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Samhain 2012 – The Hawk and The Dove

November 25, 2012

Finally I have got around to writing up my Samhain experiences. It’s only the back end of November, and this occurred at the beginning of October! One aspect of this year’s work has been the incredible amount of material we have had to deal with. Only a fraction of it appears on this blog. This year we will end up with 200 draft posts that didn’t get finished. But now – back to the tale at hand.

Yew Know What To Do

We start, as usual, at the Llangernyw Yew tree. 4000 years of dendrochronology pulsing through its dark boughs. On the way to the village of Llangernyw (yew) I was heading towards a rainbow which coincidentally seemed to land on the village as I approached. Coincidence, of course, because this light phenomenon is linked to one’s position relative to the light refraction.

The churchyard was quiet. This gave me the space to follow my intuition. I walked down to the graveyard and sat on the wooden bench where I had once met a shade. There was nothing there now, but I felt I needed to be here first before moving back up to the tree. Perhaps I needed to be grounded before approaching the tree, or energetically harmonised? Soon I was back at the top of the churchyard standing on the edges of the yew tree’s canopy. I asked for entry…waited…and it was granted.

Llangernyw Church with its magnificent yew tree

For some reason I had brought some new crystals with me. I felt I should place them along one of the yew’s branches. In the early morning sunlight they glowed with their respective colours and I left them to do whatever it was they were doing. Sometimes such acts have no intention on my part. This is where trust comes into the equation. I felt around for the best place to sit and found that it was not in my usual place. As I settled in I noticed that I was sitting in the place where I got a particularly sparkly view of the sunlight through the branches. That was lucky, eh? I began to drift off…therefore before I went completely I asked the yew tree to help me discover my quest for the next part of the year… and then my mind went blank as the sunlight danced in my eyes and the spark of wonder that drives my spiritual path began to surface.

The Hawk of Fear and The Dove of Love

I closed my eyes. The sunlight through the trees had burned a very distinct and recognisable image that was retained even as I blinked. Seared onto the back of my retina was the image of a white dove in flight. It was clear, unmistakable, and obvious. There was no “re-working” or shaping required to make this apparent. It was as clear a picture of a dove as if I’d actually drawn it myself deliberately on a piece of paper.

Returning briefly to my rational mind to think about what to do next I pondered at the image. I had asked about my next quest which I understood from a previous recent encounter would be related to Gwalchmai – the Hawk of May. Why was I being shown a dove – a symbol usually associated with someone like St.Columba, or other Christian figures? I went back into trance and stared at the sunlight through the trees again. I asked for clarification of this image. Moment later the dove morphed quite quickly into another recognisable image. This time it was a shape I had seen many times in the skies above my home – it was a hawk with spread wings. The Dove becomes The Hawk? And that was supposed to clarify things for me?

A huge ancient yew branch in sunlight

I touched the tree so that it could sense my confusion. If a tree could laugh it did so. Thanks. Helpful – not! Sensing my frustration the tree referred me to the two pillars at the back of the church. If I wanted more information I should go there to get it. Fine with me, because I couldn’t leave in this state of confusion! I went to the two pillars and asked if I may stand between them. When I was in the right frame of mind I found I could move between them and could feel a pulse of energy. I was ready, so I asked my question – “What is the meaning of the Dove and the Hawk?” To add extra weight to proceedings I called my spirit guide down to assist with anything I might receive. In hindsight that might have been a good move. Suddenly information began to flow with incredible speed, force and clarity, such that I knew instantly what the answer was.

  1. To obtain the Gwalchamai energies is to undergo a journey of transformation between the two poles of Love and Fear.
  2. Love is symbolised by The Dove – fear by The Hawk. In peace time leaders were given the nickname Dove and in war time they were called Hawk.
  3. The Hawk of May is the battle name for an ancient series of leaders who understood and embodied the hawk energies that related to Gwalchmai – the element of the West, of Water, of Spring.
  4. Love can work to overcome fear, fear can work to overwhelm love. In between is the stable point of indifference.

I stepped out from the flow quickly. Wow – too much! All this information was known in less than two or three seconds and it nearly fried my brain! One really does have to be careful with this kind of thing – I can totally understand how someone could be sent mad or led to madness by downloads such as this. I knew there was more, but my head was spinning with the implications of what I’d learned already, and I didn’t want to lose this my having it overwritten by even more information.

I tried to put it all together. I had been working with the hawk aspects of Gwalchmai so far. In search of balance I needed to concentrate on the Dove aspects. Something about learning to give love energies in order to overcome fear.

I needed to go now. I wanted to go to the Druid’s Circle above Penmaenmawr and the weather was looking like it was closing in a little. Clouds were gathering. I had been lucky so far. Before I left I felt I had to pick a sprig of yew. I picked a sprig with two berries on it after asking for permission to take it from the tree, and thanking it afterwards. I assured the tree that it would be put to good use (although I had no idea at the time what that would be). Time to go to the circle – the ritual space in The West, and one with a view of the Water (Sea). Both these elements are associated with Gwalchmai – and Druid’s Circle felt like the epitome of a place I could associated with this new archetype.

Beautiful stones in the Druids Circle on a windy day

A Rainbow between Light and Dark

On the way up to Druid’s Circle (Meini Hirion) I encountered a sheep that needed rescuing. It was trapped behind a turnstile and was pleading to be re-united with the other sheep who were baying for it to come through, but of course it couldn’t. I took pity on the sheep and let it through the turnstile, and the “family” of sheep trotted off together and calmed down straight away. It felt like a nice thing to do. It felt like I was performing an act that re-united loved ones. By the way – no comments please on “The Country Code”, or any of the malarky. I’m aware of all that. This was a one-off situation, and it felt like the compassionate thing to do.

Seconds later I encountered a man walking down the path towards me. Sadly he  wouldn’t acknowledge my greeting at all! It seemed like he was afraid of me. Almost as though he was afraid to look at me? Within a minute of each other I had encountered a scene of Love and one of Fear! The realisation made startled me a little, but I knew I was on the right path now as I climbed up to the Druid’s Circle stones.

I once more followed a rainbow up to the circle. In fact, towards the end I chased it! I ran across the sodden heathland, across swollen streams, and up slippery muddy slopes to try to catch the rainbow before it disappeared. Luckily, I had enough time to watch it bow resplendently over the circle in a colourful arc.

Chasing a rainbow above Penmaenmawr

It as incredibly windy, though. As I walked over the brow of the ridge to the circle the wind nearly pushed me over! It was howling, making everything that wasn’t tied down or strapped in flap about like a dangerous whip. Yet, knowing that it was entirely possible, I began to do some dowsing. I had in mind that the berries from the yew tree would form some kind of a “death” tribute. By that I mean – I knew that the yew tree was a portal between the world of the living and the dead, and so I wanted to take this token of death and place it somewhere in the circle that signified life. The rods would help me identify that spot exactly. This is the place that they led me to:

A significantly powerful altar at Druids Circle

I placed the yew spring in the life-giving water of the pool at the base of the stone and then stood back. Once I had the stone in perspective I realised where I had been led to – the stone that symbolised the phallus – the very symbol of procreation and life! My laughter got thrown down onto the town of Penmaenmawr by the wind. I could barely even hear my own utterances at this point. I noticed that the berries and the sprig stayed in place in the water for far longer than I imagined that they could do. Considering the wind speed and the extent of the ripples in the water I was amazed they stayed there at all! As soon as I thought this one of the berries got scooped up out of the water, circled around in an impossible loop, and was thrown out into the surrounding grass. More laughter ensued.

With the berries gone the sprig soon followed and then the rain began. The rainbow faded. It felt like it had only been there as long as the offering was in place. Now the magic had been done and the force faded leaving a cool, wet, and incredibly inhospitable stone site on a heathland hill. I decided it was time to get somewhere drier and so headed off. The magic of the moment would live for a long time in my memory. I was the only one brave enough, nay stupid enough, to have noticed this incredible scene, and for that I will be forever thankful to the path I am on.

This day had been a fitting tribute to Gwalchmai – aligned as he is to the element of Water and The West. I had opened the doorway briefly between life and death, if only symbolically.

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