Ancient Sites | Celestial | Magick

Winter Solstice 2013 – The secret of constellation alignment

January 10, 2014

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.

Dinas Bran - Winter Solstice 2013 (2)

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.

Dinas Bran - Winter Solstice 2013 (11)

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…..

Dinas Bran - Winter Solstice 2013 (16)

…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?


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  1. Dinas Bran and Glasto Tor have things in common. Both conical hills, both linked with fairie/pagan lore, both obscured from the view of the “Old Church” by an intervening hill.

    Bran and Gwyn ap Nudd seem kind of “in common” too – to me at least.

    The Moon’s “sidereal month” is measured by determining its position in relation to the fixed stars. So it would have been necessary to observe the fixed stars in order to determine this.

    Note that the effect of the “precession of the equinoxes” means that the ancient circles no longer “work” in relation to the fixed stars. We need to be able to determine the site’s age and then figure out what the night sky looked like for that period. The computer-age makes this relatively painless, but the “conventional” dating of sites like Stonehenge has changed over the decades.

    In the case of Stonehenge, in the 1960s it was carbon-dated to 1500BC. Later it was recalibrated to 2500BC and more recently 3000BC. Anything said in relation to stellar alignments will always hinge on the accuracy of the dating of the age of the site in question.

    Different cultures used different groupings of stars, i.e. the constellations may have been different depending on culture. We get our 12 constellations from the ancients Greeks of course, but some of those are older than that.

    1. It seems to me that the mythology associated with Glastonbury is a reflection of that recorded in relation to the Welsh places. We don’t have the remaining records for the ‘English’ territories, like we do for the Brythonic culture in the Welsh lands. It feels to me that the English versions are a reflection of the same mythologies, kept alive by the remnants of the same culture which fled to the Welsh lands for safety in the face of the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Gaels – tribes which pushed the previous inhabitants who still used at least some of the ‘megalithic knowledge’ in the far west and north.
      I think this is why we often see correspondences between the function, nature and mythology of the older gods and goddesses, the mythological creatures, and the solar heroes.

      No doubt many of the ancient sites no longer “work” as they were intended in relation to their original astronomy. For me, the interesting aspect is not to determine the original aspect, as there is little I can do with that information. Far better, I feel, to find out which parts of the currently available sites work now, and are they of any use to the modern seeker? Fewer wasted hours and arguments that way. I am inordinately practical when it comes to the recovery of ancient knowledge. Only that which is useful in the modern world needs be pursued.

      I am a complete novice at such things so I leave the particulars to celestial experts. Your additions are highly valuable, and I know you do a lot of work in this area yourself, especially in relation to sites around Llangollen, recovering ancient knowledge which reveals paths the reasoning of our forefathers in site placement, their calendars and their motivations. Valuable work for the modern historian community, and a wonderful use of the technology available to us. I’m no stranger to the addition of technology to aid research, but I draw the line at mathematics!

      The idea of a thirteenth constellation intrigues me as this seems to point to a moon-based calendar, does it not? There is frequent derision concerning the mathematical ‘impossibility’ of dividing the ecliptic into anything other than 12 or its derivatives.

      See Six Modes of Dividing the Ecliptic.

      Indeed, when the actual boundary points of the constellations and their associated widths are examined there does seem some scope for possible overlaps or insertions. See 13 or 14 Zodiacal Constellations.

      Of course, our modern scientific ways are strongly set now. There are 12, the end. Why argue?
      I’m not making any case for it yet. I’m just going to spend some time examining some of the sites I visit and see whether I can dowse for the original constellations, and then identify any modern alignments, should they happen to exist. Let’s see what comes out of that work. Maybe something, maybe nothing.

      The constellation often touted as this missing constellation is “Ophiuchus, The Serpent Bearer”, or as I like to call him, “Odd F*ckers, The Scarf Wearer”. Again, a Greek word. The Greeks, however, were a sun culture. What about the moon-based cultures? Some have discussed the idea of a ‘Druidic’ set of constellations. Gregory A.Clouter in his book “The Lost Zodiac of the Druids” for example. An interesting read. But again, Clouter stays within the 12 established constellations.

      It’s fascinating topic.

      1. Hi,
        I have been musing over these exchanges of information about the need to recover the secrets of the star-lore of sacred sites. The need to trust the real life experiences and how these might link with the few legendary clues handed down seems both valid and vital as does the trusting of information offered by our own personally developing shamanic skills and senses.

        With this in mind, Bran’s information has provoked the memory of some of my personal experiences which might add something to the recovery of this ancient wisdom?

        Over a period of several years = several different ‘special access visits’, I was guided to re-open a star portal/gateway at Stonehenge.Initially I did not understand what I was doing but I trusted my inner-tuition and my body’s ancient knowing and then put 2 & 2 together later on.( My usual modus operandi it has to be said!)

        This star opening=hotline exists physically between 2 of the Blue Sarsen stones; an energetic gateway which connects the Stonehenge circle with the star system of Sirius.This gate had been shut down in the distant past like many, many other star portals for good reason but that’s another story.Now it seems that these ancient lines of communication need to be reopened….

        We all know that there are myths and legends aplenty about Sirius in many cultures. But why? Why was connecting with Sirius (as an example) once so important?

        The only thing which makes sense to me now is summarised by the teaching/tradition of the Star Nations from shamanic=Native cultures of North America.

        Over the years I have been opening my limited mind-programming to the possibility that Humanity really has galactic cousins,brothers and sisters who are based/originate in other star systems such as Sirius. As crazy as it sounds to our western mindset, it seems that we are not the only sentient lifeforms in the Universe at all.

        So now, with the information you received directly from Bran, I am thinking that this is why some sacred sites were consciously linked = energetically aligned with certain star systems.The arch mage = architect of the sacred site wanted to tune into guidance and information from his/her galactic brothers/sisters and some sites e.g Stonehenge, were/are again hotlines to various star systems.

        I know that once this idea would have seemed mad but it makes sense to me now. I am also understanding that the genuine crop circles are now a preferred method of galactic communication hence all those circles in the Stonehenge/Avebury area…

        Anyway, presumably those like Bran and Merlin were privy to the shamanic knowledge of the Star Nations before Christianity came along and persecuted it into the realm of what we now call ‘crazy’.
        Perhaps you could offer a big thankyou to Bran from me when you next have a chat? His info. has moved my understanding along quite a few notches….
        All the best to you too!

  2. I have been following your blog for about a year now and I just wanted to say that I am really appreciating everything that you are both sharing.

    I have been working deeply with the Glastonbury/Avalon landscape temple for many years and your information, spirit messages and inner-sights are constantly verifying and informing my appreciation of the forgotten arts of interacting with power places and the sacred beings of our ancient landscape.

    Wishing you both a very Blessed New Year!

    1. Thank you very much for such a positive comment. The Isle of Avalon exterts such a magnetic attraction to anyone who is on a spiritual path that it was inevitable that some of our finest (and most profound) experiences should have arisen there.

      I’m sure we will continue to visit regaulrly, and thus continue to provide correspondences with your own research. Your comment has given us some welcome feedback that re-inforces our determination to continue revealing and writing about the secrets of the hidden landscape around us.

      BTW: Love the phrase “inner-sights”. That may be appearing in a future post!

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