“…It is at this point that Ben decides to leave us and heads off into the quarry which lies behind our vantage point on ‘an errand’.
“He’s burying the stones we were going to be lugging over the moor,” says Wen.
“How do you know they’re stones?”
“I don’t,” says Wen, “but I bet they are.”
“I didn’t know you were the betting sort,” say I, “but you’re probably correct.”
Wen moves off back up the track heading out to the moor beyond.
Just then the leading edge of the sun disk crests the cloud and a sliver of sunlight arrows out over the moor.
I run back to the edge of the quarry and shout down to Ben that the sun is up.
As the full face of the solstice sun finally emerges, it ‘sees’ us like this…
Ben in a hole…
Me on the lip of the hole…
Wen about to lead us higher up the moor…
Extract from Doomsday:Scions of Albion by Stuart France and Sue Vincent
There is always a certain amount of uncertainty about a dawn. It is in that moment, when we wait for the future to become the present, that we connect unconsciously with the past. We naively assume that our ancestors awaited the daily miracle of sunrise, not knowing if the great Eye would open to illuminate the day or remain closed, keeping the world in inescapable darkness.We stand on the edge of a tenebrous wilderness, scanning the skyline, waiting to see if our timing is right and the weatherman reliable. Will we see the dawning sun crest the horizon… or only the flush of light behind the pall of cloud?
We never really know. We can only take the time on trust and await the pleasure of Great Nature as the dawn unfolds.
There is something sacrificial about such moments… sleep curtailed, a warm bed abandoned, breakfast postponed and the morning braved, regardless of the chill in the air or the vagaries of the weather. You climb to your chosen vantage point…and then you wait. You have checked the sunrise tables and know, as accurately as possible, the time that dawn will creep above the dark earth at that particular spot. You do not know whether or not the sky will be clear enough to see, how light or dark the path before your feet will appear and whether sunshine or rain will be your lot. Yet all these are things that can be addressed with a little planning and preparation; warm clothes, good footwear and a chocolate bar in the pocket serve to cover the practicalities.
Yet, in spite of all your meticulous planning and best calculations, Nature is still in charge. How long will the sun take… beyond the technical time of dawn… to actually climb from below the eastern horizon to its place above the line of hills that now block your vision? Will the big, black cloud thicken and steal ‘your’ dawn, or part to shower gold at your feet? You do not know… but you wait.
The numinous space between night and day, you are poised between doubt and trust, fear and hope, with eyes and heart open to the light… The crossroads of the day lie before your feet, signposting the choices the moment asks of you… and offering you a moment to affirm your self-definituon; yours is the choice….sleep or waking, oblivion or awareness… is yours to breathe, drinking its presence as the dew… yet once you have made that choice, like the ancestors, all you can do is wait and trust…surrendering to the greater will of natural law.
Sometimes that trust is rewarded in unexpected ways. You see asea of mist spread out beneath your feet like a pathway to the Otherworld, long before the sun rises…
You watch the dawn over the valley… then see the sun rise again above the hills where you stand… a twin dawn…
You watch a sky aflame with liquid light, gilding the world, revealing its contrast and colours…
Every dawn is a miracle, every sunrise both affirmation and new beginning…
Join us in September as the seasons turn once more to walk forgotten pathways across the moors to circles lost in the bracken. Learn of the dreams of a mysterious Seer, a lifetime echoed in stone and whispered through time as we explore the sacred landscape of Derbyshire. In the solitude of the moors, the voices of the past seem to reach through the land and touch your heart, finding there a continuous thread of light that winds through the ages as each soul asks its own questions, the same questions that have been asked for millennia.
Based around the Fox House, Hathersage, we will spend the weekend exploring some of the neolithic and sacred sites of the area, culminating in a trip to Arbor Low, the ‘Stonehenge of the north’. Each attendee will be asked to bring a short reading or to share a story that seems appropriate to the moment and we will talk as we walk, finding inspiration in the land and in our companions.
These events are not large, just a small and intimate group and a warm, informal atmosphere.
For those thinking of attending the Silent Eye’s Annual Workshop, The Feathered Seer, at Great Hucklow in April 2017, Circles Beyond Time will be of particular relevance as the story that will unfold during The Feathered Seer will be set in this particular part of the ancient landscape.
When: Weekend of 9th to 11th September 2016.
Where: Based at the Fox House inn near Hathersage, Derbyshire, England.
Who: An informal weekend with the Silent Eye, open to all who wish to attend.
Cost: £50 per person, accommodation and meals are notincluded and should be booked separately.
Why: Explore an ancient and sacred landscape and how it is still relevant to each of us today.
How: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place.