It’s as close as I wanted to get to the Summer Solstice. You know that I’m not a fan of the peak of the male energy spectrum, yet it must be recognised. So, I have made arrangements with the wonderful meditator John David Kirby and the delightfully deep Deborah Delglyn, Shaman Priestess of South Manchester. We are heading for Brimham Rocks in North Yorkshire. It’s only when you travel there that you realise how big Yorkshire is. Even though we set off in the early morning we don’t arrive until lunch time.
As we arrive a crow swoops the car. I take this as a sign of You-Know-Who being around. He’s bound to be. It was his favourite time of the year. He was certainly on my mind.
We quickly find a convenient parking spot away from the maddening crowds. I recognised a need for a place of cleansing, and so I cast around the landscape to ‘feel’ for a convenient and suitable place. I see a circle of cotton flowers and the symbolism of the pure whiteness is too rich to ignore. In the distance, on the skyline, I see a range of white globes. When I inquire about them John responds “Menwith Hill“. He seems to be aware of their purpose, but I don’t know of them yet.
I take off my shoes and socks, and I walk into the circle in bare feet. The heather twigs and assorted stones make the journey a seemingly dangerous one, yet I am walking with awareness – each step taking me further into communion with the land. Nothing untoward befalls me, and I reach the centre without any incidents.
Sitting in the circle of cotton I begin a meditation. I am soon connected with the land around, but feel there is something which needs to be done. I ask and am told that I must put up protection against the distant communication monitoring globes on Menwith Hill which line the skyline many miles away, yet still too close for comfort. The shield goes up to protect the rocks area while we all work.
As I finish and find a return path I meet up with the other two, asking for their experiences. Debra describes a feeling of the cotton being a metaphor for slavery. She says that we are often modern slaves to Time. Time – the working hours – these are modern forms of keeping us all slaves to the wage and to the clock. The idea was given to me to burn the cotton to be free, and so I pick some for an appropriate time when I will need such freedom. Is this like burning your bra, I wonder?
We walk through a birch sapling doorway to get down to the main rocks. Once there we get up onto a rock pedestal each, and there I ask if I have finished the previous quest to be more intuitive. The answer comes from a complaining child below, “No! No! No!” Oh. Then I will have to continue to work on this aspect. This year is a difficult year to complete anything magickal, I have noticed.
We follow whichever path seems right, making our way up the slight hill and towards the distant rocky outcrops whose heads are visible above the lime green treeline. Occasionally we are inclined to stop and notice certain spots – a rocky overhang, a dry patch of earth amid the heather, a place where animal bones are left on show. Each spot has an energy that we all feel and can each tap into in our own ways when we feel the need. Today I am with experienced energy workers, and it shows. There is a silent mutual respect for our similarities and differences.
We all stop at a point where two small birch trees (I typed “birth trees” then. Hmmm.). Debra insists that we walk through in full awareness and respect of the entrance way, the portal. We do so, and the scene rapidly changes from moorland heather to valley shrub and tree. Now the rocks appear all around us too – we have entered their domain!
We each choose a rocky outcrop with a shape and placement that suits us. A crow lands and hops around very close to me. Then it flies up onto my rock pedestal, just above my head as though watching me work. I get back into meditation…
I ask whether it was appropriate for me to take on a new quest anyway while I work on the old quest, and I am told that my new quest will be to “Find the bosom of the winds“. The image comes to mind of a long time ago when I was rocked to a meditative state as a young boy in the treetops of a wood close to where I used to live in Northern Ireland. This was a hint that I should once again find a suitable treetop in which to feel the winds blow, and cradle me in their bosom. It’s time to get back in touch with the winds.
After our meditation, and a quick stop at the nearby wooden hut for lunchtime refreshments, we climb on the rocks like kids and dine on a rock which acts as a picnic bench. Crows gather to feed from our droppings as we eat. The feel of the place is astonishingly lovely. All day long we are followed by a single crow.
Apple Tree Wick
After Brimham we head for Appletreewick circle. It’s near to Hebden, but it’s hard to find. We get there after a trek over gates and through steep fields to find the small circle perched on a ridge overlooking a steep valley. All around seems wet, but we stay dry.
The circle appears to be three concentric circles. This is the second such circle I have been drawn to over the last few months, after the one on Dartmoor. Only the centre circle is relatively intact, however.
I discover that it wants me to re-energise the circle by making connections with all the surrounding peaks, and then drawing in their energies from afar. After that I turn to face the southern black ridge of hills and this is where the energy of the circle wants to be sent to. I feel like I am re-enacting a ritual that has been conducted a long time ago, and repeated many times over the centuries. I am just the latest to perform these movements, and set these intentions. It is my duty to do so, my service.
After our long outing it is a tiring drive back, and thanks to some kindness from John in delivering Debra back to Manchester for me, I just about make it for the evening meditation with my outdoor Spirit In Nature group. We have a lovely meditation and given the time of year it ends with a party. The longest day indeed, but one which felt like a celebration in lots of ways.