Events Calendar 2007

   
 
The reactivation of a great Celtic-christian sacred site...
 

 

 

Tuesday December 25: Feast of the Birth of Christ

The 'foster-mother' and 'nursemaid' of Christ - Brìghde - is transported through space and time to be midwife at the birth of "he who was born before all ages."

This week, pilgrims to Bride's Mound share in this mysterious journey to the source.

   
     

Saint Bride by John Duncan

 
 

 

Sunday November 11th: Martinmas/Remembrance Day

Pilgrimage to Prinknash Abbey, Gloucester (the 'k' in 'Prinknash' is silent) - where most of Abbot Whiting's relics now lie. Authoritative sources doubt their authenticity. The good abbot says that it doesn't matter, - power lies in ideas rather than things.

Still within the Samháin window, we re-member all who have gone before us to the otherworld, particularly those of all nations who have given their lives resisting tyranny.

One of the local legends is that Beckery is a huge landscape effigy of the Salmon of Wisdom (from the Finian Cycle in Irish mythology) "upon whose shoulders Arthur's knights rode to the city of Gloucester" (Patrick Benham: The Avalonians, 2006 [1993], p.41), - another reference to the association of Bride's Mound with astral projection, teleportation or perhaps, even, bilocation.

 

 

 

Saturday November 10th:

The sun sets down the St Michael line at azimuth 242.8º. A particularly auspicious time for Cygnus Week research.

 

 

 

Saturday November 3rd: Cygnus Week

Following Questcon '07 at the Assembly Rooms, Glastonbury, further research into other-worldly entities, particularly at Beckery, is conducted along with continuing astronomical observations of Cygnus and its possible significance to landscape alignments.

 

 

 

Thursday October 25th: Samháin Eve

As with all cross-quarter fire festivals, Samháin is celebrated on the full moon nearest the mid-point between equinox and solstice. Traditionally, all fires are extinguished on this day and relit from the Samháin fire kindled at sunset - the beginning of the Celtic New Year. Gwynn ap Nudd is especially honored, this year, by kindling the fire at his sacred mound, the Tor.

As we prepared the fire, seven white doves flew in from the west, circled around us once, then landed in the long grasses just west of us. They hid there for about fifteen minutes before being disturbed by walkers, then flew back from whence they had come: - in the direction of Bride's Mound.

 
 

The Salmon of Wisdom appears in the fire.

 

 

The Welsh name "Gwynn" is related to the Irish "Fionn." At Fiacc's Pool, under Rossnaree near Slane on the River Boyne, Fionn mac Cumhaill reached for the cooked fish and burned his thumb. By placing it in his mouth he received cosmic consciousness, - the knowledge of all things.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 23rd: Autumnal equinox. Alice Buckton pilgrimage centennial

On this day in 1907, exactly one hundred years ago, John Goodchild's "triad of maidens" (Christine Allen, Janet Allen and Kitty Tudor Pole) show Alice Buckton the ancient pilgrimage trail, via Bride's Mound, which she was to later promote as the Alice Buckton Pilgrimage Route.

 
 
As a mediator between polarities, Brìghde is equally associated with fire and water. Born at sunrise (between night and day), at the threshold of her mother's house, she was destined to pioneer the idea of monasteries with equal numbers of women and men. It would seem then that the equinoxes, as liminal times between the light and dark portions of the year, would be auspicious times for venerating Brìghde.
   
     

Equinox Sunrise over St Brighid's Chapel

 
 

 

Sunday, August 19th: Feast of St Sarah. Pilgrimage to Tara

The mysteries of Hibernia (Steiner, Mystery Centres: Lectures VII-IX) are difficult to fathom. Wellesley Tudor-Pole and his colleagues were unable to conclusively identify the "Western Isle" (one of the three Celtic mystery centres - along with Avalon and Iona) because each one is an aspect, and at the same time a microcosm, of the whole Isle of Erin.

 
   

The perpetual Brighid-Avalon flame is taken to Tara to assist in the activation of the mystery centres envisioned by Yeats, Goodchild, Tudor-Pole (Patrick Benham: The Avalonians, 2006 [1993], pp.104-106), et al., and thus the restoration of Celtic wisdom there!

Many thanks to all those working tirelessly to protect this sacred land from desecration.

(see: http://www.tarawatch.org/).

 

Saint Sarah is the companion of Maria Magdalena. She is known as the "Black Madonna" and is the Patron Saint of Gypsies.

 

 

Sunday, July 29th - noon: Lugh's Wedding

A ritual to celebrate the harmony and union of the four elements, represented by the four hallows of Tir na Nog, on the full moon nearest the mid-point between solstice and equinox - the beginning of harvest in the Celtic calendar.

   
 

Roughly following the form of last year's rite, the martyrs were especially commemorated as this is a place of assembly for them.

 
   
When we arrived to set up the altar in the west (corresponding to the city of Murias, in Tir na Nog), with the chalice and the Daghda's basket, we found that Shambo (recently martyred - and very present) had provided his own "cauldron" - hidden in the grass at the exact spot which we had chosen!
 
   
During the ceremony we were blessed with a glimpse of the Valkyries, on horseback, taking the martyr's souls to Valhalla - galloping down from the summit of the mound towards the southwest...
   
  The subsequent culling (martyrdom) of several hundred cows in Surrey, as a result of the recent foot and mouth scare, has provided Shambo with a fine herd - all are now in the care of the milkmaid Brìghde (a Celtic equivalent of Radha).  

 

 

Thursday, July 26th: Feast of St Ann/Anna/Anu - mother of the ancestors

(July 25th. in the eastern calendar)

In Celtic cosmology, Anu is the equivalent of Casseopeia. She feeds the first oak with heavenly dew, thus giving life to the earth. The first two acorns become the Daghda and Brìghde.

Anu is the earliest of the Celtic deities to transform into a swan.

 

 

 

Sunday, July 22nd: Feast of Maria Magdalena

 

8.00 am. Liturgy of the Eucharist, - at the Shrine of Saint Brighid, just west of the site of St Brighid's Chapel.

   

The octave (eight-day period) beginning today is a most auspicious time for pilgrimage to Bride's Mound, where the Saxon, Brighid's Chapel was built over an earlier, wattle shrine dedicated to Maria Magdalena. Since the early, Celtic shrines and chapels were only dedicated to their founders, it is thought that Maria travelled here from Marseilles more than four centuries before Brighid either with, or following, St Joseph of Arimathea.

 

 

   

Sunday, June 17th: Father's Day

The eternal connection between all fathers and their children is celebrated in the presence of the perpetual Brighid/Avalon flame at the Magdalen shrine. A special Magdalena candle, left by a pilgrim at the recent dedication, is lit for the first time from the sacred flame. Thanks Chris.

 

 

 

Friday, May 31st:

A report was made today to the Rights of Way office of Mendip District Council, Highways Department, regarding the condition of the footpath from Cradle Bridge. This is part of the traditional "Alice Buckton" pilgrimage route to Bride's Mound, currently blocked with dense undergrowth of rape. If this is not cut before going to seed, the consequences may be devastating for the future of this historic pathway.

   

 

   

Thursday, May 17h: Ascension Day

2.00 pm. The chapel site is dedicated sub conditionale to St Mary Magdalen. While it's dedication to St Brighid is certain, it is not known, for sure, if it was previously dedicated to Maria as legend tells us. Thank you, Christina and Tony.

photo: Anthony John Kennish

 

 

 

Friday, May 11h:

The oldest hawthorn tree at Bride's Mound, having had a great deal of barbed wire and metal spikes removed from it exactly two years ago, has come back to life and is in full bloom on its east side (facing the mound).

   

 

  Friday, May 4th: Bealtaine: the scattering of Bridie's seed  
 

 

The Bridie doll (aka Corn-dolly), made for Lugh's Wedding last Lughnassadh (August 9th, 2006), is brought to the mound for the wheat to be cast on the ground, along with all our intentions for a sacred, holy growth-season ahead.

The sun is in the same position as at Lughnassadh, nine months ago, - and rises at the same azimuth as the alignment of the Michael/Mary line, 62.8º east of north.

 
 
After scattering the seed, the chapel is reopened with prayers and offerings at the site of the holy, Magdalene Shrine itself.
   

 

 

Monday, March 5th: AGM of Friends of Bride's Mound Ltd.

The outgoing chair made it clear that the land remains freely open to all.

Several people were nominated for a reduced number of positions on the committee but no elections were held - either by a show of hands or poll. The company has legally, therefore, no members at the current time.

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 6th: Feast of St Mael - Bishop of Ardagh (d. 488)

Bishop Mael, disciple of St Patrick (the elder?), consecrated Brìghde, Abbess of Kildare, to the episcopate prior to her stay at Beckery. While the validity of sacraments administered by women may be questionable, (there is no record of St Brighid having ever administered them) there is no reason why women cannot hold the office of priest or bishop - according to this notable precedence. Mass at St Patrick’s Chapel, Glastonbury Abbey, 10.30 am.

 

 

 

Friday, February 2nd: Candlemas

The second anniversary of the kindling of the perpetual Brighid/Avalon flame on the summit of Bride’s Mound.

 

 

 

Thursday, February 1st: Feast of St Brìghde (d. 523) and of St Darlugdach - second abbess of Kildare (d. ca. 524)

The first anniversary of the symbolic bringing of the “Light of the West” (see: Events 2006) is celebrated by retracing its journey from the Llan (a prehistoric enclosure, in which stands St Gildas’ chapel of the Holy Trinity, Street) to Bride’s Mound. Meanwhile, the annual procession down the High Street to Beckery, organised and led by Friends of Bride’s Mound Ltd., provides an impetus for the flow of orgone in the opposite direction, upstream – via the naturally mixed waters that flow from the Chalice Well and White Spring – to feed the etheric light embedded within the hills of Avalonia from which they come.

 

 

 

Monday, January 29th: Feast of St. Gildas, hermit and historian (d. 512)

Although the events in the life of St Brìghde are all legendary (including her travelling out of Ireland), Gildas’ writings suggest they may also have some basis in historical fact.