This is the continued account of my weekend away with The Silent Eye. Please click here for part one, part two and part three.
We all gathered around the stone, everyone agreeing that it looked very similar to a sundial. Sue then told us that excavation had shown the stone was deliberately placed and propped at this angle, with one side staying dark throughout the northern Winter, as though to mark the length of the season. We were invited to look at the stone from all angles, to find the ‘devil’s face’ (I think I caught it in the photo below), and also to explore the outer rings of stones, half hidden in the grass, that encircled the clearing. There were at least two rings, if not three, and I headed straight through to the edge, standing in the shade of a silver birch as I marked the low grey shapes curving in both directions.
Then we regrouped around the central stone, and a meditation took place. It was muggy, the humidity bringing midges out to torment us, but somehow we all managed to focus.
…as she closed her eyes she could feel the stone as a warm presence, all gentle enfolding heat like a hug, or a warm fire on a cold day. Midges danced along her skin but didn’t bite, as she fought to ignore their tickling touch and focus on the meditation. But it didn’t really matter.
‘All is well. You are welcome here.’
She knew she was supposed to be thinking about the ancestors, or time, or something, but instead all she could focus on was the warmth, the feeling of being greeted. Of being acknowledged. As though after the suffering on the cliff edge the stone wanted, somehow, to offer comfort. Her nausea subsided, and she felt a pull from behind her, as though she had to go towards the large bank of bracken. Something was there…
The meditation ended, we were then given the opportunity to dowse with rods or pendulums. Having never done that before, I thought I’d give it a try, Sue being kind enough to lend me some rods for the purpose. I knew I was supposed to hold them loosely in both hands, and to focus on what I wanted to find. But I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for, other than that Sue and Stuart had mentioned a special stone, and that we were to look for it.
So I stood there, the rods wiggling and crossing in my hands, then uncrossing. I really had no idea what I was doing. Everyone else was wandering about looking serious, various rods and pendulums in their hands. But I couldn’t really pick up anything. That strange compulsion to head towards the bank of bracken was still there, though, so I thought I may as well go that way. I headed off, and was surprised to hear Sue say from behind me ‘Let’s all follow Helen.’ Ha ha, I thought, the rods at this point so useless I just held them both in one hand, sure, everyone follow me. I have no idea what I’m doing. After a few moments Sue came up beside me.
‘There’s something in the bracken,’ I said.
She grinned. ‘There certainly is.’
As we kept going, a pale grey-white curve appeared up ahead, like the back of a whale breaching the water. We drew closer, and the curve eventually revealed itself as an unusually shaped stone, the pale lichen covering it unlike any we saw elsewhere along the ridge. It wasn’t the specific stone Sue and Stu had wanted us to find, but it was pretty special.
…she could see a child being laid in the dimpled centre of the stone, naked, small limbs curled, their mother bending over to smile at them, reassuring, hands gentle on the tiny form…
Apparently, we were told, archaeology supported the idea that nearby was a place of death rites. It made sense to me that birth would be celebrated here as well, the circle of life completed, just as our modern churches and temples are places to celebrate all the passages of life.
We left the pale stone behind to go further in, pushing through waist-high bracken until we reached the very special stone. And special it was, carved and set into the ground, the curved markings a mystery. Sue banged on the stone with her staff to reveal its secret. A hollow booming sound took us by surprise. It was fake. A clever fake, crafted to protect the original stone underneath from the depredations of atmosphere, and to allow us to touch the carvings without fear of damaging them. We were invited to discuss the carvings and what we thought they meant. I immediately saw a map. Two enclosures of circular huts, the three ringed circle and smaller sacred space marked nearby. I was a little irreverent then, I confess, stating to one of the companions that perhaps this was a Neolithic ‘buy-off-the-plan’ sign board, and that there had probably once been a display hut nearby for prospective buyers to view. I suppose I needed a bit of levity at that point – still, I did feel quite strongly that the stone was a description of the place, a map of the community. Such things are open to interpretation though, and everyone had their own view on the matter.
Then we were offered a stone of our own, each of us taking our turn to select with eyes closed. Mine was pale, pearlescent white, which fitted quite well with the name I’d been given the previous night. Even though I was the last to choose, it still felt as though I received the stone that was right for me. Interesting how these things work out.
Now it was time to leave. Lunch was beckoning, we were slightly soaked, and we had other places to visit that afternoon.
My stomach started to roil again at the thought of going back along the cliff edge, but the boggy paths meant there was no other way. Still, I hung back at the gate as the other companions went ahead. Sue had suggested thinking light thoughts as we passed through, in an attempt to soothe the energy of the place. Eventually, I just went for it, thinking ‘sorry, sorry,’ and imagining myself scattering sparks of light as I raced along the shortest path through the stones until I reached a place where the fear subsided, further along the cliff edge. As a group we took a moment to sit, then made our way to the cars parked beyond, stepping back into the real world once more.
At lunch I was quiet. I really couldn’t speak. It wasn’t until I’d eaten my fill that I felt sufficiently energised to join back in with the conversation. That was one of the nicest things about the group, the way we were all given space to experience things as we needed to. I was asked if I was all right, I replied in the affirmative, and that was all that was needed.
I believe that the dowsing rods and pendulums are just a tool to focus a natural sense…they help convince the mind it can do it. You knew where you were going…and we did want to show you the white stone. 🙂
I did laugh when I heard you say it, though 😀 The pendulum worked a lot better, I must say – I couldn’t get the rods to do anything at all! I still remember the ‘pull’ I felt…
I like the rods better in the landscape, as a rule… but better still if you can just dispense with them altogether. When we were first looking for the Wood Stone, I just ‘asked’… and disappeared. I believe Stu was getting worried 🙂
Did you see Allan’s comment on the white stone on the SE blog about this patch?
Reblogged this on The Silent Eye.
It is possible that the ‘skill’ or ‘art’ now known as dowsing is an ancient method of perception now buried deep within the modern subconsciousness. If this manner of ‘perception’ was more fully utilised by our forebears in the past it makes sense to attempt to re-tap into it during these kinds of events when working with these sites. The ‘pull’ you felt could well be a vindication of this line of thinking.
Oh yes, I think dowsing is a real art, definitely, and I thought it very appropriate at the event 🙂 I just couldn’t get the rods to do anything, and the ‘pull’ was so strong I decided to go with it…
I had better results with the pendulum in the afternoon, definitely.
It’s a case of ‘horses for courses’ no ‘tools’ at all… is enviable…
My mouth literally dropped open when I got to the picture of the stone with the carvings. Even if it’s a fake – well, copy – wow! It reminds me of the First Nations petroglyphs we have here at the Canadian West Coast.
Yes, there were echoes of other ancient cultures all over the place there, which was pretty cool. And so was the fact the stone was fake, the original lying underneath – wish they could do that to all such carvings and paintings in danger of deterioration. 🙂
❤ ❤ ❤
At last! Somebody giving me the essential clues to the actual geography of the place! Kind of oriented properly now… 😀 Was all over the place before… (They do try there best… *duck* lol)
As for that second from the end picture – that is the "money shot" for me. Thank you for capturing it so perfectly! 😀 xx
lol – glad I could help 🙂
And the cliff in the second last photo was pretty amazing, especially with the overhang – plus it was far enough from the ‘bad’ place that I could stop and take a photo!
Not ducking fast enough, H 😉
Darn! Thought I might have gotten away with it… lol xx
I must have caught an echo 😉 xx
😀 The force is strong with this one… 😉 xx
Sounds like you had a beautiful, if challenging weekend at times. I would have loved to experience those ancient places with you. I have a pendulum. Actually, its an old piece of amber that used to belong to my german great grandmother, who I never met… she died before I was born. Ive worn it often as a piece of jewelery when I was younger, but learned to dowse when I was about 16, and have always used it for that purpise ever since. In those days, the pendulum swung for me so easily, but not so much now, maybe because I dont use it much any more, who knows? Well, probably Sue would! 😁 You still haven’t told me about the tattoo.
Yes, it really was challenging on several levels, but in a really good way. And everything happened (or at least, I experienced everything) just as I’ve written it. Where the ‘visions’ came from, I’m not sure. And I’m sure Sue would know all about the pendulum, how lovely that it came from your great grandmother, and is a warm stone like amber – I bet that makes it even more effective.
And what was I going to tell you about the tattoo? About my tattoo??
Amber is one of the witch stones, worn as a necklace to represent the Goddess. It should make a wonderful pendulum with the association with your grandmother, Ali. Using it more should make it ‘work’ better for you, though I think for youngsters dosing is a much easier skill to acquire than it is when you get older. My Grndad taught me as a toddler and I doswed pipes and bowls of water all round the house with a pair of bent wire coathangers 🙂
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Heathen that I am, I didn’t experience any strong feelings either way when Sue and Stuart took us up there. But it’s a great place to let the imagination go wild, isn’t it?
It certainly is – you almost feel out of time, wandering around up there.
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