With the ‘warning’ in a dream of being crushed by something, and the sounds of tall trees swaying in the wind, I decided that the omens were looking grim to remain where I was. So, I made the decision to up sticks and move location. This in itself was a bit of an episode, as it required finding somewhere to go and then move to all my ‘stuff’. I found an area of the forest, which had smaller trees and no tree fall evident which was only about half a mile from my water source, so set about making a new shelter and the move my equipment. This took all of the day, but I was much happier for it and know I could access the mysteries of nature and my psyche in relative safety. I had read that such seclusion would light up the ‘deep dungeons’ of the soul that we so rarely have the opportunity to do or indeed, take on. This would be a journey of discovery. However, at first you have to wait for the soul to speak to you, and it was recommended that this could take anything up to 2 weeks before ‘contact’ was made. That was fine as I had plenty of things to do, the first of which was to explore the moor more intimately than I had ever done before.
One thing I noticed after just 4 days, was that time itself began to lose its importance and everything seemed to take longer. Longer to walk any distance, longer to cook food and gather water, longer even to put on my clothes! The rain continued unabated but I had to walk to Postbridge to send my message through to home to say all was ok. I came across a DOE ladies team who were lost in the mist and asked me for help. I told them they could follow me to Postbridge, but at 100 metres behind as I was determined not to have verbal contact with anyone. I guess they thought I was a bit weird! On my return I saw two herons flying across the moor, which I thought was odd as there was no water for miles around. Following them only a short distance behind were 3 swans flying in a ‘V’ formation, all very odd. That night I had the first of what I can only describe as a massively weird dream that involved me crawling through tunnels underground which were all painted red! What meaning that portrayed I had no idea, but I awoke in the dark with my heart pumping like I had just run a mile. The rain and constant dampness in the forest was making drying out shoes and socks extremely hard as I was also determined not to light a fire. On day 7, I did a quick food check and noticed that I was getting low on tuna cans and carrots – I needed to start rationing until my prearranged food drop in 5 days time. There were some berries and mushrooms on the moor, but they did not look too appetising yet…
I was now beginning to question myself a lot about things I had done in the past and this is when I started to hear a female voice in my head. Was I going mad, I thought? Actually, I believe this was my soul talking to me, as a mediator of the ‘inner talk’ that I was having with myself. This seemed to revolve around a negative (the spirit of darkness I called it) and a positive response (the spirit of light). The soul was there to ensure an even balance of communication. What was this soul of mine? To me the soul could mean many different things, but ultimately for me it was the vital, mysterious and wild core of our individual selves. This is different and unique to each of us, and forms the qualities found in layers of the self much deeper than our personality. It defines our personhood, the true self, the real ‘me’. Although it was a bit spooky, it was primarily what I was here to do on Dartmoor – discover about ‘me’.
I also felt called to visit as many of the ancient sites that cover Dartmoor if one looks closely enough. This included the obvious stone circles and ancient stone dwellings that are well marked on the map, but also the less obvious burial sites and ‘marker’ stones that connected the sites to each other. These stones were mainly pyramid shaped and always pointing on a general East to West line showing the way between temples or settlements. They were the ancient road signs and very often there were stone pathways between them. I started to find them everywhere, evidence of booming communities that lived on the moor thousands of years ago. Interestingly enough, I had also started to just walk the moor, with no real reference as to where I was going or even looking at a map. I would go off for about 8 hours and strangely always found myself back at the forest where I needed to be! Again, this was a real departure from how I normally go about walks – I used to like to plan the trip down to the last degree knowing the route and even when I would stop for lunch. Now that didn't matter anymore. I just walked! The other thing I noticed about my physical body was that it felt very light and climbing some steep hillside was absolutely no effort. Perhaps I was just loosing weight and getting fit!
Into my second week alone and the dreams were coming in thick and fast, both in the daytime and at night. I could be walking and completely forget what I was doing during the past hour – it was like I had entered a different place. Some dreams were in graphic detail, some were amusing and a lot were scary. To find out more about this discovery time of mine, read the next blog which will be published shortly!