Guardian’s Reformed & First Clean Up

| September 26, 2004 | 0 Comments
Guardian's Reformed & First Clean Up

On Saturday the 25th of Shedding members of the Odinic Rite gathered at the White Horse Stone in North Kent to rekindle a group, which had first been formed back in the 80’s, ‘The Guardians of the White Horse Stone’.
It was this group which had carried out previous work at the site, including building the steps which lead to the Stone.
Over the years the OR has had to fight some very big battles to prevent this ancient monument, this sacred site and this symbol of our Nation’s birth from total destruction.

The Rite has defended the White Horse Stone (from here on shortened to WHS) from the Channel Tunnel railway, which was not an easy task; the original plans had the rail line running directly through the WHS and so it would have been completely lost, and most recently the Rite has had to battle a mobile communications company’s plans to build a 15m signal mast and cabins next to the WHS. This last battle resulted in another victory for the WHS and the Rite. The overwhelming support that we received from members and non-members alike was wonderful and I can assure everyone who sent in a letter or e-mail of objection to the council, that your efforts were truly noted.

It was during conversations with Hengest OR in regards to our dealings with the council and various environmental bodies that we decided to rekindle ‘The Guardians of the White Horse Stone’, and harness the strength of feeling for this wonderful site into a pro-active group. Prior to this moot we had sent out a newsletter to every member of the Rite in the UK informing them of our plans so as many people as possible would be able to attend.

As planned we met up at a spot near the WHS. I was delighted at the numbers present, especially the number of children. In all there were eleven children and eleven adults and not to forget TJ, Wullie’s Scotch Terrier. After getting acquainted with each other, (a few had never met before), and having a welcome cup of tea we made our way round to the site.

As we reached the site it started to rain, so much for the weather forecast! Hengest handed out rubber gloves and rubbish sacks and the children were given some safety instructions and told not to pick up any broken glass, of which there was more than we expected and not to touch any syringes, which fortunately we did not come across.

Clearing carpet tiles from next to stone

Clearing carpet tiles from next to stone

With everyone kitted out with gloves it was time to start the clear up. We broke up into small groups and it was not long before the first piles of rubbish started to appear! The range of rubbish found makes you wonder why people, (and I use the word ‘people’ lightly, for I do not regard those who dump rubbish in this way as people) go to such lengths to dump their rubbish in a place which is really quite difficult to access without a 4-wheel-drive vehicle or the like. Wullie pulled out a pile of carpet tiles from the undergrowth next to the WHS.

Just down from the WHS Olivia and Heidi found a large number of Bovril bottles that had been dumped, which they cleared with the help of Neil. The list of rubbish goes on, from the normal drinks cans and cartons to parts of motor bikes, car batteries, curtain rails, oil cans, wire fencing and clothing. To find so much rubbish in such a relatively small area was surprising. It is very sad really that some people have such total disregard for our Mother Earth and can cause such pollution and wanton desecration of an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty (AONB) is totally beyond me.

Cleaning graffiti from stone

Cleaning graffiti from stone

Perhaps one of the most annoying acts of mindless stupidity and a total lack of respect for this ancient holy monument is the graffiti, which is chalked onto the stone itself. Sadly this has taken place on many occasions in the past and members of the Sunna Rising hearth also had to clean the stone on their Midsummer visit earlier this year. I myself have had to do so on several occasions, and on this visit what appeared to be the artwork of an infant, at least in mind, had chalked a horses head on the stone itself.

Fortunately whilst looking unsightly chalk is fairly easy to removed with a little water and a gentle bit of scrubbing. Why people feel the need to chalk on what is obviously an ancient monument is quite astonishing and again shows the lack of respect, which is now epidemic amongst even our folk. Earlier this year a mindless individual desecrated the Rollright Stones by pouring yellow paint over them. Such acts of vandalism are unforgivable.

Once the graffiti had been cleaned and litter stacked ready for removal we turned our attention to cutting back the Ivy. Ivy itself is not a problem, but the excessive amount of Ivy which had until recently taken over almost 90% of the trees prior to earlier pruning being carried out is a real danger to the trees, the weight of the Ivy on these relatively young trees means that in the event of a strong wind they are likely to be brought

Clearing ivy which was choking many trees

Clearing ivy which was choking many trees

down. Their roots are quite shallow in this chalky soil and several trees have already been brought down in the past because of the Ivy and strong winds. Ivy is normally kept in check by severe frosts and cold winters, but as the winters are getting milder each season the Ivy is spreading unchecked! We are delighted that there are also some young Yews growing near the WHS and again the Ivy was removed from these in order to allow them space to grow.

After three hours of clearing and pruning in the rain we had finished all that we had hoped to achieve and more. We broke for lunch and set up a make-shift kitchen where a meal of sausages, burgers, and chicken was prepared, along with an essential cup of tea.

After so much hard work in persistent rain, hot food and a hot drink were most welcome. The children stopped running around only long enough to eat and have a drink before disappearing off into the woods to do yet more battle with that most horrid of creatures, girls!! There was plenty to talk about over the lunch break, though the hottest topic of conversation was “who wants another sausage?”

After lunch we made a final sweep of the area before preparing for the Blot.

The Blot was in part a celebration of the festival of Winter Finding and a celebration of active Odinism. Andy and Leandra helped me form the holy Ve and Hengest lead us in the Rune call and response. Andy also read out the most suitable poem there is about the WHS, which also happens to be my favourite poem, which I feel say’s all there is to say.

The story tells of those who led
Of one who fought and one who bled
Of one who died and made his bed
Upon the White Horse Stone.

Within the sound of modern pace
In eyesight of the modern race
There sits in strong and silent grace
The ancient White Horse Stone.

And people who have never heard
Of how their land was won by sword
Place not their hand nor give their word
Upon the White Horse Stone.

But there are those who know its worth
This sacred site of Nation’s Birth
And celebrate the English Earth
Where grows the White Horse Stone.

The Gealdor was very powerful, the runic vibrations reverberating around the site as our chanting grew in power and feeling, the air moving with those sounds.

The Mead horn made several passes and many a good toast was made to Gods and kin a like. We honoured Mother Jorth, the Weights and spirits of the woods, our ancestors and our successors and finally the WHS, Hengest, Horsa and Odin’s Holy Nation.
When the Blot had been closed we rekindled the fire and warmed ourselves. Being able to stare into the fire in meditation even for a short time I find very moving, one can easily switch off and look inwards at oneself.

Before we departed there was just time to take a few pictures. As you can see many of us were wearing the “The Guardians of the White Horse Stone” T-shirt’s which we have had printed especially and were given to everyone attending this event.

Young Guardians
Young Guardians

L-R. Hakon, Peter, Odin, Heidi, Clare and Alice
Little Odin does not seem too keen on standing next to the girls!

Adult Guardians

Adult Guardians

L-R John, Ruth, Asrad, Hengest, Taran, Andy, Leandra, Neil. (some had already left when this picture was taken)

This had been a great day, this really is what active Odinism is about. Working together we can achieve anything. This event was not just about working, though plenty of that took place, this was a spiritual event, for we were honouring our great Mother and the Gods and Goddesses, the land Wights and our ancestors. We have given back just a little of our time and our energy in their honour. Being an Odinist is not just about reading the Sagas or the Havamal, it is about living Odinism, it is about feeling the Odic energy flowing through our veins. It is about being in touch with the rivers of energy, the God force which flows all around us, and through us. Being active within Odinism is essential, for Odinism is a living, thriving energy touching every atom of our being.

New Guardians T Shirt

New Guardians T Shirt

This small but very significant event should be an inspiration to others. I urge everyone to make every effort to organise something similar to this event in your area. If you cannot organise an event I urge you to support those who can. It does not have to be a large event; just a small group can achieve an awful lot. Let us know what you are planning and let us know what you are doing in your area. Being active is not hard, nor does it take lots of money, but whatever you do please let us know and send in a report to ORB, we really want to hear what you are doing no matter how small you think it is, it is important.
There will be regular cleanups taking place at the WHS and at other locations in the coming cycle. The event has been a great success and I am very proud to have been part of it. I cannot thank my Odinic Brothers and Sisters enough for the effort they made in making it successful, and for making such great efforts and journeys to be with us.

Hail to;
Wullie and family from Kent, John from Cornwall, Andy, Clare and Alice from Sussex, Leandra and Neil from Norfolk, Tyrsson, Olivia and Haley from Hertfordshire, Hengest, Fran, Hakon, Odin and Taran from London and Ruth, Heidi and Peter, my family from Kent.

Category: Events, The Stone

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