This post is the second half of a post I did after the Summer Solstice. My purpose was to record the eight points in the year because at each of these artificial stages which were roughly aligned to the Celtic or Neo-Pagan calendar I would be seeking a task by communing with Nature. The task would be a guiding principle that I could use in order to develop spiritually along my chosen path of being a hedge druid.
You can read about the first four “folds” of the year in my previous post, here. However, I will briefly recap the first four, before going on to describe the final four:-
- Yule to Imbolc – to be still, and to cleanse myself in preparation for the unfolding year. Accordingly I did nothing at all!
- Imbolc to Spring Equinox – to awaken the energies of sacred sites; to contact spirits of place and prepare myself and sacred sites for the work ahead. I spent time communing with Spirits of Place and walking circles to awaken them.
- Spring Equinox to Beltane – to connect to the earth’s energy grid; understand the nature of Neutral earth energy forms and to extract and utilise Neutral energy. I began to link to various sites, and connected myself to the earth grid. I investigated neutral energy and found something that I later called Primal Energy.
- Beltane to Summer Solstice– to learn how to diffract, dissociate and extract the different frequencies that my energy field can generate. Then to learn how to bring those frequencies together again to form a pure white energy form. I learned how to extract a single energy colour from my whole field, and how to combine them all into a white light energy.
All of this work seemed like a preparation for something. Little did I know! Now I present the final four folds of the year, and their increasingly complex task assignments:-
SUMMER SOLSTICE to LAMMAS
The Summer Solstice is the easiest point in the year for us to define. Being sun-based this day is fixed upon the rise of the sun on the longest day of the year. As has become our custom this year would see Kal and I in Glastonbury for the Solstice, working on our heart chakra and finding out what the next part of the year was about.
- To wake The Dragon and let it fly.
I firstly had to ensure that my heart chakra was well balanced and filled with the energies of the sun and the solstice. With the sun at its peak the perfect place to be for the Solstice always seems to be Glastonbury with its reputation for being the heart chakra of these islands, and Glastonbury Tor has a reputation within that reputation for being the heart of the Glastonbury. Well, yet again, we were not disappointed, either with the copious amounts of heart energy available in this town, or with the wonderful energies of this time of the year.
My task to waking the dragon would take me eventually to Cadair Idris where I would walk along the back of the dragon to its head. There I did a walking meditation, collecting dragon’s teeth and using them to act as acupuncture points to release the spirit of the dragon. All this was done surrounded by the dragon’s breath – the mist.
Since doing that act I have been able to feel energy much better than before. My dowsing response is also much stronger, and I often don’t need the rods to feel auras or to follow energy lines. I have also taken on a new appreciation for the power of the mountains.
LAMMAS to AUTUMN EQUINOX
As the summer ripens the crops so the year’s quest began to get more juicy. Rather than receiving some kind of prophetic vision instead I was given three little words, and from that phrase I had to extrapolate my own tasks. This was beginning to make me more independent.
- To make magic manifest
- To bring magic into daily use
I began to find meditation spaces in nature that I could retire to in order to do more work regularly. This worked while the weather stayed good and I got out often and did an almost daily meditation in nature. I began to work with my navel chakra and learned how to draw out invisible threads of energy that could be used to perform magic with. I incorporated several methods of connecting and drawing energy from nature to form energetic shapes around me for different purposes.
At the end of this phase of the year I was much more familiar with, and happy to use, natural magick on a daily basis. It had become a part of my routine and was now woven into the fabric of what I was trying to do to progress. Incense and crystals were valuable tools in this work, and I was using them often.
AUTUMN EQUINOX to SAMHAIN
As the leaves turned brown and fell I found myself enveloped in a long-term quest to re-energise particular sacred sites. The first one was local to me, but the second was in the town of Llangollen in North Wales. I found myself going to the hill of Dinas Bran a few times at all hours of the day and night after I received a curious riddle concerning Merlin.
- To journey into the Underworld and wake the Spirit of Merlin from his sleep
The instruction was accompanied by a riddle that gave me directions to follow in order to fulfil the quest to meet the spirit of Merlin. This quest involved the preparation of a wand of rowan, the location of a special stone church surrounded by ancient yew trees, and a deep meditation into the Underworld. This journey required me to learn new skills such as how to protect my energy body and make myself invisible to shades.
When the quest was completed I had new stronger keener abilities, and I had performed a sort of alchemical wedding by combining within myself the forces of male and female energy.
SAMHAIN to WINTER SOLSTICE
A time of the year associated with the veil between worlds, with death and the Underworld, with spirits and ghosts. It came as little surprise then that my new quest would be revealed at the tree most symbolic of this threshold – the yew.
So many of this year’s quests have involved the ancient yew tree at Llangernyw that I have lost count. It seems to be our natural starting point because of its incredible energies, and its association with the concept of shamanic journeying. It is truly a gateway between worlds. The Samhain quest began with the tree too. As with many of the quests it sounded simple, but was actually the most complex and dangerous yet.
- To free spirits.
Such a simple statement, but when unpacked, so complex to deliver. For this task I have had to do a lot of background reading about the concept of spirit rescue or release.
I have also had to confront a great deal of my own inner philosophical prejudices concerning the way that the world is constructed, and what it means to venture beyond the veil of death. This feels like a natural extension of my journey into the Underworld, which at the time I took to be a metaphorical journey until the seriousness was impressed upon me. It was a real journey, and failure to prepare could result in actual physical repercussions.
This quest also has a serious side. Whilst I am tasked with learning new skills, and understand that performing spirit rescue is a question of choice, nevertheless there could and no doubt will be some hairy and scary moments along this path, for which I have to prepare properly.
The first half of the year was concerned with me locking myself into the rhythm of the seasons. It involved tasks that were mainly preparatory – at the start of the year I was idle, resting, recuperating my energy levels and winding myself up to race headlong at the year. Then I was gently re-introduced to the energies of the land as they returned, and was given the task to co-operate in the re-introduction of energy back into the sacred sites that I love.
The turning point was the Summer Solstice. From then on the quests became very personal and very challenging. They began to involve me having to learn new skills. The quests sometimes included riddles for me to solve, clues to information that would help me to achieve the results. I worked hard to embrace each new quest, and tried my utmost to meet the requirements in the timescales laid out by the passing of the year. I was rewarded at each stage with new powers, new skills and new insights into the world of Natural Magick, subtle energies, and the world beyond the senses.
I know that each of the quests that I undertook was but an introduction to the breadth and depth of the skills that a hedge druid could be required to master. I now look forward to repeating this process next year, and once I have a second year to compare this year to, I will look to see whether there are any obvious correspondences and patterns which will allow me to be even better prepared in the following years.
The Wheel of the Year has rolled forward and I have moved with it. Now I feel the wind rushing through my hair and it is exhilarating!
Related post: My Eight Fold Year – the first four folds