THE STONES SPEAK
It seems to me that many of us are in a wistful search for something we call ‘home’. It’s a feeling that’s hard to grasp, the faint notes of a beautiful melody that drifts to us in those moments when our busy lives become still. Perhaps the song of ‘home’ really is a feeling rather than a thing or a place. Or perhaps it is the sense of rootedness that we discover when we align ourselves to who our ancestors are and where they lived – when we locate our heritage and history in their land. Genetics aside, I have spoken with enough people to know that, for each of us, there are places on this beautiful earth that invoke the feeling of safety and security that we associate with the idea of ‘home’. One of these places found me when I was least expecting it. Avebury – the place of the stone people. It is one of the spaces that I now call ‘home’.
“Saw that house. Loved it. So I made an offer & they’ve accepted.”
Euan’s voice crackled in my ears over the long-distance connection. I smiled and winked at my grandmother. We were sharing tea and stories sat at the dining table in her Colorado house. “Awesome babe, I knew you would love it too,” I replied, leaping to do a little abundance jig around my chair. “You’re doing that dance thing again, aren’t you ?”, his amused voice asked. “Yep, and I will be doing it for a while yet. Avebury, baby ! We are moving to Avebury!” I laughed in gratitude.
A few weeks later we found ourselves in Marlborough, having picked up the keys to our new home. I had gone into the empty house earlier that day and, with Euan’s help, held a blessing and clearing ceremony to seal the space. As I had smudged the rooms with sage, I could feel the stones of the old cottage awaken with renewed energy and frequency. After some archaeological examination I had realised that, like many of the older cottages in the area, the walls of the house were made with blocks of stone that had once been the sarcens of the henge and avenue. I could even see scorch marks on some of the larger pieces that made up the outer wall, indicating where farmers had set fires around the massive standing stones in order to fell and break them apart. A part of me experienced great anger and sadness at the thought of such wanton destruction to this place of power.
That night I had a dream.
I am a young girl dressed in a dark woolen cloak. Its hood is drawn up around my head to protect from the cold autumn wind. I am watching a group of men setting a fire around the base of one of the stones on the northern side of the henge. A bubbling anger, a hatred is rising up from the base of my spine to my throat. Distraught, I send a silent call to the skies above to aid me. Clouds swiftly begin to gather. Soon a fierce and heavy rain is pelting down, extinguishing the fires and sending the men cursing for cover. A satisfied smile spreads across my young face. Suddenly my elbow is grabbed hard from behind me. The pain rattles me back into my small body. A tall woman scowls down at me. She has dark hair and a face lined by years of strain and tension. She is clearly angry at me. I sense she knows it was magic by my hand that brought the rains. I glare back at her with equally fierce defiance. This woman is my mother.
The scene shifts.
It is a late summer dusk. I am creeping along the edges of the wide bank and ditch that frames the stones of the henge. A group of men are trying to pull one of the large sarcens out of its socket, using ropes and wooden levers. Protector of the Stones, I move quickly toward a barn on the edge of the ditch where the village horses are kept. Nickering to them softly, I communicate what I want them to help me with. Receiving a ‘yes’ into my heart, I slip under the wooden beam that bars the door. I untie the ropes that hold all my horse friends at bay. Using all my juvenile strength I heave the heavy bar upwards and onto the ground, opening a wide space. It is only seconds before all the horses are thundering across the fields into the darkening night. I hear the shouts and screams of the men as they drop their ropes to run after the horses, attempting to capture those that are still near enough. Laughing, I turn to see the woman that I call mother striding across the open space of the henge towards my hiding place. She has the priest by her side. A chill as cold as ice runs through me. I dash headlong in the opposite direction, into the black. I know I have to leave my post as Guardian of the Stones this very moment or be killed for my magic. My heart is filled to breaking with the agony of separation and fear of what may become of me.
In the years that we have been blessed to live in Avebury, many mystical and magical occurrences have graced our lives. The energy of this ancient place is truly awakening. Many of those who are now called here, whether for a brief visit or longer rest, report that parts of their story have resurfaced – so that reclamation and healing can take place. The longer I am in this rolling landscape, the more I become convinced that this place is a portal to deeper and wider realities. It is a sacred space where a multidimensional cosmology comes alive within us in the silence of the hills and whispers of the stones. All we have to do is take the time to listen. To listen and allow our past to inform a different future.
We will be running several workshops in Avebury over the Spring and Summer.