Goddess Travel: Where in the World?

As a Goddess-centric Witch, I am always looking for new ways to connect with the myriad of global goddesses. Even though I know that I can have powerful relationships with different goddesses from the comfort of my home, I’ve also got a bit of a travel bug, so when I am wandering in new places, I try to hold myself open to spiritual experience and divine intervention. Sometimes, though, I only realize how magical the experience was after the fact. I'll be exploring these different experiences and goddesses on this blog.

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Standing Stones and the Crow Woman

When it gets cold, I find myself retreating to my thoughts of a not-so-cold winter visit to the infamous henge outside Amesbury. I’ve always been a bit obsessed with standing stones, but before making the pilgrimage to Stonehenge, I was wound pretty tight. I’d been to one other stone circle before that trip, the Clava Cairns in Scotland, outside Inverness, and that experience hadn’t been a pretty one. Because I hadn’t bothered to ground before wandering among those ancient stones, I’d ended up with my first migraine and a lingering fear that Neolithic and Bronze Age sites and I weren’t meant to mix.

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But I couldn’t let a trip to London pass without venturing out to Stonehenge, so I tried to set aside my fears as my husband and I boarded the small tour bus that would take us to the magnificent structure.  The day wasn’t off to the best start, however; we’d managed to sleep through our alarm, which meant there wasn’t time to grab breakfast before we headed out on the tour. So much for being prepared and using food to ground me ahead of time! I was twitchy and nervous, and afraid the trip would leave me drained or, worse, that I wouldn't feel anything at the site.

And then, I met the crow woman.

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Almost as soon as we started snaking along the path that led to the tremendous henge, a large, black crow landed outside the path near me. She didn’t have much to say, but her piercing, dark eyes demanded my attention and respect. My husband noticed her, too, and because he’s been around me long enough (and because of his own Latin nerdy-ness), he greeted her with a respectful, “Salve, corve.” 

Now, I’ve not really worked with many Celtic or Britton deities beyond Brigid, so I’m hesitant to name her, but it was clear that the stones (and the tourists wandering around them) were under her watchful eye. Between her strong presence, the ever-changing sky overhead, and the pulse of energy I felt flowing from the ground beneath my feet, I fell into a blissful mood.My earlier worries slipped away, and I gave myself up to a wonderful experience.

b2ap3_thumbnail_351.JPGThe path around Stonehenge keeps visitors from walking among the stones, instead circling around the space from a distance, and before we’d gotten there, I’d expected to mind the distance, but I didn’t. I didn’t mind the cold wind, either, or the lack of food in my belly, or the usual travel weariness that had kept me from hearing the alarm that morning. Instead, the minute I met the crow woman and began the serpentine walk around the henge, I felt buoyant and light.  The energy was powerful, and I didn’t want to leave. My poor husband, by contrast, was assaulted with some of the same symptoms that knocked me out after our visit to the Clava Cairns, a fact he neglected to mention until I’d dawdled at the stones for almost an hour. I felt guilty when we were back on the bus and he admitted how he was feeling, but I’m grateful that he didn’t rush me to leave the place of power.

Like Bath, Stonehenge is a place where the very ground is saturated in powerful energy. I was only there for an hour, but it felt like coming home. I can’t wait for the opportunity to return to the henge and pay my respects once more to the crow goddess who guards the space.

Do you have a favorite henge, from story or experience?

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Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”). She is a poet, a novelist, and a goddess-centric witch with a love of all things magical. Her first nonfiction book, Goddess Spells for Busy Girls: Get Rich, Get Happy, Get Lucky, is out now from Weiser Books. A Michigander by birth, Jen now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn’t writing, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

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