|I came to Avebury through backroads and, by taking intuitive turns, came into the village from the north west. There was another avenue here, and I think that each avenue had its own purpose, complimentary, but individual. Go up some dead end roads and count the interesting stones used as features in the gardens. The sense of layered events is palpable. Joining the crowds streaming from the official car park, I drifted, looking around. The path is a joy in itself, and the complex remains out of comprehension for most of the walk. The first impression I got, when the view finally opened out, was that the village had crashlanded, hard, on the northwestern side of the henge, a long time ago, and then life had carried on as if nothing had happened! The flow of people turned right inside the henge and I was a few stones into the ring before I registered that something felt wrong. Widdershins didn't seem right, a concept which I resisted for a few more steps. I stepped outside the circle and sat down to eat some cherries and watched the people go by. Was it my fancy, or did they all seem to be walking uphill, into the wind? I pulled out my copy of The Modern Antiquarian, and started to read. Immediately, another couple of Canadians came up and asked what the kind the stones were. Thank you, Julian! I headed for the centre, then north to the outer henge, passing between two enormous stones, recently vacated by some dowsers. Polarity was there to see. At the outer henge, I began to make my way, deosil, round the top. A road cuts through from the east, so I had to climb down, back into the very earth, or so it felt, before climbing back up the other side. Four Watchers stood quietly here, and I spent a while listening to what they had to say. They have been here for a long time, and have not always held this form, which they chose to continue in peace, in these busy days of tour buses, digicams and celebrity. As I sat at their feet, people strolled or strode by within 5 yards, yet none cast an eye in our direction, even when I stared directly at them. People walked towards, then round where I sat, seemingly oblivious to the detour. As I walked round the outer henge, I wondered is its purpose. It would make a Grand Gallery from which to watch events taking place within, and an artificial horizon for the stargazer looking out upon the heavens. Both, and more, would seem the most likely answer to me. On the Avenue( the more famous one), I found it more difficult to walk out than to return. A grand, local gentleman told me to stand outwith the western side of the Avenue and look between the opposing stones towards the Ridgeway, on the horizon. Some alignments with barrows and other landmarks can be seen. Unfortunately, some of the stones are missing, replaced by stumps of concrete, and many of the stones are not in their original positions, being dislodged or re-erected by well meaning people, so I found it difficult to get over enthusiastic about any success I had. The next day, I returned and parked my father's car outside the Post Office, feeling a delicious sense that some of those who had obeyed all the tourist parking signs were looking on me as a 'local', part of the experience of Avebury! This was my first visit, but Avebury has been in my conscious thoughts for as long as I care to remember. One last reflection; If Glastonbury is the Heart Chakra, then Avebury is the Womb. I don't think I have encountered a place with such latent female energy. Enjoy....
Posted by Equinoxboy
23rd July 2004ce