It’s hard to find the time to do all you need or want to do. Debra Delglyn – the wonderful shaman of south Manchester and teacher of The Wisdom Path – had been diligently asking me when we could meet. I suggested a particular day – the Spring Equinox. I took a day off work and we headed on up to Cumbria.
I know – Cumbria in Spring – again! Wasn’t my idea though. Debra had suggested Swinside circle totally independently. I felt it was a sign. Clearly, I am meant to be in Cumbria every Spring. The drive up was a constant contrast between rain and clear skies. That theme continued all during the visit as the cloud and the sun battled to hold each other in the balance for the Equinox.
We got the last parking spot and walked up. I love the way that happens. A pair of photographers arrived at same time. On the way up Debra asked about what she should know about the circle. I mentioned a female spirit, the importance of using the right approach, and that I remembered that this circle was about numbers.
I mentioned to the wise shaman about my tarot reading – that the governing force for today for me was The Five of Cups, and how I felt that five was an expression of Venus; Cups was an expression of emotion, transformation, and the element of water.
On our approach we saw a pack of crows in a field near the circle – four – but as we arrived they all disappeared – struggling to move in the fierce wind. Held aloft – battling the force – then finding a way through or falling back. The eternal struggles. As we neared the entrance there was a cattle grid, and four sheep guided us up to the gap in the wall behind which is the stone circle.
We both sat by the wall, thankfully out of the wind, and got prepared. After a few silent minutes we both rose at same time. She went East and I started in the West – balancing the forces again. On my approach to this powerful circle of stones I felt I needed to work with FOUR today. This was the impression it was offering me. I looked for the correct entrance. Now that my energy was in harmony, and I had been cleansed of my Outerworldly vibrations, I could enter. Yet first I had to feel for the correct entry point. It was a space between stones in the West side.
Almost immediately I needed to walk into the middle of the circle. Someone had been moving stones in the centre and yet i knew they weren’t at the very centre of the energies. I left a spiral carved stone in the centre which I felt was the true energy centre – a few inches away from where other people had been working before me.
All Four One and One For All
I faced and called in the spirits of the four directions. Calling the energies in, I traced their pathway into the spiral such that all four met in the centre. With the four directions honoured I then called in the four elements. Each was visited by a correspondence with a cardinal direction. Wind was in the West, Earth in the North, Sun in the South and Water in the East. You will notice that this is not my usual pattern (Water West, Air North, Earth South and Sun East). However, I am no slave to convention. Whatever feels right at the time is the true and correct course of action.
This ‘in-adherence to rules’ what makes Natural Magick such a difficult skill to master and yet so easy and powerful at the same time. The only rule is not to get bound into the “way of things”, and to truly observe the flow of Nature’s course around you, to hear her calling, and to work with her in harmony, not to impose one’s own will on proceedings.
Facing the directions in the circle to bring the elements in, I noticed a particular fixation for my focus was on wind in the west – it was very windy today, and this element was in the ascendancy! Once all the energies were in and centred, then I felt I needed to commune with the some of my guiding spirits.
I stood over the spiral stone with its whirlpool of labyrinthine paths and connected to the place and the space. As I was working with the quest to Sing the Song of the Raven I felt like this might be an appropriate time to try that out. I began to try to quietly sing The Song of the Raven – making small raven-like noises and calling in the spirit of the crow birds. A crow sounded in the middle distance as though in answer to my work. Just the correspondence and sign I was looking for. The photographers waited patiently for us to leave, and for the sunlight to return. The sun showed only fleetingly, and little did the observers know, but it appeared every time I asked for a response to my work, giving it positive re-reinforcement.
The Raven as Phoenix
As the wind moved around me and the connection got stronger I got a visualisation. A raven or a crow rose up out of a “lotus flower” shape made of glowing red and orange triangular petals. The black bird rose and span slowly.
Then it spread its wings and opened itself up to the Spring energies. I was bound in with this event. The bird could not open up to Spring without my participation, but also I could not open up to Spring without going through this vision. With the Crow. I got nothing further, and the visualization faded, but felt like this was not the end.
I used the dowsing rods to show me the next location. I was taken to an inclining stone in the North side of the circle and I lay back on it and closed my eyes. Once I connected I felt that the my spirit guide wanted to show me something. He showed me the constellation of Corvus the Crow. This was significant today, as the crow always reminded me of Kal, and I always went out to Cumbria in Spring with him.
The spirit guide then reminded me about Venus – this was also significant today. Corvus is an expression of FOUR. Venus is an expression of FIVE. This guiding spirit re-enforced the idea that this circle teaches us about number – numerology. I was to try to understand the significant of 5 and 4 today….
I take a picture of the sky after finding the Corvus constellation. Corvus is below me – just exactly where the root of the stone is that I’m lying on. Where’s Venus? It’s above me – just exactly where the point of the inclining stone is directed to – at that exact moment when I’m there. Wow. You can’t make this stuff up!
Was I at the end of the Song of the Raven quest? I hardly felt like I had done any work for that, so was there anything new to come next? I wasn’t sure.
I followed the dowsing rods and was taken around a set of low-lying stones three times in an anti-clockwise direction. Then I was shown by the rods that I needed to lie on a flat recumbent stone. I lay there and connected, eyes closed this time. On the screen of my mind’s eye a showreel of symbol and Otherworldly spirit began to form. The Crow spirit appeared before me again, and it spread its wings, looking directly at me.
“Spread your wings” I was told.
I look around but there’s no-one else. Is this for me, I ask dumbly? Of course it is. Haven’t I learned that this is the way it works yet? My rational mind begins to protest. “But I haven’t finished the other quest yet!” it protests. I am put at my ease – my intellect and sense of order is stroked and soothed. Fear not. This is a sort of follow-on quest to the previous one. I still need to sing the song of the raven to invoke the crow spirit, but then I also need to learn how to spread my wings in some meaningful spiritual way before Beltane.
Oh, well that alright then. The quest is expanding and getting bigger and more complex. Fine. I’ll just have to deal with that.