Dear Soul Beings,

A photograph from a year ago last summer flashes up before me on Facebook. It’s from our UK trip. I am embracing the ancestral spirits lodged in one of the Megalith Standing Stones at Avebury.

Avebury is many things, but it is especially known as a landmark of the Goddess. In 1995, I had been reading about this sacred site in a book called, Crossing to Avalonby Jean Shinoda Bolen. She writes about her mid-life pilgrimage to several of these sacred sites and her whole journey struck a chord with me.  I had lost both of my parents a few years back and by 1995 I had started to gain some perspective on their deaths. It was time to explore who I was, where I came from and to connect more deeply with my spiritual self. I was still in therapy, a somewhat unconventional therapy. In the world of trance and meditation I experienced visions that were transformational and I knew there was more to life than met the eye. I knew that my incarnation was larger than being simply the eldest daughter of my parents. At the time, I was drawn to books like Sea Priestess by Dion Fortune, as well as The Chalice and the Blade and, of course, The Mists of Avalon. Ancestral England was beckoning me.

It so happened that at that time, I was working at Ten Thousand Waves as a massage therapist, as well as working as a doula (labor coach) and studying aromatherapy independently. In my research, the best courses on essential oils were offered in the UK.  I looked into getting a grant to study. The pull to travel there was strong.

So it was no coincidence, while working, that I see this man sitting on the bench in the lobby at Ten Thousand Waves. He has a pleasant face and dazzling blue eyes.

“Here’s your client,” the girl behind the desk says.

He smiles and with a distinctly British accent, says hello.

I take him to the room, lay him face down and cover him with a sheet. Clary Sage and Lavender oils go into the massage blend and I spread my hands over his back.

“While I was hiking I heard a voice telling me to go to The Waves,” he says.

I keep him face down, massaging his spine, his scalp, his long muscled arms, all the while spinning the conversation.

“Where were you hiking?” I ask.

“Baldy. Have you ever been there?”

“I haven’t,” I say. Then I change the subject. “Have you ever read THE MISTS OF AVALON?”

“I don’t think so.”

“It’s the story of Sir Arthur told from the perspective of Morgan La Fey.” I refer to some of the sacred sites mentioned in the book: Tintagel, Glastonbury, the sacred ley lines.

He tells me he’s always loved Stonehenge, but now they’ve put a fence around the stones which is annoying.

“I’ve never been,” I say. “But I’d really like to visit.”

“By the way, what is that scent you’re using?” he asks.

“Clary Sage,” I answer.

I accidentally knock over the bottle. Now the room is drenched. Clary Sage, by nature is sedating and clarifying. We are submerged in the vapors.

“This scent is very intoxicating,” he says.

“I love aromatherapy. I’m thinking of going to England to study it.”

“Well if you do, give me a call. I know an aromatherapist in London.”

The man’s name is Gavin. We exchange numbers. He leaves to go to the UK for the Henley Regatta. At the time, I don’t know what a regatta is (a rowing event). But he calls me, then comes to visit. Then I visit him. He returns to Santa Fe every other week and we plan a trip to visit the sacred sites.

Four months later, we arrive in England. Gavin drives while I doze. We stop in Sommerset and buy apples. I have never seen such green grass. We drive from Gloustershire to Glastonbury. I see the Tor wrapped in mist, rising from the mystical landscape. Together we do a ceremony at the top of the tor. The energy is palpable.

We follow the ley lines, past White Horse, to the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, and park in the field. The air is moist and the wind is sharp. I know we are on holy ground.

Avebury is a serpentine circle of standing stones, ninety miles west of London and twenty miles north of Stonehenge. Originally, it was composed of ninety-eight great stones but now there are only twenty-seven. The sarsen stones range from nine to over twenty feet and are anchored into the earth up to two feet.

I feel surrounded by spirits and run amongst the megaliths, placing crystals and Herkimer diamonds in their ancient crevices and ledges. I am humming and praying and in the sway of magic. Then I run up to the ridge where Gavin is standing in his knickerbockers and tweed cap and survey the view. The stones are in a serpentine procession and I read later, that they represent an enormous snake passing through a circle, an alchemical symbol for sure. I feel like I am in a temple.

It is at that moment that Gavin enfolds me in an embrace. I feel the force field of ancestral energy, the icy grasses brushing my ankles and the wet wind on my cheeks. He bends his head close and draws my lips to his.

“Will you marry me?” he asks.

I say, “Yes.”

I am encircled in the spirit of Divine Mystery. I feel the Goddess guiding us.

Over the course of our time together, many prayers have been uttered at the stones. Throughout the years of infertility, I made offerings and prayed for a child. My prayers were answered. Throughout the times of cancer and financial duress I prayed for an opening. We found our way.

There is a theory that the stones at Avebury symbolize male and female and ancient ceremonies that took place at the winter solstice under a Cancer full moon, which suggests that the Goddess ruled. When we were last there, I asked the stones to guide me in the ways toward deeper intimacy in my marriage. We had come a far distance from the magic. The stones bring us back. It is a healing journey.

That first time was over twenty years ago. We travel back to touch the stones every time we visit England and often I ask for clarity on what it is that draws me to this place, why is the energy so intense here? Why, when I am of Russian ancestry do I connect so strongly to, not only the standing stones, but to the landscape of England and the UK? Would it be possible to make a life there? What dreams have I forgotten that long to be remembered? Perhaps I can write myself into that life. Only the goddess knows.

For now, this photograph stands on my altar.

Thank you.