In the last part of my Imbolc story for this year Julia and I have moved from the Knypersley Reservoir area and we’ve shifted about 10 miles further north to the wonderful remnants of a once massive set of megalithic structures. All that remains now is the barrow and tall stones known as The Bridestones, nestling next to a quarrying company with a stunning view across Congleton. It is in the borderlands, in a liminal space.
Remember my tarot for this part of the year? “The Honoured Path at Wells“. I had done the honouring at Gawton’s Well, but now it was time to honour the very spirit who had given me my wonderful quest “Kindle the Flame” – it was definitely Brigid. Brigid – the new light, the spark of life, the fresh air, the fire tended.
The journey there was hair and hackle-raising. Either people like a drink at lunchtime in Staffordshire, or they’re simply crap drivers. I couldn’t work it out, but we had to content with so many weavers, lurchers and sudden turners that I thought I might have to walk instead. My nerves could barely take it! Hey – this is my holiday! Perhaps they were all dowsing a male energy line in their cars? I think not.
The First Time and The Fresh Energy
This was Julia’s first time at the site so I ensured that we approached respectfully, gave her time to feel the nemeton of the site, and to determine whether she was accepted for entry. She could feel the barrier at the portal yew trees for sure. We both waited until we were allowed in. Our energies were right, our intentions were good.
It was too cold to hang about. With minimal sunlight to warm us, and with a sheet of cloud blocking warmth, and a cold sharp breeze – this was work at pace rather than a relaxing immersion into sacred space. I was taken by the dowsing rods to the same old place behind the tall stones. Always this spot – even though I have a completely open mind to where i need to be. I won’t dowse in future. It’s clearly “my spot”. Someone else had placed feathers on the other side, and there was evidence of other Imbolc visitors – burned out tea lights were everywhere. I tidied the worst of them.
We lit our own candles and dowsed for best place to put them. They ended up where someone else had put theirs – at the end of the chamber on the end stone which enclosed the chamber’s rib-like structure. As my task was to kindle the flame I did so, but I had to re-kindle the fires a couple of times! Damned freezing wind!
Julia sat and composed some poetry – this is what she had been asked to do! She came up with this homage:-
“Brigid – The Bride of Life
Bringer, healer, mother, wife.
The name if made of nature’s best
Giving heart and nothing less
Than all we can be
Together in harmony.
In her honour – fire and flame.
Blessed be Brigid’s name.”
The Cosmic Stove
I connected with the Earth and Sun, Moon and Stars in a different way than normal. I will explain soon enough, but it was a new method which I was to take with me to the meditation group. This would be how I connect this year – from the core. It felt like igniting an old oven. That’s the only way to explain the pervasive “rightness” and warmth it gave me to do that.
Once I was “warmed up” I was taken to a small birch tree. This was a starting point for an energy circuit. I was to follow a path connecting certain elements in and around the site. I went from the birch tree to a nearby standing stone, then to a stone in the chamber, to the end of the chamber where the candles were, and then back to the birch tree.
Walking the circuit was re-opening the pathways which allowed the Brigid light energy to be re-kindled at the site. As soon as the circuit was walked and the path re-connected on itself the light began to flow. The Brigid energy was ignited!
The Final Offering
As a final offering, a final honouring of the chance to work and the beautiful motivational energy of Brigid which this wonderful site can give, I left an offering of my skeletal and basic Brigid Cross. It was a rude combination of holly and oak twigs bound by twine.
Basic, but heartfelt and home-made. Always a better option than something made by someone else. It had heart and meaning. I left my heart and meaning at the site and we left in a rush, dashing for the warmth of the car. It took half an hour to feel our hands again, but we were happy at having had such a fruitful and fun day out in the dark drab and dour Derbyshire hinterlands.
Roll on Spring!