Gateways not only designate points of transition between boundaries, they also operate as indices of spaces of category violation: sites at which a greater, more terrible outline of existence grinds against the world.
In Horsingdon, such violations almost inevitably involve intrusions of prateternatural Outsideness, disrupting what is for most people the quotidian, natural order of things. Yet its capacity for its derangement by such forces only goes to demonstrate the arbitrary and indeed artifical character of that order.
Indeed, as some of Horsingdon's mystics have asserted, the region's manifold manifestations of the supranormal - which its strange topography has been all too ready to countenance - demonstrate that our sense of what constitues the world is fractional: a localised understanding of things, which fragments and dissolves when one comes to perceive that the whole is but a particulate of a greater reality.
Journeying through gateways is transformative and unilinear: once traversed, there is no going back - no unseeing of the world which the procession into an expanded frame of reference brings. Historically, those who were willing to take the step into such an altered mode of being attracted the label of witch. Anthropologically speaking, the witch is a category of anti-person: someone who seeks - through traffic with transmundane powers - to transgress and negate the social order; someone whose very existence is ontologically undermining - pollutants whose contact with the imagined invariant structure of the socio-cosmic hierarchy bring about its disintegration.
Even today, the guardians of the Black Bowers are avoided because they instantiate and immanentize the fundamental human fear that things are not as they seem; an aura of contagion bleeds from their very pores for the very reason that, having stared into the abyss, the abyss stares back at us through them, threatening to contaminate us with the nameless knowledge they embody, jeopardising our cosy view of the world through their very presence.
To walk through one of Horsingdon's Witch Gates - like the one depicted above, once used in rituals of transmutation by the Horsingdon coven - is not only to confront the Outside, but through the transfiguration wrought by such an encounter, to forever become an outsider oneself.