There is no shelter from the earth
Each wand will cast spells to burn you
Every sword will cut
And you should drink your fill from every cup
Gulp it down fucking slut devour it all
You can be air you can dream fire
But even if you drown
There is no shelter from the earth.
Everyone told me that Arbor Low, toppled stone circle and barrowful of bones, was a place of bad vibes. So of course I had to go. Sunday was sunny and bright, the kind of day that makes you ache to get out of the house. Chris drove us into the countryside along a series of narrowing and increasingly rutted trails, following the Satnav because we still foolishly haven’t gotten round to buying a map. Yes, that’s right. We’re those idiots, charging into the unknown, relying on Google Maps and Chris’ uncanny homing pigeon abilities to save us.
So we found Arbor Low, and the cheeky farmer trying to charge an access toll because you have to walk through their field to get there. The circle is on high ground, and the surrounding earthwork is imposing, giving a sense of shadowed claustrophobia to the central ring of stones. To induce claustrophobia on top of a moor, under a beautiful blue sky, is quite a feat. The rest of the landscape has such a feeling of expansiveness, entering the circle is like feeling a cloud cover the sun. Each stone lies flat in the grass, toppled perhaps by witch-fearing medieval folk or just the ravages of time. The wind whips around the circle, the head-high raised earthworks somehow offering no shelter at any angle. Sheep wander freely, and some hikers sat happily picnicking on one of the stones. That seemed like a bad idea. Too many ghosts for sure, and maybe they’re contagious. The least evil-feeling place was, surprisingly, the round barrow forming part of the earthworks, where archeologists have found human remains and grave goods. They also found human remains in the centre of the circle. Human sacrifices? Honoured burials? The neolithic equivalent of someone doing Black Mass in your favourite cathedral? It’s a mystery.
The feeling of sorrow is there. A similar melancholy to ruined churches, but with more than a touch of enmity. 4000 years is a heavy weight of history. So now there’s a place which could have been beautiful, now haunted by ghosts and hostile weeping, out there on the moors. It’s cold and lonely at Arbor Low.
For more fascinating historical info on this place, click here. They seem to know their stuff, and cite a fascinating array of historical sources.
As for myself, maybe I’ll do a cleansing ritual just in case. The mourning of the Earth is not to be trifled with.
Just to prove that I practice what I preach, this necklace will be forming part of my performance attire. Its history and construction have imbued it with certain powers, and I want them on me.
The rune. I’m not big on runes. I dig tarot, but runes are not my area of expertise. (At one point I will write a post explaining how I can read tarot but also believe in science. I’m not a fuckin hippie. And fuck the ‘New Age’.) Anyway, the rune is Perth or Perthro. The dice cup, source of fate, fated to be on my necklace because it’s the only rune I had with a hole handily bored through it. (Sometimes) free choice is an illusion.
So hey, don’t you think my magic necklace is fun? It’s got all kinds of secret powers and personal meanings, but you’ll never know what they are. The rules of successful magical work are: To know, to will, to dare, to keep silent.
Arguably writing a fucking blog boasting about it isn’t keeping particularly silent, but this is more an aesthetic boast. My plastic fantastic irony tat-maximalist look deserves attention.
And yes, that is one of Barbie’s stilettos on there. It’s orange. Matches my lipstick.