Whenever I go to London I wonder about the spiritual possibilities. Should I go to a lecture? Buy some esoteric books? Are there any places of historical or energetic interest that I could visit? On this occasion my mind was turned towards Primrose Hill.
Primrose Hill has a loose and unclear association with druids. I knew that a clan of modern druids have used the hill for ceremonies, but its more ancient association was not readily accessible. It turned out (coincidence) that my wife’s weekend course happened to be in the Regent’s Park area, and Primrose Hill is at the edge of the park. With such an astonishing coincidence in play I had to make the hill my primary objective for a solo excursion.
I wandered around Regent’s Park in circles taking photographs like a good tourist, and then set my course for the hill. Soon I was amid the clans of footballers whose tribal clashes pealed through the dull grey air like scalded seagulls. As I reached the back of London Zoo I was surprised to find a canal, then a road – two artificial separators keeping the green spaces of the park and the hill apart like squabbling siblings.
As I dodged the flocks of senior citizens wielding their over-priced bicycles like unfamiliar weapons I found myself in a clear space with a view of the hill. I say “hill”. In Northern England this geographical feature would be called a “rise” to indicate its shallow and un-daunting nature. “Hill” is a term reserved from something that would take some effort to scale. “Scale” was definitely the watchword here! Still, I switched off my “tourist mode” thinking, and began to relax into a more sedate state of mind. I allowed my thoughts to disperse, and after protecting myself energetically I let myself begin to connect to the feel of the place.
I began to walk. A serpentine lethargic walk with a vacant gaze, in stark contrast to the focussed intent and spear-like paths of the joggers and cyclists around me. They stayed firmly on the designated tarmacked paths whereas I wandered off-piste almost immediately. Where would the energetic path lead me, I wondered?
This is just a little story about following intuition and guidance. It’s an illustration of the way that we can be afforded opportunities to let ourselves follow the flow of the universe, and the results are always “meant to be”. We may not always like them or understand them, but they are meant to be.
The story begins on Friday. I’ve been to London many times before, and I kind of know my way around now. So much so that I finally bought an Oyster Card in order to facilitate travel. First on my list was Treadwell‘s due to having seen it recently associated with some Order Of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) events. I happened to be around Covent Garden at the end of the day and so thought about visiting the bookshop. I looked the place up on Google Maps and felt I knew approximately where it was. In my mind it was near Covent Garden, and so I headed out that way. I spent a long time walking around before I realised that I was actually nowhere near Treadwell’s. I’d made a mistake, and just wasted my time! I gave up.
I had a few hours on Saturday morning in which to find one of the several esoteric bookshops. I planned a visit to Atlantis Books which, when I arrived, turned out not to be the bookshop I was thinking of. Again? What was happening? Was the city confusing me? I know I spend a lot of time in the countryside, and…yet I had my phone so why couldn’t I follow a simple map?
We have been to the interesting island of Anglesey many times. We have scoured the island for sacred sites on many occasions. We have spent literally days of time researching places to visit. Somehow, two startling omissions had occurred. Firstly, Kal had never seen the reconstructed chamber of Barlodiad Y Gawres. Secondly, we had never found the Trefignath monuments. We set both of this things right for Imbolc 2015.
We’re not going to cover the reconstructed barrow of Barlodiad here. Let’s just say we visited it. It was cold and windy (as it always is) and there was nothing energetically significant about it. Let’s move on to the fun stuff!
We were at the end of our Imbolc day. The trail of Arthur-related sites had reached the furthest tail of The Great Bear and was pointing us to Trearddur Bay near to Holyhead. That’s where we headed now, knowing that we had never found these sites before, but today we were in luck.
Ty Mawr – The Trefignath stone
Ty Mawr standing stone is set alone in a fenced field. In the background it has the delightful soundtrack of swooshing vehicles hurtling along the A55 trunk road carrying potential ferry passengers and lorries to Holyhead on their way across to Ireland.
As a backdrop it has Holyhead Mountain in one direction and a skyline of dark and square geometric buildings from the neighbouring industrial estates. It’s not a pretty setting, and yet the local council have tried their best to give the stone pride of place.
This seemingly innocuous and out-of-place stone turned out to be strangely synchronistic!
Having spent a lovely half hour at the church dedicated to Michael at the foot of the ridge known as Bwrdd Arthur (or “Arthur’s Table”) it was now time to find a way up onto the ridge. One of my objectives for this Imbolc was to connect more of the sites that I had identified as having a reference to Arthur, and which were part of a landscape zodiac that I was forming across Northern Wales and England.
At a junction in the road near to a signpost we found the entrance to the ridge and followed the steepest path up on to the crest of the ridge. Kal soon found a comfortable spot in a shaft of sunlight, and I used my dowsing rods to locate one too. The sun at its peak now, and as warm as it was going to get!
Adorning the Table
It was close to lunch time but not time for us to eat yet. I had work to do. Bathed in sunshine I began a process of protection (new site – good practise), meditation, then connection with the spirit of the place. I felt that the spirit was keen to work with me, and so I began to mentally cross the country linking this site by an energy bridge to all the other Arthur-related sites I had visited so far on this quest.
After Arthur’s Well (or close to it) we were heading out to Anglesey. I set the satellite navigation in order to get me back to some major roads that I recognised. On the way in that morning I had wanted to visit near to Llandeiniolen but we had searched in vain for it so I had given up in frustration. We had gone to visit Arthur’s Well anyway. Now, on the way back out – where did we arrive? At the damned church of course!! And I use the word ‘damned’ with intent, because no sooner had we stopped to admire the huge ancient yew trees than I got a dread feeling.
Yews at St.Michael’s
The old church at Llanddeiniolen seems to have changed its name, perhaps to disguise itself? Perhaps it is seeking to prevent visitors from finding its ancient yew trees? I have a fix on it now, though. The church is moments away from the nearby B4366 on a small back road heading to Waun. It used to be called “St Deiniol’s” but now seems to be calling itself “St.Michael’s”. It would turn out that the new name was highly appropriate to the work I was about to do.
We had been here before and so we knew there were some ancient yew trees, huge and hollowing. I had a feeling that there was some other reason I was being ‘directed’ to visit here, though. Intuition is a wonderful sense, but it doesn’t always deliver the information like a map. Sometimes the information is more like a painting.
Imbolc began this year for me while I was meditating in the middle of Delamere Forest at midnight. Having felt the combined feminine forces of The Maid (Brigid) and The Crone (Morrigan) then I knew that my ventures the next day would now be filled with beautiful connections.
Kal and I had planned a full day out in Anglesey. Early on February 1st we made our way down the A55 coast road. Before crossing the “threshold” of the Menai Straits there was one place I wanted to visit. I was keen to visit a well dedicated to Arthur which was supposedly positioned close to the village of Deiniolen in the foothills of the Snowdonia mountain range.
Arthur’s Well Hidden
Although I had an Ordnance Survey map of the place where the well was supposedly located, and there was no foliage to obscure the hunt, still the discovery of the well eluded us initially. Even the path to get to the area near to the well was difficult! It was full of obstacles and at one point we were bounding from the crest of one murky drainage channel to another as we tried to avoid being scratched by dead spruce branches. The density and darkness of the forest seemed to go on forever! Finally, we were through it, though, and into a clearing – a crossroads of paths. Hmm.. cross roads.
Only the fool-hardy and those friends with frost would venture forth into the darkness of Delamere Forest at midnight. Illuminated only by a filling Milk Moon and a fogging headlamp I met with John Kirby - experienced meditator and esoteric inspiration. This was his idea, and I had seen no reason not to accompany him on his wild adventure into the blackness. I was nearly put off by other people’s reservations: it would be cold, I didn’t know where I was going exactly, it was very windy, the world might end any moment. None of this seemed to matter. Curiosity and the opportunity to meditate outdoors this close to Imbolc was sufficient motivation to drive me onwards.
It was almost a full moon and there was sufficient light to make our way from the station car park, past the visitor centre, and out into the forest proper. John had identified a place where there were some specific trees that he wanted to encounter again. Luckily, he knew how to get there even in the dark, and within ten minutes we had found the place.
There was one clearly visible and identifiable “male” tree. it stood along, a ‘lonesome pine’, immensely proud and conical. It looked like the kind of Christmas Tree that ought to adorn a special square in London. I chatted with John about the concept of the “King Stone” at a stone circle, and how the outlier would often be the male standing stone whose energy would be fed into the female stone circle. I likened the imagery to the sperm and ovum concept.
For me, Imbolc sees the return of the male earth energy so tonight it seemed appropriate to attempt to “fertilise” the female ring of trees nearby with the male energy of this lone tree. We set up camp in a clutch of fir trees whose central space was both soft and welcoming, sheltered yet not smothering. A fire pit was dug by hand, wet logs used as a container, and then a small immediate flame established to ward off the worst of the Winter’s warmth-sapping strength.