Having found very little in the way of sacred sites to keep us in Rutland or Leicestershire we headed northwards towards Nottinghamshire. We had in mind to head for Dale Hermitage, but there would be an unexpectedly pleasant detour first, for as we passed round the outskirts of Nottingham a place popped into mind – The Hemlock Stone. One of our blog readers had mentioned it in a comment recently, and I had not had a great deal to say about it at the time. For some reason it impinged on my thoughts very strongly today. Kal did a quick calculation and we found that we were only 20 minutes drive away. Then, we should pay it a visit.
We arrived and parked in the Bramcote Park facilities, which today included a convenient ice cream van. Far too cold for that, but Kal wasn’t going to be put off. We wandered across the road to Stapleford Hill, and were fortunate enough to have the place to ourselves for the duration of our visit. Everyone else was busy being entertained in the park.
Free To Roam
I don’t cope with barriers very well. Demarcations. Fences. Gates. Ditches. Boundaries of any sort. I like to think of the land as being open and free. That’s part of what our grandparents believed they were fighting to preserve, so you could consider it a “landright” – an inherent right to roam freely on the land if not causing harm. When I’m retired I intend to walk the Belinus Line from the south coast to the north without deviating. That will be one hell of a book, right? I can write it in prison. Anyway – The Hemlock Stone.
As we approach we see the railings around the stone “protecting it”. Well, it is sandstone, so it will wear down easily. Yet, I assert my landright and intending no harm I hop over the railing, as does Kal. It’s his first time here, but my second.
Today felt different from my last visit (which was in February). The energies are much stronger. I felt a tingle of excitement as I sat on the stone. Something was going to happen!
Using the dowsing rods I find the bets place for me to be – it’s a natural ‘seat’ moulded into the rock. As I go into meditation I begin to feel a downward pull of the energies circling through and down below the stone. The strands of energy begin to form an image in my mind. It’s an inverted World Tree. I follow its roots as energy tendrils. The vortex of energies is strong, but I resist for the moment, until I test whether the vortex extends upwards in the same way. Yes, it does – so there’s a “tree” below and one above too. Right – time to go down into the subterranean world and find out what’s there today.
In the inky blackness a light begins to grow gradually revealing the scene. It’s one with which I have become familiar now. Since I first descended into The Underworld years ago and met Merlin this scene has repeated at various times. Now I was back again in the large subterranean chamber that housed a lake, at the centre of which was a small island. On the island was a stone plinth. On the plinth was a body. The body was an old man with a beard and a staff. He looked dead, but I knew he was just deeply sleeping. It was Merlin.
I put my hand up as though to shake him, but his eyes opened before I could do that. He looked at me, and said “Arthur?“. No, I said. I came as my druid name and with the presence of Arthur, having spent the start of the year tracking Arthurian sites in Angelsey. “[Name], Arthur. Uther – all one.” he says, beginning to rouse from his slumber and shake off the shackles of hibernation.
I carry him over water back to the vortex of energy at the base of the Hemlock Stone. We each take hold of a tendril and are lifted up into the Spring. At this moment Spring is born for me.
Merlin on the mount
Back in the light of the Spring Equinox day I stood thinking about the implications of what just happened. Merlin had mistaken me for Arthur. Then he’d equated us – as though Arthur was in me, and his father Uther too. Was there some form of symbolic connection; a sort of lineage brought through into the modern day by having similar qualities, or the same directive…?
I was about to leave the ‘compound’ around the Hemlock Stone but checked first if there was anything else I needed to do. Indeed there was. I needed to place a crystal on the stone. I knew not why – bit I happened to have ONE crystal with me. It was a smoky quartz that I felt a very strong affinity to, and which was a gift to me. I placed it where the dowsing rods said it should go, and then asked if I needed to do anything. No – just leave it. Er… well, as long as Kal was in there I suppose that was alright.
I hopped back over the railings and was about to have a rest when I thought I’d check if I was done – NO. More for me to do yet. I asked the dowsing rods to lead me where I needed to go and they set off up one of the paths up the hill.
Soon I was walking a winding energy path up to the top of the hill, and at the very peak the rods veered off to make me stand beside one of the larger oak trees nearby. Getting into trance I felt that Merlin was there too, and together we welcomed in The Spring. I thought that was the only significance, but in the next post you’ll see why Merlin was there, and why he directed me to stand beside an oak tree in particular. Now it all makes sense.
The Powerful Vortex
I thought I was finished, but I wasn’t. On the way down the hill I began to pick up pace. Whoah, there – I thought, but found that I couldn’t. This wasn’t just gravity – gravity I can control! I was being impelled to rush down the hill.
Now I was gathering speed, but also gathering subtle energy as I went. I felt like I was part of a dynamo system, responsible in my movement for the production of this energy. As I reached the bottom of the trail and found myself back in front of the Hemlock Stone again, I stopped, panting, then delivered the energy that I had gathered into the stone by directing it at the smoky quartz crystal, which was still sitting there patiently waiting for me.
My mind exploded in a typhoon of subtle energy – strands twisting, pulling downwards, upwards, spiralling like long hair in a hurricane. I stood as the nexus point of the energy, corralling it, directing it, and standing in its tumultuous wake. The power was could truly justify the use of the much-overused word “awesome”. If anyone with clairvoyant abilities had been there they would have witnessed an incredible sight!
Moments later Kal emerged from the iron railing cage. He had been standing there when the whirlwind hit, and he looked like he’d caught most of it!
In the next post I’ll tell you how the Nottingham connection and the oak tree came together to lead me to find something which will become a special part of my life soon.