One of the methods I proposed in the Theories & Thoughts section concerning the path to learning how to progress with Druidry was to notice coincidence. Now, unlike films like “The Number 23” it is not then inevitable that one becomes obsessed with this coincidence. Indeed the moral of the film is that such an obsession can destroy the fabric of your life, or at least take it on a wildly varying tangential path, often with disastrous consequences! Yet, it is helpful to be mindful of coincidences, and it strengthens one’s sense of justification for choosing a spiritual path when they occur. It’s like being a child and turning to your father after you’ve demonstrated a new skill that you’ve just learned, and he smiles at you in encouragement. That feeling is priceless. The positive feedback spurs you on to greater achievements.
Positive feedback is very welcome on the often lonely path of the Hedge Druid, but where is one to look for such encouragement? There is no-one around, surely? Oh yes there is. Nature herself rewards you with each step you make, each risk you take, and each time you sound like a lyric from a song by The Police. For myself and Kal, when we have visited sacred sites we set out to notice as much as possible about the experience – in other words we open ourselves up to a wide range of sensory input:
- what’s the weather like,
- how is it changing,
- which smells are around,
- are birds singing or flying,
- how is the wind playing with the trees,
- who’s around too,
- can we feel anything unusual about the atmosphere, etc, etc?
The behaviour of animals at sacred sites is very interesting and has thrown up a number of questions, but I will deal with these in other posts when I have accumulated more information. This post deals with one particular aspect of coincidence: the appearance of the sun at specific moments.
Now, the sun coming out might not seem to be a particularly unique thing to notice, were it not for the particular circumstances under which it makes its appearance. You have to also remember a number of factors that would inhibit its appearance. Firstly, almost all of the experiences I am discussing take place in the British Isles. If you are unfamiliar with the climate of Britain then let me briefly summarise it: predominantly dull, grey and cloudy for most of the time. That’s all year round, all through the day, and particularly at night. We’re not a good place to observer the stars from, let’s say. This aspect of our climate is thrown into stark contract if one goes away to Europe or the U.S. on holiday, for instance. Suddenly it becomes apparent just HOW dull this country is, and how much cloud cover we have across our skies. Other countries seem so bright, their skies so unrelentingly clear!
So, you can see, we’re already at a significant disadvantage in terms of getting to see the sun. What Kal and I have noticed, though, is that the sun does make an appearance when we visit sacred sites, and it does so in response to quite specific combinations of variables. The variables we have recorded are:-
- the sun is not already visible behind the cloud cover
- we are within the energetic aura field (the nemeton) of an ancient sacred site such as a stone circle or long barrow
- we have performed some ritual to interface with the energies of the site, which could be as simple as relaxing and not thinking about anything
- we are positioned on top of a power centre or stone (see recent post for definition of a power centre) that is aligned to our particular energies
- we have usually finished the ritual, the connection, or the discovery of some new information
Once we have these elements in place then the sun will usually appear, as though in a confirmatory response to our progress. I can hear what you are saying, “Nonsense, coincidence, you’re just noticing something that would happen anyway.…” and so on and so forth. I understand those remarks, really I do. When it happens a few times you notice it, but don’t consider it further. When it happens regularly, you begin to take notice of the circumstances under which it is happening and you begin to wonder – is there a pattern here? When you notice it almost every single time you visit a site no matter what the time of day, or season, then you begin to wonder if something is happening that is beyond your normal understanding. It is now noteworthy if it DOESN’T happen when we go to a site!
I have recently begun to collect photographic evidence of this phenomenon, but the pictures do not in any way constitute a form of evidence, really, and they certainly do not capture the pure magical feeling when the event occurs. It can be likened to the feeling that the ancient cultures programmed into their long barrows such as Newgrange, where the sun would strike a specific point in the inner chamber at specific times of the year, thus capturing and assuring the self-same experience as I am trying to describe here.
So, when doesn’t it happen? Well, there are quite specific circumstances in operation when that occurs too. Here are some of the factors that govern the sun not making an appearance:-
- we are outside of the nemeton field of the site
- we have not attuned to the site, or cannot attune to the site – the site may no longer be energetically functioning
- we are making a fleeting visit for information purposes only, e.g. to dowse for energy paths only
- we are both energetically at a low ebb from too much dowsing
A Note about Attention
Obviously, we are noticing the sun’s appearance. In return you could say that the sun has drawn our attention to its appearance through a remarkable timing. The sun has not, of course, appeared “just for us”. That’s crazy talk! It has appeared, drawn our attention through the timing of that appearance, and then we have payed particular attention to that coincidence of appearance and timing. Neither has the sun made an appearance at our behest. We have not intentioned anything in relation to this phenomenon, we have simply remarked upon it, and it of course has happened for everyone in the area, not just us. However, it should be noted that on most occasions we have noticed that the sun has made an appearance through a small aperture and the spread of the light has been quite distinctly local to the area in which were were located.
The philosophical question thus becomes: did the sun appear for us? The only answer we can give is that it appeared, its effects were localised, and we noticed it. To us, that is really all this phenomenon is about. All other interpretations are meaningless – only these specific circumstances have meaning to us due to their locality, timing and more importantly the symbolism.
The Symbolism of The Sun
This is way too big a topic for me to go into too much detail, but specifically in relation to this phenomenon I can think of some correspondences and meanings within phrases involving the sun and its light that seem appropriate:-
- “The Way Is The Light” – appropriated by Christian and Masonic cultures, but originally very much from sun-worshipping cultures. The meaning of this phrase is that if you follow The Path (i.e. your Way in life) then you should be orienting yourself in the direction of illumination.
- “The Light at the End of The Tunnel” – again, the symbolism refers to making your way towards a source of illumination, yet with a sense of hope, and a hint of finding a source of truth and stability within a realm of darkness and chaos.
- “Being in the spotlight” – to highlight that something is worthy of attention, and particularly being praiseworthy.
For myself, I am particularly struck when the sun breaks through thick dark cloud and shines a spotlight onto the site where I am stood. The drama involved in the scene is almost enough to make you weep with emotion, and it is difficult not to get overawed by the spectacle. A sense of awe and astonishment do much to keep you motivated to remember humility and yet the specificity of the message, that it is directed at you as a consequence fo your actions, is something divine to experience.
I hope you will experience it too.
Standing in the spotlight of the sun.