I love going out in the week. Everyone else is asleep in front of their televisions and our lands becomes the playground of this hedge druid. At least, that’s how it feels. On this rare dry evening I called Kal to come and share the wonders of Dinas Bran. It’s probably our closest amazing place. I felt like I had neglected Bran, not having visited him yet this year. Time to remedy that. Of course I took gloves, a scarf and a thick coat – I’m not stupid – it’s early March. Kal forewent such superfluous apparel.
We climbed up the back path (the eastern side) in the dark. I had a torch but didn’t need it – there was enough ambient light. Kal used his, though, and as we neared the top he suggested I had picked the harder way up deliberately. It’s all relative – a balance between distance and gradient. As the top levelled off our breathing was audible in the crisp cool night air. Now the wind began to make itself known to us. Dinas Bran is always windy on top whatever the time of year. Go prepared, unless you’re Kal, in which case – freeze!
Unusually, there was actually someone on the top, and they were playing with luminous balls on string, swinging them around in dazzling patterns. I’ve seen people doing such things at festivals. It’s very skilful. I decided to nestle into a quiet space out of the wind where the dowsing rods led me. It was my starting point – a power centre that I was familiar with. Why not? A boost of subtle energy would be good before braving the full force of the cold night wind.
Kal pointed out The Great Bear constellation that was directly before us – East in direction – and then he left to go find what he needed to do in the main castle grounds. Plough/bear/seven sisters – this constellation was many things to many people. I knew it as a representation of Arthur, but now Bran seemed to be indicating that he and Arthur were signified by the same constellation. Interesting….
“In the early Welsh poem “Preiddeu Annwfn”, Arthur visits the Celtic Underworld, Annwfn, and his adventures closely parallel those of the cauldron-seeking god, Bran the Blessed” (Source: Britannia.com)
Well, there you go. Funny how these things come together. I will now always consider these concepts as one – Arthur and Bran.
Talk of the Torc
Talking of coming together. As the two other people on the hill made their way down and we had the place to ourselves I let myself be guided around. At first my rational brain wanted to take me to the place where I usually met Bran, but it didn’t feel right. Not wrong, just, not active. I allowed myself to be turned in another direction and guided elsewhere. This is like walking without thinking, and watching out for something pulling at your attention – either energetically or visually. I fond myself circling around in a shallow corner of one of the derelict archways that provide various open entrances to the hill fort.
Inside this enclave I first noticed its stillness. Elsewhere the wind was tearing past your ears, but here is was a calm and silent oasis. Removing the chill factor helped too. I settled on a small tuft of dry grass and huddled into the ancient stonework. I was seeking help with my latest quest – The Torc of the Hawk. After a few dark, quiet minutes of meditation I feel the massive head of Bran beneath me. I am actually sat upon his head. Stupidly I ask if this is the right spot to commune with him, at which he laughs and asks where else I would need to be to ‘reach’ him, considering I was sitting on his head. We laugh together at how stupid the question was and this settles me into a communing link that strengthens with shared emotion.
Now I begin to get some images and advice related to my current quest. Bran advises that I need to buy a “clean” torc. By this he means that I need a fresh un-energised gold torc. This can be used to host the energy that I will extract from the old torc which is currently in a Dublin museum. Then, at Knowth I can properly invest that energy and release the ancestral energy associated with possessing this artefact. I don’t know when or if I’ll get around to doing this before Spring Equinox. It’s not looking likely. This may be one of the first quests that I end up ‘missing the deadline’. I feel alright about that idea – it will do me good to assert my human independence from the “necessity” that comes with continuous questing.
The Corvus Crow in the landscape
Jupiter in the sky catches my attention I know that I shall know Ash‘s presence by this sign (Ash is my new spirit guide). I introduce Ash to Bran. They take some time to inhabit the same space, and I get the feeling that they won’t be working together. I don’t enquire why, just leave it alone for now.
I am sitting on Bran’s head, deep in meditation, when I feel Bran’s head extending up into the cloud cover, until I see his head atop a long neck. He is getting an aerial view. What of? I follow his gaze. He starts from Dinas Bran and moves to Moel Ty Uchaf stone circle. Then off towards the North, to where I assume he’s looking towards The Druid’s Circle at Penmaenmawr. Where next? He stops. There seems some reluctance to continue. Have I gone wrong? Why has he stopped? I’d have to work these points out at home. He’s given me two, maybe three points on the shape. The rest is for me to work out.
I knew there was a fourth point in this diamond shape. How? Because the days before I’d used the full moon’s energies to extract four elemental sigil shapes from my spirit guide. The Air elemental sigil was a diamond shape. Here I was being shown three of the four mountainous sites in the area, and that they were connected by Air elemental energy.
When I got home, however, I began to come to quite another realisation. I had created the third point on this shape myself. Druid’s Circle didn’t fit in. I went back through my thought process – I had let the first two appear, then my mind had extrapolated where the third point would be. I had pushed it out to Druid’s Circle myself! OK – if the co-ordinates of the first two were correct, then where would a diamond shape be? It would be centred around the village of Corwen. Corwen…like Corvus – the Crow constellation There are four stars in the Corvus constellation. What if…I created a shape that was the same as the Crow constellation and the Air elemental sigil, with Dinas Bran as the starting point? Then I end up with this shape:
Now, I don’t know how Corvus looks from that area at different times of the year, but using the Stellarium program I can get a pretty good idea of what it looked like at this time of year from Dinas Bran. The shapes are similar, perhaps skewed or inverted, but related. Interesting. This bears further research, I think.
Leaving an impression
There was one additional aspect to this evening’s work in the icy coldness of Dinas Bran. I was still in communion with Bran and I reached into my small bag for no reason that I could imagine. I drew out a rock that is carved with a spiral pattern. I presented it to Bran – why was I bringing this rock here, I asked? The answer was surprising.
“Because you need to imprint a spiral shape on to each of the sites in order to take possession of them.”
That seems very odd, I thought to myself. Nevertheless, I tried it out, because I had the stone in my hand. I pressed the spiral shape into the grass next to me and said out loud, “By this act I take possession of this place.” It felt incredibly presumptuous, pompous and rather too ostentatious for my liking!
What was this “taking possession” concept? Why would I need to do that? I was left with lots of questions, but the connection with Bran was already receding, and I could see Kal hovering around in the near distance. Answers to these questions would have to wait for another, warmer, time.