November 3, 2002
THE ISLAND OF WICKER MEN:Pagans Get Support in Battle Over Stonehenge (Hillary Mayell, October 31, 2002, National Geographic News)
Pagans, Druids, and Travelers in the United Kingdom are demanding some respect, and it looks like they may be on their way to getting some.
Researchers studying the conflict over access to ancient sites such as Stonehenge, a circle of stones built around 2300 B.C., have concluded that "alternative site users" should be given a larger role in making decisions about how such monuments are used and managed.
"Contemporary Pagan interests are no less and no more valid than those of archaeologists, preservationists, or the general public," said Robert Wallis, an archaeologist at American University in London and co-author of the study.
Adherents of Paganism, who include Druids, Wiccans, Witches, Heathens, and others, conjure up images of people in dark hooded robes performing scary rituals. But Pagans are a fast-growing sector of post-modern Britain and can be found throughout society, the researchers say.
Only Geoffrey Hill is sufficient to such a moment:
DARK-LANDPosted by Orrin Judd at November 3, 2002 11:54 AM
Wherein Wesley stood
up from his father's grave,
summoned familiar dust
for strange salvation:
whereto England rous'd,
ignorant, her inane
Midas-like hunger: smoke
a spectral people
raking among the ash;
its freedom a lost haul
of entailed riches.