M and I were returning from Brittany. We had been spending a lovely sun-soaked week with my aunt and uncle parked up at their home near St Malo. My father was also there – which was a rare family get together – and I embraced the week as just that. No mystical work – just a week off enjoying the french lifestyle.
We had also spent a delightful and insightful day with Oona Gewlloch (of Wizart fame). This Brittany druidess had shared with me some of her secrets regarding her carving skills, and how to prepare the wood of my staff. At the moment the staff was still an oak branch, but I was determined to make a start on The Merlin Staff once I got home.
Oona reminded me how a dedicated and skilled druid could live in harmony with the surroundings. I was inspired to eat consciously, and to put my heart and spirit into crafting my tools.
On our return to England the patriotism was running high. Within sight of the chalk cliffs of the south coast we watched Andy Murray win Wimbledon again. The next morning, setting off from Portsmouth, somehow we ended up heading towards Stonehenge. When I pointed this out, M said that she’d never been – right – we were going!
Where the dewdrops cry
There was rain all around. Dark clouds dogged the journey, yet we seemed to be heading for a patch of blue sky up ahead. Remembering Kal, I said it would be OK when we got there. It was. Stonehenge was in a bright blue patch of sky whereas there were deep rain clouds in every direction – thanks Kal!
As we arrived I spotted the group of black crows which were making their presence known by wheeling all around the car park. Everyone else was ignoring them, but given their significance to me as a representation of Kal’s spirit being around, then I took this for the sign that it was for me.
The new visitor centre is everything the tourist expects and more. There was even a “real druidess” inside, talking mystically with anyone who’d take an interest (and who could speak English). It was fun to see that. A real life shaman in operation as paid employment! Wonderful Maybe the heady days of druidry are on their way back to respectability? Not likely. It’s for show but I was lovely to see her in operation.
That’s not the whole story though. The artifacts and remains on display inside have caused a degree of controversy, and official figures of the druidry community have protested about them being used in this way. Disrespect will continue for a long time yet, folks. We’re largely seen as a group of crackpots, history freaks and hippies. That kind of public persona carries no weight in the face of money-making schemes.
I put my feelings on hold. Today we were tourists. All emotion and political commitment was switched off. I wanted to experience the site and contrast it with my previous visit to see whether the energy there was better or worse for the changes.
I wasn’t expecting to do anything but take photos, but actually the place began to get to me. They had fixed the thing about everyone going the wrong way around it. It was more free and open, it felt. People were moving in either direction, and there was a less hurried feel to the visitors, although there will always be the endless parties of schoolkids who are totally disinterested in the spectacle.
We stopped at various points where the energy paths and spots could be felt. I vaguely remember that they were the same as the last time I had been here with Kal. There was a strong feeling by the stone which aligns to the Winter Solstice sunrise, and there was a feeling like I should stop at all the cardinal points.
I began to notice that each time I felt like I should stop that a crow also appeared and landed at the same point. A crow followed us all the way around, getting in practically every photo. That was definitely the spirit of Kal!
We did a meditation on the higher side (opposite the avenue and the outer stone). Despite the throngs there was a feeling of being able to connect with the megaliths, but there was no way we were going to be able top experience anything deep here today. The noise levels and the amount of energy movement prohibited that.
We took some more photos, and then hopped back on the bus – the proper tourist experience! Back in the visitor centre I stood in the 360 degree panoramic video area and watched the creation of Stonehenge in its various formats, and saw how the sun rose and fell at various times of the year. That was really well done, and despite my reservations about the Stonehenge tourist experience, that was time well spent away from the stones themselves.
I suspect that it will be another 10 years before I feel like going again. Anyone for a Stonehenge pencil and eraser set?