It is a very handy thing that my parents have bought a home a few miles from the Preseli hills in Wales, a cool synchronicity in many ways. Anyone who is interested in the origins of Stonehenge will be as interested as I am about this beautiful landscape, for it is the place of origin of the famous bluestones that sit on the inside of the great circle. Thankfully we are not talking about mountains of the same scope as the great Rockies and the pilgrimage takes about 50 minutes from the entrance we chose. It took me back to a place and time where humanity lived in partnership with the earth.
As you scale the hills you have time to think about what you are approaching and you can imagine the precession of neolithic people who would have scaled these same hills many millennia ago. Researchers believe this area to be a sacred site as much as 4400 years ago and have found geometric relationships between the various cairns, burial grounds, that are on the site. It could well have been their temple. In our present time, as we are reminded more and more of the temple within our own heart, physical temples are not sought out as readily as they once were, a testament to the value of teachings at different times throughout humanity's evolution.
The walk up the mountain carried me through quite boggy ground; I wonder how boggy it would have been all those years ago for our ancestors. Sheep litter across the hills and you need to resign to the fact that you will be carrying their droppings on your boots whichever path you choose. At one point I almost lost my shoes in the sticky bog, which tried to drag me back, but thankfully there was just enough of a grip to pull them out of the shallow mud and carry on. The mud stands as a good metaphor for the muck we traverse on our pilgrimage from the head to the heart; It can slow us down, so ultimately it is just better to play in it!
Until you reach the top of the hill there is not much to be seen of the plateau that lies beneath, with great piles of bluestones gathered together in prominent peaks around the small valley. Once you reach the hilltop though, it is quite a marvel to the eyes. The walk between each of the big cairns is at least a 10 minute one, but it is worth it. You can climb them to enjoy the view that the ancestors would have had and take in the rich beauty of the surrounding welsh countryside. Wildlife is also abundant in these areas. At one point a Red Kite traveled below us on a thermal, keeping its eye on the ground for something that might make for a good dinner.
The bluestones themselves are an impressive site, as you can see in the picture of me standing beside them. I stand at 6'4" and most of these stones towered above me. The stones that adorn Stonehenge seem a little bit smaller than some of the ones I found here. At points along the trip I connected to these megaliths to see if they had any messages for me. They took me to visions of the precessions of people who walked along here in the past, their hearts and minds focused on their gratitude for the gifts from Gaia and God.
The story goes that Merlin was the one who brought the stones, all eighty of them, from the Preseli Hills to Stonehenge, 140 miles away in England. The method of transport is widely debated, and if the hills were as boggy then as they are today it would have been quite a challenge getting through the marshes. No wonder so many of us like the idea that Merlin employed some form of antigravity to take the stones across this distance. Perhaps it is because at some level of our being we know that is not an impossible feat for true masters.
After many moments of reflection at the top it was time to take the return journey, through the poop and bog, to the car awaiting us at the bottom, something that early humans would not have had the luxury of enjoying. My journey with these stones is just beginning and I am currently reading some research from people who have been observing them a much longer time. The knowledge of the geometry of the stars far exceeds what I learned in school and takes some time to fully comprehend.
Though I practice my meditation daily, a pilgrimage that I take with much less physical traveling, it is awe inspiring to take time and appreciate how those who came before us chose to honour and respect the land. Our present day humanity could learn something from these "barbarians" of the past, a term that I do not agree with at all when I think of these people. I believe they had an understanding of nature that exceeds what many "civilised" people have today. The more I tread their paths the more I learn about who they were as nations.
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