.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pinki and the Druids - Stonehenge 1984

Here is one I made earlier. Last year (2004 from memory) I found a web site written by two pagan academics who were/ are trying to mediate between the various Authorities and the pagan community over access to Stonehenge and other 'sacred sites' www.sacredsites.org

I started out trying to be sensible but then i thought 'fuck it, lets go for it' and re-invented IT / International Times for about the 8th time and ran off a few copies of a June 2005 Special Issue - I took various texts (including some from Vale's 'Modern Pagans' book ) and cut them up and stuck them together in a tabloid style - announcing that Stonehenge had in fact been destroyed by a feak accident involving an armed Cruise missile in 84 - and that the Stonehenge we see today is in fact a hastily erected replica. It was to prevent this cover-up being uncovered that the 85 Stonehenge Free festival had to be banned...

I will attempt to post a version of the IT here at some point.

I also had a go at a bit of family history. here it is. Enjoy.

Twenty one years ago this June the last Stonehenge Free Festival was held. Amongst the 40 000 [or whatever] folk who were there was Pinki.

She had been a punk in London, then a Greenham Woman. Later she would be a road protestor, a student of international law, a mother [four kids] and if she had lived, a grandmother. She died in 1996.

She was also a magickian called Tanith Ma’at, High Priestess of the Temple of the Black Flame and Silver Star. The magick she worked was Ma’at Magick. Unlike other forms of magick, Ma’at magick is future magick.
She got into this thanks to Greenham. If you can rember back to the early 80ies, it looked like there would be no future. She made it her Will that there would be a future. That there would not be a nuclear war. That ‘truth and justice’ [Ma’at] would prevail.

In 84 she spent most of her time in the Stones and not the Festival. She had done the political stuff, done direct at Greenham and Molesworth and Upper Heyford and Fairford and the Falklands Victory Parade, been arrested loads of times. This time she wanted to do something different - to take ‘magickal direct action’ to ensure there was a future. So she spent solstice eve in the Stones imagining a future. She was still there when the Druids turned up. Big problem! Pinki was not an initiated Druid.

Also she was dressed all in black... The Druids had to wait until Pinki had finished to do their stuff.
This really annnoyed them. They were still annoyed two years later when Pinki met up with them at a meeting in wood at Wilton near Salisbury arranged to discuss the “Spiritual Signifcance of Stonehenge”.

“ What were you doing?’ they asked her, “were you just out of it [i.e. tripping]?”
“I was doing my magick “ she replied.
“What kind of magick?” they asked.
“I will tell you if you tell me what magick you were doing” she answered.
“Sorry, we can’t reveal our secrets to non-initiates” was the response.
“In which case I will not say anything either” Pinki said, smiling sweetly.

As events unfolded, and it became clear that neither Festival nor Druid rites were going to be allowed at Stonehenge, Pinki often wondered if by annoying the Druids, she had influenced the situation. That by impinging on the Druids’ ritual, she had shifted their attitude to the Festival. Before, the two events had been separate, but now the Druids saw the Festival as a ‘magickal rival’ or even threat and so wanted to get rid of it.
Who knows? It is all ancient history now, except that twenty years on, the problem of access to Stonehenge and the problem of the Festival have not gone away.

Pinki and the Pagans or what Tanith did next

With some women from Greenham in the summer of 83, Pinki went to Glastonbury Festival and they stopped off at Silbury Hill on the way. She thought it would be a great place for a Women’s Festival so organised one [84/ 85 and 86?] Beltane 85 she took part in a Women’s Walk to Reclaim Salisbury Plain - from Avebury/ Silbury/ West Kennet to Stonehenge. Starhawk was also on the walk, and wrote about the walk in her book called ‘Truth or Dare’ (if you want to find out what Starhawk is doing these days, check out www.starhawk.org )

The women reached Stonehenge despite efforts by the army and police to stop them. That was May, then came June and the Beanfield.

Later that year Pinki stayed at Greenlands Farm, Glastonbury to talk about ‘The Future of Stonehenge’ with refugees from the Eviction of Molesworth and the Beanfield. She went to lots of meetings- in Salisbury, the one in Wilton where she met the Druids and painted a vision of Stonehenge which went off travelling and never came back. She also [as Tanith Ma’at] got involved in trying to organise ‘pagans’ to link up together in Paganlink.

Confusion- before and after the Beanfield.

Before 1985 it was nice n easy. There were Druids [who dressed in white and went to Stonehenge] and Wiccans [who undressed and didn’t go to Stonehenge]. To be either a Druid or a Wiccan you had to be initiated.
After 1985, when the ‘religious freedom’ argument about access to Stonehenge got used [e.g. by Pinki as Tanith] lots of people who weren’t Druids or Wiccans became pagans who -naturally- wanted to celebrate their religion by going to Stonehenge... The idea with Paganlink was that Paganlink could then negotiate/ demand access to Stonehenge. But there were lots of other ideas. Pinki/ Tanith went to meetings which agreed one set of ideas, then at the next one these were thrown out and another set agreed... and so on in ever decreasing circles. No-one could even agree on what ‘pagan’ meant.

Paganism or the Counterculture? Pinki got pissed-off with the whole thing. She went to Hackney College and then university, ended up studying International Law and then became a road protestor. Or rather did both at the same time. For Wanstonia [M 11 protest] she looked up her law books and wrote an ‘official’ Declaration of Independence’ quoting all the right treaties. She went to Solsbury Hill/ Bath and got arrested [for about 26th time she reckoned]. She wanted to go to Newbury but phsyically could not. She died in January 1996.
Arguments about Access to Stonehenge still carry on. But, if you check out www.sacredsites.org.uk it is all about pagans and archaeologists and heritage site managers The counterhistory, history of the counterculture, indeed the very word ‘counterculture’ has been neatly erased from Stonehenge.
But if it had not been for the Stonehenge People’s Festival the Druids would still be doing their thing. Stonehenge would still be stuck safely in an imagined past.

What Pinki wanted to do twenty years ago was to ‘move’ Stonehenge into an imagined future - a future which no -one outside of the ‘peace’ counterculture could actually imagine back then. A future we are living in now.
Is it possible to imagine a future in which there is a Free Festival again? To revive and renew Wally Hope’s vision of what Stonehenge could become for a new millenium? Maybe there is no counterculture any more, maybe everybody’s pagan nowadays, tame primitives acting out officially approved and academically authorised versions of the past as a spectacle for tourists?

AL June 1st 2005
ps if you wonder how I know so much about what Pinki did - I married her!


Post a Comment

<< Home