In my previous Imbolc 2014 posts, I told how Gwas and I had changed plans mid-stream and ended up at Dinas Emrys. A fabulous place of power where I had collected a (quite literally) pocket full of quartz crystals. About an hour after that climb we were parked at the foot of Penmaenmar looking out of the window at the rain, lashing down.
I tried to delve into the pot of summer solstice energy, but it was totally cleaned out and a silent request to Caileach went unanswered. Betrayal? Unlikely, I thought. Caileach has never been a one for on requests requests. Although I felt her presence hovering around, that certainly did not indicate favour and certainly not compliance, oh no not her. She redefines the word Goddess, trust me.
We finished a meagre lunch in the car and saw a brief respite in the rain. We took the chance. Gwas took out his exceptional amount of all-weather gear and asked whether I had changed my mind as to adding to my normal street gear. I considered the option for some moments and felt that the answer should be no. It was an insane decision!
The walk up to the Druids Circle is pleasant enough if the weather is supportive. It is about a mile and a half, and slopes continuously. unconsciously, I divide it into 5 sections. The initial slope, the grassy bit, the farm bit, the second grassy bit and the final approach. Each of these are roughly the same length.
As we walked the initial slope, the rain eased and I was hopeful (trustful) that the main event would be pleasant enough. That changed as soon as we turned the corner and hit the second part.
The blast of cold air was unbelievable. It was freezing to the extremities and the strength was a gale. I tell no lie when I said that we were taking two steps forward and one back. That was just the beginning! Half way along the second stretch, bitter, sharp and tiny specks of ice were added to the ferocious wind. They bit into my face and truly my resolve began to crumble.
I say crumble, but in actual fact, it disintegrated in mere moments. I was being battered by the cold temperature, squeezed by the magnitude of the wind and cut to pieces by the slivers of ice. It was both sense deprived and a sense explosion.
Ice Dragon I had foretold and Ice it truly was. What a prediction? Of all the elements (and specificity of element, i.e. not Water Dragon, but Ice!) I still marvel at how that had come true!
We battled and fought through to the third stage of the trip hoping that that stretch would give us some respite. It didn’t in fact it got worse. Now, we were taking a little rest every few feet. I tried to call on aid from the gathering. But none of the four (Caileach, Dinas Bran, Old Yew, or Oak) were forthcoming. Neither was there any energy left within me to affect meteorological change. It seems that this was what the (lack of strength) card might have meant.
I (we) were not about to give up though and so we continued through to the third and fourth stage of the journey. Although all of it is sloped, the fifth is the most inclined and it was here that we were pressed most hardest. I was soaked, beyond measure. At one point Gwas laughed as I crossed a stream by stamping in the water. As I am want to say, “you can’t get wetter than wet”.
Of course being wet through and through only made the cold worse. My bones were taking the brunt of it now and my gloveless hands were so cold that I could even twist them into my pocket. In fact a funny moment was, when I used one hand to push the other into my pocket only to take it out to push the first hand in. It was comical and made me laugh.
I don’t know about you, but when I am in such emotional situations, my mind searches for mental tools to cope and prevail through such events. I had already called upon my four sponsors to no avail, this kept the word betrayal in my thoughts, more specifically, betrayal of trust…
Synchronistically as I had driven up to Gwas’s house I had been listening to an Audio CD from my favourite American speaker, Tony Robbins. In the recording he talked about Trust. Trust, he said, can be something that one can have, even with an enemy. The nature of trust (perhaps one kind of trust) is that both parties want the same outcome. As an example if my enemies business success is dependant on my success. Then I might trust him to do the right (in my favour) thing, even though he may be an enemy.
Finally, we breached the horizon and saw the stones of the Druid Circle. I had hoped that the journey had been a trial and that reaching the circle would prove our worth and the primal force of nature would relent. No chance. If anything the wind was worse. We tried to find shelter behind some of the stones, but the wind was as wily as a fox and clipped around them to hunt us out.
There was nothing for it but to continue on with the task that I was on. Gwas was blown away on his personal task, whilst I found a place that was suitable for me. It was astonishingly hard. I seemed to be rebuffed from the edge of the circle itself. My determination shifted to anger and then confusion. Why? Surely the dragon wanted the book? It was after all a gift? As I sifted through these thoughts, crouched behind a stone, my thoughts went to when I had received the book at the Cats Cave in Ireland. I had quested for it, wanted it. But what was going on with this Ice Dragon? Was all this ferocity a test? When would it end?
Putting these thoughts aside I broke into the circle and found a place to make my offering. With the wind, ice and cold against me, I placed the gathered crystals into a 6 foot sized circle (see them on the floor in pic right) and stepped in. I tried to face the direction of the wind, and for the first time, Caileach made an appearance.
“No, you can’t do that” She said.
It wasn’t her normal voice it, it was stern and forceful. I took it as a challenge and steadied my stance some more. Again, and more forcefully, she said…
“I am not saying you shouldn’t do that. I am saying you can’t do it. Turn around! Now!”
At the “Now” I flipped uncontrollably around. The wind at my back now was tremendous. It threatened to push me out of the protection of the circle. But I know my magic! Step out of the circle and you’re doomed laddie!
I stood, slightly bent with the force of the wind. And called out mentally.“I have the dragons soul book. Reclaim it. I give it to you without question of return or debt. It is a gift, freely given” What the Freak!
Where in the heck did those words come from? They were un-rehearsed and came right in the moment. In fact I had not even considered what I would say or do at the Circle. I had imagined a pleasant time and a ceremonious offering. But that! No! I had no idea where they came from? I didn’t even put it down to my intuition.
Now, readers will know, I have had an occasion or three to encounter dragon energy. But this time, it was a terrible feeling. I say, terrible because it seems an appropriate word but it wasn’t terrible as in scary. Just, I don’t know, terrible.
I sensed the Ice Dragon (there was and is no doubt in my mind that it was an Ice Dragon) approach and tower above me. It was also at this time that I sensed the presence of the gathering in front of me. They were observers in this show I intuited.
The dragon opened its maw and made to swallow me. Its jaws came down from above and surrounded me. I felt myself curl inwards expecting a crunch of some kind, then I felt that its mouth was stopped by the crystals I had placed around me. Phew! I wonder if it would have swallowed me, if I hadn’t placed the crystals?
Then, something strange happened. All sense of the raging storm stopped and I felt an energy gently rise from my chest, as if sucked out by the dragon’s breath. It floated upwards and into the dragons body.
As I described it to Gwas later, I recalled how it wasn’t dissimilar to when I was lying on a slab in the Temple of Delphi and the Oracles words were rising from the ground into my chest. Odd.
In moments, the experience concluded and I felt the dragon move away. My intuitive sense was still on however and I felt that the gathering was happy, celebrating even. It was an odd sensation, really odd.
Caileach spoke within me and said something on the lines of, “Well done, knight! Now you have your dragon.” What? I said, “My dragon?” I didn’t like the sound of that. She replied,”Since an age and an age, Dragons and Knights go together. Now you have her, just as she has you” and with that cryptic statement, they were all gone and the howling wind returned.
I knew I was done. So was Gwas and we made our way (much faster now that the wind was pushing us) back to the car. Gwas wondered as to why we the wind had not subsided, since our mutual quests were complete. I pointed at a break in the clouds, the sun was trying to make an appearance. But what I said puzzled me, “The Ice Dragon is with me”
Soaked, bone cold and muddy up to the knees, I sat in the car and as we drove away to our final destination, Bryn Celli Ddu. All the time I wondered, “What had just happened?”