I had planned to do more individual posts about the UK, but as usual, the busyness of life has gotten the best of me again. So I thought I’d combine many events in one post.
The Rollright Stones was my favorite place to experience. There are three monuments on the land: a circle of standing stones (the King’s Men), a larger standing stone a hundred or so yards from the circle (the King Stone), and a cluster of standing stones a few hundred yards in the opposite direction of the circle (the Whispering Knights). The story goes that the stones were once a king and his retinue and that a witch turned them all to stone.
A trust owns the site and tends to it. The trust has Witch and Pagan sympathies, with several members being involved in various associated communities. On account of this, modern Pagans and Witches continue to use the stones for ritual purposes.
The energy of the Rollrights was what I expected, but did not find, at Avebury: It was very circular and closed. The stones defined the edge of the power. It functioned very much the same way a modern magic circle does; though I cannot say if that was the function when it was designed or if that has been imprinted by more recent activity. Regardless, the stones clearly controlled and directed energy.
Overall I found the Rollright location to be very Witch friendly. Everything about the landscape was begging for me to work with it. There was a real power and it wanted to be explored. Walking out to the Whispering Knights, I found some blackthorn, and I had a weird sense of knowing that, while full of thorns, it wouldn’t hurt a Witch. I ran my hand over its branches, poking and prodding, but I could not get it to stick me. It was all very joyful and serene in a peculiar way.
It would certainly be very neat to do some work at the Stones. Perhaps next time…
Glastonbury certainly was an experience. The town is filled with occult and Pagan stores. Some of these had lovely art and I did end up buying a few prints. It was at once quaint, commercial, and artsy.
The Tor was quite stunning, as one would expect. It’s a hike to get to the top, but well worth it. The scenery is gorgeous, and there’s an interesting energetic pattern, as two laylines meet outside of the tower–which one of my friends unknowingly stumbled into. Surprise!
While the Tor was certainly neat, by far the best part of Glastonbury was the White Well. It is a bubbling well at the bottom of the Tor. It’s contained in a hollow dug into the side of the hill. You step down into a stone room, the floor covered with water. The cold water flows up from the earth and fills several large pools which are lined with candles. The whole place has a soft, peaceful glow. There is a loud rushing sound as the water spills over from pool to pool. Several meditative areas fill the remaining space. It is truly a modern Western non-Abrahamic temple. I had never seen anything like it, and I now long to see more ‘temples’ in the over-developed world. There is real magic there.
The Magic Follows
While certainly a vacation and a time with friends, this trip to the UK was firstly a magical and spiritual sabbatical. It was a time to reflect on where I have come with my Craft, where I am at now, and where I may be heading next. Magic followed me throughout the journey, reminding me of why I was there and prompting me to look deeper into myself.
We ended our trip with a meeting with Maxine. It was a lovely evening filled with stories, teaching moments, and good discussions. I feel very fortunate to have met one of the founders of my tradition. One of the points Maxine stressed is that there’s a certain beauty which defines the Alexandrian Craft: beautiful priestesses and priests; beautiful rituals; beautiful tools. Something about this strikes a chord in me. I don’t think it’s just aesthetics, either. There’s a visceral level of beauty in the Craft, too. This is one of my takeaways from this sabbatical: exploring the Beauty of the Craft and allowing others to glimpse it through my Priesthood. I hope this blog can help facilitate this growth.
I, who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the heart’s desire, call unto thy soul.The Charge of the Goddess