Latest: When Caesar came to Britain in 43 BC he wrote about local druids. Modern-day druidism got reinvented in the last century or two, from clues left by the Romans and Christian persecuters and from many other sources and imaginings...
There are many groups of Druids associated with Stonehenge.
1st November 2006 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, UK Key: MOA - Managed Open Access at Stonehenge EH - English Heritage CONTINUING DISCUSSION OF MOA FOR THE SUMMER SOLSTICE 2007 We were introduced to the Wiltshire Constabulary representative Charlie Dibble. Tim commented, what many were thinking, that it was a delight it was to be joined on the RT by Officer Dibble to which Officer Dibble was given a rousing round of applause although Brian Viziondanz did ask "Who's Officer Charlie Dibble?" to the amazement of some! (I do hope Charlie Dibble has a sense of humour otherwise I could be in Big Trouble!! Especially if he clicks the image on the left!)
From: "King Arthur Pendragon" email@example.com
Date: 22 September 2000 09:21
AN OPEN LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE PAGAN COMMUNITY From the Chairman of the Council of British Druid Orders 8th October 1999
Many readers will have been sucked in by the Press's coverage, and that unfortunately also includes that of the Pagan Press, of the troubles surrounding Stonehenge and other related issues.
Pagan groups throughout the land, and beyond, are galvanised into a "Them and Us" situation. The "Them" in this instance, are the great unwashed, the so called New-age Travellers (which it should be remembered was a media invention, that led Margaret Thatcher to brand them "Medieval Brigands" and thereby begin a legislative campaign of what can only be termed cultural cleansing) and the "Us" being the respected face of Paganism.
We now sit on our high horses proclaiming our good intentions and deriding those of the so called trouble-makers who spoil it for the rest of us. Yes, it's all right to let us genuine Pagans onto the Sacred Sites but let's keep the others out. Sounds bit like the Christians saying "Lets let the vicar in but ban the congregation".
The fact that we are all there for the same reasons seems to have escaped our attention. Yes, there will always be an element of trouble-makers at Sacred Sites, no more or less than their will always be that same element at football matches or political rallies and alike. We Pagans, should be the last people to tar all with the same brush or to dismiss out of hand other peoples' personal and spiritual beliefs for being at and attending a Sacred Site.
For those of "Us" who think of themselves as Priest Caste I would say Stand and Fight for your Faith and those who believe in it and lead by example. And for those of us who believe we are all simply believers I would say, like the so called priests, do not fall into the trap of thinking they are all alike - United We can stand, Divided we can not...
I personally have been attending Stonehenge, Avebury and other Sacred Sites for many years, as well as a number of political rallies and environmental protest sites, and if there is one thing I have learned, its the strength of commitment and belief across the board. Do not judge on appearance alone and do not brand all as like. Because some one wears their Robes in public and with pride, it does not make them a better person inside than someone who does not; nor does it make them a better Pagan or necessarily mean that their belief is that much stronger.
And all the time we are Bickering amongst ourselves Church and State are laughing all the way to the abyss.
Many of those we think of as trouble-makers are the very same Warriors we field in Battle protecting the Mother with their lives and risking imprisonment for their beliefs, which are invariably our beliefs also.
It is long over time to dismount from our proverbial high horses and stop being so bloody sanctimonious. It really doesn't matter who's gang is better than who's, for at the end of the day we are all in the same gang the Mother's. And it really doesn't mater if Our way is better than Their way, for again there is only one way, the Mother's. And it really doesn't matter who looks better than who, because to the Mother we're all beautiful.
No Coven, No Order, No Group has the monopoly on what is right and what is not. None of us can truly say "we are right and they are wrong", all we can say with certainty is that this works for Us and this works for Them.
If we stop looking at the differences that divide us and instead look to the similarities that unite us, then perhaps there is hope. Hope that one day we can unite for the sake of the Mother we hold so dear. That day is here - look around you - time and place. Why else do you think you have been called, for your own amusement?
The Time is Now, Stand and Unite or divide and fall, it's your choice.....
Yours in the Heat of Battle, the Peace of the Grove and the Sacred Space Between. King Arthur Pendragon Chairman Elect C.B.D.O.
CALL TO ARMS, THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
On the fifth of November this year 1997 King Arthur Pendragon, Pagan Priest and Druid Swordbearer appears before Southwark Court in London on charges relating to his possession of his Ritual Dagger and Ceremonial and Magical Sword, Excalibur
Arthur claims, should he lose and Excalibur be destroyed, it will not only effect himself and his sword of Britain but every other Ceremonial Sword and Ritual Dagger in the Isles
It is his vowed intention to rally at Stonehenge for a Wiccan Ritual midnight, Samhain, followed by a dawn Druid Ceremony on 1st November and a march on London. Just as the Arthur of old pulled the Sword from the Stone he shall pull Excalibur from the stonework and Southwork of London
In celebration of this he is calling for a day of Inaction, or national strike and public holiday. It is his intention to march with Bards, Jugglers and Minstrels in carnival procession. If you can't make it to his party, robe up, strap on your sword or atheme, have the day off, hold your own, for the millenium party starts here. The Sword and the Stones, Stonehenge Samhain '97.
The Peoples of Britain will celebrate throughout the nation with fireworks after his victory on the 5th of November, will they not?
Honoured Pendragon, Glastonbury Order of Druids
Official Swordbearer, Secular Order of Druids
Titular Head and Chosen Chief, Loyal Arthurian Warband
a member of the Council of British Druid Orders
Bard of the free Gorsedd of Caer Abiri
Swordbearer to the Cotswold Order of Druids
Champion of the Free and open Gorsedd of Caer Badan
member of the Ancient and Modern Druid Order
The Prose Tristram introduced an amusing and subversive new character to the Round Table, Sir Dinadan. Dinadan deplored his fellow knights' determination to seize every opportunity for a fight and though he should give a good account of himself when he had to, he preferred to avoid unnecessary encounters. Cowardice, he remarked, had the great advantage of keeping a man alive. He also could not understand why his brother knights toiled through dangers and hardships to win the favours of haughty. high-nosed ladies when there were plenty of pretty women of less demanding character with whom to enjoy the pleasures of love.
Dinadan had numerous opportunities for stating his heretical views because he was the friend and companion of Tristram, whose thirst for a fight was insatiable. Asked to help Tristram attack no less than thirty opponents at once, Dinadan said that one against two or three was heavy enough odds, but one against fifteen was ridiculous. Tristram dragged him into the melee all the same. Later, weary and sore from this adventure, Tristram and Dinadan came to a castle where, by custom, they could obtain hospitality for the night only by defeating the castle's champions. Dinadan said that if that was the custom, he would prefer to spend the night somewhere else, but Tristram insisted on fighting. After vanquishing the champions the two friends were comfortably settling into the castle when Palomides and Gaheris arrived, demanding a place to sleep. Dinadan would have welcomed them in, but Tristram said that he and Dinadan were honour bound to keep up the custom of the castle by challenging the new arrivals. Dinadan grumbled and mumbled unavailingly. In the joust he was badly bruised by Palomides. He stopped fighting, said that he had never met anyone madder than Tristram, except possible Lancelot, and rode away in a huff.
Dinadan is subversive because he does not share the knightly ideal of attaining integrity through struggle and conflict. The other characters regard him, with puzzled amusement of irritable incredulity, as a jester and cynic. For them, a knight's honour in inseparable from the duty and pleasure of constant combat.
Druidism is a science and not a religion. It studies the relationships between opposites: between Winter and Summer, Yin and Yan, men and women, consciousness and unconsciousness, force and matter.
We recognise no secular science as being a separate thing in itself, but study and teach principles which unify all subjects.
Stonehenge symbolically represents the relationship between Time and Space and all other opposites.
We use Stonehenge to celebrate the unity of purpose of all life; the coming together of consciousness and subconsciousness creating a unity of form. All groups are mothers, circular, like a context, an audience, a womb, a tomb, a room, a ship, a car, a vessel, container, a computer, the brain, a cauldron, the subconsciousness.
The circle at Stonehenge is a vessel, container.
The so-called Stone of Sacrifice is halfway between this circle and the Sun stone and is the entrance to this container womb.
The Sun Stone is a symbolic phallus on the physical level.
However all containers are mothers and even a man's body is a mother - He is as much a woman as She is and She is as much a man as He is.
All spinal columns are standing stones and any group of people gathered together is a stone circle and the relationship with your spinal column is the same as your relationship with standing stones and the mineral kingdom.
Just as your relationship with the vegetable kingdom is the same as your relationship with your nervous system and the same between rivers and springs and your blood system.
In our ceremonial preamble we place and collect from the four station points around Stonehenge the four material elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Air, and carry them to the Stone of Sacrifice, before going down to the Sun Stone to renew our purpose to support that authority which represents the needs of the whole to live consciously, lightwise.
Then, returning to the recumbent stone to re-affirm our intention to support all matter (mother) respectfully and, as on the physical level, like a group of sperm, we head for the egg, or Stone of Measurement, in the main circle.
The most important fact of relationship involved in the creative process is that the creative process is a losing game with Death required at every step as the price for Life.
Not having is the price for having; emptying is the price for being filled; winter is the price for summer.
Ideas must die into energy, just as energy must die into form to make the process work.
Jesus Christ is crucified every moment every sperm dies for the egg and renewed life. The past must always die into the present and not get stuck in rootless pride.
As Druids we live according to Triadic laws with their mathematical correspondence in the circle of the centre, the radius and the circumference.
The idea the energy and the form.
The Christian Trinity.
We repeat the miracle of birth one from opponents two.
The child of life is always whole (holy).
From its origin in the unseen beyond it enters the portals of the womb re-emerging as new life.
On a higher level the main circle is the skull, the subconscious and the light, the father superconscious, and the child consciousness.
The stone of measurement becomes the pineal gland, the moon, the egg in the womb.
The light entering the circle through the pituitary body.
Between you and me is the Sun.
Between you and me is a relationship, a purpose, a son, a child.
Between you and me is consciousness.
It is the relationship that is important, not the individuals themselves.
Are our relationships conscious or unconscious?
Are our children whole, taught from inside, or false prophets, taught from outside?
Stonehenge is like mother earth communicating with the Sun. Around it is a fence (contraception) so you can't get in..
It is a reflection of your own relationships with the earth, women, men, between your subconscious and consciousness.
What is the difference between expecting conjugal rights of sex with another person and expecting to enter Stonehenge? How do you enter other people?
In order to approach the medusa (mother) mankind had to have wisdom and the ability to observe calmly and clearly the reality of their lives reflected back at them - or they were turned to stone and fell into the mortal idea of Death (Mordred); our relationships with life fell into unconsciousness.
Glastonbury Order of Druids
See Rollo's letter in our June 2000 newsletter
As not everyone has had a chance to meet us personally, it seems a good idea to introduce ourselves so that anyone who wants to get to know us better can judge for themselves what we are about.
Our order came into being in May 1988 to offer a new age alternative to the way druidism had been presented up till then. Though it is not our purpose to criticise any other druid order, it was brought to our attention at the 1988 Summer Solstice that the then presiding order had not only lost touch with the people but with the whole situation at Stonehenge. We followed in behind the other druids and proclaimed an invocation from within the Stones.
The dreadful events of that day still ring in our minds, and we have vivid memories of seeing so many friends being brutalised as scapegoats for the authorities' mismanagement of the whole affair.
Our intention is to reintroduce to Stonehenge an ancient formula designed to bring peace to the monument in the form of an organised event, not necessarily a commercial one, but one which combines religious ceremony and celebration in a form which the authorities might allow.
Stonehenge was closed for the Summer Solstice 1989, but by then we had got together with various other druid groups to form the Grand Council of British Druid Orders, dedicated to the re-opening of the Stones by lawful means. On June 21st 1989 we held a Gorsedd on Primrose Hill, London, at which a petition for an Eisteddfod was read out and then presented to Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
The point of an Eisteddfod, at which awards are given for excellence in the arts while performances take place all around, is that ancient laws permit such events tio take place, laws originating from 1176 which are deemed to have been exercised since time immemorial.
In 1792 the Welsh Arch Druid, Iolo Morganwg, proclaimed a similar Eisteddford from Primrose Hill and it has now become the national festival of Wales, lasting a week, and occupying a site capable of holding four times as many people as Pilton. In addition to the traditional druidic celebrations and Eisteddfod events there are rock concerts and all the fun of the fair. It has achieved such success that the local authorities vie with one another to have it in their area.
Even though we have corresponded with Lord Montagu, chairman of English Heritage, in the Times, and presented our proposals for an Eisteddfod to English Heritage, Wiltshire County Council and Wiltshire Constabulary, we have had to wait. Wait it seems, until 1991 before the stones will be open again even for only a few modest hours' event.
Yes, even in 1991 it would be rash to count on more than a token event. It seems we will have to start small and "work up" to larger events only as and when land becomes available, either by direct cash inducement to the National Trust who own the surrounding land, or to other willing landowners further afield as and when they can be found. Such an event would then require sponsors to cover the necessary outlay to meet standard legal requirements or else a "nominal" entry fee.
Local government site regulations for large events require money, planning, commitment and time, but most importantly, responsibility on behalf of the organisers. We as druids are not in the position to bear the costs of such an event, even if we could get permission for it, but we are prepared to form an Eisteddfod committee, or joint negotiating front with experienced travellers and sympathetic members of English Heritage, Wiltshire County Council, and the Police, in order to promote token smaller events at the stones themselves with what little land is available.
This would entail setting up event spaces around the Stones for jugglers, morris dancers, poets and acoustic musicians so that no more than 500 people were actually inside the Stones at any one time, although many more could be entertained about the field, taking it in turns to enter the Stones as and when space appeared. This was those arriving on foot could be accommodated in a festive atmosphere instead of being excluded for fear of damage to the Stones as occurred in 1988.
But the most important adjustment we need to make is in realising the need for our own security. Gone, unfortunately, are the days of free festivals when such things did not matter. Now, if we are to have any more events at Stonehenge at all, even small token ones, we have to organise ourselves effectively.
Last year we advised people not to go to Stonehenge unless they wanted to be arrested. This year we can only say we think it's a matter for everybody's own personal conscience. We hope to have an event this year, but it looks like we must wait again till next year, although this time at least, the authorities have agreed to negotiate, but only AFTER the Solstice. Let's not give them anything to change their minds.
If this event is to take place at next year's summer solstice at all, we need to know now how many acts would like to be up front for it, and how many sponsors would like to put some cash down to make it happen. If you would like to contribute to this event either as a performer, organiser or sponsor, ring 01458 50924, but remember we're doing this for love so we probably can't expect to get paid
(from festival eye 1990 page 39)
photo of Rolo of the Glastonbury Order of Druids
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