A druid is asked to work with both light and darkness. The concepts of druidry seem to me to be centred around the concept of balance. All too often the concepts of life and death are separated out into their extremities. I like to think of existence as a sphere across whose surface we move from the reflected light of life through to the shadowed dark side of death. Often clouds of darkness move over our existence, or spots of intense aliveness light it up. This particular experience made me think about a darker aspect: death.
I was thinking about how much of this blog deals with a balance of light and dark. I have skills that I used with the darker aspects just as much as I work with the light. I do healing, but it could as easily be used to harm. I do death eating, yet I use it to ground spirits for their benefit. I clean and clear sites, but that is a destruction as much as a creation. I energise people and places for their benefit, but I could as easily taint. The differentiator is only intention. I have almost exclusively chosen to work with good intention.
My wife is becoming more psychically aware. She’s doing a course on energy healing, and in a moment of inspiration she needed to find a way to get some of her questions answered. Speaking with her I said “Well you know, really it’s all about you…”. She stopped the sentence before I could go on. “‘All about yew’….’ she echoed. “Which yew tree?” she asked, “The one you visit?“. She meant The Llangernyw Yew. I knew this was the right place to take her for inspiration, so we decided to go that afternoon.
The weather was in a dualistic mode. Bright spots of sunlight made driving difficult as the intense light flooded the damp roads turning the tarmac into tunnels of piercing light. Then, within mere metres, a dullness descended followed by the hard-edged spatter of ice particles pinging noisily against the windscreen. This alternated almost all the way and caused our moods to flip accordingly during the journey. I was confident, however, that our end point would be fine. And so it was.
Hello To Yew
I introduced my wife to the great yew, then stepped away and around it. I busied myself with taking some photographs whilst M disappeared beneath the giant yew’s engulfing canopy.
Twenty minutes later she emerged blinking into the daylight. The sun was coming out and this seemed to me a good sign that she had enjoyed the experience, and so it was. Nothing too profound, but certainly she had got guidance for herself. She had a clearer course as a result of the meeting.
I wondered if there was anything for me to do here, and found that there was. I asked for a few moments alone with the tree and moved under the canopy to locate the favoured branch where I always felt comfortable.
Within seconds the introductions were done and I was being pulled strongly downwards. Like stepping into a vortex I was sucked downwards into The Underworld by the force of the yew’s energies. I held myself with a strong intention so that I was hovering in that space, rather than continuing to fall ever deeper (just as I had done at the Fortingall Yew, I remember).
Death Eating for Dummies
Seeking out the yew’s voice I asked a question – what was there for me to learn today? The yew’s response was typical – a mixture of speech, picture and feeling whose intricate threading is impossible to describe or unravel in order to explain afterwards. The richness of the weave is part of the magic, and so it must remain.
Yet I can relate the two-dimensional text of the answer. I was told that in the next year a close family member will die. I must use my Death Eater skills in order to gather the death energies, transport those energies to an appropriate place, and then release them in a fitting manner.
This was a shocking bit of information! It was delivered without sentiment or emotion by the yew, who has become accustomed to the flavour of human death as we have become accustomed to the flavour of air.
Although I have done these death-eating acts for people unknown to me, and have transported death energies in this way, this was clearly a step further towards the core of my being. I realise that the ultimate act is to transport my own death energies – the logical conclusion – and that the training is all about learning how these processes work.
Yet, still. To do this for a close relation… this is something that fills me with a curious mixture of excitement and trepidation. I don’t want to get it wrong, and yet I have little guidance! It’s like being handed the script to a play and being told that you could be called upon to deliver the lines at any time in the next year!
My oft-repeated phrase of recent times remains: let’s see what happens next!