Tag Archives: weekend workshop

Full Circle: Finding the way home?

The Silent Eye

In spite of the rainbow that had greeted our arrival in Cumbria, the skies looked none too promising as we gathered beneath the shelter of the park gate in Penrith. The chill winds of December had brought showers, but at least, for the first afternoon, there would be a little cover. We could only hope that the following day would bring better weather.  Not that rain would stop us. Since the downpour we had encountered in Scotland, we had accepted that rain was a natural benediction… a blessing and a cleansing beyond the gift of Man and, therefore, a perfect way to start a weekend of spiritual exploration.

We had chosen to begin at Penrith Castle, built between 1399 and 1470, probably on the site of a much earlier Roman encampment, as part of the defences against raiders from Scotland. Once thought to have been first built by William Strickland…

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Of Trolls and Sustenance…

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Tomf, the Troll, rises from the river bed after a long, long, sleep.

He is feeling grumpy but only because he is hungry.

Off in search of chocolate, cake, liqourice, orange juice, tobacco and cough sweets he goes…

Oh, and bananas too, I nearly forgot the bananas…

Where grub is concerned he is not  too particular…

Just in case you missed him, here is a close up…

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P.S. He does not look quite so grumpy, since we have been feeding him.

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Way Old Time…

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‘Of circular possibilities’…

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‘Eyeing the Chasm’…

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‘Extending a welcome’…

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‘An Other Time’…

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‘Presence is everything’…

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‘Two O’Clock Shadow’…

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‘There was an Old Woman’…

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‘Who looked out’…

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‘Through a Shoe’…

Mother Bear…

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With a total disregard for tradition we tackled our ‘just right bowl of porridge’ first .

It is strange to say, perhaps, but this particular conglomeration of, once covered but now exposed, structured stone did not, initially, feel particularly motherly.

For one thing there seemed to be a general reluctance for people to step inside.

Was this fear, awe, reverence… ?

Perhaps it was a commingling of all three emotions…

The structure does cast an illusion of wanton precariousness.

Those undressed slabs of rock together comprise an impressive sight and tonnage.

The bones of our ancestors were once interred here.

More recently it has served as a sheep shelter.

Whatever it was it was soon dispelled as we got ‘down and dirty’ in the chamber in order to read a contemporary ‘Druid Prayer’.

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There is a theory about male and female standing stones.

The broader, squatter, shorter stones being deemed female whilst the taller, thinner, longer stones are deemed male.

It struck me that if the Cap-Stone were upright it would probably be regarded as a male stone.

According to another theory the Cap-Stone would definitely be male, irrespective of whether or not it is standing, for it has seams of white-quartz running through it.

From this angle though the Cap-Stone, in its present state, looks like nothing so much as a bird skull.

Which thought may cause pause for further thought…

Was there a deeper level of symbolism at play than the familiar Womb-Tomb equation?

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There is talk in the official literature of a possible second chamber and certainly from this angle the Cap-Stone looks quite badly broken.

It would also explain the curiously lonely looking ‘stone figure’ to the right.

Whichever way one approaches the structure it is hard to shake the resemblance to a modern day coffin with pall bearers…

Except, perhaps, this one…

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The Cap-Stone possesses contours which closely resemble a distant Head-Land.

This is best seen in image one.

When the structure was covered in earth and grass this resemblance would, presumably, be even more accurate, especially if seen from a distance.

The portal ‘looks out’ across an ocean which has an island in it.

It is from this Isle, legend tells us, that St Samson flicked the stones to land and take up their present position.

So, St Samson must, at some stage in his story, have been a giant.

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