Category Archives: Synchronicity

Samhain road trip: Stonehenge and Glastonbury!

Being reeeeeeaaaaly busy over the past few weeks, I managed to finally finish my notes on the birthday/Samhain road trip that took place on 29th-31st October 2014

My friends Lumi and Jax were sitting in the car as I was loading some stuff into the back.  “Do you fancy coming to Glastonbury in October?” They asked, it was July at this point.  So that’s how I found myself joining Lumi’s birthday road trip.

So, fast forward to October 29th and this was the day the grey skies came back (my last post? Yeah, well the day after, we had gorgeous golden autumn again!) Drizzle and all.  We even got stuck in traffic for nearly two hours! Sign posts for miles saying ‘Roadworks’ (the bane of British drivers) until we got to the source: fuck all! By this point we’d been entertaining ourselves with listening to T-Rex and eating Cherry Bakewells.  As soon as the roads cleared we cruised to the that all time hit: ‘20th Century Boy’!

Stonehenge
As part of our plan we went to Stonehenge.  It was my third time and the weather was wetter than the first.

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The new tourist centre is open, so you have to take a specially provided bus service to the site, although there is the option for you to get off and walk the rest of the way.  I made eye contact with a Mum of three who returned my friendly smile with a po-faced glare.  So I turned to Lumi, and pulled my snootiest face.  Did the mum see? I hope so, there is no excuse for rudeness.  The Asian family to our right were much friendlier.

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Jax and Lumi

The Henge is fenced off, but at least you can get a bit closer than you could 17 years ago (shudder).  Stonehenge is majestic, it has presence and is a testament to the people, our ancestors, who built it.  Again, I experienced no palpable feeling of spiritual power emanating from it, some people say there is, but I think its more out of a desire to ‘feel’ something.  If anything I’d say it feels…. dead.  Unlike the lone standing Heel Stone we came across, it just sang a long sorrowful song, as though it didn’t want to be apart from its brethren.

It was gift shop time, where I picked up mead and a book on folklore stories (some of which I hadn’t read for years!).  We got back into the car and headed our way to Glastonbury racing into the countryside that was devoured by hungry fog and the inevitable night…. dragon’s breath indeed.

Glastonbury
And here we were! The Pagan and New Age Mecca of Great Britain.  It was a 10 minute walk into town and I was surprised by three things:

Cleanliness: It was totally clean! No rubbish piling up on the streets or anything.  Didn’t even notice any street cleaning going on, but there must’ve been, right?

Quietness: No blaring music or police sirens, being out of Summer season the tourist trade must have trickled off.  Although there were still plenty during the day.

Chain shops: There aren’t any! No BK, no KFC, no GAP, no McDonald’s (thank fuck) the only KFC and Subway we saw were the ones back at our hotel.  Main Street has pubs, butchers, pastry shops and an organic market…. what England high streets SHOULD be.

Glastonbury was a very friendly place (except for when I entered a Hemp shop ran by a woman in what I took to be her Goddess of Avalon dress, her look of disdain gave me the impression that Men weren’t welcome in her shop.  You ladies might be able to feel when a man is checking you out, but we can certainly feel when we’re not welcome- amendment: a source has confirmed that her particular shop has nothing to do with the Goddess movement) and everyone we came across was friendly in an almost Yorkshire way.  My Northern British readers will know what I mean.  There were even hippies hanging around the war memorial and outside the George and Pilgrim.  There are more esoteric shops than you can shake a wand at! Some have an aura of incense before you go in (I love it), some are really expensive, some are what my friend, Dumbledore, calls: Seaside shops for witches.  There is literally something for everyone.  That’s one thing you need to prepare for…. make sure you go with a healthy wallet!

One of the coolest things was the first night there and after exploring the pubs and drinking mead (mine included flies!), we headed back and chilled out.  I got out my Druid Animal Oracle and asked a random question, not even relating to Glastonbury.  I got the Fire Dragon card and couldn’t help notice the Tor in the background.  The morning after, me and Jax got breakfast in Subway and on our way back to the hotel we saw Glastonbury Tor on the hill outside our room!

Note the Tor and Tower on the right hand side
Note the Tor and Tower on the right hand side

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View of Tor and Tower.

The very last day of our visit was October 31st and it was a glorious, windy, golden autumn day! It was hot too!  We decided to visit the Chalice Well.  The gardens had a beautiful serenity that was immediately full of calm.  I even walked around barefoot.  Everyone was chilled out and it was, for me, the most potent spiritual place in Glastonbury.

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Gardens, fountain and Jax in the sun.

We had missed the special Samhain ceremony but got to look and sit by the well once the people had moved.  The well itself didn’t feel that special (has to be said) as I felt more drawn to the waterway that fed the pool we put our feet into.  One question remains, though:  why oh why didn’t I tell the selfish person who was talking very loudly whilst people were trying to meditate by the well to shut the hell up?  Answer: I didn’t want any bother…. really wish I did though!
Eventually, it was time to go and try the Tor.  Word of warning, parking for the Well and Tor is almost impossible, there is nowhere really close, unless you don’t mind a brief walk (I rather enjoyed it).  Well, there is one car park sort of close, but you have to get there early….

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To get to the Tor, you have to go up a steep hill and then make your way up the winding Tor itself until you reach the Tower, which was already decorated with Halloween themed items.  The higher we climbed, the windier it got, I had to take my hat off so it wouldn’t get blown away! And the sky became bluer and bluer, then when at the top, you could see the gorgeous panorama!  I’d sat down on the grass and closed my eyes for a few moments and remembered the Fire Dragon card, so I asked ‘Alright, Fire Dragon: what did you want to show me?’. Jax asked ‘What’s that?’ I opened my eyes and turned to where she was pointing.  There was a bird of prey hovering in the wind eddies, a hawk or kestrel.  It dive bombed so I went to have a closer look and saw a whole bunch of them playing in the wind currents,circling and bombing each other.

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Pics of Tor, tower and us three.

Our drive back took us through Bristol and nearly to London, but we were witness to a gorgeous sunset and beautiful sky.  An alternative Samhain and one I’ll never forget.

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‘Horns of Power’

OK, this post is going to sound nuts. You know when you see patterns of things that are hard to ignore? Like things happening in three’s or you find yourself thinking about something and it actually becomes real… like the next week or month? or why is it nearly every Dave I’ve met is bald and nearly every David I’ve encountered has a full head of hair?

That’s what we put down to ‘synchronicity’.  Seeing meanings in random occurrences, right?  But what if you see a pattern that is a little hard to simply pass off as a collection of coincidental events? What if there is something trying to contact you or show you a message?

For example, I’m being chased around (Hunted? Haunted?) by the image of an animal: the Stag.

This has been happening for nearly four years now.  I remember it beginning after I attended my very first Samhain ceremony with the OBOD Druid group, the Grove of the Corieltauvi, back in 2010.  The then Herald (main contactee, treasurer, secretary and organiser) had stepped down, allowing the present Herald to facilitate.  He also offered up the position of south and calling on the element of fire (represented in the Druid Tradition, at least in OBOD, by the Stag) after being stuck there for a number of years.  Eager bunny that I am, I volunteered to call it in future.  Little did I know that this wasn’t a static position and I ended up hogging it for three years… but I liiiiike iiiiiit….
Anyway, after that is when I began to notice the pattern of the Horned One in my life:

November 2010– Received a package and new exactly what was in it before I opened it: Stag antlers sent by Cthulhudruid as I requested them for a project that never came to pass.
December 2010– Was randomly given an early Yuletide gift of a slice of wood with a stag head image.

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January 2011– Lady Morgana gave me her second Druid Animal Oracle after accidentally ordering two from the internet.  One of the animals depicted is the Stag… behind it are two birch trees, very much like the birch ‘twins’ to the south of my own personal Sacred Grove.
March 2011– Going into a cafe with Pipes and seeing the wall painted with different types of cervidae (official name for all types of deer, elks and includes antelopes).  Pipes had been given an award for being a ‘Woman of Substance’ of Nottingham.
April- August 2011– accepting my redundancy in March, I spent the rest of this time job-hunting until I successfully gained my present job.  Lots of Stag images all around in the form of flags, fliers, badges (given one by Lady Morgana), posters, pub signs… rather like the ‘Bad Wolf’ motif from Doctor Who.

2012 didn’t really have much activity until December that year, I was given one of those ‘Christmas Jumpers’ that were fashionable, mine has a Reindeer on it! When Morris dancing on Boxing Day, we performed at The Stag Inn.

February 2013– After giving a talk to the Newark Hearth & Home group, I was told I have antlers in my aura when I’m speaking.
June 2013– On the day of finding a random playing card (Ace of Clubs) I go to the Grove BBQ and fellow member Cymro ap Arthan presents me with a wand of Yew.  It was inspired by me calling upon the Stag of the South…

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December 2013– Met a friend of mine in a pub that was filled with Stag imagery… it was the ‘Roebuck’.
En Route to our Alban Arthan ceremony, me and fellow Grove member, Briseilid pass a Warning: Deer sign (Represented by a Stag), then we pass The Stag Inn and joke about “Third time’s a charm”.  When we arrive at Strider’s house, Luch Dorca presented me with a bottle of Glenfiddich whisky as a ‘Thank You’ for doing some voice recording for him: check this link out for me reading his ‘Poison Pen’ story under his pen name of Simon H. Farmsworth and me under my Stage name of Dylan Knight :

2014:
At the Grove’s January planning meeting, Tatterhood gave me this New Year’s gift:

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In January, I went to go and see Skindred with my brothers (one’s related, the other is a hostage), Pipes and some new friends.  The bar we met had antlers on the walls and antler chandeliers.

I have recently joined an amateur dramatics group in an effort to reconnect with my acting.  During rehearsal we used this bottle:

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Last Tuesday’s ramblings through Sherwood Forest presented this piece:

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So, what does it all mean? What is the Stag’s significance? In the Druid Tradition, the Stag represents independence, pride in one’s self as well as faith in one’s own abilities. It is about calling upon one’s own inner strength.  If this is true then this interpretation is apt as it seems to be manifesting when I begin new projects, especially those that mean I am reconnecting with the performing part of my life or doing something in life I actually want to DO.

Classically, the Stag is one of the symbols of sovereignty and fertility.  Great Britain had, at one time, a cult of the Stag, although this doesn’t automatically mean this was a cult of the horned deity Ernunno (Cernnunos).

I have come up with the following conclusions:
A: I’m completely mad and am just finding meaning in quite a common image, or at least one I have started taking notice of.
B:  I am being reassured by the Spirit of Stag that I am pursuing the right path in life.
C: I am being contacted by Nottingham’s own Sigil of a Stag for some reason, perhaps the same as B.
D: I projected my own intention into a symbol of my own inner fire and power.

If I had to choose, I’d say B and D.

Would just like to say I’m not using the title to say I have sovereign rights or that I am an emissary of the Stag, I took it from the movie ‘The Thirteenth Warrior’ and just thought it sounded cool. \m/

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All photographs by Locksley 2010.