Friday, February 23, 2007

Waun Mawn Standing Stones

High on a mountain side in the Preseli Mountains, we found a wonderful Motherstone. Roughly nine feet tall, she stands almost totally surrounded by water, in a small pond. There is a little causeway in front so it is possible to get up close and touch her.

From another angle, her large round bum can definitely be seen and felt. From behind it looks as though she is carrying a child in a rucksack on her back. She gazes out serenely over mown rough mountain grass, clumps of marsh grass and vicious gorse bushes.

The Bridal Path was pitted with rain filled potholes. As we walked across the deserted mountain, we passed two stones sitting companionably side by side, a low boulder upon which the wind had carved a face and another tall stone which seemed to be watching our progress. All around, the mountaintops were shrouded in low cloud and the air was damp with the promise of rain.

Standing on one leg on the causeway (for it was very narrow) I reached up to touch the Motherstone. She stood patient and forbearing and I felt a bit like an importunate child. Still she was not absolutely discouraging, though I most certainly wouldn’t dream of messing with her!

Casting a circle, I Called to the spirit of the stones and to the mother goddess. I called to the creatures of the mountains and the energy of those who had worked here, especially those who honoured mothers. I set the intention to give thanks to mine and to work to help her thrive and prosper in the aftermath of her husband’s death.

Spreading out a blanket, I settled down with my belly to the earth, in front of her. The drum beat rocked me into a dream and I travelled back through my mother’s blood line to know something of the burdens and the joys of my ancestors .

There were circles of people dancing. There were fires and drumming and a lot of noise. I was being carried towards it.

The lake around the mother stone was really quite a pond. They laid me down at the mouth of the causeway. From where I was, I could see the motherstone. She stood solid and reassuring.

My body seemed to rend apart. Something was pushing and shoving from within. A spasm seized my whole torso and somewhere close by, an animal screamed in terror.

Waves of nausea and sharp pain encircled me and I howled my agony as hands rubbed at my swollen belly, stroked my thighs and cradled my head. My hips reared and I kicked out, trying to roll away from the hands but they held me, rocking me, calling encouragement as I sweated and gasped.

The drums grew louder and the pain swelled until I felt totally engulfed in it. Surely I would die? The beat and the spasms united as one and the chanting voices seemed to hold me as with one final heave, I was free. I lay limply, fighting for breath.

Her cry was a thin wail, like that of the vixen. Frenziedly, I reached out, calling for her, for although this was the first time I’d ever heard it, I knew that cry. Something small, warm and wet was put into my arms. I held it to me and the small mouth reached for the engorged heavy breast and began to suckle.

As I held her, it came to me that I would do anything in the world to protect her. This warm little mewling sticky bundle was a part of me. The motherstone seemed to smile. She stood still in her little lake watching me and my baby, now wrapped and warm, still held by many gentle hands.

The drum beat slowed. The dancers disappeared. The wind touched my cheek and I felt the soft rough grass under my hand. Lying quietly, I gave thanks for the dream and sent that fierce mother’s love, back to her whose it was and offered a silent prayer of strength to my own mother.

Certain that I was loved, I felt at peace. Rising, I closed the circle, gave the motherstone a little slate blue clay shell and returned to the car.

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