Druid festivities at the Tower..
City Druids line up to put a spring in their step
By Sam Coates - Times Online
It was an incongruous sight: 40 hooded Druids staging a fertility ritual next to the Tower of London, while customers from an adjacent fast-food restaurant looked on in bewilderment.
Yesterday was the spring equinox, one of two dates each year when day and night are of equal length. Since the earliest times this has been celebrated by pagan festivals, with Druids and others gathering round the bonfire to chant, sing, dance and leap through the flames, while praying for a bountiful harvest.
Festivities were held around the country yesterday, including a dawn celebration at Stonehenge. But perhaps the most bizarre was held in the City. Here the Ancient Druid Order, a pagan group based in the financial heart of London which includes businessmen, a dancer, an osteopath and an alternative therapist, donned their white cloaks to take part in the traditional ceremony, begun in London in 1717.
But this ritual came with a modern twist: gone was the bonfire and the seed-planting, while the long flowing robes barely covered the participants' jeans and hotpants. Led by David Loxley, the Chief Druid, the group assembled next to Tower Hill Underground Station to call for peace and prosperity, and mourn the passing of the dead.
At the heart of the ritual was a woman representing the goddess of spring, dressed in a long yellow robe, bringing seeds and flowers to present to the Chief Druid. These were sprinkled liberally on the concrete floor. After this exchange, Mr Loxley, who works in an alternative therapy store, said: "Prepare for the day when that seed in you shall live and grow — when the influence and the power of the All-Excelling shall shine forth in your life."
The spring equinox of the Ancient Druid Order is held in the City of London to demonstrate pagans' belief that the City will eventually revert its "pre-metropolis natural state".
Posted by Rhiannon
22nd March 2005ce
Edited 28th April 2005ce