My entire adventure that was responsible for the creation of this site, the three books on the magic of connecting with the land, and the idea of trying to find people to join me, all came from a strange meeting with a Shaman just around the corner from me. Over the next few months, I found signs of his activities in a couple of locations near where I live that culminated in a message left on a fence with the remnants of his stones….
As I entered the triangular space, my eyes caught sight of a rucksack. At first I thought someone must have left it there by mistake and so I started towards it. As I got closer though I realized it was open and filled with what appeared to be stones and sticks, and bones. I recoiled a bit and that is when I saw what I thought was a skeletal figure laid down by the bag. Made of stones, sticks and bones, the skeletal figure shocked me and sent a chill down my neck. Even Rocky, my cocky and well spoiled, small, Prague Ratter, jumped. I looked around to see who was the author of this skeletal arrangement but saw nothing or no one. Yet my interest was aroused. What was it? What was its purpose? I sensed that magic was afoot. I also felt like an intruder and with respect for the practioner, I stepped back and examined the arrangement from afar while ensuring Rocky didn’t pee in the vicinity of the skeleton.
At some point, my interest was overcome by a sense of fear. What was this? Had I stumbled onto something dark and nefarious? I immediately took a few small steps to protect myself and, surrounded now in my mind by some nice glowing and hopefully protective light, I pulled on the dog leash to leave. Rocky also seemed to have taken steps to protect himself and was also keen to leave pulling me off into the pathway. It was then that I saw a dark figure jogging towards us. Where he come from I could not tell but he didn’t give me a feeling of wishing me well. So much so that I grasped the keys in my pocket pushing one through my fingers just in case self-defense was required. Instead, he jogged past me as if I and Rocky were not there and as he passed I heard his mumblings almost as if he were talking to himself. Being alone in the dark with a madman who was talking to himself after finding what looked like a symbolic skeleton was enough for me and I pulled Rocky and set off apace.
Despite that, as I put distance between me and the man, I started to feel the curiosity come back. What was he doing? So, I took a different route to that planned and within a couple of minutes I was passing along my street a couple of meters above his position with a partial view through the trees. I stood, in awe watching the man. He had a little drum thingy in one hand which he held close to his head while thumping a beat on it and was chanting to it. I could not make out what he was saying but noted he was engaged in a little dance as well. A shaman! I had stumbled on a shaman and was now watching something of a ritual. I wanted to watch more but he looked up and straight at me without missing a beat or a word. Somehow the fact he knew I was there made me feel afraid. I had no idea what he was up to. A skeleton? Was he raising the dead? Was one thought that raced through my mind. Once again, I tugged on the dog leash and started for home. Once home, I immediately regretted that once again fear had overwhelmed curiosity. Yet, the fear was still with me. He had seen me. Might he be angry? Did who know who I was? All of these and other questions raced through my mind and I ended up sleeping fitfully and with many deep and dark dreams.
The next day, I re-visited the spot I had seen the man the night before. Me and Rocky together. The skeleton was gone along with the rucksack and I felt a surge of disappointment. But an inspection of the broader area revealed several clues. First of all, there was a large gray rock in the grass and on it was the end of a cigar. By the rock was a burned patch of grass and the burned remains of some flowers – stalks one end and petals the other. They were dark red roses and these and some other flowers remained. To me, they looked as if they came from a cemetery. Close to that was a shiny small black pebble. I had kicked it accidentally as I walked but there could be no doubt that it had been placed in a deliberately hammered location so that it wouldn’t move. I carefully returned it with my foot. Rocky and I set off on the rest of our walk. I had lots to think about. What was he doing? Why had he burned flowers? And a host of similar questions.
Another thing I noticed right away were the Crows. There were tens, if not hundreds, of Crows around the spot. I had never seen so many of these big black birds around the Castle. The Crows remained through the following weeks. For several days, I had a strange feeling that I had stumbled on something best not seen. But what had I actually seen?