Friday, May 25, 2007

The Mary Stone


St Mary Magdalene, Winterbourne

Monday May 21, 2007


After the rain, it was a beautifully soft evening. Rooks cawed and blackbird’s fluted in the still light sky. The little church sat in neat gardens. At its eastern end, a megalith lay prone, its head near the church wall and its feet pointing at a hollow sycamore by the churchyard gate.

The Mary Line, running from Cornwall through to Bury St Edmund’s, ran straight through the church, along the MEGALITH, into the hollow sycamore and on towards West Kennet and Silbury Hill. The air fizzed and everything sounded brighter and sharper to me. We sat down upon the stone and cast our circle.

I was in a neat garden, not unlike this churchyard, but edged by dark, twisted olives. By a rocky wall sat a dark young woman in red quietly weeping. I moved away from her, wanting to leave her privacy for she seemed to be deep him her grief.

Over by a gate stood an old tree, its centre hollow. Inside, the core was a twisted cord of two serpentine pieces of wood, with a third, decayed and furry behind. It moved and swivelled, turning and spinning with itself in a never-still flowing grace. Was this the core of the old tree or two snakes in a sensual dance?

My goat appeared and disappeared into the tree. I Moved closer and stepped into the tree’s hollow belly, squeezing past the moving serpent core and climbing down into a hole at the back. I wriggled like a snake, shifting my weight from side to side to propel myself through the narrow passage. Eventually I slithered down and out into a dark and gloomy round stone chamber.

Grey light edged a half obscured exit out into daylight. By its light, I saw that a long flat stone, strewn with discarded cloths occupied the centre of the cave. Other than this, the space was empty.

I moved towards the opening and squeezed past the rock at the entrance and out into daylight. Outside, on another rock sat the woman I had seen earlier in another garden. She was not weeping now, but rather sitting, haloed with joy, in quiet and peaceful contemplation. I sat down beside her and joined her silent meditation.

A blackbird sang its flowing evening song. The rooks caw-cawed in response. The stone beneath my bottom was cold. The sweet smell of burning lavender and sage mingled with the dew drenched grass smell of dusk.

I got up and walked over to the tree. Reaching in, I touched the snake-like core, following its progress with my fingers in a tactile journey of praise and thanksgiving to the goddess, this beautiful place and that unknown energy that is the Mary line, waving and spiralling its way sensuously across the country. I thought of the weeping and then meditating woman and the empty tomb in that other place. We are all motivated by love. What matter what we call our gods, their stories are often similar. To love all existences and in turn love our own, (as the old Druid prayer says) is what matters now.

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