Like the ripples of time, I am renewed and drawn in towards circles. From the spirals formed by throwing rocks into still water to the blazing sun and the silvery curves of the moon, I sense the presence of my Celtic ancestors and hope of the eternal. I have always claimed the best things that happen in life are those accidental happenings and unplanned discoveries; and so this story begins….
While visiting the Culloden Battlefield site in Scotland, we stumbled across a small brown tourist sign for Clava Cairn, a Bronze Age circular chamber tomb just a mile from the busy visitors center. We followed the sign down a narrow country road and rolling farmland to the prehistorical burial site just as the sun was beginning to set. There were no other cars parked in the parking lot and we were instantly enamored by the beautiful wooded setting and intrigued by the site. We opened up the small wooden gate where there was no charge to a complex site of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones that literally took our breath away. We ran to the standing stones and touched them laughing and reenacting scenes from Outlander and Claire going through at Craigh na Dun. We recalled the brilliantly spoken words in season 4 by Claire that went something like this, “humans have had a fascination with circles over the centuries – from the movement of the planets around the sun, to clock hands, to a simple wedding band, I more than most know how much a circle can effect life and death”. As the sun was going down we knew it was time for us to leave the Clava Cairn’s, but we took from it a lasting memory and a sense of wonder.
My husband snapped this photo is of one of the minor rings around the much larger passage graves but to me it somehow captures an essence of the site. How I wished to know more about the people who built this site, what they believed and how they worshiped. The site is just one of around 50 similar Cairns in the Inverness area alone, dating back to around 2000BC.
To end I would love to share a Celtic poem known as The Caim Prayer.
Circle Us Lord,
Keep Love within, keep Hatred out,
Keep peace within, keep worry out,
Keep light within, keep darkness out,
May you stand in the circle with us,
today and always.
Sending all my love from Shamrock and Peach (Judith) x