I should have expected this. On the last Silent Eye weekend I’d attended there had been a place that had shaken me, unexpectedly, making my breath shorten, my heart pound. And so it is, I suppose. On these weekends we are challenged as well as inspired, and beauty can hold darkness as well as light. Still, when you reach such a place it is always a shock.
And so it was at Cullerlie. We parked by an old stone wall, and I picked a couple of blackberries to eat as we approached the gate leading to our next site. And then the guardian appeared. A bouncing ball of black and white fur, the collie seemed very pleased to see us all, bounding about on the grass, pausing at intervals on the approach to the circle. My companions (if you read their accounts), saw him as a friendly spirit, welcoming. And I felt the same way… for the most part. To me it felt a little bit as though he wasn’t sure whether or not we should be there, but he led us on nonetheless, pausing every so often to make sure we were following.
Cullerlie stone circle, also known as the Standing Stones of Echt, is described as a circle of red granite standing stones, surrounding eight small burial cairns. The cairns are also circular, and fill the interior of the circle. Hawthorn and willow ash have been found in the cairns, as well as cremated human bones placed there before smaller stones were placed over the top of them. When the circle was constructed in the Bronze Age, the landscape around it was boggy, the stones brought from higher ground to be placed there, in contrast to the other circles we had seen.
The approach to the circle was pretty enough, an avenue of tall trees on soft grass, fairy red toadstools dotting the green. But such toadstools hold poison, despite their beauty – perhaps a metaphor of what was to come. As I approached the circle I’d intended to touch the stones, to travel counter-clockwise and see where felt right, as I had at the other sites. But as I approached the circle it was almost as though I bounced off it, feeling gut-punched, my breath shallow and a pain in my solar plexus. Something, I didn’t know what, was wrong with this place.
‘…A woman, in long dress of green, crying out ‘It is wrong!” Repeatedly I heard her cries, repeatedly I saw her words ignored by the rest of the community who, seeking to emulate the power held in older sites, built this place, ignoring all but the most basic alignments, fragments of an almost forgotten past. A man of power, his face hard, turning from her, from her cries…’
This circle, our guide explained, was built about two millennia later than the ones we’d already visited. While there were some alignments in place, they were only to do with the passage of the sun – the moon had been ignored when the circle was built. The jumbles of stone in the centre felt muddy and convoluted, their placement simply wrong within the landscape. I didn’t want to touch the standing stones, nor set foot in the circle itself. And I was not alone – several of my other companions also expressed their distress and physical discomfort at the place, the feeling of ‘wrongness’.
Man and woman, sun and moon, light and dark, earth and sky. All necessary opposites on the great wheel of life, part of balance in all things. Perhaps that was what felt so off kilter about this place, the lack of balance, of care. I remarked that it felt like a Disney version of a stone circle, although at least at Disney World we know such things are done in play. Here there was still power, but it seemed broken in some way.
We did not stay long, in the end. Even those who were not initially put off didn’t want to linger, and so we made our way back up the avenue to the waiting cars. I did not look back.
This is the account of my recent weekend away with The Silent Eye in Scotland. Click here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. ———————————————————————————————-
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Even the sky in your photo seems to roil repulsively
Yes, it really wasn’t a pleasant place…
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It was the oddest, most uncomfortable feeling to have it all ‘out of kilter’… x
It was, wasn’t it? I didn’t like it at all. x
I wasn’t keen myself… but sometimes those are the ones we need to work with… x
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This one is bothering me too, and I can’t imagine how it must have felt in person. I can’t shake the urge to rearrange the stones, which makes further sense after reading your post. It’s rather necessary, isn’t it, though? To bring back the divine feminine energies right now…
It seemed to be a real theme of the weekend, balance, imbalance, feminine connections and energy. Fascinating how these things play out. And the woman I ‘saw’ at this circle – it was just a distressing place. The cairns in the middle felt wrong, the whole thing felt wrong. Apparently it was only used for a short time – I can imagine why, to be honest…
I quite agree about those cairns in the middle. That’s where I first felt the impulse to “right” the stones when I saw the photos in others’ posts. Must have been something else to have been there and to have seen that woman…wow.
WHAT an experience! The woman – the man with the hardened face turning away – your gut feelings of imbalance. Thank you for sharing your perspective of this particular portion of the gathering – especially in contrast to how you felt in other spaces.
I don’t pick up energies from the photos, but I would love to have been there in person to see how this space spoke to me. Do you think that the dog was protecting human visitors?
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
“It takes a village to transform a world!
Thanks, Madelyn. It was quite an experience, and it still makes me sad to think about. It was interesting to see the various reactions to the place – the fact that so many of us felt unease was very telling. As for the dog, to me he seemed happy to see us, but unsure about whether we should be there or not. I’m quite sure he could feel the energy of the place, so in his own way was saying ‘come and see if you want but just be prepared.’ Whether that’s true or not I don’t know, but that’s how it felt to me. 🙂
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A stone circle, colourful toadstools, and dark emotions… What’s going on, Helen. Lol
It was a very odd place, Kev – something a lot of us were affected by…
Now I like it even more!
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