It was the first opportunity we had to re-visit the stone circle below Hordron’s Edge and we had a promise to keep, planting a crystal in the earth at a very specific spot. It was not the best of days, being cold, windy and with iron clouds moving in over the hills. Not that the weather matters too much at this site…it almost always rains.
Following the route our friend had taken to reach the stone circle proved a far easier ascent than some we use. The bracken is still low, curling in tight fronds around the base of the stones, so the little path was still visible. Another month or two and it will disappear until winter.
Our first stop was the circle and the enigmatic area beyond it, where we had felt a new dimension to the place on our last visit. After so many encounters with the stones, it still seems strange that we had missed this until now, but we accept that some things remain unseen until the moment is right.
Passing the totem stone, we headed for the edge of the moor. As we had not been with our friend at the spot she had chosen, we were uncertain of exactly where we would end up. All we knew was that the right place was where the rocks seem to mirror the curves of the land. There our friend had found two skulls…birds, perhaps… cleaned by wind and weather.
At least, we hoped they were natural. After the entrails we had found offered up at one of the stones some time back, such things are disquieting. The rain was moving in from the horizon as we approached the stones, hoping we would find the place easily. As it happened, we went straight to the right spot as if our feet were guided. There could be no mistake as the two bleached skulls stared empty-eyed from the bronze of last year’s bracken.
Stones had been piled across the top of one of the great boulders, making a rudimentary shelter that reminded us of the wall at Carl Wark, though this one was more likely to be a shooting butt for the grouse or a windbreak for other activities. Hopefully ones that did not involve the beheading of small creatures, for there were no other bones with the skulls, which appeared to have belonged to a brace of rabbits. We could only hope they had been carried away for a meal by predators, two legged or four, and not used in whatever perverted ritual that had left entrails in the stone.
The heavens finally opened. Chill rain beat down, threatening to soak us to the skin. It would not be the first time in this spot. This time, we chose to wait it out, sliding our bodies into the low cavity beneath a huge rock whose bulk sheltered us from the wind as well as the downpour. Earth beneath, stone and sky above and stones protecting us, all around… there was something about that that had a rightness that the uneasy remains could not touch. It was there, as the rain washed the earth, that we kept our promise and returned to the earth the crystal that had been entrusted to us.