Southampton Group

The Earth Spirit Group


The Unitarian Earth Spirit Network is a part of our Unitarian movement. It was formed as a Pagan section by Rev Peter Roberts many years ago. However some Unitarians in the movement were very suspicious so the name was changed. The present emphasis, although still celebrating the solstices and equinoxes, has a more nature based approach, gardening lore, simple rites, poetry, singing and sharing. Many Unitarian churches have an Earth Spirit group, and there is a page on Facebook.


However, it is worth noting that it was Pagan civilisation that gave us the Egyptian Pyramids and the Greek Parthenon, and gave us the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. It was their scientists who measured the circumference of the earth. In Greece it provided us with the concepts of democracy, public libraries, and the Olympic Games.—taken from an article by Gareth Lewis.


Our Edmund Kell Earth Spirit group was begun in January by Ruthann Irby. Since Ruthann returned to America we have continued to meet once a month on the 3rd Sunday afternoon to celebrate the nearest Solstice or Equinox with a simple ritual and sharing. There are 8 main festivals which make up The Wheel of the Year, which represent the active and dormant states of nature. The seasons were of great importance to our ancestors and were celebrated as significant agricultural festivals.


This is not some strange group but we see it as very much a part of Edmund Kell UC. We begin the afternoon with an activity, e.g. for Samhain which is about celebrating the ancestors, we all brought photos which John put in the photocopier, and then we stuck them on a coloured paper surround and decorated it. During this activity there was much chat and sharing about the people in our lives who were important to us.


For Mabon, the autumn equinox in Sept, we painted dark and light pictures and planted bulbs, in preparation to celebrate the returning light in spring. You may have noticed that we are growing dark and light plants on the hall windowsill. We have certainly learned from this. Initially we watered from the top and the beautiful dark blue violet died. We now water from the bottom and they are doing well.

We begin our simple rite sat in a circle. Sometimes there is drama, story telling, music, sometimes silence and prayer. John made a cairn and encouraged us to bring back stones from our summer holidays to add to it. We put this in the middle of the circle with the chalice.

Of course, all this would not be complete without The Feast! We all enjoy tea and chat about 4p.m.


Many people, who find difficulty getting up on a Sunday morning or feel unable to relate to a set service, enjoy this approach to spirituality.

We welcome all to join us, including children.

Kathy Beckett

About tonymcneile

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