The Sun and Moon Festival
How better to spend the ancient Lammas festival , the traditional first corn harvest, than at the Sun and Moon festival at Herstmonceux castle?.
I didn’t know that this beautiful castle was also a college in term time! Owned by a Canadian university called Queens, it was bought some time ago when the castle fell into financial difficulties.
The grounds were extremely impressive. There were some of the oldest chestnut trees I’ve ever seen, over 800 years old. We called them ‘The Dancing Ladies’ and there were a line of them just near the cafe.
My Secret Garden
My favourite place was a secret garden behind the folly, where it was a heat trap for dragonflies and butterflies. Here, it was peaceful, magical and utterly enchanting. This was especially so by the water’s edge, by the moat and the lake nearby. We found an exquisite eucalyptus tree, which helped us to ground our ceremonial work while we were at the festival.
Earthkeepers Lammas Workshop
The Sun and Moon festival promoted wellbeing on all levels and I attended some interesting and amazing workshops there, including vortex healing, the Anusha healing symbols connected to the stars and three Goddess workshops. However, the real reason I was invited there was to facilitate two workshops.
One was a creative workshop, where through ancestral work we created a ‘give away’ for the land, woven with five threads and a corn stalk. On a very rainy afternoon, a group of women sat down and worked as they might have done thousands of years ago. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon singing, connecting and laughing with each other. We wove the threads of our ancestors, considering our male and female lines. We wove in our talents and skills as we went.
The second workshop was in the castle itself, this was a flower blessing with sound healer Carolyn Richards. We used the sound of the tibetan singing bowls to take us to the upper worlds. After journeying to the upper worlds we retrieved the highest essence of energy we could for our partner we were working with. Using a red flower to honour our feminine and a white flower to honour our masculine, we dipped the flowers in sacred well water and blessed each other with the words ‘I bless you my brother, I bless you my sister’.
It was a beautiful ceremony and all round a lovely experience, well worth attending next year!.
There is an old woman who weaves the night sky..(traditional song)
There is a woman who weaves the night sky,
See her spin, watch her fingers fly.
She is within us beginning to end,
Our grandmother, our sister, our friend.
She is the weaver and we are the web,
She is the needle and we are the thread.
She changes everything she touches
And everything she touches changes.
(Repeat 3 times)
It’s possible to journey with changing woman, or spider woman at this time of year, what does she have to say to you?.
We are the dance of the moon and sun
We are the power in everyone (the hope that’s in everyone)
We are the turning of the tide
My spirit sighs, my spirit sighs.
There is a time to be together, there is a time to be apart
But when our love goes on forever…
My spirit flies, My spirit flies.
See this beautiful article about Lammas by Glannie Kindred here.
May you walk in beauty,
For all our relations. Ali Rabjohns 2017.