I haven’t had a reason to go to Pendle Hill until recently. For some reason I picked up a second-hand book on it from a charity shop and it triggered memories of when I used to live nearby. I was only a small boy then, and had no means to get to the hill on my own, and was never taken there, either by my parents or by the school I attended. However, now felt like the right time to go – just before it got hectic near to Samhain at the end of October.
I was, of course, attracted by several aspects of the hill: its legendary association with witches (or pagans, as they probably were), and by the potential for what energies could be found on top. Did the hill have any neutral alignment ley connecting it with other adjacent hills? I wanted to find out. In the back of my mind was also the idea that there might be some energetic formations left there by other energy workers, and I was keen to find out.
Leg of Toad
We parked in the village of Barley, being momentarily bamboozled by the maps depicting Barley Green, which appeared to actually be a small patch of grass to the side of the main village road, rather than a separate village. The large car park and facilities at barley suggested that this was a popular starting point for Pendle Hill walkers.
We took a path towards the hill that followed a tiny road alongside United Utilities water works buildings, and then it rose up towards the side of Pendle Hill, alongside the two reservoirs called Lower and Upper Ogden. We were following a path called the Pendle Hill Circular Walk (roughly). On the way up between the Ogden Reservoirs was a patch of rough grass and bushes where we came across two toads bathing in patches of morning sunlight. When this happened a second time it was significant enough for me to stop and take a picture – toads are, after all, a traditional accompaniment to a witch’s brew, are they not? It seemed fitting.
Unbeknownst to M and I the plateau at the Upper Ogen Reservoir was to be about half way up our climb. Pendle Hill isn’t massive compared to somehwre like Snowdon, but it was taxing enough for us to take a short break as we regained our breath and admired the sunlight dancing across the water. I couldn’t stand gazing too long or I began to drift into a trance – not appropriate at this particular moment, but I noted the place for another time, maybe.
As we rose up through the “clough” with Pendle Hill on our right we had to navigate various boggy stretches, even though the weather had been noticably dry for the past few weeks. A warning to others who come this way – expect deep dark peat paths with impassible sections, especially if it has been raining recently! However, soon we headed up the hill again, away from these dark dangers.
On the way up mist began to descend, veiling the surrounding hills in a cloak of obscurity that added to the forebidding atmosphere of approaching the hill from this side. We passed a lone rowan tree still carrying the last of its red berries, now looking limp and ready to fall. The tree looked hoary and ancient, and I stood for moments wondering at how many other people had admired its lone plight over the years. It was the last tree we would see until we returned back into the valley on the other side.
As if in scant compensation we began to come across small cairns of limestone pieces glinting brightly in the occasional sunlight that was penetrating the mist and cloud cover. As I have explained in previous posts these “sunny moments” seemed to coincide with significant points on the path, such as passing a cairn just when I needed direction, or when a particularly spectacular view presented itself. I was beginning to understand this “luck” now, and smiled in appreciation of the synchronicity as it happened each time. Most of the time was spent trudging uphill in mist or dullness with little to see around: such was the long path we had chosen.
Once up onto the ridge top of Pendle Hill the mist began to clear and the views all around came into focus. We had sight of the trigonometry point on the top and were heading for that. I was looking forward to getting my dowsing rods out and having a look around with them. M was looking fordward to a sit down and a snack!
Spirals of stone
A quick look around the top of the hill revealed a trigonometry point surrounded by a mosaic of bricks laid into a spiral pattern. I guessed that this interesting pattern might in some way reflect the energies on the hill, laid out by some observant artisans. How wrong I was!
Before I started my dowsing routine M settled down in the small cleft that overlooked the fantastic Lancashire countryside. It was a stunning view, despite still being slightly misty, with a view over Nelson and Colne. The way down looked much steeper than the way we had come up, however.
Despite the winds that were inevitably sweeping across the top of the hill my trusty thicker copper dowsing rods seemed stable enough to get some solid readings, so I began to approach the trig.point from about fifteen feet away. I figured that, with the ‘standing stone’ made by the trig point there might be some male energy, so I asked to find a male line first. As I reached the edge of the brick spiral I got a reading for a boundary. I followed this male flow around in an anti-clockwise direction, which surprised me a bit. Anti-clockwise? Male energy usually went clockwise in my experience. The line circled the centre three times before following the same path again. If there was male energy around the trig.point, but was there any in the centre next to the stone itself? Nothing. There was no energy there at all.
What about female energy? I worked my way outwards, on the basis that there was nothing in the centre, and I knew where the male energy was. I passed the male circle and was soon led to a female spiral a few feet outside the male spiral. I wondered if this female spiral which also went in an anti-clockwise direction was connected to anything else. One spiral seemed unlikely. I asked the rods to show me any link with any other female energy formation. I was led around to another female spiral equidistant from the centre as the first spiral. Then on to another. And another. Six spirals in total, all forming a hexagon around the centre.
So, there was a hexagon of female spirals around a male ring of energy that was flowing in the same direction. How unusual – a completely unexpected formation on the top of Pendle Hill. That was all I had time for – M was waiting patiently to get down the hill, so we scoffed our snacks whilst admiring the view from the top one more time, then packed to head down the intensely steep slope, which offered the most fantastic vista all the way down.
Heading back to Barley village we followed a well travelled path through some delightful groves of trees with a stream babbling alongside us as we marched down through the foothills, eventually ending up at the other end of the village from where we had started the walk. Circular indeed!
Before we left we decided to sample the hospitality of the fine Pendle Inn. A nice gentleman on the top of the hill had recommended it to us as we sat and chatted, and he wasn;t wrong – the food and ale were top class, and the welcome was warm and genuine. If you’re round that way I’d highly recommend it. Check out the pub sign too – they don’t miss any opportunity to advertise their occult connections around these parts!
A thoroughly lovely and challenging walk, with some intriguing dowsing results. I wonder why the male energy was enclosed by a hexagonal arrangement of female spirals, and whether these female influences were forcing the male energy to run contrary to its usual direction? Some questions still to be answered, so I’ll have to go back at another time of year to see if that formation remains the same.