BRINGING IN THE GODDESS
THE GODDESS PROJECT 2002
It was Ani Ambereye (here dressed up in gold) who started on the Goddess image almost as soon as she arrived at the Peace Stewards Camp and led the design. The material was the same, hazel wands, but the design was different than last year's, being more 3 dimensional with hoops creating a torso, head and arms which were only assembled after we had reached Stonehenge. Ani got inside the hollow torso, two men supported the arms and I chanted the Goddess Song (see Song) as we took the image up to our base on the tump by the ditch on the South of the Stones.
We then waited for the right moment, which came at around midnight. Once again Ani got inside, Tim Abbott and Paul the fisherman, took hold of the arms and I began chanting as loudly as possible, as we began to circle the Stones clockwise. We got a lot of attention. As we reached the other side of the Stones, the Goddess veered off towards the Hele stone where the team rested her on the right hand side of the Hele stone, facing inwards.
A BBC film crew were filming us, and a ragged musician like a street singer started to sing, "Oh come all you singers, you dancers...." was one verse, "Oh come all you healers..." was another for "the druggies, the drunkards, the schizos..." the TV men lapped this up and carried on filming.
The crowd were jolly and inevitably there was one young man who yelled, "it looks like a bleeding Christmas Tree" but it was pointed out, "Wrong Season Mate!" so I yelled "It's a Solstice tree!" and later as I wandered through the Stones I met a lovely Scottish woman telling me about the "Solstice Tree" and it seemed my off-the-cuff sound byte was spreading quickly through the site!
Now The Goddess set off again, this time heading right into the heart of the Stones where it was crowded. She was greeted with cheers but hands began to pull at her wandwork hands, I was crying "No! No!" as I was aware of the danger. But one man clung on proclaiming it was an insult to God and Jesus! If there's anything worse than a religious bigot, it's an inebriated religious bigot, in the dark in the middle of a crowd. "You've got your religion, and I've got mine!" I suggested, but he clung on, threatening the stability of the image until he was somehow prised loose.
I carried on chanting, making a defiant Pagan witness I thought, and the image, having been brought successfully through the centre of the stones, was left as an offering wedged into a trilithon.
"Gosh was that an exciting adventure!" I thought, pleased that we had done it, and brought the Goddess right into the centre this year. I rushed to see how Ani was, but she seemed very happy, I asked her later how she had felt while all that fracas was going on, she said she had felt "protected". Not only armoured by the woodwork of the image, but stoutly guarded perhaps. In terms of the purpose of the Goddess Project, I couldn't help thinking wryly, how some brave men had escorted the Goddess into the Stones to meet the patriarchal forces lurking within!
And feeling that exciting theatre of that kind needed developing and repeating. Thanks to Paul Aitken for the pictures!
THE IMAGE 2001
A small group of women built the image, they began with some twigs but along the way they explained to me, something happened, a spirit arrived to inhabit their work. Three red roses were donated at the end, for her nipples and clitoris, and the image was moved slowly, on a car roof rack, wrapped in a tarp, to the Stonehenge temporary car park, where members of the Peace Stewards group, and volunteers from the crowd, carried the Greenwood Goddess in procession to the Stones about 8:30PM.
There was a circle of druids in the stones doing a recitation. I said "We're doing a recitation too" but I was told this was confrontational. "Oh so we have to shut up!" I said. However the judgement of the women had to prevail in this matter, they had built the Goddess, and what is more, they had invoked her spirit. So she remained propped on a trilithon in the early part of the night.
At about 3AM as the first light of dawn began to appear we took her round the site from her trilithon to our Peace Stewards Circle on the magic tump at the South side of the henge (which technically is the name of the ditch). This was about half a circuit of the site, then we took her round again one full circuit before leading her to rest by another trilithon. The Goddess was loved and offerings of flowers were left at her feet.
Although The Goddess did not get right into the Stones I was pleased with what was accomplished this year. I expect we will be back, with more preparation and more support, next year.
For what it's worth, when I read a week or so before the Solstice that you were looking for "Stewards of Peace and Goddess Energies" to take into the stones, I immediately volunteered. As things would turn out, I didn't get to "find you or the rest of the campaign group" as planned, but I WAS INDEED in the dead center of the circle for most of the entire evening; Since there was NO PERCEPTION OF WHO OR WHAT I AM, I went unnoticed. I was there in total peace as planned. And since I was unable to make direct contact with the Goddess discussions as perceived (going into the stones with effigies, etc), I was wearing a vanilla-white lace Goddess dress bought specifically to bring out the Goddess energy within; I was there with a Lemurian Crystal entow; a large Amethyst crystal and my body was to be centered and aligned for balance between male/female energies; to Love and Honor ALL OF THOSE WHO CARED TO WORSHIP in their own manner; and to be the peace Goddess that perhaps you were hoping would go into the stones. I did not announce myself NOR bring attention to myself. I went in there with total LOVE....well, for EVERYTHING. NO, we didn't meet face to face, but if you look at the digital pictures that I took, you'll see I was DEAD CENTER........so there was someone in there working it - at least for a peaceful event. I believe HIGHLY in what you're trying to do here.....I couldn't agree with you more below. I see and understand the fragility of the entire situation. This is potent and sacred to many......and always and forever will be.
I gave it my best shot. On a few occasions, there were "discussions" with those around me....including being part of the group that tried to talk the gentleman down off the stones (I was just below him). I saw and felt it "all"....and understand now, why it is so controversial.
[Thank you Jaide... Communicate with firstname.lastname@example.org ]
THE INTRODUCTION TO 2001Because:
Stonehenge has been a site of confrontation for many years.
There are silly unneccessary fears & rivalries for leadership.
There is perceived to be a masculine domination of the energies.
Ritual has to appeal to the general public if it is to happen.
We are proposing in 2001 to "Bring the Goddess into the Stones".
One part of this is creating one or more withy and paper effigies to be
carried on poles in procession. This only symbolises the introduction
of the Goddess Spirit and feminine energies into the theatre of
Stonehenge. The main part of this will be encouraging the initiative of
women of power, of individual women and groups of women, to play a role in
"Bringing in the Goddess".
According to pagan craft, the result of this program will be to create a magical polarity between feminine and masculine energies which will then unite in the climax of the Solstice. An "Alchemical Wedding".
At least one Effigy will be constructed at the Peace Stewards camp and those wishing to help should let the Secretary know and should also sign on as Peace Stewards.
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