Monday, June 21, 2010

Beware of Testy Druids at Stonehenge

Sunrise at summer solstice blinds any human about to be sacrificed on the altar at Stonehenge in Maryhill, Washington. Sam Hill built the astronomically-correct structure as a memorial to the young men of Klickitat County who died in World War I. I thought I’d greet the summer there, but I was not alone. I figured there might be a few oddballs in addition to myself. However, I did not expect what I witnessed.

In the dim light 30 minutes before sunrise, there were about 5 people in a circle holding hands before the altar. That’s cool. Some peaceful contemplation, I thought. Maybe some peace-loving folks praying for the world in their own way.

It got interesting a few minutes later: more cars and people. Some rushing about putting things in order: a burn pot in the center, candles at certain locations. Then, I see a few people put on sheets that could have been purchased at a KKK garage sale. Oh boy, I thought. No dunce caps, however. Instead, a yellow pointed collar, as if the dunce cap was turned upside down and tied around the neck, front and back sides.

A couple others arrived by motorcycle with an odd insignia on the back of the leather jackets: “Illuminati” something. Others were dressed with wool caps, jackets, and other normal clothing.

I’m angling for the best shot of sunrise, but sheet-clad priests have the best spots staked out. At the precise moment, the rag-tag group follows the beat of a drum and their Druid-meister into the circles that constitute Stonehenge. A couple times around, and they settle behind the altar. Then, they do their thing. Singing from the druid cantor, recitations in some language not known to me. In a language I did understand, I heard some stuff about free will, smiting enemies with magic . . . I’m shooting pictures where I can, knowing I’m probably making them uncomfortable, but they are in my way, monopolizing a public place.

At some point I’m back behind the altar because the sun actually appears, despite a few clouds. The little army troops around the circle again. The one motorcycle dude whispers, urgently, “No pictures!”

I say, “I’m not shooting you; I’m shooting the sunrise.”

The other member of the Illuminati motorcycle gang of two passes. With crazy eyes, he declares, “No pictures of the ceremony!”

I ask, “Do you own the place?”

I considered adding, “What? Are you gonna smite me with magic?” Then, I thought that maybe these guys got up too early and missed their medication. It might not be wise to further piss off people who are engaged in a ceremony that preaches killing enemies around a replica of a human sacrifice alter. I had these visions of two dozen misfits making me their target, much like the Illinois Nazis targeted the Blues Brothers. I don’t need a Druid-Meister ordering the Illuminati motorcycle gang to murder me and take my Nikon Coolpix. I did not want nightmares of a small car loaded with large Druid-Priests in their KKK-inspired-Mama-Cass-moo-moos trying to run me over while I’m bicycling. So, I backed off for awhile. Then, I got the shot above, with Druid litter in the foreground.

But if anyone REALLY wants photos of a secret Druid ceremony performed in public, let me know.

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