Saturday, 30 July 2016

A Fragrance from the Past at Pente Ifan

The first thing I noticed when we pulled up at Pentre Ifan was the smell. A fragrance so sweet and intoxicating that it might  lure the Queen bee from her hive. I couldn't work out what it was, but it made us quite heady.

We had a magical time at Pentre Ifan. It was quite early in the day so there were a fair few visitors/pilgrims there, from all over the world. 

I asked if anyone would mind if I chanted ancient mantra with my shaman drum and actually folk were quite excited by the prospect of it. I had an immediate 'audience' which is not what I had planned at all.

It's funny, but throughout my life as a musician, there has been an increasing pressure to provide venues with audience and I have found this quite distracting and stressful.

For me personally, I feel as though this target driven pressure has taken away some of the joy of performance. So worried am I that I hit someone else's target that I have felt myself slowly disconnecting with the sheer bliss that playing music for others gives us. 

But this gift given to me from the Universe at Pentre Ifan showed me how playing for and with an audience is very beautiful indeed. 

We had the most amazing time, everyone exchanged email addresses and I felt very blessed indeed to have shared the experience of chanting under the sun at Pentre Ifan.

As we all finally went back to our cars, chatting like old friends, I noticed that the hedges were laced with honeysuckle, and suddenly the intoxicating sweet smell of Pentre Ifan became clear. Could the honeysuckle be significant?

When we got back home I looked it up and guess what Scott Meyers (2016), one of the writers for Alternative Medicine, says about it ...  seems the Ancients knew a thing or two. 

'Honeysuckle is one of the oldest medicinal herbs in known history.
The flowers are traditionally used to make syrup that has been used as an expectorant for bad coughs, asthma, and as a diuretic. The syrup from honeysuckle flowers is still used to make medicinal syrup. 

The flower buds of the honeysuckle plant are also used to make herbal remedies. They are especially used to treat conditions that are thought to be caused by the summer heat. They are also thought to clear toxins from the body, and the "fire poisons" that may linger in the body. 

Honeysuckle flower buds are also thought to help alleviate the symptoms of some kinds of diarrhea. 

The stems of the honeysuckle plant are thought to be able to remove heat from certain acupuncture meridians by stimulating the flow of energy, or qi.' 

Could this honeysuckle, making the air sing with sweet nectar, in fact be 1000's of years old? Is it evidence of how these Ancient stones were used for healing by our ancestors?

We need to remember that for the ancients, arts and science were not separate. We have separated all these different subjects but for the ancients, the alignment of the planets, the medicinal purposes of sweet honeysuckle, the placing of stones, the chanting of mantra and the beat of the drum, were all one of the same thing.

Doubtless, deep within the soil,  our ancestors were laughing, smiling and feeling complete with us on that sunny late morning.

For sure, I knew I needed to return. I felt a deep desire to be at one with the stones, so we decided to return at a later time of day, on our return home at the end of our 3 Day Sacred Stones Pilgrimage.

You are the entire Universe in ecstatic motion
Why act so small?

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