Ancient Sites | Dowsing | Quests

Boyle Abbey – Tracking Down Duignan

June 6, 2012

Boyle Abbey is a sacred place of worship that was gifted to the Cistercians. This order of monks built their abbey over the top of an existing pagan site (if I remember the guide’s introduction properly), and I would suspect that this was actually a druidic college that they built over. For me the abbey was an attraction because it was supposedly the resting ground of many of my forebears who had been buried in the abbey’s grounds. The list records burials from the 12th Century onwards, but suggests that there may have been many more before that which were not recorded for posterity. Having just finished one adventure at Lough Key I was in the mood for more. Where better, I felt, to go in search of the ‘wandering’ spirit of Saint Duignan than here?

With the mundane aspect of ancestor-spotting out of the way I was free to concentrate on finding and communing with the spirit that I believe might be present at this place, having been led here from that other Cistercian abbey Vale Crucis in Llangollen (see this post for that tale). In that story I had spoken to a spirit who identified himself as St.Duignan and then had indicated that he had moved to a corresponding abbey in my homeland in Ireland. From my research Boyle Abbey was the prime candidate. Seeing the list of my ancestor’s burials in the abbey’s gatehouse was a strong indicator that I was on the right track.

Boyle Abbey – being restored for your enjoyment

The Sun Wheel

One of the interesting aspects of the abbey was its age. The current abbey layout was built upon the foundations of an earlier abbey that was a pagan construction, although identifying exactly what this was is diffucult. Some archaeology has been done to identify the original design and there is a plan view on display in the upstairs ‘museum’.  In the architecture of the abbey are several examples of pagan stonework, such as a Sheela-Na-Gig and some rather raucous carvings of totemic astrological or heraldic birds and aminals atop the colunnades. Occasional reminders of this past lurk round many corners of the site, such as this sun wheel motif carved in stone:

A sun wheel carved into the original Boyle Abbey pagan stonework

Enough of the tourist stuff! We had the place almost to ourselves so I hid the dowsing rods away in a corner and set about ‘feeling’ for the presence of Duignan. Was he here? Was he contactable? Was I in the right place? Time to find out!

Meeting The Spirit of Duignan

The last use of my rods was to discover whether the spirit of Duignan was here. Apparently so. Well, my scant research had been worth the effort, then. With the rods safely stashed I switched on my head. Using only my feelings and a neat trick I learned to use my head as a subtle energy compass I set the intention of finding the spirit. I headed off into an outside room that was partially roofed. It had the feeling of being a dining room. When I checked later on the floor plan I found it was a refectory next door to the kitchen. I felt there had been something older there before. Again, on the floor plan you can see that there was some other room there originally from before the Cistercian modifications.

Floor plan of Boyle Abbey past and present
I stood holding the wooden rail that prevented full access to the room. He would come to me now. I had made the effort to get this far, there was no need to go jumping over barriers. I could feel his presence. I re-introduced myself in the hope of attracting his attention. I mentioned our previous encounter and how I had now come to find out how to discover and use the energies of my ancestors. As he had got me this far would he be able to take me any further? I let the questions float through my mind and out into the aether, then I waited for any form of interaction….
  • You should wash the Eel Sword in flowing water” – I took this to mean Boyle River at the time
  • You will absorb its powers but you won’t actually need it physically to fight
  • You must create a shield from the elements. The design should be a cross.”
All this information came to me as a placed thought. It was put into my mind, and I heard it in my voice, but I knew the information was not from any repository that I had got stored away – this was given information. Of course, with the way the mind works I would put a picture drawn from imagination or from memory to each of the phrases as though to illustrate the required activity.
Then one final important piece of information for me in the form of a vision. In the hazy moving picture I saw a fight in the a place that Duignan called “The Arena of the Bulls“. With that the stream of information ended and the picture faded. I felt a presence release its connection, as though in exhaustion.
I thanked the spirit for his continued kindness. He had now given me the next part of the chain and I knew where to go when I was ready to face the forthcoming battle. I had more pieces to the puzzle. Firstly, there was going to be some kind of a fight, whether physical, mental or spiritual, at a place that was an arena connected with Bulls. I was going to need the powers of this Eel Sword that I had just collected from Lough Key. I was also going to have to do some more preparation for both the sword and to create some kind of shield. One question – many answers. Isn’t it always the way with us?


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