At Lughnasadh, August 1st 2016, the BBC announced that Rathlin Energy had surrendered the license for exploratory drilling for oil and gas at Crawberry Hill in Yorkshire. Crawberry Hill was the site of a protection camp along the verges of the road leading to the site. Protectors were concerned that Rathlin would frack the existing borehole there. Anti- fracking warriors also constructed a wooden tower to monitor access to the site.
The site has been restored as agricultural land – at least to the standard required by the environment agency.
From a Pagan point of view the site had a particular sadness attached to it. Photographs from the site showed the corpses of hares floating in the toxic fracking fluids spilled at the site. – a sacrilegious destruction of one of the totem animals of Britain. Whether the surrender of the license and the restoration of the land offers recompense for the initial violation is a question for each individual to consider.
Rathlin’s surrender may be seen as a shadowy kind of victory. But if we needed reminding that the struggle to protect the land goes on, we find it soon enough in the same BBC article. Rathlin has been granted permits to drill for oil and gas at West Newton. They claim this will not involve fracking, a claim that may deserve closer investigation.
When Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, released a hare from the folds of her cloak to divine the outcome of the battle she faced against the Romans, she invoked a British Goddess of Victory, Andraste. Let’s remember, once again, that what distinguishes us as Pagans in this campaign (in which we stand shoulder to shoulder with all of good intent) is that we take our pursuit of facts, our presence at demos and protection camps, our participation in our local non-pagan communities, to our spirits, Gods and Goddesses for their blessing and protection.
The powers of this land will not be profaned.