The pulse of red spiral of light emanating from the Long Meg stone lasted mere seconds. As the stone returned to its outer stasis, I found myself catching my breath in wonderment. Had I imagined the red eye? I examined the place where it arose, and before me was a spiral, inlaid in the stone. Surely I had not, but what did it mean? I am not, by nature, prone to seeing the unseen with my eyes open. Each time it happens it feels like a rare and precious gift, and this was no exception. I had not expected to have a connection such as this at Long Meg. Rather, I had thought my moment was intended for Castlerigg.
Like with each visit to these sacred, ancient sites, I found the time passing all too quickly. Time that could not be spent with each individual stone, whereby it might offer some of its secrets. Instead, I felt the whole of the landscape as best I could. Opening to whatever it had to offer. As I looked from Long Meg’s vantage, down the rippling slope that held the oval wrap of her daughters in stone, I felt the blindfold slip from my eyes. There was a longing within me, but the longing was not mine alone. It came from the stone standing beside me, and in chronicled a time that stretched through thousands of years. It was filled with loss, but not the same ravishing loss that I had felt at the Raven’s Nest. This was not the feeling of sudden, violent pillage and desecration. This was the loss of a slow diminishing of the magic held within. A loss spread out over centuries. And a longing for it to be returned. To be remembered and revered once again.
There are stones in the oval below Long Meg that appear sad and forlorn. Others feel empty and forgotten. And then there are those that stir with life still held within. Some watch, while others wait. Some feel like they are missing entirely, and now only empty space remains.
As I relaxed my gaze to take in the landscape before me I saw the ghosts of a distant past. A ceremony filled with life and purpose played through the sacred space. I saw our ancestors walking through grass that rippled like water, the heavens arching above. I saw a merging of the sacred. Each element aligned within and without. As natural as the breath that is not held back. And I saw a path leading to a smaller circle down below.
When we left Long Meg, I asked Steve about Little Meg. “It’s not far from here,” he told me. “I’ll take you to it if you’d like.”
Little Meg is tiny in comparison to Long Meg. The stones arranged intimately, as though to contain a fire. Not an outer fire, though, as much as an inner. Whereas Long Meg feels open and exposed to the outer, sharing its magic to many in a larger ritual of ceremonial reverence, Little Meg seems to represent a space for the individual relationship to the “teacher” within and without.
The path, if there once was one, which I feel strongly there was, is no longer marked from Long Meg. Instead, one must either wander through farmers’ fields and over stone walls, or drive as we did. The distance between the two sites is only 0.5 kilometers. Situated in a farmers field amid a rubble of smaller rocks, the circle of stones that is called Little Meg looks and feels disrupted. But, it has not entirely lost its magic.
It is still being used, and honored in individual ways. Most likely not the same as it once was. When I was there, I saw crow’s feathers arranged in its center, and the offering of a polished pillar of quartz. It did not necessarily feel misused, so much as neglected.
During my brief visit to Little Meg, I had the impulse to sit in her center and open to the inner world that might be revealed to me. Yet time did not permit this. There was also the impulse to clear away the debris that didn’t feel like it belonged. The litter of smaller stones…the fallen branches…but there was also the feeling to let it be. That although in some ways forgotten and neglected, Little Meg was living out her legacy as a part of Earth and there was a feeling of peace to this acceptance.
It reminded me of circles I had seen in landscapes that were both intimate and vast. Like Barbrook and the Nine Ladies. It offered an inner wisdom for those who wished to find it. A union of energies. The outer to the inner. The masculine with the feminine. And, the human with the animal nature of self. It was both lovely and serene. And it offered a peace and acceptance I would soon need.
Once again, I left with the pull of longing to stay. Both Little Meg and Long Meg had offered gifts, and I was filled with gratitude for their presence. Tomorrow would not be easy to accept, but in the meantime, I had the companionship of my lovely hosts and their furry friends, as well as a delicious and grounding dinner awaiting me.