Samhain 2015 was spent at Belas Knap near to Winchcombe in Gloucestershire. The long barrow had been appearing all week beforehand in background pictures on my computer and I took this as a sign that it was the right place. This would be the second festival date without Kal, but this time I had a fellow traveler – and I will hopefully tell you more about that in the near future as it becomes a regular thing.
In the morning I had been listening to the radio and the program had been talking about this time of year being a time to remember “saints known and unknown“. That might be something that I could bear in mind?
The journey was misty almost all the way down to Gloucestershire. A cold dull day loomed, but then as we rose up towards the ridge where the long barrow was located the way cleared and a strong warm sun was waiting for us.
The sun’s appearance began burning back the morning mists until, from a vantage point on top of the ridge, a cinematic view emerged. The barrow was perched in a ridge which seemed to rise out of the surrounding mists like the romantic pictures of The Isle of Avalon.
I had decorated my staff that morning for some reason, and the jangling sound of the attached necklaces accompanied our walk to the barrow through the old woodland tunnel.
As we walked bees kept buzzing in the air around me, catching my attention on a regular basis, as though saying “We’re still here!”. They were so insistently loud, and it seemed almost as though they were following me. We made a “bee line” for the barrow.
I don’t often put myself into the hands of someone else to do healing, as I usually think that I can do most of it myself. However, occasionally someone else can spot something that you are either missing, or deliberately avoiding. When I went to see a fellow shaman, the wonderful Debra Delglyn, then what began as a chat and a quick massage of sore legs turned into a proper therapy session!
After doing Hellrunner again this year I had sore legs. I hadn’t actually anticipated a massage but when I got there I cheekily asked if I could have one, and Debra obliged thankfully.
Debra seems to use massage as an entry point for a greater healing experience. As my muscles relaxed she was sensing something wasn’t right through her bio-feedback mechanisms and her powerful intuition. Soon she was asking me to search for any painful place, then describe it.
I did a body scan and found myself saying that the back part of my brain was registering as a royal blue colour. That wasn’t anywhere near enough – she wanted more analysis!
What is this colour?
I went into the area to explore. It is regulation, stricture, the proper way to do things, limitation through cultural conditioning, “what you should do”.
With her healing hands Debra shifts and eases the pain. Then I am told to follow its flow. Describe it. Where is it now?
It is now in my diaphragm. It is restricting my breathing. It is a blue cloth, tightly woven, like a captain’s uniform. She helps me to explore it. Now I can see that it is woven of criss-crossing threads which I can loosen, unpick, and relax.
I think I am finished but she moves even further onwards. Where is the pain now? I can feel the tension in my kidneys. She informs me that the kidneys are the point where the chi flow comes into the body, and is associated with the ancestors. I must explore this.
I relax and go inside again. Moment later I am back at Tara this Summer Solstice….
In the second part of my Anglesey Megalithic Tour story we are heading out along the northern coast of the island in search of more wonderful sites. We’re now back on the agenda, and so the next destination is the Soar Stone.
We chased the edges of the deep rain clouds which had been flirting with us all day long. For some reason we were being spared the rain that everyone else on the mainland was getting. The sun travelled with us.
The Soar Stone – Standing stone – Llanfaethlu, LL65 4NL
We parked at the recently renovated Black Lion Inn just outside of the village on the A5025. I have to say – they’ve done a fantastic job with the place! It looked modern, yet inviting. I think it may well be the stopping point for future tours of the island. Now, I don’t just take people to places I like. The Soar Stone and I are quite incompatible, yet it was on the agenda due to its huge subtle energy power. I might not like it, but I respected it!
I invited everyone to use the technique for approaching this site as they would with any other – feel for the boundary; find an entry point; wait and ask for permission; enter and do what feels natural. Some of the girls couldn’t resist jumping into the field and touching the stone. They were feeling the immense male energy line that passes through the stone along its flat edges.
By now the group were starting to ask questions like, “Where would the line go to?” and “Why would the stone be positioned here?”. All good questions, and I invited them to try to discover their own answers by meditating with the stone. That, and some serious map reading, might reveal the answers they were wanting!
As I have found with other male-line standing stones the energy is being directed towards a place of military significance. If the line is traced on a map the energy is being pointed to a fort on the west coast at Porth Trefadog and extending through a tumulus and an old church ending close to the mouth of the River Gogh on the east side of the island near Dulas.
In the middle of September I arranged a visit to Anglesey for my weekly meditation group. I had grand ideas, but over time I had slowly whittled the concept down from a weekend extravaganza for all and sundry, to a single day outing for a small group of people who attend my weekly outdoor meditation session (see Meetup).
Originally I had planned on visiting four sites, but it ended up being six due to the enthusiasm levels and the local knowledge of the attendees. This post will describe the first three, and then the next one will talk about the other three.
My meditation group consists of around ten regular attendees and a few irregulars. It was something of a shock to discover that nearly everyone wanted to go on my first megalithic tour! On the day I had a group of ten people, many of whom were regular meditators, all of whom were interested in finding out more about subtle energy and sacred sites. We met locally and then travelled in various volunteer’s cars heading towards our first meeting point: Bryn Celli Ddu.
Many sites, so little time
At the Bryn Celli Ddu car park we all gathered and I talked about what we might experience during the day.
All the way to Anglesey we had passed through numerous heavy rain clouds. Now we were here it was dry. Yet, it felt like it could rain at any time. We trouped off to the chamber together wondering what we would find.
Everyone got something different from Bryn Celli Ddu. All I asked of them was to find their own proper entrance point to the structure, pay respects before entering, then find their own special power place. Everyone seems to get it, and soon they were immersed in the feeling of the place, even if they weren’t sure what else they might experience there.
The inside of the structure was a space that everyone loved. The petrified tree pillar was a point of fascination, as expected. When we re-convened it was clear that people were beginning to appreciate the power of such sacred spaces when they are properly approached. Everyone felt empowered, embraced by the place, and came away with a positive loving feeling.
This method of approach and interaction would be a process that we would try to recreate at each of the places we visited that day.
In the second and final part of my Autumn Equinox outing I was still at Pistyll Rhaeadr. I had been told that I could do everything in one place. Now that I had learned The Song of the Waters at the base of the waterfall, it was time to move onwards and upwards.
Taking into account what happened at Dinas Bran I climbed the steep slope very slowly. This was now a deliberate change of pace now that Kal has gone. Everything will be slower and more spanned out now. It’s about quality, not quantity now. One site is enough, done slowly and mindfully.
At the top I went to stand on the edge. Kal was an Edge Wizard, and as I faced that inherent fear we have which prevents us from falling from great heights I felt the thrill of being alive. I wished he was here too. I lit three incense sticks in memory of Kal, and lay the Irish green wand alongside them. The green wand’s power was growing, I could sense it. Or was I fooling myself? The Fool was one of Kal’s alter egos – a role he played with gusto. He enjoyed people’s reactions, and only those who could see beyond that began to understand that his wisdom was draped in a motley garb. The water jumped off the edge with an enthusiastic inevitability, pulling, drawing….I gathered the wand and stepped back.
I went to sit under the canopied rock a safe distance back from the edge. Sheltered from the wind and occasional rain I was able to quickly get into a meditative state of mind and call upon my spirit guide to help my work. I looked out down the valley, and as my gaze became fixed and my mind became free I began to see the ages pass. Huts of people came and went; armies marches, fought and dispersed; travellers arrived and left; and the landscape whirled through the seasons and ages in such a rapid succession that I stopped trying to recognise the changes. It was an amazing vision.
There was more to come.
So the Autumn Equinox arrived. It would be my first outing without Kal being around. I had to steel myself to make the preparations to go, but I did so knowing that I could spend a day out in Nature and take some time to go to a place that he loved.
I knew where I was intending to go. The place had been suggested to me by my water spirit guide. Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall had all the elements I needed to fulfill The Song of the Waters – a fall, a river and a pool – water in three conditions.
Never Ride The Lonely Road…
For some reason I wanted you to hear the first few seconds of this “Lo-Fidelity Allstars” track which has a rather creepy snippet of cautionary advice. I’d recommend the album by the way – it’s one of my all-time favourites. It came to mind as I began to write this.
I didn’t know where I would be going today. On previous visits Kal and I had usually gone fairly quickly up to the top, but today I felt like I wanted to spend more time at the bottom half. Following the dowsing rods I was taken into the woodland alongside the waterfall and specifically to a junction point where two paths met.
This was my preparation place and I asked permission to create a posy of wild flowers – Herb Robert and Bracken primarily. I laid the posy at the meeting point of the paths. It felt symbolic and reminiscent simultaneously. I let out s sigh…this was going to be a long road back to The Way…
I started a weekly meditation circle last year. I was impressed by how many people turned up regularly, but this year the intake was even bigger. I made a few changes this year. I moved the venue slightly to provide a more intimate working space, and to accommodate more people. Part of that work involved me clearing out a place that was overgrown and full of old rotting and rusting junk. It took me a couple of days to clear, but when the space was finished it felt amazing.
Before I had done any work I had entered into a dialog with the Spirit of Place. Was the space suitable? Would it be alright to use it in this way? Was the spirit happy with me preparing the space or should it be left as it was? All these questions were asked and more. So, I already felt comfortable with working with the spirit of this new space.
For the last 16 weeks the group has been gathering momentum and getting familiar with each other. Now they are at a point where they have shared experiences, and lasting friendships have been formed. There is a lot of love circulating amongst the group, and that is a lovely experience. Tuesday evenings have become very special.
A few weeks ago we did “Connecting with the Spirit of Place” as the topic. It was particularly remarkable, and so I want to tell you about it here.