After a couple of unremarkable sites on the Locmaraquier peninsula, we were heading towards our final destination for this Brittany outing – Broceliande Forest. Broceliande has a reputation for being an ancient forest with strong claims to an Arthurian tradition. Certainly this is how the French Tourist Agency are marketing the space. For me, when I visited the forest in 2011 I found it enchanting. At the time I had an encounter with a leprechaun-type spirit which left me sure that there was a playful set of spirits in the woods there, but also that convinced me that the forest was truly a magickal place, regardless of its Arthurian connections.
Le Tombeau Des Geants
Somehow, through a miracle of unintended navigation, we find the car park at the southerly side of the forest – the perfect point to begin to explore because all the sacred sites were close by. For once, it was me who didn’t have the right clothing – I hadn’t taken my walking boots on this trip, but the ground was boggy and water-logged due to the torrential downpours overnight. How times have changed and the tables turned!
I had been to the Tombeau Des Geants (The Tomb of the Giants) before so I knew the way. We were able to quickly locate it again and after a few muddy paths the site appears complete with information sign, also steeped in fresh rainwater puddles.
On my first visit I had encouraged a Spirit of Place to come back to the site. Of course, now I am here again, would such a spirit be here by now, several years later?
SPIRITS OF PLACE
Let’s take a little aside just to go over SOPs (or Genius Loci). One of the constituent parts, and what makes a site essentially “sacred” it is connection with The Otherworld. The energetic maintenance of a site, and one of the reasons why it works as a means of accessing hidden knowledge and power is due to a spirit form which has become associated with the site. We call this spirit “Spirit of Place” because it becomes associated with the space and energy forms of the site where it locates itself.
Others have referred in their writings to “Site Guardians”, and in mythology there is no better-known site guardian than Cerberus – the three-headed dog form which guards the transition into The Underworld. The mythology, we find, is often mirrored by the reality of guardian spirits at sacred places. These spirit forms have intelligence, and a purpose. Their co-operation is sought in order to make energetic interaction most meaningful and harmonious.
Places that do not have a specific designated Spirit of Place may still teem with spirit activity, of course, but without a purposeful guiding spirit in charge of its energetic preservation and perfection, then the area can become whatever the prevailing or presiding spirits choose it to be, and that may be very different from its original purpose and designation.
Think of it like running a well-attended church. If there was no-one in charge of the maintenance of the building or to arrange the services, what would happen to the place? Over time who would pick up the litter, or repair the roof? Would the congregation stop attending if the services were ad-hoc?
I get out my dowsing rods and begin work. I ask to be taken to the most suitable place for me and I am taken to the back of a small tree whose reflection appears in the water inside the larger ‘tomb’. I recognise this spot – it was exactly where I had worked last time I was here, except now the tree is a little taller and thicker.
There is now a Genius Loci here, which I had called some 5 years ago. It had arrived (which is what I dowsed back in 2009 when I got home). What I didn’t realise, however, is that the spirit had been waiting for me to return. Well, here I was! Better late than never?
The Spirit of Place was present, but rather unhappy about the wait. I simply put the rods away at this point – there’s nothing I can glean using them which I can’t get by making a direct connection to the spirit, so that’s what I do. I connect whilst standing with one hand on the small tree.
Pulling together information out of my distant memory I recall my agreement with the spirit when I had first called it back – I had promised it the hope that there would be energetically-aware visitors to the site who would come to work here. The spirit did not feel the same hope as me, however, based on its recent experience. Could I offer this hope?
I felt I could. I craft a ball of hope which I construct from three threads of emotional energy that I obtain from my own energy body. I gather together strands of Love, Joy and Honour, and I bind them together to form Hope. But how did you know to do that, I hear you say? I guess it was a mixture of spontaneous work coupled with years of experience. I know that Love energy is one of the foundational frequencies – it acts like a base for all else. Then I added Joy because I know that is a magickal trigger – a catalyst which allows energies to transform. Then I added Honour, because I felt that this was the energy which would generate Hope. If I honour the spirit, then perhaps this is the emotion that it needs to believe that this site will be used by energetically-aware visitors in the future? Hope it all I can offer.
I offer this magickal ball of energy to the Spirit of Place and the sun comes out! A spotlight is created by a gap in the canopy above and the first glimpse of sun that we have had this morning. When I read back what I put in 2009, it was exactly this same set of circumstances!! Imagine that! Coincidence.
Kal reports that there is nothing for him to do here, and so we decide to move on. Will Broceliande Forest begin to reveal its secrets to Kal? Will I remember how to find my way around? Will the spirit of the forest try to trick us? Or will we have a magickal time this afternoon? Well, it’s no spoiler to reveal that more happened in the next few hours than happened the whole of the rest of the trip!! Read our next posts for the whole story.