On the 2nd of January, we felt an impulse to drive to Durrington Walls, near Stonehenge. It was our first trip to do energy-work in months and it felt really good to connect to the ancestors again. I had been weighed down by the darkness of winter, and the constant rain, and felt permanently rooted in modern life and its stresses having been in the UK for far longer than originally intended. As result, I had lost my focus, so the trip to Durrington felt like a positive step and as we drove there, feeling the intention, I remembered how much I loved doing this work.
When we arrived, we walked into the henge, looking with archaeological eyes at how the settlement had been constructed. We then tried to find the site of the two circles that originally lay within it. It felt very Avebury-ish and we thought about how close the settlement had been built to the river Avon that passed just below.
Having spent time discussing the possible thinking of the original settlers, we wandered back, but as I crossed what would have been one of the entranceways to the river, I felt the urge to connect. In my mind, I raised my arms to the sun, or to where the sun would have been, had it been a cloudless day. (I am far too self-conscious to do physical arm-raising in public so I see myself doing it in my mind). I raised up and connected to the sun. As I did so, two ancient people, one male, one female, appeared. The man held a brown book which he handed to me. It felt like a bible, and he explained that it was the spiritual and historical beliefs of his people; the two being connected, just like the Old Testament is both the history, and spiritual beliefs, of the Israelites.
I began to get an understanding of what had brought these people here and why they had left. I was told that they had originally come from the north – it felt like Orkney – and they came to create a new colony down south, where they had people they were connected to. They had been told that it was warm here and that the land was fertile, good for crop growing. This felt like the beginnings of agriculture when they were learning how to work with the fertility in the landscape in a new way. At first, it was good, and they were successful enough but then the climate changed. It became wetter and there was less sun to ripen the corn.
The bad weather continued for several years and they could not survive, forcing them to go back to an older way of life – more a foraging and hunting lifestyle. There was a feeling, that in their fear, they focussed more on learning how to work with the earth’s energy-field, and the serpent lines, and less on the more physical aspects of survival. In the past, hunting and gathering had been their way. It was a shamanic way of living. In order to survive, rituals were performed before the hunt, rituals that connected them to the essence of the animal, ensuring the creature’s participation in the hunt. They had no real control over the animals. All they could do was connect with their essence, communicating on subtle levels their intention and need to feed themselves. We are familiar with the Nat. American way of life. Our ancestors were no different.
Transitioning to agriculture took a long time. Not only were they learning how to farm, and how to tame animals that originally roamed free, they were also learning how to work with the earth’s forces differently. It was an entirely new world for them.
However, the efforts of the early people of Durrington Walls were not successful. With the change in weather patterns, food supplies ran out and their people dwindled in number until eventually, they decided to return to where they had come from. They knew there would be food there. Fish was always plentiful, as were mammals, so they had to go backwards for a time. This feels like an important message for us in our time too. Climates have cycles, they change. We are currently in one such change. There may come a time when we too have to go ‘backwards’ for a time, back to an older way of doing things. But it is a temporary going backwards. Things will move forward again and things will progress.
Some of the tribe did not want to return, telling the others that if they only waited the weather would get better. But they did not know how long it would remain like this so they opted to leave. Before they left, before it got too bad, they had tried to improve the fertility of the soil by working energetically in the landscape but all their work was for nothing. They spent too much time doing that without realising that they could not control the world’s weather pattern changes. They could only improve the earth’s fertility in the soil. (This also answered a question I have had for years! You can improve the soil and growing conditions but not the global weather).
After receiving this information, which continued coming in as we walked and explored, we next made our way to The Cuckoo Stone. Before we had left the house, we had been instructed to take a bottle of water to make an essence and as soon as we got to the stone, ( which I never knew about), I understood why.
Our first impulse was to walk three times around it sun-wise, (clockwise). This meant that it was a masculine sun-stone. (At feminine sites, you usually walk anti-clockwise. When you walk around a stone, or site, it energetically opens it, creating a doorway into its energies and functions.) Walking around this stone made me feel dizzy on the third pass, which I thought I was imagining, until Chris said it was making him dizzy too. It’s always good to have confirmation. Again, this dizziness is something I have experienced before at the stones at Avebury. Years ago, a friend and I were at that circle. It was my first visit, and I felt so excited to be there having wanted to see it since I was a teenager in Dublin watching Children of the Stones on TV. Coming close to the circle at Avebury then was like coming home after many years away.
At that time, my friend and I walked around the stones but experienced a dizziness as we did so. It was as if each stone was a battery with both positive/negative energies. Each stone too was either male or female making a huge force-field around the circle. The entire Avebury complex was a giant male-female balancing in the landscape.
This Cuckoo stone also had a magnetic field, even though it no longer occupied the same site it had originally, and was only half the size of what it once had been. But it was close enough.
Once we had activated the stone, we sat on it and tuned in. Almost immediately, we saw a youngish woman with dark, curly hair and wearing a band of flowers around her head. Behind her stood a male priest dressed in a creamy white robe. He was older than her and seemed to be her mentor. He remained behind her while she carried out the ritual. This felt to be a later time than had our previous Durrington information.
While we sat on the stone it was as if we were both the stone, and ourselves. The young woman placed a garland of flowers around our shoulders but she was really dressing the stone, just as they still do in Ireland at holy wells. The ritual was to welcome the sun from the east after the long winter. It was an acknowledgement of the life it brings and in recognition of the stone and its importance to the vitality that flowed from the sun, through the stone, and into the earth’s energy-circuit. The couple placed the garlands facing Woodhenge, where the sun came up, but we did not feel that Woodhenge was significant to the ritual. Chris was aware of a Mayday reference to this too, so perhaps the stone was dressed at more than one time of year.
Once they had finished at the stone, I saw the woman, followed by the priest, carrying a shallow, pottery, bowl of water with flowers in it, over to where the Neolithic long barrow once stood, meters away from the them. The bowl had been at the foot of the monolith while she did the ritual dressing and the water in the bowl was charged by stone and sun. The barrow was still there in their time and we could see it’s energy clearly. The woman laid the bowl at the entrance, as a gift to the ancestors and an acknowledgement to them. Their line of kinship was still intact and important. If it hadn’t been for the lessons learned by their ancestors, these people would not have survived and thrived, so they offered their gratitude. Death and life were One, the two sides of life. The ancestors still lived, but in another form, their presence still recognised.
(This reminded me of the St. Mullin’s Pattern when I was young. At the feast day of St. Moling, all the locals from local towns came to the ruins of St. Moling’s monastery and his holy well. Traditionally, the people walked three times around the well, sun-wise – called ‘Doing the Rounds’ – in their bare feet. They then dressed the graves of their family; ancestors who had been buried there for generations, and some more recently. There were certain other traditions associated with the day, namely that of spending a number of hours in the only pub in St. Mullins and spending money on the stalls. The water of the holy well was reputed to cure all manner of illnesses and everyone in my town had a bottle).
Next we were instructed to make the essence. I put the bottle on the stone and saw the dark-haired woman place a garland of flowers around it, as if the bottle of water was also the stone. Next, to my surprise, she put a fat earthworm in it then told me to close the bottle quickly. The worm had to do with the fertility of the soil as though there had to be a combination of both energy-work and physical work to ensure fertility. Energy alone cannot grow things.
Next, we were told to bring some of that blessed water to the site of the long barrow. As we walked towards it, I felt a sudden powerful flowing in of energy that made my whole body tingle. I love that feeling! I poured the water onto where the barrow once stood, connecting to the ancestors and sending our gratitude to them and once we were finished we began to walk back to the car, towards Woodhenge. As I did, I became aware of an image of the long Barrow behind me and I stopped walking. It was as if we were walking out of the darkness of the winter/death and into the light of a new phase and I had to walk with that intention.
It was a very welcome ending to a very satisfying day’s work.