Ancient Sites | Dowsing | Energy work | Modern Druidry

Llangernyw: The Oldest Yew In Wales

November 17, 2009

I have held back from posting this particular account for a number of reasons. There are some visits that Kal and I do whose purpose is not to dowse for information – sometimes that is a secondary approach. Some visits are more personal than others too, and some more sensitive, or even unbelievable. We have begun this year, as you may have noticed, to study some of the more esoteric aspects of earth and cosmic energy, for want of better terms. I have labelled this approach: “druidry” or “energy work”. Kal, of course, has his own labels for it: “meditation” or “spirit work”. People from different backgrounds with different intentions would read this how they may. So be it. I return to my primary purpose for writing this blog: as a source for me to record and recall the amazing spiritual journey I have begun – a path that I call Druidry, and am proud to do so. The Yew Stage of my learning process is all about discovery of what matters, and its tramsformation into useful and purposeful work. If I can get something out of it, so can those who may also read this work.

So, this post is about a trip one evening in late summer (very late summer) to visit The Llangernw Yew. This amazing tree is said to be over 4000 years old, possibly as much as 5000. Think about that for a second – that means that this tree has seen pretty much all of what we would consider to be human recorded history! It is a truly amazing tree. Here’s a picture of the magnificent yew, straight from the Wikipedia page dedicate exclusively to it:-

The Llangernyw Yew

It goes without saying that this tree was growing into maturity well before the advent of our currently waning Piscean religion known as Christianity. The undoubted earlier spiritual history is nowhere mentioned or speculated upon in the text of the little plaques and signs around the churchyard. Well, this is not something that over the last few years brings me much surprise any more. Christians are obsessive about stamping their own impression upon a site to the exclusion of all else in my experience. That is the way of the “one true” religion. At least, in this case, the presence of the new place of worship has ensured the preservation of the much older tree. Here’s an example of the information you can expect:

Llangernyw Yew (8)

You see – the ancient monoliths mark the grave site of an early Christian! Now you know.Matter settled.  Before Christ, you say? Pah!

Anyway – polemic aside – we started dowsing for the aura of this magnificent tree. It was some fifty feet from its trunk, and covered the little porch that was the main entrance to the small church. I think it must have been reaching out to touch the letter that David Bellamy had written about the yew and which was posted inside the porch. He’s an unusual character now sadly absent from our TV screens who has actually written a book about yews; or rather, more a conversation with one. How appropriate that turned out to be in retrospect!! He’s also got an interesting explanation of the work of Viktor Schauberger who studies nature’s energies.

Speaking to Yew

Whilst Kal milled around the site I knew what I was here for: I wanted to see what the famous yew had to say for itself. I hd been putting off trying to commune with yew trees because of their reputation. An earlier experience with in Rhosesmor had prepared me somewhat for the type of agenda that comes with yew trees: death, rebirth, transformation. Sometimes you’re in the mood to handle that kind of conversation, and at other times you aren’t. I knew for a fact that Kal was in a delicate state, as this was the first time he’d been on an outing for a while since his mother passed away. I understood he had his own healing work to do, and that the yew tree may not figure in that, so I went alone.

There was none of the usual foreboding as I approached the great tree. Of course I asked permission to enter its expansive canopy, and I showed the utmost respect for it. I asked the dowsing rods for the best location so sit, and they took me to a well-worn low u-shaped branch. I could see I wasn’t the first to spend time here! I dowsed for places to put the five crystals I had brought with me. Looking back I think that was unnecessary, but it helped me relax to be protected from external interference at this new site. I relaxed and blended my senses into the tree, its huge canopy, and the surrounding noises of the village of Llangernyw. I used the remaining sunlight as my focal point as it dappled through the low branches in just the way I liked for these occasions. Soon I was unaware of myself except as a space to think.

Llangernyw Yew (12)

I slowly became aware of an urge to communicate, so I let a thought emerge, a thought to make contact with the tree. I have learned patience over the last few years, and let the response come slowly slowly, until an Other voice joined my own in my head. A conversation began, during which I asked to be shown a vision that would help me with my work. The result came slowly, but once it started it was quite powerful. In my vision I was lifted up, as though on the shoulders of the yew, and shown an ariel view of the churchyard. I could see all of the lines of energy flowing from the tree and through the church. The church itself disappeared as though it had never been there, and what remained was just the yew tree and some geometric collection of something on the other side of the church, which I hadn’t yet visited. There was more, but I don’t recall it clearly enough to reliably re-tell, so I won’t go on. It felt like an out of body experience, and the nicest flying experience I can remember, floating lazily and in the gentle cushion of the yew’s energy field.

Of course, the first thing I did, after thanking the yew of course, was to grab my rods and begin to dowse around the tree. I picked up a strong line connecting the yew to the church, but intersecting the church at an odd angle. Like I say, it was as if the line was there before the church, ans I raced around the other side to see what was there. What was there? Only a raised tombstone surrounded by a couple of old standing stones! This, I dowsed, was the terminus point of the energy line going through the church. Now THAT’S a vision, I thought! Where you see things in your mind that turn out to actually be there, although to be honest I didn’t see the stones, only a blurry end point where the energy congregated, but nevertheless, it bowled me over somewhat, and I went off to tell Kal all about it whilst it was fresh in my mind.

The Shaky Hand of Fear?

Kal seemed busy down in the lower graveyard – a long rectangular graveyard packed with headstones and with a rectangular path all around it. I decided to leave him for now, and to take some photographs for the blog. The strange thing is, when I pointed the camera anywhere near the yew tree and check the picture – they were blurred! I couldn’t seem to steady my hand at all. I took, re-took, took again – all blurred. I wondered if my eyes were going funny! I deleted the blurry ones, and became increasingly static and poised as I braced my arm, my hand, breathed out – every trick I knew to get a clear photo. I think I got ONE (the one above) and even that’s not very good. Here’s an example of the blurry photos that I thought were OK on the day:

Llangernyw Yew (7)

This is, I have found this is not a one-off happenstance. When I take pictures of some trees, the stronger their aura the more blurred the photograph! I remember taking and deleting loads of pictures to try to get at least a few good ones, then when I got back to inspect the ones I thought were OK – they were almost all blurred. I’m sure this is more a reflection of what a rank amateur I am with a camera than anything else, but I must say it’s another of those odd coincidences, as it seems to happen a great deal with highly energetic places, and especially old trees. It happened to me in the Forest of Dean a few months ago too. Very odd. It’s such a shame too, because I thought I had taken some great shots of the full moon peeking out from beneath the canopy of the tree – all blurred beyond recognition! The ambiance of the churchyard would have been properly conveyed had they been publishable. Ah well, the memory will have to remain locked in my head.


Llangernyw Yew (10)

The Moonlight Spotlight

The sun had dipped behind the trees. I went to catch up with Kal and hear his tales, and they were more interesting than mine, even! I was more amazed at his capacity to delve into himself when most people would simply want to be alone and undisturbed, superficial even. Not Kal!

I showed him the hidden side of the church as the moon began to dominate the sky with its light. I followed the dowsing rods around the church asking to be taken to the first power centre they could find. They found several, all linked with each other, and at significant “features” in the ground, such as a small bump, a faerie ring of grass, around a standing stone, the raised grave, and between two pillar stones next to the church’s southern wall.

I placed my crystals around the small power centre that the rods had identified as being aligned with my own energies, and faced the moon. By one of those unbelievable coincidences the moonlight formed a spotlight through the trees as two clouds parted at just that moment, and the light shone directly into my face and formed a circle the exact same size as the power centre I had just dowsed. I know – even I could barely believe it. Everything felt right, so I stayed their a while feeling the energies bubble up from the earth and into my inner core, powering me, cleansing me, making me feel light-headed and “spacey”.

Llangernyw Yew (5)

When I felt the time was right I moved to the two upright pillars next to the church. I dowsed quickly to determine what this feature was that had attracted my heightened attention. The answer that I eventually hit upon was some kind of energetic barrier, that, if triggered, could take me from one world into another. Sometimes the right questions just pop into your head and the rods respond. Tonight in particular, with the full moon, the rods were swinging strongly and clearly, and my intuition was highly tuned.

I placed crystals around me to enhance the energies and stepped up to the space between the two stone pillars. I could feel the energy pulling me, and I knew I could walk forward and something would happen, but I was afraid of what that was, so I didn’t enter. Sorry. I just felt slightly wary of it, wary enough not to go fully into it. Instead I leaned forwards to see what would happen if only my head passed the stones. As my head moved past them I could feel my thoughts being pulled into the church wall, my attention being thrust through the wall and out to the tree, but again I panicked and pulled back. I wasn’t ready for this yet. Soon, but not now.

 With that I removed the crystals, and went back to the power centre to discharge and cleanse myself. I was sure that something amazing would have happened, but this wasn’t the right time to do it. One day soon I will go back and be ready for it. I’m sure that one day Kal will also tell his side of the story, but again – when he’s ready. This stuff take time to assimilate sometimes before it’s ready to come out or be relived.

Them Skulls and Them Bones

A final note: there were masonic or Templar symbols similar to those I have found at Glamis churchyard (see the Gallery page) carved onto the raised tomb that is surrounded by the standing stones. This only goes to strengthen my feeling that this elite brotherhood knew a lot more about the concepts of nature’s energy, energy lines, position and empowerment than they are currently credited with. Of course, that is pure speculation, as so much is when there are few solid known facts about this shadowy organisation and its past. Certainly, I don’t think the use of that knowledge is much in evidence today:  the organisation seems to be more about money and political power now, than esoteric knowledge. The knowledge is being built back up though, by we erstwhile dowsers and energy workers. A picture, however fragmented and hazy, is beginning to emerge of the veneration of place, the importance of symbols and the alignment of sites that characterise the old Templar, and now masonic buildings. A quick search of the web sites dedicated to understanding the significance of the most obvious of the remainders of esoteric knowledge – the Rosslyn Chapel – will lead you down all sorts of interesting blind alleyways of research. Therein you will find reference to King Solomon and the Temple of Solomon, the Freemasons, the Green Man and paganism, and all sorts of modern mystery and myth. I prefer to go back to the source: these people were venerating Nature, and they worked with sacred number and geometry to fashion places that promote power. The rest is embroidery.

There are some great pictures available from The Modern Antiquarian site concerning this yew and the two standing stones that are hidden behind the church : No-one seems to know anything about them, but for me the dowsing showed that the stones were in their original position, and that other nearby standing stones, placed there at a much later date, formed an energetic gateway – a portal through to the Otherworld. Certainly enough there to keep the curious person busy, that’s for sure.


Dancing in the moonlight.

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  1. I just read your article on the Llangernew Yew and found it very interesting and informative.Allthough I am not an expert like yourself at the spiritual energy emitted at such sites,I did have a very strange experience akin to something out of Harry Potter at that very site.I used to live in Llangernew from the age of about four untill we moved to Anglesey when I was about nine.
    My Grannie(Nain) used to have a small cottage on the Square just outside the church and I used to attend the Primary school just below the church;so I was very familiar with the Yew when I was young and often used to visit and play in it’s vicinity.One time I climbed up from the school and found myself standing under it’s great shadowed canopy.As I looked around I saw on one of it’s outstreched boughs,perched and watching me without the slightest nervousness,a great white owl.I stood fascinated just a few feet away looking up at it for about two hours(well school had finished by the time I got away and it was lunchtime when I arrived).I wont say we had a convesation in the literal sense of the word,but we definately had a communication going on in a shrouded way which to this day I remember the sensations of and it still sends a pleasent tingle down my spine when I think of it.We moved away shortly after this experience and I have never revisited,so when I saw your article it suddenly evoked those long ago sensations of what I experienced that day about fifty years ago as a young boy.I will make a point of revisiting the area shortly and placing some floweres on my Nain’s grave as she is buried in the churchyard.
    ps. There is a place here in Menai Bridge which you may allready know about called Church Island;which is an old cemetary with another ancient Yew at it’s entrance(not as old as the Llangernew Yew)it also has supposedly the oldest (still used and open most days in the Summer)church in Britain dated from the sixth century.It is definately an atmospheric(creepy even!) area,especially at dusk.Don’t go there alone at night:)….All the best,Peter…

    1. Hello Peter,

      I enjoyed your response concerning your interaction with the white owl at Llangernyw. It was heart-warming that it evoked such fond memories for you. Please do go back and see if the tree remembers you, won’t you?

      The concept of forming a bridge of communication between disparate species and between differing levels of energetic form is a difficult one to live with. I think many people are put off trying to connect because they are concerned about opening a link to something they don’t understand. If the approach is honest, and the will is good, then I have always found the connection to trees and animals to be profitable. Trees, especially, have much they can teach you whatever your age! They do like to make you work for the revelation, though, and often pose answers in the form of pictures or riddles, whcih is fun to try to solve or interpret. Only rarely have I been rebuffed from trying to connect.

      Thank you for informing me about the Church Island yew too. I didn’t know of it, despite travelling over that way many times. Local knowledge, see? Can’t beat it! I will put it on my agenda for the next time I go back to the Anglesey area.


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