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Avebury has long been one of my favourite sacred sites and I was sad not to have been able to include it in Crystals and Sacred Sites. It’s not that far from me so I was delighted when Sarah Lownds from Sarpenela Natural Therapies suggested we go there for one of our ‘play days’. We’d decided we weren’t getting enough relaxation time so have scheduled in some rejuvenating trips. We’d had a great time when we went to Glastonbury a couple of weeks previously so off we went to Avebury. The sun was shining as we left Dorset, but by the time we got to Salisbury it had disappeared and it was positively gloomy in Wiltshire as you can see. There was quite an eerie feel. Not that we let that, nor the biting cold, daunt us. But we didn’t linger to meditate as we’d planned. And anyway, the tree surgeons were at work where we’d planned to settle. It was one of those days! Thwarted plans meant staying in the moment.
A favourite power spot. What you don’t see is the tree surgeons up above trimming the branches.
Road tripping in my trusty blue Nissan Micra is hardly the same as an iconic ’66 Thunderbird. But it almost became as notorious as the ‘Bird when we stopped for petrol on the way. Sarah went into the garage to buy water and said, ‘I’ll pay’. ‘Don’t worry’ I said, ‘you paid for Glastonbury. I’ll do it.’ But when a guy behind hooted to make me move away from the petrol pump, I pulled forward and payment fled my mind. Sarah got in and off we drove. It wasn’t till we were having lunch in the pub – sitting at the well – and I said that I’d pay the bill as she’d paid for the petrol we realised what we’d done. ‘I didn’t pay’, she said, ‘I thought you’d paid at the pump. Oh dear we’ll have the
police looking for us next.’ We looked at each other in dismay and then both dissolved into helpless giggles. When we’d recovered, the pub very kindly helped us to sort out the situation by phone, so many thanks to them. Otherwise we’d have been beamed out to all the police cars in the area and blue-lighted. Never really fancied being part of a police chase. Especially in a Micra. But so typical of the weird everything-is-in-Pisces astrological energy that’s going on at the moment. Thanks are due to Waitrose in Salisbury for not calling the police immediately. The staff, needless to say, were much amused when I sheepishly went in to pay that evening. ‘It’s a good job you phoned, we were on the verge of calling.’ They said. But fortunately they’d held off for a few hours ‘to give the culprit time to return and make reparation in case they’d forgotten’.
Walking round the circle, I was trying to stalk a crow with my camera. Every time I lined him up, off he popped. Then stood and looked back at me as if to say ‘hah, had, you can’t catch me.’ And off he went again. No way was he going to stand still. I got his tail, his wing, and a very blurry back. Then later he appeared on top of one the stones, peering round comically to see what we were up to. I shared something about crow medicine on Facebook a little while ago. This is what Avia on http://www.whats-your-sign.com/crow-symbolism.html says about this tricky fellow:
‘These birds are jokesters. They love a good prank. At least, that’s what I’ve learned from them. If I were to pin down a Jungian archetype for these birds, I would absolutely pick the role of “trickster”. If you know anything about folklore as historical relevance and human morality…you could easily pick out the role of trickster in the human collective consciousness. It’s that crow who pulls the rug from beneath our feet. It’s that well-meaning, but mischievous character who orchestrates an action that reaps dark consequences. Of course, these dark consequences lead to lighter epiphanies, and that’s the beauty of hoody-chicanery (as in “hoody crow”). Without the tricky crow, we cannot have levity. It’s just the way of fairy-tale balances.’
‘Part of crow symbolism deals with memory-keeping. This is a big symbolic point here. Many cultures believe crows hold memories of ancient worlds, ancient ways of living, and beautiful secrets. I know the Druids strained to understand the language of crows/ravens in order to decode those old mysteries for higher wisdom.’
‘I don’t think the crow was ever willing to share those secrets, or share the “rosetta stone” to their unique language. Stubborn, willful, and fiercely proud of their wisdom…the crow keeps their mysteries in their own tombs of knowing. Within those tombs, I rather think the crow glories in major glitter. I think they absolutely LOVE being secretive, mysterious, and get joy in withholding their occult knowing’s from mankind. I suppose they’re like a Rubik’s Cube. Those who can twist their complexity into order, may have the gift of wisdom. Otherwise, I rather think the crow says: “f*ck you.” Sorry for the hint of profanity, but the crows that who to me aren’t sorry to spout it – so there you have it.’
Note that pulling the rug out from under your feet reference. When I got home I discovered that, only a few days away from completion, my pension fund flat sale had fallen through. I hadn’t even put it on the market. Someone had phoned to ask if I wanted to sell it. And she offered a good price so I grabbed it. No agents involved… The universe was supporting me. But no, it was not to be. That’ll teach me to plan projects at the end of an astrological year when just about every planet that could be was in slippery Pisces – and we were between two eclipses. You’d think an astrologer would know better. Now I’m awaiting that lighter epiphancy that is promised. Hopefully I’ll get that up the crystal mountain, which is where I’ll be by the time you read this.
“A wise old owl sat on an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?”
OK, time for a new background tune. Try this one. Always one of my favourites: The Ballad of Lucy Jordan – Marianne Faithfull
CLICK HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7GoTAmvxw0
‘At the age of 37 She knew she’d found forever’
At the age of thirty seven
She knew she’d found forever
As she rode along through Paris
With the warm wind in her hair
[Ballard of Lucy Jordan, Shel Silverstein]
I was 37 the first time I went to Avebury – in this life. I’d dreamed of it though since I was a small child. An old greystone house with a flagstone floor. Set in a ring of stones. When I had finally visited, I loved it dearly (this was before it became a theme park. Back then it was a family home open to the public). I especially knew the ‘back area’, the kitchen and scullery. I reckon I was a maid there once. I watched ‘Children of the Stones´on t.v. in 1977 knowing that I knew that house (why haven’t they bought that excellent series back, memo to self must get a copy).
Funnily enough when we’d arrived back then – travelling not in a Thunderbird or a white sports car but in an old Ford estate – it was very late at night, too late to book in anywhere. So we slept in the car just outside the stones. Well, I say sleep. Waves of energy coursed through me all night. As we’d driven in, I’d seen two avenues of stones, one close by where we’d parked. ‘You haven’t been here for a few hundred years,’ the farmer who called in for breakfast with us said. ‘That avenue was pulled down years ago.’ He wasn’t the least phased to find two weary travellers cooking up bacon and eggs on a portable gas stove in one of his fields. ‘Happens all the time,’ he said tucking into his bacon butty. Of course, now I can see that I was parked on one end of a dragon! The serpent of Avebury. Still as powerful today.
So, back to the trip with Sarah. Walking apparently randomly, and still laughing about the petrol faux pas, we went to visit some favourite stones.
I’m convinced this is a pecked star map from when the stones were first erected. The other side is absolutely smooth. These tiny holes must have been made purposely.
Thelma and Louise: the alternative ending. Check this one out! So much better than all those guns. Take the jump!
Sarah highly recommends staying at the pub. We certainly found them most hospitable yesterday. They serve great fish chips. I thought you might enjoy this P.S.
A decent night’s rest amid the stones
Many is the landlord and landlady who tries to dream up a unique selling point that will tempt customers over their threshold and thus swell the coffers of their inn’s tills.
The battle to proclaim theirs the oldest hostelry in England is a well-known ploy, as are the plethora of ghostly inhabitants said to lurk in the darker recesses of many an historic watering hole. None, however, can come close to matching that of The Red Lion, which can claim, without fear of contradiction, to be the only inn in the world that is located inside a prehistoric stone circle. Avebury dates from between 4000 and 2400BC, and is actually made up of three stone circles. The whitewashed walls and dark, thatched roof of The Red Lion provide a strange contrast to the colossal stones that encircle it. The building dates back to the early 1600s, and was a farmhouse until 1802, when it acquired a licence and became a coaching inn. It has done sterling work ever since, attending to the needs of hungry and weary travellers and, of late, to those who venture to this legend-shrouded location to experience its aura of magic and mystery. Several ghosts are known to reside both within and without the ancient property. Very occasionally a phantom carriage, drawn by ghostly horses, has been seen clattering across the inn’ s courtyard. Successive landlords have preferred not to become acquainted with this spectral visitor, since it is a harbinger of tragedy, and means that a close relative is about to die. Less traumatic, though equally alarming, is The Red Lion’ s female phantom, Florrie. During the 17th-century English Civil War, Florrie’ s husband is said to have returned unannounced from the conflict and caught his wife in the arms of another man. He shot her lover dead and slit his wife’ s throat. He then dragged her body to the well (still to be seen in one of the pub’s front rooms) and, having thrown her down it, sealed it with a huge boulder. Florrie’s ghost has remained behind ever since, searching, it is said, for a man with a beard; although whether he represents her husband or her lover tends to vary with different versions of the story. She has been seen emerging from and disappearing into the old well, which is now glassed over to serve both as a curiosity and as a drinks table. Bearded customers in particular appear to attract her attention. On one occasion a chandelier in the restaurant suddenly began to spin round at an alarming speed. When the manager was summoned, he nodded knowingly when he saw that the man sitting directly underneath it sported a bushy beard.Other parts of the 400-year-old building are also haunted. The ghosts of two children, whom several guests have seen cowering in a corner, haunt the Avenue bedroom. An equally ethereal woman who sits writing at the table, either oblivious to or unconcerned by their evident distress, often accompanies them. Only the walls know the truth about who they were and what domestic tragedy lies behind their manifestations – and they’ re not telling. Strange orbs of light hovering in the darkness, weird shadows flickering across walls; and cold spots that have been known to chill the marrow of even the most hardened sceptic, are just some of the other phenomena experienced at this genuinely atmospheric old inn. Several guests have been so disturbed by their experiences that they have refused to stay another night. The majority, however, fall under the spell of its ancient corridors and creaking floorboards and, like the pub’s manager, Richard Bounds, find it a tranquil and calming place. “Outside the stone circle,” says Richard, “I can’t sleep at night. But in here I sleep like a log.” [ http://www.haunted-britain.com/red-lion-inn-avebury.htm]
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