I had a crazy idea. How about we take the motorhome down to the west of Devon on Beltane, and then come back the next day? It’s only a seven hour drive each way? Somehow – put it down to the persuasive powers of Spring energies, I managed to make this seem like a sensible trip. Maybe M knew how much I wanted to go and see two new stone circles. New things make me tingle. Beltane is the best of the festival dates, too, I feel. In combination my enthusiasm must have been enough to make the madness seem plausible.
We drove for hours. Luckily, nobody in their right mind was driving south on Sunday. As we passed Gloucester we felt we needed to stop off and eat our prepared picnic. I looked at the map and saw that just off the M5 was the B4066, and on that road there were two megalithic long barrows! Two birds with one stone! A bonus to boot. We turned off and headed for Stroud, taking the turning for Kings Stanley village towards Nympsfield and Uley.
As we rose up through to the top of the village there was an almighty clunk! It seems as though there had been a collision of wing mirrors between ourselves and a Land Rover. We stopped. They stopped. We got out and had a chat with the rather shocked lady driver. Her wing mirror was shattered! Ours was intact with not even a slight scratch! How odd. We exchanged details and said we’d sort it out after the Bank Holiday. M was rattled too. “It’s a bad omen” she bemoaned, and so we looked for somewhere to pull over. We passed by a perfectly good car park for Nympsfield barrow – just didn’t see it at all! Then we found Ufield Long Barrow (also known as Hetty Pegler’s Tump). There was nowhere for us to park in a motorhome! We had to find a place to turn around (not easy on a B-road) and then head back to the Nympsfield car park. Phew! What a struggle! Maybe M was right – something was warning us?
We had our lunch and then I got my rods out as we walked over to the Nympsfield Long Barrow, stopping only to admire the amazing view from the ridge. Boy, our ancestors knew how to place a site! Anyway, as we neared M bounded towards it and strode in, squeezing between the two entrance stones. I waited at a distance. Something felt wrong….
I began by asking the dowsing rods whether this was a suitable place for me to interact with. I got one of the strongest “NO” responses I can remember. Fine, I’ll keep my distance then. Is this a place where M should be interacting, I asked as she stood in the middle looking puzzled. “NO” was the response again. OK, don’t panic. Let’s check the state of things before reacting: how long could she remain in the barrow before feeling ill effects, I asked? Four minutes. She’d been in there two minutes already. I called to her – “How do you feel?“. She said it was attracting her in, and when she squeezed through the entrance stones she felt like it was trying to hypnotize her. She complained that she felt a bit dizzy in the middle of it. “Right, time to get out then!” I warned, and she came out immediately. Clearly she felt the same. It wasn’t a useful space for either of us, which is unusual because we have different energy alignments, and often what suits me won’t suit her or vice versa. Here was a site which wasn’t good for either of us!
We left after having some lunch in the car park rather than anywhere near the barrow, and once again enjoyed the view before heading off towards Devon.
Death in Various Guises
We still had many hours to go, but I didn’t want to tell M exactly how far yet. Our destination was a reservoir just north of Plymouth! The uncertainty about the distance kept us entertained as we travelled ever deeper into Devon’s darkening moorland landscape. The rain began to fall. The sky glowered and closed in. As we reached the latter part of the M5 motorway I glanced into a field. There was a herd of cows but in the middle was one cow lying down at a funny angle. Oh, it was stiff as a board, legs out straight, it was dead! What an odd sight! We picked our way carefully down to towards Burrator Reservoir. The darkness of the day seemed to be reflected in the scenery – at one point we saw a young pigeon sitting by the roadside, then suddenly there were two crows upon it, pecking at the helpless fluffy fledgling! We reeled as we tried to comprehend the cruelty of the scene. A deep mist then descended clouding all the rest of the journey, keeping further images of death and cruelty from us, yet leaving us with the feeling that it was all around in the wet moorland.
By the time we arrived at the reservoir M was tired. It had been a long drive. She loves driving the van, but this was a bit longer than she was used to. All we had to do now was park up for the night. She grumbled about the thin road leading alongside the reservoir. We crawled along in the mist looking for a suitable spot. We found one It was idyllic!
We relaxed. We were “off grid”, in the wilds, and it was wonderful. The darkness of the day gave way to a lightness of heart. Tomorrow there were two new circles to go discover! We were right nearby and we wouldn’t have to go anywhere – just walk to them! I was excited. I drank from the stream, taking in the waters of the place, blending my energies with it – trying to get into the right vibration after a strenuous journey. Tomorrow I would celebrate Beltane properly, and without Kal for the first time.
As we sit reading in our van a black wild Devon pony came to the side of the van and looked through our window at us. It appraised us, and then whinnied loudly at us before walking back down the road to disappear into the mist. It was the first magickal moment of the day and I took this as a sign that the dark force was now with us rather than against us. Cailleach?