We all love a good celebration, don’t we? A chance to get out the glad-rags, have a good knees-up and thoroughly enjoy ourselves surrounded by people that we actually like? None more so than Pagans (I won’t say that I secretely think that this is one of the aspects that attracts many to paganism). Sacred Sites are perfect for this but should we really be killing them softly?
Us ‘Pagans’ are also attracted to ‘special places’; places where we feel that the ‘energy’ is somehow more profound? Places where we can feel as if we are emulating the actions of our ancient pagan (or Druid) ancestors, which in turn makes us feel as if our connection to them is somehow more imminent. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with wanting that. So why this blog?
One type of place that is obviously in the category of ‘special’ is the stone circle; it is obvious because it is very visible (it has stones; usually upright ones) and we know that it was put there by our ancient ancestors (give or take the few modern ones that are dotted about). This makes stone circles a ‘target’ for pagans looking for a location. We rock up (pun intended) dressed up to the nines (pun also intended), sometimes looking as if we would be more at home in the 17thC Palace of Versailles and we conduct our ‘Pagan Ritual’ sometimes calling upon a Deity or two to join us and afterwards we spread our picnic blankets on the ground and fill our faces (after all it is important to ground after a ritual).
So why is this blog called ‘Killing Them Softly’? The scenario just described is precisely why.
If you are hoping to connect with the Druids of old you need to figure that the ancestors who built these structures existed many centuries before the Druids were even a twinkle in their daddies eyes; we have no proof that the Druids themselves ever used these structures (they may well have done) but the one piece of evidence that we do have with regards to Druids in the British Isles (Tacitus) clearly states that they worshipped in groves of trees; so if you wish to feel a connection with the original Druids you need to find some trees.
Now that we have the Druids out of the way (as it were) what else could be wrong with our use of stone circles?
As a starting point we cannot be sure what the function of stone circles was (not 100%), many are aligned astronomically, many have burial structures within them – would you rock up on your Grannies grave for your celebration? We just do not know that our modern use is in-keeping with the function of the structure, especially with the performance of a ritual (and NO any old pagan ritual just won’t do), what we are actually doing in these activities, when they are inapposite, is adulterating the site; even more so if we are calling on Deities who are foreign to that site, and any Deity who isn’t the local (geographically) one is foreign to the site. We become adulterers of the very sites that are so important to us.
When we ‘work’ at one these sites (for whatever purpose) we use the energies that are contained within; how many times is it thought of to actually replace the energy that we are using? If we do not do this we are also depleting the site, we are weakening its energy, bit by bit.
If you wish to develop a relationship with a sacred site visit it (respectfully) without asking anything of it, many times – get to know it exceptionally well; over time you will gain an understanding of it. Research the site, research the area, find out who the tribe was that inhabited that area during the ‘Celtic’ period (probably the oldest information that you will find), try to find out who the local Deity was and what they were associated with. Learn from local folk-lore and local place names. Most importantly learn from the energies of the land Herself.
If you can’t be bothered and all of that seems like a bit too much effort for you, then perhaps you should be questioning whether you should be going in for these activities in the first place.
If you don’t do this then you are Killing Them – even if you don’t mean to (Softly)