When Stones Come to Life
I first visited Avebury and the West Kennet Long Barrow in the United Kingdom, in May 2013 for the Super-full Moon. The experience was intriguing enough that I felt I had to return. Thus, this year, I packed my bags and headed back there for the Super-full Moon in August. Once again (as in the previous year), what I experienced went beyond any logical explanation, or rational: Stones come to Life!
While in London last year, purchasing a map from a local corner store, the elderly man behind the counter started asking me touristy questions: where I came from, where I was going and such things. When I told him I was headed to Avebury to visit the Stones, he told me to look for a place called “The West Kennet Long Barrow”: a Neolithic tomb/barrow, located just south of Avebury (roughly a mile and a half or so). The man did not tell me much more about it, other than that he heard strange things happen there.
“Strange things ... well, that’s just right-up my alley!” So, off I went – not knowing where exactly I was going, or what I would find; just knowing that I had to go.
I had seen the Stones of Avebury in photographs and videos and when I got there, I actually recognized some of them. It was a priceless feeling: “I made it!” And I thanked the Stones; I smudged myself and smudged the entire north-west part of the circle (right behind the Red Lion Inn) with Sage. The presence of those Stones goes beyond words. They are truly humbling. I could sense their Power and energy. Yet, nothing else seemed out of the ordinary, other than perhaps the fact that Rooks were flying everywhere. Rooks, Crows and Ravens are all very close to my Spirit so, it is a great Omen to see them.
I walked around the little village (Avebury), just looking and asking general questions then, I inquired about the barrow I was told about in London. Not long after learning on how to get to it by following a foot path through some fields and over some fences (also getting chased by cows up a tree with my backpack and all but that’s another story), I managed to make it there: the West Kennet Long Barrow. That would turn to be my resting place, in more than one way.
As when I first got to the Stone Circle in Avebury, as soon as I got to the barrow, I smudged myself then, smudged the entire barrow itself. I also left offerings: Sage, Cedar, Tobacco, Sweet-grass, Wormwood and a small chunk of Black Tourmaline. I thanked the Spirits of the barrow for allowing me to Be there and for them Being there. I did this not seeing any Spirits around but I knew that they were there somewhere: Intuition told me so.
By then, I was exhausted from all the walking around and carrying all my belongings on my back like a turtle. So, I set my tent right in front of the doorway of the barrow. My tent fit perfectly in between the Stones at the entrance, as if it was made to Be there. I took that as a good sign and not long after I went for a nap. I would say an hour or so passed and while still sleeping my awareness kicked-in and I could feel the touch of a hand on my left shoulder (I was lying down on my right side, with the back at the entrance of the barrow, in my tent). The touch was cold and I felt the cold extend and move-up my shoulder towards my neck. I felt a light paralysis spreading in that area and that is when I decided to snap-out. It took a little effort but I got up, rubbing my left shoulder as I still felt numbness.
In the physical world, I was alone by the West Kennet Long Barrow but in the Spirit World, I was certainly not alone. I got out of my tent, sat down outside, had a smoke and watched the Super-full Moon to the South. It was a marvellous night and when I went back to my tent to sleep later on that night, I slept like a rock, waking-up to a gorgeous morning and a Hawk hovering over.
So, when I returned this year, I really did not know what to expect. I made sure though, to have more time to spend there. Last year I only stayed two nights. This time around, I was prepared to spend at least four, or even five days; the night of the Super-full Moon included. I wanted to have enough time to dig a little deeper into what I had experienced in my last visit.
I got to the barrow on the ninth of August, one day before the Super-full Moon. It was a quick visit as I knew I would be returning to stay the night on the following day. Once again, I left offerings and I entered the West Kennet Long Barrow full of gratitude and cheerfulness. I was happy beyond happiness! Everything was perfect and I actually felt good there. I stayed inside in Silence for a while then, I left to wander around for the day.
On my return the following evening, I encountered more people than usual coming up to the barrow. A group of people (about a dozen) in their mid forties to mid fifties showed up to do some chanting, drumming and just experience the appearance of the Super-full Moon. A Shaman lady who was with them set-up small candles all around the barrow and started preparing herself for some rituals she was about to perform. There were also a couple of photographers setting-up their tripods, cameras and lenses on top of the barrow, getting ready to catch the rising of the Moon. The place had suddenly turned quite busy.
The group of spiritual people had a guide who spoke about the barrow, the rituals performed inside the barrow over the thousands of years (5,500 years as most people agree) it has been there and about the significance of the Full Moon. The man was a local so, he had a lot of knowledge and I appreciated his passion for what he did. I spoke to his wife for a while, who was also part of the group.
When they decided to go inside the barrow to chant (just before the rising of the Moon), I asked the guide’s wife if she would mind if I burned some Sage. She did not and so, I put some White Buffalo Sage in my Albino Shell, light It and suddenly people from the group started approaching me with smiles on their faces asking me what I was burning. Sage does Magic! Its Power is overwhelming sometimes. I have seen people start crying of happiness when I carry It light and Smoking.
The Moon soon came up, about a third bigger than usual and radiating light between the fast passing clouds. Cameras popped-up and the clicking began. Everyone was mesmerized. Just until the rain began and then, we all found ourselves inside the barrow huddled together. Luckily the rain did not last and not long after everyone began preparing to make their way down the hill and head back to wherever they came from.
I was thanked by the guide and his wife for burning the Sage. It seemed perfect: they had the drums, candles and the chanting group, while I had the Sage. It all turned-out as good as it may have been. The atmosphere was indeed magical. So, before they took-off, I took a bundle of my Sage (I carried many with me) and gave It to the lady I spent some time talking to. I figured they would probably have more spiritual tours to do around there and they might find It useful. She was tremendously thankful for that and had a big smile on her face. We hugged and they all began to leave.
In no time, I was left alone. The time was approaching ten o’clock at night and I went back inside the West Kennet Long Barrow. It was pitch black and I sat down in the main chamber facing north, north-west. That is often my direction of prayer and power.
After about ten minutes or so, I started speaking to the Spirits of the barrow and to the Stones. I just felt like “getting to know each other” better and not long after I felt I was being watched. I glanced to my right, where I felt the glances coming from. By then, my eyes had gotten used to the darkness and I could see a little bit in the dark. There were no physical forms around, other than the Stones forming the West Kennet Long Barrow. I was alone but certainly not alone in Spirit. The Stones were alive.
I clearly felt three presences. They were just there, listening to what I was saying. I gave thanks again and expressed my gratitude for Being there and for them Being there. The experience was almost overwhelming but I kept sitting in the dark and the Spirits lightened. I felt welcomed in the Spirit World: that experience was priceless and really, beyond words.
I must have spent about an hour or so inside the barrow before I decided I could not stay inside the whole night. I felt it would have been an exhausting exercise. That barrow holds an incredible amount of Power. I was just thankful to be able to experience it. So, I walked out and sat down in front of the Stones protecting the entrance, facing east this time. I needed to ground myself.
I sat there for maybe a half an hour or so and then, the Wind started picking-up and I felt big rain droplets coming down. The decision had to be made quickly in terms of how I would spend the night. Initially, I thought I would stay up the entire night but as things stood: tired and with heavy rain coming, I grabbed my back-pack and dug-out my tent. In several minutes I was almost finished setting it up when I heard some voices coming from down the hill. I could not see much since dark clouds covered the light of the Moon but I could hear the voices nearing.
Being only ten feet or so away from the entrance to the West Kennet Long Barrow, I knew these had to be some late visitors so, I continued my work on getting my tent ready. In less than a minute I saw three silhouettes coming-up from the trail and when they got close, I heard a girl’s voice ask:
“Hi! Are You sleeping here?”
“Yes,” I responded not knowing to whom I was talking to. “Considering the drastic change in weather I actually don’t have much of a choice,” I explained.
“Why don’t You sleep inside?” the voice continued with the questions.
A part of me felt like laughing at the inquisitive questions of a girl I had never met, nor could I see properly. Yet, another part of me just wanted to finish-up what I was doing because the Wind was incredibly strong up on that hill and I was more worried about getting my tent’s pegs in the ground properly than anything else.
“I slept right outside the entrance last year and that was a wild-enough experience for me. I don’t think the barrow is for sleeping, lounging, or any of that. So, no sleeping inside for me”, I responded with certainty.
The three girls/silhouettes went inside the barrow and just about as I finished putting the cover on my tent and securing the flaps so I don’t fly-off with the Wind later in the night, I saw the three girls walk-out hurryingly and head towards the trail to head-out.
“I thought You guys were sleeping inside?” I asked jokingly.
“No, we just got kicked-out,” said the same voice I had conversed with a few minutes earlier. And with that they vanished down the hill and into the darkness.
I was left in a semi state of awe. What did the girl mean by saying they were “kicked-out”? Was she just messing with me since she knew I would spend the night there? But why did they come out so quickly and almost bolt down the hill? Luckily it was too cold and the rain started coming-down pretty hard and so, the questions quickly ended as I got in the tent and started arranging my way around. By then, the Wind was brutal, beating hard against the tent and the droplets of Water sounded like pebbles of Stone hitting the tent-cover. I got comfortable and soon, I fell asleep.
My awareness kicked-in while sleeping again, just as in the previous year when I had slept there and I felt a presence at the entrance to my tent. And as if this presence did not care about the physical structure of my tent, it slowly reached-out with an arm through the wall of the tent towards my body as I was lying down on my side. I could sense/feel this Being and at first there was the obvious shock but I quickly got my awareness together and I reminded myself where I was and that this should be expected: nothing to freak-out about. All this happened very quickly and as the hand (which was just energy of a bluish-white sparkling light, no physical form) reached closer to my body, in a soft, quiet, yet jovial tone I said: “Hi!”
Immediately the hand/arm retreated and the Spirit/Being disappeared. I felt It was surprised - I smiled. I was happy that I did not panic, or that I did not indulge in Fear. I felt no ill-intent and I went back to sleep happily. By then, the Wind had calmed-down a little and so did the rain. I woke-up around six o’clock in the morning to a bright Sun rise and feeling rejuvenated. Another night passed and I felt no longer as a visitor there but welcomed as a local, in the Spirit World: part of who/what I am is forever there, resting in the barrow.
On another good note, while I was having lunch at the Red Lion Inn (in Averbury) later on that day, I heard a familiar girl’s voice directed at me saying: “Hey, we met last night!”
When I looked, I saw a girl in her mid twenties or so, with a big smile on her face.
“Where You one of the three girls who came-up to the West Kennet Long Barrow last night?
“Yes, that was me and my friends”, she replied.
We talked for a bit about the barrow and about my experiences there before and then, I asked her (I was indeed still very curious):
“What did You mean last night about the “getting kicked-out” part?
She began explaining to me how after walking inside the barrow the previous night, her and her friends were only inside for a couple of minutes or so because she felt a hand push up against her chest as she walked towards the main chamber in the barrow. She said the physical force was considerable and she did not feel welcomed at all. Thus, they all left in a hurry. She said she did not know why it happened and maybe it was because she did not clear her energy. I told her that every time I have gone there I made sure to smudge myself, to go with respect and humbleness in my heart and that I also left offerings to the Spirits of the barrow.
I wished her well in the end and we both parted ways. I was glad I got an answer to the “getting kicked-out” dilemma. I returned to the barrow later in the day and I spent hours and hours there: inside, outside, on top of it, sitting, lying down, walking. It’s another home away from home now. I feel fully welcomed and at peace there. It is a wonderful and magical place. I also met a man from the National Trust Fund who came-up on the hill later in the day with his dog. We sat and talked for quite a while and at one point he showed me how his dog refused to go inside the barrow. It was rather interesting how hard the dog pulled back from his leash. I suppose dogs feel presences much better than humans.
I said my good-bye to the Stones and the West Kennet Long Barrow later on that day. I had a friend who came to pick me up and we took-off to Plymouth. Unlike the previous year though, this time around I do not feel a need to go back: the barrow is always with me and I am always there.
Note: This story is my own and quite personal. I do not expect anyone to believe me, or even to understand everything I have said here but what I can say with certainty, is that anyone can check this out for themselves. Avebury is quite accessible and the West Kennet Long Barrow is open to anyone. Go there, spend some time in Silence, maybe even a night or so and then, I can be judged if my story makes any sense or not.
All the best to everyone!