Ivan @ Glastonbury Tor Photo Karen Maxon
Ivan was not a man who feared Death; he had faced it (literally) many times in his life, and it was a deep part of his Spiritual practice and teachings. When I trained with him as a Druid, we spent an entire weekend exploring Death. We thought about it, wrote about it, did journey work in which we explored our unavoidable end, as it approached…one year, one month, one day! Later after the visionary work was done, we slept in graves we had dug with our own hands (ok, I got help…most people who know me, know I don’t do manual labor, LOL). Our graves were lightly lined with blankets and we were allowed light covering to endure the night outside. We were placed in our graves by Ivan; who carried us as we lay limp. This symbolic Death, and the night lying within the land, gave a deeper perspective of the gift that life is. It was one of the most important teachings Ivan carried; that a close relationship with ones Death, helps us to appreciate the life we have, and allows us to dance through it fully alive.
Like all things ‘Ivan’, his death was not a small affair, in fact it was large and in charge. He spent the last month of his life seeing the places he loved most dearly, building a final Stone Circle, and at last using his Death as a powerful teacher. I was fortunate, and got to take part in many of these last adventures; and was among the 21 pilgrims who traveled to England & Wales on a magical adventure to sacred spaces, just weeks before he passed; a trip Ivan created.
Ivan with the Bleeding Yew in Navern, Wales
friends old and dear
Druid friends @ Stanton Drew
Upon returning to the States, Ivan didn’t miss a beat…he was off to build what would become his final Stone Circle, ‘The Dragon’s Teeth’ circle @ Blissful Dragon Farm. I went down often in the building of the circle, taking photos and video footage; as Blissful Dragon Farm belongs to my sister Sandy and her friend Melissa. I was shocked at how full of life and energy Ivan seemed when working on the circle. I knew his health was failing, but seeing him do what he loved most, brought out the sparkle in his eye. He was passionate, and driven, and spoke often about how he felt it would be his last circle. In the world of Stone Circles, Ivan was a master…creating 28 circles in his life time, circles with precise alignments to stars, places, dates and times. He was truly gifted in this, and I believe it above all things was his greatest offering to the world; as the temples he built will far outlive his memory. I like to think though, that for the person who seeks they will feel a bit of his essence, when sitting in the temples of his creation.
Ivan at the blessing of Dragon’s Teeth stone circle
North Stone & Altar, at Dragon’s Teeth Farm
After leaving Blissful Dragon farm, Ivan headed home to a weekend of Druid training, and preparation for ‘Weaving Wild Wisdom’; a magical weekend, that turned into Ivan’s last teaching. 30 people gathered to experience a weekend of deep magic, what they didn’t know was how deep it truly would be. I had not planned on attending the weekend, but kept being pulled to it. Now I know why, for I was there in attendance, even if not in the way one might have imagined.
My life was changed by this man, who I am honored to call a friend and mentor. He taught me that fear was a gift which held deep power, when looked at head on. He guided me as I walked on fire, carried me to my metaphorical grave, and introduced me to Stone Circles. He was ever a magical child, and I have no doubt that he is dancing ecstatically with the Spirits that be. I also know, having spoken to him more then once since his passing that he should be ready to work in 2 weeks (his words, not mine). Hail and Farewell my friend!
2012 @ Dreamland…
All Hail, Ivan McBeth!