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Beltane 2015 – Three Points of Ancestral Connection

May 20, 2015

This is the last of my Beltane 2015 posts. I had intended it to be the central point of the ripple effect – the smallest circle, the tiniest of posts. In fact, it is longer than I anticipated, only because it is actually the very centre of everything I’ve been working with since 2011. In this respect, it shows how sometimes our work has long cycles until they resolve themselves, but also that the smallest insignificant episode can often result in profound implications for your spiritual path. Let me explain!

The Returning Circle – Vale Crucis Abbey in Llangollen

For me Vale Crucis will always now be a local reflection of a similar Cistercian abbey in the Irish town of Boyle. Boyle, in the Irish county of Roscommon, is the centre of an area in which my ancestors used to roam (and some still do). When I visited the area a few years ago I had an amazing series of encounters culminating in an energetic battle with one particular ancestor who then became one of my spiritual protectors. I earned the right to inherit the family name that day, and all of the accumulated knowledge and wisdom that came with that inheritance.

Vale Crucis Abbey - Beltane - May 15 (2)
The leaning tower of Vale Crucis – alright, maybe it was me leaning

So, when I step into Vale Crucis it is like being in Ireland, back in my ancestral homeland, and having access to all that information and support. On this Beltane day, having visited many other sites, this was the southern culmination point. For me, I was just here to connect with my ancestors, as I had before. Yet, something much more profound was about to happen.

Duignan’s Pillar

I dowsed for where to clear and prepare, and moved to that spot to do so. When I was ready then the dowsing rods directed me to a place I knew well. I had given the instruction to be taken to a place where I could develop spiritually. I was shown the “sawn-off” pillar where I had first encountered the spirit of “Saint Duignan”. Exactly the same location as I had found Duignan the first time.

I have done a little bit of research on the Duignan clan. Here’s a link to some information about that family, so that you can see how it fits in with this story. I faced the ‘right’ direction – west, of course – towards Ireland.

Vale Crucis Abbey - Beltane - May 15 (1)
Kal dowses in the grounds of Vale Crucis abbey

In a light trance state, easily achieved even after a full day’s energetic work, Duignan showed me a set of images that I recognised. They were the power places that I had visited on my last journey to Ireland – places associated with my heritage.

He showed me that I can connect to places of ancestral power – specifically Carrowkeel, Boyle Abbey, Rath Darbh and Tara.


I need to connect using three connection points on my energy body – three chakras simultaneously. They are BROW, THROAT and HEART. Through the brow I connect visually, through the throat I connect with song, and through the heart I connect with love. This connection “brings me home“, spiritually.

Armed with this new knowledge I am now keen to try this connection out! But I will have to wait for a moment of solitude and a place where I can express this connection fully. Soon, soon.

I thought that was it – a simple process that would allow me to connect. True, it is.However, when I came to write this post up I began to follow a trail through the Duignan clan that I had previously missed. It turned out to be one of the most important links of all!

The Druids, The McDermotts and The Duignans

So I begin to do a  bit of research into David O’Duignan (1651 – 1696). It turns out that as the last of the knowledge-keepers for my ancestral Irish druid family he is responsible for penning such stories as: “Suibhne Gelt/The Frenzy of Sweeney”, “The Adventures of the Two Idiot Saints”, “The Battle of Magh Rath”, and “The Banquet of Dun na Gedh.” If I was in any doubt about my ancestral druidic connections then they just got swept aside!

The interesting story is The Frenzy of Sweeney. I have come across this text before as “Sweeney Astray”. It is the story of Sweeney – a king cursed into madness who retreats into the forest. It is the epic story recounted through centuries as The Wild Man tale. It later surfaces as none other than Myrddin Wyllt – Wild Merlin.

In most of these poems the subject – who is either named as Myrddin or is generally assumed to be him – is portrayed as a Wild Man of the Woods living in Coed Celyddon (the ‘Caledonian Forest’), where he has fled to after losing his reason (‘wandering with madness and madmen’) in the northern battle of Arfderydd, fought between rival chieftains c. 573 A.D.; with this lapse into madness Myrddin is said to have acquired the gift of prophecy.” (source: Arthuriana)

Coincidence? Of course not. What kind of coincidence is it that I hear the name “Duignan” at Vale Crucis – find out that he’s connected with my ancestral family – trace them to Ireland – find Kilronan Abbey as my first stop by pure chance – discover that it’s connected with both families – and now find out that the last of the Duignans is the one to record the tale of Wild Merlin – the very poetry that inspired me to study Merlin and adopt his name as my pen name at the outset of this blog.

It’s all one huge long convoluted set of meaningless coincidences, isn’t it? Maybe. I don’t deny any spiral it’s natural course, but I don’t see how this set of links could go any deeper or be any more profound for me!

The connections keep being made, and my ancestry is at the heart of the maintenance of the druidic tradition. For me, that’s a spiral that I intend to keep adding to.


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