Do you have any fucking idea what it’s like to be a Druid, knowing the sum total of public awareness of your entire fucking civilization is that fucking burnout festival Stonehenge? Like that’s the only thing Druids ever do, is drag bluestones out to Salisbury and wait for the sun to rise before killing our parents and binding them in mistletoe. Fuck you. Do you have any idea how much peat I farmed this season? I have a fucking job. I can’t just knock off to go hang out on a plain all summer trying to convince Heckrath the Bloodstained that I can “definitely, definitely feel” that this slab of stone is slightly warmer than all the others. I can set a guy wrapped in willow branches on fire in my own house, thank you very much. I don’t need to haul my robe-bedecked ass four hundred miles south for that.
The rest of us LOVE it when they go off Hengeing. It’s fucking amazing. The altar-stone is finally free, so we can sacrifice whenever we want. Literally anything. We call it Stonehengeötterdämmerung, we get so excited when they finally leave town and give us a week’s peace. The Circle of Gathering is fucking deserted. You don’t even need reservations. It’s incredible. Last year I went just to sit and enjoy the silence; I didn’t even have any ancestors I wanted the sibyl to awaken for me. I chatted for a while with Skethral the Mutilated, but we didn’t really talk about anything in particular. Just because we could, you know? A hell of a lot more fun than trying to brush off greyflies down on the Salisbury Plain with ten thousand other unwashed Old Sarum groupies who claim to be directly related to Hecate. Sure thing, buddy.
Eiracht the Munificent has etched XVI Reasons You’re Glad You’re Not Hengeing onto the Baleful Oak at the edge of the Drowned Zone, for those of you looking for a few home truths and belly laughs.
Sure, I used to go to Stonehenge. Back when it was Stonehenge. Not Free-Form-Standing-Monoliths-That-Have-To-Line-Up-With-The-Goddamn-Solstice-Sunset Henge. Just a few stones and a couple of solid friends under the witch-lights on Corla the Baker’s beach, that’s all we needed. A few stones and a few friends and a basin to catch the blood in. Not like now, when you have to reserve your coracle from Fionn mac Cumhaill about six festivals in advance. It’s all about who you know now. Total bullshit.
I just hope that one of these years the Hengers are all going to stay down in Salisbury and leave the settlement to the rest of us normals. What I wouldn’t give for an Autumn Feast without a bunch of white-robed first-timers speaking softly to each other and saying “How was your Henge?” Fuck you. I slaughtered nine oxen, is how it was. I got shit done. I’m not starving to death this winter, motherfucker, so don’t come around knocking on my hovel after first snowfall trying to beg a mess of pottage from my ass because you were too busy venerating the Herne the Hunter to, I don’t know, actually hunt this summer.
It happens. My friend Gundestap came back from Hengeing last year and wouldn’t shut up about how he was totally “vibrating at higher frequencies now.” Apparently vibrating at a higher frequency means you’re too good to have your diseases cured by an ordinary adder-stone and a fox’s egg. Good fucking riddance, is all I have to say about that.
Stonehenge is bullshit.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.