Druids hold Winter Solstice ceremony in Portsmouth to mark shortest day of the year

TO MARK the shortest day of the year and the return of the sun, a group of Druids held a Winter Solstice ceremony.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 9:23 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd December 2019, 2:59 pm

The Genesis Order of Druids in Portsmouth held the ceremony at Hilsea Lines.

Steve Jeal helped lead the ceremony for the order, which has been running for 12 years.

He said: ‘The ceremony marks the return of the light and every day now until the summer solstice will be lighter and longer. It is important that we mark this with a ceremony.’

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From left, Kya Soper, Hannah Riston, and Drayce Beckett. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (221219-2)

During the ceremony, members channelled positive thinking and banished negative feelings in the world with chanting, clapping and a Mexican wave.

Druidism is a spiritual and religious movement that is based around ancient cultures, however, Evelyne Baillie, who has been part of the order for 10 years, explained that no Druid is the same.

She said: ‘If you ask two Druids what their beliefs are then they will give you two different answers.

‘We are a teaching order and so most of the people who come through the order go off and start their own groups because everyone follows their own path and is a Druid however they wish.’

The Genesis Order of Druids at the Hilsea Lines. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (221219-7)

Originally from France, Evelyne, who now lives in Portsmouth added: ‘The winter solstice ceremony is celebrated in a similar way to the harvest festivals.’

Amy Reynolds is new to the order and has only been part of the group for two months.

She said: ‘I loved Druidism and wanted to be part of a group that believes the same things I do.

‘I think that we are equal to the trees and the animals and the Druids have that respect for nature.’

Batholemew Harvey. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (221219-3)
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (221219-9)