…“No matter,” says Wen, “they sometimes put contact details up.” She starts to scrutinise the notice board of the porch and then taps a number into her phone…
Bugger times two!
We content ourselves with a swift circuit of the church but that merely emphasises the sense of disappointment and, as we climb back into the car, I start to wonder if we are destined for a hangover. It would have been in any case difficult to match the enormities of yesterday’s explorations and maybe we should be spending some time assimilating their significance rather than tearing about the country-side… it is akin I suppose to what, as teenagers, we used to call ‘Chasing the Dragon’ when we stayed out all night looking for drinking parties.
“No worries,” says Wen, “there’s another we can try on the way.”
Wen of course has no such doubts, “On the way to where?”
“The Hell-Fire Caves! Don’t you remember any of our conversation last night?”
“Ah, yes, the Hell-Fire Caves…”
To be honest it feels a little bit off-beam to me, but it is a place of interest in the area and we need to do something today…I attempt to retrieve some of last nights conversation from the fog of grape but before I have even got to the Megalithic Behemoth of Wayland’s name, we are pulling up outside the village church of Oving. The mound of this one is too obvious not to remark and there are several stone steps and a still fairly steep incline before Wen skips along the gravel path and enters the church porch where she pauses and looks back at me mysteriously. This is already becoming something of a ritual for us and as I gain the porch I find myself hoping against hope that the door will open… Wen twists the iron ring with a yank and leans into the heavy oaken door. The door does not yield. The door is locked…
“There should be a law against it.”
“It’s sort of understandable I suppose.”
“Desecration of sacred places is incomprehensible on any scale…and besides now we’re on a mission, it’s totally and wholly unacceptable.”
“And what mission would that be?” Wen arches her eyebrow in saintly fashion.
“Not sure yet… I’ll let you know.”
‘I know now.’
‘What do you now know?’
‘I know what the mission is.’
‘Well that didn’t take long.’
‘We’re on a mission to feel true.’
‘You’re going to have to elaborate I’m afraid.’
‘Well it’s like… it’s like these places. If people felt true they couldn’t possibly want to desecrate them, because they’re simply too beautiful and if they felt true they might also be able to see true too. I mean they’d be able to see that the beauty of the place transcends the form. It doesn’t matter what you build on these places… Christian church, mosque, synagogue…as long as it allows the people who use it to attune in the correct way with the energy which is present at this spot then that beauty will be encouraged to flow…’
We are back in the car now and Wen points out the Red Kites following our progress to our right… to our left… and above…
“Looks like we’re back on track.”
“It’s our own personal escort.”
“Where are we heading?”
“We’re following them,” says Wen as the birds all wheel away as one.
“Where are they heading?”
“To the Hell-Fire Caves.”
“Something of a coincidence wouldn’t you say?”
…Cutting a thin strip of leather from her girdle she had bound it at her throat…
Hearing the keening cry of the bird on the wind…
Touching its softness she found confidence…
What would come would be as the gods willed…
Life or death, success or failure…
They saw clearer than their fledgling seer.
She was theirs to take.
She pulled the furs close around her…
The ground wet with the dew as the dawn came closer…
The time of her testing on the hill of vision…
In the half-light the valleys were shrouded in low mist…
Making the land unreal and seeming to shift…
Like islands in the sea…
Excerpt from, ‘The Initiate: Adventures in Sacred Chromatography’, by Sue Vincent and Stuart France.