Forthcoming Group Events -
Pub Moots - these are held in a local pub and are a chance to simply socialise, drink, and generally have fun. Members should check the forum for details.
Hearth Moots - These started as our Development Group/Discussion Evenings, and have now been running for several years, after originally being planned for just the dark half of the year. Each hearth moot has a specific subject/topic for discussion, and will generally also include a meditation. See the forum for more details of upcoming subjects.
Open Moots New regular event! - These are similar to the Pub Moots we have for NP members, but are open to all Pagans regardless of membership to NP (or any other organisation). They are held at the Charles Bradlaugh pub in central Northampton - on the corner of Lower Mounts and Earl Street - on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 8pm.
And after just 4 months, we are meeting up with a wonderful variety of Pagans from the area. Roll on next month.
Rituals These now take place on an occasional basis, usually at a members house.
Our annual book walk and Lammas picnic continue to be held every year (despite the best efforts of the weather to disrupt them).
October 2012 - As it's the 400th anniversary of the Northampton witch trials, the Chronicle and Echo contacted NP to see if we had any witches prepared to talk about modern day witchcraft. Well of course we did, so a couple of our members met with the Chron's reporter, and we ended up with a great 2 page spread about modern Pagan witchcraft.
You can see the article by following these links (which are pdf files, so if you don't have adobe reader click the link a few lines further down the page) page 1 and page 2. Many thanks to features reporter Nicole LeMarie, and photographer Kirsty Edmonds. (Please note that pdf files are quite large, so may take a while to open - alternatively, right click and download to look at offline)
September 2012 - Once again 2 of our stalwarts have been on the John Griff show on BBC Radio Northampton, to talk about the Northampton witch trials.
July 2012 - On the 2nd July one of our members who has moved to the wilds of the West Country was interviewed on the Haunted Devon Radio Show about Wicca and Reiki. He has already been asked to return for another interview at a later date.
December 2009 - On Monday 21st December, 2 of our members were interviewed on the John Griff show on Radio Northampton about Yule, and about NP itself.
October 2009 - We have had another article in the Chronicle and Echo, this time about Halloween (Samhain). At the same time, one of our members was interviewed on BBC Radio Northampton about how Pagans celebrate Samhain.
December 2008 - We have been helping out the local press by providing them with information on the Pagan origins of some Christmas festivities. A couple of the members met up with a reporter from the Chronicle and Echo, and we ended up with a 2 page spread.
10th Anniversary meal
NP celebrated it's 10th anniversary in September 2012 (actually no-one can remember when it started, but the 1st post on our forum was in September 2002, so that was good enough for us), so to celebrate a number of us met up at the Red Hot Buffet in Sixfields for an evening of doing what Pagans like best - eating and drinking. Here's to the next 10 years.
2012 Lammas Picnic
This years picnic was scheduled to take place in early August, but the weather had other ideas. Rain of almost monsoon levels meant that Delapre Abbey was all but under water, so we had to postpone it (for the 1st time ever).
Coming up to Mabon, we finally decide the weather is about as good as it's going to get, so we organise everything, only for the forecast on the day to say it will be wet again. However, the ground was reasonably dry, so being hardy types we packed up a gazebo and had the picnic in the rain, drawing odd glances from the golfers on the nearby course who seemed to think we were wierd. The local squirrels, however, thought we were great. They dashed round to grab any scraps they could find (I never knew that squirrels liked cheese).
In July 2010 we had a whole weekend camping out at the Permorganics site. During the course of the weekend we had workshops covering crafts, drumming, and divining, as well as practical sessions on Tai Chi, Belly Dancing, and observing the local landscape. This is something that we would love to do again, though with Permorganics having now closed down we will have to find a new site for it.
Sacred Sites Weekend
June 2009 and we finally managed to arrange our weekend trip to see several sacred sites around Stonehenge and Avebury.
We started with an early trip to Stonehenge on the saturday morning. We had booked a private session with English Heritage, so we had an hour at the stones with no-one else around. And unlike when the public get access, we were able to move around the whole site with no restrictions. The sense of peace and tranquility was rather overpowering, and most of us at some point simply leant against the stones in private meditation for a while.
After that, we went just down the road to see Woodhenge, and Durrington Walls. It was interesting seeing the markers for the various posts that had been erected at the site, and the earth bank was much larger in diameter than I think most of us expected.
Next stop was Avebury, where we finally had something to eat. At this point, we split into 2 groups. Most looked around the shops, and then drove down to see West Kennet barrow before travelling to the camp site. The rest oif us decided to try a walk around the area, expecting it to take a couple of hours. We started off past Silbury Hill, before visiting West Kennet. The walk then took us to another wooden henge site called the Sanctuary, from which you can see the barrow at West Kennet across the valley. We then continued to Overton Hill, past the 'hedgehog's (ancient mounds with a lot of trees planted on them), and back to Avebury.
The next day, those who had stayed for the whole weekend then visited the Rollright's.
Yule at Stonehenge
Several members took the oppurtunity to visit Stonehenge for the Yule Solstice this winter, several for the first time. Travelling down in 2 cars, we met up at the car park in complete darkness to find that the crowd was larger than normal, and English Heritage and the Police were handing out flyers telling us how to behave without damaging the monument (as if we would ever consider anything else). Eventually, they let us all into the field less than an hour before sunrise.
At this point, we found that NP members were to be at the centre of the celebration, as one of our number was to receive his initiation as a full druid as part of the Solstice ceremony. Watching Peter receive such a blessing made a great day into an absolutely brilliant one.
Group meal at Red Hot
This took place mid-November, and was enjoyed by all who were able to attend. Roll on the next meal.
Samhain Party 2008
This took place a week before Samhain at a local farm. Amazingly (considering the field is at the top of a hill with no cover), the weather was just about perfect - only a light breeze, not too cold, and a glorious clear sky. It was a great chance to simply chill out around the bonfire, with veggie chilli and fire baked potatoes. We also took advantage of the henge being built at the site for a bit of reflection away from all distractions. And the icing on the cake was our purple pal managing to come along for a quick visit, after being very poorly recently.
Lammas Picnic 2008
We had our annual picnic at Salcey Forest a couple of months ago, and struck lucky with the weather. It was nice and dry, with a bit of sun, but not too hot. Including friends, we had about 25 people turn up, and a great time was had by all. We even managed to get to the treetop walk, which was a new experience for several of us. For those not familiar with it, it's a gentle sloping path that takes you right up to the treetop level, giving a view for miles over the forest, and even as far as Northampton. Already looking forward to the 2009 picnic.
Book Walk 2008
Well, I'm back home with my new goodies after a great day in London. Northampton Pagans made it's yearly pilgrimage to London to visit a number of esoteric bookshops to stock up on new books and supplies.
The day started early at Northampton station where we all met up. It was great to see our old member Alex and everyone else who came along. After getting the tickets we all piled onto the train looking froward to a day of good company and treasures.
First stop was the cafe for a hearty breakfast to set us up for a fair bit of walking. Then it was off to the Atlantis bookshop via Russell Square gardens. As usual Soso wanted to walk with the pigeons, we hope no-one thought she was harassing them. After Atlantis was Forbidden Planet. As we were heading towards the shop a cry comes from the purple one "I just saw a Stormtrooper" and off she went. After a photo shoot we headed in and dribbled over the Sci-Fi goodies for sale.
Next was Mysteries, one of my personal favourites. A big selection of books and other goodies. Then it was on to Neil's Yard only to find that the shop there had closed. After loitering around Neil's Yard that is full of interesting shops and amazing whole food eateries we were off to Covent Garden for a lunch stop.
All rested and fed we headed into the Covent Garden market to see the guy selling crystals and a general poke around at interesting stalls. With time to kill before we all met up again Gary and I sat on the steps basking in the sun watching the people go by, including a procession of Goths. Would love to know what they were up to!
Next was Treadwells, a lovely little shop with some very interesting books from the past. Then we were off to our last stop Watkins, another of my favourites.
All spent out and weighed down with our purchases we headed off to the tube to get back to Euston. Most of us had decided to wait for another train to come along to get on, but when the doors were closing Gary was on the wrong side. We found him waiting for us at Euston. On the train home we all had a good look at Courtney's Green Man tattoo after he stripped off his shirt to show Alex.
Arriving at Northampton station we said our fairwells and headed home.As usual it was a great day, good company, good weather and great shopping!!!
This took place at Lee Garden chinese restaurent, and was attended by over 20 members and family.
Beltane Bash in London
Arrived slightly late, so met up with the parade as it came into the square, and we all headed for the fountains (and with plenty of foresight, switched from brolly to hat - would be a bit difficult to join in the dance carrying an umbrella). The Bogies (drummers) were brilliant as usual (though the naughty fairies were missing - pity, as they are usually a good laugh), and the spiral dance started. Being at the front of the crowd, I was about the 4th person to get grabbed, so off we went around the fountains as usual. Then, whoever was leading the dance decided we should all get a bit wetter (or maybe fiugured we were so wet from the rain that we couldn't get any wetter), so through the fountains we all went. Not too bad, as there are about 9 jets, with just enough space to get between them - if you're careful. Finally we all gave up (totally knackered) and the parade headed off past the British Musum, heading for the hall. As usual, hardly any police needed, just enough to stop the traffic. Dread to think how many tourists have a picture of me, as we were photographed by what felt like hundreds of them, especially round by the Museum. Seemed to be more Japanese around than previous years, but plenty of other nationalities as well - so my mug is probably all round the world by now (what a scary thought).
The opening ceremony this year was done by The House of Learning in the Temple of Sekmet. Major Egyptian theme (no, really) but it went ok. Had a wander round the stalls, but nothing really caught my eye (at least not that I could afford, anyway). Then headed upstairs for the 1st of the talks - Introduction to Mandala making by June-elleni Laine. Learnt that a mandala doesn't have to be anything as planned as the normal geometric designs you see in shops, but anything will do - even seemingly random scribbles or colours. Turns out that it's the intention put into the patterns that matter, more than the patterns themselves. Also, once drawn they should be placed where they can be seen regularly in order for them to work to their best. Will have to try this out some day.
Back to the main hall, and it was time for the Royal Liberty Morris. As usual, the leader was in his big pink babydoll outfit, with matching bows in his hair. Plenty of laughs, especially when he got a couple of members of the audience up to take part. They were followed by Magic Folk, who are a pretty decent folk rock band. Unusual in that they use clarinet and flute along with the more normal instruments. Pretty good, so will have to check out their album which they said would be out in a couple of months.
Time for the second of the talks that I wanted to see. Dr Manjir Samanta-Laughton talking about Science and the Divine Feminine. The Doctor wasn't what I expected (short skirt, big boots, and a presentation speed that left the audience breathless), but all in all I was a bit dissappointed by the talk. Although it covered loads of cosmology and quantum theory, it seemed that her definition of masculine and feminine relate to matter and anti-matter rather than what we would think of as the divine feminine. However, her book (Punk Science) could be worth a read.
Back to the hall for DragonFly Moon - but they are stll setting up. The compere had obviously seen the tv program Braniac a couple of weeks ago, as he decides to fill the time by challenging the drummers to try to blow out a candle (107 decibels should do it, according to Braniac). It took a fair amount of effort, and finally 2 drums were placed on their sides opposite each other, but they finally succeded and were rewarded with a horn of mead to share.
DragonFly Moon finally come on, just a 2 piece with a backing track, but nice to see a djembi used rather than the normal drum kit. A little too folky for me (prefer the more rock oriented bands) but still pretty decent.