Chalice Well what about the pagans?
Was it the amount of people, the proximity to festival time or what?
Chalice Well has certainly changed and not for the better.
Where has that combination of Pagan and Christian harmony gone to? Why has a bland interfaith correctness come in?
Why was a PAGAN festival celebrated in a Christian Jewish way?
I am all for joyous celebrations of any and every sacred day. For me that would suggest a christian celebration at say Easter or Christmas to name but 2, a pagan celebration of the 8 festivals of the wheel of the year.
That makes perfect sense to me. Sadly it would appear that the christian take over of pagan festivals and sites is still happening and with the full agreement of the Chalice Well trustees.
Chalice Well was always a place to come together for Summer Solstice, Beltaine et al,
to celebrate the Goddess and her consort in all their aspects. I can remember Beltaines past with Green Man and Green Goddess, bonfires and jumping the Bel fire, the latter not for me in actuality sadly but mentally certainly. 4.30 am on a Beltaine morning and seeing all the celebrants streaming into the Well grounds, a magical sight indeed. Not that long ago either.
This Summer Solstice celebration was a travesty. It makes me ashamed to be a Companion of the Well. To have our ancient festivals taken away yet again is unforgivable.. Yes welcome all to embrace the time of longest day and shortest night but with full acknowledgement that midsummer is and always was pagan, NOT christian.
The event started with a silent mediation and talk of connection but degenerated into far less.
A supposed, (famous on the radio) new age poet (as his very loud supporter felt moved to say) rambled on of Palestinians, Jews and Israel, why? He then wanted to take over the event further by chanting of OM.
The facilitator, if that is what you would call her, said that was for the end of the ritual. We did however get the Om prior to the end as he obviously couldn't wait. Neither could his follower, we can only call him that, who then did a Middle Eastern I think? chant. Again, why?
Why wait and honour the pagan spirit of the place, after all it is only a pagan festival midsummer?
Thankfully Matthew Holbrook was "allowed" to balance somewhat with his marvellous poem in honour of midsummer which received a well deserved round of applause. The new age man didn't get that. I wonder why?
Matthew has been absent from the past few events, I don't think by choice from what I heard from various people on the day. Probably the truth if the days event was anything to go by. His words always reflect the pagan and Druidic spirit of this land in a reverent way.
Fortunately, also, the event was ended with an incredible resonating Awen suggested by another attendee. Very powerful and very inspiring.
Wake up Chalice Well management and manage better. We pagans, druids, goddess lovers etc belong at Chalice Well equally with Christians.
Do not push us out.
It is our well also.
For me the change since the previous trustees left has been awful. Not a loving sharing Chalice Well but one losing its heart rapidly. One wonders what religion the present committee and management would put on their census forms? What proportion of pagan to christian.
A very telling aspect of how things seem to be going is shown on a photo further up. The well was undecorated on the next day. We hadn't been near enough to see if it had been decorated for Solstice but if it had then all was cleared away before next morning's opening. Not left as usual.
Rant over and it is of course only my opinion but one I am entitled to.
I leave you with a happier picture:) Taken at Chalice Well as were all the others in this post.
Happy belated Solstice.