temple in honour of our ancient past, thereby establishing our Pagan presence for the future. This

    Land Fund raises money through the raffles held at camps and other key events as well as through the

    generous donations of our members and traders.

    Each year the Dolmen Grove camps grow which although being a positive thing, it also means that we need

    more volunteers to help maintain the smooth running of these camps. Also because we have endeavoured to

    keep prices low enough for families to enjoy, we realise there are those who are being attracted to our camps

    for less than spiritual reasons, taking advantage of the low ticket prices and entertainment; individuals who

    are simply looking to enjoy a cheap weekend in the countryside.

    Therefore in order to maintain the original spiritual intention of our camps, and to keep a safe friendly

    environment for our families to enjoy, we have decided to take the initiative and offer paid membership.

    This means that only those who are paid members will be permitted to purchase tickets to Dolmen Grove

    camps, with each full member being entitled to bring up to six paying guests. By doing this we can ensure

    that those attending future camps will be there for all the right reasons. Members will be responsible for

    their guests who incidentally will be paying non member ticket prices.

  • Moots, open circles and many other Dolmen Grove events will continue to be available to all. It is only the

    Dolmen Grove camps and private ceremonies that will be exclusive to paid members.

    The Dolmen Grove is and will continue to be run by the Round Table, which is made up from a group of

    voluntary members whose primary intention is to promote the future growth and spiritual wellbeing of


    As previously stated we are now strong enough to stand as a clan, and although there may be a reduction in

    numbers at the camps, those who do attend will enjoy an exclusive spiritual gathering.

    Further information including the price of membership fees will soon be available at or on our facebook page

    Signed Taloch Jameson,

    Diane Narraway (chairman Dolmen Grove),

    Members of the Round Table.


    We, me and daughter, she in her second season of

    living and working in this lovely place, scramble

    up a foreign mountain pass. We are so tired were

    laughing at ourselves as we clamber up on all

    fours as did the sheep that now rests above us,

    panting in the heat. We climb harder to

    compensate our laughter, in the hope its influence

    doesnt send us sliding back down into the valley.

    The only way is up. Theres little choice but to

    remember the mango and plum smoothie hours

    ahead that wed saved from breakfast to cool in

    the fridge. Everythings hot and everything hurts.

    There are many reasons for a brief spell of

    travelling, none better than to spend time with

    someone loved. One, though usually more a

    consequence, is simply to stray outside of our

    routine. We are presented with a range of such

    opportunities day to day, but mostly they are

    fragmentary, their potential lost in the universal

    blink of daily duties. This collected time away

    from everyday allows us to see and gather these

    together back to back, assessing the sensual

    responses they offer, the combinations peculiarly

    our own, allowing us to become reacquainted with

    our individual, intimate evolution.

    Tim the Enchanter, aka King of the Mountain,

    waits patiently near the top. Without him

    intermittently speeding ahead we would still be

    there. He knows the mountains by relation and

    shape but it has to be said he navigates much

    better when he sees their summits, for in the

    valleys five miles however picturesque, become

    nearer eight. His preferred habitat, he freely

    admits, is above the tree line, and he dislikes to

    stay too long below it. Even with the promise of a

    free ice cream he will rather wade across a wide

    river to make a u-turn for a different climb home.

    Like a migrating bird he over-winters in the

    mountains of New Zealand

    As we two giggling women, with muscles

    burning and feet on fire, reach Tims high place of

    vigil, theres a brief stop for water and collapse

    before were back on an old pass known as Moses

    Trod, not nearly at our physical extreme as we

    thought. Here, on flatter territory, if it werent for

    our crackling footsteps and the unusually soft

    wind channelling in our ears, we realise there

    would be no sound at all.

    The path is named after a Victorian whisky

    bootlegger, Moses Rigg, who used and maintained

    it to transport his contraband from coast to coast.

    He must have had both a healthy hatred for the

    taxman and made a reasonable living from the

    trade as the route is hard, even in warm, dry

    daylight. It is more usually buffeted by howling

    winds, driving rain and blanketed by snow in the

    long winters, when the stony streams we

    thankfully splash in this day become treacherously

    iced over.

    Moses and his fellow bootleggers walked this

    way, with the additional dangers of darkness, on

    business, determined in hard times. Our footsteps,

    in stark contrast, are made in pursuit of that

    strangely necessary taste of an inhospitable place,

    more for the richness of the soul than for a fortune

    in spirits. Praise be to Moses for making such a

    pass more passable while firmly placing it on both

    the past and present map; his own parting of the


  • At its highest point I discover, by virtue of the

    receipt of an old text out of the blue, that I have a

    phone signal here. I think Moses, contrary to my

    own reaction, would have relished its potential.

    Soon Tim is away ahead of us again, his practiced

    speed, twice mine. Tim has chosen and enjoys his

    frugality, with his one of everything essential. His

    long life of walking the worlds mountains has

    revealed to him how little he needs to maintain a

    good life, to induce a rich succession of moments

    of being.

    I easily imagine Moses thoughts were to escape

    the frugality his times forced upon him. This harsh

    trail was a means to a different end, an Other

    dream. Moses is accessible to us, representing the

    familiar desires for material comforts, the stuff of

    life. In modern Western times we have achieved

    its surfeit, an accumulation of must-haves that

    cushion us from lifes blows as they were meant

    to, but the consequence is a muffling of lifes

    sounds, its subtle mysteries.

    Tims moments of unbeing involve checking the

    water levels collected from the mountain,

    maintaining the generator, abiding by the duties of

    honest care that are the responsibilities of his

    outpost. These are intense collections of hours,

    fulfilling passing fell walkers practical needs at

    the beginnings and ends of their day. The most

    experienced and able come to water at this far-

    flung place, a mix of those with a simple and

    understandable love of walking in high places, and

    those more tied to the earth, with their self-

    certification list of summits, on a competitive

    quest. This is the point at which Tim and Moses

    cross paths.

    Travelling home in a stifling caterpillar

    black-hole capsule of a train, it is not permissible

    even to open a window for they are all sealed in

    protection of our modern mortal selves, a hazard

    of achievement.

    I scroll through the shots on my camera and they

    invoke an inevitable smile on this solitary

    travellers face, for I am transported back in time,

    escaped. I mull over many moments, fixing them

    in my memory in the hope that they never leave its

    surface. I view in this miniature form the open,

    soundless sunsets, and wonder if there is really

    any human being who does not succumb to the

    magnetism of a glowing flame, whatever its size,

    or any who can suppress a sigh at its beauty.

    It was at sunset on the last day of my trip when I

    considered that transition of belief, the wider

    emergence of a modern understanding of the

    mechanics of the passing of a day. I had stood in

    a familiar place beholding a familiar sight, the

    sinking of the sun, knowing that it was I, and the

    ground beneath my feet that moved from it; that it

    was I who helplessly rose above the Suns gaze

    soon to be left lit only by its reflected glow, its

    mirrored moonlight.

    I thumb to and through the photos and also

    wonder that if it were not known these were

    images of a setting sun, that it could be believed

    they were of one rising.

    Glancing out of the window as the wheels slow to

    stop at a station, I check where on Earth I am. A

    train is next to this one, and for an instant I

    experience that common sensation of uncertainty;

    is it my train moving or the one at my window.

    This feeling and a sunsets memory collide, and I

    realise that knowing it is Mote-of-Dust-me, Lone-

    i, borne by this jewelled earth away from the suns

    red light in a resonant Love-struck moment, is

    ultimately, infinitely, insignificant.

    Sem Vine

    May 2012





    Described as resembling worm eaten wood by the ruthless jaws of time, Rollright stones are one of the most

    impressive stone circles in Britain. Nestled deep within the countryside of Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire,

    this circle holds many mysterious legends in connection with Danish kings, Druids, and especially witches.

    It has been suggested within a sinister context that even sacrifices were a prominent feature there.

    Historically, the neighbouring village of Long Compton has indeed been associated within the realms of

    being a "Witches Fortess". Apparently the people of the village maintain their rustic folklore and every

    Samhain they celebrate to this effect.

    Rollright stones are undoubtedly full of mysticism and cosmic times they can even be uneasily

    spooky!! Indeed, the stones moods fluctuate with each turn of the sacred wheel of the year (seasons). As

    one walks around the circle, you are never alone; you can certainly feel the stones communicating - together

    with endeavouring to draw your energy as if for sustenance.

    Predominately, within these enchanting stones lies the true

    significance of the past, and the ancestral past is still very much

    present amidst the atmosphere, here time is no more - only you in the

    present - at that moment in time - in a word 'undisturbed'.

    Remarkably, the stones seem to exude an ancient ether, which is both

    safeguarding and unifying. In terms of sacred sites, Rollright

    embellishes the true meaning of 'human spirit' - of 'life and death' and

    of regeneration.

    Determining on historical associations as well as Rollright's age and construction, the circle dates to around

    3000BC. The diameter is approximately 103 feet, which encompasses 80 stones spaced in quite close

    proximity to each other. As with Stonehenge - the 18th century antiquarian William Stukely studied

    Rollright stones which vastly contributed to the advancement of British Archaeology, moreover, his

    observation of Rollright distinguished Stukely's destiny within his field of archaeology. He heralded a

    scientific approach in terms of deciphering its construction in correlation with the symbolism of the site.

    Named as the 'King's Men' is a domineering limestone circle which has become twisted and fragmented

    from centuries of elemental coercion. Interestingly, it is argued that in fact Rollright circle is larger now

    than when it was originally constructed!!

    Back in 1976 Aubrey Burl suggested that when the circle first emerged, there were as few as 22 stones in

    existence. He concluded that constant weathering over time had lead to deterioration of the stones, and

    people from neighbouring villages had gradually re-placed the stones, resulting in a much larger and rather

    inconsistent structure.

    Symbolically, some 73m NE of this circle stands the lone 'King

    Stone' whose estimated weight is around the 50ton and which

    measures 2.4m in height and 1.5m across.

  • Significantly a burial chamber lies 360m ESE of Rollright, most of which has drastically decayed. Many

    have concluded the Kings stone was possibly an elaborate entrance to the tomb. The stone itself appears as

    though there has been a large bite taken from one side, adding to the mystique of the circle.

    Briefly digressing back to Rollright's witchy connections, ancient folklore foretells of an army and their

    king under a magical enchantment from a witch, as they tried to outwit her - so she turned them to stone -

    hence the leaning together of the stone circle, as if in a chaotic confusion.... aptly named the 'Whispering


    In terms of Rollright being a sacred site, it has surprisingly been argued that this circle had a relatively

    limited amount of use. This assumption resonates with accurate geological findings and is conducive with

    the sparse use of the local flint and indeed stone workings which suggest there was only a small settlement

    close by. However, Rollright was undoubtedly used for special festivities such as celebrating Rites of

    Passage, e.g. a couples union, new life, and the ultimate final journey... death.

    As a Neolithic circle, Rollright encompasses divine essences from the past, culminating in attracting

    shamans, witches and of course enchantments, leading to a spiritual sacred site which encapsulates both the

    'Natural' and 'Super natural' forces.

    If ever you venture to Rollright stones, just pause...feel the cosmological forces of space and time, but

    essentially be well assured: you will not be alone... Enjoy :)

    Denny Bottley (RavensWing)


    Crystals have been used for their healing properties for centuries,

    from the ancient world to modern day. They can heal physically, mentally, emotionally

    Cleansing and charging is especially important emotionally and spiritually, and are also useful tools in

    magic and divination.

    According to the book Love is in the Earth by Melody (Earth-Love Publishing House, 1995) Ancient

    priests used quartz crystals to render negative energy impotent, to dissolve enchantments and spells, and to

    destroy all black magic.

    Gemstones and crystals represent the healing energy of the earth and can be used as powerful magical

    healing tools. A common method of healing is to place gemstones representing the name of the person to be

    healed into an amulet bag or healing pouch. This pouch can be carried in a pocket, purse or even worn

    around the neck as a magical healing talisman. Use one gemstone or crystal to represent each letter of a

    person's first name. For example, labradorite can be used to represent the letter L, emerald can be used to

    represent the letter E, and sodalite can be used to represent the letter S.

    New crystals/Gemstones should be always cleansed before using them. This is to remove any negative

    energy they may have accumulated from past owners and/or situations. Gemstones and crystals should also

    be periodically cleansed and charged to ensure they can be used efficiently for healing purposes. Any stones

    that are not found in their natural environment, for example, gemstones purchased from New Age stores

    may have been handled by a multitude of customers before being purchased. Cleansing will remove any

    build up of unwanted energy that may have accumulated from previous handlers of the stone.

    Crystals also absorb energy during healing, as well as from their environment, so realistically they should be

    cleansed before and after every use. Although there are numerous ways of cleansing, it is necessary to be

    aware that some crystals are sensitive to certain cleansing methods.

    Cleansing Crystals with Water

    This is the most common cleansing method. Simply hold the crystal under running water...many people

    believe that the water should be pure mineral water or a running stream. I happily use either my kitchen tap

    or my local stream.

    Visualise a waterfall pouring over the crystal.

    Crystals which crumble easily are not suited to water cleansing.

    Cleansing Crystals with Sunlight and Moonlight

    Sunlight is another popular method. Light is a key element of crystal healing, so it may be beneficial to

    energise a water-cleansed crystal in sunlight for 24 hours before using.

    Alternatively, place a bowl of water in sunlight for 24 hours and use this water for cleansing.

    Certain crystals, such as amethyst and rose quartz, fade in light, so are not suitable for sunlight cleansing.

    Moonlight can be used in the same way and is my personal favourite way to cleanse my crystals. It is a good

    alternative for crystals sensitive to sunlight, and perfect for stones which are to be used in magic, as they

    will absorb the magical, feminine powers of the moon.

  • Using the Elements to Cleanse Gemstones

    A simple and magically potent method for cleansing gemstones is to present each of the stones to the four


    Air - present the Crystal/Gemstone to the east and pass the object through the smoke of burning incense.

    Alternatively take the Crystal/Gemstone outside on a breezy day and let it spend a few minutes absorbing

    the natural energy from the wind.

    Water - present the Crystal/Gemstone to the west and pass it through a bowl of water. Or take it to a nearby

    river or stream and wash it in the fresh water.

    Fire - present the Crystal/Gemstone to the south and pass it through the flame of a candle or small fire. Or

    the stone can be placed outside and left out overnight in the light of the moon. If pressed for time, simply

    take the Crystal/Gemstone outside for a few minutes during the heat of the noonday sun.

    Earth - present the Crystal/Gemstone to the north and wave a previously charged Crystal/Gemstone over

    the one that is being cleansed. Or, if time is not a concern, bury the gemstone or crystal for a few days, in

    the ground or a cauldron filled with dirt.

    Cleansing Crystals with Sound

    Crystals can be purified by the resonating sound of a bell.

    This is a good method for cleansing multiple crystals, although the process is more effective by purifying

    one crystal at a time. Toning with the voice is an alternative form of sound cleansing, as different notes

    resonate with different crystals.

    Burial Cleansing

    Crystals come from the earth, so burying them in the ground will cleanse them thoroughly, as the earth has a

    natural, magnetic quality, which draws away negativity.

    If you are worried they might get lost in the garden and they frequently do, bury the crystal in a pot of

    organic soil instead.

    Cleansing Crystals with Salt

    Salt is highly cleansing, but unsuitable for crystals that scratch easily.

    Sea salt is the best type to use, and can be combined with the water method by submerging the crystal in

    seawater. One powerful cleansing ritual involves leaving the container outside for three days before the full

    moon. Alternatively crystals can be placed in a non-metallic container filled with a solution of water, sea

    salt and Crab Apple flower essence.

    Cleansing Crystals with Smudge Sticks

    Crystals can be cleansed by smudging. Burn a bundle of dried herbs, incense or ready- made smudge sticks,

    and waft the smoke over and around the crystals. Sage is very good for this and this is an excellent method

    for cleansing a roomful of crystals.

    Candle Flame Cleansing

    Crystals can be cleansed with fire by carefully passing them through a candle flame.

    If the crystal is to be used on a particular chakra, then you can choose to burn a

    candle in the corresponding colour.

    Never leave burning candles unattended.

  • Using an Amethyst Bed

    To cleanse several crystals at once use a large amethyst bed (a flat, natural bed of amethyst rock). Amethyst

    is said to transmute the lower base energies into the higher frequencies of the spiritual and ethereal realms,

    thus transforming whatever is placed upon it.

    Cleansing with Intention

    The final method of crystal cleansing is by the power of intention, or thought visualisation.

    This can be achieved by undergoing a crystal cleansing meditation, such as visualising a stream or waterfall

    that cleanses the healing crystal in your minds eye.

    Once the crystal has been cleansed and dedicated, it is ready to be used for its intended purpose.

    Whatever method you choose, it will be correct because they are your crystals and will be charged with your


    Gemstone Charging Charm

    After the Gemstones and Crystals have been cleansed, as described above, they will need to be charged with

    positive energy so that they can be put back into service for healing purposes. Hold the Crystal/Gemstone in

    the dominant hand while it is being charged.

    A left handed person would hold the stone in the left hand while it is being charged, while a right handed

    person would hold the stone in the right hand while it is being charged. Visualize the stone being filled up

    with healing energy while reciting this charm three times.

    This wonderful stone is a precious gift

    From our great and powerful mother earth

    May this stone be imbued with energies of old

    So it may be used for healing and giving one's spirit a lift

    Storing Crystals/Gemstones

    When the Gemstones and Crystals are not being used for healing purposes they should be placed in a secure

    location away from curious hands.

    The time and energy that was invested in the cleansing and charging of the stones can be neutralized by the

    energy of other people. Each individual Crystal/Gemstone can be placed in a muslin draw-string bag. Then

    place the bags in a safe location, such as a closet or cabinet, until they are ready to be used again.

    Useful Tip

    Soaking your crystal in flower water with the petals of the flowers such as rose, honeysuckle, orange

    blossoms for 24 hours will cleanse the Crystal/Gemstone of all its negative energy.

    If a particular crystal should not be placed in water, simply place them in a bowl of flower petals.

    Cheryl Wynterkallista Waldron

  • Poetry from Within the Grove

    We Breathe

    Breathe In

    and a world swells and fills a loved lifes lungs, infuses the red of blood,

    a chill, a thrill of fragile sensitivity,

    a flood of flesh and soul.

    Breathe out

    and dark the void, the hollow,

    the blue vacuum that moves,

    enthrals and seeks,

    adoring the light and richness of the air.

    Sem Vine

    Pagan Essence

    I am a Pagan, I live for life

    for the air I breathe, the greens of the trees

    the browns of the earth upon which i stand

    the blue hues of the skies

    and the skitting clouds as they breeze by.

    Nature provides all we need

    it is mankind who strips all in his greed.

    Respect all that nature offers forth

    and learn to appreciate even the smallest detail

    living life to its fullest.

    We, as people, expect too much

    relax a little and let the suns rays warm your blood.

    Open your heart and let nature heal your wounds

    Do this and live & love in natures nurturing



    (Circa 1996)

    Tribal Memories Let me paint a picture, Of an ancient altar stone, And a long forgotten shaman Dressed in hide and bone. Whose piercing eyes see everything, Behind his painted skin, And the darkest fire burning Is the soul that lies within. Lord of his own dance In the misty morning light, Surrounded by his clansmen On that most sacred site. Whilst lying naked on the altar Lies the chosen one, Whose blood will be the offering, At the rising of the sun. Oh! How great would be the honour To be that sacrificial lamb, And give yourself so freely For the benefit of the clan. And when the darkness closes in, The next breath will be the last As to the sound of beating drums The blood runs thick and fast. To honour mother Earth As the sun begins to rise, The shamans staff is raised up high, Amidst the tribal cries. While the drums beat ever louder, To the rhythm of the heart. Then when he taps his staff three times, The celebrations truly start. But all that now remains Of that divine rite, Lies beyond the veils of time Upon that ancient site.

    Diane Narraway

  • The Dark O hath no fear! The dark that comes

    creeping across the silent earth,

    dragging her cloak of velvet blue

    sprinkled with silver stars so bright

    they turn day into an instant night.

    The moon she smiles upon the earth

    silvery threads to show the way

    the shadows lurk between the trees

    and whisper things that should not be.

    For tis the time tween now and dawn

    that mischief makers shall adorn!

    Beware! The shadows running fast,

    through the trees and out of sight.

    Long black spidery fingers clutch your clothes,

    with hearts beating twice with fear !

    What was that! No over here! A snap of twig a shadow gone!

    Silence now, except the incessant beating of your heart,

    senses on overload ! But still not quick enough to see the faery folk

    at work scurrying back and forth, with mischief forever on their minds.

    Sue Dignum

    Longest Day

    As the sun stretches, and reaches for the sky, and the early morning mist gathers up its skeins,

    at the centuries-old monoliths, the devotees assemble.

    An age-old ceremony to celebrate, their forebears they resemble;

    Worshipping the gods of nature that made their ancestors tremble.

    No technology here, no machines of man

    just mankind at one with the land.

    But once there was another day regarded as the longest;

    a battle fought by mothers sons whose pride was at its strongest,

    The war they fought was over land....

    over which a madman longed to stand

    in victory.

    History is doomed to repeat itself, regardless of the cost

    to the mothers and their beloved sons

    whose life will be forever lost

    Instead of worshipping nature, and all she has to offer,

    governments will always prefer to kneel to the mighty coffer,

    thereby bringing nature to her knees, condemning us all to suffer.

    Fiona Lewis

  • Remembering a Friend

    Chris Hermon.

    I met Mel for the first time at Stonehenge at the

    Spring Equinox this year. She appeared to be a

    lonely quiet attractive figure wandering round the

    stones and touching them. I was intrigued by her

    and photographed her from a distance. She had

    clocked me long before I'd clocked her as she did

    with many people she saw as her 'Kindred Spirits'. We eventually spoke and immediately there was a

    bond between me and her and our respective

    friends who had accompanied us to Stonehenge

    that day.

    It was almost as though we had known each other

    for years! We kept in touch nearly every day

    thereafter and didn't meet again until mid April

    when she came to stay. It turns out that the two

    days she spent with me were her last happy days

    and she rejoiced with her friends in this fact.

    The following week her dear mum was slowly

    slipping away in a Hospice and Mel despite being

    the fun loving strong character who had touched

    many peoples hearts with her smile, her words and her presence, began to crumble under the

    strain and emotion of witnessing her Mums


    Sadly Mel peacefully and painlessly took her own

    life on Saturday 22nd April. We all feel that she

    wanted to get to 'The Life Ever After' before her

    mum to welcome her there and be with her.

    Mel you brought smiles and love and laughter

    and courage to many.... thank you ...Love you



    'Do you know what Hope is'?

    Its magic and its free

    Its not in a prescription

    Its not in an IV.

    It punctuates our laughter

    It sparkles in our tears

    It simmers under sorrows

    And dissipates our fears.

    Do you know what Hope is?

    Its reaching past today

    Its dreaming of tomorrow

    Its trying a new way.

    Its pushing past Impossible

    Its pounding on the door

    Its questioning the Answers

    Its always seeking more.

    Its rumors of a breath

    Its whispers of a cure

    A roller coaster ride

    Of remedies unsure.

    Do you know what Hope is?

    Its candy for the soul,

    Its perfume for the spirit,

    To share it, makes you whole.

    Melanie Kaye Norcott

  • Diary of the Hedgewitch

    What the great world reveals in its temporal flow corresponds to a pendulum

    swing in our being that does not move in the element of time Rudolf Steiner

    With the newly hatched fledglings soaring on swift wings, no longer an

    undeveloped potential within the hard shell of an egg, light-filled sensory awakened days reach a climax as

    they begin to retreat into the quieter shrouds of night.

    Temporary realisations and perfections are unfurled in the opening blossoms, where once these

    manifestations lain as just one possibility, they have reached the peak of their journey from seed to flower to

    travel back again, this is an outward expression in the blossom and an inward one in the seed. The perfumes

    of blossoms invoke deeper sensations, emotions, buried memories, re-awakening us to something that is to

    us as yet intangible, we are pulled outwards, expanded further into and beyond the physical world, and that

    which lies hidden in the intoxicating scent of a rose or the dazzling blue of the summer sky.

    The world is dizzying in its motion as ever-incomplete perfections of

    form, scent, taste, touch, vision and reel in great crescendos, over-

    spilling into ever-more transient perfections, heaving and expanding,

    becoming ever-greater, always in a process of creation. The old is

    always revealed within the new as the rhythms that give us our

    sensations of time co-exist simultaneously as one, night within day, day

    within night; and all that has come into being already existing as a

    thought, a possibility, a desire, before each inhalation and exhalation of


    Like breathing, the outward expression of a flower is the peak of an exhalation, the condensing into the seed

    the deepest inhalation. Fruit is forever borne of this within the pendulum swing of Life existing within and

    beyond the world of the senses. As the light begins to withdraw as the sun descends on its path and plants

    begin to form seed and fruit, we carry these experiences, forming our own seeds brimming with possibilities

    and bearing fruit, into the dark months, or into the night, or into an inhalation, where outward energies are

    pulled inwards, to be continuously transformed and re-created, ready to germinate ever-afresh.

  • July Sowing Chart

    Date Constellation of Moon Crops to Sow/plant Other information

    Sun 01 Scorpio (Water) none today due to node and moon at perigee Moon opposition Jupier 6hrs

    North (ascending) node 7hrs

    Moon opposition Venus 12hrs

    Perigee 19hrs

    Moonrise 18hrs

    Mon 02 Scorpio (Water) until 21hrs Chard, florence fennel, kohl rabi, lettuce, parsley, Lowest moon 5hrs

    salad leaves, spinach Moonrise 19hrs

    Tues 03 Sagittarius (Fire) Peas, runner beans Moon conjunction Pluto 13hrs

    Full moon 20hrs

    Moonrise 19.50hrs

    Wed 04 Sagittaruis (Fire) until 23hrs Peas, runner beans Mercury trine Uranus 19hrs

    Moonset 04.40hrs

    Thurs 05 Capricorn (Earth) Hamburg parsley, radish, turnip Moon trine Venus 15hrs

    Moon opposition Mercury 17hrs

    Moonset 6hrs

    Fri 06 Capricorn (Earth) until 23hrs Hamburg parsley, radish, turnip Moon trine Saturn 16hrs

    Moonset 07.20hrs

    Sat 07 Aquarius (Air) Broccoli-calabrese Moon conjunction Neptune 11hrs

    Moonset 08.40hrs

    Sun 08 Aquarius (Air) until 21hrs Broccoli-calabrese Moon trine Sun 11hrs

    Moonset 09.50hrs

    Mon 09 Pisces (Water) Chard, florence fennel, kohl rabi, lettuce, parsley, Moon opposition Mars 20hrs

    salad leaves, spinach Moonset 11hrs

    Tues 10 Pisces (Water) Chard, florence fennel, kohl rabi, lettuce, parsley, Moon conjunction Uranus 6hrs

    salad leaves, spinach Moonset 12.10hrs

    Wed 11 Pisces (Water) until 23hrs Chard, florence fennel, kohl rabi, lettuce, parsley, 3rd quarter 3hrs

    salad leaves, spinach Moon opposition Saturn 10hrs

    Moonset 13.20hrs

    Thurs 12 Aries (Fire) Peas, runner beans Moonset 14.20

    Fri 13 Aries (Fire) Peas, runner beans Apogee 18hrs

    Moonset 15.20hrs

    Sat 14 Taurus (Earth) Hamburg parsley, radish, turnip only until 18hrs South (descending) node 22hrs

    Moonset 16.20hrs

    Sun 15 Taurus (Earth) Hamburg parsley, radish, turnip Moon conjunction Jupiter 4hrs

    Moon conjunction Venus 16hrs

    Moonset 17.10hrs

    Mon 16 Taurus (Earth) Hamburg parsley, radish, turnip Highest moon 3hrs

    Moon trine Saturn 11hrs

    Moonset 18hrs

  • Tues 17 Gemini (Air) Broccoli-calabrese Mars trine Jupiter 14hrs

    Moon opposition Pluto 17hrs

    Moonset 18.40

    Wed 18 Gemini (Air) Broccoli-calabrese Moonset 19.20hrs

    Thurs 19 Cancer (Water) from 6hrs Chard, florence fennel, kohl rabi, lettuce, parsley, Mars opposition Uranus 4hrs

    salad leaves, spinach Dark moon 5hrs

    Moonrise 4.30hrs

    Fri 20 Cancer (Water) until 21hrs Chard, florence fennel, kohl rabi, lettuce, parsley, Moon conjunction Mercury 9hrs

    salad leaves, spinach Moonrise 5.40hrs

    Sat 21 Leo (Fire) Peas Moon opposition Neptune 23hrs

    Moonrise 6.50hrs

    Sun 22 Leo (Fire) Peas Moonrise 8.10hrs

    Mon 23 Virgo (Earth) from 11hrs Hamburg parsley, radish, turnip Moonrise 9.20hrs

    Tues 24 Virgo (Earth) Hamburg parsley, radish, turnip Moon opposition Uranus 14hrs

    Moon conjunction Mars 20hrs

    Moonrise 10.40hrs

    Wed 25 Virgo (Earth) Hamburg parsley, radish, turnip Moon trine Venus 8hrs

    Mercury trine Uranus 15hrs

    Moon conjunction Saturn 16hrs

    Moonrise 12hrs

    Thurs 26 Virgo (Earth) until 19hrs Hamburg parsley, radish, turnip 1st quarter 10hrs

    Moonrise 13.10

    Fri 27 Libra (Air) Broccoli-calabrese Moonrise 14.30

    Sat 28 Scorpio (Water) none today due to node North (ascending) node 12hrs

    Moon trine Sun 16hrs

    Sun conjunction Mercury 21hrs

    Moon opposition Jupiter 23hrs

    Moonrise 15.20hrs

    Sun 29 Scorpio (Water) none today due to moon at perigee Perigee 9hrs

    Lowest moon 14hrs

    Moon opposition Venus 20hrs

    Moonrise 16.50

    Mon 30 Sagittarius (Fire) Peas Moon conjunction Pluto 21hrs

    Moonrise 17.40hrs

    Tues 31 Sagittarius (Fire) Peas Sun trine Uranus 6hrs

    Venus trine Saturn 9hrs

    Moonrise 18.20hrs

    The dates in bold type indicate the dates for transplanting, this is when the moon is descending.

    (This would be reversed in the Soutern Hemisphere).

  • August sowing chart

    Date Constellation of Moon Crops to sow/plant Other Information

    Wed 01 Capricorn (Earth) from 8hrs Onion, radish, turnip Moon opposition Mercury 17hrs

    Moonrise 19hrs

    Thurs 02 Capricorn (Earth) Onion, radish, turnip Full Moon 4hrs

    Moonrise 19.20hrs

    Fri 03 Aquarius (Air) from 8hrs Moon trine Saturn 4hrs

    Moon trine Venus 8hrs

    Moon conjunction Neptune 19hrs

    Moonset 6.10hrs

    Sat 04 Aquarius (Air) Moonset 7.20hrs

    Sun 05 Pisces (Water) from 6hrs Cabbage-spring, chard, lettuce, salad leaves, Moonset 8.40hrs


    Mon 06 Pisces (Water) Cabbage-spring, chard, lettuce, salad leaves, Moon conjunction Uranus 14hrs

    spinach Moonset 89.50hrs

    Tues 07 Pisces (Water) Cabbage-spring, chard, lettuce, salad leaves, Moon opposition Mars 12hrs

    spinach Moon opposition Saturn 21hrs

    Moonset 10.50hrs

    Wed 8 Aries (Fire) from 6hrs Moonset 12hrs

    Thurs 9 Aries (Fire) 3rd quarter 20hrs

    Venus trine Neptune 23hrs

    Moonset 13.10

    Fri 10 Taurus (Earth) from 7hrs Onion, radish, turnip Apogee 12hrs

    Moonset 14.10

    Sat 11 Taurus (Earth) Onion, radish, turnip South (descending) node 1hrs

    Moon conjunction Jupiter 22hrs

    Moonset 15.10

    Sun 12 Taurus (Earth) Onion, radish, turnip Highest Moon 12hrs

    Moon trine Saturn 22hrs

    Moonset 16hrs

    Mon 13 Gemini (Air) from 8hrs Moon conjunction Venus 21hrs

    Moonset 16.40

    Tues 14 Gemini (Air) Moon opposition Pluto 0hrs

    Moonset 17.20hrs

    Wed 15 Gemini (Air) until 14hrs Venus opposition Pluto 10hrs

    then Cancer (Water) Cabbage-spring, chard, lettuce, salad leaves, Mars conjunction Saturn 12hrs

    spinach Moonset 17.50hrs

    Thurs 16 Cancer (Water) Cabbage-spring, chard, lettuce, salad leaves, Moon conjunction Mercury 4hrs

    Spinach Moonset 18.20

  • Fri 17 Leo (Fire) from 5hrs Dark Moon 17hrs

    Moonrise 4.40hrs

    Sat 18 Leo (Fire) Moon opposition Neptune 5hrs

    Moonrise 5.50hrs

    Sun 19 Leo (Fire) until 18hrs Mercury trine Uranus 0hrs

    then Virgo (Earth) Onion, radish, turnip Moonrise 7.10hrs

    Mon 20 Virgo (Earth) Onion, radish, turnip Moon opposition Uranus 19hrs

    Moonrise 8.30hrs

    Tues 21 Virgo (Earth) Onion, radish, turnip Moonrise 9.40hrs

    Wed 22 Virgo (Earth) Onion, radish, turnip Moon conjunction Saturn 1hrs

    Moon conjunction Mars 7hrs

    Moonrise 11hrs

    Thurs 23 Libra (Air) none due to moon at perigee Moon trine Venus 10hrs

    Perigee 20hrs

    Moonrise 12.20

    Fri 24 Scorpio (Water) from 7hrs none due to node North (ascending) moon 13hrs

    Sun opposition Neptune 14hrs

    1st quarter

    Moonrise 13.30

    Sat 25 Scorpio (Water) Cabbage-spring, chard, lettuce, salad leaves, Moon opposition Jupiter 11hrs

    spinach Lowest Moon 20hrs

    Moonrise 14.40hrs

    Sun 26 Scorpio (Water) until 12hrs Cabbage-spring, chard, lettuce, salad leaves, Mars trine Neptune 8hrs

    spinach Moon trine Sun 21hrs

    then Sagittarius (Fire) Moonrise 15.30

    Mon 27 Sagittaruis (Fire) Moon conjunction Pluto 3hrs

    Moonrise 16.20hrs

    Tues 28 Sagittarius (Fire) until 16hrs Moon opposition Venus 1hrs

    then Capricorn (Earth) Onion, radish, turnip Moonrise 17hrs

    Wed 29 Capricorn (Earth) Onion, radish, turnip Moonrise 17.20hrs

    Thurs 30 Capricorn (Earth) until 17hrs Onion, radish, turnip Sun trine Pluto 1hrs

    then Aquarius (Air) Moon trine Saturn 16hrs

    Moon opposition Mercury 19hrs

    Moonrise 17.50hrs

    Fri 31 Aquarius (Air) Moon conjunction Neptune 2hrs

    Full Moon 15hrs

    Moonrise 18.10hrs

    The dates in bold type indicate the dates for transplanting, this is when the moon is descending.

    (This would be reversed in the Soutern Hemisphere).

  • Husbands N Knives Are a four piece RIOT GRRRL punk band from Torbay, Devon.

    Husbands N Knives were born from a longing to channel the creative dark energy of Woman and give it a

    platform of expression. The archetypes of the Witch, the Whore, the Ugly Sister and the Madwoman are

    ever present in folklore but their immense power is often left untapped.

    Our New Age Goddesses are often all too fluffy. Our pop stars...those modern deities, reflect this

    dictatorship of all things pink and conventionally beautiful. Music is another magickal tool, and as such it is

    a vector to invoke the unsettling archetypes locked inside our sub-conscious...acknowledge them, and

    embrace them rather than shy away from the knowledge they convey. Magick in its musical form is a tool

    for both personal and cultural transformation. Performing is sometimes like conducting a ritual...the breath

    control and energy raising can turn songs into spells and even the most mundane lyrics can become an

    incantation that will bring change into our World. "

    Punk rock, with its emphasis on DIY and rebellion, its furious drumming, loud instruments and edgy vocals,

    is the perfect medium through which to unleash those dark passions. Julie and myself have grown up

    listening to a particular DIY genre of female fronted punk that encourages an exploration/reinvention of

    ourselves, our music and our subcultures.

    Raw, sleazy, off tune, edgy, political, witchy, PMS fuelled, the band was formed in 2008, and the fire has

    been raging ever since...

    McCracken was the first recruited male member of Husbands N Knives. His particular brand of punk

    wisdom and honest approach to song writing proved an asset to the band from the day one. Hermit is our

    fifth drummer. He adds a welcome dash of fiery male energy to the rhythm section. The musicians among

    you will know that collaborative song writing sometimes just seems to happen on an almost psychic level.

    Songs came to us as much as we created them, and the journey so far has been terrific.

    Inspired by early 90s feminist, female fronted acts like Bikini Kill, L7 and Hole, but also by American

    artists such as Travis Barker, the Dead Kennedys and the Butthole Surfers,

    we have spent the last three years spreading our own brand of puck rock across the South West, playing at

    various venues and festivals including Transition Festival, Lupusfest Weymouth and Plymouth Punx Picnic,

    as well as Dolmen Grove events.

    In 2010 we released our first album, 'Raised On Synthetic Bitch Milk', and have since appeared on local

    radio and various compilations. We are currently working on our second album, which we hope to release

    in the late Spring 2012. Short term projects include playing at RIOT GRRRL festivals in the North of

    England, releasing a music video... and rocking at Dolmen Grove gigs!


  • Discography Raised On Synthetic Bitch Milk, album, 2010

    Isobel (endless Summer), single,

    (set to feature on the Dolmen Grove compilation album), 2010

    Virosa Ebriosa (working title), album, poss. 2012

    For further information on Husbands n Knives

    you can buy and download our current album on

    alternatively... get in touch!!!

    By the middle of the first track I was reliving those days of real punk rock and loving every bit of it.

    Husbands and knives capture the naive anarchic style of the sex pistols, the polished passion and venom of the

    dead Kennedys with all the sex appeal of Siouxsie Sioux and Debbie Harry.

    Although having said that...Husbands and Knives are definitely NOT a Blast from the Past.

    Raised on synthetic bitch milk is raw, alive and more than anything real; Husbands and knives dispel the myths

    that all Pagan Bands sing Folk Music as they bring to the Pagan World their own unique urban sound.

    In conversation their softly spoken petite Blonde vocalist with her alluring French accent sounds as though she

    has stepped off a yoghurt commercial.....on stage however it is a very different story. Backed up by a group that

    could rival any in the punk world Louise has a stage presence you cant ignore!!

    Synthetic Bitch Milk is a compilation of original tracks with the music and lyrics having been written by Husbands

    and Knives (Yesin/Lisse/McCracken and McDermott). All their songs focus on real life...sometimes controversial,

    sometimes gritty but always real.

    The sheer versatility of Louises vocals and the pure energy of the band mean Husbands and Knives will be

    rocking the Pagan World for a long time yet...

    Review By Diane Narraway




    Virosa Ebriosa











    Friday 13th July - Eastleigh Irish Club

    From 7:30 p.m. 8-10 Station Hill,

    Eastleigh, Hants SO50 9FJ

    Saturday 11th August - Artemis Gathering Horley Campsite, Wroxton Road, Horley,

    Oxfordshire, OX15 6AU

    Saturday 6th October Wytches Market & Masked Ball Supported by Mike Porter Collective

    Glastonbury Town Hall, Glastonbury

    Sunday 14th October - Samhain in the Suburbs Compass Theatre, Glebe Avenue, Ickenham,

    Ukbridge, UB10 8PD

    Saturday 15th December - Yule Feast Town Hall, Avebury


    Q ) Name and Religious title/path if applicable...(i.e. Witch, Druid, Pagan etc )?

    A) Kerry Morris - Seeker

    Q) How did you become involved with The Dolmen Grove?

    A) Towards the end of 2006, my wife Jan was just ending a year of intensive treatment for a serious illness.

    Understandably, we had not had much social life in that time, and we decided to start getting out more. We

    noticed an advert for a gig by a band that we had seen a few times some years before, in the late 1990s The

    Dolmen! And thought it would be good to go see them again! That gig was at the Excise House, in

    Brewers Quay, and we enjoyed them so much that we started going to gigs more regularly. It soon became

    evident that the band might just be pagan influenced! - And out of curiosity I searched for them on the web.

    This then led to me joining the old Dolmen Grove forum and eventually, to meeting up in real life and

    becoming a part of the Grove proper! The rest, as they say, is history!

    Q) What is your job title or brief description of job?

    A) I am an Electronics/Software Engineer. In my case (because I work for a tiny company of only six

    people) that means I have to be a jack of all trades (and most likely master of none ) I design electronic

    circuits, and the printed circuit boards that they are built on. I do all of the necessary drawings on computer

    (using computer aided design CAD - software) related to the things I design and I write the software for

    those that need it plus I build and test the prototypes, not to mention a few other varied jobs too!

    All in all, I guess I am pretty lucky as I (mostly!) enjoy what I do.

    Q) Can you describe a typical work day?

    A) I get up just after 7am, leave home at 8.20am and get to work by 8.30am (I am very lucky to live only a

    few minutes away). My days tend to be pretty varied; with no two being quite the same (see previous

    answer). Finishing at 5pm, I am usually home by 5.10pm!

    Q) How do you feel your Pagan Beliefs fit into your everyday life?

    A) Classifying oneself as Pagan, to me, is more of a state of mind than an outright association with any

    particular rigid belief system. Open-mindedness is all questioning...not blindly accepting the dogma so

    prevalent in an organised religion. I have since a very young age been drawn to looking at the bigger

    picture embracing the spiritual, the supernatural, the occult, UFOs and so on. Equally, I have never found

    a conflict between this outlook and the scientific/engineering study that I have embraced in my working life.

    I just accept this as a part of me and what I am.

    Q) How do you feel your life has changed since becoming a member of Dolmen Grove?

    A) The Grove has been a catalyst I think before then I had never had any real contact with others of

    similar beliefs! As a result of becoming a part of the Dolmen Grove I have made a great many friends, and

    learnt a great deal too. One of the great strengths of the Grove is its great diversity of belief, with everyone

    (for the most part!) getting on

  • Pagan Handfasting. The word Handfasting .was originally taken from the verb to Handfast commonly in use in Middle and early

    Modern English, with the term coming originally from the Old Nordic Hand festa meaning to strike a

    bargain or from the Germanic Hnde fest halten meaning hands held tightly. In keeping with the concept

    that marriage is a contract between two people.

    It is generally considered to be the origin of the phrases; Taking ones hand in marriage and Tying the


    Although handfastings occur within many other religions and belief systems the following article

    specifically relates to Pagan handfastings.

    While there is no evidence stating who originally performed handfastings.(also referred to as Clandestine

    Marriages), popular ideas include- tribal leaders, the tribal shaman, family or any other tribal or clan elders

    and possibly even the couple themselves.

    What is known however is that in 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council which had been convened by Pope

    InnocentIII, prohibited handfastings /clandestine marriages requiring them instead to be announced by

    priests in church.

    This ruling was further added to by the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century, making it a requirement

    that a priest and two witnesses were present, as well as a public formal declaration of the intended marriage

    which was to be announced thirty days before the ceremony.

    Irrespective of the churches attempts to outlaw handfastings they continued to take place in the more remote

    areas of Britain, but by the late eighteenth century the pre Christian tradition of Handfasting was no longer

    being legally recognised in England although it remained legal in Scotland until 1939.

    Since the birth of Wicca there has been a significant rise in numbers within the neo-pagan world and as a

    result the ritual of Handfasting has undergone a revival.

    Handfasting is the magical ritual which celebrates the couples desire to be joined together and the

    subsequent physical union of the love shared between couples. The ritual blesses the couple with the gifts

    of the elements. Each handfasting is ultimately a celebration of the creation of life.

    Handfastings are generally tailored to the wishes of each couple with vows being taken for a year and a

    day, for nine years, a lifetime, for eternity or for as long as love lasts. In fact there are no rules as to

    the length of a handfasting; that like everything else is decided by the couple being handfasted. The vows

    are promises which the couple make to each other and which are sealed by binding the couples hands using

    ribbons or cords.

    The cords may represent their love, their hopes or be a representation of the elements which means the

    number of cords/ribbons will vary as will the colours.

    As with most Pagan ceremonies there tends to be accepted constant components.

    There is invariably a chalice of water, a receptacle for salt, at least one candle, a circle will be cast and a

    besom will be jumped...admittedly I have seen the odd exception to this but it is rare.

    There are no real rules, requirements or constraints these days and modern handfastings are often

    accompanied by a civil/legal ceremony.

    In order to give a more comprehensive insight into the pagan ritual of handfasting, I have included

    testimonies from various members of the Dolmen Grove who have either been handfasted or from

    Celebrants who perform handfastings.

  • Our Handfasting... A Perfect Reflection of Us

    When my partner and I were planning our

    handfasting we began by asking ourselves; What did it represent for us and what did we wish

    to gain from it?

    For most people the answer is simple. The joining

    of two people in front of those they love and care

    for, with a sacred blessing upon that union.

    Although actually going about this is hugely

    variable because every person is different.

    Because we all come from different back grounds

    and beliefs it can be very difficult to find the right

    balance. It is necessary to make sure that

    everyone feels welcome, comfortable and

    included whilst still ensuring that it is a totally

    sacred and a meaningful experience for


    Especially if you have a lot of non pagan family

    members that you wish to include. In our case the

    focus was not only the joining of us as a couple,

    but also on our families. It was important to us

    that they were able to be involved as much as


    Our first hurdle was to decide who we wanted to

    perform the union. This in our case was an easy


    We had attended another handfasting at a The

    Dolmen Grove Beltane camp; the same camp that

    my partner and I took the step from friendship into

    love. We therefore felt it fitting that our ceremony

    should be performed by the same people who, in a

    sense, had brought us closer together.

    Another focus was exactly what energy did we

    wish to place into our blessing? What were the

    things we wished for in our marriage and how

    could we make them present within the

    ceremony? After all, like attracts like and if the

    energy you want is not there it cant bless you! Love, Laughter, Fun, and Friendship were all

    things we wished to have on our journey through

    life. We decided that we have been to too many

    rituals in the past where it seemed you can only

    have sacred and meaningful if everyone stands to attention and behaves ultra serious. We

    wanted to get as far away from that as possible.

    This was a Celebration after all.

    Positive energy comes from positivity.

    Laughter is a powerful energy and can often be far

    more powerful than solemn and serious.

    Having Pagan and non Pagan guests attending

    meant that our guests had very different needs

    when it came to feeling comfortable. In order to

    place everyone on a more even footing we

    promoted a dressing up code with a smart dress

    option. This gave people the chance to embrace

    their sense of fun and freedom of self expression,

    while allowing those guests who would be

    uncomfortable in doing this a way out! Our theme

    was fantasy and fairies.

    The time of day and month was also of

    significance. Our Celtic ancestors began the day

    from sunset and the year in winter. We like the

    idea of all things beginning in the darkness and

    maturing into light and warmth...of things always

    getting better and growing stronger. So with this

    in mind we held our handfasting late in the

    afternoon at the beginning of December.

    We left the altar for the celebrants to arrange as

    we felt this should be their personal space, to

    create in a way which was most powerful to them.

    It being winter we decided to hold the ceremony

    in a Tythe Barn. This was big enough to hold a

    circle and a medieval style feast which we would

    have after the ceremony. It was lit with candles

    and decorated with evergreens and Yule trees.

    The evening began with our guests gathered in a

    circle inside the barn, with our relatives were

  • forming the inner circle. My partner and I entered

    the hall hand in hand as equals, behind the

    drummers who led the way. The drumming for

    me was not only incredibly enjoyable to watch

    and listen to; it cleared away any negativity and

    was a call to our ancestors and an awakening of

    the elements. We then performed the Ceremony of Creation which was led by Taloch.

    As each of the elements was called we asked that

    our rings be blessed by them. The fabric of

    everything is woven from the elements, so it was

    important for us to incorporate this aspect into the

    ceremony. We wanted our rings to be infused

    with the sacred teachings/blessings of these vital

    building blocks so we will carry it with us on our

    journey through life.

    As the elements were called we asked for the

    chant Earth my body, Water my blood..... to be sung. We also asked for our guests to join in with

    all the chanting because we wanted everyone to

    give a bit of energy to the occasion. Its a good way for everyone to be fully involved.

    We called upon the God and Goddess and at this

    point using the male and female verses of Lady spin your circle bright....

    After the chant we exchanged rings and made our

    vows to each other. Then it was time for our

    hands to be tied. We used five ribbons in colours

    marking the elements. I asked that the ribbons be

    placed and collected from the relevant directions

    so they would be blessed with the significant gifts

    we wished to receive.

    Each ribbon would be collected and tied in turn to

    form the pentagram. The last ribbon was to be

    taken from the altar itself.

    After my partner and I became tied it was then

    time to unite our families. Both of our Mothers

    were asked to bring some water from the family

    home which was mixed together in our chalice.

    The water represented the water from the womb

    becoming one. Then all the immediate family

    came and stood in front of the altar and we each

    took a sip from the chalice.

    Then it was time to jump the broom.

    One of our friends had kindly

    decorated the broom in seasonal colours; white,

    red and green with tiny bells woven around it.

    To the sound of drums and clapping we jumped

    from our old life into a new life together.

    It was then time to close this part of the ceremony

    with one last chant. We chose Merry Meet and Merry Part...

    When the chant was over we had cakes and wine.

    In this case it was mince pies and chocolate Yule

    logs with either Mulled Wine or Mulled Apple


    After we had sat and eaten our banquet and all the

    speeches had been made, I gave a short lesson in

    Tudor Circle dancing which was followed by the

    Mighty Dolmen coming on stage to play.

    Ultimately we aimed for a ceremony which would

    be a reflection of us as people.

    It was organic and without airs and graces The weather was terribly bad and we all got very wet

    whilst trying to get to the barn, also we had been

    so busy organising we forgot to write our vows to

    each other and both had a mental block when all

    our guests eyes were upon us waiting with

    anticipation to hear what we had to say to each

    other. I will never forget how my partner looked

    at me and of how much love I felt from him and

    all our loved ones supporting us.

    It was full of surprises and imperfections - We

    forgot the ribbons for the hand tying and poor

    Taloch very kindly came to the rescue with a

    substitute! A substitute which was personal to


    It was chaos, filled with fun and laughter I had not anticipated that so many people wanted to do

    the circle dance and trying to get them all to do

    the same thing in such a small space (as it became

    when everyone got up to do it at the same time)

    ended up a mass of confusion and disorientation,

    and there was not one person who did not laugh

    until their side aches from the resulting chaos.

    All in all it was perfect imperfection. Every bit

    was a perfect reflection of who we are. If I could

    do it all again, I would not change a thing and it

    will remain sacred in my memory forever.

    Oaklan Grove.

  • Why I Became A Celebrant...

    And as we stand here, so surrounded and sheltered and held, we feel the love of the Divine Ones swirling

    around us. The very creative forces of the Universe and the Gods and Goddess that our people have sworn

    by throughout time, are with us here, to honour this occasion of the Handfasting of their children

    In modern times, Handfastings are not recognised by the legal side of society. Many couples however

    choose to be Handfasted through a ritual conducted by a High Priestess as an act of Spiritual marriage,

    choosing the trial period of a year and a day under the eyes of the Divine Spirit instead of the eyes of the


    The year and a day is the most common choice, culminating in an official and legal marriage ceremony.

    My Husband and I were married in a Christian Church ceremony, as this was deemed correct by our

    families. Being impressionable teenagers, we duly did as we were told! It was a beautiful day where we,

    our families and friends celebrated our union. Would I have done things differently if we had been given the


    Yes and no. No, because the memories and promises made that day will last a life-time and beyond. Yes,

    because it wasnt what we wanted. To make a promise in the eyes of a God we didnt believe in seemed

    hypocritical. However we were fortunate enough to have a very special friend, conduct our long awaited

    Handfasting ceremony last summer.

    When I became a 3rd

    degree Wiccan High Priestess, it gave me the very special honour of becoming a

    celebrant. I can and do perform Handfastings, Naming

    Ceremonies, Coming of Age Ceremonies, Croning Ceremonies and Death/Passing over Ceremonies. The

    one difference between myself and other Pagan celebrants is, that I do not charge for my services (except

    travel expenses).

    Why do you do this for free, you may ask? Purely and simply, I believe that anybody that wants to should be

    able to have a celebrant perform a tailor made, spiritual ceremony without being charged an extortionate

    amount of money for the pleasure of doing so. Planning and conducting a ceremony is my payment, I take

    great pleasure and pride in doing so.

    Basic Handfasting Ritual for All Time

    This is a ceremony I conducted a few years ago where the couples one and only

    request was that I make it as muggle friendly as possible.

    The ceremony itself usually takes 10 20 minutes and most couples decide to

    nominate two people to hold their broom for their leap of faith.

    It is traditional to share bread/cake and drinks immediately after the ceremony; nothing fancy, just nice and


    I begin by casting the circle; sprinkling salt and rose petals, calling the elements, invoking the Goddess and

    God and setting my altar.

  • I keep a spiritual opening in the circle where the Bride & Groom will enter. Then I ask all guests to stand

    outside of the circle and I invite the Bride & Groom to join me in the centre.

    Celebrant: We have all come here to celebrate the joining together of Groom & Bride for their


    Handfasting is used in Celtic, Pagan and Wiccan cultures to express marriage. It is of neither one religion

    nor another, it is just human.

    The binding of a couples hands and the jumping of the broom is symbolic of binding a couple in marriage

    and it is believed this will promote prosperity and fertility.

    There are many things to say about marriage and there is much wisdom concerning the joining together of

    two souls that has come our way through many beliefs and cultures. With each union, more knowledge is

    gained and more wisdom gathered. Although we are unable to give all of this knowledge to Groom &

    Bride, we hope we can leave them with, the knowledge of love, its strength and the anticipation of wisdom

    that only comes with time.

    The law of life is love unto all beings. Without love, life has little meaning.

    If we learn no more in life, let it be this Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after much

    consideration, thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and downs, its

    trials and triumphs. With full understanding of this, Groom & Bride have come here today to be joined as


    Others would ask at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, neither man nor woman are property to

    be bought and sold, or given and taken at will.

    I simply ask that both Groom & Bride come of their own free will.

    Groom, is it true that you come here today of your own free will and accord?

    Groom: Yes

    Bride, is it true that you come here today of your own free will and accord?

    Bride: Yes

    Celebrant: Please join the left hand of your betrothed and listen to that which I am about to say.

    Above you is the sky, below you the earth.

    Like the sky, let your love be free, like the earth let your love be firm and strong.

    Like a star, should your love be constant.

    Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage.

    Let the strength of your wills bind you together.

    Let the power of love and desire make you happy and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable.

    Be close, but allow one another space.

    Possess one another, yet be understanding.

    Have patience with one another, for storms will come, but they will pass quickly.

    Be free in giving affection and warmth, have no fear and let not the ways of the unenlightened give you

    unease. Walk the path of life together.

    Celebrant: Groom, I have not the right to bind thee to Bride, only you have this right. If it be your wish,

    say so at this time and repeat after me.

  • Groom: I Groom, in the name of the spirit that resides within us all, take thee, Bride to my hand and my

    spirit to be my chosen one. I promise to love you wholly and completely and without restraint, in sickness

    and health, in plenty and poverty, in life and beyond. I shall not seek to change you in any way. I shall

    always respect you, your beliefs and your ways as I respect myself.

    Celebrant: Bride, I have not the right to bind thee to Groom, only you have this right. If it be your wish, say

    so at this time and repeat after me.

    Bride: I Bride, in the name of the spirit that resides within us all, take thee, Groom to my hand and my spirit

    to be my chosen one. I promise to love you wholly and completely and without restraint, in sickness and

    health, in plenty and poverty, in life and beyond. I shall not seek to change you in any way. I shall always

    respect you, your beliefs and your ways as I respect myself.

    Celebrant: I will now bind Groom and Bride left hands with their own sacred cord.

    You have pledged to be with each other through life and beyond. Even when parted in body and mind, there

    is a call in the core of each of you that no-one else can answer. With these vows and blessings, you may

    trust in one another, trust in life and be not afraid.

    Then as the blessed Goddess and God, the elements, the Gods of old and your family and friends are

    witnesses to this rite, I now declare you to be together as one forever.

    Congratulations, you may jump the broom and kiss one another.

    Cheryl Wynterkallista Waldron

    Being a celebrant... Celebrating the Goddess

    What task could there be that is more fulfilling than to become an instrument of the will of the Goddess?

    To unite two people in love, to bless the birth of a new child or even to mark the passing of a beloved one.

    As a celebrant and Priestess I feel that I am doing her work. And while some people shy away from the

    word Priestess because of a loathing of hierarchy, for me my Priesthood does not indicate hierarchy. It

    doesnt make me of a higher rank or a better Pagan; to me it simply means that its the path I have chosen, much like the seer or healer.

    In my mind being a celebrant and a Priestess travel hand in hand. I dont know whether I studied for Priesthood to do this or whether having attained Priesthood I then felt ready, but I do know that I would not

    have done one without the other and equally wouldnt have followed either path had I not been gravely serious about my faith.

    So what do I consider to be the act of hand-fasting?

    The most obvious answer is that its a non-Christian form of a wedding, a Pagan wedding if you like. However it is also an act that emulates one of the seasonal cycles; according to the Pagan calendar - the

  • sacred marriage. In the same way as the Goddess meets her mate and their union is formed, we do the same.

    Although without the constraints and formality of a church wedding or civil ceremony performed by a

    registrar, a hand-fasting is not bound by legality.

    As followers of an earth religion Pagans are generally in tune with nature and her cycles and are therefore

    aware that nothing will last forever and while I am sure we all intend for our lovers to be our eternal ones,

    we have a realistic view of union and our tradition of one year and one day marriages reflects this.

    In short a hand-fasting is a ceremonial bond between two consenting lovers. It is a sacred union carried out

    in the presence of your Gods by a celebrant who, depending upon your tradition will carry out a binding of

    hands and the exchanging of promises. You may then be required to jump the broomstick, symbolically

    leaping into a new life together

    Hand-fasting Ritual.

    Ritual tools

    Blessing incense

    Candle (Your choice of what is appropriate)

    Flowers of the season to symbolise life and beauty

    Cords or ribbons for binding

    A decorated besom

    The guests will form a circle and the groom will wait in the centre.

    The celebrant stands before the altar and the guests part to allow the bride to enter either alone or

    accompanied by someone who will symbolically give her away.

    Celebrant (Lights incense) I welcome you all here today to celebrate the bringing together of two souls in unity, as a confirmation of the love between (Womans name) and (Mans name) in the presence of the Goddess and the God and the elements that surround us. So I ask you now to join us as we call in the

    energies of the four directions to aid in our rite.

    East quarter: To the element of air in the East, I call you forth with your gentle winds of change, carry away

    that which has passed so that today shall mark the beginning of something beautiful and new.

    I bid you hail and welcome.

    South quarter: To the element of fire in the South, I call you forth with your attributes of warmth and

    passion that they may be ever present in the love that we celebrate here today.

    I bid you hail and welcome.

    West quarter: To the element of water in the West, I call you forth with your attributes of cleansing so that

    this love will be renewed and cleansed.

    I bid you hail and welcome.

    North quarter: To the element of earth in the North, I call you forth with your attributes of stability and

    grounding and the capacity for new growth so that the unity we are here to witness goes forth with stability

    and that their love continues to grow.

    I bid you hail and welcome.

    Celebrant I call upon the spirits and guardians of this place and invite you to celebrate with us this day and I thank you for sharing with us this sacred space. To the Goddess and God I call upon your presence to

    witness this rite that we perform in your honour and bid you hail and welcome.

  • The most powerful act of magic is the love between two people, eyes meet, minds meet, heart, soul and

    body join to become one and the presence of (Womans name)and (Mans name) here today is confirmation of their dedication to that unity.

    I now invite (Womans name) and (Mans name) to light the candle of unity. Couple light candle.

    Celebrant - (Holds up the rings). Just as the circle is infinite, may these rings be blessed with infinite love.

    Exchange rings.

    Celebrant Please now join hands. (Binds hands with cords or ribbon) As you join your hands you join your hearts as one. With binds that tie the deed is done.

    I now invite you (addressing the couple) to make your promises to one another.

    Couple make promises.

    Celebrant These promises that you have made to one another are the real binds that will hold you together, may you never forget these words spoken today in front of so many witnesses, in the presence of the

    Goddess and God, the spirits and guardians.

    May this feeling of love and togetherness be a memory for all time and may you celebrate within your hearts

    for as long as love unites your souls. Please kiss your bride.

    While the binds are still in place I invite you to jump the broomstick.

    (Two guests take the besom to a clearing in the circle and the bride and groom take a leap of faith).

    Celebrant You have taken the leap of faith, may you always have faith and may your unity last as long as your love for one another, this hand-fasting is now complete.

    (Remove cords/ribbons and place in a box for the couple to keep).

    Celebrant I thank you all for your presence here today. I call upon the spirits and guardians of this place and thank you for your presence here today. I call to the Goddess and God and thank you for watching over

    this rite, forever in our hearts hail and farewell.

    North: To the element of earth in the North we thank you for your influence and presence in our ceremony.

    We bid you hail and farewell.

    West: To the element of water in the West we thank you for your influence and presence in our ceremony.

    We bid you hail and farewell.

    South: To the element of fire in the South we thank you for your influence and presence in our ceremony.

    We bid you hail and farewell.

    East: To the element of air in the East we thank you for your influence and presence in our ceremony.

    We bid you hail and farewell.

    Celebrant I declare this ceremony closed; may you continue the celebrations in your own being.

    Julie Weltch

  • Travelling Lifes Journey... On the Same Path Initially we became friends on Facebook a couple

    of years ago often chatting about lifes journeys.

    It was always good to know there was someone to

    talk to who never judged me.

    Ironically we were both active Dolmen Grove

    members, as well as both being fans of the band

    The Dolmen. Although we both regularly

    attended both Grove and band events, our paths

    never seemed to cross.

    A friend had read my tarot cards and told me that I

    would meet my soul mate at a gathering and that

    he would be my One. I remember laughing

    because I believed that a relationship

    was not part of my lifes journey. Or so

    I thought!

    Again camps and other gatherings came

    and went and my life was changing in a

    spiritual way, but there was no sign of a


    Every now and then Charlie would

    appear on my facebook for a quick chat

    or just simply to like or comment on a


    It was not until the Dolmen Grove Spirits of

    Rebirth Camp at Beltane 2011 that we finally

    met. Once again we were both in the same place at

    the same time. This time however on the Friday

    night I finally got to put a face to the name. It

    wasnt until the Sunday morning in the kiosk that

    we finally got to have a chat over a cup of coffee.

    The conversation was about family, and although

    we only spoke for about half an hour it seemed as

    though we talked for hours. It was during that

    conversation something clicked. Something

    unexplainable which we now believe was Divine


    After getting back

    to Normal life we were both in each others

    thoughts more, and the friendship grew stronger,

    although we did not meet up again until the

    Summer Solstice. On that occasion our meeting

    was only a brief chat and a friendly hug.

    We continued to chat online, and it was not long

    before that moment in the kiosk hit us again, and

    our relationship changed from friendship to love.

    We will both admit things have been a bit tricky at

    times, but being able to chat and laugh together

    has and we believe will continue to overcome

    difficult times.

    We are now preparing to be handfasted

    for As long as love lasts on September


    2012; the Autumn equinox. We

    chose this date because we felt that our

    love would light the way through the

    dark months, growing stronger together

    as we travel the same path.

    It is exciting to know that even though

    there will be non pagans there; they are

    all happy with the idea of us sealing our

    love in whatever way we choose. The most

    common question from non pagans is What

    should we wear? My response is Wear

    whatever you want. Just be yourselves because

    we will be! There will be no pretences, or

    unnecessary airs and graces. We have just 2

    promises to make to each other, to be honest and

    to be faithful.

    We intend to be handfasted on the cliffs at

    Portland Bill, although there is still much to plan.

    There are so many ideas