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Beacons In The Dark

November 5th, 2015

Beacons in the Dark

Many thanks to OBOD member Liz Cruse for sending me this article written by Dodie Graham Mckay. It is about the wonderful Warrior’s Call event Beacons in the Dark that took place on the 26th September this year. The article originally appeared in The Wild Hunt Blog, an online Pagan news journal.

On September 26, 2015, an international group of Pagans banded together to perform a “rolling ritual.” As 8 pm arrived in every time zone, participants lit flames and encircled the Earth in a wave of fire, linking anti-fracking Pagan activists into one unified, global family.

From single candles lit by solitary individuals, to mighty bonfires attended by groups of singing and drumming people, the initiative did indeed span the globe. Participants were encouraged to place a pin on a world map, and contributions were recorded throughout Great Britain, Belgium, Poland, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada and the USA. The event page on Facebook filled with photos throughout the evening of the 26th, as people posted and commented on how they contributed to the wave of positive energy and lit fires of their own. candle-in-hand-big

This initiative, known as Beacons in the Dark, was organized by the UK based group The Warrior’s Call (TWC). This international network of Pagans campaigns against hydraulic fracturing and other forms of extreme mineral extraction.

One of the many rituals held that night was organized by Derrick Burbidge, a Druid from Chester, England. The ritual was largely attended by non-Pagans and was held at the Upton Protection Camp, an anti-fracking protest site near Burbidge’s home. For this event, an effigy of “Mr. Fracking” was created as a representation of the industry.  His pockets were stuffed with scraps of paper on which were written things that the crowd wanted to be rid of – money, greed, materialism and fear.  Then, Mr. Fracking was beheaded, torn apart and committed to the fire. His head perched on a stake to witness his own destruction.

After watching this spectacle, Burbidge said, “This was not about love and light, nor was it about attack, it was about standing firm to defend your land and your family. Nothing was toned down to make it easily digestible, everything was turned up to 11, and the people who came – non pagans – really got it.”

The Warrior's Call Sigil

The Warrior’s Call Sigil

Another UK Pagan activist, Janelle Rakow recorded her observations from the night of the Beacons in the Dark event:

As I write this beacons are still being lit. Before I left this evening to go up upon the Sussex Downs I had a phone call from a Warrior in Oregon. They are eight hours behind us. I woke this morning to FB messages from the Bently Blockade Warrior, Linda White, in Australia, their beacons had already been lit. Being Druids Jules and I held the ceremony with the blessings of Spirits of place and the inspiration of Awen. Many had not visited this beautiful location and were deeply moved by the energy of the land, the almost full moon and gently flowing river. As we held our ceremony, drumming, chanting, poems and deep words of hope and wisdom were shared. We toasted the Gods, Goddess and Warriors and feasted upon the wonderful offerings that had been provided. I’m glowing and humbled by the love of those I have had the privileged to share my day with. This night was one that memories are made of…

To read the complete article click here.

3 Responses to “Beacons In The Dark”

  1. Dear Philip,

    I hope you are well.

    I first heard of your organisation from the back cover of a novel by the writer Juliet Marillier, I was intrigued to learn about you all and druidry.

    I myself was born in the Akan region of Ghana West Africa and we too are forest people, I grew up with stories of magic, dwarves, priestesses and the wonder of nature. After then reading Penny Billington’s work I was struck again by the similarities of the cultures -we too have legends about true Kings, you have Excalibur and we have our sword in the stone and the golden stool, we also have myths and legends about mermaids. I am now following you on Facebook -it has been many many years since I was in Ghana and sometimes my soul seems to ache for the forests and deep green. Having grown up mostly in the UK -I have found a second home which enchants me. I have mainly followed Christian tradition with of course our traditional beliefs but have come to a point in life when again my soul aches for connection with the natural world, to truly feel the seasons and to celebrate each season outdoors and with other like minded people. I am currently trying to learn more about OBOD as I’m searching for a community of fellow lovers of the green.

    Thank you for letting me post and say hello

    Josephine

  2. Thank you for that posting Philip . As an Isle of Wighter I am now in touch with a group I didn’t even know was about.

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