I’m not often asked why I do what I do. The more common reaction is appreciation, enthusiasm and curiosity – and then a deluge of questions!
It can be hard work. Some days, I am just worn out and no use to anyone. It can feel thankless.
Then, on days like today, I’m reminded all over again, simply Why.
Invitations to perform Handfastings and Renewal ceremonies. And Funerals. Life-changing moments.
In-depth discussions of the work being undertaken to have Pagan voices recognised by Government. Including the constant striving for legalisation for the aforementioned ceremonies. Lasting change.
Encouraging creativity, seeking inspiration, keeping the tales of this land alive.
Discussing Druidry as it is lived, every day. If I’m being listened to, I’m encouraging others to explore with me.
Hugs and thanks from random strangers who’ve read my words.
And then finally, being unexpectedly moved almost to tears by ‘The Battle for Stonehenge’ documentary (here). Hearing the voices of others with shared belief.
I am just one character in this tale, narrator and player. But I do my best to make what I do count, by its truth. Word by word, step by step. Constant challenge, often battling, moving forward.
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.
Three years ago, this happened. Please follow the link and have a read.
This was the first time that my partner and I stepped into the circle at Stonehenge, barefoot on the grass at sunset. My breath was literally taken away, and I couldn’t speak for a few minutes, such was the weight (literal, historical, spiritual… everything!) of the place. Not just the stones, but the land, Salisbury Plain itself.
A huge turning point in my work, it was also one of the most memorable days of my life. We gained some wonderful friends, joined together in love and community, following in the steps of our ancestors by truly marking such an occasion as we did.
I give thanks to those stones, to this land, and to the lovely people who asked us – a deep honour and privilege. The magic is still being made…
(Image copyright to the talented team at Peacock Obscura)