Day 21. Advent Descent. Celebrating the longest night at Avebury
On the 21st of December, my little family headed to Avebury for the afternoon.
We haven't been able to get to the stone circles there for a couple of years now for either of the solstices, and it was so wonderful to be able to return to this magical place as the sun headed towards the horizon for the longest night of the year.
I was overcome with so many emotions as I explored the site - a village woven around ancient stone circles and an earthwork henge.
In a way, we're lucky that the roads and village are here - it means the circle can't really be cut off from visitors, and you can wander freely amongst the stones, in contrast with Stonehenge where access is more restricted.
Every time I visit Avebury's sacred landscape, I feel as if I am stepping into a warm bath - there's something really watery about the atmosphere here. And the bowl-like shape of the eartworks around the stone circles adds to that feeling.
I did a perimeter lap, making little bits of film, communing with the stones, exchanging solstice blessings, as my partner and little boy climbed to the top of Windmill Hill.
I remembered a winter solstice in Malta, when I was pregnant with that little one, and then our first winter solstice here together, when he was a cosy little star fish, wrapped in many layers in a back pack on my back...
There are these moments in celebrating the turning of the wheel where I can feel the layering of time upon itself.
It's probably my favourite thing about marking the Sabbats, especially the major ones, even though my witchiness isn't Wicaan and I'm not a Druid... The wheel is something I find so nourishing in moving through the seasons and years. You don't need to be Pagan or even have a spiritual connection; it's simply a beautiful and useful way of measuring and noticing the turning of the year, the changing in the light.
Here's a little glimpse of some Avebury magic for you...