In the second tale from my Surrey wanderings I was headed for Cockrow Bell Barrow [link]. This was at the very edge of Ockham Common, close to the junction of the M25 and A3. The air was clear and still. The coolness of the autumn morning was being tinged with a surprisingly warm sun, and the temperature fluctuated depending on whether you stood in the direct sunlight or the shade of what was left of a tree’s canopy.
As I walked the paths of the common, heading vaguely for the M25, not neccessarily by the most direct route, I found that I was being followed across the common by some large shapes. Two cows had decided they wanted a drink from a water trough that appeared unexpectedly int he midst of some woodland close to the roar of the M25 traffic.
On my travels, as I sometimes do, I picked up a stone which caught my attention. It was obviously flint, and my intention initially was to take this home with me, so I pocketed it and carried on walking. I came to a junction. On my map the barrows I was looking for was to the right alongside the motorway, but something called me to the other side, so I crossed the bridge with the traffic passing beneath. Once over the M25 I checked my map again. Ah – there was a “tumulus” marked on the map not far away. I checked with the dowsing rods – was this my destination? YES. Then I would make my way there.
Ten minutes later I was passing dog-walkers and following their well-trodden paths when I came to another fork in the paths. I felt I should veer off the main path and down a small path which was barely visible. I was surrounded by new birch trees and old red bracken.
I stepped up onto the tumulus, slowly for some reason. Quietly. I crept up. Something in my intuition told me to be careful and so I moved with barely a sound. As I got within a few feet of the top of the mound I stopped. Something jumped about fifteen feet away from me then stopped. Whatever it was, it was larger than I expected! Larger than a fox or a dog. I stopped stock still and looked carefully. There it was – starting at me:
It was a young deer! We held each others gaze for what felt like minutes. Neither of us moved. Then I reached into my pocket and felt the flint. I knew it was called “The Deerhunter’s Flint“, and that this was the totem animal for my new spirit guide Swyre. In that eye-to-eye moment all this information flowed and became known. I acknowledge that I understood, and I gently said so out loud. The deer looked away and then bounded away with such grace and speed that I could only stand in awe and watch it recede like a moonlight shadow.
The Bell and the Barrow
The deer had been the reason why I had been drawn to this otherwise unremarkable tumulus in the middle of a seemingly ordinary wood. Even the sound of the motorway had seemed to disappear as time has stood still for a few brief minutes of our encounter.
Now I walked back over the M25 and followed a sandy path up towards the corner where the common met the road junctions. As I approached the corner of the common I could hear the huge increase in traffic noise. Once this might have been a quiet woodland space, but now it was anything but.
There was a crew of “woodland managers” who had been sawing with chainsaws all morning (I had heard them from every angle of the common at some point). Just as I arrived they were packing up to leave. How fortuitous! They were probably curious why I wandered off into the dense scrubland and thrashed my way up an incline to break into the boundaries of the bell barrow.
I did my correct approach – getting prepared energetically; finding the correct approach point; asking for entry; checking for my correct vibration; being respectful but purposeful.
As I made my way up the barrow I noticed that it was replete with delicate and colourful flowers and shrubs. Such a beautiful sight at this time of year as everything was beginning to decline in energy levels. As I reached the top I asked why I was here. I found that I had to stand by a particular tree stump, then find a power centre just off the top of the hill. I sat there and asked what was required of me. The answer I got was “to renew and to repair”.
I asked for an indication of what needed repairing, and my attention was placed on another tree stump nearby. On it was the remains of a small toolbox containing rusted small screwdrivers and other bits. I knew I had to remove it. It was not a useful presence, and however it had come to be here the result was a negative influence. I moved the case outside the boundaries of the barrow’s energy field.
Walking back up the barrow I began a ritual to renew the energy of the space. This involved a particular path to be walked, some small incantations and intentions, and the lighting of three white sage incense sticks to refresh the energetic vibration of the air around.
I sat on the top of the hill and got my vocal chords to find some deep earth tones. These incantations were to call the spirits around to come and help renew and repair the energy of the hill in the Spring time. Not now – when the energy was fresh and new and vibrant in Spring. For now, the intention was set.
I was hungry now and asked if this was a suitable place for lunch. It was not. I would have to walk on somewhere else. As I said my goodbyes and thought about the work that had been done, I imagined that one spring morning there would be heard the crow of the cock, and on that morning the spirits of the woodland would arise and begin their work to refresh the energy of this sacred space.
Sometimes these visits are not about the visitor, but about the place visited. Such was this visit.