The 24 Project – Real Live Cowgirl – A Birthday Song For My Sister

So I know I am WAY behind with The 24 Project. My apologies, life gets in the way of the things we want to do. My February resolution is to try to catch up, which will be a bit of a challenge, but hey, what’s life without challenges?

This post is to honor my sister. Her birthday was last week and I wanted to post this for her.

My sister also has a fabulous voice (it’s genetic) and sings with a band called The New Ranch Girls. She loves Rockabilly and Western Swing music and at one point was the Rockabilly Queen of Seattle. (I may have given her that title, but hey, if the crown fits. :) ) She is also an amazing yodeler and has won many dance competitions.

I wrote this song for my sister’s birthday several years ago. When I played it for her, she said that people had written songs about her but had never written a song for her. So, here is my Cowgirl sister’s birthday song. This is one of the many songs I hope to record soon.

 

Real Live Cowgirl

I’m a real live cowgirl
I’m the sweetheart of the west
I ride and sing and ramble
Across the lands that I love the best

I’m a real live cowgirl
I know how to rope and to ride
From the prairie to the stable
Just as sure as you are able
I’m the gal you want by your side

Whether it’s riding cross the mesa on a gorgeous summer’s day
Or workin’ in the barn, a pitchin’ bales of hay
If you want a good hard worker who knows what she’s about
Or a love to sit and watch the world as the warm daylight runs out.

I’m a real live cowgirl
I know where it’s at
I show my sense of independence
By wearin’ my spurs and hat

Insert yodel here

I’m a real live cowgirl
I’m the one for you
And if you enjoy my company
And just can’t get enough of me
I swear I’ll be true blue


The 24 Project – Two For One

I didn’t manage to get a 24 Project post up for last week so I figured I should give you two songs this week.

I wrote both of these a while ago. I’ve recorded one of them but I’m not terribly happy with it so expect it to show up as an audio track eventually. The other is only in my head. I hope to get it out and recorded soon.

As always, I hope you enjoy and I look forward to reading your comments.

Go Out Today

This one is sort of a cross between a William Gibson-esque storyline in which a person is so wired into technology that he can’t get out and a general commentary on information overload and what it’s doing to people’s social skills. The chorus came to me first, the rest followed along.

I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today
The world’s out there, it can go away.
Don’t think I’m gonna to go out today
I’ve got nothin’ to say

I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today
The world’s a sorry place to say
Don’t think I’m gonna to go out today

Wired in to my world where it’s safe and it’s warm
All my friends here to keep me from any harm
When the pain gets too much I just can’t make it stop
I don’t know when the other shoe will drop

I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today
To see the flowers grow, watch the children play
I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today

As I stare at the screen I am caught in the stream
I get no peace from the onslaught of reality
All the bits and the bytes coming into my head
I can’t think of the last thing that I said

I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today
Don’t need what they’ve got anyway
I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today
It’s here I’ll stay

I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today
They don’t want me to help them play
I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today

All the boom and the zoom streams right into my room
I’m afloat on a sea of technology
I can’t see outside my door as I lie here on my floor
All the world rushes in and I can’t stop the din

I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today
It’s all starting to fade away
I don’t think I’m gonna to go out today

 

Rescuing Superman

I wrote this while I was still married. With events turning out the way they did, I now dedicate it to all of the returning soldiers and their spouses. Years ago, I played an earlier version of this song at a songwriter’s circle and was told by a well-know songwriter that once I get it ironed out, I might have a hit on my hands. I hope that ends up being true.

I’m in love with a hero, a pillar of pride and strength
A man who for humanity would go to any length
Within your arms I feel safe and warm, carried by your stride
Nothing gives me more pleasure than to be here by your side

With such strength you bear our world with grace and agility
Your march goes steady on, never asking help from me
As I tread in your steps, I see you shake under the load
I wish you’d share the burden on such a rocky road

Sometimes, Lois gets to rescue Superman
The Princess gets to save the Knight.
Trust in me, take my hand, then together
We can make things turn out right

I too am made of power, I have a lion’s heart
We’re in this thing together but we’ve still got to travel far
I can match you pace for pace but not perhaps, eye to eye.
Let me add my strength to yours, be the wind on which you fly

Sometimes, Lois gets to rescue Superman
The Princess gets to save the Knight.
Trust in me, take my hand, then together
We can make things turn out right

One of the hardest things is to stand next to perfection
To stare it in the heart every day
To see now you with broken wings, Oh please have no objection
To letting me help in some small way.

Our life together is not a race we’re not here to compete
Let our steps be side by side our journey to complete
I may not be a superhero but I have strength and love
You chose me, I chose you, let your hand fit in my glove

Sometimes, Lois needs to rescue Superman
The Princess needs to save the Knight.
Trust in me, take my hand, then together
We will make things turn out right


24 Project – A Song For The Thinning Of The Veil – Happy Halloween

Well, the 24 Project seems to be a Thursday thing. Please look for posts on Thursdays.

As I was preparing for my next performance, a house concert on Saturday called  Harvesting the Wisdom of the Crone, (there are a few seats left. If you’re in the Twin Cities area, here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/418708771563399/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming) I remembered a song I was working on at one point to perform with The Idisi. It is a beautiful poem about the soul after transition and the thinning of the veil, called “Do Not Stand At my Grave And Weep,” written by Mary Elisabeth Frye. The music is by Robert Prizeman.

I am performing with a storyteller friend of mine, Carol McCormick. She laid out the structure to be as follows:

  • Fun and light
  • Surprise
  • Dark and scary
  • Amen

So I realized I needed a good “Amen” song. Well, this one seemed appropriate. And as it is Samhain, or Halloween, a time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, I thought I would share it with you. Please note: this is what is commonly referred to as a “trash track” in the biz. It is a reference recording so I remember what I did. Eventually, I will make a good recording of this song because it is so beautiful.

So Happy Halloween and much love from those beyond the veil. They are still with you in all the little ways. This gives me great comfort.

 

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

 

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die


Music is a Universal Language – Why I Do, What I Do

I am at the AWAI Boot Camp and Job Fair for copywriters. For those of you who don’t know, copywriting is the art of writing persuasive advertising copy. This is now my “day job” as I can no longer make a living as a full-time musician. (Candidly, I did this when I was a musician too; I was just selling my band, The Muses or myself.)

For those of you who don’t realize, we are the people who write that junk mail you get every day or who write those web pages you visit trying to sell you things. And yes, we get together to share ideas, stories and information.

A large group of professional, experienced and aspiring copywriters come together every year in Delray Beach, Florida for four days of learning, networking and general companionship. It is essentially an informational fire hose in terms of the amount of technique, updates and education we receive, once a year. It is a great place to make friends and share interests, as well as get jobs, make contacts and learn a ton of stuff. Every once in a while, though, we all need to kick back and relax so we can absorb what we’ve learned.

My friend Li Vasquez-Noone and I discovered last year that we have a shared hobby, we both make wine. I stay in a time-share condo when I’m down here (it’s cheaper for me than the hotel) and last year we had an impromptu wine tasting of Li’s wines at my condo.

Li and I, along with a couple of our fellow copywriters, decided this needed to become an annual tradition. This year, I checked a bag and brought down two of my wines, (a mead and a crabapple wine) as well as a bottle of hard cider that I had hardened off after pressing fresh cider on my family’s old-fashioned cider press. Li and her husband David contributed several of their homemade wines, including a lovely white, a Riesling, a sweet potato wine, and one named “Dragon blood” among others. We invited people to my one-bedroom condo to do a wine tasting.

As is the way of things when writers and free alcohol are involved, word spread quickly, both through our inviting people and their inviting friends. We ended up with a large party filling the small living room – dining room – kitchen area of my condo. It was wonderful! People talking about life, hobbies, wine, wine making, (there were several other home brewers there) and copywriting (the reason we had all come together). Much noise, chaos and great companionship ensued.

As it happens, I have a house concert scheduled a week from Saturday. (MN readers, email me and I’ll give you info if you’re interested.) I brought my travel harp with me so I didn’t give up a week of practice right before a show.

I have been practicing all week, every evening before I go to bed. For some reason, just prior to bedtime is my favorite practice time. I think it relaxes and focuses me. That and (being a musician) I am a night owl by nature. So my harp was sitting next to the couch in the living room – dining room – kitchen area. I was talking to one of my fellow copywriters, who is also a musician, and I mentioned that I brought the harp to practice.

This fellow, Kelvin Parker, plays guitar and is playing a gig for another of our fellow copywriter’s gatherings tomorrow night, so he insisted that I bring the harp with me tomorrow. (I will bring my harp. One should never turn down an opportunity to play, after all.) But as we got to talking, others heard and asked to hear. So I picked up the harp and played a couple of tunes.

What was a loud buzz of conversation went to silence in a matter of seconds. As I started to play and sing, the room became quiet, focused and almost reverent. I played a song I wrote, as well as a popular song. Everyone loved it. My fellows, who had no idea I was a musician as well as a copywriter, complimented me.

Shortly thereafter, our party broke up. (I hope I didn’t put them all to sleep.) But I expect people will talk about this tomorrow and the next day as well. Not because I am some fabulous musician, but because music is a universal language that everyone can understand.

Live performance is becoming rarer and rarer in our era of YouTube, digital downloads and DIY music. So my being able to pick up my harp in a room full of people is a special occasion, even if it is something I have done professionally for years. What’s more, playing an instrument that many people have never seen before, except in pictures, makes it even more special.

As copywriters, we strive to find the language our prospective customers speak so we can resonate with them at the deepest level. As a musician, I am lucky enough to have a language that everyone understands, regardless of the culture, the instrument, the style and the rhythm. The entire room was entranced.

Music is a universal language. I am very blessed to be able to speak it. I can only hope that I am able to use the same talents in my copywriting as I move forward in this particular branch of my career.

Thank you, those of you who have been following me for many years as well as those of you who have only recently learned of my singing and writing through the 24 Project, for sharing that language with me and supporting me in my pursuit of it. I hope to keep speaking it, singing it, writing it and sharing it with all of you for many years to come.

Slainte

Tanya


The 24 Project – A Songwriting Odyssey – The Beginning

I have been promising myself that I would do this songwriting thing for about half a year now, so it is finally time. Tomorrow night is the full moon, so somehow this seems appropriate.

The 24 Project – A Songwriting Odyssey is my effort to write and/or record 24 songs in 12 months. Not all of these songs will be original, not all of these songs will be written by me during this time. However, I think this will be a good way for me to push myself to play more, write more and finally finish some things that have been dancing around in my head for a while. It will also spur me to write and post more, both very good things. I am told if you do something for 28 days, it becomes a habit. There will be at least 24 posts out of this. I hope by then, this will be a good habit to have.

Why not do a song a day for a month or a year, or one of those types of challenges? Because a) My song writing process just doesn’t happen that way. b) I want to put more time and effort into recording than that type of project tends to offer. c) Unfortunately, I don’t make my living by music anymore and let’s face it, I do have to pay the bills with that “real job” thing.

So I will endeavor to write here once a week, certainly twice a month about what I am working on, how things are going and present lyrics and songs in progress to all of you. I hope to have audio files soon and perhaps eventually video files, though technology may limit me on that.

As my audience, I would appreciate hearing back from you regarding what you think about the music. Part of the reason I want to do this and share it is because it gets the music to you faster, and gives me a better reaction right away, in hopes that I can refine my writing process and create music that you will all enjoy. I’m sort of speeding up the whole workshopping process, you’re all now in my workshop. Welcome.

Constructive criticism is welcome, such as, “Hey Tanya, I really like where you’re going with this but how are you going to get all of those words into an easy to listen to tune?” or “Hey Tanya, I couldn’t understand what you were singing on this song at this part.”

“Un-constructive criticism is not welcome and will be deleted. This includes: “You bleeping bleep, how dare you talk about XYZ, I’m gonna bleep you and bleep your abc.” I don’t take that bleep from anyone, thank you very much.

So, to start off, I present a song I wrote for my friend Theresa on her birthday this past February. She needed a song to express what she was feeling at the time. Things were rough, I am happy to say that she is much better off now.

I expect the lyrics will change a bit as I get closer to putting this “officially” to music. This is one of the things that has had my brain rattling for a while, and part of the impetus to start this project.

I hope you all enjoy.

Heartache

This was supposed to be the last time I fell in love
You were supposed to be the one
This was supposed to be our lives together
This wasn’t going to be like the other one

The one where we fought and hurt
The one where I had no power, no control
We were going to be equals, lovers
We were going to share life to life and soul to soul

How did we end up here again?
How did we make the same mistakes?
Why did I make the choices I made
Why do you make my heart ache?

I love you more than life itself
I still hope you feel the same
I pledged my love to you for all time
Why do we still play the same crazy game?

I can’t go on in this same role
The one where I have no choice
I have to step back and see what I can take
I have to give my power a voice

How did we end up here again?
How did we make the same mistakes?
Why did I make the choices I made
Why do you make my heart ache?

This life we chose shouldn’t be this hard
Our hearts still beat as one
But I can’t speak my truth and be heard
Without you coming undone

You’re what I want, you’re what I love, you’re what I need
Why can’t you hear and see
Stop pushing me away, stop telling me I’m wrong
Give as much as I do and let our love be

How did we end up here again?
How did we make the same mistakes?
Why did I make the choices I made
Why do you make my heart ache?

I have to take the time to heal myself
To learn what I still have to give
I know I love you but I can’t make this choice
Right now I have to live

So if you feel the same way I do
If you can learn to give and take
Maybe someday we can try this love again
Until then, you make my heart ache

How did we end up here again?
How did we make the same mistakes?
Why did I make the choices I made
Why do you make my heart ache?


A Genuinely Hard Look at Our Current Politics

“$1 billion given by the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove and other major donors to throw dirt at Barack Obama”

“The Democrats have a well-oiled grass roots machine that will beat the Republican’s hands down in spite of their huge monetary investment”

“Our system has become so divisive…”

“The Democrats are only interested in big government that will drive us to ruin.”

“The Republicans are only interested in helping corporations to line their own pockets and hurt the regular American tax payer.”

These are the factoids, accusations and propaganda that fly past me on my computer screen as I read email, scan Facebook, sort through tweets and listen to the news. It seems like all we can focus on is how separated we are, instead of looking at where we can come together for the common good.

I have a great idea. What if as of Wednesday (in order to let Wisconsin blow off its steam in a recall election because they’re all pretty pent up right now) we call off all campaigning and just decide not to have an election.

Instead, EVERYONE WHO IS CURRENTLY IN OFFICE will take a pledge, no matter what their party affiliation to buckle down and get some work done for the next two years. No one will have to worry about losing their job in Congress, which means they might do a better job of keeping the ones we have now and increasing the overall volume so that those who don’t have one can get one.

Perhaps seeing some actual results from cooperation might instill some confidence in our government and improve our countrywide malaise about our collective fate, improving our economy, our outlook and the entire world confidence level.

We’re all so sick and tired about hearing the same arguments over and over seeing the same cans kicked down the road to be argued about again in 15, 24, 48 months, with no real result other than to create a lot of news hubbub and send the stock market crashing or soaring, which now only affects a small portion of the population as so many have had to pull their investments out in order to survive.

So seriously. let’s have EVERY SINGLE SuperPAC donate all of their ill-gotten gains to reducing the debt. Let’s have each party take all of their fundraised dough and create some jobs doing SOMETHING USEFUL for everybody and let’s just take an election cycle off to get some genuine compromise going instead of sitting around bullying each other about what we each believe.

The word “compromise” has become akin to swearing among our politicians. Our President ran on a platform of trying to create it and has found himself stymied at every turn, sometimes by his own party! Compromise means that everyone gets something that he or she wants but doesn’t get everything his or her own way. What’s wrong with that? Families and businesses have to do it all the time. It has worked for decades in this country to keep us moving forward and makes us the great nation we claim to be. Not being willing to compromise weakens our position internally and externally.

Everybody, drop the picket signs, however clever they may be, stop the Facebook memes that bash the other side, even if you’re convinced they are true and start pointing out places that we can and will cooperate on making our country better for EVERYBODY so we can all get to work rebuilding America for the good of ALL CITIZENS, small business owners, large business owners, parents, single folks, married folks, people in domestic partnerships, gay, straight, pick your skin color, culture, nationality or belief system. It’s time to show some compassion and consideration instead of throwing stones at the opposition because they can see through our glass walls.

American ingenuity is what has made us a world leader, let’s allow that to flow freely again and regain that our proudest status symbol.

And if you just can’t handle the idea of another fall passing without seeing millions of dollars in campaign funds pass through the hands of media corporations airing attack ads, signs littering our lawns, streets, billboards and state fairs, bumper stickers causing road rage, politicians calling each other names during debates, neighbors never speaking to each other again and families having to ban politics at the dinner table, how about we ALL promise that whoever ends up winning in November, no matter what their political affiliation, we’ll really put our noses to the grindstone to create and enact legislation that benefits every member of our society before we have to put ourselves through this ever so painful ritual again.


Thoughts on Memorial Day and Sacrifice

On this Memorial Day, I remember my grandfather, James R. Lewis, who served his country as an army captain in WWII. I honor my former father-in-law, Roger Gurnsey, who served his country on a navy vessel during the Korean War. I thank all of my friends who have served their countries in all capacities, civil and military. And I remember those who have lost their lives in the service of democracy and freedom.

I am thankful that I am able to speak my mind and that we are able to have discourse about our politics, beliefs and world, even if it isn’t always civil. I thank those who have given their lives and their working careers to protect those rights over the lifetime of this country.

I would ask that, in their honor, we offer each other respect and consideration instead of acrimony and dismissal as we have these discussions and agree to disagree instead of deciding that Person X or Group Y are wrong/evil/disgusting.

Being respectful and considerate takes just as much courage as fighting for what you believe in. We are free to have opinions, to fight for causes and to express those opinions/beliefs/feelings through a number of different mediums. Whether you post on Facebook, tweet, write your congressperson, write a song, a poem, a book or go out on the street with a sign and join a group of people shouting your message, we have this freedom.

In other countries, these actions will get you arrested, shot, tortured, blacklisted, any number of other punishments. We have to remember that being able to express our opinions is a privilege, not a God Given Right. Members of our country have fought and died for this privilege and we need to honor their sacrifice by making peace amongst ourselves so we can carry on our work and theirs.

So on this Memorial Day, I would ask that you not only remember people who have died fighting in the military for our country but people who have been injured, arrested and died fighting for causes they believe in. We’re all ultimately looking for the same things, we just have different ways of getting there. Please be respectful of other people’s journeys, even if you don’t agree with them.

Happy Memorial Day, May all those who have served, in whatever capacity, Rest, or Live, In Peace.


Humanity’s Secret

“Why did you create humanity?” Asked the spirit who had been many things. “They are crude and thoughtless. They trample the Earth with no regard for its other inhabitants. They believe themselves to be superior to all things, including you. They create their own destruction over and over again.”

The Creator of All the Universe, who was all that had come before and all that would be after, smiled and said, “Humanity came out of the darkest recesses of our minds. They are the deepest, most terrifying fears we have and our only hope for the future. They behave like unruly children because they are the newest of our inhabitants.”

“Why do you let them behave that way?” Whined the spirit who had been many things. “They kill without regard to food or need, they take whatever they want, whenever they want from whoever gets in their way. They hurt each other needlessly, claim to love when they are full of hate and deceit, and they put more effort into cruelty than they ever do into kindness. They continually work to undermine themselves and each other, and their system of “justice” is so barbaric it puts the behavior many of animals to shame.”

“Humans do not understand their own interconnectedness with all things, as you did not when you were incarnate,” Said the Creator of All the Universe. “Their vision is limited by what they can see and touch. They have forgotten how to sense and feel. When they remember these all important skills, as some are beginning to, you will see change.”

“And why is it, out of the horror that they are, sometimes you see acts of such nobility and grace, of such gentle tenderness as to make your heart split in two?” Asked the spirit who had been many things.

“The Creator of All the Universe, who had always been and would always be. Who had seen many lives pass and who held the memories of everything whispered, “Because even in the darkest of places, there is always a pinpoint of light.”


The Goddess of the White Horse

This is another post where if you don’t believe in, aren’t interested in or are offended by spirituality, reincarnation, past life memories, Paganism, alternative religions, ancient beliefs or any other thing having to do with Earth Magick, please don’t read any further. You won’t like this post. Please go on past these two to the following one or wait for the next post. If you are fine with these things, please read on. FYI, any negative comments will most likely be deleted as I warned you well in advance, so if you are offended, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’m not sure why I waited to write this post until the end, I just know that it was more appropriate to write a travel type post my first day out than to write a spiritually based one. As I mentioned in the last post, this entire trip has ended up being a spiritual journey for me. It’s what I set out on and I am pleased to say I found what I was looking for, in some very weird ways.

When I arrived at White Horse Hill, I could already feel the ground firmly beneath my feet. I know this sounds like a strange statement, but what it means to me is that there was a pulse to the earth’s energy. It’s hard to explain, but I feel it in areas where there are structures of great power. These structures take many different forms, they can literally be anything from a theater or art studio, to a Renaissance Festival, to a well attended religious institution of any denomination, to a thriving corporation. Anywhere energy is being put to use (and I mean human intent, not electricity) I feel these pulses. They feel different, depending on the intent of the energy being created. White Horse Hill’s pulse was another kind of energy. It was earth based and the intent was much older. To me, this means ley lines.

Ley lines are channels of energy running through the earth. They connect at different points and form nodes of power. These usually end up being sacred sites of one form or another, whether they are ancient ruins or end up having centuries of worship occurring on the site, including modern times. White Horse Hill is one of these sites. I could feel the ley lines connecting right under the White Horse herself, and she is the node. I believe this is the main reason she was carved into the earth. I know most archeologists say that she was most likely put there as a border marker, and that may also be true, but she doesn’t divide. She holds things together.

When I sat down at the head of the White Horse, she spoke to me. I was welcomed back by her as an old friend and as the High Priestess who had been responsible for her being carved into the earth. She is a physical representation of the Earth Mother and the Mother’s power still holds there and speaks to those of us who know how to listen. So I had my first moment of “been here before” on this trip. I recognized and remembered what I had done. Not actual events, but the purpose and the creation. I even remembered that people who are with me in this lifetime were part of my life, and part of her creation, back then.

The White Horse's Head

The White Horse's Head

 

I know that as a fiction reader, I hear the individual voices of characters when I read. Listening to the voice of the Goddess of the White Horse was like listening to a very friendly English woman. She had a slight country accent and a lovely, lilting voice. I expect that the divine occurs to everyone differently because everyone has different interpretations of the divine. This was how she appeared to me. Her representation was the big chalk drawing and her body was the hill I sat on. Her voice was what gave her a specific character.

I wish I could express the joy and contentment that being there on the side of that hill gave me. Unfortunately, words just don’t encompass feelings very well. I sat on the side of White Horse Hill, with people and sheep wandering all around me, and enjoyed the feeling of home, even if it hadn’t been home for millennia.

I knew that part of my purpose in taking this walk was to connect with the energies of both Mother and Father, Goddess and God, Lady and Lord. I found the God energy at Wayland’s Smithy, where I remembered that my body had been buried at the end of that lifetime in the original barrow there. Speaking with Wayland felt like speaking with all of the animal energies that had ever passed by this place. Not feral, not even wild, just rich and full of life and purpose. The small amount of magic that I had come to do on this trip was started at Wayland’s Smithy, where I left a list of things that I walk away from in my life. It seemed apt to leave these things in a place of death, so they could die and be reabsorbed into the earth, allowing their energies to recycle and create something new and beautiful. Wayland took these things and pulled them down into the earth, allowing me to be free of them and to create a new and purposeful life for myself.

Entrance to Wayland's Smithy Long Barrow

Entrance to Wayland's Smithy Long Barrow

I realize that I don’t see the world the way others see it, that I find the divine in unusual places. However, it is important to look for the divine in the every day and in the unusual. Otherwise, how will we recognize it in each other?

I don’t know how frequent my blog posts will be now, though I will keep them up. I expect they will be on a much larger variety of subjects than just travel and spirituality. I hope you continue to enjoy my ramblings.

Thanks,

Tanya


Some People Come to Avebury for the Stones, I Came for the Trees

Let me start out right here by saying if you don’t believe in, aren’t interested in or are offended by spirituality, reincarnation, past life memories, Paganism, alternative religions, ancient beliefs or any other thing having to do with Earth Magick, please don’t read any further. You won’t like this post. Go on to the next one. If you are fine with these things, please read on. FYI, any negative comments will most likely be deleted as I warned you well in advance, so if you are offended, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Yesterday at Avebury, this whole trip really, has been a profoundly magical experience for me. Walking the Ridgeway was not only beautiful, it felt like something I had done before many times. It felt a lot like coming home. Granted, there were sections that were part of major roads and sections that had been re-routed for various reasons, but it still felt very comfortable.

One of the wonderful things about Avebury is that you can walk right up to the stones, walk around the entire embankment (where they aren’t trying to prevent erosion or where there aren’t town buildings) and really experience the area. Unlike Stonehenge (which is roped off) this gives a much more intimate experience of the circles and the feel of the place.

As I walked the circle, I could feel the ley lines running through the earth, each in their own direction, pulling and pushing the world energies through to where they need to be. Avebury, Stonehenge and other similar places are all nodes of these ley lines, a place where lines cross to share or transmit along a different path. I have felt many of these places throughout the world and most of them are marked with stones. I expect it’s because stone is very good at holding the point of joining together. The first one I ever encountered sits at the top of Fool’s Knoll at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and runs throughout Southern Minnesota in several directions. For the last few decades, the magic that the Festival creates has helped feed that node. Perhaps that is the reason I was drawn back to the West of the Twin Cities.

Avebury made me feel very old. Partially because I was hobbling around like a little old woman, but also because I had memories of being there as an old woman. There are four huge trees planted together in one of the quadrants of the stones. (I say quadrants because the area of the stones has been divided by two roadways crossing through the town.) These four trees have magnificent root systems that twine together and can be seen quite clearly above the earth. Some claim that J.R.R. Tolkien took inspiration from these trees and from this area for the Lord of the Rings books, and for the Hobbit. When I went to these trees, they spoke to me. I recognized them as saplings I had planted centuries ago when I was the old woman of my memory. I believe this was post building of the Stone Circles but definitely during a time they were still being used. The trees called me Sister, welcomed me home and told me they had missed me. I realized that I had missed them. I took lots of pictures so I could bring them with me this time.

People leave offerings at these sacred trees, mostly ribbons tied around the outer branches. I had come here to do some very personal magic. I knew this was the place to do it, as soon as I saw a postcard of these trees’ roots in one of the shops. I wrote my magic on a piece of paper and left it in a natural hole in the tree root system. The trees took it gladly and sent it up into the Universe and down into Mother Earth. I was thrilled at how I could feel the energy of my work moving through the trees and out to where it needed to be.

Roots of the Avebury Trees

Roots of the Avebury Sacred Trees

Sacred Offerings

Offerings for the Sacred Trees

View from the Trees

A Skyward View from Inside the Sacred Trees

As I wandered through the stones, I stopped to touch some of them. Every time I did, I felt a profound rush of power, the stone’s gathered energy over the millennia since it had been put there. Some of the stones recognized me, and I recognized them. At some point, I had been a priestess in this area, serving the energy of the stones and the people who inhabited the land. It was amazing. Each stone had its own feel, its own tone and personality. Some of them even spoke. They were old, gravelly voices, as though of water rushing over pebbles or the very slow sounds of the earth moving.

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the stones had a hole at just about eye level, where people had left coins. I left a penny, not for a wish, but as an offering to the stone. It was a speaking stone, and it welcomed me as Sister, told me it missed me and asked if I wanted to leave something. I pulled out my offering, stuck it in the hole and asked it to protect itself and its fellows, the trees and the land. To me, this felt like the right thing to do. I had already been granted what I came for, now I just wanted this place preserved. The National Trust does its best but I am aware there are always forces that want to destroy what has been created for Universal Good, no matter where you are or what you are doing. It’s just part of the normal cycle of things.

This whole area of Wiltshire is riddled with ancient barrows, standing stones and other sites. I could have spent my entire trip just wandering around this area, remembering things and feeling at home. It felt strange for me to feel so very rooted to an area with no large bodies of water. Yet everything felt familiar, comfortable and welcoming. It was as though the earth under my feet was singing my own song and the air I breathed gave me sustenance. I felt cherished and content.

I started on this journey looking for balance. I found that, as well as memories, knowledge and comfort. I found my Mother Earth and Father Sky again. I found myself and rooted my spirit there. For an entirely unplanned trip, this has been one of the best experiences of my life.

More tomorrow on similar experiences at Uffington’s White Horse.