Modern Druidry

Kilternan: The Final Straw

August 10, 2010
Kilternan, County Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Ireland – Sunday 30th May

This is the last, final and ultimate post on this year’s Ireland trip. We only went for a weekend but it has generated so many posts because so much happened in the three days we were there! This is the last one, and probably the one that taught us the most valuable lesson, even though that lesson was once again a painful one. 

On the Sunday evening we had discussed what we should do the next day. Kal wanted to show me a bookshop he had discovered at Tara and said that I would be interested in talking to the proprietor. Sounded good, so that was our plan. Monday morning over breakfast I had forgotten all about that for some reason. Only later would the reason be known to me – by that time I had attracted the unwelcome attention of a leprechaun from Tara. I was no longer making sensible decisions, as the events of this day and Kal’s behaviour towards me would bear out completely. 


 We had trouble finding the village for starters. A seemingly easy route that would take us most of the way towards the Ferry Terminal at Dun Laoghaire, and yet we managed to make it very difficult to find. We parked miles away from the supposed location of the portal tomb, and decided to walk what seemed a simple route to access it. Again, nothing about this day would turn out to be easy. We walked up tiny tracks (barely roads) past houses that weren’t marked on my GPS map, and were always being diverted and lead away from our intended destination! How frustrating! We persevered, climbing over a gate to follow an overgrown track alongside a field lined by prickly hawthorn hedges. Now we could at least see the dolmen, perched on the opposite hillside to where we were, only a few tantalising fields widths away from where we were. Surely this track would lead us there? No. It ended, and we were presented with a small hole in the hawthorn through which we might be able to squeeze if we wanted to. Does this sound familiar? Kal sounded a warning shot across the bows! I urged us closer and we scrambled through into a field in the full heat of the midday sun. Sweat broke out, and we paused for breath. Then onwards in a curious silence across the field. 

Next we fought our way through two fields, crossing a stream on the way between them. Somehow Kalmanaged to fall into it and get his feet wet! At the end of the field we were a mere hedge’s width away from reaching a road that looked like it could only lead to the dolmen. However – it was a hedge that even a Hedge Druid balks at – Red Rum would have thought twice about leaping this one! However, something was driving me on without any thought of sense and I urged Kal to use the old martial artist’s trick ‘walking lightly’ – this is where one imagines one is light as a feather and walks accordingly. Honestly, once mastered you’d be astounded by what this can achieve. As with dowsing, the trick is not to think at all about what you’re doing – just believe that you can do it. Next thing you know I was walking on top of the hedge and leaping down to the side of the road. Kal went next and immediately plunged knee deep into the prickly hawthorn branches! Honestly, I almost stifled my laugh, but not completely. Kalwas beginning to get annoyed at this journey now. Like I wasn’t?!! We were both sweating cobs, and Kal was wet and lacerated into the bargain. Hmm….still we were almost there now….only a few hundred feet to go. 

The Kilternan Dolmen 

Sure enough, a few short minutes later we were alongside the open field where the dolmen say resplendent in the summer sunshine. I was drawn towards it, passing under the electric wire that was designed to keep the one or two small horses that grazed the field in check. Kal faltered. He wouldn’t pass the electric barrier and retreated giving me stern looks. I was away, however, taking his reticence for a bad mood after the hedge-scraping incident. I shouted back at him -‘I’ll do some quick dowsing and then we can get off’. But it wasn’t going to be as simple as that. 

Kal retired to a boulder next to the road and began to take an interest in the horses that were wandering down towards him. I, on the other hand, had my dowsing rods out and was eager to check this hard-won site out:- 

  1. Was there energy here? YES. Good, because I was concerned about the use of concrete pillars to support the capstone and whether this had affected the energies.
  2. Had the power of the site been adversely affected by the concrete pillars? YES. But some energy remained? YES.
  3. Was it beneficial energy? YES, sort of. That half yes response again which meant – “re-formulate your question slightly“.
  4. Was it beneficial to me? YES. Was it beneficial to Kal? NO. Oh! Perhaps he had intuitively recognised that?
  5. Could I do some energy work here? YES.
  6. Did the site need healing? NO. Was it balanced? YES. Hmmm…then what to do….?
  7. Was there a spirit of place here? NO. Did there used to be one? YES.
  8. Is the cave-like interior suitable for shaping my aura? YES. Could I do that today? YES.
  9. Would that process be helped by incense? YES. How many sticks? 3. I lit three sticks and went to sit inside the dolmen’s small interior.

Minutes later I was imagining the seven colours of the chakras I had been working with all integrating into my aura as one white light. The shape of the interior seemed to facilitate this intuitive imagining, and I felt like it helped to compress the various frequencies of light and colour into the one blended layer. I felt…integrated with myself and satisfied. I emerged to re-join Kal to see if he was over his strange mood. 

Kal was his usual smiley self again, but tinged with an air of suspicion. Apparently he had been talking with the horses (communing, more like) and they had confirmed to him that he should not approach this dolmen – the message he got was ‘Haven’t you learned?‘ implying that his suspicions about the actions of an impish spirit were correct. I told Kal that my dowsing rods confirmed that the site wasn’t suitable for him. He said we shouldn’t have come here, and I scoffed at him. ‘But Kal, I did some lovely work there’, I said. Even if I had felt a little uneasy about how we’d got here I was convinced it had been worthwhile. 

An uneasy silence broke out and we considered practical matters – the ferry was leaving in just over an hour and Kilternan was about twenty minutes away from the ferry terminal. If we wanted to ensure we got on that ferry we should leave now and forget about the second site I had planned to visit. That just wasn’t going to happen. All we had to do now was get to the car and drive to the ferry port in light weekend traffic. We didn’t fancy heading back the way we had come, so I got out my GPS unit and searched for the easiest, shortest route. We should simply follow the track we were on – down the hill – and it would lead to a path through a wood that would bring us close to the village. Sorted. Off we marched, glad to be heading home at last.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

We walked down the track heading down and round the hill upon which the dolmen stood. As we rounded the corner we caught a view of the village of Kilternan in the valley below, surely only a matter of fifteen minutes walk away if we could go directly. We passed a small side road down which a man with a pickup truck was loading what looked like plastic piping. He stopped and looked at us sternly but didn’t say a word. We hurried our walk a little and avoided his gaze. Clearly we may not be welcome on this path and the quicker we got off it and back to the village the better!

The path got very steep and seemed to head towards a house that was being built. Then the pickup truck was alongside us and it stopped. A window wound down and an interrogation ensued – ‘What are you lads doing here? How did you get in here? Where are you going?‘- we muddled through some vague polite answers and the lad in the truck decided it wasn’t worth arguing over and drove on with a warning ringing in our ears, ‘Well, you’d better get off this land as soon as you can. It’s private property.‘ and he sped off down the hill to the new house being built. That was exactly what we were trying to do! Get out of here! We hurried along until we reached the end of the track. It stopped at the new house. There was nowhere else to go!! Now what? We trudged begrudgingly back up the very steep hill. We’d have to go back the way we came in. Damn – time was ticking away now! We had about an hour until the ferry sailed and we were no nearer the car!

As we walked up the hill, for some unknown reason, Kal picked up a large heavy branch that lay at the side of the road. In high spirits he threw the branch high into the air. I stood open-mouthed and aghast – hadn’t he seen the car parked in the tiny lay by just above him, and which was now on an inevitable collision course with a huge heavy branch? BANG! The branch hit the car roof and we both flinched. Wha…how….didn’t he….? My pace doubled or trebled as I berated him. Was he trying to get us killed? We scuttled away up the hill in double time, calves tight with the steepness of the hill.

Moments later an estate car came towards us down the hill. Hey, perhaps he’d pass on by? No. Stopped. Window down. Same interrogation sequence. As we protested our innocence, ‘We’d only come to see the dolmen!’ the man stepped out of his car. ‘I’ll show you the way out.’ he said brusquely and marched off up the hill. We guessed we had to follow him and did so in silence. This was not a man who wanted to chat! He marched us up the hill like The Grand Old Duke of York and then pointed at a vague hole between hawthorn trees and lined with barbed wire. ‘Go through that hole, up to the path, and carry on to the right. You’ll come to the road soon enough.’ he said. We hurried along to the ‘gap’ and engineered a way though the barbed wire, happy to be given a way out.

We passed horses in the field who eyed us equally suspiciously. This was turning quite sour! The track at the top of that field only lead us in one direction – away from Kilternan! Still, if we could make the road we could get back quickly, and we’d have to be quick now. Less than an hour until the ferry sailed. We marched quickly int he heat of the midday sun, sweating and grumbling about narrow escapes and leprechaun holes and stupid ideas and the implications of missing the only ferry home.

One field turned into another, which then became a house with a set of stables attached. A girl on a horse was astounded to find us passing through a gate on her farm and we confirmed with her the direction of the nearest road. She pointed it out but didn’t smile. Nice. What fun we were having. As we walked along the long driveway of the house a dog raced out of the house towards us barking madly. We scuttled through the outer gate and closed it, rushing now to the road where we could hear cars passing. Civilisation at last! Fifty minutes until the ferry. We stopped for a route check. The GPS said there was a road nearby that would take us straight down the hill, past the gold course, and then a mile or so to the car. OK – if we ran we could make it. So we ran.

We ran down the hill to the road junction where we were met with a sign: “Road closed“. Yeah, but that only means to cars, right? We walked down the incredibly steep hill, joking that we hoped we wouldn’t have to go back up because that would really screw things up. We laughed…all the way until we saw the entire road blocked by diggers and trucks. There was no way through! We resigned ourselves to climbing back up the incredibly steep hill in the midday sun. Now we were tired AND dehydrated AND we needed a new route! There was one, but it would take us into the next town, which was two miles away from the car!! We had 45 minutes left. We ran down the hill to the other town.

Once in the town we didn’t stop running. We had to make two miles in less than fifteen minutes if we were to give ourselves a chance of making that ferry. We had 40 minutes until it sailed, we were two miles from the car, and the car was about 20 minutes from the ferry terminal. And we had run out of water. We ran along the now flat road, thankful for small mercies. We reached the car exhausted, sweating profusely, our clothes soaked with sweat, and with no time ot spare. Air conditioning went on and we zoomed off to the ferry. Ten miles – twenty minutes. It was a favourable equation. Until we tried to follow the ferry signs. Signs in Ireland don’t work the way they do in England. In England signs are everywhere. In Ireland they are only indicating a general direction. You are sort of expected to know where you’re going after a couple of hints. We didn’t and got lost. Then we hit a diversion! We were in Dun Laoghaire town, following a diversion we knew not where, with no ferry signs, no street map, and waiting for the GPS to find 76 satellites before it will tell us where the ferry is! We have ten minutes until it sails! Once again, we were sweating.

The GPS locked on and Kal asked one of the most stupid questions of the day. “Is this ferry terminal on this map the right one?” YES, YES, quickly!! Where is it!! Left, right, then right again, then left at the lights, etc etc. We zoomed off. We arrived at the back of the queue just as it was beginning to move forwards to embark. We had made it with only seconds to go thanks to some nifty under-pressure map-reading from Kal! Phew.

On the ferry we recounted the amazing number of obstructions thrown in our path that day and laughed a nervous laugh. Still, at least we were going home now, and there were no fiendish leprechauns where we lived…….little did I know then what I found out later! The mischief-making was far from over! On the ferry I kept repeating a new mantra developed from this experience, ‘No new sites that don’t have a path. No new sites that don’t have a path. I will not visit any new sites that don’t have a clear access path on public land. No new sites that don’t have a path.’ and I have stuck to that since. Lesson learned. Oh, and Julian Cope’s “Megalithic European” guide is now hopelessly out of date! There may ahve been access to some of these sites at one time, but now they have all been built upon by Ireland’s recentl housing boom. Access is trickier now!

The greater lesson from this is not to take visits to sacred sites in Ireland lightly when you are an energy worker. If you plan to interact with them in any meaningful way,t hen please, heed our advice: put up a huge amount of protection. Carry wards, amulets, whatever works for you. Smudge, burn incense, scribe glyphs, light candles. Arrange crystals. Do what you need to do to protect yourself! You do not want to fall foul of the kinds of unhelpful spirits that some site in Ireland contain. No doubt other places do too, I’m not singling Ireland out, but it does seem to be particularly prone to this. Take this as a cautionary tale!


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