‘The Dark Is Rising’…… The Cowpea….Just Because….

by Bernie Bell - 09:21 on 01 February 2023

‘The Dark Is Rising’……

In his introduction Robert MacFarlane writes of following old paths and tracks and of how sometimes things which were “inexplicable by the usual means” happened - including ‘Screams from the treetops while sleeping the night on Chanctonbury Ring in the South Downs”

I remember having an email exchange with someone about Chanctonbury Ring a few years ago, as follows….

My correspondent…“Robert MacFarlane recounts sleeping there and being haunted by screaming”

Me….. “I hadn't heard of Chanctonbury. I've just looked it up on Wikipedia.  Looks like it's not so much 'haunted', as that it has a long history of ritual use.  Many of the ancient sites were then allocated to 'The Devil' when the new religion wanted to discredit them.  I don't know much about it, just read the Wikipedia thing, but that's the impression I get.  A long history of ritual use, possibly even very beneficial ritual use, then along came the ’Christians’ saying that any of the old ways are the ways of 'The Devil' - except of course for the old ways which they adopted into their own religions. 

The thing in Wikipedia about not accepting a bowl of soup from the devil - that's just basic lore - you don't accept anything from any of the 'other' folk or you're committed to them. 

It looks like an interesting and lovely place to me.

I looked it up because I thought it might be one of those places that needs Healing.  There are places that need Healing, same as people do.  You can imagine the kind of places I mean!  With some, I try to bring light back - some would be too strong for me.  Some folk are strong enough to take on the places with very big hurt but I'm not strong enough. 

There's a cairn on Anglesey called Barclodiad Y Gawres.  That's a very hurt, sad place. The first time we went there, it was awful.  It's encased in concrete, and it's light has gone out.  I went up on the top of it and pictured light flowing down, through me, into the cairn. Mike did something similar - I don't know what Ben-The-Dog made of it all - he seemed to be quite un-interested!  When we got back to Suffolk I told my friend Lauren, who is a weirdy-lady, about it.  She has a friend on Anglesey who is a Druid and she said she'd ask him to go there and check it out and give it some love.  These places used to get a lot of, reciprocal, love - now, mostly they don't.  They had years of neglect, or even abuse, and now, often, folk go to them looking for something - it's too often not reciprocal - which I feel is how it used to be.

Some places have lost their light - some are really, badly hurt - same as people.  Help can be given, though.

I can't tell with Chanctonbury, unless I went there, but all that I read, and the photos, look peaceful and OK to me.  The dew pond looks like a little piece of .....peace.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanctonbury_Ring

I question the use of the word 'haunted'.  He heard screaming.............could be someone in trouble (a dis-incarnate person in trouble).

I always wince at the use of that word.  The house I lived in as a child was said to be 'haunted'.  I now know that there was a troubled presence there, who is OK now - she's moved on.  Maybe I'm being pedantic!  The word 'haunted' always has connotations of scaryness and 'horror' and all that shit.

Sometimes the 'dead' folk do make the 'living' folk un-comfortable by their presence.  Mostly, they don't mean to - sometimes, aren't even aware that the 'living' are aware of them at all.  Sometimes, maybe, they are being nasty.  Same as 'living' folk - some are just.....nasty - they need help, too!

Being kept awake by screaming wouldn't be good - annoying if nothing else.  But it's worth asking - why? What is the screaming about?  It doesn't mean that the person screaming is 'haunting' you or meaning to be frightening.  Maybe it was because he's capable of being contacted and made aware of this person's un-happiness because he is a sensitive person?

Using the word in that way it could be said that I'm constantly 'haunted'.  I'm not - just in touch with what's there. 

Could be said that a person is 'haunted' if they take that approach to it and see it that way.

That's my take on it.

True haunting, can be a pain in the neck.  But can usually be dealt with, with inner strength, a steady approach and help from 'back-up' in the Spirit world.”

Susan Cooper describes/evokes the Fear very well.  Doesn’t happen so much now as when I was young - and I have back-up that I wasn’t aware of when I was young.

A Great-niece asked me how to deal with it, and I answered…

“Here’s something – if I’m feeling ‘got at’ at night, and need to sleep – one thing I do is…

I lie still - breathing deeply and steadily - and I think - while visualizing it happening - ”God above me (above my head) – God below me (below my feet) – God within me - God about me.  I am in the light and with the light.” I picture a veil of white light coming down and wrapping around me to keep me safe.  

For whatever reasons, this does help me – has helped me, many times.”

Not necessarily the God of a particular religion – just asking for connection and protection…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/11/13/how-i-see-the-whole-life-lovelightgodreiki-etc-etc-thing/

As my brother once said - ‘We’re from a long line of cranks & nutters.”

Then, into the book itself….I’m finding it hard to be frightened by Rooks, however strangely they might be behaving – Roookie follows me about when I’m in the garden. http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=15868

If anyone is concerned that Roookie is missing out – Mike made a bird table and each morning we put a mixture of grain and peanuts on it.  When the nuts have been eaten Roookie has trouble picking up the grain with his big beak.  We noticed that he then stands on the table, turns his head sideways, and uses his big beak to scoop up the grain.  Clever bird.  

Our neighbour reckons that, if I held out my hand with some food Roookie would come to me – but he’s a big bird with a big beak, and I don’t think I want him landing on and pecking from my hand!  That’s not fear – just caution.

By the by – note the poems and observations which happen to be in the same blog post – there’s no such thing as co-incidence.


The Cowpea….

The Cowpea: A Recipe for Resilience

by Michael W. Twitty

“Recalling his mother’s New Year’s Day black-eyed peas recipe, Michael W. Twitty traces this legume back to the Middle Passage and its roots in Africa, recognizing it as a seed of Black resilience. “



And, our recipe for black-eyed peas/beans……  https://theorkneynews.scot/2022/04/11/spicy-black-eyed-beans/ . They do fill you up.


Just Because….




Here’s one I made earlier….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/06/18/when-is-a-home-not-a-home/


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