Thursday 23rd September, 2010 – Llangernyw village, Conwy, North Wales.
Due to us visiting the Llangernyw Yew in daylight we noticed some things we don’t normally see because our usual visit time is dusk or at night. Most striking of the things we saw were the signs strewn around in various formats explaining the provenance of the yew tree. The official estimate is between 4-5,000 years old. If we consider how far back in human history that is, this tree was beginning to grow when mankind was in the flush of building its neolithic structures.
The yew tree’s life span in perspective
This tree has seen the rise and fall of human civilisations that are completely unknown to us! The tree is older than any of us can possibly trace our ancestry.Having heard Michael Dunning talking about his profound ‘shamanic healing’ experiences in a yew tree that is a mere slip of a lad compared to this one, we had new-found respect for this very ancient tree and its potential power.
Our yew tree shamanism
In a very rare occurrence we arrived in daylight. Kal wandered off into the lower graveyard (as usual) and I immediately went to pay my respects to the tree. Being able to see it in daylight meant that I could really appreciate the subtle hues of red, silver and olive green that the tree’s ancient thick branches displayed. I settled down with the tree, finding a suitable place to sit that wasn’t wet but which felt ‘right’. I moved twice before I settled and then I felt I should sling one arm over a nearby branch. Doing this changed the whole ambiance of the situation. Now that I was in contact with the yew I could feel deep but very subtle vibrations echoing through me…like someone was building up to speak. I cleared my mind in preparation for what might occur after preparing two simple questions.
Once I felt relaxed and “in touch” with the tree I reminded it of who I was. It was a mere formality because I felt it already knew who and what I was. Respectfully I asked my first question: “Have I completed my previous task of making magic manifest?” – “COMPLETELY”, came the immediate response. I felt this answer arrive via a loud booming deep voice that I could hear in my abdomen. I know – that doesn’t make sense, but that’s where it emerged and resonated within me, and my brain interpreted it as the word “completely”.
Next question. “What is the task for the next eighth part of the year?”. The response to this did not come in a voice form. Instead I began to see pictures forming in my mind. I saw the two portal stones on the other side of the church which were currently out of sight. Then the same deep voice gently affirmed, “YES, YOUR ANSWER IS AT THE PORTAL.” I thanked the tree and hauled myself up out of my reverie and back into the world to walk round the other side of the church to the stones.
Through the Portal
At first I thought that perhaps I should walk through the portal, in between the two stones. I prepared myself, got in the right frame of mind, and then stepped through. Nothing. I felt that I should go stand by one of the stones, and I chose the one on the left. As I got next to it I felt the urge to put my head onto it. I closed my eyes and waited. Within moments I was hurtling downwards, ever downwards, into a black hole!
Almost too suddenly I stopped descending and moved just as quickly along a tall wide tunnel of grey rock.There was some kind of ambient lighting going on but I had no time to familiarise myself with anything because I was whisked along the tunnel at the same rate I had descended. I was being transported past pale figures who seemed like people. They didn’t seem to know I was there, and I knew that was a good thing. Again, no time to analyse anything before the rock-faced tunnel came to an end and I was standing before a huge cavern with water inside it….
As I scanned around I could see a mound in the centre of the lake. As soon as I noticed it I was zooming in to it. On the mound was a marble plinth – simply carved and plain. On the plinth was the body of a man, and I took a good look at the man because I wanted to remember his face. He had dark hair, and a pale round face (well, he was dead). After looking at him I leaned over him and whispered something in his ear. As I stood away from him again I saw him rise with a smile. He wasn’t dead! He was in some kind of sleep state.
Together we floated back across the lake, and back through the high vaulted tunnel of pale people. The pale people seemed to recognise the man, but they didn’t approach us and seemed powerless to do anything but notice us. Then we ascended back up the long dark hole towards the spot of light at the top and back out into the world. At that point the blinding light of the approaching daylight woke me from my trance. I lifted my head from the portal stone and recovered my senses a little. The world seemed normal.
I went back to the yew tree with the news. “This has happened and that has happened..” I burbled before realising that this wasn’t the best way to communicate. I calmed down and thanked the yew for its guidance. One last thing, I asked, who was that man, Arthur? “MERLIN” came the response. I got my dowsing rods out and confirmed that, because it didn’t look like any of the images that I had been given of Merlin by poems, stories, films or books. Yet, Merlin it was.
Whether symbolically or really my task for the next five weeks or so was to take a journey into the Underworld and wake Merlin from his sleep.
Gwas’s Druid Diary excerpt for the Llangernyw Yew : DD-LlangernywYewGwas
Kal’s Druid Diary excerpt for the Llangernyw Yew : DD-LlangernywYewKal