Mabon at Thornborough

My first visit to one of my 60 by 60 places was to Thornborough Henges this weekend. We were there for the Mabn (Autumn Equinox) celebrations with lots of other pagans. The colourful clothing and colourful characters coupled with the glorious weather, showing one last flush before the descent into winter, made it a very memorable day.

On of the highlights of the day for me was a talk on the Celtic Chakras by the wonderfil Elen Sentier, giving me much food for thought, and so much to go off an research too. I met so many wonderful people who before I had only known is cyber space. So much nicer to meet people face to face, and also to get together with friends old and new.

Another highlight was the beautiful, meaningful and moving Ritual conducted in the centre of the Central Henge. It was inclusive and made everyone feel a part of it which was wonderful.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend but to be able to get a feel for the Heges was not as easy as if there had been no one there, so maybe another visit is in order when there are not so many there.

Sixty by Sixty

After reading a post on Facebook, I have decided to set myself a challenge. I have been to some beautiful places on these wonderful Isles, yet there are many more I have not been to, some of them almost on my doorstepI am now ten weeks away from being 52, and so the challenge I have set myself is to visit 60 places I have never been before, before the end of my 60th year.

I will document my travels on here, complete with impressions of the place, and of course, the obligatory photographs. My first location will be Thornborough Henges in North Yorkshire, where we are going next weekend, for the first time ever, to celebrate Mabon.

The full list is as follows and I have just over 9 years to complete the list!

60 by 60

  1. Dragonby dragon – North Lincolnshire
  2. Thornton Abbey – North Lincolnshire
  3. Winteringham Haven – North Lincolnshire
  4. Donna Nook – Lincolnshire
  5. Temple Bruer – Lincolnshire
  6. Boston Stump – Boston, Lincolnshire
  7. Yorkshire Wildlife Park – South Yorkshire
  8. Conisborough Castle – South Yorkshire
  9. Bempton Cliffs – East Yorkshire
  10. Blacktoft Sands Nature Reserve – East Yorkshire
  11. Cottingly Wood – West Yorkshire
  12. Yorkshire Sculpture Park – West Yorkshire
  13. Mount Grace Priory  North Yorkhire
  14. Rievaulx Terrace  and Abbey– North Yorkshire
  15. Thornborough Henge – North Yorkshire
  16. Sentry Circle – North Yorkshire
  17. Wharram Percy Deserted Medieval Village – North Yorkshire
  18. Jervaulx Abbey – North Yorkshire
  19. Appletreewick Stone Circle – North Yorkshire
  20. Mother Shiptons Cave – Knaresborough, North Yorkshire
  21. Darley Dale Yew – Derbyshire
  22. Bolsover Castle – Derbyshire
  23. Doll Tor – Derbyshire
  24. Speedwell Caverns – Castleton, Derbyshire
  25. Eyam – Derbyshire
  26. Haddon Hall – Derbyshire
  27. The Workhouse, Southwell – Nottinghamshire
  28. Nottingham Castle – Nottinghamshire
  29. Alderley Edge – Cheshire
  30. Wing Maze – Rutland
  31. Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort – Northumberland
  32. Goddess of the North – Cramlington, Northumberland
  33. Ambleside Roman Fort – Cumbria
  34. Flag Fen – Cambridgeshire
  35. Ross on Wye – Herefordshire
  36. Portmeirion – Wales
  37. Bodnant Garden – Conwy, Wales
  38. Hawkshead Park – Shropshire
  39. Sutton Hoo – Suffolk
  40. Whipsnade Tree Cathedral – Bedfordshire
  41. Old Sarum – Wiltshire
  42. Woodhenge – Wiltshire
  43. Stanton Drew – Avon
  44. The Assembly Rooms – Bath, Somerset
  45. Wookey Hole – Somerset
  46. Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre – Kent
  47. Long Man of Willmington – Sussex
  48. Port Isaac – Cornwall
  49. St Michael’s Mount – Cornwall
  50. Sancreed Well – Cornwall
  51. St. Nectans Glen – Cornwall
  52. Lost Gardens of Heligan – Cornwall
  53. Loch Ness – Scotland
  54. Cairngorm Reindeers – Glenmore, Scotland
  55. Aberfoyle – Scotland
  56. Rosslyn Chapel – Scotland
  57. Callanish – Isle of Lewis
  58. Maeshowe – Orkney
  59. Newgrange – Ireland
  60. Giant’s Causeway – Ireland

 

Autumn’s Song

 In the crisp, cold mornings, darkness begins to linger.

The mists that cover the fields and seem to cloak the land.

Dewdrops on cobwebs, the writings of a ghostly finger.

These are the signs that the Autumn is now at hand.

 

The expectant trees hang heavy with ripening fruit.

The hedgerows are all aflame with haws and with hips.

Blackberries glisten like jewels and there’s none can dispute,

The colours of Autumn do all other seasons eclipse.

 

The leaves on the trees turning red, green and gold.

The fields are all stubble, the corn is now taken.

The nuts and the acorns snatched by squirrels so bold.

Soon all the leaves from the branches are shaken.

 

The smell of death and decay, they fill the air.

The leaves, wet and rotting, now feeding the earth.

All living things have their time, and must take a share.

Before moving on to make way for new birth.

 

Before winter comes, we gather in all the crops.

The firewood collected because we know before long.

Wind and frosts will we have, then snowy hilltops.

These are the sights, smells and sounds that make up Autumn’s song.

Diane Worthington

September 2012

The Season on mellow fruitfulness

Autumn is snapping at the heels of summer and that makes for a very busy time. As Keats said, this is indeed the season of mellow fruitfulness and the trees and hedgerows are heavy with their bounty. The mornings are crisp and the evenings are drawing in and soon we will draw ourselves in for the harshness of winter.  But before then, so many jars and bottles stand, waiting to be filled!

This weekend alone has seen us out foraging twice, our booty this time was Blackberries and Sloes. The products issuing from the kitchen including wines (both rhubarb and blackberry) blackberry and apple jam, beetroot chutney and pickled beetroot. The shelves are starting to groan under the weight. We now await the ripening of tomatoes, figs, grapes and pears and the preserving will start again.

There is such a satisfaction in growing or foraging for your food and also being able to preserve and store it to see us through the winter. Not only is is healthier and cheaper, it also feels like a connection to the ancestors, keeping alive the skills of our mothers and grandmothers.