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  • Writer's pictureSimon North


Winter Solstice at Chanctonbury Ring, West Sussex 2023

Set high on the South Downs overlooking Worthing and English Channel, Chanctonbury Ring imposes its presence like no other place on the West Sussex landscape. 

There is an undeniably special energy in and around this ancient landmark, making it a perfect setting for celebrating Winter Solstice. 

On Sunday, 17th December my partner Vicky Rainbow and I will lead a procession bringing together local people at this auspicious time to this ancient place. We will connect to each other, the solar event of Solstice in a place where our ancestors held ceremonies and rituals.

People have been drawn for millennia to gather in sacred spaces and celebrate both the Earth and the Sun in December. Perhaps this undeniable pull towards holding a Winter Solstice ceremony is written into our DNA?

Certainly the nature of Chanctonbury Ring inspired gatherings. Archeologists have found evidence of people creating something for spiritual practice here since at least 4,300 years ago. They believed Chanctonbury Ring was never a fort or settlement but purpose-built for spiritual practices. 

In Roman times a temple was built inside Chanctonbury Ring aligned to the Eastern sunrise. It would have witnessed many different rituals dedicated to different deities, among them the Romano-Pagan festival of Saturnalia upon which Christianity based Christmas.

At this time spiritual practice revolved around nature and elemental worship. There’s a likelihood the Chanctonbury Ring Temple was dedicated to the god Mithras, who is strongly associated with following the Sun in the form of the god Sol. 

Venus is often clearly visible in the winter sky even at dusk, invoking the Goddess of Love and Romans and local pagans will have also celebrated Diana the Goddess of Nature at Chanctonbury Ring. Our own Winter Solstice ceremony is based upon this history of recognition for Mother Nature and her love for humanity. 

We will include movement and dance inspired by the Earth and its elements, meditation to connect to our Earth Mother and a special tree connection practice to deepen into the beauty of nature’s winter rest.

They’ll be the creation of an altar for our Winter Solstice intentions and gratitudes, where we will gather to sing songs of celebration. 

All events created by Vicky and I are inspired by our love of nature and designed to bring like-minded souls together for community, celebration, healing and connection to the Earth. 

Join us at our Winter Solstice Ceremony at Chanctonbury Ring 2023 on

Sunday 17th Dec, 2023 11-4pm

Guided by Conscious Dance Facilitator, Creative Therapist and Soul Artist - Vicky Rainbow and Energy Healer - Simon North.

Open to people aged 10 years and above. Please be aware the event will start with a hike up a relatively steep track to the top of the downs for up to an hour.

We are offering three levels of investment (plus fees): concession £45; general £50 and generous £55.

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