Photo by Candlesprite, logo by Paul Mason
Annually first weekend in September
Organised by the Hearth of Arianrhod
"By coming to the Mercian Gathering you state that you are no longer a spiritual consumer, but a dedicated participant" Damh the Bard
The Mercian Gathering Mission Statement:
- To honour the Old Gods
- To create a sacred space for people of all paths to come together
spirit of fellowship, reverence and learning
- To raise money for our chosen charities - £50,420 raised by 2013
At the Mercian Gathering, various tribes and types of Pagans gather as one to celebrate the harvest, to thank the Gods for their gifts and honour the Earth with dedicated seasonal ritual. We use the labyrinth as a pathway of transformation, first activating it with the harvest dance on Friday, drawing everyone together into a weekend of shared spiritual aims. Then, on Saturday, we move into purification and offering as we flame the labyrinth and attach our tokens to the wicker man before burning him and sending him to the Gods with our sincere prayers and blessings. On Sunday we will return through the labyrinth to take our blessings to the everyday world. It is a spiritual act, not a spectacle, and we would prefer that people didn't take photographs (we have an official photographer and pictures will be available on the website).
We seek to share our knowledge and insights with each other through talks, workshops and conversation. It is a weekend of learning where we respect the beliefs, needs and wisdom of others in an unselfish way. We can all learn, and we can all teach.
We are not a festival - we are a purely Pagan camp, concerned with performing ritual and sharing knowledge. There is no beer tent at the Mercian and there never will be, and we discourage you from bringing alcohol on site. Drunken behaviour will not be tolerated. Anyone found dealing drugs will be immediately ejected and given a lifetime ban. We are not a commercial venture, and we do not have many stalls, all day entertainment or any outside caterers. As Pagans we aim to tread lightly on the Earth, consuming as little energy as possible and leaving no litter to mark our passing, taking personal responsibility for our own actions.
Before you book a ticket, ask yourself if you are prepared to come in a spirit of reverence for the Old Gods, with a willingness to participate in rituals, talks and workshops, behave with unselfish respect and open friendship for others, and are willing to act from a sense of personal honour.
The Mercian Gathering is organised by the Hearth of Arianrhod and staffed entirely by volunteers. No one, except our charities, makes a penny from the event - by 2013 we had raised £50,420. Everything is free on site, including healing sessions and archery.
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Money raised 2013: £1800 to Stop the Cull, £3000 for the Beacon, £8000 for Warks Wildlife, £50 for Cerebra,
£20 to Greenpeace and £100 to the Red Cross Philippines Typhoon Appeal
Carlton Campbell Carlton Campbell Dennis Wright
Dennis Wright Dennis Wright Emma Ford
Linda George Cephalodidge Dennis Wright
5th, 6th, 7th September 2014
Booked so far...
Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age – Silver Anniversary
2014 is the Silver Anniversary of Vivianne's book Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age. Twenty-five years on, what has changed, how has Wicca evolved, and what is its future? Dr Vivianne Crowley is a Wiccan high priestess and the author of Wicca, and many other books on magick, Wicca and spirituality. She teaches Wicca and ritual magick internationally and is a professor of psychology of religion at Cherry Hill Seminary, Columbia SC, USA. Her monthly blog ‘Greening the Spirit’ appears on the Patheos Pagan Channel: www.patheos.com/blogs/viviannecrowley/
The Wild Hunt
An Awfully Big Adventure: Death, Dying, Bereavement and Paganism.
Alison Chester Lambert
Karen and Colin Cater
The Serpent Mothers and the Warrior Spirit of the Sacred Feminine
Michelle will share her own understanding and personal experiences whilst exploring the Ancestral Serpent Mothers and the Warrior Spirit of the Sacred Feminine - myths and legends, the kiss of the fay, the Lady of the Lake and the role of the serpent Mothers.
Michelle Axe is the Author of Beyond The Blood Red Cave, joint head of the Order of Gwyddon, organiser of the Spirit of Awen Camp and priestess of the Anglesey Druid Order. As a successful author, druid, witch, teacher and practitioner of indigenous magical and spiritual craft, a complimentary therapist, clinical and medical hypnotherapist and personal development and life counsellor, Michelle runs retreats, camps and workshops during the year throughout the British Isles. http://wyrdenweave.jimdo.com/michelle-s-books
Aleister Crowley, Saint or Sinner?
Aleister Crowley was arguably the greatest occultist of the 20th century, and certainly the most controversial. This talk will examine his magickal legacy and also look at the man behind the magus, as revealed in his magickal diaries.
Facing the Darkness
In times of crisis and depression we can use Pagan spiritual imagery, skills and perspectives and exercises work with images and stories to distract and encourage for short-term relief and long-term healing. From the apparent hopelessness of deep night through to the inevitable return of sunrise, Nature imagery, tales of mythology and Deity combine in accessible meditations, activities and anecdotes to remind the reader that they are not alone on their path through the darkness. Darkness and despair can lead to peace and inspiration… through the simple bravery of stepping forward.
Ron and Maz Dudley Smith
Drop in Dowsing Workshop
The Attraction of the Dark Side
Mermaids, Nymphs and Amorous Gods:
The Place of Sex in Myth and Folklore
Talk: Peacocks and Pussy Cats
A practical exploration in learning self-defence from creatures both real and spirit guides with Graham Butcher. Graham is a Stav Martial Arts instructor with well over 20 years experience, his personal Fylgia is a cat. He is also the author of Peacock Kung Fu, a guide to the four simple principles which real life Peafowl use to keep themselves safe. The Norse term for Animal Spirit guide is Fylgia. Finding and using your Fylgia is an essential aspect of Stav training. Discovering the four principles used by peafowl came from close observation of a friendly peahen backed up by a total of 40 years of martial arts training and being a Geoff Thompson trained self-protection instructor. So join Graham on the Saturday afternoon for a fascinating exploration of the martial and the mystical. No actual martial arts experience required.
The Unseen Folk -
A guide to wights, Elves and other spirit beings of the Northern Tradition
The Queen of the Valley
witchcraft and the coven of the dead
Sensing Energy - auras, trees, stones, crystals
We know that the ancient Druids had knowledge of the natural sciences, yet star lore is sadly neglected in modern Druidry. What hints have we to help us integrate an understanding of the firmament into our Druid practice?
Penny is a Druid celebrant with a wealth of practical experience, trained by the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. She has been editor of their magazine, Touchstone, for 14 years, and is a speaker and workshop leader on all things Druidic. Her published work includes a series of ‘Druid Detective’ novels, articles on Druidry and Dion Fortune, contributions to the OBOD Druid grade course, and research for ‘The English book of Magic’ by Philip Carr Gomm and Richard Heygate. Her book ’The Path of Druidry’ (pub Llewellyn) can be used as an informative guide or as a comprehensive study course in Druidry; her latest, ‘The Wisdom of Birch, Oak, and Yew’will be published by Llewellyn in April 2015. www. pennybillington.co.uk
Kid's story workshop
Kid's Craft workshop
Kid's Mask Making
Gail and Tash
Running with the Stag in Modern Time
Dave the Flute
The Origins of Pagan Music
John and Ann Harris
Folk song workshop
Ongoing wand making workshop
Ray Hatley of Barefoot Leather
Adult Leather Mask Making (£5 charge for materials)
Belly Dance Workshop
Making Magical Cords
Native American Ways workshops
(Held in the Sun lodge)
Music in the Sun Lodge
Susan Marie Paramor
Tibetan Bowl Workshop & Pagan Crown Workshop
Susan Marie is a Reiki healer and sound therapist. An informative and enjoyable workshop on how to play the Tibetan bowls. Bowls are provided or you can bring your own. Pagan crown workshop - a wonderful way to make a headdress for the weekend, pick natural garlands fashion and weave crowns as the stories of the green man, Pagan tales are told in the magical yurt. £2 for materials.
The Survival Bindrune
Spirituality - a Pagan Perspective
Are spirituality and religion mutually exclusive? We will explore our own spirituality as Pagans along with ideas from mainstream religions.
Qabala, Kabbala, Cabala etc. is a system whereby an aspirant can codify and approach all known phenomena - whether they be physical, emotional, mental or metaphysical. It's principal tenet is that a 'dotted line' can be traced back to our own personal divine origin; and that (given time!) this can be directly experienced through prescribed/implied practical exercises that are used in conjunction with its philosophy.
In this workshop I plan to demonstrate how the use of a French system of Numerology may be used as an easier method of learning Tarot.Using the Tarot Trumps in two decimal series I-X & XI –XX, gives us a method by which, with time, we can unravel the meanings of the entire pack. The system relies very much on the numeration of the deck. This differs from the system often used in the English speaking world; which is based on the Hebrew Alphabet and the 22 paths of the Qabbalistic Tree of Life, a method which is complex for the beginner.This method will work with any deck of cards although it originates with the Marseilles Tarot. People may bring their cards if they wish.
A presentation by Anne Patterson on the Warriors Call, Pagans United Against Fracking about how pagans around the world are getting involved in the fight against fracking and other forms of extreme energy extraction which poison our air, water & land. Come along and find out what we have done so far and about our plans for the future and how you can get involved.
Damh the Bard
Australia's premier Pagan Band
Kate and Corwen
Workshop - Bushcraft for Pagans, or how to tie things together and set stuff on fire with natural materials.
Photo: Zombie John
Native American Drummers
At the Sun Lodge
Non-profit cafe run by Mercian volunteers. Vegetarian, Vegan and gluten free food provided at low prices.
Temple of Elen
Free Healing Tent
Mercian Information and FAQ
[Please read before you email to ask questions that are already answered here]
VENUE - secret except from ticket holders. It is on a farm near Nuneaton, Warks, UK. Please respect this privacy rule. Turn off GPS tagging.
OPENING AND CLOSING TIMES - opens 10.30 am on Friday and closes at 7 pm on Sunday. No extra camping Thursday or Sunday night - please don't ask
Tickets include - all camping with your tent (you bring the tent), talks, workshops, entertainment etc. etc. Your PayPal confirmation is your receipt. Tickets will not be sent out till July/August 2014. You will have them by August 15th 2014 but you will not get them immediately. There are no day tickets or concessionary tickets - we try to keep it as cheap as possible for everyone.
CARAVANS AND CAMPERS - We have limited space for caravans and extra large campers, which means you will have to buy a pass for these so we can allocate space. Smaller campers (up to transit van size) can camp on the camping field with no additional ticket, though you should be aware that in the event of a muddy year, you may have difficulty getting off the field.
WHAT TO BRING - You will need a tent, sleeping bag, some food and a camping stove as the cafe is not open 24 hours. Please also bring personal toiletries, towels and any medication you are taking and fresh clothes. You will need some money for purchasing food from the cafe or goodies from the stalls, and a notebook is a good idea. You may wish to consider bringing a small fire extinguisher or a bucket you can fill with water in case you accidentally set fire to your tent.
CHARITY - All profit we make at the Gathering is donated to charity. We don't make a bean.
CAMP ETHOS - The focus of this camp is spiritual exploration through the sharing of knowledge and participation in ritual It is not a music festival and there is no beer tent; please don't bring more than a couple of cans on site. Drunken behaviour will not be tolerated. Anyone found dealing in drugs will be ejected and have a lifetime ban.
VOLUNTEERING FOR THE GATHERING - You can find out how to do this here (this takes you to the forum. Click the Mercian logo and scroll down to the volunteer forum.)
SUNDAY MARKET - If you only have a few crafts etc to sell, we have a Sunday Market in the afternoon in the marquee. You can bring in a blanket or pasting table and set up for free.
STALLS are booked by space (in square feet) and that booked space must be large enough to contain the stall, caravan/camper/tent and car or van. Stall passes come with two tickets and all other personnel or family must be paid for.
CHILDREN - are very welcome. We run workshops and entertainment especially for children and their parents. We do not, however, provide a crèche.
DISABLED PROVISIONS - We are in a farmer's field, it is on grass, and some of it is bumpy and may get muddy. If you are genuinely disabled, you can camp in the Events Field (still a field!) in the disabled area with a pass, where there will also be a disabled toilet. Please note, this is for one tent only (caravans must have caravan pass) and does not admit your group of friends and all their tents! Please do not take up space in this area unless you are genuinely disabled as you may be robbing a disabled person of the opportunity as there is limited space. If you have special requirements please let us know in advance.
PARKING - Cars can be parked on site next to your tent. If you are planning to come in daily, you must park on site, and not down the road in any farm gateways.
TALKS AND WORKSHOPS - Workshops start at 2 pm Friday and run till 6 pm Sunday. The day’s events are displayed on a board in the information tent and outside each marquee.
NO DOGS - People smuggling dogs or other animals on site will be asked to leave immediately and their money will not be refunded. This is a sheep farm. Please don't ask if you can bring a pet- there are no exceptions.
RUBBISH - Please take all your rubbish away for recycling. The Information Tent will give you a black bin bag.
NOISE - 11 pm curfew in the camping field, and 12 pm in the events field. Please respect your neighbours in the field - who may have sleeping children - and the neighbours of the farm.
FIRES - Sorry, no personal fires; do not dig pits. Barbecues and fireboxes are okay. Please remember not to use your camping stove inside your tent as this can be dangerous.
TOILETS - There will be portable toilets in the camping field and a really nice toilet block in the Events Field where you will probably be spending most of your time. These use eco friendly chemicals. There will be a disabled portable toilet on site - if you are disabled you can camp near it if you have booked a pass.
CAFÉ - The café provides light meals, including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options, snacks and drinks. It is not a commercial venture: we run it ourselves. We do not run it for profit and keep everything as cheap as possible. Any small profit the cafe does make is donated to charity. There is a limit to what we can supply and the hours we can open. It is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers who do their best - sometimes in difficult circumstances - so please treat them with consideration.
PICK UP SERVICE - There will be a free pick up service from Nuneaton train station on the hour from 11 am till 6.00 pm on the Friday, on the hour. (Please note these times.) A return service from the camp to the station will operate Sunday - book your return lifts at the Information Tent. NB Our volunteer cars do not have child seats fitted. If you need one you will have to bring it with you.
FIRST AID - Please enquire at the Information Tent, which will be manned during the day, or otherwise at the Dagda tent on the gate or see Don at the showers. There are also qualified first aiders constantly walking around the site wearing red high-vis vests marked with the words 'first aid'.
MERCIAN VOLUNTEERS - The Mercian site crew, marshals and fire marshals wear green high-vis vests with 'Mercian Gathering' on the back and carry walkie-talkies. You will see them patrolling the site day and night. Ask the guys if you need any information or help, or if there is an emergency such as an accident or fire, or even if the loo has run out of toilet rolls.
MERCIAN ORGANISERS - The Mercian Gathering is organised by the Hearth of Arianrhod and the Hearth of Herne with help from our wonderful friends. They wear green high vis vests marked with the words 'Mercian organisers' so you can spot them and ask for anything you need. They give their time and energy throughout the year to make sure that everything is in place so that you will have a good time. The only reward they get are your smiles! The organisers camp on the events field to make sure that everything is safe night and day, keeping an eye on the stalls, marquees etc., patrolling and keeping the generator and toilets running - even in the middle of the night - without disturbing other campers, and dealing with any crises that arise, hopefully without you being aware of it. They rarely get any sleep till everyone goes home!
SECURITY - The excellent Dagda come in to provide security for us and man the gate. They wear yellow high-vis vests with 'Dagda' on the back. You will see them patrolling the site with walkie-talkies and they are in constant contact with the Mercian crew. They can also be found at Fort Dagda on the gate. Please contact them in case of any trouble or disturbance.
RITUALS - The rituals of the camp honour the Old Gods, the season and the spirits of the land. A ritual is designed to transform the individual that takes part in it. Remember that you only get out of a ritual what you put in; don’t just be a spectator, but join in. At the opening ritual we activate the labyrinth and invite the Gods and spirits of place to join us in our celebration of the harvest, and ask them to help us in our learning experience during the weekend. You will be invited to decorate the wicker man with your offerings and prayers during the course of Saturday. You can also bring wood to contribute to the hearth fire, the sacred focal point of the camp. On Saturday night we flame the labyrinth and travel through it as an act of purification. This is followed by a procession to the wicker man when we burn him and send him to the Gods with our prayers and offerings for the coming year. [If you do fire poi, fire staffs, fire juggling etc. please bring your stuff and help lead the procession.] The closing ritual is features the mystery of John Barleycorn and a parade. Bring you coven, grove or hearth banners. Please do not photograph the rituals.
BY PURCHASING A TICKET YOU AGREE TO ABIDE BY THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Tickets include all camping with tent (you bring the tent), talks, workshops, entertainment etc. etc.
The bulk of the money goes to support the Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary in Nuneaton every year.
We also regularly contribute money to the Beacon in Nuneaton. The Beacon is an independent organisation affiliated to the Christian Spiritualist Society (Registered Charity No: 507420) which runs meditation classes, spiritual development circles, Tai Chi classes etc. with room rental available to people from all spiritual paths. The Hearth of Arianrhod do not own the Beacon and we do not run it - we rent a room there once a month, and this is our only involvement. We donate money each year from the Gathering to this charity as we feel the Beacon is a valuable resource for the whole spiritual community.
We have also sponsored several ME sufferers to complete the Lightning Process and occasionally made donations to other charities including £500 to the Dagda Jennifer Scanner Appeal and £1000 to Dorset Wildlife, plus donations to the Air Ambulance, Stop the Cull, the Philippines Typhoon appeal and Cerebra for brain damaged children.
5th, 6th, 7th September 2014
No day tickets.
Jen Asbury (tickets and treasurer)
Tickets will not be sent out till June/July 2014
Tim Jones (all volunteering activity)
For information on volunteering click here which will take you to the forum, then go to the volunteering board.
Anna Franklin firstname.lastname@example.org
Speakers & Entertainment
Anna Franklin email@example.com
Mercian Information and FAQ
Forum The Mercian on Facebook
Anna Franklin Hearth of Arianrhod Silver Wheel Annuals Lear Books Hwicce Bowmen
Mercian Gathering Constitution
Mercian Gathering Health and Safety Policy