Ben Nevis is a tall mountain. I can report that back from first-hand experience. Yet, despite its arduous and seemingly never-ending path up, there was one incident that made the effort all worthwhile. M and I were on our way up towards the mist and clouds that hung around the upper part of the mountain. On our way we had to zig-zag across the initial slope up from Glen Nevis visitor centre car park. Once you start moving back and forth across the slop, you know you’re in for a steep climb!
We had reached one of the streams which cross the path and before us was a little ramshackle hut hiding underneath a small but aged tree. It may have been hawthorn, I wasn’t paying attention. The reason for my diversion was that as I drew level with the tiny shack a robin appeared on a branch that was in my eye line. I stopped. The robin turned to eye me up side on. I thought to myself “I need to make contact”, so I introduced myself and acknowledged its presence and thanked it for its attention. I offered it some love, joy and respect emotions through my heart chakra. It chirruped at me, but remained on the branch. I looked up the path ahead. M was beginning to realise that I was not right behind her any more and turned to find out why. I directed her attention to the robin, but she wasn’t engaging with me, and she certainly wasn’t about to come back down to look. I said my goodbyes to the bird and then continued up the path to meet M.
It was a beautiful experience, one which I will remember for a while. Rarely do we get the chance to be so engaged with wildlife. I was clearly being invited to pay attention to something : some message or sign that was important at this time – the time of the Autumn Equinox. Something wanted to be with me as I travelled that day.
We reached the top and didn’t stay long. It was freezing and unrewarding being on the summit. The scene cuts now to hours later. We are getting tea ready after our monumental climb, and beginning to relax and settle into the motorhome in the Glen Nevis site at the base of the huge mountain. I have offered to go and fill up the water carrier that we use when we haven’t got a fresh water supply for the motorhome. As I step out of the van a robin appears next on the lawn some mere four or five feet away from where I stand frozen to the spot. Again, this seems to be “for me” alone. We exchange words again, and again I offer my heartfelt energy in exchange for its interest.
As we settle in for the evening I begin to muse about the coincidence of the interested robin(s). It’s Merlin in his Winter guise, I wondered?
The Journey To Understanding
On our way back home from Scotland we are heading towards Glasgow from the Highlands. There aren’t many routes so were following the lake road trying to connect with the dual carriageways closer to Glasgow in the hope of reaching Ayr before nightfall. As a break we stop at the cafe at Inveruglas on Loch Lomond. We were sitting having a coffee and watching the lake ripple int he gentle breeze. There are tens of other travellers doing the same and there is barely a table left, but we get the last one. I had just come back from taking some photographs of the beauty of the lake, and was feeling quite connected. As I sat down to drink, guess what appeared on the end of the bench that I was sitting opposite?
Dowsing for answers
At home I did some dowsing to find some answers. Who did this robin represent? Was it Merlin? I stopped to think If it wasn’t my Otherworldly ‘tutor’ then was it some other ‘guide’? YES. Was it my Spirit Self? YES!
My Spirit Self (or High Self) was an intuitive part of me that I had recently specifically contacted during some course work that I have been doing on spiritual coaching. During one exercise designed to invoke the Spirit Self I had met a figure that I recognised – Gwalchmai – The Hawk of May. I realised that the bird that I associated with Merlin was a wren, not a robin. Now it begins to make some kind of sense.
My association with Gwalchmai was that of The Hawk. Why the transformation from Hawk to Robin, I pondered? It is the old story of the Winter King and the Summer King. In Summer Gwalchmai is the Hawk – utilising the powers of summer to prosper. In the Winter he is a robin, surviving on what the Winter can provide. This is an interesting counterpoint to explore. From the power and prosperity of the summer image to the frailty and dependence of the winter image.
I wonder if anyone else has come across their guiding spirits changing symbolic form in order to highlight an energetic difference related to the time of year? Do let me know if you have!