On the 29th June 2008, Dark Dorset was privileged to be invited to the Solstice Ceremony at Stonehenge, held by the Dorset based pagan order the Dolmen Grove, formed by Taloch (Tony Jameson) from Weymouth four years ago.
We set off from Weymouth, by bus with the Dolmen Grove to Stonehenge, where we met other members of the order to join in the private ceremony. A procession was lead by the beating of drums and blowing of horns as hundreds of followers of the order circled the stones two times before entering the monument. Once all the members formed a circle within the henge, the ceremony began with a welcoming speech conducted by Taloch, who then led a rite to invoke the powers of the four elements, earth, fire , wind and water. This was followed by words of contemplation by other members.
This was the first time I have entered the mighty stone megaliths as I was too young to have seen them before English Heritage roped off the stones in 1977 for fear of further erosion and damage perpetrated by unthinking visitors.
For years I have taken Stonehenge for granted. Aside of the gimmicky tourism that the stones attract, being there,amongst the Dolmen Grove, it seemed very weird indeed to be standing in one of the worlds most famous and iconic landmarks. Standing 20 feet or so high, it makes one wonder how prehistoric man managed to move them. As the ceremony was coming to a close it seemed that time stood still. Even wildlife seemed complacent, a colony of bees where attracted to the stones, aswell as voles, skylarks and even a hare, which had nestled by one of the stones, seemed completely oblivious to the activity going on.
It was truly an amazing experience to be a part of and Dark Dorset must once again thank Taloch and the members of the Dolmen Grove for the privilege of being a part of their celebration of the Summer Soltice.
More information about the Dolmen Grove visit www.dolmengrove.co.uk
(Below are videos showing highlights of the ceremony at Stonehenge)
Part One: Solstice Ceremony at Stonehenge with Dolmen Grove
Part Two: Solstice Ceremony at Stonehenge with Dolmen Grove