I’m not going to name names, but when all is said and done, fingers should be pointed and blame apportioned but sad to say this isn’t going to happen. This isn’t a fairy tale, and real-life isn’t always a bed or roses. There are thorns. Lot of. In my personal bed of roses.
As some of you may know, despite my scepticism towards most things mystical, I have a strong suspicion that we or certainly I can and do meet people in dreams. Scratch suspicion, I am certain that I meet people in our dreams. I have what I consider proof, although I can’t share it with you, so take this on trust, as much as you can trust anyone writing on the internet.
The conversation leading on to the events described went as follows:
“Hey V. You know those dreams which seem usually vivid and ...”
“I thought you were scientifically inclined and discounted mysticism and other mumbo-jumbo - and yes I sometimes read your website”
“Well the thing is ...”
“You have some minor psychic powers which are awakening in your dreams. Get over it”.
You can get the general thrust of the conversation. Sweetness and love and mornings don’t play nicely with my boss, friend and (sort of) mentor.
“Take tomorrow off”
“You’re going to need to. I’m sick and tired of this low grade whingeing. There are two spells which will awaken your psychic powers and you are going to perform them tonight. Or get another job”
“And we all know how your last attempt to leave went ... don’t we”
After two years, I’m used to rituals, incantations, black candles, red candles, feathers, cantrips and associated nonsense.
I’m also used to having to perform said nonsense in locations of power (whatever that means), so I smiled sweet as could be at V. and said “sure thing” while thinking about nothing in particular.
And this was my day started to slide seriously off kilter.
V produced a candle from nowhere (black obvs), and handed it to me along and a piece of paper with three lines of digits on one side and four words on the other ‘light me at 12.’
I looked at her.
“GPS co-ordinates”, she sighed, “I mean. Duh. Call yourself technical”
“Highgate cemetery. A particular place.”
“But before you do .... “, she leant forwards, and I could smell her perfume (musk of some sort). I closed my eyes without thinking as she whispered something in my ear, an incantation of sorts.
And so I bailed from the various telnet sessions running, logged out, switch off, vamoosed and sallied forth to awaken my psychic powers.
I was into geocaching since b4 it become cool, so finding a location using GPS co-ords is second nature to me. TBH I’ve always been too much of a geek for my own good, always wanted to hack code, jack systems and so on. Just for funsies really. Maybe that’s why it ended so sourly in the bank.
Enough reflection, I picked my favourite playlist dia de los muertos on and jacked up the volume.
The tube, or metro for my non UK friends, doesn’t always play nicely, and for one reason or another I didn’t arrive at the cemetery until the sun was setting.
About 4:15 in other words.
You might wonder why I had even bothered to go to the cemetery instead of pretending, making up some story about to tell v. about psychic awakenings etc. Two reasons. Firstly, V has a habit of finding out about things (and I don’t mean through reading these pages), but through other nefarious and mysterious means. Secondly, and more importantly I want to know more about meeting people in dreams, and if V thinks that burning a candle at midnight in a cemetery will help who am I to say otherwise.
The cemetery closes at 5:00 and last admissions are at 4:30 so I was just in time. The thing about cemeteries is that they are all the same, graves, trees, grass, sudden noises and very few people (especially in January in the UK) - living that is.
The other thing to remember about Highgate cemetery is that it is big, 37 acres to be exact, chock fill of winding paths, graves (duh!), trees, shrubbery (big), mausoleums, and other spooky decoration. The trees either are or appear to be self seeded, scattered at random on both sides of the paths winding between the graves. The GPS co-ordinates led to the so-called circle of lebanon in the west cemetery (it is so big it is split into east and west). It seemed prudent before arriving at Highgate C.
Now, you can only access the west cemetery through a guided tour, so we’ll say no more about that for now, suffice to say, the time for tours was over and it was very, very quiet.
Breaking into a cemetery to pursue psychic awakening. A new low. Even for me.
Alone. Apart from the wind.
And other sounds. Rustling. Small animals.
It took me some considerable time (hours as it happens) to get to the GPS co-ordinates indicated by V. It was obvious where I needed to be, but not how to get there, as at every turn I was thwarted by a mausoleum, tomb or other large stone object. Imagine being stuck in a one-way system, where periodically you can see your destination, before sailing past it (to mix metaphors) and that was me.
Check out the Circle of Lebanon Highgate Cemetery if you want to see for yourself how big some of these tombs things are. Bigger than my flat, and making navigation difficult for sure.
A massive cedar overlooks the Circle of Lebanon, pre-dating it by years, and while it may well look very fetching by day, by night it is distinctly sinister. I felt it watching me and wondered what it had seen over its lifetime. I’m struggling to believe I even wrote that, but some of Vivienne’s ideas especially in dark and empty places seem almost sane.
I closed my eyes, took a large gulp from my hip flask to steady my nerves, wrapped my greatcoat (Bulgarian army surplus from a neighbour) around me and waited.
You can imagine my state of mind two hours later at five to midnight. Half cut, my hipflask fits my army surplus pockets and is as you can imagine pretty big, and empty but for one gulp ...
... which I swallowed ...
as I lit the candle, and mumbled the incantation which would awaken psychic powers.