The next stop on our Easterly journey was to another place that we had visited only once before – Dale Hermitage. The hermitage is a rock-cut chamber scoured from the sandstone above the village of Dale Abbey. The abbey of the village name if a scant ruin now, and the hermitage is much more energetically interesting.
As we walked through the wood the chill wind reminded us that last time we had visited it was Beltane and much warmer than today. We walked swiftly seeking out the sanctuary of the hermit’s shelter, yet I had time to stop at some new rabbit holes in order to pick up three small white quartz pebbles that caught my attention. We are just rock-shifters, after all.
The Hermitage feels too nice to have Underworld qualities, despite being down some steep steps. Inside it relatively light and airy. We had lunch, took photos and milled around. It was like we were waiting for something to happen, or afraid to start something! I casually asked Kal why the place was considered sacred. Kal looked at me as though to say “Read The Flaming Manual!” and pointed me to the nearby information sign. Didn’t I have legs? I was just being lazy, so I went to read the sign.
The information sign told me that the Hermit of the Hermitage was guided by the appearance of Virgin Mary. Given what I had been reading recently this could just as easily have been Bride/Brigit. That’s a long discussion for another time.
I looked for confirmation that it was the right time to start work. As I gazed out across the village of Dale a pair of hawks flew out from the ridge and began calling and circling above me. Yes, that was the sign I was looking for. Now I could begin.
I was guided to place three small white Quartz pebbles I had picked up along the way. They went into the alcove which had been used as an altar.
As soon as I had placed the three white quartz pebbles something changed in the atmosphere of the place. I could feel it. What was it, I wondered. I took my camera out in order to try to photograph proceedings.
When I took pictures of the altar I got a shadow in the edge each time no matter where in the Hermitage I took the picture. Now, I’ve been taking pictures for years. I know when my finger is over the lens. Nevertheless, I adjusted my position several times – the way I held the camera – the direction I was pointing in – the amount of light thrown on the subjects – the angle I was taking the picture at – the flash settings on the camera – turning off the automatic settings. I tried everything I could think of. I had 10 photos of the inside of the hermitage – all of which had a shadow in the top left corner no matter what the picture’s subject was.
Was it the Hermit? Kal felt an angelic presence. It was a presence I recognised. I had recently done some work over several months with a friend who had serious need of healing. The tales of those session will be told on my Reconstellation site. During the healing sessions I came to know that a spirit presence was helping me do my energy healing work, and that it was a spirit that I had picked up when meditating on the Isle of Iona some years ago. I came to identify that spirit as a healing angel. Up until that time I simply hadn’t believed in such energies, but now I did. Here, in this strangely carved hermit’s house I was aware of that presence again.
Perhaps it was the devotional context – the act of making an offering in a place saturated in devotion that had called this angelic presence to be here, but now that it was I could feel it. I took some more photographs. Yes, the shadow was still in the left-hand corner – no matter where I stood or what I took a picture of.
I traced my fingers over the cross carved next to the altar and thought about The Logos, The Christos energy that was imbued into these walls by the hermit over the years. A curious tingle went through me, and I traced its progress. It formed the sign of a cross through my spine and down my arms.
Reverence. That was all. This place was full of reverence energy, and I was connecting in to it. How strange! By coincidence, the next week I would be reading about the subject of the change from the druid culture into the Christian culture, and how the two were linked in so many ways. Here was an energetic example. I didn’t know what it meant for me, but I knew it was making its presence felt.
This was the last of the planned sites, but there was plenty of time left in this day. Would we have chance to visit anywhere else? Probably!