Friday, 7 December 2018

Heart of Stone

I suppose it could be accurately proclaimed that my writing is inclined to meander. I don't even know at the onset how the various themes, experiences and references will ultimately weave. I further suppose if what one is looking for, is a linear ("get to the point..") offering; they will be disappointed/frustrated with what I yield.

For clarity's sake, I don't offer this introduction apologetically. This is how it will be...

Having begun thus, it might then seem contradictory that I now claim, I'm going to proceed to "get to the heart of the matter."

Seven years ago, was the first time I would set foot on the lands of Ireland. It was the answer to prayers I didn't even know I had uttered and life changing experience on all levels.

During that journey I found the stone pictured above. Through some teachings related to some of the "old ways" of Ancient Ireland, there had been mention of the use of a stone with a natural hole in it for purposes that I'm still not clear about. (Suffice to say, uses beyond the typical attributes associated with stones). It was also stated that they aren't all the common & therefore hard to come by.

Much to my surprise during my travels (which that time were only 2 weeks in & around Ireland) I found this one.

I brought the stone home with me, unaware of the full implications, beyond the recognition that it seemed significant that I found one; & another experience within that which comprised, the astounding and magical first visit to Ireland. (imagine such a journey - mystical/inexplicable serendipities - unique to me in as much as, I had never experienced such things before). Inside, I was mystified, curious, excited my outward presentation was, "nothing to see here," at times, what's the use of this occurring? I can't tell anyone (which means no further clarity) - "they'll lock me up & throw away the key." 

I had gone to Ireland that first time wondering if there would be any vague sense of my "roots" upon visiting. I was adopted as a baby and had no knowing of my ancestry until considerably later in my life.

I attended further healing/spiritual circles when back in Victoria; all of which continued to focus upon the healing pathways from Ancient Ireland (& beyond). The subject of these stones came up in the circle. On a break I went home I got mine.  I brought the stone forward when we resumed - unsure of whether I should actually have it in my possession. I was told that I should wear it around my neck and not take it off and allow it to lead me back home to Ireland.

The next 4 or 5 years were extremely challenging. I underwent long term unemployment and both my adopted parents passed in the same year. The idea of returning to Ireland never left me, the stone remained around my neck - the likelihood of actually returning, seemed very remote.

I went on to secure employment and after a long process, received additional monies from my parents estate. Seemingly overnight (though not so at all) I was in the position to return to Ireland. I was back (including two weeks in Slovenia the winter of 2016 - being overseas for a total of 6 wks. - I returned back to Victoria  for a little over a month and then went back to Ireland for what turned out to be 6 months. (from April 2017 until mid-Oct. of the same year).

I continued to attend the healing circles as well as explore Ireland as I was guided. During a process in one of the circles a multi-layered scenario came to light; that encompassed many of the energies of the long standing conflict, between the Irish and the British (it happens those are the respective ancestries of my natural father and mother). At a home I was billeted at during the workshop, one night in the middle of the night, I got up to use the bathroom. Half-asleep and unsteady on my feet, I lost my balance, I stepped right on a women from Ireland (needless to say a rude awakening).....

There was discussion and banter to do with this incident ... but within myself, I believed it to be an enactment of colonialist aggression, upon the indigenous of that country.

There was an evening circle some weeks later and the Irish/British trauma, was still glaring large in the room... Both myself and the women I stepped on were among those in attendance...

Quite spontaneously, I felt guided during the circle, to give this stone around my neck back to her (Ireland) ... the land .. the culture/spirituality etc. I was of mixed feelings doing this.. I wasn't sure what the ramifications were of giving away something that I was specifically told to hold onto... it meant a great deal to me (for reasons that I wasn't even entirely sure of) but it seemed there was something far bigger at stake, way beyond the matter of my feelings. I also reasoned I was told to allow the stone to lead me back to Ireland (and I was there) so maybe that meant my time with the stone was through... I relinquished the stone - feeling it was now, where it belonged.

Later that same trip .. while walking a beach in another part of the country, I found another stone with a natural hole right through it.. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was as though the land really wanted me to have one of these stones. There were thousands of stones on this beach....  but this one stood out like it was the only one on the entire beach.

I booked another trip to Ireland for the autumn of 2018. This time it was to be just under one month. I didn't consciously leave the stone at home... but I did. In fact one night, while in Ireland I woke out of a sound sleep - with the words ringing through me: "where is my stone?" 

During contact with a friend that was checking in on my apartment while I was away, I asked could she have a look in a couple places I often have the stone. Neither place revealed the stone. I was concerned but not excessively; because I knew that it was there, and had thought, I must have tucked it way somewhere safe, somewhere that escapes me at the moment..

In a subsequent communication, it was discovered that I had included the stone, on a small autumn altar I had created sometime before travelling.

While in Ireland I was happy to have the opportunity to attend a couple of circles facilitated by a friend of mine. Near the dates of the circles, I was surprised to learn that another friend (that's right, the same one that became the keeper of the first stone) was to be there. I arrived at the venue and it was so good to see my friends again!! 

Immediately after greeting, I was told, "I have something for you.." Really? Okay, cool, "thanks!!"

She opens her hand and there in her palm, is the original stone, the leather tie I had hung it on, all coiled around it. She insisted that the stone belonged with me!

I gratefully, though a little sheepishly, accepted it back.  In all honestly, I don't have a great deal of clarity around this stone/s. It seems evident I'm meant to have one (now two). Ireland holds for me, a sense of lineage and lost spirituality/identity... My being there 4 times now (in total 8 some months) provides me both; answers to questions beyond my awareness, while at the same time, it's the source of mystery, that only deepens each time. 

There's no question, I most certainly will be returning.  

During one of my visits, a fellow that had association with the IRA (and my tour guide) scoffed at my "heritage" ... "Oh ya, " he says, "everybody wants to be Irish."

Anger flared from within me immediately, my reply was, "Listen, I've spent most of my life not knowing my ancestry/identity," "I didn't decide, oh I think I'd like to be "Irish." After years of pain and anguish I learned that it was part of my lineage. "I'll be damned if you or anyone else, is going to take that away from me!!"

If the stones are any indication, the land (or my ancestors) or something... seems intent on leaving no doubt, of my connection!

To what end? The mystery continues to allure, confound and unfold..

R. O'Neill (December 07. 2018)

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