This last Tuesday 5/4/16, Pauline and I went on our agreed pilgrimage to Kirkby Stephen. The reasons for this were explained in the last three posts, plus Pauline had been researching Loki after being “introduced” to him since the end of last year.
So reasonably early, we traveled the 145 miles from our home in Glasgow to Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria, arriving mid to late morning. The morning was cloudy but dry with a stiff breeze blowing. My recent travels had armed me with the necessary information as to where the various buildings we needed to find were. So we found the church easily and proceeded to enter it.
Obviously, the stone wasn’t hidden away in the corner somewhere, it had pride of place as it seems that the locals recognised its “value”.
Closer inspection revealed the following..
Modern digital cameras pick out details sometimes not obvious to the human eye and this was the case with this photograph. The light was quite subdued (being inside a church, that was not a surprise) so bringing the camera was a dual exercise, both to record for posterity and to show finer details that we may not have been aware of at the time.
In all, we probably spent around a hour in that church. It had other things of interest (I was particularly interested with a shap granite and Italian marble pulpit that was commissioned by a combination of a Freemason lodge and an Archaeological society). Very few people were around (I think maybe only five people came in and only for about 15 minutes) so we spent some time in the church on our own just in the presence of the stone. With the subject of the stone being was it was, I expected to “sense” some sort of tension in the church, but a little to my surprise, I didn’t sense any whatsoever.
There appeared to be a balance there. With my previous experiences in Kirkby Stephen, that maybe shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise, the area seemed to me to be a “cauldron” where seemingly fundamentally different spiritual outlooks have successfully found some sort of equilibrium in the fabric of the place, but I should also acknowledge that other people may not experience a similar sense, our mental and biological makeups may result in very different feelings for some people. The cauldron analogy also worked with the physical location, Kirkby Stephen being surrounded on all sides by hills.
Before leaving home, we had agreed that we would make libations in and to the local area. As such, we took with us a particularly fine organic single malt along with a bullroarer as both of us work with sound when making libations and offerings. So we left the church and went down to the river Eden where we found some information boards as to the local area. Our eyes were took by information regarding a modern reconstruction of some cairns so we set off in search of them.
The wind remained stiff and clouds shuttled past at speed, sometimes rain was felt on the wind but past quickly and we were fortunate not to get wet. On our way following the path, we came across this individual, whose presence we both thoroughly enjoyed along with assorted sheep, pheasants and others..
Onwards we went, getting progressively higher as the physical cauldron demonstrated it’s physical attributes. After a couple of miles, we caught sight of the Cairns but much to our disappointment, the journey would have taken us over the time limits we had imposed on ourselves for the day to reach them properly, so in sight of the Cairns and on a high spot in the landscape we decide this was the place for our offerings and libations.
With the wind subsiding a little, I proceeded to set up and use the bullroarer to announce our presence to the local spirits. Pauline then proceeded to offer libations to the spirits and Gods of that place and we left a healthy amount of single malt scattered in the landscape. We both felt that these had been met with approval as we finished our small ceremony.
We turned back from the Cairns and proceeded to start the descent from the high point. Within a few minutes, a black form flew over us and the double bass “konk – konk” from a Raven was heard. With both of us having spiritual associations with Ravens, we took this as a very good indicator that our offerings had, indeed, been accepted.
We continued down the road and as the roadside swept to our left, we were met by this scene..
If ever a physical representation of Scorched Earth was presented, I think it safe to say, this was as good as any!