Hedge Druidry | Modern Druidry | Quests | Wheel of the Year

Autumn Equinox at Balmoral

September 30, 2014

Folks, you have been very patient with me while I am going through some transitions in my life. We used to post as regularly as clockwork. Now we’re posting as a when we can in between the whirlwind that our paths have become. The October Storms have come early for both Kal and I, despite the good weather all around us! Your patience is appreciated – stick with us. We have lots of great tales to tell you as the season changes.

I will start with the story of my transition through the Autumn Equinox. I hope it was eventful, but mostly fruitful for you. For me it was one door closing and another opening. A portal, truly! The Equinox fell during my week long holiday in Scotland. M and I had driven up from Cheshire into the heartland and highlands of The Cairngorms in our motorhome, and had decided to do some “wild camping”, parking at the side of the Old Military Road near to Balmoral Castle – advertising itself as the summer home of The Queen.

Autumn Equinox at Balmoral Forest (7) (Medium)
River Dee near Balmoral

I felt edgy – I knew it was the Equinox the next morning, and I wanted to do something, but was I in the right place? Was this beautiful location a sacred space? I decided to get up early on the Equinox day to find out.

To Take The Coach

A slight aside to the story will add some context for the imagery that I am about to relate. I have just finished a course called “Transpersonal Coaching” at Purple Tree which allowed me to discover the presence and guidance of what they call our “High Self”. I’ll call it my “Spirit Self”. Like the voice of your Soul able to talk directly to the foregrounded mental constructs (Ego). During the course we worked with first contacting then utilising the communication from this Spirit Self.

During one exercise my Spirit Self showed me the image of an APPLE which was then sliced in two revealing the core as a visual metaphor for our connection at the heart. Then I saw him visually, and he was bare-chested and wore a headdress of feathers, but I think that was just so that I would recognise him for the purposes of my work during the course. His gift to me was a FEATHER, as a token of his wish to work together.

Autumn Equinox at Balmoral Forest (21) (Medium)
Apple and Feather

After the course I reflected on this identity: feather, headdress, bare-chested warrior. I knew this image. It was from when I tried to meet an entity that I had called Gwalchmai – The Hawk of May. Here’s a link to an account of that meeting.

Smithy On The Dee

My early morning stroll takes me along a path by the edge of the River Dee near to the Balmoral Estate. The sun is just over the mountains in the distance, and the light was sharp and piercing, and the air felt cold and damp. All around me are the signs of waning summer – birch tree leaves on the floor, rusting bracken and the stubborn haze of a morning mist still to be removed by the warmth of the sun.

Autumn Equinox at Balmoral Forest (13) (Medium)
The River Dee on an autumn morning

Having no dowsing rods or any other accoutrements with me I am relying on signs from Nature to indicate what needs to be done to transition between my previous quest and discover a new one. As I think that a robin appeared and shows me the way to an abandoned smithy building. There is a handy sign identifying the former smithy as being part of a heritage trail. I find the building wrapped in the branches of an old wild apple tree covered in a hoary coating of moss.

Autumn Equinox at Balmoral Forest (14) (Medium)
The abandoned smithy with wild apple tree guardian

I take an apple, remembering that my new-found “spirit self” gave me the image of an apple as a visual metaphor for the connection of our hearts. I pluck another with permission and throw this into the river as an offering of equal balance. One for me, one for the river spirit, which I imagine looks longingly at the fruits blooming on the nearby tree.

On the way back to a rock that caught my eye I see a feather lying on the ground, which I pick up. Seems like I am destined to link in with my Spirit Self for this work. I now have an apple and a feather, and so I place these on the rock and bring my Spirit Self to mind. Perhaps he can guide me as to what to do next?

Autumn Equinox at Balmoral Forest (5) (Medium)

I feel like I should stand on a stone in the river, so I walk to the bank and find that I happen to have arrived at a point where there just happens to be a couple of flat stones large enough for me to stand on which reach into the river. I walk out onto the farthest stone and look down to see my reflection. I remember that I was once told that I could use my reflection to link the two parts of my self – physical and spiritual – but that I hadn’t done so because I didn’t understand what that meant at the time. Now I felt I did. It meant to link me with my Spirit Self.

As I meditate I realise that I have completed the previous portal task when I visited The Nine Ladies. I got the see from The Other Side and saw how the breath of plant life changes with the seasons. Now I needed to “reflect” on my next task…what would my next task be for the coming part of the year until Samhain? I see myself wobbling slightly below me. Then the reflection stops wobbling and I see myself clearly – my task is to work with my Spirit Self and bring the two selves closer together.

Autumn Equinox at Balmoral Forest (9) (Medium)
A wobbly reflection of the self

I step back out of the river and up onto the bank to sit on the interesting stone with my apple and feather beside me. I make an offering of these tokens, dedicating them to the spirit of the river. As I do that, preparing to leave, I hear the twitter of a robin skitting somewhere through branches in the trees. I see a flash of his redness before he disappears. Where did that quest inspiration come from, I wonder? The robin? The river? Myself? Yet, I know this is the quest. All else may be confused but that much is clear to me.

But who is the Robin?

chris_signature

Leave a Reply