Ancient Sites | Dowsing

Dyserth: Of this earth? (Part 1)

February 2, 2009

Dyserth, Imbolc, Sunday 2nd February 2009

“Of this earth”? Well, in terms of a learning experience it was definitely out of this world. It felt like we should have had a soundtrack of Canned Heat singing ‘On The Road Again’ as Kal and I drove purposefully into Wales on Sunday. Our purposefulness was due to the start of the dowsing year proper. Imbolc was the chance to test some ideas we have been trying to assimilate over the quiet Winter months, but now we were out again.

Sunday was the first of the Imbolc days. I’m sure someone will point out the astronomical impudence of that soon enough, but in my book it spanned Sunday and Monday, and that was an attempt to cover all the bases. I didn’t want to miss any energy fluctuations. As it turned out, it was lucky I did go both days, but that story’s coming soon with Part Two of the Dyserth in January posts.

We parked at the Olde Red Lion pub, which made my brain flash through some decoded symbolism: Red and White in opposition = male and female earth energies. Lion as the symbol of royalty. Red Lion = Red King = Red Dragon = Pendragon = Male energy. You will also see many White Lion pubs in Wales, as well as White, Green and Red Dragon pub names. National flag colours too, you see?

St Bridget’s Church


“The Doomsday Book (1086) mentions a church here and a stone building was dedicated by the 12th century (OS SJ056794). This was restored by Gilbert Scott in 1875. The Jesse window is said to be one of the finest in the UK. There is a fine 9th century preaching cross. The church was originally dedicated to St. Cwyfan, a disciple of St. Beuno.” (St Bridget’s Church web site)

Our old friend St.Beuno. He got around a bit in this area, I can tell you. Busy man, that Beuno. Pops up all over the place. Why don’t you play the Beuno game with us? Simply count the number of times that you read about us encountering a sacred site in North Wales dedicated to old Beuno, and when you reach a hundred, list them all to your friends and watch their horrified and slightly worried expressions!

The church building had an East/West alignment and was in a typical cross shape. A big stained glass window graced the eastern rear wall of the church. A neutral alignment ley went through the east/west axis of the church, as did a slowly interweaving Male Sun line.

We didn’t venture inside the church because a Eucharist service was taking place at the time we were there, mid-morning. They were having elevenses. Which means we didn’t get to see the Celtic Cross or the base of another cross that are somewhere inside. I found a picture of the base, and it quite startled me. Not so much by how Celtic the design was, more the way it seemed to be representing the twin earth energies snaking along the ground, and existing in an inter-twining and ever-lasting dance.


Here’s what the stained-glass window looks like:


There was not much female energy in evidence at St Bridget’s Church that day, a couple of spirals, but it was all about the male energy really. The nemeton of the yew tree that was closest to the church was again the same size as canopy – this is what we found at Delamere Forest recently.  There were some strange tombstones though. Several of the more elaborate graves had skull and crossbones motifs craved onto them. There were the remains of arched canopy tombs beneath many of which are carved skull and crossbones motifs. Make of that what you will. Masonic, Templar, Pirate. Pick your history!


The church website explains:

“Beneath the canopied tombstones in the adjoining Churchyard are interred the remains of many generations of the ancient family of Hughes of Llewerllyd in this parish – descended in the male line from Prince Cadwalladr second son of Griffith ab Cynan – King of North Wales AD 1079-1130. To their memory this Brass is erected by their descendant Hugh Robert Hughes of Kinmel Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the County of Flint AD 1906.”

Sounds painful. I suppose somebody had to be Custos Rotulorum of Flint. He’s the keeper of the rolls. The chief civil officer of a county, to whose custody are committed the records or rolls of the sessions, you know [ref: webster’s online]. Good for him. You’re not skipping this bit, are you? Every day’s a school day, you know!

Back to the tale. At the eastern end of the church we decided to measure the width of this band of male energy that we had found. We both double-checked each others dowsing and came to the same conclusion: the Male Sun energy was as wide here as the entire width of the stained-glass window – about twelve feet across. In the early morning sun it felt vibrant and soon it spurred the congregation inside to life and they sang in mystic symbols the old stories of the cycle of the seasons, and the power of nature. At least, that’s what I heard, but then I wasn’t listening to them, I was feeling the energy vibrating and my hands numbing. Surely this all gets warmer from here on in?

I followed the Male Sun line coming out of the window. I followed its centreline, only to watch the rods sway as the line bent away from the strict E/W alignment and through a nearby recent grave near to another large yew tree. Was the disturbed earth the attractor, or the decaying life force of the recently deceased? I asked the question and the rods responded kindly – the attraction was not the people themselves, it was their reknown. This was an altogether more ephemeral quality. The way it the answer felt to me was that it was a measure of the degree to which those people fulfilled their lives and the lives of those around them. The energy was seeking to flow through the recent graves and older royal graves attracted by their reknown, feeding on their fame one could say, the outpouring of emotion, or perhaps empowered by the praise bestowed upon them? We don’t yet know.

The rear boundary wall of the church partially hid a new attractor. The person who owned the garden adjoining the church had a well-manicured and landscaped garden. In the Winter season this meant that two of the main garden sculptures were in plain sight. Two rough-hewn pink limestone rocks had been placed in an E/W alignment with the back of the church.


The line flowing into the church and through the window was being focused by the perfect alignment of these 3ft tall rocks. Who would have known to do that? Were the energies unfocused before the placement of these recent garden ornaments? Had this had an impact on the fortunes of the church, I wondered?

As we wandered back through the grounds to the road we traced the Male Sun line by picking it up at the front door. It went over the tiny footbridge linking the church and the road. As we crossed the river the rods crossed in Kal’s hands and we turned to look at each other for an explanation – “I didn’t think I was dowsing for water!“, he laughed. The river that emerged from the waterfall deviated twice at 90 degree elbows to bypass (or pass) church. Kal tells me this is good Feng Shui for buildings, to have hills at the back (E), and a slowly flowing river out front (W). The Male Sun line was attracted by the flow of the river to run alongside the outer church wall, flowing with the narrow confined river, to bend abruptly again under a flat bridge and on towards the houses of the low-lying older part of the village.

We headed off from the church grounds to go and get some food. Unfortunately the cafe by the waterfall was out of season and so closed. It had a worrying sign advertising its leasehold, though. It seems as though natural wonders are insufficient in number to keep such places going through a recession. Perhaps it will open again soon – it was wonderful eating an ice cream in the fine spray from the waterfall in the brief heat that was Summer last year.

Several more posts coming soon about this trip out. We go next Graig Fawr hill, to the awe-inspiring site of Dyserth Castle, and we end the day with a missing staff and a stupid hike up a steep hill to see the legendary Golden Grove of Dyserth. Then I go again to delve deeper into the energies around Dyserth with a visit to Gop Hill, a huge cave on the Offa’s Dyke trail, and an astonishing re-visit to Castle Dyserth.

Also, there will shortly be an update on my research into the relationship between accident black spots and earth energies.


Following the animal tracks.

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  1. I came across your discussion of the Red and White Dragon in Dyserth and found it a very interesting theory.

    I’ve recently published a book on the origin of pub names and have included various dragons in the text. I had not, however, come across this theory about conflicting Male and Female energies which I found fascinating. The second edition is continually under way because I encounter more and more facts that might provide explanations. I shall therefore be putting more research into this male/female energy area. A surprising number of pub names are linked to pre-Christian imagery as, at the time, the population was far more in tune with the natural rhythms of the earth and its seasons.

    I have just referenced your theory in my blog entry today and linked back to your site. It can be found at

    Your whole post made fascinating reading and I look forward to exploring your site further.

    Elaine Saunders
    Author – A Book About Pub Names

    1. Elaine,

      Thank you for your comment. I am so pleased that you found the idea of interest to you. The topic is uppermost in my mind at the moment after I had read Paul Broadhurst’s “The Green Man and The Dragon”, which goes into a great deal of detail about the potential origins of the concepts of the Knight in Shining Armour (St George) and his counterpart Dragon. Broadhurst’s theories are very well researched, experientially based, and tie together a lot of loose strands relating to these symbols of a solar hero taming or slaying a dragon. I heartily recommend the book to you. It may go a long way towards convincing you that both lions, dragons, horses, virgins in white, green men and heroes are often different faces to the same symbology: that of the relationship between the sun, the moon, the seasons and the energies of the earth. All this, of course, was commonplace fact to our predecessors, but is now condemned as irrelevant or mis-guided.

      Broadhurst explains that many of the tales of local heroes taming dragons that plague villages and towns are remnants of the old knowledge of how to work with the earth’s twin “red” and “white” energies (in Chinese culture it’s the Blue Dragon and White Tiger, I think). When kept in harmony and balance these energies can be directed to beneficial purposes (healing, protection, spell-casting, empowerment, communing with the ancestors, promoting fertility). Certain rites and rituals performed at important energetic dates (equinoxes and solstices mainly) kept these energies placid and controlled. If these rites were englected then the energies could revert back to their natural courses and behaviours which may result in imbalances of energy. Imbalances or pools of negative or harmful energies could cause sickness and stagnation within communities that were in the path of those energies.

      It is also interesting that the Knights Templar took on the colours of red and white, they adopted George too (the Green Man). The English flag is of course red and white as well. Some say this is symbolic of the RED MALE SUN energy which has the greatest effect on earth energy at the four quarter points of the year – Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. The white background is symbolic of the ever-present earth energy web which is the WHITE FEMALE MOON energy.

      I do intend to explore this in much more detail with a long post on the subject. The only difficulty is keeping it to a manageable size once you realise the number of factors that need to be discussed!

      Glad you like the blog, and thanks for linking to us.

      Gwas Myrddyn.

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