Hedge Druidry | Herbalism

Lammas 2013 – Lligwy Lore and Song

August 30, 2013

As a form of postscript to the Lunasa day that we spent on Anglesey we had moved further around the island from where I had met with Gywn Ap Nudd. Now we were on the eastern side of the island near to the town of Moelfre. In a way I had achieved everything that I had set out to do this day, but Anglesey is constantly surprising. One new surprise was in store, and a reminder of the power of sound was to follow.

These Island’s Traditions

We had been to the area around Lligwy before. Lligwy Chamber was our intended destination, but for some reason we had ended up coming at the site from the opposite direction than usual. Call it luck, or some other coincidence. I pulled over into the parking area designated for the Din Lligwy ancient village. I had seen the signs many times but for some reason it had never felt like somewhere I should visit. Today was totally different. The steering wheel practically pulled itself to steer me into a parking spot. OK – clearly I was intended to be here today! But why?

The information sign revealed little about the structures to come. Following the rare signposts across several fields we eventually located the settlement through a process of following grass trails and a mild amount of dowsing. Other visitors were not as fortunate and were traipsing back and forth trying to find the hidden village. Once you locate the iron gate on the corner of the wood at the edge of one field you will then be led up to the ancient village above.

Din Lligwy - Anglesey - Lammas 2013 (9) (Large)

So, how “ancient” is ancient? The Wikipedia entry for Din Lligwy dates the archeological finds to the 3rd or 4th Centuries, but the presumption is that it was in occupation much before that. A “small farming community” in the Iron Age is the supposition, then a smelting workshop during Roman times. I think it had a particular inhabitant who went on to have an impact in this area, and now I’ll tell you the story of why I think that.

I knew nothing of the settlement before I arrived. I read one or two fo the information boards when we got there but I had no inkling of what the place was for, or who could have lived here and when. Of course, the boards made mention of the Roman aspects. They always do. I was curious to see whether I could find out anything for myself – was there anything or anyone still here that could add some special knowledge that wasn’t available anywhere else? I dowsed for a place where any shade might still exist, then set up some protection and began to follow the rods to see what they could find.

I arrived at one of the round buildings, found a link to a shade there, but then was taken off to one fo the square buildings where this shade had formerly worked. Time to fill in the gaps with a bit of meditative connection….

Din Lligwy - Anglesey - Lammas 2013 (2) (Large)

I asked if the shade could identify itself – always a good test of how hostile or welcoming the energy form is. A name appeared in my mind “Justinus” or “Justinius”, and the additional information followed that this was his Romanized name. I introduced myself, stating that I was a modern druid, and that’s why I was visiting places like this. This seemed to strike a chord and I got a very welcoming feeling, so I continued.

I asked Justinus about when he lived, and he said that it was after the Roman’s had left the area. The site was a very prestigious village – good houses, well made and well sited – and that this was why he had chosen to live here with what we described as an extended family. I felt that there were several family groups living in each of the  larger buildings, but that they were all there for some common purpose.

I asked whether at that time there was anything left of the “old ways”, the traditional arts and knowledge that had been around before the Romans had put their stamp on things. Only one, he responded – the art of herblore. That was still carried on because it had a practical purpose for the Romans too, that local people understood the healing properties and medicinal uses of plants in the area. I said I felt sorry that this was all that had been kept, but Justinus turned the thought around. He asked me if I would please continue the tradition in my own time (seemingly he was aware that he might be in a later time). I said that it was not an area of study that I had wanted to do previously, but now that I had been asked directly to do this, then I would take that learning on and try to continue the tradition in whatever way I could.

Justinus asked if he could give me “the tradition”. Of course, I said, I would welcome such a gift. I felt a tingle at the base of my spine. Something was attaching itself to it, and then beginning to grow up around my spine like a rambling rose. In my head it was exactly that – a rose or climbing flower that was wrapping itself around the core of my being. I felt like I was being “imbued” with plant lore. Maybe I was just being decorated!

Our discussion ended with lots of thanks and respect. When I came to research who Justinus could have been I found one possible candidate – Iestyn (Justinus) who founded a church on Anglesey in the 6th or 7th Century. His dates of birth and death are not recorded but he is depicted as carrying a staff and a scroll, and his church is not far from Moelfre, being in Llaniestyn on the eastern side of Anglesey.

It seems I had met the spiritual remains of Iestyn, and I wonder now whether I was drawn to the site deliberately to have this meeting?

Lligwy’s sound chamber

Down the road from Din Lligwy is the fabulous chamber that we have visited many times before. We have discovered that the chamber has unusual sound effects for the person inside when notes, humming and other tuneful sounds are made around the chamber’s exterior. Who knows what trance state the person inside would get into if a live band were playing outside?! It would be mind-blowing.

Anglesey - Lammas 2013 - Canon (68) (Large)

Kal was interested in taking his quest further here, but I was simply interested in re-affirming the strange sonic effects that the chamber allows. I lay in the chamber for a while as Kal walked around making tones, and the effects were once more inspirational. I sank into an almost sleep state and talked with Gwyn/Herne. I descended deep into the spiritual forest and in a clearing I saw him surrounded by his hounds, warming by a blazing fire. We talked and agreed to be at each others call.

His parting words were that it would be much easier for me to call him if I used my staff. I understood, but I have been trying to work this year’s path without additional implements, so although I know things would be easier with rods, incense, staff and crystals I have been doing my utmost not to use them unless I’m stuck. You see, this is the way of The Doubtful Path, and this year I’m sticking to my task.

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