As I mentioned in my review of Taz Thornton’s year-long training circle, my family are helping me to do the circle for another year. We recently spent our first weekend together, and a tribe member who also has a blog suggested we both write about our circle experiences. I thought about it for a while…The circle does bring up the kind of personal stuff that I’m not always comfortable to share on a blog. I also tend to think people will get really bored if I write about myself much lol. In the end, I’ve decided on some things I’m happy to share that, hopefully, won’t bore everyone into a coma. I’m starting with me and my shell.
One morning, Taz told us to take a medicine walk to find a rock. It couldn’t be just any old pebble – this needed to be ‘our’ rock, something that called out to us in some way or other. So we all walked off, and…you know, there are barely any rocks in the woodland at the Clophill Centre? We all thought it would be so easy lol.
Anyway, I had resolved to really try to put aside my doubts and listen that weekend, so I walked off into the woodland and did my best to go where I felt I was being led. I was immediately led off the path, no idea where I was since I have zero sense of direction, through fallen branches and leaf litter…in a great big circle. When I realized what I’d done I figured I must have just been imagining things, but then I got the distinct sense to go to ‘the fey altar’.
In the woodland is an altar to the Goddess and the fey of the land. A couple of times when I’ve been there, I’ve felt that the land spirits were calling me to the altar – Loki even led me right to it once – but once I’m there, they always just *completely ignore me*. So I fully expected to arrive and get a bunch of silence. Instead, I felt as though they told me that if I gave them some white flowers, they would give me my rock. I’d walked past some trees with white blossom on my way to the altar, and one of them gave me permission to take a flowering twig. So I laid down my offering, and…silence lol. Argh…But I figured my rock would be nearby, so I began to look around.
You know what? There are *no bloody rocks* around that altar. I’m not kidding.
I did all the stuff you’re supposed to do – ‘tune in’, use owl eyes (peripheral vision – I suck at this, by the way), and after a little while something did tug on my attention. Under the hedge was some sort of white, oval thing. Really not sure if I was about to touch a pebble or a mushroom, I crawled under the hedge – did I mention there were brambles under the hedge? There were brambles under the hedge – reached out, and picked up a…shell.
This worried me somewhat. Firstly, we had been clearly told to find a rock. Secondly, and rather more importantly, that shell had clearly once been left on the Goddess/fey altar as an offering to Her/them. I was pretty wary about taking it. On the advice of another tribe member, I sat quietly, did my best to tune in, and asked what I was supposed to do. And what I got told was ‘you can take this shell, or you can go to the Dreaming Chamber and take the carnelian that’s by the door’. There was *absolutely no way* I was even going to touch that carnelian, so I picked up my* shell and took it back to the circle.
And yes, I was the only person to show up without a rock.
Once we had our rock (or shell, in my case), Taz taught us how to begin working with it. We each placed our rock on the circle altar, then journeyed to meet it’s spirit. My shell told me that I need to learn more about silence and stillness, and also that I need to paint gold bands on her and sing to her (uuuuurgh…singing? Really?). I have the feeling I’m supposed to make her into a necklace, but I need to check on that.
Now she’s sitting on our home altar, all clean and shiny, waiting for me to recover from my current lack of energy and communicate with her some more. I couldn’t say why the nature spirits decided that I needed a shell instead of a rock. I did wonder if it’s because I’m already working with a piece of melanite that came to me a couple of years ago…but, if I’m honest, I think it’s more likely that they thought it was just really funny to mess with me.
*Just to clarify, I don’t believe we can really own things. I say ‘my shell’ in the same way that I say ‘my sister’ or ‘my husband’.