June 21, 2005


Thousands celebrate solstice at Stonehenge
(The Guardian, June 21st, 2005)

An estimated 21,000 people today gathered at Stonehenge to watch the sun rise above the ancient monument on the longest day of the year.[...]

Before dawn, King Arthur Pendragon, 51, the head battle chieftain of the British Council of Druids, led a troop of warriors - all anthropology students from the University of East London - in a dance honouring mother nature, whose effigy was held aloft and illuminated by fiery torches.

King Arthur said the summer solstice signified the mythical oak king, who rules the first half of the year, being beaten in battle by the holly king, the ruler of the second half of the year.

And you thought the Resurrection was a mind blower.

Posted by Peter Burnet at June 21, 2005 6:41 AM

Only 21,000? Europe must indeed be dying.

Posted by: at June 21, 2005 7:25 AM

My poor Arthur, a good Christian king, turned into some sort of nature-worshipping druid. Stupid anthropology students.

Posted by: Brandon at June 21, 2005 10:08 AM

The unhinged at Stonehenge.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 21, 2005 10:55 AM

Hell-bent on extinction are we? These fools don't realize that pagan cultures collapsed for a very good reason.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 21, 2005 10:55 AM

What does an effigy of Mother Nature look like I wonder?

The first things that come to my mind when Stonehenge is mentioned are Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and that scene from This is Spinal Tap with the tiny monument and the suggestion of dancing midgets.

Posted by: Shelton at June 21, 2005 11:17 AM

"led a troop of warriors - all anthropology students from the University of East London"...whose asses were promptly kicked by a sextet of elderly Catholic nuns from the greater Hoboken-Weehawken area.

Posted by: H. D. Miller at June 21, 2005 11:18 AM

P.S. (In the sneering voice of Edward G. Robinson in "The Ten Commandments") "Where your Mother Nature now, Arthur?"

Posted by: H.D. Miller at June 21, 2005 11:24 AM

am i the only fan of spectacle and foolishness, here ? what's the harm in a few loons prancing about for the entertainment of others ?

Posted by: cjm at June 21, 2005 1:12 PM

"In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, an ancient race of people... Da Druids. No one knows who dey were or what they were doing..."

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at June 21, 2005 1:16 PM

Last year in Grand Rapids, MI there was a Pagan Day celebration...so what? Let them have their fun and mythological fantisy.

Posted by: Dave W. at June 21, 2005 1:29 PM

Anyone who cannot viscerally "connect" with the Solstices and Equinoxes is alienated from the natural order, including his (and it's usually not her) own primordial essence. Might as well be a bot.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 21, 2005 1:42 PM

Wow. The sun came up.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 21, 2005 1:57 PM

Once more, David -- with visceral feeling.

Posted by: jefferson park at June 21, 2005 2:05 PM

I think he missed it ... intentionally.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 21, 2005 2:32 PM

David: The correct answer is that we sanctify time in accordance with the mitzvot. Daily with morning and evening prayers. Weekly with shabbat. At the vernal equinox and the beginning of spring with pesach and shavout. and at the autumnal equinox with Rosh Ha'Shonah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 21, 2005 2:53 PM

Also cat should read the previous topic:


Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 21, 2005 2:57 PM

I wonder if Mr. Pendragon knows that the ritual climaked with the sacrifice of the king?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 21, 2005 4:14 PM

Ed: (thank you, one of my favorites of all time)

Stonehenge, where the demons dwell
Where the banshees live and they do live well
Where a man is a man and the children dance to
the pipes of pan
Tis a magic place where the moon doth rise
With a dragon's face
Where the virgins lie
And the prayer of devils fill the midnight sky
And you my love, won't you take my hand
We'll go back in time to that mystic land
Where the dew drops cry and the cats meow
I will take you there
I will show you how

- from "This is Spinal Tap"

Posted by: John Resnick at June 21, 2005 5:15 PM

In danger of being crushed by a dwarf!

Posted by: ghostcat at June 21, 2005 5:27 PM

BTW, did the girls dance naked?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 21, 2005 5:49 PM

If they don't , is that the pagan equivalent of a so-called Folk Mass?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 21, 2005 6:09 PM


Evoking a mental image of dumpy, English girls with no muscle tone, bad skin and worse teeth prancing about the campfire to faux-Celtic woodwind melodies is not a nice thing to do at the dinner hour.

Posted by: bart at June 21, 2005 7:20 PM


Ian Faith: Nigel gave me a drawing that said 18 inches. Now, whether or not he knows the difference between feet and inches is not my problem. I do what I'm told.

David St. Hubbins: But you're not as confused as him are you? I mean, it's not your job to be as confused as Nigel.

Posted by: John Resnick at June 21, 2005 7:28 PM

You just gotta give Meathead credit for that wonderful film. My family must have watched it 20 times. (Roughly as often as Python's "Holy Grail".)

Different genre, but Reiner's "Stand By Me" was damn good, too.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 21, 2005 8:39 PM

This IS Spinal Tap kicks the living crap out of anything Monty Python ever did.

Posted by: Tom at June 21, 2005 9:20 PM

except for "Life Of Brian" which handily trumps "Spinal Tap".

Posted by: cjm at June 21, 2005 11:02 PM

I don't mind when you're wrong, cjm, I'll just correct you. Tap rules.

Posted by: Tom at June 22, 2005 4:34 PM

only in the dorm :)

Posted by: cjm at June 22, 2005 7:25 PM