Old Teen Essays
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Article ID: 4343
Age Group: Adult
Posted: June 16th. 2002
Witch Cinema 09
by Peg Aloi
Yes, I am happy to say I will be taking a short trip to England and, for the first time, Scotland! Thankfully, I have some friends staying in London for the summer, and an online friend in Edinburgh, who have invited me to stay with them, and this makes my trip more affordable and my itinerary easier to manage.
As usual, I will be meeting some old pagan friends and hope to make new ones. My trip with Berta in summer 2000 was incredible and helped me reconnect to a place I had not visited in over seven years. This time I will be travelling alone and staying in several favorite spots. Next summer I hope to return to Avebury and hike part of the Ridgeway (an ancient road, of which about 90 miles still exists) and explore some of the neolithic treasures in that area. But I do not have enough time to go there this year. Nice thing about ancient landmarks; they're not going anywhere.
From London I will be heading almost immediately to Glastonbury, where I will be attending a concert that a Druid friend, Damh the Bard, has invited me to: the Eisteddfodd of the OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids). Damh has a new CD out, by the way: we saw his band Spiral Castle perform at the Rollrights solstice celebration and they rocked! Damh is also a master of the solo acoustic brand of performance, as we found out around the small solstice fire later that night, when all but the most intrepid revellers had departed. For more information on how to order his CD, Herne's Apprentice, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. It will eventually be available for purchase in the USA, but for now you can order it from the UK.)
From Glastonbury, back to London for a day or so, then off to Edinburgh. Staying with my friend Scott, a man who has embraced the pagan path rather recently but with fervor! He works with a local ecological centre and they are having a midsummer ceili (dancing and music!) on Friday the 21st. Then the following day, I am attending an academic conference (Travel Writing in the UK and Ireland) at the University of Aberdeen, where I am presenting a paper entitled "Chipping Away at the Sacred: the Unintentional Damage to Standing Stones by Neo-Pagan Pilgrims."
This is an important issue for pagans and archeologists alike, as I found out at the ASLaN (Ancient Sacred Landscapes Network) conference in 2000 in Banbury, England. (This year's conference takes place in Yorkshire on July 6-7; sadly I cannot attend. But this is a great weekend event and of interest to all sorts of people, not just archeologists. The first conference saw clergy, academics, historians, pagans, and various students of earth mysteries all joining in concern and fellowship. For more information and booking form send an SASE to: ASLAN 2002. PO Box 333. Banbury. Oxon. OX16 4RX. Or you can hit ASLAN Conference 2002.
The preservation of ancient monuments (stone circles, megaliths, long barrows, etc.) is now compromised by more than just increased tourism and cruel vandalism or thoughtless littering: these days, well-meaning pagans and new age travellers will unwittingly cause damage to stones by lighting candles, using incense, leaving flowers (which decay and help erode limestone inside barrows and tombs) or burying crystals or other mementos. This has become a very passionate cause among contemporary pagans who work with groups like English Heritage, the National Trust and other organizations to help maintain these ancient landmarks for public use: and that includes for pagan rites and ceremonies. There are a great many websites which discuss these problems and many other issues dealing with British sacred sites in general. Try the following:
From Scotland I return to London for a couple of days (so much to see and do there I have no idea what I will be doing!), then off to Banbury and the village of Little Rollright, to spend some time at the Rollright Stones (one of my favorite sacred sites). Monday night will be a full moon and lunar eclipse so I am hoping for clear skies! (A tall order in this part of the world, sometimes).
Media Coordinator - The Witches' Voice
Monday, June, 17th 2002
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