In the last of my Summer Solstice posts (can you believe we’ve generated so much from one weekend?) we are taken on an escorted tour of a sacred site. We have left David at Fourknocks, but Regina has stayed with us to show us one more site: The Shrine of Brigid at Faughart.
We arrived at the shrine site and parked alongside a bus and another car. Throughout the period we visited the car park would get busier, and the site more populous. Regina mentioned that most of the visitors were from the traveller community. The site was quite unusual – a mixture of ancient stones with healing properties and a clutter of modern …. stuff… that seemed to be aimed at… er, informing the visitor and guiding them on their sacred journey in praise of this popular saint. We ignored all that and instead began to dowse for the most energetic locations.
The casual visitor, or veen the dedicated one, would be led from the bottom to the top via a numbered procession of artefacts and sacred spots. The idea seemed to be that they would perform devotions and request healing specific to their ailment from certain locations. Regina asked if we could like to travel from bottom to top or top to bottom (in number sequence). We suggested that we would actually ignore all that, and we wandered off using the dowsing rods to suggest our route.
I asked my first question – where could I find the spirit of Brigid here? I was taken past a little waterfall where I felt the impulse to wash a cross shape across my face.
The dowsing rods took us both off towards some nearby trees. Kal went round the back of them, and I was taken to the front. We stood either side of a light green young maple tree and tried to feel her presence. The air cleared and the sun came out briefly to light our way, and in that moment we knew she was here.
This was where Brigid was now, but I asked my dowsing rods to take me to where Brigid’s energy was strongest. I was taken to the nearby three statues on a plinth containing the three faces of Brigid, where I sat at one of the statues where the dowsing rods indicated was the strongest spot.
As I meditated at that place I did indeed feel a serenity and strong link with the sweet light that I have come to recognise as the energy signature of Brigid. I have felt it most strongly at The Bridestones in Derbyshire, but now I felt that same energy here too. I was happy to bathe in her light for a while, although I’m sure it looked very un-druid-like!
The Light of Brigid
We continued our walk past the numbered nonsense. For us they meant nothing. For a follower perhaps they were of more significance. Soon we had passed a small road to reach the more scenic side of the site. I walked alongside a group of tall old beech trees, greeting them and thanking them for allowing me to feel the energies of this place. Still following the rods I was taken over the official path, but stopped off to gaze at the grotto that had been built to house another statue. The dowsing rods were indicating that the place had some energetic potential. I took a photo from a vantage point and knew it was in some way special.
When I got home I studied the photo I had taken. On it was a blue light reflection of the sun that had been behind the clouds, but which must have momentarily appeared just to be part of the photo.
Regina walked around showing us the extent of the Brigid Shrine with a sly smile on her face. She was interested to know what we made of it, but our opinion was not very effusive. It was a muted opinion. Certainly Brigid could be found here, but she was not at her brightest, despite the devotion heaped upon her by her frequent visitors. Where could she actually be really properly felt? Regina had the solution. She had a well on the top of the hill, and now she became more excited at the prospect of what we would make of that site.
We drove up and parked. The site was only home to dog walkers and grave visitors. With our strange devotional aspect we certainly looked out of place. I was pleased about that. I like being out of place – it means I’m usually in the right place. We paused to breathe in the hilltop air and admire the views. This was more like it! Not a fake idol or affrontery in sight.
As we rounded a large clump of laurel trees we found ourselves confronted with what looked like a shieling. It was the cover for a well with steps leading down into a square trap containing some smelly water. I paused to feel for direction. I had to go barefoot and to bathe my feet. Riiiiiiggghht. In that? Of course, I did. The grass was cold and the water was even colder. Yet it felt tingly. Something was going on. Maybe my devotional act was recognised in some way?
I decided to walk further into the graveyard to dry my feet off on the grass, leaving Kal and Regina chatting. I was using the dowsing rods again to ask if there was anything further of interest to me in this place apart from the well. I was taken to the top of the graveyard and to a tall yew tree that seemed to be guarding one particular grave. Why was this significant. I wondered?
The grave was of Edward the Bruce. Knowing nothing at all about this person at this time I attempted to simply tune into the spirit (shade) that inhabited this grave still (albeit a very faint trace). What I got back was a drunken greeting “Slainte!”. Edward was very difficult to communicate with as he seemed to be drunk. I asked him how he felt about being dead and he responded that on reflection he was pleased he was dead, because the consequences for Ireland were huge as he would have created a powerful connection with the Scottish against the English.
I couldn’t maintain the weak connection for long and so I took this information back to Regina to ask her if she knew anything about this character. Of course, as so many Irish are, Regina was well versed in her history and was able to confirm that Edward was indeed a terrible ruler of Ireland who caused nothing but mayhem and disorder for the country’s citizens during his reign. She told me the story of the Battle of Faughart, and then I understood that my spirit communion was pretty accurate after all.
That particular spirit connection had been unexpected, but it was a fitting end to my amazing summer solstice visit to Ireland. We both thanked Regina for her time, her trouble, and for her local knowledge. As it happened we bumped into her again on our way to the airport at a service station, and it gave us one last chance to say our thanks. In return she gave me a gift of a green crystal wand! It was a surprising and powerful offering, and I have been using it as often as I can since I got it, to great effect.