After our visit to The Hurlers, Sue and Stuart drove us to our car parked beside Brentor. “Give our regards to the Spinsters,” Sue said with a mysterious smile before we received hugs and watched our guides return to their car for their long road ahead to Penzance.
As we loaded into our rental, Larissa remarked with astonishment at the generosity of Sue and Stuart for driving us to The Hurlers and back, adding hours to their day which would end at the tip of the Michael Ley line before it enters the sea. One of the many aspects that make the founders (Steve included) of the School so remarkable is their unconditional generosity and genuine desire to share their love and wisdom with others.
The Spinsters is a rather strangely situated dolmen, at least in the modern landscape. One can’t help but wonder what surrounded it thousands of years ago. Now it stands oddly in the middle of farmland, and seemingly out in the middle of no-where. There is no obvious signpost marking its spot, and we nearly passed it by driving the narrow and twisty roads of Devon.
Considering its remote location, and lack of a parking lot — we pulled over into the hedges and hoped for the best — it’s not suprising we were the only visitors there. Or so we thought…
Years ago, before digital photography, I visited the Poulnabrone dolmen. Arguably the most famous and visited dolmen in Ireland, the Poulnabrone dolmen is awesome to behold. The Spinsters appears lonely in contrast, with its small herd of cattle guarding it. Yet, there is mystery here too, and a bit of magic left in the site. The stones still feel alive and they seem to observe their surroundings with an eye of discernment. The capstone has a particular anthropomorphic quality to it, with its face looking outward as though placing judgement upon those who might wish to pass into its portal. I thought it had both a serpent and whale-like quality to its form, and I had a strange urge to crawl onto its back. It was a little difficult to resist. Perhaps others had also, as the stone has fallen at least once from its perch and had to be replaced.
Larissa and I spent no more than fifteen minutes at the site among the stones while the disinterested cattle grazed at a distance. As I mentioned above, aside from the cows, we thought we were alone, but as we turned and began walking the short distance back toward the way we came, Larissa and I stopped simultaneously in our tracks.
The feather, we were both certain, had not been there when we entered the field to visit the dolmen. Yet, there it was, black as night, placed like a flag marking our path as we exited. Another corvid feather from an unseen guide. Too obvious to miss.