On the 9th Lenting the Guardians of the White Horse Stone gathered for the 8th Guardians event.
Previously, I had reported that in late Fogmoon last year we had planted around 30 hedge plants which we had obtained free from the charity Woodland Trust. After that event, I had ordered a further 30 hedge plants to complete our project to revitalise the vegetation of the woodland around the WHS.
We met up and made our way to the WHS and got straight into the work. I wanted the children to get as involved as possible with the planting, so Broni and Claire supervised the planting of some ferns she had kindly brought along with her. Whilst the children started to do some planting the adults split into two groups, one going off to clear any rubbish from the area and the wider area and the second group set about repairing the log reinforcement, which had been disturbed, and building a natural retaining wall for the side of the steps. These were all made from fallen wood recovered from the surrounding area, thus utilising only natural materials. In time this will naturally break down, but will not pollute the soil in anyway. We are very keen to ensure that the work we do does not have a detrimental effect on the area in anyway. The hedging plants we use are all native.
With one bank repaired and the other newly constructed it was time to break for food and the BBQ was lit and the kettle put on. No working party could be considered without a cup of tea! As we prepared for lunch two people came to visit the WHS and so we explained a little of the mythology and history of the area, as well as explaining what we were doing. We must have made a good impression on them as I am delighted to say that Keith joined the OR later that day!
With lunch done we set about getting the hedging plants in. Everyone got stuck in and before long we had the 30 planted. We fitted the rabbit guards and supports to give our young plants a chance to take root. We watered the plants in well and I have to say that mother nature has done a great job of watering them in still further since we planted them. Right now it looks a little strange with all the rabbit guards, but as the plants grow and take root we will be able to remove the rabbit guards and may even need to thin the plants out, you never know if some will not take root and die. The Holly’s (Heimdalls tree) look especially good either side of the steps up to the WHS.
With the work completed, it was time to clear the site of tools, etc… and prepare for the Egg hunt and our Blot. Fran and Ruth went off and hid the eggs (chocolate ones) in the wood. The kids wasted no time searching for the eggs and once again the eagle-eyed Odin found the most eggs. We gathered all the eggs in then divided them out evenly and made sure that egg hiders did not go without, though I think one or two eggs may have been eaten in the hiding process!
We decided upon holding a Blot to Ostara. The first signs of Spring were showing, and we wanted her blessing for the new plants. We started the blot by defining the Holy Ve, warding it and then calling the holy energy of the runes into the sacred Ve. When it came to lighting the fire though it was very reluctant to start and no amount of coercing from Hengest seemed to help, so I decided it was time to call upon Kenaz for assistance. As we started to chant Kenaz and the momentum built up, so the fire took hold and soon the fire was roaring with energy. This is not the first time we have called upon Kenaz in this way and have been answered with a roaring fire. This in itself was quite a powerful moment, but just as the flames were gaining strength we had a reminder that whilst we were honouring Ostara, Ullr was not about to give way just yet! No sooner had we finish chanting Kenaz than there was a hail storm. Just as had happened a year ago we were treated to a real combination of Fire and Ice. The fire continued to roar and the hail stones rained down. Naturally we continued with the Blot despite getting pretty well soaked. The day had energised us so much and along with these events during the blot I felt compelled to create a cone of power. The hail stones continued to fall and the fire roared, so intense had the fire become that it was almost impossible to keep our hands above the flames.
With our gealdor completed we honoured our Gods, comrades, family and absent friends with our toasts. The horn was passed round twice and then a libation offered to Hengest and Horsa, our ancestors and the High Ones and finally to Mother Jorth and Ostara. We had already honoured Ullr, how could we forget the Winter God, especially after giving us the Hail Storm?
Well once again it had been a very productive and enjoyable day, though hard work, it’s always good to be with your own folk and to have achieved such good work. The children had played as well as worked and it’s great to see them enjoying themselves. A very big thank you to Brony and Claire for supervising the children’s planting and for bringing along the ferns and rabbit guards. Thanks to the rest of the Guardians that gave up their time and helped to restore the vegetation and to remove yet more rubbish! Your efforts are greatly appreciated and I hope your work inspires others to take up the challenge and do something to honour our great Mother, Mother Jorth.
Whilst checking on the WHS recently I spent sometime talking to a pagan chap who was walking in the area, He informed me that the local council had applied to extend the AOANB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and SSSI (Special Site of Scientific Interest) of Boxley Warren to incorporate the White Horse Stone. This will offer more official protection for the Stone itself and the area, and so we hope no further attempts from the mobile phone companies, though I suspect this will not be the case, they are pretty persistent and I am expecting another attempt in the future, especially when the optical cable is still sitting there waiting to be connected to something!
I have no doubt that the work of the Guardians has left a lasting and very positive impression on many people. The threads of Wyrds web interconnect in infinite ways and the actions of the Guardians has vibrated the web in such a positive way that even those that would never give Odinism a thought cannot help but be aware of the wonderful work that the Guardians have carried out.
Hail the Guardians!
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