A WRITE ROYAL RANT
Winter Solstice Stonehenge, December 2022
Photo, Katie Cunningham
As we pass from darkness into light and the days get longer whilst the nights draw in, hope is renewed and we see in a new year with all the challenges that brings.
We have not had it easy of late, what with 'lockdowns', with the introduction of travel restrictions, and enforced separation, rocketing energy and food prices, viruses spreading, well, like a virus, one after another after another and seemingly 'little' or no let up. Look to the news and it's all been gloom and doom.
Stonehenge Winter Solstice passed without incident in fact it would be fair to say it was uneventful. Uneventful because for many the Event, the observance at Stonehenge of the Dawn of the new season, did not actually happen.
Not because the Sun did not put in an appearance but because The Authorities refused to listen to reason and whilst closing ALL (The Droves) By-ways Open to All Traffic, within the World Heritage site, in order to give English Heretics the monopoly on parking and the 'right' to charge Pilgrims for such a right, which also enabled them to organise such parking and traffic control placing an artificial cap on numbers attending. Suffice to say such organisation was at best unhelpful and at worst down right dangerous and not fit for purpose,
Many pilgrims as well as many of the Druid and Pagan Priests who were to officiate were pushed from pillar to post directed firstly this way then on to other 'overflow' areas and stuck in the unnecessary traffic jams, whilst the Sun in deed, made it's pre-arranged appearance, not witnessed from the Sacred site of Stonehenge for which many had travelled great distances to observe but from the traffic Jams in which they found themselves or walking through the traffic in darkened night trying to make it in time.
I for my part made it in time by special public transport laid on, I would rather give money to the bus company than 'Pay to Pray' and ride my motorcycle, since the advent of Drove closures and the inevitable Parking charges.
Although I made it in time many did not including those who would officiate and had planned to take part in secondary ceremonies such as Handfastings and alike.
For those of you who do not know, we organise ourselves, and Marshall and Steward the vehicles, always keeping emergency access (a Blue route) clear at The Equinox's in March and September, as we did at winter prior to EH's Monopoly on parking and the introduction of parking charges.
We have never (unlike EH, who's fall back position seem to be to close the car park and advise people not to attend) had to turn pilgrims away and left to our own devices the Celebrations have since the nineties (before the Summer Solstice Managed open access 0f 2000 was 'granted') always passed off without major incident.
This, the micro management of (and utter failure) of the Authorities to place their stamp on what was and what should have remained. Organic in nature, a personnel Pilgrimage and religious and spiritual observance is indicative of what has been happening of late,with the state constantly telling us what we can and can not do, what to think, how to think and when and where we may or may not mix with our friends and associates and Spiritual Tribe. Freedoms enshrined in UK and European Law and Treaty obligations, Freedoms I for one shall not give up lightly.
The Cry is Freedom.....
© King Arthur Pendragon /|\