Salisbury, UK. Stonehenge has been back in the news recently with the arrest of three pagan women who are said to have breached access restrictions to the sacred site. Maryam Halcrow and Angela Grace, identifying as witches, and Lisa Mead, identifying as a Druid, were found guilty of entering the site without reasonable excuse. All have received 6-month conditional discharges. Grace and Halcrow are from Swindon; Mead is from Aberdeenshire.
Today’s column is by your humble weekend editor, Eric O. Scott, who has written for The Wild Hunt since 2012. The Wild Hunt is always open to submissions for its weekend section. Please send queries or complete submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Earlier this week, BBC News reported that a burial chamber designed as a replica of Neolithic-style long barrows had been designated as a Druidic place of worship. (The Wild Hunt covered the story in our regular Pagan Community Notes feature on Monday.) The barrow will eventually hold hundreds of urns, housed in dozens of small niches built into the walls of four burial chambers.
In 2012, Wild Hunt founder Jason Pitzl-Waters published an article called, “Saint Patrick, Druids, Snakes, and Popular Myths.”* To this day, it remains one of our most popular posts. Every year as March approaches, and even as March leaves, the article is read and reread and read again. With Saint Patrick’s Day coming up next Saturday, March 17, we revisit that article. “[Tomorrow] is St. Patrick’s Day, a yearly holiday celebrating Ireland’s favorite patron saint.
TWH — In the new TV series Britannia, a Celtic sorceress in ancient Britain draws a large pentacle on stone and casts a spell, saying, “Dark mother, send me a demon to do my will!”
Early in the series, top-dog Druid Veranm and his Druid tribe, who live in a rocky, mountainous hollow apart from the warring native tribes they serve, capture an invading Roman soldier. Veran performs some sort of ritualistic soul-sucking thing which causes the soldier to reanimate as a zombie under Veran’s control, after being tossed over a waterfall to his death. The zombie soldier shows back up in the Roman camp and delivers a verbal get-the-hell-out-of-our-land message to the general, Aulus Plautis. The general and Veran then trade notes back and forth by placing messages in the mouth of the dead Roman soldier’s severed head. Later Veran, who looks like a cross between Skeletor of He-Man fame and Richard O’Brien’s characters Gulnar (in the Robin of Sherwood TV series) and Riff Raff (in the Rocky Horror Picture Show), has a Vulcan mind-meld with Aulus Plautius, who has decided to seek the Druid’s help to go on a vision quest to the underworld..
AUSTRALIA — Druidry is on the rise. The 2011 census recorded an all-time high of 1048 followers of Druidry or Druidism in the country. That number is expected to be larger in the latest census data, which will be released in the coming year. In recent decades, OBOD and ADF groves have been springing up, along with individuals practicing more eclectic, non-denominational forms of the religion. Anecdotally, many of the statewide Pagan not-for-profit groups have also seen the interest in Druidry increase.