Saturday, 7 April 2012

West Kennet Long Barrow

In the barrow on the hill there is an echo of the past. A place where the earth once held, so lovingly and so gently, the bones of the shamans. No bones are there now, only spirits whispering.

Last night I visited. I watched from atop the barrow as a glorious paint spill of pinks and golds stained the sky as the sun went down. I danced to the beating of the drums beneath and waited for the full mother moon to rise above the horizon and part the clouds. I wandered into the darkness of the burial chambers, touching the worn walls of stone, brushing the fingertips of my ancestors. In the candlelight I joined the others as they drummed up the ancient ones.

Some time for us to be in quiet reflection allowed me to feel the draught as the door between the worlds opened a crack at the stone in the end chamber. I'm not the only one who has felt it before. Same place, same stone. The time here overlaps. Our present time but a breath away from times before. An old woman sat on the floor before me. Grizzled grey hair, bare arms and legs crouched in the dirt, fingers drawing shapes in the dust, holding a skull and crooning to the bones.

It is a place of love and of learning. A place of initiation. A place of birth and a place of death. A place of coming and going. It is calm and peaceful. It is a comfort to be in the dark, coolness of Mother Earth and to be in the presence of the passive, still nature of the feminine and to feel that it is one of infinite potential.

In some ways similar and in some ways so different we honoured the ancestors and we honoured the earth. You can't help but be humbled and feel deep respect and gratitude in such places. We sent love and healing to the world. We walked down the silvery hillside as the Seed Moon shone bright upon our path.

Last night I went with friends, some old some new. I will go back alone sometime soon. It's a gentle place to sit with the old ones and who knows what wisdoms they still want to share. If I listen with my other ears I will hear the whispers for sure.

It's a place I've never taken my son to and last night reminded me I must take him. It's fairly awesome and the over lapping past is tangible and exiting. A good excuse for an outdoor neolithic history lesson under the guise of a ramble and a picnic.

If you haven't been, go. It's off the A4 Bath Road from Marlborough. If you fancy a more in depth adventure Peter Knight is for all intents and purposes a modern day guardian of West Kennet Long Barrow and a very knowledgeable guide. He holds many walks and tours of the sacred landscape of Dorset and the Full Moon drumming events like last night. Happy earth wanderings.

The Dreadess xx

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