Carolyn: A Picture in a Book
In the summer of 1984—my forty-fifth year and the year George Orwell made famous—I went on pilgrimage to the megaliths at Carnac. Until that time, I was a housewife living with my husband, a university scientist, and our three teenagers in Berkeley, California, fascinated by earth mysteries and indigenous belief systems, but quite content to stay at home reading whatever books I could find on the subjects.
The traveling we did in those days was done as a family, and I had no particular desire to travel alone. But when I saw this one haunting photograph of a chambered passage-mound in Brittany, in a pine forest with a standing stone on top, I felt drawn to go there. For reasons I could not fathom, it was familiar to me. Although I had never even been to that part of France, I somehow knew this par- ticular place. It was called Kercado.
What was so fascinating to me about megaliths—stone circles, passage mounds, dolmens (stone chambers), menhirs (standing stones), and alignments—was that they could be found everywhere in the world, they predated written history, and were totally mysterious. Nobody, even the archaeologists, seemed to know who had put them there, nor how they managed to do so. Some modern experimenters have succeeded, using many strong men and log rollers, to lift huge stones but none have been able to carry them any distance. Even so, nobody understands why the people of that time had considered it important enough to make such a prodigious effort, however it was done!
When I first saw that photograph of Kercado and felt it call to me, I had another strong “knowing”: that I must invite a particular person to come to Brittany with me—a young Czech guy I had once known but had not seen in almost ten years. I rarely even corresponded with Jiri, a scientist living and working in Switzerland, probably in his mid-thirties by now, but during the short period we had known each other in California our connection had been strong. So despite the strange- ness of it I took a chance and contacted him, suggesting we meet in Brittany for the summer solstice. He was surprised to hear from me, but he agreed to come. As it happened, the reason for our making this trip together was revealed once we got there.
Those three weeks at the stones—one week in his company and two weeks on my own—turned out to be life changing for me. The stones became my teachers. What I mean by this is that I received messages from the stones; not that they “spoke” to me, exactly, but that I “heard” them with my mind’s ears. Words would suddenly appear in my head, as would sudden insights, questions, instructions. In my mind’s eye I seemed to “see” things, often multidimensional images I could feel as well as see. One day’s teachings would prepare me for another day’s teachings, and sometimes I would be told to stop altogether and just rest.
The messages were always caring, sometimes tough, and often humorous, as if whatever intelligence was guiding me cared greatly for my wellbeing. I was led, step by step, to revelations about the nature of the world. I was encouraged to expe- rience all the intense emotions—grief, anger, love. I was allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. I kept a detailed journal of everything I experienced, and that journal is the basis for what I have written here.
I was being taught how to listen closely and prepare my body and mind for the subtle information that was being transmitted. My whole being became a channel for these teachings. To this day I have no idea where this wise guidance came from, but it was at the stones in Brittany that I first experienced it, and it has informed my life and work ever since.
I have discovered that when I am able to be quiet and focused enough I can hear the teachings wherever I am, so I expect that all of us can have similar access to this same field of wisdom. At the stones I was shown the way, but I do not think we require ancient stones to hear what the Universe has to say. Needless to say, even though I have used what I learned there as the basis for much of my ongoing research, I rarely mention to people where my ideas come from. “Talking stones” would not go over very well with many of the people I know, so I have kept my own counsel and just carried on.
Then, in 2005, I discovered Let The Standing Stones Speak by Natasha Hoffman and Hamilton Hill in a local bookstore and read this beautiful and inspiring book in a single sitting. I grew more astonished at each turn of the page. Twenty-one years after my first trip to Carnac, I discovered that others had had similar experiences to mine at the same stones! Not only did many aspects of our stories match but so did much of the basic information we had received. Even more, what they learned seemed to update my experiences, making the guidance even more relevant to our increasingly treacherous times. I could hardly believe my luck.
Believe it, was what I heard.
Tracking down Natasha and Hamilton was not simple. We live on different continents, and it took me several months of consulting publishers and Internet telephone directories before I finally sent out stamped letters to every person by the name of Hoffman or Hill in Devon, England. I determined that if I got no response I would do the same in France. Luckily, one of those letters reached them and the connection was made.
We decided to co-write this book, telling our individual stories, continuing the dialogue with each other, and listening for guidance from wheresoever it comes. Whoever or whatever is speaking to us is adamant that we pass on the information we are receiving. We do so with great gratitude to our teachers and the shared plea- sure of having found each other in the world.