Visiting the Otherworld

Awake in a hotel room at 4am this morning, to reach Stonehenge just after sunrise.

Fog wraps the land in a blanket. Driving is a challenge, carefully navigating the obscured pathways and sudden signs, as well as roaming wildlife. Every move forward reminds me of the journeys we tell in story, of stepping through the mists into the Otherworld. I’ve no idea what lies beyond.

Barefoot on damp grass, I step into the circle. Breathing deep, the words come and the ritual begins. I’m aware of those watching, in body and in spirit. Focus. Feel the weight of the stones.

Cameras are clicking, guards in high-visibility coats hold the space in their own way. Curious jackdaws glide overhead. I feel welcomed, held, just one of so many who have held similar rites in this small area across the centuries. The powerful places help us mark the important times in our lives, after all.

We conclude, congratulate and smile. Questions come, thick and fast, but all curious and well-meant. Small applause from random strangers, caught up in the theatrics of the moment, but happy to be part of something…

We all return to our everyday lives. I will perform this rite again, perhaps even in this place. Every one unique, every day its own. Walking the line between the Otherworld as it touches this.

Each memory of such an occasion is held, honoured and celebrated. And I’m so very glad to be a part of it.

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