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See our previous posting about it making no sense to have the solstice shindig tomorrow when solstice is today (shortly). English Heritage has just come clean why:


24m24 minutes ago


Based on advice from the druid and pagan communities?!”  Are they in charge now? It wouldn’t be the first time. Remember when astrology was used? As we wrote in 2015 – “You’d think finding when Solstice occurs is simple. You just tweet Prof Brian Cox or NASA. Job done. So it’s a surprise to read an official of the “Open Access to Stonehenge” group saying “As for how our access date is worked out from what I can gather, is a combination of factors:- Astrological time is worked out, up to midday and the access will be on the morning of that date. Midday onwards means access will be on the morning after…”” It transpired that “the President of the British Astrologers Association (who also helps organise Peace Stewards at Stonehenge) “liaises with English Heritage regarding Stonehenge access.” ….
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So much for the Society of Antiquarians saying “there’s a fundamental need to educate and inform the widest possible audience about the past to achieve a better engagement with the public and thus inspire commitment to the heritage.” This isn’t engagement. It’s misinforming.
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Meanwhile, hurrah for the Lantern Parade, taking place about now, comprising people who AREN’T misinformed!
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Update from a pagan in the Stonehenge area, 1.00am, Tuesday 22nd, cold, dark, and with actual Solstice and sunset long gone:

“Not impressed!! EH making it very difficult to attend Winter Solstice 2017. [Ed. To be fair, also on pagan and Druid advice!] Drove closed at 1am, nowhere to park in the vicinity due to cones and Security everywhere, being made to pay to pray – pretty disgusting really……..Letter of complaint to EH will be on it’s way ASAP!!!!”

The excellent and inexpensive-on-others Solstice lantern will be at Stonehenge tonight, Thursday 21st, to capture the last light & celebrate the end of the dark nights. The Lantern procession starts at 4.30pm from Amesbury History centre to Blick Mead.

 

By contrast thousands of intrepid people will spend an uncomfortable night – some of them arriving at 1.00am – in order to be there to celebrate Winter Solstice at sunrise tomorrow, the 22nd, far far too late!  All for the want of a proper explanation from English Heritage about the fact they think the lantern procession is far more likely to be authentic and the sunrise thing most certainly isn’t!

As the Society of Antiquarians recently observed: “there’s a fundamental need to educate and inform the widest possible audience about the past to achieve a better engagement with the public and thus inspire commitment to the heritage.” But most of all, the all night Winter event as currently held is cold, wet, inconvenient for all concerned and very expensive!

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