Thursday 20 June 2013

Pagan Events Over Midsummer in and Near London

Traditionally Midsummer celebrations last from 21 June, which is the longest day or the Summer Solstice, to 25 June. In many parts of Europe 24 June is historically celebrated as Midsummer's Day and for Christians is the Feast of St John the Baptist. Pagans celebrate the fact that for a few days around the time of the actual Solstice the sun is at its strongest - it isn't until a few days after 21 June that the days begin to get noticeably shorter. There are a huge number of pagan events, including Summer Solstice open rituals, taking place from today and over the next week. Here are some in London and other parts of southern England:

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; Croydon CoA Witches Gathering with talks and social activities at the The Green Dragon, High St, Croydon. 8pm start. For more details visit:

Thursday 20 June;  Pagan Pathfinders Summer Solstice Celebration. Finchley, London N3. Starts: 7.30pm. Free event, but bring food and drink to share. To find the location visit the Facebook page and message to organisers for details and to confirm your place:

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; Enochian for uninitiated witches followed by memorial for Robert Cochrane. Pub near Primrose Hill and Chalk Farm in North London. Time: 7.30pm. For full details and to reserve a place visit The London Wicca Meetup Group:

Thursday 20 June; Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki of SOL. A rare London appearance at Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Price: £15 advance booking required. Time: 7pm foir 7.30pm start.

Thursday 20 June-Friday 21 June; Stonehenge, 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; Glastonbury Tor Summer Solstice Celebration at dawn. Location: Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8BH. A celebration of life with meditation,channelled messages, Bring shakers and instruments if you have them. Time: 4.30am to 5.30am. Free event, just turn up. All welcome. 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

Friday 21 June; The Angel Whisperer. Talk by Kyle Gray. Venue: The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Cost: £10/£12 Advance booking recommended. Time: 7pm start. For further details call: 020 7589 3292 or 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; The Great School of Chartres. Lecture by Sylvia Francke, author of The Tree of Life and the Holy Grail: Ancient and Modern Spiritual Paths and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau.Venue: Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, London NW1 6XT. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets: £3.30/£1 pay on the door.

Friday 21 June; Circle of Ankerwycke Summer Solstice Ritual under an ancient yew tree. Venue: Wraysbury near Staines. Time: 7.30pm for 8pm. Email the organisers if you would like to attend as the group limits numbers:

Saturday 22 June; Shaking Things Up - Reason, Religion and Conflict. Debate and discussion with philosopher Anja Steinbauer. Venue: Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH. Time: 2.30pm. Free entry and no booking required but limited places.

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; Anderida Gorsedd Summer Solstice open ritual at the Long Man of Wilmington, Sussex. Meet near the car park between 1.30pm and 2pm for a walk up to the chalk hill figure at 2pm. Afterwards back to the Giants Rest pub in Wilmington for a social drink together.

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; The Druids: Ancient and Modern. Talk by Ken Rees at The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester Place, London W1U. Time: 6pm. Entry: £7/£4. Nearest tube - Baker Street.

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, 3 Pilgrim's Place, London NW3 1NG. Time: 7pm.

Sunday 23 June; Full Moon Singing Bowl Ceremony. Venue: Kennington Park Cafe, Kennington Park, London (nearest tube Oval). Everyone welcome, no experience needed. Ceremony starts at 7pm. £10 recommended donation. For more details:

Monday 24 June;  Dreaming the Future. Talk by Robert Moss at Alternatives, St. James's Church, 197 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LL. Time: 7pm to 8.30pm. Tickets £10/£5 concs. Advance booking required. To book tickets and for more info visit the Alternatives website:

Monday 24 June; The Seed of Yggdrasill: Deciphering the Hidden Messages in Old Norse Myths.Book launch event for this new work on the Northern Tradition published by Whyte Tracks Press. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7pm start. Free event but advance booking recommended. For further details:

Tuesday 25 June; The Legend of Vortigern and Other Tales. Storytelling evening at Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.15pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets £7, advance booking recommended. For further details:

Tuesday 25 June; Chertsey Moot. A social moot held on the last Tuesday of the month at the Golden Grove pub, Ruxbury Road, St Annes Hill, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 9EN. All welcome. From 8pm to 11pm. For more details, email:

Tuesday 25 June; The Crystal Palace Moot. A social moot held on the last Tuesday of the month at the basement bar, Lucius Italian Bar/Kitchen, 128 Gipsy Hill, Upper Norwood, London SE19 1PL. Time: from 6.30pm. Free event. For more details, email

Tuesday 25 June; Spirit Circle to learn/improve mediumship skills with Cobwebs N Cauldrons. Venue: Bonlife, North Street, Romford. Time 7pm. Cost £10. Book in advance to secure a place. Details:

Wednesday 26 June; The Book of Shadows A History. Talk by Gareth Medway, author of Lure of the Sinister: The Unnatural History of SatanismVenue: The Moot With No Name. Venue: Devereux pub, Devereux Court (opposite the Royal Courts of Justice), London. 7.30pm for 8pm start. This moot meets every other Wednesday.

Thursday 27 June; What We Really Talk About When We Talk About UFOs. Talk at the London Fortean Society, upstairs at the Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX. 8pm-10pm. £3/£2 concessions. Society meets on the last Thursday of each month. For more details, visit

Thursday 27 June; Druid Order Open Introductory Evening. A chance to learn more about at The Druid Order (A.D.U.B.) at an evening with talks and a meditation. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.15pm for 7.30pm start. Price: £7. For more details, call Druid Order on 020 8659 4879.

Friday 28 June; The British Psychological Society (Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section) one-day event on hypnosis, Venue: BPS Offices Tabernacle Street, London. Tickets: £15. For full details and to book tickets, visit:

Friday 28 June; Spare - a one-man play by John Constable at Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.15pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets £10, advance booking recommended. For further details:

Friday 28 June; The Mystic Number 12. Lecture by Daniel Stone, author of The Dreamer Who Dreams You.Venue: The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Time: 7pm. Cost: £10/£12 Advance booking advised. For details call: 020 7589 3292 or visit

Sunday 30 June; The Thin Veil of London. Part-tour, part-theatre, Rich Cochrane and Robert Kingham delve into the mystical environs of Holborn and Bloomsbury as part of horror author Arthur Machen's150th Birthday festival events. Time: 6p-8pm. Tickets £12. For more details, visit: To book tickets visit the Museum of London website:

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