*Please note, dates and times for 2019 rituals are provisional at this stage and will be confirmed in due course*

On Sunday 22nd September 2019 at 6pm there will be a celebration of Gore Vellye (Autumn Equinox) at the Standing Stones of Stenness. Our ritual is inclusive and designed to be accessible for people of all religions / beliefs and none – it incorporates aspects of modern Paganism and refers to Orcadian traditions and folklore.

This ceremony marks the point in the year when the time of the light and the time of the dark in each day is equal – but it is an introspective time because soon the nights will become much longer than the days. This is a time of year when we start to reap what we have sown; as the cereals crops are harvested, likewise we acknowledge where we have sown good seeds in our own lives or in the lives of others. Autumn is a more subdued time for nature and we acknowledge the passing of summer.

In Orcadian folklore this time of year was known as Gore Vellye, and the focus is on the storms that we get at this time of year. We also consider symmetry, equipoise and balance; we acknowledge this status in the natural world around us and as it is symbolised in our lives.

We welcome everyone who wishes to attend. There is no charge and we ask only that you bring your open mind and warm heart. We meet at the central hearth of the Standing Stones of Stenness and we are quite obvious! We invite participants to join in, perhaps by taking a speaking part, or bringing a reading or piece of music to share. Join in as much as you are comfortable with – if you only wish to observe, please be equally welcomed. We usually conclude by sharing ale and honey-cake ... and then we regroup at a local hotel for a social meeting.

Please feel free to contact Helen or Mark Woodsford-Dean, for further information email us at info@spiritualorkney.co.uk

Our website is updated regularly: www.spiritualorkney.co.uk/CelebrancyServices#OpenRituals or join / like “Orkney Pagans” on FaceBook. We aim to publish downloadable copies of each ritual on our website and also our attendance guidelines.

ATTENDANCE AT OUR OPEN RITUALS AND PARTICIPATION IN ANY ACTIVITIES OFFERED IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN CHOICE AND RISK. WE DON'T DO ANYTHING THAT WE CONSIDER TO BE DANGEROUS BUT WE ACCEPT NO LIABILITY IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER. WE OFFER THESE RITUALS PURELY ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS AS A SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY.

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO BRING A LARGE GROUP TO ONE OF OUR RITUALS PLEASE CONTACT US IN ADVANCE SO THAT WE BRING ENOUGH ALE AND HONEY CAKE (DONATIONS APPRECIATED).

THIS IS A SCOTTISH PAGAN FEDERATION EVENT.