Danu's Cauldron: Wisewoman's Ways, and Wild Fey Magic

Living in a sacred landscape, walking between the worlds in the veil of Avalon Glastonbury. Where the old gods roam the hills, and the sidhe dance beneath the moon...wander into the mists with me and let us see what we may find...

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Stonehenge prayers from the sacred centre

My spiritual and magical life has always been very much tied to the land. I’m very fortunate to have been able to explore some wonderful truly wild places, and to have made pilgrimages a great many times to a large proportion of Britain and Irelands sacred megalithic sites. These sacred monuments and enclosures were constructed thousands of years ago by our Neolithic, bronze age and later Iron age ancestors. Visiting and taking extended vigils at some of our most revered as well as some of our lesser known sacred ancestral sites has been central to my magical and spiritual training since I was a teenager.  To me, working and communing with the powers of place, the spiritual guardians of these places, has provided the most potent aspects of my instruction and I feel I have built up a close relationship with many ancient sites that are as personal and dear to my heart as my relationships with my fellow humans. Many of these places are small, lesser known sites well off the beaten track, but I’ve also been fortunate enough to foster a deep relationship with some of our better known and even famous megalithic sites, having spent time there and held ceremony within their enclosures for many years now. One of the most often misunderstood of these is also the most famous- Stonehenge.  I’ve been fortunate to have been able to have private access to Stonehenge a few times a year for quite a long time, more often than I have ever visited as a tourist. I feel blessed that it is so. During the heady days around the summer solstice I might well visit the stones more than once, and this year when the site is closed, I’m feeling a real sadness that my regular pilgrimage cannot take place. Visiting when you have private access is very different than the huge open public solstice gatherings, that are so famous, when thousands of party goers get to climb all over the stones and unfortunately leave a lot of rubbish behind. Equally, when visiting as a tourist, one is lead around a circular path and are able to only see the stones from afar, as it if were a circus attraction, or a paining in a gallery. Sadly, these two extremes are how many people see Stonehenge; as a place of wild revelry, from a distance on a paid tour, or saddest of all, from the window of a car on the A303 road, stuck in traffic, choking the air of this sacred place with petrol fumes.   


Stonehenge, when you are lucky enough to visit it in a small respectful group and actually go inside the circle, is a very different experience. It can allow us a connection to its special presence which is overlooked usually…this may or may not be how it felt thousands of years ago, but in the quiet pre-dawn light, or in the gathering dusk, outside of tourist opening hours, when it is only you and your fellow ceremonialists, there is a feeling that is like no other. As you circle its massive trilithons, or walk between them to enter its sacred centre, a hush will always descend. The sense of the immanence of spirit is almost a physical force. Some people say Stonehenge is a strange place, where they feel uncomfortable, others say they feel it’s been ‘touristed out’. That may be so; it sees a stunning million or more visitors each year…but while its unique spirit may retreat at those times, it very much remains for those few who are lucky enough to visit in a more sacred manner.


I remember several key times when I have sat within the stones, leant my back against the bluestones or one of the giant trilithons, and have had the opportunity to really sink in and listen and feel what the place was prepared to show me. I won’t pretend that my experiences top anyone else’s or that my feelings or visions are more accurate to its uses and history than any others, but to me its feels like the place of a fierce proud people, who used it for wild ecstatic ceremonies to honour both the land and the heavens; who gave voice to the ancestors and deep spirits of the earth and the skies, who placed their leaders ashes in its sacred soil so that they could continue to guide the people as they had in life, positioned in the axis mundi, the sacred centre of the world which transcends time and space.  In this powerful, ancient centre, magic may spread out across the land; healing, bringing change, blessing, responding to the needs of the people. In my view it may feel uncomfortable sometimes, because our relationship with our land is uncomfortable. We have strayed far from living in an honourable relationship with the powers of place.  What we send out from the sacred centre is now our need to consume, to own, to dominate. What we broadcast from its centre are our appetites and resentments. It needn’t be so. Like all things this too can change.


To have built such a huge sacred site must have been an incredible task, utilising a giant amount of manpower. I believe to build the whole enclosure, to dig the henge and erect the stones as well as all the other features in this incredible landscape were all acts of prayer… an act of collective sanctity and unity, to pull people together for a common aim, and to say no matter what our challenges and differences, we are one tribe. Evidence suggests people came from as far as the Alps to be at the stones, and we know the smaller bluestones came from Wales, presumably by people who lived and worshipped there and then moved to Wiltshire to build the new site. Pig bones found at Stonehenge’s sister site Durrington Walls prove that people had come from as far as Scotland to join the feasts at the winter and summer solstices. The first parts of the monument were constructed 5,000 years ago, yet here people gathered from so far afield, united in their common humanity, their common spiritual purpose.   


This year access at the summer solstice to Stonehenge is cancelled, but such a great presence in the psychic landscape of this nation can be contacted in spirit at any time, especially if it serves the good of all.


English heritage now has a 24 live stream broadcast from within the stones, to allow people to explore the site or just be with the place from afar, and I encourage everyone to go take a look.


When you have familiarised yourself with the centre of this sacred place,  you might like to try to see yourself standing there in your inner vision, and call to the powers of place for aid. Call out to the stones and to the land itself to bring a blessing upon the people. All the people, near and far. Use your own words, but perhaps ask for healing and health for the people, ask for our collective prosperity and freedom, ask for peace, ask that our needs are met in body and soul. Ask for justice and good leadership, ask to sooth the hearts of those who are grieving, ask for care for the elders and good futures for the young. Ask that we may as a species navigate these challenging times with grace and resilience and find our way to safe harbour. Let your heart guide your prayers, but ask always, that they be for the good of all. All the people, in all the world. When you are finished, remember to be grateful and respectful and thank the spirits of this sacred centre, that your prayers, and all our prayers, be heard, and know a better future lies ahead, for all of us!


May it be so!


To explore the livestream of Stonehenge within the stones, to explore the site as well as see the stellar and solar alignments visit  https://www.stonehengeskyscape.co.uk/


www.danuforest.co.uk books courses, consultations, readings and healings. 



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Danu Forest is a wisewoman in the Celtic Bean Feasa tradition of her Irish ancestors. You could call her many things- witch, seer, walker between the worlds, healer, druid, priestess, teacher, writer, gardener, herbwife, stargazer, faery friend, tree planter, poet, and wild woman. Danu lives in a cottage near Glastonbury Tor in the midst of the Avalon lakes, in the southwest of England. Exploring the Celtic mysteries for over 25 years, and noted for her quality research, practical experience, as well as her deep love of the land, Danu writes for numerous national and international magazines and is the author of several books including Wild Magic, The Druid Shaman, Celtic Tree Magic, Gwyn ap Nudd and The Magical Year'. She teaches regular workshops and online courses and is available for consultations, including healings readings and other ceremonies.


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