A new programme of events in a magical Wiltshire woodland celebrates the eight ancient festivals of the Celtic Wheel of the Year, starting with Mabon and Samhain. ‘A Dance of Balance’ marks Mabon (Autumn Equinox): 21-23 September and ‘Celebrating our Ancestors’ inaugurates Samhain (Halloween): 2-4 November at Hazel Hill Wood, Farley, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 1AA.
An innovative programme of events, ‘Living with the Heartbeat of the Land’, is being introduced at Hazel Hill Wood near Salisbury – to mark the year’s journey through the ancient festivals of the Celtic Wheel of the Year.
Hazel Hill Wood is a magical 70-acre conservation woodland and retreat centre. Operated by a charitable trust, the wood contains sacred circles, unique, hand-made off-grid buildings and other special outdoor spaces. Created 30 years ago by natural happiness author, Alan Heeks, the centre runs courses and charitable programmes in resilience and wellbeing with an emphasis on learning from nature.
Agatha Manouche, Curator of the Heartbeat of the Land programme, says: “For over two decades we have been listening deeply to the rhythms and the heartbeat of the woodland and are delighted to offer this journey of events in tandem with nature’s cycles. These landmark festivals, following the earth’s dance around the sun, date back to prehistoric times, marking the seasons. Our intention is to create space where you can learn to live attuned with the heartbeat of the land.”
Mabon: The Autumn Equinox:
The programme begins with ‘A Dance of Balance’, a weekend event celebrating Mabon, 21-23 September (Friday 7pm – Sunday 4pm), facilitated by internationally-renowned yoga teacher Sian Lalita-Alcock and coach/vision enabler, Daniel Koerner. Sian and Daniel will be supported by Agatha Manouche, an acclaimed Indo-European medicine woman, who for 20 years has helped steward the wood and led retreats in celebration of Celtic festivals.
“Mabon is a time of completion and celebrating in gratitude for all that we have harvested, the lessons we ́ve learned and the challenges we ́ve faced,” Sian Lalita-Alcock explains. “As we complete the last stages of our harvesting and are truly with the energy of thanksgiving, we explore balance in our lives, dancing on the edge of the light and the dark in preparation for entering into the quieter phase of the year.” For more information on A Dance of Balance, visit: http://www.hazelhill.org.uk/mabon/
The next festival on the Wheel of the Year is Samhain, to be marked at Hazel Hill Wood with a Celebrating Our Ancestors retreat, 2-4 November (Friday 7pm – Sunday 4pm), hosted by Maddy Harland and Marcos Frangos, and once again supported by Agatha Manouche.
Half way between Autumn and Winter, Samhain marks the time when we begin the slowing down process. Like the leaves falling from the trees, we let go of whatever is no longer needed. “Samhain, coinciding with Halloween, is when the veil between the worlds of the living and spirit is at its thinnest,” Maddy Harland, author and Editor of Permaculture Magazine elucidates. “It’s the time when our ancestors are most present. In this workshop, we’ll discover how to bring our ancestors closer and connect with the ones that can help us manifest a cycle of transformation. We will also experience how the autumnal descent into darkness can nurture, empower and heal us, and we’ll prepare to birth new seeds for the coming year.” For more information about Celebrating Our Ancestors, visit: http://www.hazelhill.org.uk/samhain/
As the year continues to turn, Hazel Hill Wood will also host events celebrating the festivals of Yule (December), Imbolc (February), Spring Equinox (March), Beltane (May), Summer Solstice (June) and Lammas (August). For more information on these events, visit: http://www.hazelhill.org.uk/heartbeatoftheland/
For more information about Hazel Hill Wood, visit: www.hazelhill.org.uk