3rd November 2008 (full moon)
This is the first installment of a three-part post about a visit that Kal and I undertook to Nine Ladies stone circle in Stanton Moor, Derbyshire one dark winter evening. It’s a tale of adventure involving dowsing, druidry and darkness.
It was a dark and stormy night….no, it wasn’t actually. It was a fairly light evening, misty and very still, with only the occasional breeze stirring anything at all. We drove over the Cat & Fiddle route (A537) from Macclesfield and straight into a fog bank near to Tegg’s Nose Country Park (how can a nose have a whole country park to itself – surely a gross waste of space!?).
Inching along we managed to find our way back to Stanton Moor on the far side of Bakewell in Derbyshire by instinct alone (and the fact that we’d been here many times each independently, and once together). Tonight was different from all other times though. It was night time and the moon was full. Oooh! Spooky! Not really. If you’ve followed my recent posts “Alone in the Dark” (Part 1 / Part 2) then you’ll know I’ve been preparing myself for things like this already. Kal has been trained by long night walkabouts and so we were both completely unfazed by the journey across dark fields, through the woods, and into the circle of stones on Stanton Moor. The gentle hooting of owls was almost comical. Comedy was the theme of the evening, as it turned out, but I’ll come back to that later.
In the ambient moonlight cast through the low thin cloud cover there was a silver path picked out through the woods by a quirk of the angle of light. It led us with ease towards the circle without putting a foot wrong in the darkness. We both remarked, somewhat gratefully, that the going was easy and pleasant on this unseasonably warm evening. There was a slight haze of mist, but that just added to the wondrous effect.
As we approached down the sandy and subtly moonlit path I again felt the urge to arrive at the circle via the short path through the trees. We had walked in from the Stanton Lees village side (not across the moor) as this path was shorter. As we walked up the rise to the circle I felt a wave of energy that hit me, as before, gently in my stomach. “Can you feel that?” I asked Kal. “Oh yes.” he responded. Then he walked ahead of me and began to really feel it. He stopped too, “It’s really strong here.” “I’m sparking with it!” I responded. My hair felt like someone was holding a balloon above it and my face was tingling gently. This was either a particularly energetic time, or we were getting better at detecting it. An owl hooted in agreement, and I smiled. Coincidence.
The circle awaited us like some sleeping giant’s crown waiting to be snatched by midnight thieves as we stole up to a point ten feet away and breathed in the night air. It was as though we were taking in the aura of the place, deep into our lungs, in order to quickly acclimatise to the flowing, sweeping energies we could feel that the site was bathed in.
We placed out backpacks just below the rise to the circle and got out our copper L-rods. Why copper? Because they look nice. Our first mission was to get accustomed to the circle again. We consulted our crib sheet of questions and suggestions for things to look for. We started by sitting on each of the stone in turn to see if we could find a stone that drained energies. We had found one here before, and I had found one since then at Cerrig Pryfaid. Quickly we identified it as a small stone with a flat top, perfect for sitting on. Just like the one at Cerrig Pryfaid. Good start. “A draining stone!” I claimed. “A grounding stone!” Kal retorted. Possibly either or both, we agreed. Same function, different slant.
Kal walked off to the King Stone with his rods clinking his location as he disappeared into the night’s shadows. I decided to approach the tree. As I got within a few feet of the edge of its canopy, I introduced myself to the tree (rather matter-of-factly, on reflection) in my mind. Immediately I felt a block pushing against my stomach, the area that Castenada would call the Assemblage Point. I recognised this from previous encounters with oak trees – I was being barred! I didn’t need a second hint, so I stopped and walked away back towards the circle, vowing to return soon when I was in a better frame of mind. Too hasty! I scolded myself. Always too hasty with oaks. They’re slow, old, and demand a greater respect than other types of tree. One day I will abide by The Rules. I’m still trying to work out what they are, but the nature spirits (or Genius Loci, as Kal refers to these sentient entities) are being very patient and consistent with me, which is helping the process along nicely.
I walked up to the King Stone to see what Kal was up to. He was dowsing down towards me in a tell-tale meander from side to side. “Male line.” he responded to my pending question. “Coming out of the King Stone.” I had found such a line on a previous visit, as had Kal. I was sure I remembered there was a female line coming out too, so I dowsed for that, and found it going alongside the path Kal had just described for the male energy line. I did the male line as well and found it curved in exact opposition to the female line. Another double-helix formation like Cerrig Pryfaid! We dowsed some more questions – taking turns to verify each others findings, which seemed particularly validating because we wouldn’t take any visual cues from each other as we could only see each other’s rods as we got a foot or so away from the stone.
- We asked for the direction of the flow? – The rods swung towards the stone circle.
- Was the King Stone the source of the energies? – Yes.
- Did the King Stone have a connection to the circle? – Yes.
- Did the King Stone have any energy of its own? – Yes.
- Was the King Stone exclusively male? – No.
- Was the King Stone exclusively female? – No. – Oh! A surprise there. Could it be neutral?
- Was the King Stone exclusively neutral – No. NO! Well, then what was it? A combination?
- Was the King Stone a combination of male and female ? – Yes. Ahhhhh. Interesting!
- Did the energy go out of the King Stone away from the circle as well as towards it? – No.
Kal then dowsed the auric extent of the King Stone on the side away from the circle and found it to be about 7-8 feet away, surrounding the stone in a circle. So that was the extent of that stone’s ‘influence’, if you like. Its energies were contained within a small circle, and bound to the stone circle down the way from us, linked by a double helix of male and female energy lines.
So it seemed the stone, containing a combination of male and female energies was able to either split the energies and propel them towards the stone circle, or, the circle was drawing male and female energies simultaneously but separately from the King Stone, and drawing them down to itself. Either way it was connected, so where did it go after it left the King Stone? I followed the two lines simultaneously by instructing one rod to follow the male line, whilst the other should follow the female line. Would it work? Indeed it would, but it was very easy to get into all sorts of weird Hannibal Lecter poses if you weren’t careful. At times the relative amplitudes of the waveforms meant that I lost connection with the waves until they converged again further down their paths. Eventually they parted company at a point five feet in front of the stone circle, each going around the circle – male left, female right – until the male line continued around the circle to rejoin itself. The female line spiralled into a flat stone on the right of the circle (looking from the King Stone). This flat stone registered for female energy too. You’d think so, I guess, if a female line comes into it, but I thought I’d check anyway. These things have a habit of overcoming your assumptions regularly, and making you look like a lost Mark Thatcher.
As I stood on one side of the circle I found that I could see the stone circle’s nemeton, the energy positioned seven feet away from the circle, as a band of pale moonlight. I gazed amazed. It was probably because that’s the path that people take to walk around it and the grass is flattened down making it shine, I told myself. It’s a trick of the light caused by the reflection of moonlight on the ridge here that’s reflecting the light down to its base and…I looked at other places where people walked – other paths – no light. And I could see the nemeton circling the site, so it wasn’t a feature of the light falling at a particular angle relative to where I was standing – I could walk around along its path and it was still visible as a whole circle around the stones at every point.
I stopped wondering how I could see the ring of light, and just wondered. It was a clear path like to one I had followed down from Moel-Ty-Uchaf one night, the path that had delivered me safely to the farmer’s track without a stumble. Then it had flowed in straight lines, turning at acute angles when it needed to bypass uncomfortable drops in height. I had considered it to be starlight because the stars were the only source of illumination; but on this night, with the cloud cover and a full moon, this must be moonlight, right? Flowing in a circle. I don’t know. But it was there – a ghostly pale ring of light that formed a perfect circle around the stones.
I wanted to know more about it so I confirmed that the nemeton’s direction of flow was clockwise, and then set off with an instruction to the rods to follow the nemeton energy. I know what you’re thinking – did he check which gender the nemeton registered as? Yes, I did. Remarkably I remembered to do that this time – it was male, in line with the direction of flow of the male line coming out of the King Stone. Oh, was this the King Stone energy then? I followed with interest to see if the line rejoined itself. It was looking like the male energy line was forming the outer energy extent – it’s auric reach.
I followed the nemeton’s line around back to the entrance gap in the circle. There it moved slightly inwards from its seven foot diameter. Now it was a foot to the right, a foot nearer the circle. I walked around again. At the entrance it moved again. Now it was tracing a circle, still clockwise, alongside the stones themselves. This was the third revolution. As I came to the entrance a third time the line dove into the circle to describe a spiral inside the circle itself. It spiralled round about four or five times before ending at the exact centre of the circle. Not a place we had really investigated yet. I remember that the exact centre was the crossing point for the neutral lines that criss-crossed from stone to opposing stone. That I had found on my last visit. Would they be here again? I made a mental note for us to check tonight.
While I had been busy with the nemeton, Kal had been dowsing the energies inside the circle. He had found female energies inside that went between certain stones – a handy-for-sitting-on flat stone, and a stone about four positions away from it. He had also stuck his umbrella in the power centre that I had found on all my visits there. I was barely visible in the gloom, but you could see it before you walked into it, which saved us from castration on several occasions. Wherever we dowsed inside the circle and outside of it we always ended up back at that power centre, slightly offset from the exact centre, close to the entrance gap in the stones. This thing was a hub for these lines. Male lines flowed into it, and female lines flowed out of it. The male lines came in clockwise, and the female lines emerged roughly anti-clockwise (some went through the air, and under the ground, but their direction of flow was always anti-clockwise). I laughed uncontrollably sometimes as I arrived yet again directly to the umbrella unfailingly even though it was barely visible (a black umbrella – I ask you! Luminous orange would have been more helpful!) Kal made a quip about the circle not having seen such mirth since mediaeval times, or something. Well, you have to enjoy yourself, don’t you? It tickles me when the dowsing is so unerringly capable of sending you round a path a hundred metres long, only to bring you back to join again at exactly the place you started from – in the dark. The Cosmic Giggle is felt in many ways. 😉
Other formations that we found at the site that night were:-
- arcing energies both over and under ground from and to the power center and a stone
- a manifestation that I made on the power centre of four petals (I had tried to visualise three, but it changed in my mind to four)
- Kal made a manifestation of what he called a “PentiKal” – a five sided shape.
We stopped at this point for a break. Much of the preparation for energy work seems to be to dowse for the placement, orientation and nature of the energy lines first. Then we have a starting point for any energy work later. Now was the time to switch tack. We ate our snacks underneath the Wishing Tree oak, but I could tell Kal was restless there, whereas I was perfectly at ease.
I took the chance to do a proper re-introduction to the Wishing Tree oak as Kal went off to do some more dowsing on the King Stone. I wasn’t looking for anything ‘deep and meaningful’ with the oak, just a chat, so I only went into a light trance. I was pleased to get a polite but friendly connection (how can I describe that feeling? It’s how you feel, not anything you hear or see). In that state the oak and I shared snappy funny comments with each other, and I ended up laughing heartily again. This was a sure sign of madness. Look it up in “The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Personality Disorders (
You may remember from previous posts that it
Making friends with wise trees.