It had been a few years since the end of a specific shamanic training, and I had one last thing to do. I had been guided through a ceremony to find a place in the UK through the shamanic journey process that would be hugely important to me.
Almost three years later I found myself there - my family left me to be alone at the entrance to a stone circle. We had been driving through the area when realising how close it was on the map, I knew I had to be there. It was a cold rainy spring afternoon, I felt very unprepared and this had made me anxious. The vision of this place had been so strong that to finally be there gave me an unsettled uncomfortable feeling.
Some people were just leaving, and soon it was empty. It is a sacred site of standing stones completely hemmed in and protected by the landscape, so although it is a large and known, it is easy to miss. Looking back I can now see why it chose me, private and powerful, a place where beautiful transformation can happen. It was just before 6pm, the sun was starting to set, I walked the larger of the circles, felt the stones, tasted water that had gathered in them and lay against one, starting to centre my wildly dispersed energies.
I felt so ungrounded, so out of touch with the earth, finished and burnt out, at that moment this defined me. My feet were soaked, I continued the walk, with little time to adjust to the stillness, the shift from chaos to calm felt like too large a space to bridge right then. Not only the bridge I needed for that day, but also the one I needed to assist in giving me roots and help me from my total exhaustion and the intensity of life at the time, highlighting a desperate need to come home to myself.
Unprepared as I was, it happened anyway. Just then, the sun came out and cast large shadows. I focused on these shapes on the ground and looked toward the centre. A church bell rang, I walked backwards to see if I could absorb as much of the landscape as possible and gasped at the enormous rainbow that appeared overhead. Its complete arch was in front of me, the stones right at the centre, both ends clearly visible. I had to grasp on to the fence behind me to be held upright, as I could barely stand against the huge surge of energy that started to go through me right then.
My head began to ache in a sharp and piercing way, with the cleansing and re alignment taking place, and my body needed all the support from the fence to stay standing. The surge of energy continued to go through me from the earth, I had to gasp for breaths of air, blasted into a different state of being, it had an incredible dense quality to it, I could barely hold it all in but understood that this was the blessing I had anticipated. The Earth Mother had opened a vortex and a message from the great centre came through, the experience clear and unforgettable.
The unspoken clairsentient message was a gathering of strength, a bringing together of different aspects of me, showing me with certainty I am one with all that is, that my sensitive nature has a reason and my connection to the Earth Mother is total. I can carry this message as part of me, to deepen my awareness and experience and honour and share its qualities by accepting that it is for me. That I have somewhere to go that gives me energy and can be supported by. That is why we all have a place of blessing - where we can go and be renewed if we are open enough.
Gratitude. A short while later my eyes were still wide in wonder as I made my way back slowly into ordinary reality, and sat in stillness until I could adjust and cross that bridge again to this world. A rite of passage to lift me to a new place and new relationship with life, enabling me to merge with the earth and sky, feeling the pulse of the elements, saying stay strong, we are here, nourished and initiated without ritual.
Article originally published in She Who Knows Magazine.