At last we’re back, and we promise to deal with individual e-mails as quickly as we can. Yes, we’re still reeling, spiritually and physically, from the tight-packed month of experiences we’ve just enjoyed.
We had a wonderful trip and hit Europe at the height of an indian summer. The Guides must have put in a special order in our behalf for beautiful weather. Sure, there was a day or two of overcast and rain in England; without them, Yvonne would have asked for her money back. Brittany (Bretagne) did us proud; visits to Mont St-Michel, the Bayeux Tapestry, the ancient tomb at Gavrinis, and Point du Raz were just some of the many highlights.
In the normal French way there are many suggestions, both thoughtful and tongue-in-cheek, about the significance of the alignments at Carnac. We’d like to add one more: they were installed by a syndicate of Kodak and the makers of digital cameras as a giant photo-op.
In England most of the party were very taken with Glastonbury with its amazing spiritual energy and with our B-and-B hostess Koko, a leading light of the Avalon group. Local lore grows
by the day. Imagine the traffic cop pulling you over and giving you (a) a ticket and (b) an aura reading. Anyhow, Koko’s group have just bought the church hall and turned it into a shrine to the Lady.
In Cornwall, finally finding the circle where Gavin was initiated was a high point for him. The circle now labeled on all the maps as the Nine Maidens of Boskednan is in fact not the Nine Maidens of Boskednan. It was originally a circle of 21 stones, or maybe 23. On-site inspection led us to surmise that nine of the stones had been moved to form another adjacent nine-maidens circle with one large rock serving as the hunch-back fiddler outside the circle itself.
(You probably know the story, found at this site as well as at the Jungfraujoch in Germany. A circle of women is dancing on a holy night, probably Beltane. A hunch-back fiddler comes upon them by accident. “You play for our dancing, and we’ll straighten your back.” Everybody goes away happy at dawn.)
At one semi-secret circle Yvonne the apprentice dowser dowsed for whatever would manifest, and was able to pick up a known ley line bisecting the circle north-to-south. Huge gratitude to the family who owns the land, and who cherish and guard the site, admitting only respectful people who (somehow) find it by word of mouth or by other means. Y’s thanks to Lauren, her mentor in the skill of dowsing.
We spent just a couple of days in London and were fortunate enough to hear the Master of the Temple, Robin Griffith-Jones, give his Monday talk in the Temple Church. His presentations happen only twice a week and we … just happened … to stumble across it on our way to another meeting. Imagine. What staggering erudition he enthusiastically, generously shared with us. He summarized the history of the Templars and pointed out that the little cobbled road down which we walked from Fleet Street to the church had lain undisturbed since the 1200s when the Templars actually constructed it. The Master had several rather cutting remarks about Dan Brown’s “The da Vinci Code.” Because of our earlier commitment to a 2 o’clock appointment, we had no chance to ask him about Picknett/Prince’s “Templar Revelation.”
We were overjoyed and grateful beyond words that we had earlier read both Baigent/Lee/ Lincoln “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” and the Picknett/Prince. Their information made the whole experience even more enriching and meaningful.
The low point of the trip undoubtedly was sticker shock. If it hadn’t been for our good, generous friends who paid for the fares and covered many expenses, we could never have afforded to set foot on the eastbound aircraft, let alone to enjoy one experience after another. We have not obtained their permission to reveal their identities, but will long be indebted to them. Breakfast coffee at a mid-range restaurant costs $4 a cup (actually a mini-Cup, by Frost standards)–and there are no free refills here. You’re still lucky, too, to get theatre tickets at $100 a seat. On the other hand, food in supermarkets is not unreasonably priced.
In St. Ives, life is a lot kinder and less pricey if you simply resign yourself to using a bike. A car? Forget it. Parking is literally impossible; and town councils seem consciously to make it more of a challenge than it actually might be.
We took hundreds of slides, and learned a lot more about stone circles and alignments. The pre-Christian community owes a tremendous debt to the many people who quietly make it their
responsibility to cherish the early sites and protect them from stupid people who would disrespect and even deface them.
If you want to see our slides and hear about the very unusual characteristics of the crystalline rocks that form the circles, come to our new presentation on megalithic monuments, scheduled for FPG in Florida and for Sirius Rising, as well as for several other gatherings with smaller audiences.
Off for another installment in the home-again laundry mountain. Blessed be all. G Y