Stonehenge Midwinter Sunset

Photo © Firewolf 2019

About Us

Made up of people from all walks of life both within and outside of the tradition of Druidry, the primary purpose of the Gorsedd of Bards of Cor Gawr, Gorsedd Beirdd Côr y Cewri in Cymraeg, is to provide ceremonies, at the Midsummer and Midwinter Solstices, within the ancient sacred temple of Stonehenge to honour the ancestors, the spirits of place, and the cycle of the seasons, in simple yet powerful gatherings. These ceremonies follow the basis, with minor modifications, of the Gorsedd Rite established by Emma Restall Orr (Bobcat) and Philip Shallcrass within the British Druid Order. Whilst The Gorsedd rite as established by Iolo Morganwg in the eighteenth century would always meet at noon "yn wyneb haul, llygad goleuni", "in the face of the sun, the eye of light", our rites honour the particular way Stonehenge was constructed by its ancient builders, and welcome the sun's rise at Midsummer, and honour its setting in Midwinter. We trust this offers members of the Druid, Pagan, and wider faith communities an opportunity for focussed ritual, meditation, and celebration within a smaller group than at Open Access.

The two gatherings are very different, since we meet for the sunrise at Midsummer and celebrate the light and growth and potency that it brings; whereas, at Midwinter we gather at sundown to slip into the black cold of the winter night and reflect on the year that has passed and to learn from our experience and carry new ideas through the depth of winter in the knowledge that they may bear fruit in the next year.

We try to meet at sunrise on Midsummer's Day, 24th June, and at sunset on the last Sunday before Yule. English Heritage has, however, the final say on dates and timings and is usually extremely helpful, but, on occasion, finds it necessary to change our dates. The Gorsedd is open to all though, in agreement with English Heritage, we have to keep the number to around 80-100 people depending on conditions. In order to achieve this, we issue tickets, which are available from early May for the Midsummer gathering, and late October for Midwinter. Details will be given on this website and on our Facebook page. All requests for tickets must come through the Tickets page on this website.

Whilst initially part of the British Druid Order, and then The Druid Network, we are now, since 2014, an independent group, and, since Midsummer 2016, a dedicated Council of Elders has run and organised the Gorsedd.

We work within the tenets and framework of modern Pagan Druidry whilst being open and welcoming to those of all paths and faiths. The Gorsedd gatherings are made up of people from all walks of life, both within and outside of our tradition, who come from all over the British Isles, as well as from Europe and beyond. Many of these folk come back year after year to celebrate our native tradition, also bringing with them their own words and offerings to enrich the experience for all.

Our Constitution allows us, in addition to our primary purpose, to work to bring open ceremonies and other events relevant to the Druid and wider spiritual community within the context and setting of the Stonehenge landscape. These other events, when organised, will be notified through our website and Facebook page. They have been few and far between in the past, but we are always open to listen to the ideas of our members.

 

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The Council of Elders

The list below shows the composition of our current Council of Elders with their respective offices. The Priest leading the rites, or Pencerdd, changes each year by election within the Council.

Lisa ~ Joint Lead Priest (Prifardd) Lisa's flower I travel with the native spiritual traditions of Britain, working with spirits of place and the honouring of nature. I've been a priest of Cor Gawr for the last twelve years, helping to hold our rite at the turning points of the Sun for those who come to participate, and constantly wondering at this powerful place.
Kestrel ~ Joint Lead Priest (Prifardd) Kestrel's Feather I am an Animist. I came into Druidry through the British Druid Order, then joined The Druid Network being one of its first Trustees and editing parts of its earlier website. I was TDN representative on several bodies including the Round Table, ASSF, and PEBBLE. I have studied the "Living Druidry' course under Emma Restall-Orr. I have been associated with Cor Gawr since Midwinter 2002. I am a member of the Pagan Federation International, having resigned from all other Pagan groups except Cor Gawr. I have a doctorate in Celtic Studies and am familiar with medieval Welsh literature.
GreenFae ~ Treasurer GreenFae I came to Druidry in 2006 from an earlier following of Norse mythos. Books by Emma Restall-Orr and Philip Carr-Gomm introduced me to the path and I started following the seasons of the wheel. In 2007 I joined the New Order of Druids online, where I truly started my path as a "hedge" druid, later also joining the BDO. In 2012 I met Vixx (Christine Cleere), who was celebrant at our handfasting and in 2013 I was invited to join the Council of Elders of Cor Gawr, attending my first rite as one of the Priests at mid-winter. Currently I'm a Bard of the BDO, studying the BDO's Ovate course and looking forward to the Druid course after that. I'm an engineer by trade, and an artisan by choice. I'm honoured to be a member of the Gorsedd Council and still consider myself a "Hedge Druid".
White Raven ~ Scribe White Raven I was born in the Chiltern Hills and have enjoyed fifty something summers living with the natural environment of such a wonderful part of this island. I am known to many as White Raven. I have been a Pagan and a Druid since leaving home to make my way in the wider world. I have always followed the ways of the Elders of this land and of our spiritual tradition.
Danu Danu Forest I am Druid and traditional Wisewoman, who has studied upon the Celtic path for over 30 years. Both a teacher and writer as well as a ceremonialist, I live in the wild marshes surrounding Glastonbury Tor and am the author of several books. I also hold an MA in Celtic Studies. I have a passionate love for the land and for honouring our ancestral traditions, as well as the sacred sites of both my British and Irish heritage.

 

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The Gorsedd covers all its costs with the generosity of your donations, with the priests and organisers of the Gorsedd paying for all other expenses incurred not covered by those donations from their own pocket, as a service to the wider community. Donations are always welcome to help cover the cost of administration, website etc. If you feel able to help with some of these costs, we are always most grateful and appreciative of your generosity . You can donate by using the button below. Thank you!




 

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