Castlerigg

Castlerigg

_tsl8867When I was invited to speak at a weekend gathering in the U.K. I put the question out to the Universe, Where shall I journey the week before? If I was going to make the long flight across the Atlantic, it made sense to extend the journey and connect with this most beautiful of countries. Almost immediately I saw a post on Facebook about Castlerigg and so it was this stone circle that called me to Cumbria, that called me to this pilgrimage.

_tsl8870Much of the preparation for the journey centered on researching the Lake District, where the stone circle is found. The nearest town is Keswick (pronounced kez-ick) so the cottage that stood out as the right one was only two miles from Castlerigg and outside of town, in the rural countryside.

_tsl8877Upon arrival at the ancient circle of standing stones, I was expecting to feel strong emotions and awe but I felt nothing….at first. The energy felt flat which truly surprised me. Nevertheless, I approached the circle with reverence and openness and began to connect with it through an inner prompting or voice.

_tsl8872heard to walk clockwise or sun-wise around it twice and then enter a small sanctuary area near the largest stone. I walked three times around the sanctuary and knelt at a small, flat stone. It felt as if I was laying down everything in my life, surrendering it all…letting go. Then I exited to the main stone.

_tsl8891My hands then found a ledge and rested there. I dropped into silence, into meditation and soon heard, What do you desire? “To serve the light,” I whispered. As if unsatisfied with my answer, the same question arose and I repeated the answer. After I heard it a third time I paused before answering to contemplate. “To be the light,” I replied.

img_6760You are light so it is your task to be transparent and allow the light to simply be, as you are. Be your truest self, be genuine. Remove all masks and preconceived notions about who you think you should be and simply allow the light within you to shine forth.

_tsl8902I felt gratitude for the reminder to be myself and whispered a thank you to the sacred energies of the place. Then I heard to walk three times around the inner circle.

_tsl8901I began to walk sun-wise at the edge yet found my feet taking me on a spiraling path to the exact center of the circle, as if they already knew the way. I stood in silence facing the large stone and dropped once again into meditation.

Soon a vision began to arise. Two blue snakes came crawling to me and intertwined around my forearms and became blue snake tattoos on the inside of my lower arms with their tails wrapped around my wrists.

_tsl8889I contemplated this for a while and then walked back to the main stone and exited the circle.

After the meditations, I enjoyed photographing the circle and being present with the beauty of the area. It was later that I explored the meaning of my experience.

_tsl8895It felt like another dimension was experienced at the stone circle, a place where the ancestors offered guidance and support that reached from ancient times to the present. The Druid-like vision of the snakes felt like an initiatory experience. Snakes have been used as symbology for healing for millennia, the caduceus being one that has made its way into modern medical symbology of physicians–two snakes intertwined on a central staff. In ancient Celtic art, snakes are often depicted with healers or shaman holding them. In the Celtic tradition snakes are symbols of rebirth, awakening, and renewal.

_tsl8882Perhaps the most powerful outcome of the experience within the stone circle was the resulting conversation with my spiritual sister, Maria, who was on the pilgrimage with me. As we talked that evening it felt as if my life opened up before me and I could see the path stretching out before me in a most beautiful way.

That night as I closed my eyes I saw *children gathering in bright, warm hats around stones…running and playing and laughing. The image of a man with antlers on his head came into my mind and a great, joyful chase in the woods took me into a restful night of sleep.

_tsl9003It felt as if I had participated in an ancient dialogue with the sacred world. The timeless message I received was one Buddha shared, “Make of yourself a lamp.”

—-

Castlerigg is on a flat crown of a low hill surrounded by mountains. The stones are of local origin and the largest weighs about 16 tons. The setting of the stones corresponds to the features of the mountains around them. It is connected by a line of force between the two tallest mountains surrounding it. Two of the construction lines correspond to sun and moon positions. Because of its positioning with the sun, moon and surrounding landscape it was apparently designed as a temple. It provided an accurate solar calendar for the year and its lunar cycle tabulation helped herdsmen and farmers.  It dates back to 3000 BC. (Information from Sacred England).

Long Meg and Her Daughters Stone Circle
Long Meg and Her Daughters Stone Circle

*When we visited Long Meg and Her Daughters two days later in a field outside of Penrith, a small bus with children dressed in brightly-colored hats arrived. The young ones gathered with their teacher to learn of Long Meg’s history. It was the exact scene that arose when I first closed my eyes after the experience at Castlerigg.

 

 

Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: