They came to dance with the stones. Drums found the unheard rhythm of the mother beat, opening the sacred veins. Above, ravens circled the moon, full behind a mist that would soon part. Even the children were unafraid. Perhaps even more so than their elders, for they were closer to the thinning veil. The air, stirring the tide into spring, was cool, but the fires burned with heat.
They arranged themselves by order of birth. Those closest to the womb found the center and those nearest death, the edges, but the dance wove them together. Feet weaving the grid of the hidden lines, as the energy rose into the opening. And with it rose their song and the mist, which parted upon the sigh of the wind. One last breath and all was silent as night unveiled the path to the stars.
Time collapsed into dimension and space revealed no separation as one tiny hand reached through the veil to welcome them all home.
I had a feeling Sue was going to post a photo that would align with what brought me out of sleep early this morning…
The men saw the mighty crown rising over the earth and raised their spears in ecstatic joy. “The land is ours to claim,” they yelled, walloping each other on the backs. “Let us go now, before others find what we now see.”
So they set off, gathering their women and children, their knives and axes, and whatever provisions their horses could hold. They waited until night, carving a path through the land with their footsteps and scythes, oblivious in their revelry that they were walking the path of stars.
They arrived before dusk, to an eerie mist hovering over the stones. One man shuddered. Another gasped. It was the wee child, barely three years of age, who spoke what they were all thinking, “They look like teeth.”
And so they did. The crown, that seemed to shine golden in the light of the sun, now appeared as fearsome fangs. Monstrous in their size, the teeth pierced the mound of earth, rose above the mist, and circled the moon.
Only the women remained quiet. There was no need for them to speak. What they knew to be truth had stirred the embers of their hearts. Soon, they thought as one, the reckoning will begin.
I wasn’t going to go. Well, I was, and then I wasn’t. As typically happens, I opted for family before self, and my daughter had wanted to see a friend’s performance in “The Nutcracker.” The only show happened to fall on the Solstice, and so I decided I would miss my friend’s gathering last night.
When I picked my daughter up from school yesterday, she got into the car and announced, “I’d rather go to the basketball game tonight.”
“Are you sure?” I could hardly believe it. Suddenly, I was free to go to the gathering. I had no excuse not to, except no one really knew I was coming.
By the time I walked through the threshold and into my friend Deb’s home, I had no doubt I was where I was supposed to be for the evening. Three had became four.
“I didn’t know if you would be here,” Deb smiled as she embraced me.
Neither did I…
“The fairies said you might not come. That it was uncertain,” Sophia announced. “I drew a card for us before I left,” she told all of us. “It was called ‘Ancient Wisdom’ and it had an image of a stone circle.”
I was not surprised.
Minutes laster we are gathered in Deb’s yoga room, surrounded by the crystals of Earth. Four women seated in the four directions. I, positioned at Earth. In the center, our small altar is filled with offerings and candles. Hovering in a circle of energy around us are the ancients, holding space.
I nestle the rainbow goddess I have brought into the well of my throat and ease into a supine position on the rug. My mind follows the pulse of Sophia’s drumbeat down a stairway into Earth. I am in the ground below Castlerigg.
Minutes pass. More than I am comfortable with. Inside the canvas of my mind scenes morph and disappear. My body grows warm and restless, then cold. It wants to dance. To move. I know where it wants to go.
We are waiting for you, I hear before I return to the room.
I’m sitting here imagining myself sitting on a plane in the dead of winter. I’ve imagined it often over the last 48 hrs. It’s not the difficult to do. Me, flying to a land frozen in time for 5,000 years, shivering under layers. Just me, and a circle of stones. The thought alone pulls me deep within to an untouched place. One thought stirs the internal waters until they flood my eyes.
Or is it?
I thought I had moved into the land of acceptance, until my husband forwarded me the airfare deal. In case you still need/want to go…
Can I differentiate need from want when the thought pulls me to the unknown that seeks to be known?
The wisdom of the ancients tell us that home is not a physical place, but a state of being. Yet I sit inside a house that feels false in many ways. It feels dusty with pretenses.
It took only a photograph years ago to pull the cells out of hibernation. Hills made white with winter surrounding a ring of stones. It’s not just Castlerigg, though. Arbor Low evoked a similar response in me. I had to go there to discover why.
I waited at the threshold after the slow climb, pausing to receive permission before the womb opened to receive. One step and I was home. Flooded with bliss. Untempered magic. And I was home in the soft sweep of the moors where I found peace. The settled sleep of death undisturbed. Balance. And, I was home at the nest of the raven clan, high upon the hill, where I felt the shred of sorrow ripping me raw. A rape of the womb that was everyone’s. Earth holding the pain. Yet, I was home. I could have stayed there forever.
I reside in a land that has become numb. The artificial has forced life to retread. My body feels the weight of the false, and the struggle for a return that is slow and uneasy. It longs for the place where it doesn’t have to hide. Where the energy courses with life. Real Life.
And I know, someday I need to go to a place called Castlerigg. In the physical body. To remember. To retrieve. What? I do not yet know. The dreams and vision pull me only as far as the hills. The stones wait in stasis. Trapped in the movement of slow time. Yet, the life stirs within them with a force that has the power to pull me to them. Three thousand miles apart. An ocean of expanse. And I sit in wonder, thinking. Is the time now? Or can I wait?
The raven watched out of sight in the trees above while she walked three times the perimeter. Stopping at the gateway stone, she waited for the portal to open. Access could easily be denied in these places, yet she knew she had been beckoned here for a reason. There had been others before her. Countless feet had walked the perimeter of the womb circled by stones. They had left their imprinted energy behind, sinking the earth into a moat, separating the real from the unreal. Most, mistaken by the belief that the eyes distinguish Truth.
She rested her hands on the ridge, feeling the rough layers cataloged by time, reading a braille much older than language.
One drawn out call from the raven broke down silence, and she bent to her knees and kissed the face before her.
“There is no name for what is lost.”
“For loss is an illusion.”
She nodded again.
“Speak what you read on the stone.”
It was not a language taught in classrooms that poured from her lips, but the raven understood, as did the presence before her. Slowly the stone lowered back down into the body of Earth, and as she stepped through, the circle closed around her.