Lammas is a bitter sweet time for me now. I remember well last year’s visit to Kilmartin in Scotland. This was the last proper outing that Kal and I had together. This celebration is therefore tinged with a knowing that it not only marks the end of the Summer, but it also is a reminder of my new solitude.
Solitude. I have always felt comfortable being on my own, yet I do miss the casual acquaintance of friends and seekers on the way. It’s more profitable to check in occasionally, to have to explain yourself to someone, to hear their news, to argue your points. When you argue with yourself you are more inclined to let yourself win.
I decided that I wanted to go out on my own for this festival day. When I asked for guidance on where to go I was given a couple of options – Lligwy Chamber on Anglesey was a strong contender. Yet, the one which won out was Penmaemawr – the Druid’s Stone Circle. Lligwy was too easy an option – covered if it was raining. And it was.
Despite the rain I prepared to go to Penmaemawr. As I drove there in the early evening I recounted the many times I had done this journey with my old friend. And the times I had done it alone too. As I arrived the rain was lashing down, and I put on everything waterproof that I owned. Where was Kal, the Sun Seeker now?
As I step out of the car I hear the distant cry of a bird of prey. Good – the hawk is with me. This is the right place and the right time.
I seem to find the walk up easy. It has been a while since I last did the climb, but today the walking is easy, and I can do the climb at pace. The rain is sloughed off by my waterproof clothing, and I am thankful for that. The wind is strong too, and I know it won’t be long until the water finds the small entry points – the chinks in the armour.
As I pass the small cairn circle which precedes the main event I stop to acknowledge the group of wild horses which are braving the weather too, seemingly oblivious to it. They notice me. I notice them, and offer them kind words of reassurance. I am no threat. I admire their steadfastness and wild beauty. Satisfied, they resume their munching. This is a time of feasting. We should all be thankful for the bounty.
Always Around Like The Sun
As I arrive the rain eases to a gentle tickle of drizzle, until, as I rise up the small steep slope to the circle’s stones themselves it desists entirely. Another Kal trick?
I feel impelled to greet the circle, but then I walk farther into the landscape. I pass another cairn circle where I acknowledge the energies, and despite the fading light I feel like I need to carry on even father into the upland heather and peat paths. As I reach the top of the rise I am treated to a lovely view next to two large stones, one of which is obviously a fallen standing stone. Now I’m happier. There’s power in these stones and I shelter from the cooling wind as it grabs at my clothes.
As I gaze around I notice more wild horses, nuzzling each other. Love in such an inhospitable climate. It can flourish anywhere! Talking of flourishing, I find some beautiful flowers presenting themselves in small clusters amid the heathers. I ask respectfully, and am privileged to be able to take one for the purpose of making an offering later.
I circle back towards the main circle. It would be so easy to get lost in this environment. All it would take is some hill fog. As I go back I have already underestimated how far I walked out, and now I am striding purposefully through the deep heather seeking a path back to the Druid’s Circle. If it wants to be found I will be blessed with “right passage”. A path appears beneath my feet – made by passing animals, but leading to the circle. I can see the stone tops now in the near distance.
The Return of Dowsing
As I reached the circle from a direction which I wouldn’t normally approach I decide to find an entrance. I have a memory of myself dowsing for such an entrance at this very side of the circle, and this prompts me to get my dowsing rods out. Again I have the chance to dowse in a near gale-force wind here at this circle. I love the challenge! If only someone, some deep skeptic, were around to see the rods turning lazily left and right in a gentle sinewing sine-wave path despite the winds pushing at the rods and wanting to turn them in its own direction!
I dowse for the correct entrance – it’s an entrance I have used several times before. I then dowse for the correct places to stand, and I am taken around the circle, being taken to stones which correspond to the cardinal points. I notice this firstly in the East and so I begin some intuitive blessings:-
- East – I bring in the energies of the new sun, and acknowledge the eternal pattern
- North – I invite in the new energy of the Autumn and Winter
- West – I offer my love to the eternal setting of the sun, and acknowledge the eternal change of pattern
- South – I say goodbye and thanks to the departing sun and the Summer
As I made these movements in these directions I could feel the corresponding energetic movements taking place. Facing east something akin to a breath of fresh air entered my being through my energy centres. In the south I felt the warmth of my body sapping away with an invisible current which was flowing towards the southern skies, migrating with the geese. In the north I felt a powerful influx of new force which I knew was bringing change with it like a tidal wave brings change. Facing the western fading light of the day I felt a tinge of sorrow at the sense of dying summer, but a paradoxical reassurance of the inevitability and rightness of timing and seasonal change.
The Eternal Newness
After making these energetic offerings I reach into my pocket and bring out the beautiful purple flower that I was allowed to take earlier from close to the two boulder stones. I dowse to find the right spot to make an offering and I am surprised to find that it is right in the heart of the blackened centre where someone has recently had a fire.
I lay my flower offering and go into trance to speak to the Spirit of Place. Can it guide me to my next quest? I feel that I have completed the current quest. The way is open for newness and change.
The new quest comes, as so often it does, as a riddling phrase.
“Forge the ring!”
I need more information than that. Despite the worsening weather – the rain is beginning to make a reappearance – I question whether this is simply something out of The Lord of the Rings? What IS the ring I am to forge?
“Forge the ring of kinship“. How, I ask? “In fire and ice”.
Memories of Kal struggling up this very route to get to this circle in February 2015, when he was blasted by the Ice Dragon on one of his quests came to mind. This, I am assured, is something very different to that. I just have to find out what.
A cloud announces itself with a draught of icy coldness, and a renewed lash of rain. Time for me to leave, it is telling me. I have got what I came for. I leave quickly, offering thanks once again.