May 1st, or May Day, is the ancient Celtic fire festival of Beltane. It traditionally marks the appearance of the Pleiades star cluster in the constellation of Taurus, an event linked to the start of the farming calendar (which ends at Samhain, or All Hallow’s Eve). It is a fire festival in recognition of the rise of the fire element (i.e. the power of the sun) at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, and so solar deities and mythical royal figures are linked to this time in the year. They are said to flourish in their youthful phase, starting at Beltane when they begin to rise to prominence. I planned to mark this by lighting a small fire or a stick of incense at each site to ceremoniously mark this event. I hoped the spirit of the year would travel with me as I journeyed from one site to another, linking them through energy work and fire.
We decided to keep our work local today. I wanted to visit a familiar haunt that meant something to me, as well as discovering a new one, so I planned three sites: Helsby Hill, Woodhouses Hill and the site of a structure that looked like a hill fort close to Frodsham. The two hills had hill forts marked on the Ordnance Survey map of the area. They are the sites of ancient hill forts. I say ancient, because the hill forts, I suspect, are a much later addition to sites that had some spiritual and energetic significance long before they were fortified or stocked with invading Roman soldiers. A tourist sign in Helsby village reminds us that the archaeology has dated the sites to having habitation since the Iron Age – approximately 800 B.C.E – 42 C.E.
I walked up Helsby Hill in the mid-morning sunshine hoping for a clear day to do some energy work. My intention was to try something that Hamish Miller had suggested: that manifested (i.e. visualised) patterns can be imprinted onto a place, then they will appear in a more complex form at a connected site. By connected I assumed he meant a sacred site that had some kind of energetic connection to a nearby site. I wasn’t going to rely on that though: I had some ideas in mind to make that connection myself by forming an energetic bridge from one site to another.
Atop Helsby Hill I dowsed to find the location of ‘The Spirit of Helsby Hill’. I didn’t know what that actually might mean, but it seemed a good thing to ask for, as it would involve the co-operation of Nature in my work. I found a circle of lush grass just back from the cliff edge. There I asked to dowse to formation that was the symbol of the hill’s spirit. I traced the following shape: a serpent-like curved zig-zag shape that ended in a sphere. It reminded me of a caduceus symbol without the wings, or at least one half of that shape. I meditated until I felt that I had a connection to this spirit, then added a circle around the symbol as my own identifying mark.
Then I projected that image to the next site, even though I had never visited Woodhouses Hill. I simply looked at the map and sent the image to that place. I formed an energetic link by visualising a bridge of energy arcing from one place to the other, and then imprinted the symbol at the other side, and hoped for the best. Woodhouses Hill was a couple of miles’ walk so off I trudged, with Kal in tow acting merely as an animated observer to this energy-play. Most unusual that he didn’t want to participate today, but that he was having too much fun prancing around pretending he was 30 years younger!
We climbed the very steep sides of Woodhouses, taking the most direct route up to the hill fort site at the top. All along the route crows had been flying around Kal, seemingly accompanying him on his journey. Often I pointed them out, sitting in tall trees that marked our route, or hovering on the wind just in front of us as we walked. Kal just laughed at this. He has come to accept their presence quite naturally, and is beginning to try to tune into any significance they might have as signs or omens. Certainly they have become his totem bird.
Kal’s not one for heights, but he danced up and down the hills that day as though he were unafraid and on springs! Since a recent episode with a tree (post coming soon about that) he had gained a little voice that informs him that he will be just fine when he finds himself on the high edges of paths. A year ago he would never have even come up Helsby Hill, never mind the run up the dizzying sloped of Woodhouses Hill! How we have progressed since starting this journey. We have both overcome things that would make our former selves squirm in fear! ‘Fortune favours the brave’, I believe the saying goes.
We stood now in a beautifully varied and pleasingly-spaced wood at the top of the path, looking around for signs that we were actually in a hill fort – only the slope of the ground would indicate that we were. I dowsed to find the location of where my Helsby Hill circled half-caduceus symbol might have ‘landed’. A minute dowsing through the trees and I found it in a circular clearing between some birch trees. Kal was busy touching trees and occasionally muttering things to them. ‘Edge Wizard’ indeed! He was turning distinctly ‘druidy’ so I ribbed him about it. Of course he protested!
I dowsed for the symbol as Kal watched, It was looser than the original, but it was the same shape, circled strongly by my additional energy. It’s at times like this that you begin to doubt your sanity. Had I just found that because I wanted to find it? Who knows? There it was, responding to the rods whilst I tried to maintain a clear trance-state to be as objective as possible about it. I checked it several times. It was as ‘there’ as anything I had ever dowsed. I was convinced. Kal was surprised and childishly delighted too. I spent a few minutes sending the same pattern on to the next site, just like last time. Again, the destination was not somewhere I had visited before, although I had passed it many times. I could visualise it generally, but not a specific ‘landing site’ for the energy. I wondered what would happen?
We headed off down the slope heading for the back of Frodsham Hill. As we descended the back of Woodhouses Hill we met a man surveying the earthworks that ran along the hill. ‘What are you surveying?‘ we asked after introducing ourselves. The earthworks apparently, to construct a 3D map of the site. Great! All good information that might reveal something interesting, and may add to our understanding of its age and the ways of the people who spent time here.
We arrived at the final site. It turns out it is a man-made long construction, with locked trapdoors in its roof. Was it one of the many World War II bunkers that peppered the hillsides around here? It certainly felt like one, but it was huge – a hundred metres in length and about fifteen metres wide, by about five metres tall. Who knows how deep it went into the hillside? This was no hill fort site! Nevertheless, I wanted to see whether I had sent the symbol onwards as I had done at the two previous sites.
I dowsed in the strong winds that buffeted the now rain-sodden grassy bunker roof and found a pattern some ten metres away from where we had sheltered behind one of the many turrets. It was a circle again. Inside the circle was the snaking three energy curves, and the sphere at the bottom, but the rods continued on a different path! They rods wove back and forth in ever-longer sweeps to form a snake pattern that was exactly the opposite of the original form. Now I had a whole caduceus symbol of opposing energy paths coming together at the circular base (or head) of the formation. Wow! Like Hamish Miller had experienced – the manifestation had complexified from one site to another. What did that mean?
I felt that the experiment had been a resounding success. Perhaps I even missed at trick when dowsing the formation at Woodhouses? I couldn’t be sure. However, the main objectives had been achieved. It is possible to send energy from place to place, both a symbol from the land itself, and my own energy formation too in the shape of the enclosing circle. Perhaps next I should see if I can draw a formation from another site that has a manifested energy pattern?
Following a local path, for local people.