Thursday, 25 June 2015
Stonehenge...personal thoughts from a Kitchen Witch
For each large event that happens whether it is the solstice at Stonehenge, Glastonbury Festival (any festival actually) or any large gathering of people it seems to be followed by photographs of the empty site afterwards strewn with litter. It doesn't seem to matter where or when the end result usually seems to be the same...a site full of trash. It is horrendous, it is disgusting and it is heart breaking but then look at what humans have done to the planet as a whole, I don't know why we are then surprised at litter?
I am not sure what goes through a person's mind when they throw litter, whether it is dropping their beer cans at a festival or throwing a cigarette packet out of the car window onto the verge...it is wrong whatever way you look at it. There is a simple solution...take it home or find a bin to put it in. Yes there are clear up crews at large events but really why should there be? It is sad that these crews have to be put in place.
Anyway...back to the stones...
I can remember being taken to Stonehenge as a child before it was fenced off (which happened in 1978 I believe) after that we would stop on our way to the west country and look through the fence. I have also visited several times as a tourist, walking around the outside of the fence. However I have also been lucky enough to have been inside the stones for rituals with private access, I was even initiated at Stonehenge a few years back.
The irony is that when pagan groups are given private access there are strict rules - no food or drink is allowed in the stones...
There was a blog post this week that got me thinking, the link is here http://quantumphoenix.net/2015/06/23/stonehenge-debate-has-it-gone-past-the-fall-by-date/
One of his points was about new buildings, why don't we see new structures as spiritual places? Why is it only old sites? And I agree... perhaps we should start looking at new places.
He also suggests that maybe over the years of tourists and damage and disrespect perhaps the stones have lost their original power and the only power there now is created by those that dance around them...food for thought.
Personally I love the individual stones, each one seems to have its own character but I have to be honest here (and don't smite me...I am entitled to my own opinion just as you are) but I think Stonehenge may have lost a lot of its magic. It has mystery in that we don't truly know what it was built for and probably never will but for me it is a tourist attraction not a sacred site.
There are many, many other places where I feel connected, sites that I feel are truly magical and they include my own house and garden, my local forest and standing on the beach in front of the ocean. I visited Dartmoor a couple of years ago and standing out there on the moors was seriously special connecting with the energies. I have been part of rituals at Knowlton in Dorset, the site of a Saxon ruin...it has the most wonderful energy. Every time I cross the border into Cornwall I get hit with the powerful energy that it has to offer. All of these places are special, all of these places have powerful and beautiful energy. I don't need to visit sites that are deemed 'sacred' all I need to do is step into my own back garden to connect with Mother Nature and the energy of the earth.
Again I have to be honest...standing in my own garden surrounded by beautiful plants and listening to the birds and the bees is for me far more spiritual than being packed into a field with 23,000 people all drinking, dancing and jostling for space...but then that's maybe just me being grumpy...
For me as well a ritual is made up from the energy of the people in circle, it doesn't matter where you hold the ritual if you have lovely people there with you.
Do we visit Stonehenge for a spiritual connection or do we visit it because of the hype? Because a whole load of people say that it is 'the place to be'? I wonder...
But please don't take this as a slight to anyone that loves to visit the stones, it is a very personal experience and if you love going and feel the magic then that is fabulous.
Stonehenge as I understand it is owned by the Government and managed by English Heritage - they have every right to decide who gets access and I don't blame them for fencing it off, something that was done as a measure to preserve the stones which were under attack from graffiti artists and people chipping lumps off to take home as souvenirs. We are humans...as a race we do that...