Sunday, October 21, 2007

Carn Euny Fogou and Underground Chamber

Thursday October 18, 2007:

Dark Mother

Carn Euny is the site of an ancient Iron Age village. The nearby Bronze Age Fogou is quite spacious unlike many others found in Cornwall. A metal grille has been placed in the ceiling of the underground corbelled chamber allowing light to illuminate the interior. It is thought that the underground chamber was built first with the west and east entrances being added later. The settlement is in very good condition - possibly due to its remote location. It lies mid-way between Sancreed and Land's End Aerodrome near the hamlet of Grumbla.

We walked a path strewn with wild Camomile and climbed a Cornish Stile to get to the village. A pattern of six or so round houses, their lower walls still remaining spread out before us. In one corner, the Fogou and chamber lay.

The creep passage had recently been reopened and I scrabbled down it bottom first, landing in a muddy patch. Without difficulty, I could stand and walk through the Fogou passage, but we had to bend to get into the underground chamber.

Under the grating, a small puddle glimmered. We set our candle there, made a purple wool spiral and scattered some flower petals. I gave to the water the sprig of camomile I had gathered on the walk here in honour of the sleeping earth.

We sang to the round walls, calling to the dark goddess to be with us.

“”Hecate, Cerridwen,
Dark mother take us in.
Hecate, Cerridwen,
Let us be reborn.”

I was lying curled up on the floor. Women sat around me. There was a fire. Hands massaged my body, wrapped me in warm cloths. A song, whose words I could not hear echoed through the chamber.

In the centre of the room, the shadows shifted and a tall figure stood, veiled in grey and purple. The women brought me before her and I knelt at her feet.

She reached out and touched my forehead with the palm of her hand and I felt her warmth move right through me. Taking a bowl, she sprinkled something on me and seemed to ask me to rise.

I got to my feet and she turned, indicating that I should follow.

I was back in the chamber again. This time I was alone. I lay in the dark and waited.

The gloom began to thin and I heard footsteps. Someone entered the chamber. She was veiled like the other one, but wasn’t her. I got up, I new I had to follow her.

She indicated that I should exit via the Creep passage. I crawled up it, through the mud and stones pushing myself out on hands and knees, out into the dawn of a new day and a new life.

There were voices outside and shuffling footsteps. Others wanted to come in but were nervous of the strange women with their odd singing. I bowed to the chamber, giving thanks to the dark lady and my dream. We got up to go, leaving our petals floating in the puddle with the purple wool spiral spread across it.

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