Now, On A Happier Note, The Better News... Eastbourne Lammas Festival

Eastbourne Lammas Festival - The Lammas Festival in a previous year.
@Darkwing (21588)
August 4, 2008 12:55pm CST
Mixed emotions at this juncture in my life, I'm afraid. It's been a bad year, but I'm not going to dwell on the negatives in my life any longer. I have done a lot of soul searching over the Lammas weekend, and I feel I've finally pieced the signs and the events together. The good news is that the Lammas Festival and the few hours immediately after have shown me the light and I now know what's needed to reap the harvest I require to see me through the darker, unproductive months of winter. Next year, my direction will change some. I will have shed the negatives, adopted the positive energies and regained my strength, which has been greatly reduced this year. The Lammas Festival is held over the weekend closest to the Sabbat every year, in Eastbourne, on England's south coast. I wanted to go last year, but was prevented from doing so by certain situations. So, this year, I was determined to get there by hook or by crook. After my initial arrangements fell through, I contacted my sister, who said yes, she would like a "different" day out. She picked me up at 9.30 a.m. when the weather was cloudy but dry. As we drove down, the rain started, and it was quite windy. Arriving on Eastbourne Sea Front, we found a parking space right outside the West Lawns where the main part of the festival was to take place. So, that was a bonus. We encountered one of the Pentacle Drummers on the lawns and asked him what time the parade started from the pier. It was only just about eleven o'clock then, and he said that they were congregating, playing and dancing in town first at 11.30, then the parade would come down to the pier at one o'clock in the afternoon, before setting off along the seafront towards the lawns. A long walk, we thought, so we decided to walk to the pier, then back over to Harry Ramsden's fish 'n chip restaurant on the other side of the road. We ate lunch, and then decided to go back towards the lawns, and by then, the rain had stopped and the sun was filtering through the clouds before coming out full strength later. After walking back along the seafront, we climbed the hill to Wish Tower and took places on a bench there, from which we could see right along to the pier and beyond. We settled here and waited for the parade. We could hear the drummers but no sign of the Morris dancers or Giants. Soon a crowd gathered on the benches and hillside around us, and finally, at a quarter past two, the drums became louder and the giants and parade came into view. Parade and ritual over, we all followed them back into the lawns area. Firstly, we walked around the various craft tents on the lawns. We decided what we might come back and buy, and stood in awe at the beautiful robes and dresses which were on display. In the first tent was a storyteller, dressed as a court jester. Music played on a stage across the way beneath a gazebo type structure, where various pagan bands and artists entertained right through the afternoon and early evening. Next to this stage was the beer tent. So we grabbed a pint of cider for me and a half for my sister, and wandered over to one of the benches where we sat with the sound of the sea dragging on the beach's pebbles behind us and the Hunter's Moon Morris's clacking of sticks and strains of accordians in front of us... the strains of pagan folk music on the air in the distance. We sat there and watched the Morris sides for ages before going to make our intended purchases and getting another cider. All this time, the music could constantly be heard on the other side of the lawns, as we went back to the bench to watch a new Morris side called Bacchus. They were dressed in purple and black tattered jackets and top hats, and their musician played a mandolin, and was dressed as a Green Man. They were a new side, with only four dancers as yet, but afterwards, I went and had a word with them, with a view to them gracing my Grail Quest. They're not busy apparently, and the likelihood of them dancing for us sounds great at the moment but she's going to confirm on Wednesday. All afternoon, I had watched people, dancers, singers and I'd struck up conversations with some of the craftworkers and pagans there, whom I'd never met before. The combination of the magnetic drag of the sea on pebbles, the dancers the atmosphere and the conversations, helped me to understand where I was going and what this year had meant to my path. Finally, a Lammas Blessing ceremony was staged in the centre of the lawn. I partook in the ceremony, the feasted on bread and ale, and I was slowly brought to realisation. We set off home after the Blessing, and I contemplated my direction between now and Imbolc, and what negatives I should be discarding and seeds I should be sowing for next year's harvest. I felt at peace at last... everything linked you see. My soul felt lighter and I'd felt a tingling sensation, perhaps of renewed energies, during the rite. I'm going to be pretty busy up until Samhain to ensure my harvest is good enough, but I'm happy in the thought that from then on, my life will change for the better, and big time. I can't post any pics in here because I forgot my camera, and although my sister took all the pics I asked, I don't have them yet. Her hubby's going to copy them to a disc for me. So... if you click on the link, you can see last year's YouTube version of what I saw this year, where I'm sure you can soak up the atmosphere and magick of the day. I didn't go back Sunday because I'd found my direction, and the weather was dreadful anyway, with heavy showers and later, prolonged rain. But all in all it was a very productive exercise for me both mentally and spiritually. I have grown over the weekend!How do you celebrate your harvest and when? What do you draw from your ceremonies? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opnym6NiwY0&feature=related
5 responses
@cupid74 (11394)
• Pakistan
5 Aug 08
Hi Dear Nice Narration, u describe it well and glad that u not only had great time but it change ur mindset and now u r looking for next year with new ambitious and energies Wish u all the best. did u buy some thing and were u in PURPLE dress ORRR Take care
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
5 Aug 08
Oh, there's still so much on my mind my friend. That day will stay with me forever as one of the best days I've had out. I know my narration was quite long, but I only scratched the surface really. I think I'm going to set to writing about it for my website, as something positive to look back on, when I'm feeling down. I don't have my purple dress yet. I wanted that for my Grail Quest day, and my sister has agree to sew it for me. There's not a lot of time to get it finished but I have to try. I did buy a Hunter's Moon DVD, and a black, Nemesis Now, offering bowl. I fell in love with it, and just had to take it home. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution, my friend.
@Darkwing (21588)
7 Aug 08
Yes, I'd like to spend my whole Summer doing something like this. It would be so calming and satisfying.
@cupid74 (11394)
• Pakistan
8 Aug 08
Wish u all the best and happy and exciting summer
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
12 Aug 08
I hate to be such a party pooper but I really don't celebrate much of anything anymore, life is just the same for me, day in and day out, I am glad that you had a great time and was able to enjoy yourself.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
29 Sep 08
No problem my friend. We are all different and if we weren't, the World would be a very boring place! I did enjoy myself and I'm seriously thinking of putting on my own sponsored Seax Fest next year, in aid of charity. So, busy busy right now with that. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution, my dear friend.
@1grnthmb (2063)
• United States
5 Aug 08
That sounds like a wonderful time. I glad that you got to have a relief form everything else that has been going on.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
6 Aug 08
Yes, it was and I can't deny I needed the relief. It was a very happy and productive day, mentally. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution, my friend.
4 Aug 08
Hi DarkWing, I am so happy that you went and really enjoyed yourself and with all that you saw and the wonderful way you described everything I felt I was there and with all the energy around I'm surprised you felt it. Well they seay everything happens in threes first our mutual couldn't make then I broke my toe so i could not walk far then the usual place I go to for the sabath was cancel so maybe next time but I am so please for you and hope to see you soon. Bright Blessings Tamara
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
5 Aug 08
The blessing of being solitary my friend is that you can't get out, you work indoors. Things happen for a reason, and perhaps you should consider that! Strange that a sabbat should be cancelled, but there's no accounting for some folk, I guess. Anyway, I would recommend this festival to anybody. The people there were all so calm and pleasant, ever ready to explain to you anything you wanted to know. Some were dressed for the occasion, which was quite spectacular too, and I really enjoyed the Morris Dancing. They were all border sides with sticks, instead of hankies, and dressed in black tattered jackets and top hats. I even came home with a dvd of Hunter's Moon's and I have sat and watched it through. Some of the dancing on the dvd is outside Boscastle Museum. It's a pleasant memory of the day, anyway. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution, my friend. x
@littleowl (7157)
4 Aug 08
Hi Darkwing..I am so glad that you had such a fantastic day and that you have finally found the direction you should be going in plus the getting rid of the old and bringing in the new...it sounds that your sister must of really enjoyed herself too it sounds like it was a lovely day for this time of year and that you had such a spiritual enlightenment,,,I did a ritual with a couple of friends and the spiritual energy that was brought through this has also helped me to see more clearly what must be done now to help me grow-your friend Brightest Blessings littleowl
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
5 Aug 08
Yes, my sister said afterwards that even though she's not pagan, she had a great day and it was quite refreshing to do something "different". She was quite taken with some of the clothing there, and very amused at the aggression of some of the Morris Dancers! lol. The company was great, the weather turned out fine and the cider terrific! We were thinking about going back on Sunday, but the weather was really lousy, so gave it a miss. I found the Blessing pleasant... you know, the smell of the incense, the passing round of the bread and ale, and we even had the Pentacle Drummers in the circle. Hunter's Moon danced to the song of John Barleycorn, with hankies this time, not sticks. There were four of them dressed in the colours of the Elements, obviously and they called their Quarters in turn. It was a reverent ceremony but very pleasant, and I could feel the energies. Enough said, I think! Suffice to say, I really enjoyed the day. As I said to you, I think I was meant to go there! Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution, my dear friend.xx