Beginning with a like-minded friendship that has now endured for nearly fifty years, a small gathering has ebbed and flowed over time, following the pathways and teachings of Druidism, Paganism and Taoism, as well as the sciences of Astronomy, Geology and Biology!
We also have a keen interest in Archaeology, Megalithic Astronomy and Ancient History!
Over the years we have travelled and spent time living and camping in Woodlands as well as many other places including the Welsh mountains, we have undertaken pilgrimages to important and interesting ancient sites and landmarks, we have also experienced a wide variety of retreats and celebrations, both as part of groups and individually, learning to work with the Earth, Nature and the Inner Self!
The Sunwheel Grove started life as a pilgrimage to Wayland’s Smithy and Avebury before becoming an annual event for Summer Solstice!
Starting from our local circle, The Rollright Stones, we cycled as the crow flies along old roads and ancient trackways, through Burford, Carterton and Faringdon, on to the Ridgeway at Uffington White Horse Hill and followed it to Avebury.
On our first journey, our arrival was greeted by a Lunar Eclipse and was quite a welcome!
Over the years we have explored Avebury and the Ridgeway’s history and met up with friends and other Pagan groups such as Wiccans and Odinists as well as Shamans and Druids to name but a few.
In 2002 we began our spiritual transformation and the Sunwheel Grove came into being. After years of looking for a suitable site to lay the roots of our Grove, we finally found the perfect place and in 2008, construction of the Grove began.
The layout of our Ceremonial year and the Sun-wheel cycle is governed by the creation of The Sunwheel Calendar which was originally drawn up in the mid 1990’s and has given us our fixed dates and structure up until the present day!
Here within the sacred circle of the Sunwheel Grove, we believe that life and the energy of all existence, is brought into being with the foundation of the Triad – The Sun, The Moon and The Earth and the relationship between them and one another!
- We also believe in the art of communication and the inspiration of self-expression! The spiritual growth of the seed within - nurtured and tended through to the birth of creation, celebrating the gift of creativity in the form of word, art, music and dance!
- We believe that the memory of our Ancestors should be honoured for their wisdom and understanding of life and its lessons, those who have touched our lives and those who reach back through the ages of history, a connection with the past, present and future, the threads of our lives and who we are!
- We believe that it is wrong to abuse and exploit the Earth in the name of greed and ignorance; we should work in harmony with its cycle of life and one another, not smother and suffocate our fellow spirits!
- We also respect and honour our Home, Planet Earth and all of Nature’s creation. We are all children of Mother Earth, the flora and fauna, with the breath of life and hope, love and peace, the harmony and balance of all living things!
- We respect and honour the power of the Elements with their natural will and influence, sculpting and moulding our daily lives, as we travel our chosen pathway, along the cycle of evolution and the spiral of infinity!
- We believe that faith is a personal thing – each to their own as they say – we all see the world slightly differently – we understand that our collective consciousness holds its roots firmly within the Pagan framework and the growth of Modern Druidry – this can be interpreted in many different ways and gives our faith the chance to breath – it is our similarities, our connection and understanding that bring us together to celebrate the seasons of the Earth and the cycle of the Sun-wheel!
- We believe in the strength and energy of the love, peace and harmony we share in the spirit of all things!
- We celebrate nine Ceremonies during the Sun-wheel of the year!
Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain – Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice which is celebrated in two parts – The Ceremony of Sunset and the Ceremony of Re-birth!
As the settlement of our Grove is now rolling on towards a decade, we are reminded of our early days and how we found it hard for friends and like-minded people to find a local group or Order to contact with a view to an introduction, guidance or even joining for celebration and Ceremony!
This is particularly difficult if you are either new to these gatherings, re-defining your personal beliefs or you have been practicing as a single person and are looking to expand and become part of a collective!
In the future, we are hoping to expand our newly updated Website to encourage interested parties to get in touch with us, whether you are a group of friends who need help with structuring your gatherings to include Ceremony and its layout or a couple of people that would like to honour and celebrate together!
We would like to encourage people to organise and form their own gatherings, eventually with their own sister Groves to become part of a network, we will be in a position to share our experiences of building a Grove and help with Ceremonial layout and scripts!
Our Ceremonies cater for different group sizes – we have a ‘North & South’ Ceremony for 2 participants – which run for about three quarters of an hour - to an hour!
For bigger gatherings we have a ‘Full’ Ceremony which is designed for 3 – 9 participants – which run for about an hour - to an hour and a half!
These Ceremonies are written specifically by and for the Sunwheel Grove and can be used in full or adapted by you to suit your own needs!
We really like the idea of having local Groves, for friends and local interested parties where they are accessible, to work with your own locality – either in a quiet local spot or a garden or site of your own choosing – you could start with various quiet places as we did and in time you can evolve and hopefully find a permanent home for your Grove as your gathering grows.
This could lead to the possibility of offshoot projects working with Woodland, Nature and other conservation and environmental ideas!
We are also hoping to organise a Summer Camp so that we can all meet up and celebrate together, depending on your location, if you are abroad, you could arrange your own!
Hawk Elderin and Morien Ravenstone
on behalf of The Sunwheel Grove Druid Order!