2. Jen Altman’s path-working journey to the Land Between.

graves-view
Stone-carved graves with view over to Barrow-in-Furness

I’ve met my crone friend on a couple more journeys since; she has each time urged me to slow down, take my time, let things unfold and on one occasion she said ‘Do only what gives you joy’ – which I’ve been working on ever since. Today she was a large dark grey rather formless presence behind me. She accompanied me into the Land Between – landscape much as usual, hummocky marsh/moor land. We climbed a small hillock to the beach where we’ve sat before. I suggested I leave her there and go down to the high tide zone but she asked me to stay, sit – let things unfold.

Looking out I realized we were above the headland at Heysham with the prehistoric graves and other hidden burial sites. I saw a group of figures preparing a ceremony – a fire with a cauldron in the centre, a circle of figures, and then a second circle formed inside the first. The two circles danced in opposite directions so each person faced and greeted everyone in the other circle. Then those in the outer circles – the ancient inhabitants of the place who had been buried there gave each in the inner circle a ladle of food from the cauldron before leading them in a procession to the side of the peninsular where they boarded a long boat, which sailed out to the West.

I realized that these ancient spirits had the role of welcoming the newly dead and helping them on their way to the Beyond. I asked the crone whether seeing this now (and not previously) was significant for me: she said no, that I’d seen it because someone (two people as it turned out) had already started on this journey. She added that there are places like this all round our coasts that are portals to the Beyond (Pendeen Watch/ Cape Cornwall among them).

The picture fades leaving just empty headland. Time to leave: the crone decided to remain sitting on the bench a while longer but agreed I needed to return to shepherd my neophytes. I thanked her and made my way back through the door. A profound experience.

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