Ardgroom stone circle, Kerry, Ireland
Somehow, in our travels up and down the coast road of the Breara Peninsula, we had missed the sign. The sign was small and so was the lane along which we had to travel. The day was coming close to an end, and the sun was beginning to drag the shadows into longer shapes. Heading now towards Ardgroom circle we found that the land ended in a car park suitable for three or four cars. There was one parked there already, and we slotted in next to it. The signs to the circle pointed towards some marsh reeds, showing us that at any other time of the year we would be walking through a marshland, but luckily at the height of summer the ground was rutted but hard.
As we approached the circle we could see that it was dominated by a group of people, most of whom were standing with their backs to a tall stone. One woman was sitting at the edge of the circle in the middle of the company. She seemed to be directing a ritual, so Kal and I moved off to one side of the site so as not to disturb them while they worked.
Kal wandered down to the circle, dowsing as he went, prowling around the outer edges. I kept my distance, taking photographs of the circle from various angles to pass the time while we waited to see if the group would finish their work any time soon. They looked bedded in for the day, and so I dowsed for a suitable place to work outside the circle instead. I was taken to a small hillock where there were several fairy rings in the grass. This seemed a good vantage point to do my own work from while I wanted to see what would happen inside the circle. I did a connection and soon I was feeling the flow of energy from the hills behind me, and the sweeping power of a ‘dark’ lady whom I was becoming familiar with on this trip.
Cailleach Rides Again
I stood on a mound at the rear of the site, close to the dark hills still lit by solstice evening sunlight. The hills retained a darkness despite the light. As I went into a light trance and formed a protected connection I was aware of a familiar lady swooping down from the hills nearby, and this time it was just like Kal’s vision – it was Cailleach riding her black dragon. I sniggered at the idea that I had captured Kal’s vision. Our minds are fertile grounds of interplay where ideas can mix, mingle, bleed and breed together.
I asked Cailleach where there was anything that she could teach me while I was waiting to enter the circle. She told me about her cauldron. In it she mixes the druidic skills and arts that I have learned. From Cailleach’s Cauldron I can draw different combinations in order to create new skills and techniques. Remarkable! WHat an astonishing idea! The potential seemed such an intoxicating one that I dropped out of trance, my mind whirling with thoughts. Dammit – must learn to control that! I went back in.
Next Cailleach helped with with my mirror image. You may remember that I had recently discovered that if I wanted to see The Otherworld then one way was to see myself reflected in water. Now she elaborates far more on that idea, and I begin to see how complicated the idea is!
She tells me that to see both images I need to:-
- see my reflection in water
- put my head under water and look back up at the sky from under water
- hold both views in mind at the same time in order to access my shadow self
So, let me get this straight. I need to be looking at my reflection, and be my reflection looking back at me looking at my reflection? Er… riiiiight! I step back to think about this and go have a quiet chat with Kal, who happens to be dowsing nearby.
An Invitation To Dance
The rest of the visit was spoiled by some rude visitors who had taken up positions at every stone and were conducting some kind of guided meditation to work with the circle. Their “leader”, a rather brusque eastern European woman, did not want any whispering distracting these precious followers from their silent meditations. Even though we were some 50 feet away from the circle and only talking in hushes whispers we were told in no uncertain terms to be quiet!
I took great offence at this for a number of reasons, but mainly because of the rude and irreverent way in which the command was issued. I stood with my back to them for a while to see if they would leave. One rude gesture deserved another. Even when they had finished their ritual, however, they seemed intent on hanging around until the sun set, and not letting anyone else into their play area. I spent my time inviting some friends from the surrounding hills to come and play with the group. I hope they met up.
We left with me still seething. There are other places to be in these islands, but this had really spoiled what had otherwise been a really delightful Solstice day.