In this final part of the Beltane story for this year I record the nature of my quest for this part of the Wheel of the Year – Beltane to Summer Solstice.
We were back into the east of Derbyshire now and visiting sacred sites along the way as we came to them. Being back in Derbyshire visiting places we knew felt like coming home, and it also felt like the right time of year to be working. Arbor Low was briefly in sunshine so I took some pictures before the freezing cold gale-force winds forced another early retirement from the site. Is that place EVER warm?
As we moved towards Congleton I veered off the road and up a hill to park near to a field. In that field could be discerned Clulow Cross – a vertical gritstone pillar on top of an ancient mound. Personally, I have always had the impression that this was a meeting place since ancient times, and once or twice I have felt the presence of a ghostly host on the lower slopes, gathering to listen to the pronouncements of an exalted few on the top. Others who have visited the site have said similar things, but of course there’s unlikely ever to be any form of evidence for such events.
After the bitter chill of Arbor Low this site was… exactly the same! Aaargh! If anything the wind had become stronger. Kal and I passed each other on the hill and exchanged knowing glances. We wouldn’t be here long today. I found shelter at the base of the cross and thought about which spirit to connect to in order to ask what my next quest would be. Should I try the Spirit of the Place, the various nature spirits that I hoped might be around, or one of the spirit energy forms that I have worked with previously?
The Lady of the Lake came to mind. She fitted the bill because she had worked with me in providing the Sword and Shield of Galahad. As my quests this year seemed to be entirely related to this Arthurian stream of development then I would continue in that vein unless something indicated strongly otherwise. Hunched in a quiet area behind the pillar I invoked images of the Sword and Shield, forming connections with the site, the earth and celestial objects above me. I then asked what the next stage was, directing my request to an image of the Lady that I had seen when I last worked with her at Lyn Tegid in North Wales.
An extension of The Shield
I called upon my own Spirit Guide to broker my request and felt a familiar presence arrive in what was now becoming his usual manner – s shiver down my spine as we merged. Soon I felt another presence, this one less physical and more cerebral. The Lady was here, and a soft song sounded in my mind like a siren calling from an island in a lake. Gentle, lapping like a lake tide on a shoreline.
I posed my question. “What is the next part of my spiritual quest taking me up until the Summer Solstice?”. As is customary, the response began to form as a visualisation before my inner eye, at first a whirl of form, but then settling into a solid sequence of movements. I could see myself, my energy body self, and from my centre – my rib cage – emerged circles of energy bands.
Imagine a luminous girdle or belt forming a perfect circle around your waist. Then one going from your centre over your head and underneath you to join together. Then further luminous bands forming at oblique angles until you have eight threads coming together to form four distinct bands of energy around you in a perfect sphere. I felt like I had been draped in an illuminated Union Jack flag! Was this where that design came from? Or was this configuration coming from my imagination and cultural association with that form? Who can tell?
This was the “Perfect Shield” which I must learn to create mentally using The Sword of Will – the sword bequeathed to me by The Lady of the Lake. I know. It’s all sounding madly Arthurian now, isn’t it? Like I’m on some knightly quest like Kal.But this is where I am from where I started this year, and it sort of follows on from the Gawain year I had last year. It seems to be bringing rewards, so I’m sticking to it for now. Let’s see where it goes next!
The Perfect Shield will give me ultimate Faith in my protection when I work or face troublesome entities or energies. These pieces of information were given to me as I sat on Clulow Cross watching this vision unfold.
Not all things are given in full at the outset, and there are many aspects to this new quest that need more thought and practise. I have to work out for myself what the correct configuration of directions is, then I need to have a visualisation routine which will allow me to create the shield without error or doubt.
I guess that at some point this will be useful and will be needed for something, but at the moment I don’t know what that is. So the learning process continues, and the powers of druidry get extended and expanded as I make progress on this spiritual path. Every day is a school day, as they say!