Sunday, March 25, 2007

Greenwich Park Motherstone

Not to be confused with the one I recently visited in the Pencili Mountains, the Greenwich Motherstone is part of an installation in the park which used to include a drinking fountain of local spring water. It has been carved and a bowl of similar material set in the stone. The stones abut a small hill dotted with holly and other trees.

The installation is no longer a drinking fountain. The lead pipes were considered not to be safe. It would be a sad and neglected spot if it weren’t for local Pagan’s taking care of it. A number come to clean and fill the bowl with Glastonbury Challis well spring water.

I climbed the hill above the stones and lent against them as I cast the circle. My companions held the space below in front of the stones. The stones held me competently and I felt safe. The wind allowed our candle to remain lit and the incense to spiral around the stones.

I sat down on the grassy hill and felt the sheltering presence of the stone at my back and the hill before me. It was warmer here and I breathed gently into the stone and the earth.

Water dripped from the arched ceiling into the ankle-deep pool in which I was standing. It was very dark. The passage was narrow and low. I had to stoop to get through.

I trailed my fingers on the stone walls, following the tunnel as it led out into a wider chamber. In the gloom, something darker loomed above my head. I waited quietly for my eyes to get used to the dark or for something else to happen.

He was tall. He had horns and he was very dark. Something shifted and a light shafted down from above lighting up the figure. His skin shone warm against the darker shadows and I felt rather than saw him move.

Water dripped from his cupped hands. I moved closer, and gasped as I caught the freezing drops in my hands.

I looked up into a face both stern and kind. The features were still although the hands were cupped to catch water. I was not sure whether they had been like that before I felt him move. The dark stone of his hands shone black where the water dripped.

I was back on the hillside. The motherstone was supporting me. I lent back and allowed her to hold me. I began to sing a Chant:

“We shall never, ever lose our way to the well of liberty.
And the living flame it will rise, it will rise again.

In time, the tune moved into another and other words came:

“The motherstone is holding me,
The motherstone is holding us.”

And I remembered the tall dark presence of the horned one and thanked him for allowing me to explore the mysteries of this place that was very much his as well as hers.

All was still. A park cart transporting tourists rumbled noisily past. I clambered stiffly up and closed the circle.


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