Sunday 9 June 2013

Pagan Events: Midsummer and Summer Solstice 2013

Summer Solstice is on 21 June, which is a Friday in 2013. However, pagans often celebrate midsummer from the middle of June until the end of the month. The word Solstice comes from the Latin phrase sol sistere, which means "sun stand still" because the sun seems to stand still in the sky for a time on the longest day of the year. Afterwards, for the rest of the year, the days get shorter and the nights longer – although the hottest days of the summer are still to come and to be enjoyed.

Midsummer's day is magical, charged with the energy of the sun at its strongest, and that is what is celebrated at this time of year. Here are a few pagan events and open rituals in London and southern England that you can take part in to mark the Summer Solstice in 2013. For details of more pagan events, click on the events link at the top of the page.

Saturday 15 June; Midsummer: Custom, Magic and Lore. One-Day Workshop with Suzanne Corbie at Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 10.45am - 5.30pm. Cost £45, advance booking and deposit essential. Tel: 020 7240 8906 or email:

Wednesday 19 June; Sound Healing and Gong Bath by London College of Spirituality. Free event as part of Mindfulness Week in the More London Fringe Festival with the London Spiritual Movement. Venue: The Scoop at More London, 2A Riverside, SE1 2DB. Start time 6.30pm. Free entry. For more details visit

Thursday 20 June; Meditation and Mindfulness with Wake Up London. Free event as part of Mindfulness Week in the More London Fringe Festival. Venue: The Scoop at More London, 2A Riverside, SE1 2DB. Start time 6.30pm. Free entry. For more details visit

Thursday 20 June - 23 June; Gathering of the Elders from the Ecuadorian Amazon. Summer Solstice gathering at Caer Corhain Shamamic Development Centre of the Isle of Sheppey, North Kent. Starts Thursday evening. Cost £250. For more details and information on how to book, visit

Thursday 20 June; PFL Litha Open Ritual by Tribe of Avalon. Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn London. Time: 7.30pm for 8pm start. Ritual ends around 9pm followed by feasting until 10pm. Entrance: £6/£5 PF members. Please bring seasonal food and drinks to share at feast after ritual. For more details, visit

Thursday 20 June-Friday 21 June; Stonehenge (pictured top), the 5,000-year-old megalithic monument on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, is the most famous place in England to celebrate the solstices. Entry is normally restricted although English Heritage, which manages the site, will be providing what it calls "managed open access" to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice. English Heritage allows individuals and groups to conduct their own ceremonies and rituals during the opening times, from 7pm on 20 June until 8am on 21 June. No camping is allowed. There is a car park half a mile from the stones, but it is more environmentally friendly to use public transport to get there, buses run from Salisbury railway station. For details about access to the stones, visit:

Friday 21 June; Drumming and Tribal Singing with the London College of Spirituality. Free event as part of Mindfulness Week in the More London Fringe Festival. Venue: The Scoop at More London, 2A Riverside, SE1 2DB. Start time 6.30pm. Free entry. For more details visit

Friday 21 June; Summer Solstice on the Beach with Coven of the Bright Isle, at Joss Bay, Broadstairs, Kent. The Coven of the Bright Isle, a normally closed Wiccan group based in Thanet, is holding an open Wiccan Summer Solstice ritual to which all pagans are welcome. The ritual is timed to coincide with sunrise, at 4.30am. Meet at the car park on North Foreland Hill CT10 3PG before sunrise. Bring food and drink for yourself and join the group for breakfast round the fire afterwards – weather permitting.

Friday 21 June; Unveiling of Blue Plaque to Commemorate Doreen Valiente in Brighton. There will be an afternoon of events starting at noon and going on until the evening to celebrate Doreen Valiente. Meet at Steine Gardens, Brighton, at noon for the start of the programme. There will be a procession to Tyson Place, where Doreen lived, and the unveiling itself will take place at 2.30pm. Entertainment will take place later at The Green Door Store, Railway Arches. This is a free event during the afternoon, followed by evening entertainment from 7pm that costs £5. For full details, visit

Friday 21 June; Midsummer Meditation at Chalice Well World Peace Garden, in Glastonbury. Gathering at the Well Head at 12pm for celebration and meditation until 12.30pm, then gather on the lower lawn for quiet conversation. Free admission from 10am until noon, then normal price admission. For more details about Chalice Well, visit the website

Saturday 22 June; Summer Solstice Open Ritual on Cooden Beach, Cooden Sea Rd, Bexhill TN39 4TT. Time: 2.30pm. This open ritual is free and all are welcome. Bring a picnic and wear suitable shoes for a stony beach.

Saturday 22 June; Hern's Tribe Midsummer open ritual in Richmond Park. Family friendly outdoor event. Bring your own picnic. For more details, visit

Saturday, June 22; Free and Open Gorsedd Summer Solstice Rite at Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire. Open Druidic style ceremony to celebrate the Summer Solstice. Meet at the Red Lion pub from Noon for ceremony at 1.30pm until 3pm. Free event - offerings of song, poetry, cake, mead are welcomed. There is no camping at Avebury this Saturday as Solstice camping is 20th and 21st only.

Sunday 23 June; Greenman Walk organised by The Goddess Foundation. This is a family event that takes place every summer. Venue: Ashplats Woods, East Grinstead, near East Grinstead Town Football Club. It is an event for all of the family to celebrate Summer Solstice. Bring a picnic, go for a walk, watch the Summer Solstice Mummers Play and take part in a quiz. No charge, but donations greatly appreciated. For more details, contact The Goddess Foundation via its website:

Sunday 23 June. Fairy Festival at Butser Ancient Farm, Chalton Lane, Chalton, Hants. For more details and to book tickets call 02392 598838 or visit

Sunday 23 June; Midsummer on Primrose Hill with the Loose Association of Druids. Open ritual hosted by Jeremy Morgan, the Druid of Wormwood Scrubbs. Venue: The Hawthorne Grove, Primrose Hill, Regents Park, London NW1. Starts at 12.30pm, ends at around 2.30pm. Nearest tube: Chalk Farm.

Sunday 23 June; St John's Eve, Midsummer Crossbones Vigil to honour The Goose and the outcast dead of Cross Bones Graveyard. Gather from 6.45pm in Redcross Way outside the Memorial Gates, SE1, opposite the Boot and Flogger, just north of the junction with Union Street. Nearest tubes Borough or London Bridge, 5 minutes walk away. The event is free.

Sunday 23 June; Summer Solstice. Evening service led by the Wheel of the Year Group at Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel (pictured below), 3 Pilgrim's Place, London NW3 1NG. Time: 7pm.


James C. Wallace II said...

Wpw! So many woderful events. One of these days, I intend to attend a solstice at Stonehenge. I hadn't realized there were so many other things associated with the solstice over there!

Badwitch said...

Do come over - you will love it!

Anonymous said...

June 21st 2013 will be a very special day. It is exactly 60 years since Doreen was initiated by Gardner in 1953. She is having a commemorative Blue Plaque installed, Ralph Harvey is leading an open midsummer ritual in Old Steine Brighton and to top it all Greenmantle are celebrating 20 years of their excellent magazine.