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News & Views

Beltane Pagan Ceremony


One Sunday at the beginning of May, we gathered for one of the eight pagan ceremonies celebrated, at the Chapel and elsewhere, throughout the year. This night we welcomed in Beltane - the fire festival to celebrate the coming of summer and the fertility of the season.


There were beautiful readings, a guided meditation to set our intentions, a time to reflect and to share in the ancient ritual of lighting candles, receive blessings by anointing ourselves with water and even the joy and sheer fun of jumping over the cauldron! Everyone was welcomed and celebrated in the simple message of the ceremony - the joy of the light and the expansion of the season to come.


Claire took part and reflected: ‘I left the Chapel feeling connected to those that had taken part in the ceremony and to those ancestors who gathered on distant hilltops on the eve of May to dance around two bonfires lit to symbolise the light and growth the summer season would bring to the land. And within my heart I still hold a little of the ancient magic and hopes for love and creativity.’


Many people gathered to turn the Wheel of the Year, and mark the change in seasons. 'The Pagan ceremony really resonates with me as I am a nature lover and it facilitates tuning into the seasons and elements,’ remarked new Chapel Member Nazia, ‘I found the visualisation very powerful especially as it follows the meditation, I am in a receptive state. It's a useful milestone to reflect and set intentions. I loved jumping over the cauldron, it was fun and liberating.’


As well as honouring earth-centred spirituality, the Wheel of the Year pagan ceremonies can enhance personal and spiritual growth, as another participant, Ali found: ‘Beltane was a magical ceremony.  I’ve been wanting to bring the lighter side of life forth. The blessings and visualisations were amazing. I visualised jumping over the cauldron… and the next thing - we all were! For me, it was joyous, connecting, and fed my soul.’


Claire concludes: ‘Rosslyn Hill Chapel is a wonderful spiritual space for all those with questioning and open minds... Rev Kate Dean encourages a thriving and varied community of warm friendly eclectic spiritual people through her broad programme of events, services and ceremonies.


The magnificent Rosslyn Hill Chapel was built for the Unitarians over 160 years ago. The atmosphere within the beauty of its stained-glass windows is charged with all of the good intentions and wonderment of the congregations of old... the site itself dates back over 330 years.’


Photo caption: Claire and Rob light a candle while other participants look on







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