My Beltane quest, to be completed before the Summer Solstice, is the “See with the eyes of The Hawk”. That was the message from the ever-useful Llangernyw Yew tree meditation that I did within the hollows of one of its ancient branches. Whilst trying to interpret this information I had tried to elicit a bit more information from the other sites I had visited that Beltane day on the 1st May and had found out that the vision was an ariel view of a landscape figure showing a hawk in flight.
The starting point to find this figure in my locality would be a sacred spring or holy well somewhere in Cheshire. It didn’t take me long to draw up a list of the 20+ wells in the county and then work my way through them with the help of the dowsing rods to eliminate all but the last – Whistlebitch Wellnear Utkinton. Seemingly, at one time this was a much-visited attraction, but its whereabouts are much harder to discern today. I went out one evening in the fading sunlight to try to find it. If it still existed then perhaps I could try to get in touch with the spirit of the well and reveal some more information about my quest?
I passed a gentleman walking his dog in the woods close to the well and asked him if he knew of it. He knew of many of the features of the surrounding woods, having spent thirty years walking the area, and was able to show me pictures of many of the features too! He was unsure about the well, though, unless I meant the old St Stephen’s Well that was close to where we stood chatting? That must be its alternate name, I said, there was only one well in the area. He said he thought it was connected to the stream we were standing on top of, so I bade him a kindly farewell and followed my instincts to walk through a field next to the stream. Then I heard what sounded like a water source in the damp ditch next to the field. I gingerly waded through the nettles to find the remains of a signpost and a square iron cover – just like the pictures on the Megalithic Portal – this was it!
After having uncovered the well and washed my crystals in its waters I laid them our around me and meditated to the sound of the trickling waters. Soon I was in contact with the spirit of place, a male water spirit, who was very glad that someone had visited and more so that they were being respectful of the place. I asked the spirit what he knew of The Hawk of May, but he was unable to expand upon that concept. He was only a lowly Nature spirit watching over this well, and who did not go anywhere else or meet any Hawk of May spirits. I would have to figure this one out alone.
The Landscape Figure
Back at home I began to investigate maps of the area around Whistlebitch Well. Would anything reveal itself to me about the outline of roads, paths, tracks and rovers in the area, or be revealed in the names of places? I had experience of reading about Katherine Maltwood‘s Glastonbury Zodiac figures, and Mary Caine‘s subsequent revival of the concept which she then began to apply to the Kingston-Upon-Thames area too. I knew what a landscape figure might look like, but could I find one in a modern map?
After several hours of scrying, this figure appeared:
The figure is formed primarily by the crag ridge of Willington village, and is centred on the village of Utkinton. It extends as far as Cotebrook at its east side, and Duddon to the west and Boothsdale to the north. At its northern extent is the natural feature of Primrose Hill, and within that is Whistlebitch Well. A road extending from the hawk’s beak seems to tether it to the village of Clotton. [full size map here].
The shape of the figure was suddenly so obvious to me that I started to get excited. What could this mean in terms of my current quest? Now that I had identified a possible landscape figure, what next? I was at a loss as to what to do with this information, and when in such a situation I tend to turn to a favourite divination tool of mine – the tarot.
Tarot reading about the quest
It just so happened that a friend of mine had gifted me some tarot cards that they didn’t want. They thought they would use them, but actually they weren’t suitable, but they thought that they would be perfect for me to use. I already have the Druidcraft Tarot, and was perfectly happy with the success of this deck, but nevertheless I decided to try out the “new” deck – The Tree Angel Oracle – to see how effective it might be. I must admit, I was slightly put off by the “Angel” reference and wondered if they might be a bit too “New Age” and “airy fairy” to be useful.
I would start simply – a three card draw to answer three simple questions about how I should interact with this Hawk of May and the landscape figure.
- What gift should I bring for the Hawk? Card = The Pear – the gift should be intuitive.
- How will we interact? Card = The Yew– in silent meditation, possibly at a yew tree, crossing into the Otherworld to meet The Hawk of May.
- What will I gain? Card = The Sycamore – “Precision of the eagle”, “Clarity of the blue skies”, “The power of lightening” and “Breath of the winds.”
This is remarkable considering the reading was about my quest for “Meeting the Hawk of May”. Did this mean literally control of lightening and wind? I asked a psychic friend to interpret these symbols for me, and he told me that it was more to do with the wind symbolising the concept of sound, a sweeping away of barriers, and that this would signal the rise of a clairaudient ability. The lightening flash, he said, was symbolic of the ability to control these new druid powers that I was gaining. I was a little embarrassed by this, and the proof of it remains to be seen.
Soon I will recount the tale of meeting the Hawk of May and how prescient and useful these tarot card readings would be!