And now for something completely different!

A couple of days ago I picked up a flyer for the Druids of Caledon Yule Festival. Intrigued I went along to the scheduled place at Rouken Glen Park, Glasgow half expecting some ritualistic outdoor ‘tree-hugging’ type event. However, contrary to my expectations, the ceremony which was held inside the park rangers pavilion was well organised and attracted an ‘audience’ of about 30 persons who all participated, sitting in a circle. There was a printed order of ceremony with the event lasting about 90 minutes.

The druids totalled about eight (male and female) and represented diverse backgrounds and from domiciles spread around southern Scotland.

I learned that druidism is not a religion per se but a dynamic and vital nature-based spirituality connected to the earth and its seasons, creativity and the arts. There are eight festivals each year including the summer and winter solstices, the equinoxes, Beltane and Yule.

In Britain as a whole there may be up to 20,000 druids but there appears to be no over-arching hierarchy with each local group enjoying a considerable degree of autonomy. This particular group, the Druids of Caledon were set up in 2004 and believe that we are all the children of Mother Earth and Father Sky and that we were created b the Great Spirit which also created the Universe.

Overall a very interesting and informal ceremony with echoes of a Christian harvest festival. Attendees were given a selection of fruit, chocolates and other goodies, plus a drink of mead.

In this bowl participants place white stones simultaneous with which a private ‘prayer’ is said to benefit someone close. Interestingly, in the centre of many stone circles around Britain can be found pieces of white quartz. The circles pre-date the druids but, nevertheless, an interesting coincidence. 

Druid Ceremony

Druid Ceremony, Glasgow

Here is the altar with foods of the earth.

Altar at Druid Ceremony

Druid Ceremony Altar

Lady Druid

Druid at Ceremony

Female Druid at winter solstice ceremony

Ceremony in process.

Druid winter solstice ceremony

Druid Ceremony, Glasgow

Druid performing rites.

Druid at winter solstice ceremony

Druid of Caledon

Druid extinguishing candles which represent the four points of the compass.

Druid at Winter Solstice Ceremony

Druid of Caledon

Druid officiating with mead bowl.

Druid officiating at Cermony

Druid of Caledon

This is the arctic scene I encountered after leaving the ceremony. Daytime temperature was minus 2C and this evening is down to minus 4C with snowfall.

Winter Scene, Rouken Glen

Rouken Glen in Winter

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