I didn’t need an alarm clock to wake me up in the morning, even though I did get some shut eye after all!!! 🙂 People had started arriving along the drove, more en masse, from about 4 am onwards and by about 6 am there was certainly a buzz of activity in the air. I had decided to stay huddled in my sleeping bag until the light started to show on the land, and when it did I readied myself and discovered that I was now completely surrounded by cars and vehicles!!! I took a slow walk down to the entrance by the underpass and I was thankful to find that the food kiosk was open as I hadn’t had any breakfast and I was gagging for a cup of tea!!! So I queued up and got myself a bacon roll, with brown sauce delight, and an Earl Grey Rosey! 🙂
After I’d purchased it I walked over to the picnic bench, positioned above the visitors centre and close to the road, so I could see the Stones as I ate and keep an eye on the underpass entrance. It was lovely sitting there, munching my delight and drinking my cup of rosey, while I watched the world, and its people, going by. Crowds began to gather and I wondered if I would recognise anyone, but I didn’t. Then the gates opened and the gathered began to merge and walk through.
I had half expected that moment to be quite formal, with the assembled being dogmatically led through by the head Druids, but it was quite refreshing to see that there appeared to be none of that hierarchical bollocks on show. There were indeed some at the front… and some at the back…. and some in the middle… just as there were some of everyone else everysomewherelse too!!! Nothing seemed to be rigidly organised and there didn’t seem to be anyone who desired to lead a procession either!!!
It was really quite nice because there was none of that….
“Right, can everyone wearing a white robe please make your way to the front. We shall walk through 2 a breast and in single files…. and don’t worry…. we’re not going to be re-enacting the Biblical story of Noah and his Ark… it’s simply a means by which we can negotiate the underpass in a calm and orderly manner…. and please don’t think (by me explaining it like that) that there are any connotations to Moses, the Red Sea and him setting his People free; any similarities to that story are purely coincidental and not libellous in any way! 🙂 …. Ok, next can we have the bards, drummers and musicians… please do converse with each other and produce a harmony you can all play in Unison to…. it can be awfully irritating when someone is playing out of tune and out of rhythm…. it really can ruin an otherwise wonderful experience for everyone else!!! 🙂 …. And then, yes, can we have the Pagans, the people whom identify as being Pagan (or simply have Pagan sympathises) and anyone else wearing colourful clothing… We really want to be putting on a good show today, and we don’t want anyone letting the side down, so please wear a big smile with your colourful clothing!!!!…. Next up, I say, could we have all the other people whom don’t feel they belong to any of the groups already mentioned…. you may go in together and thus form a group of your own!!!! 🙂 …. And, oh… Of course! I almost forgot! Are there any Christians here? Yes… there is one?…. well, would you be so kind as to follow us up the rear… only figuratively speaking and not literal of course… that would be terrible!!! Sorry!!…. but do feel free to follow us in, my jolly good fellow, and please remember not to leave any dynamite near the stones!!! We’ve had a lot trouble with Christians storing dynamite by our stones in the past and they’ve caused a frightful mess!!! 🙂 Ok…. I think we’re ready and all set to go… so on the count of 3 …. 3!!!! Sorry… my little joke! 🙂 …. off we go!!!” 🙂
….. No, it was more like….
“Hey, Primrose, are you going in yet?”
“No, but you go in and I’ll see you in there. I’ve got to wait for Bear… he’s left one of his shoes in the van and he’s gone back to get it. Bless him… I don’t know how you forget to put on one of your shoes!!!” 🙂
…. because there was an undoubted vibe that formalities didn’t matter and the only thing that did matter was for you to be yourself. And so, seeing as I felt like I fitted into no particular grouping… I felt right at home… as I was just myself… and under those conditions I felt comfortable to join a crowd that didn’t have any particular groupings!!! 🙂
So I went and joined the crowd, of a few hundred or so, and “filed” my way through the gates, then through the underpass and then through the grasslands surrounding the Stones. I happened to be walking behind what appeared to be some of the “lead” Druids and it was nice to listen to them converse with each other and discover how they conversed with each other. There was no “grand” talk and the conversation was very “everyday”, and again, was nothing like I’d half expected.
As we approached the Stones I had the feeling that I wanted to walk around them before I entered the circle and I was…. I’m not sure what…. I was “something” to discover that’s what most of the other people were doing too. So I walked sunwise… with everyone else. It always feels right to do things in 3’s and so I decided I would circle the circle 3 times before I even contemplated the moment I would enter the circle after the 3rd time. And I was equally “something” to discover that some of the Druids appeared to be doing the same too.
After the completion of all the sunwise walks people had naturally begun gathering within the Stone Circle and were awaiting the Druids to perform their ceremony. Some were playing drums, some were singing, some were cheering…. all were smiling and laughter was never more than a moments breath away from anyone…. or so the vibe appeared to me. However, I didn’t feel like it was the right moment for me to enter the Henge at that point and so I just stayed on the peripheral, during that time, simply touching the Stones and connecting with them somehow. It was amazing to finally touch them, and especially with the feelings of such joy and happiness around.
I’m not sure if I can truly describe what those moments felt like to me. Perhaps, after years of just seeing them from afar, the moment felt much more exaggerated to me, but I most certainly had the sense of the ecclesiastical and a sensation that I cant quite put into words, and I’m sure many others whom have “connected” with the Stones would express the same or a similar sentiment. It’s a something people can only experience for themselves because it’s a sense that is so very subtle and yet reaches every part of your Being, at least that’s how it was for me, but I’m equally sure that every experience is individual and that the most important part of the experience is “touch”. Touching the Stones didn’t make me feel high and “out of this world”; it made me feel grounded and very much part of it.
The Druids began their ceremony, but I still didn’t feel like it was the right time for me to enter the circle, and I also didn’t want to not feel part of it, so I stood by and in line with the Stones, being neither inside nor outside of the Circle!!! 🙂 And the Druids conduct a wonderful service. It’s very jovial, very heartfelt, very human, very Spiritual and, dare I say, very humorous!!! In fact, it’s enough to put a smile on your boat race!!! 🙂
Now, although I was enjoying the service I started to feel that I really wanted and needed to do my own thing, but I was torn because I really didn’t want to leave the service!!! 🙂 ….. and I also felt that leaving it would be a touch disrespectful…. not that anyone would notice or know… it was simply down to my own moral compass…. but then….
*And this is so important because it was a year to the day, and upon my return to Stonehenge on the Vernal Equinox of 2006, that I discovered that I had misheard what the “lead” Druid had said, but I’ll explain more in “Miller and the Stonehenge Adventure – Part V”!!!!! 🙂 *
…. I thought I heard the “lead” Druid say “The people that built Stonehenge didn’t know the world was round…” and I immediately thought “What!!!????” I had Graham Hancocks book “Heavens Mirror” in my car and when I first bought it, a few years before, I was intrigued to read that the Druid alphabet contains 22 letters, with 7 being vowels, and the relationship between the number 7 and the number 22 is that if you divide 22 by 7 you get 3.142, a number close to Pi you can derive by dividing two simple whole numbers; and Pi is the very number you require in order to calculate the circumference of a circle from its radius!!! Well, I thought that the people that built Stonehenge did know the world was round and I took that as my cue to jog on!!! 🙂
So the jovial ceremony carried on and I wandered out to the circular ditch surrounding the Henge. I felt like I wanted to try and feel its energies and so I position myself upon it, closed my eyes, put my arms out and began to slowly walk. I cant say that I consciously felt anything, but every time I opened an eye to have a cheeky peek to see if I was actually on track…. and not wandering off into oblivion!!! 🙂 …. I actually was!!!…. and I was somehow following the curve without consciously following the curve…. if that makes sense….. I know…. that seems like a load of bollocks doesn’t it…. much like a bag of balls which are curved!!!! 🙂 …. but it’s the truth anyway….. and I couldn’t give a monkeys toss if you don’t believe me!!! 🙂 “Something” certainly felt like it was guiding me… and then… after about 30 yards….. “something” told me to stop….. and so I did…. and then I put my feet together and just stayed standing there, with my eyes closed and my arms out, for several seconds…. and then….. “something” told me to open my eyes and look down….. so I brought in my arms, opened my eyes and looked down….. and there…. right at the tip of the big toe of my right foot…. was…. a golden ring.
My mind went blank for a few seconds, as I looked down upon it, and then I just had the thought of “What the fuck???” and I bent down to pick it up. As I picked it up, and held it before me, I just thought “What the fuck???” as some intuitions began to “filtrate” me about it. I’m not going to say what those intuitions were here, or maybe ever, but the ring was that of a deep “Indian” gold colour and it had inscriptions on both its outside and in. On the outside was a language that looked like some kind of Sanskrit and on the inside was what looked to me like Latin. The logical thing I wondered was if it was one of those reproduction “Lord of the Rings” accessories; but it just didn’t have that feeling about it. I looked at it in disbelief and then looked around me to see if anyone was watching me. The ceremony sounded like it was winding up inside the Stones and none of the English Heritage “security” guards seemed to be paying me any attention. The sun had risen, the sky was a shade of pale blue and I was on my own, in an experience, with everyone else.
I said a Prayer of thanks, for what, I do not know, and then I thought I’d just continue what I was doing and complete the circle, but it was no good attempting to do it like I was before because now I just kept losing the circular line and walking off of the mound!!! So I just resorted to attempting to “feel the energy” while walking around with my eyes open!!! 🙂
I completed the circle, said another Prayer and then felt it was the right time for me to enter the Circle of Stones at the Henge. People were milling about everywhere, by then, which meant they were no longer crammed into the Circle itself, which also meant there was time and space for me to have a more intimate experience in there. But the thing is…. I cant bloody remember walking in!!!! I sort of remember it, but it wasn’t this “boom… extraordinary experience time!”as I crossed the threshold…. no…. everything felt ever so soft, and ever so delicate and ever so fluid. I must have spent about 30 – 40 minutes in there, just walking by and touching every Stone, feeling their presence and merging with them, and then I just remember sitting by or on one for a while, feeling the sunshine on my face and watching the sky and the world go by. I don’t remember speaking with anyone, or saying a word, but I do remember smiling at people and people smiling back at me; and every smile felt like a blessing. 🙂
After that, with the ring in my pocket, I wandered over to the Heel Stone; by that time there was no one there and so I had it to myself…. and then…. for the first time in my life…. I was able to put my hands on the Heel Stone and say a Prayer. I have no idea why the Heel Stone is so important to me, it just is. It was a real magical moment for me and even after I’d said my Prayer I didn’t want to let go or take my hands off of the Heel Stone, but then some other people began to approach and I knew I’d had my moment and it was time for them to have theirs…. so I wandered over to a solitary Stone, I think on a former outer ring, and sat on it to watch the world and the sky go by once more…. and all I felt was peace.
I stayed there, sitting until an English Heritage “Security” guard approached me and gave me a polite 10 minute notice before the time it was expected that the people whom were there for Spiritual reasons departed and the outlying Stonehenge site became the dominion of paying customers again (with people whom were prepared to pay substantially more buying the “priviledge” of supervised “private” access to the Stone Circle itself, before and after English Heritage’s official Stonehenge opening and closing times). Five minutes later the same “security” guard approached me again and this time gave a more formal five minute warning that the expected departure time was approaching. After the full five minutes the “security” guard again approached and informed me that I was expected to leave and from then on full passive aggressive body language was employed.
It felt so unfortunate that I had to leave, but I acquiesced and walked towards the Henge (which was arguably in my shortest line of passage towards the underpass exit) as I felt the need to enter the Stone Circle once again, simply to say goodbye. As I reached the outer ring mound two more English Heritage “security” guards blocked my path and attempted to prevent my further access. I simply explained that I wished to walk through the Circle one last time while going enroute to the exit and, to be fair to them, they acquiesced to me and I was able to say goodbye to the Stones, as I had wished, and I did exactly as I had promised. As it happened, that made me one of the last people to have been in the Stone Circle that sunrise and I was amongst the last remaining “stragglers” to have frequented the Stonehenge site under the banner of “free” access that day, and I felt honoured to have had the Stone Circle (almost) to myself for a few brief seconds.
I spoke to no one as I left Stonehenge. I felt no need to speak with anyone. I was simply happy to exist in the moment. And as I walked back to my car I felt the ring in my pocket and I thought “What the fuck???!!!”
Lots of Love,