Claire

The day started early; we were on a bus headed for Avebury and I could not have been more thrilled.  The ride would be long compared to our other adventures.  Most of them had been in London and we took the Tube, walked, or a combination of the two in order to get to our destinations. But today would begin about an hour and a half to the west of London.  Thankfully we had Claire and Zah Rasul from SU London with us as our hosts.  They have been with us since the beginning and have become like family to the group. 

As we moved forward to our destination the country side revealed a beauty not seen in London.  Rich, green rolling hills and buildings that spoke of centuries gone by.  During

We met our tour guide in the parking lot – a delightful woman with a good general knowledge but definitely not pagan.  She guided us to the gate where we gathered before entering the fields.  She explained that we might see some “kooky new age types” because it was a special day; it was the equinox.  It was at that point that the Dean introduced me, the Pagan Chaplain for the University, and then we began.  The stones were magnificent and we were given the opportunity to use divining rods to locate energy points and see how the stones affected the rods. 

Avebury

The energy was high, so very, very high I could feel it course all around me.  Everyone was enjoying themselves; the size of the stones and what they represented was not lost on a single person.  We were given free license to move about as we wanted and not in a group.  So I and one of the students took off to a secondary field.  This field had the stones that lined the avenue leading up to the stone circle and trench.  All I could think of was “these were the maiden gates,” this is where the ancestors walked to come to this place.

We talked a bit, but soon returned to where we had come from.  The students had scattered but I was told that the guide wanted me to join her at the moon circle.  I was given directions and off I went to find her.  What I found was not the guide but a ritual circle being set up; a hand fasting would be taking place there in a few hours.  It was the re-commitment of a couple already married several years – their children would be present to witness the ceremony.  What a wonderful way to spend the equinox. I didn’t linger here though, it was not my place.  So I moved on and found the rest of the group.  It was time to begin gathering ourselves to move back to the bus. 

Back on the bus, our next stop is Glastonbury.  We are going to the Tor.  First, however, was the experience of the town of Glastonbury itself.  As we drove into town metaphysical shops lined the street.  Almost like Salem but very different in its feel and energy.  I was home.  We stopped at the Glastonbury Abbey; its ruins are all that are left.  Magnificent in their own right, the ruins spoke of a time when churches and Christian faiths fought amongst themselves.  Destruction of such a beautiful place can only come through fear, greed and hate.  I’m glad that some of it has been preserved for us to see. 

We began to ascend the “hill”, a steep climb to say the least, and I begun to worry that not all of our group would be able to make it to the top.  A couple of people in the group had physical limitations and it could have been tricky for them.  But we all went slow, deliberate, but slow.  Each of us would stop on occasion, catching our breath and taking in the view.  Personally I would look back to those behind me to see if we were all making it; to my delight all were.  When I finally made it to the top emotions flooded over me.  This truly was the peace that I was looking for; this is where I was meant to travel to.  Tears welled up in my eyes and the words formed in my head – never shall I ever hide nor deny who and what I am.  I walked across the top of the Tor, through the tower that Christians had erected so many centuries ago, and to the other side.  I could see why the ancestors would see this as the place where sky meets land.  Most of the day I was quiet, very quiet; now was no different, but I had ritual to perform.

I spoke with the Dean about where I had chosen for us to gather and soon we were all collected on a flat spot just below the top.  I had placed a few objects in the center of what would be my circle and let everyone else know that if they wanted they could place anything there as well for a blessing of energy.  The many items that joined mine made a wonderful collection of personal belongings.  As we began the ritual I had everyone join in the casting of the circle, hand to hand and heart to heart.  The ritual was simple and so was its message: balance.  Each person blindly selected a stone from a pouch.  It was smooth and full of color and meaning – represented their individual traditions and the knowledge that they brought with them to this trip.  I asked them to close their eyes and feel that core bit that the stone spoke to them about.  When they opened their eyes they were instructed to also open their bottles of bubbles, yes bubbles.  The bubbles were used to places wishes and thoughts on the wind, to allow the energy of change to be given life and flight so the gods could take them and work those wishes through.  So on the Tor

Tor

our entire group held up their bubble wands to watch the beauty they created fly away.  After this another pouch of stones was passed.  It was full of small, rough clear quartz crystals.  They represented the clean slate that each of us now have.  It is ours to smooth out, ours to add color too, and ours to mold and make decisions on how it will look.  No one needs give up their traditions, they should hold on to them, but now is the time to integrate those traditions into the greater world in understanding and cooperation.

We ended with cakes and ale, or in this case a loaf of fresh bread and bottled water.  It was time to enjoy the energy and peace of the place which had become very quiet during the ritual.  You see as soon as we began a hush had come over the Tor.  There had been several people there when we arrived and when we started the ritual most of them were still there, but it was as if they all left right after our ritual began.  I looked around and found out that they hadn’t left, everyone was still there; but our small microcosm was a world all unto itself and everything outside of it had seemed to cease.  Now we were back on this plane, in this world, and the rest of the bubbles were being used.  The descent from the Tor began and our trip back to London was quiet.  I will never forget this experience, it was a place I needed to be.

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