It’s June Solstice and the wonderful host, Mathieu where I’m staying offered to drive me to the Cromlech dos Almandres, just outside of Évora. I was so excited. I set my alarm and left my solstice video uploading and went to bed setting an alarm. Turns out I didn’t need the alarm, as spirit woke me bang on the Solstice at 4:32am so I got up and embraced the day. My video still hadn’t uploaded after 12 hours but I shrugged this off and set about preparing myself for a magical day and it didn’t disappoint. Before you dive into the Cromlech here’s my Solstice reading.
The Cromlech dos Almandres is an ancient stone circle that was rediscovered in the 1960s and all the stones that were unearthed were stood back up in their assumed positions from the archeological evidence around the site. The smallest circle was constructed in 6000 BCE and the larger oval in 4000 BCE meaning there had been a sacred site here for over 8000 years. What stories would I find there? Why was it built?
Well unlike Stonehenge which was constructed to make the winter (December) Solstice it seems that this was built to mark the equinoxes of Spring and Autumn, which stuck me as interesting as all my research into the Anglo-Saxon Runes and Norse Mythologies suggested that the year was divided into two seasons, winter and summer. Here was a sophisticated stone sundial, built on a slope that was able to mark the shadows cast when day and night were of equal length.
On of the stones was carved with dimples into which stones could be placed to not just show these two Astrological points but also to perform early calculations of astrology and the movement of the stars in the the skies. I arrived after a slow drive up a very narrow dirt track of about four kilometres. I was so thrilled that there was a 3G signal that I filmed a short first glimpse to post immediately to YouTube.
At first I wasn’t clear on why the stones that shine with magical energy were surrounded by a forest of beautiful cork trees that were resonating with such stress. These trees shine chestnut brown when the soft cork bark has first been removed and this transforms to a darker brown that colours graphite grey as the regrowth continues.
It takes 9 to 12 years for the entire process. All the trees here were dark black on their exposed trunks and the higher sections where the soft bark has not been stripped were knarled and ruptured like the trees were distressed.
Cindy pointed out that where we have mono cultures of single plant species there is not enough diversity and this was very true. We had driven for over thirty kilometres and other than a few areas growing olives the predominant trees everywhere were cork trees. As we drove the final dirt track the vast swaths of trees were only cork. The frequency in this area was magical and the curved and elegant bending branches of the trees and their green canopies created a mystical space that felt alive with faeries and tree spirits and the entire space resonated with the most gentle soft green light like the aquamarine of the sea. It just was not possible to capture the light as it appeared.
Having read that each stripping of the bark shortens the lifespan of the trees I felt that while the mono culture aspect was not helping the money culture was also a major contributing factor to the stress of the trees. Cork is a protected species here in Portugal and so introducing other trees would for now not be at all possible due to the status of the trees currently. More on this at the end.
I sat myself down and pulled on my ‘Merlin the Druid’ hooded coat, that I last wore when I visited the Alignments of Carnac and settled in to pull so cards to tune into the energies. I wasn’t disappointed. The story that came through was fascinating and amusing.
So it seems that at some point in the past the communities gathered at key seasonal moments to choose a guardian of the natural world. An Earthkeeper and watcher of shadows whose purpose was to map out the times for sowing and planting as well as seeking a connection to the land and the stories Mother Nature had to share. This Earthkeeper was selected by three women from within the community who were chosen as the representatives of the community as the essence of Mother Nature. They were a virgin, or premenstrual girl, a fertile woman and a crone. They were like a triple goddess but they represent the three phases of woman. Premenstrual, menstrual and post menopausal.
These three women would select a man not for his sexual, or hunting prowess but for his emotional intelligence and focus on the expansion of spiritual knowledge. This energy totally fascinated me. It’s felt so wide of any mark by which I have been taught to understand early humans and yet it struck such a resonance within this sacred site. 8000 years ago life was harsh and living and thriving was a battle with the elements. Survival depended on the community’s connection to world they lived in. Choosing a great hunter could mean the loss of food as those individuals were important to eating and living. Here an individual was needed who had no family or spouse, who was able to devote all his time to the task at hand. I sense that the previous Earthkeeper would mentor the new Earthkeeper but also that they would educate the children too on many occasions to keep alive the complex ways of the community and how it lives symbiotically with the natural world. The Earthkeeper once selected was then married to to the land in a ritual that took place at the Autumn equinox so that they had that season and winter to connect with nature and prepare for spring. This meant living with the stones and communing with the spirits of the place. Seeking dreams and messages from the landscape and the energies of the world as it prepares to rebirth with spring.
Stonehenge was tuned to the frequency of F# the higher heart chakra but here I was sensing that the overall resonance of the place was F, the lower heart chakra. Our connection to the natural world. I began to investigate this notion and the first stone with the carved circles did indeed sing back to me when I hit F. Woohoo I thought and then I looked at all the stones and was struck with the number and their varying shapes, sizes and the density. By this I meant that each stone felt very different. So I sang to others. The first, a tall slender stone sang back as a C#, the spine, or Pluto. This would be excellent for backache. The two rather large stones sang a C back to me. The root chakra or the bones and flesh, Mars frequency. I found a G# next, a stout round stone that was rather bluish in its hue.
Next I found a B, the crown sandwich between two spine stones. Then the image of the stones being healing frequencies arranged to coincide with planetary movement and aspect took shape in my mind. It was like the Music of the Spheres in stone form but there were more than the simple seven planets that can be viewed with the naked eye. After all I had found two Pluto stones immediately that was not identified until the 1930s. What was this place? Why was it built? Was it a sacred temple of some kind? Perhaps it was just a marker for tribal gatherings? I recorded a video of me singing to the stones and the energies around. When I returned home there was no audio so it was meant as a private bit of cosmic magic between me and the stones. A real shame but sometimes the natural can be shy when it is being visited by a doctor. Haha.
When I left I began to see it unfolding as a kind of sacred village hall. Healers and herbalists lived here together working with plants and spirits to commune with nature to assist the communities all around to thrive. There was no sense of sacrifice to appease spirits. This was a calm forum for the exploration of ideas. Here was where the magic of the past was practiced and where people came to follow Shamanic pathways. It was a place of fertility and comfort. This energy of comfort was incredibly powerful. It was a sacred space where humans came together, shared together and grew together.
Why was this Earthkeeper frequency so powerful and why were the trees crying to me of their stress? It seems the Natural World is telling us that it is time to create new Earthkeepers. Wise people who spend their time tuning into the energy of place. Listening to the messages from the planet and sharing solutions to return harmony between humankind and the world that sustains us. The world will no longer allow us to only follow the song of money as that tune is now over. Now is the time for a new song line to begin and this is about the entire world singing together in harmony. The world will heal itself when we listen to the song she is now singing behind the distortions of the stresses caused by mechanical harvesting and mining. It is time for act two to begin. Take your seats everyone for a new movement.
The cheeky stone that was making me laugh during the reading. It insisted on being included.