Near midnight, on July 13th, 2004, I was trying to fall asleep. It’s hot at night now, and the fan was humming in the background. I listened to it, picking up in its vibratory tune, the sound of a digeradoo. I concentrated on the digeradoo, allowing myself to pretend I was in Australia, sitting somewhere in the Outback, listening to someone play that low, slow melody.
I found myself walking in the darkness, full of life and aliveness. I came upon a village of Aborigines, and a child took my hand, pulling me into its midst. She brought me to the Circle, in the middle of which was a small fire. In recognition of the Chief and his wife, I bowed in honor. There seemed no need for language. He indicated that I should sit opposite him. And so I did. We sat in silence for the longest time, but I could feel ‘communication’ occurring at very deep levels. I felt calm and at peace. I felt safe.
At a certain point, the Chief motioned for the child to lead me to a place where I could bed down for the rest of the night. It was a small and shallow natural cave, where leaves, brush and such had been laid out for a bed. The child indicated I should sleep here, and then left.
Next morning, I woke and walked out of the shelter. Obviously, I was not a morning person, in their terms, for the day’s work was clearly underway, though the sun was just cresting the horizon. I meandered over to the women’s group, where they were weaving and carving various items of clothing, utensils, and carry-packs. They generously showed me what they were making, and how they were making it. Again, there was no need for verbal exchange. Smiles said it all, with hand signs to elaborate on certain directions. Everyone was friendly, and at peace.
Then, the men called me over to see what they were doing. Some were working on short spears, and some on boomerangs. It was fascinating to watch them carve the wood just so, sand it down with different type stones, and practice its aerodynamics. The vision and explanation that I received mentally from one of the men was that if a boomerang were thrown, that did not properly kill, it was dishonored, as well as its maker. He acknowledged that accidents did happen, though seldom. If an animal were injured, instead of killed directly, the hunter would apologize for the dishonor, and kill it quickly and humanely. All life was respected and honored… including that which was made from life-entities, i.e., boomerang from the tree’s wood.
I went on a hunt later that afternoon, and watched them kill an old kangaroo for dinner. In my head, I heard the conversation between the kangaroo and one of the hunters, acknowledging the mutual need, as it gave itself to the hunter, who – in turn – bowed slightly and thanked it in honor.
Later that night, the Chief again invited me to sit next to him around the fire, with his wife and a couple of villagers also present. He passed around a reed pipe, with some kind of herbal concoction to smoke. After it returned to him, he produced a bark cup with some kind of drink in it. He handed it to me, and – as I was unsure whether to bless it or drink it or what the appropriate action would be, I started to hand it to the person sitting next to me. The Chief motioned ‘No’, and indicated that I should drink it. In my mind, I was given information that explained that this was a shamanic drink, brewed expressly for me. It was a gift. And I was to drink it.
I took a sip.
I was engulfed in a strange darkness. Not fearful. Not dangerous. Just dark, palpable enough to feel and taste. Comforted, I allowed myself to let go to its Vision.
I found myself peering through the darkness, as though looking for something. Suddenly, a white horse materialized in front of me, quite a ways away. It was so white that it was glowing. I began walking towards it, and then lost my focus, and came back to the fire. I motioned to the Chief for another swallow of the drink. He smiled, and handed the cup back to me.
Again the darkness. And again, the white horse appeared. Glowing brightly white. I walked towards it, and it stepped further away. And stopped. Waiting. I walked towards it again, and it began to trot away. I began running after it. It kept up this similar action of stopping, waiting for me, and then trotting on, for quite a long time. Finally, I realized that it was trying to get me to follow it somewhere.
The horse began cantering, and I was running hard to follow it. We ran through sparse forests, and terrain filled with huge boulders. There never seemed to be enough clearing or length of land to indicate exactly where we were going, or to see more than darkness and vague images of trees and huge glacial stones.
Then, I realized we were racing up a hill. When I reached the top, the horse was at the bottom, waiting. As I moved down the hill, the horse did not move away this time. So I ventured nearer. But the horse started pawing the ground, lowering his head, indicating I should come no closer. I made to step again, and again the horse made that gesture. Then he tossed his head, as if to look behind me.
So, I turned around.
I realized, then, that the hill was actually a barrow. And, there, in front of me, was a door. It was an old, old door of ancient wood, with an old, old wooden handle. I tugged on it, and it opened.
I went in.
The air was dry, dusty, stale. But not moldy or decayed. The air whispered to me of ancient times, in words of a language I barely recognized, and certainly didn’t understand. But I knew the meaning. “Follow me,” the air breathed, glad to have the door opened at last.
I realized that the room was dimly lit, somehow, and I walked to the back of the tomb. There was a dug-out tunnel waiting. Inviting me in. And so, I walked on. Soon, the dirt tunnel transformed into a rocky inlet leading to a cavern. Cautiously, I followed it until it opened up to a large room, aglow with some unknown light source.
In the middle of the room was a hot spring. In the pool, Merlin lounged. Waiting. He looked at me, and said, “Welcome. Come on in. The water’s great.”
So, I shed some of my clothes, and carefully eased into the pool. It felt as if it was somehow more than just a hot spring.
Merlin answered my thoughts. “Of course it is. This is the Welsh well-spring you have been searching for… the one that called you. It is also a healing spring, and will heal you as deeply as you will let go your fears. The more fear you release, the deeper the healing.”
As I calmed down, and began allowing the water to heal, I could sense its healing ‘hands’ work their way, massaging into my skin, tissues, organs, and then my mind. I hesitated.
“This spring has a magical healing power that will go where you invite it. No matter where you hold fear, it can heal. If you allow it, if you release your desperate grip on whatever fear keeps you where you are, the water will heal. You need to let go. It heals on your terms, your choices.”
“And this place is…?”
“Yes, beneath the Stone Henge Circle. I knew eventually that you would return. You helped in creating this space. Now you can return at will. Just call Mythos – that’s the White Horse that led you here. He will answer. No matter where you are.” And he winked.
I soaked a long time in the pool, pondering Merlin’s words, pondering the energy and fascination of being beneath Stonehenge. This space held the node of power for the Circle. And the power was surging once more.
Then Merlin spoke, “Go back now. They are waiting. They know you are truly a Shaman. They are a magic people. They are similar to the Fey. But only the Chief can actually demonstrate such magic before Strangers. Such use demands wisdom and clarity and knowledge. But it is inherent in their People. You will learn much with them. Be still, and listen to their World. You will find their World to be as magic as the Faery Realm, and as welcoming to you. Enjoy.”
And he waved his hand.
Then next thing I knew, I was blinking into a diminishing fire. The Chief was smiling and nodding at me. He called a child over to lead me back to my shelter.
And I slept deeply.
Return to the Outback
Journey to the Wellspring