The second place we intended to visit on Samhain this year was a newly-designated stone circle on the exposed side of Hay Bluff. Hay Bluff is a beautiful bracken-laden burgeoning hill which rolls gently upwards from Abergavenny until it tilts downward towards its English cousin Hay-On-Wye. As we rose towards the top of the hill we simply had to stop and take some photographs because the vista was so stunning.
The drive up revealed the autumn rust colours of the bracken contrasting beautifully with the remaining greenery. The narrow road gave us a few heart-stopping moments, but on the whole most people were very courteous in letting us past or negotiating a passing place. It was worth the treacherous and tortuous tiny road required to reach the top.
A Sad Little Circle
On arrival we found that the exposed ‘circle’ was too windy and wet to do much for any length of time. We had to work quickly. The circle has one standing stone a few feet tall and angled. Other stones are small, buried and often missing. The size of the circle is about ten feet in diameter. It doesn’t dowse as being very strong. No wonder it had gone unrecognised for so long!
My reason for visiting was that I thought we have some work to do here and I want to find out what that was. Were we expected to protect it, put energy into it, clean it up or restore its spirit of place? I got out of the car and began to dowse despite the howling wind that was causing people around us to pull hoods up tight and shuffle off on their walks with some element of doubt about why they had chosen this day.
The dowsing revealed that we should work to restore the circle’s part in a larger network by inviting back the missing Spirit of Place.
I turned to Kal and explained my findings. He explained his. They were the same! With that kind of independent correlation we knew we had to do something. We split up again and began to work how each of worked best.
Both Kal and I felt that the Spirit Of Place that had been here originally had moved away due to visitors to the circle who were not energetically inputting. Each person that visits a sacred place has the opportunity to give, take or be indifferent to the place. Each intention, each energy field, these all have their imprint on an energetic centre like a stone circle where subtle energies are harnessed, formed and retained. Therefore, each person’s visit will either add or detract from the existing energies. The Spirit of Place had been fighting a losing battle with those who were coming to this site to take or destroy energy, and it had sought sanctuary elsewhere.
We believed that we could try to call a Spirit of Place back to the circle, so we began our work.
Calling the Spirit of Place
Kal did work at particular stones in the circle – whether present or missing. My work was to envisage the subtle energy moving around the circle, re-energising it and making it more attractive to a potential spiritual inhabitant. Once that was done I sent out the intention that I wished for a suitable spirit who wanted to work with human visitors, and one who would be willing to help preserve this circle’s part ion the wider energetic network of sacred sites in the area.
After the work was done I dowsed for how long it would take for the spirit to come back. It took a minute or two to find that the answer was “Two years“. Blimey! Talk about an unloved home! Either the circle was a mess, or this spirit entity was coming from a long way away! Either way – there was one on the way. We agreed to come back in a couple of years to see whether one had actually arrived.
On the way up to the circle Kal mentioned something that he was thinking about. He was dissatisfied with that fact that many sacred sites get named after the places nearby. He wondered if we could try to find out the ‘original’ name, rather than its latterly adopted name. Hay Bluff stone circle is the first place where we put this into practise.
As I approach the site I ask to find out the circle’s name – “Y Is Cae Ceol” is the phrase I hear, so I memorize it. Later, when I get home I research the meaning, hoping for something revealing. The Welsh phrase translates into English as The Lower Local Field’. You’ve got to laugh! How boring! Or something is having a bit of a joke at our expense for being so presumptions or assuming that sacred places have exotic or magical names! We’re going to continue trying to find out the local names for sacred sites as we visit them and will carry on posting them as they get revealed. It’s a fun thing to try to do. Of course, we’re at the mercy of whatever decides to communicate the answer!