In the final part of my Winter Solstice story for 2013 I talk about one of my favourite places – Dinas Bran. It’s one of the most beautiful, impressive, magickal and mythical places in my area. Having spent time getting to know its spirit of place – the mighty Bran the Blessed – it has provided consistently astonishing results through acts of communing.
On this day, having visited Holywell, this was the destination that Kal was driven (literally) to visit next. Our adventures at Vale Crucis and Eliseg’s Pillar would come afterwards. While the sun still slanted shadows across the land we climbed the impressive hill to reach the remains of the fort on top.
The day was beautiful and clear. Surprisingly, there weren’t many people on the hill today! It was a perfect day for photographs, but we were here for other purposes. Kal was on a mission, and I had a burning question:
Why were some sacred sites and standing stones aligned to stars?
I was hoping that Bran might be able to answer that for me.
I found Bran in his “usual” position at the edge of a hollow near the centre of the ruins. It was too cold to go barefoot, but the lush smooth grass of the hill is always inviting. I had no implements with me – this was still the year in which I was dispensing with all accoutrements. No staff, no incense, no crystals, no candles. Just me and the energy around me. I settled into place and huddled against the bitter wind, seeking Bran…..
…the hill that was the immense head of Bran ‘awoke’ in my mind and I became aware of the overlay of that image beneath the three-dimensional reality. I know – “overlay”/”beneath”, but if I say it was an underlay you’d think it was a thin carpet, whereas it’s more like a transparency beneath the overt reality of our normal world.
Gathering nuts in Winter
Before I got around to my question about the constellation alignments of sites I was directed by Bran to turn 180 degrees. I did so and found that my head was just in the sunlight. The bright Yuletide light streamed over my face and I asked Bran why this was important. His response was
“The light can be gathered to keep with you and use throughout the coming year.”
I reached out and gathered the Solstice light energy with some hand gestures, as though I was literally pocketing it. As the sunlight came into me I condensed it into a small nugget, a nut of light, incubated and ready to break out should the need arise.
The Secret of Constellation Alignment
I turned my focus to the question of the day, and asked Bran if I could discover why sacred sites and stones are often aligned with constellations. He responded to my question with some interesting images, backed up by occasional statements:-
- Sites were created with some elements – say one stone – that was aligned with, tuned to, and pointing at a specific constellation.
- The aligned element draws down the power of one of the 12 constellations.Maybe 13? [If a god can wink at this point, then he does so, leaving me puzzled]
- The chief magic-worker draws extra personal power from this aligned element.
- Different stones can be aligned to suit different people.
I use the term “chief magic worker” because I don’t want to say “druids”. It could have been druids, but there were others who occupied that position before they were termed druids specifically. One might say “shaman” to denote the modern understanding of that role.
I will be doing more research on this when I visit sites throughout the next year, finding their key alignment elements, and seeing which ones are in their original alignments and which have changed. The important aspect is how this has affected the “purpose” and usefulness of the sites in the current time. Could be a long project! What have I started?