I cannot now tell you what prompted me to choose this destination. I think I was looking for a dolmen that I had not been to before, and which was within 2 hours drive of home. I think I narrowed the search down to the county of Powys in Wales, but as this is a huge county that wasn’t much of a narrowing! What resulted was this nice-looking dolmen structure about two hours away. That was as much thinking as went into the decision.
I set myself a destination of the nearest town – Rhayader. I noticed, with interest, that the general area was close to the River Wye. That is a river that holds a particular fascination for me, and I have no idea why. I love the Wye Valley, Monmouthshire, that Powys region – the whole thing about it. I was about to find out why soon. Why! Wye? Oh dear, let’s no go down that spiral….
The journey up the valley into the mountains was stunning. I drove from the edges of Rhayader town up along a tributary’s route – the Nant Gwynllyn valley. Gwyn Llyn – “The White Lake“. White is usually associated with Faery in myth. I was passing through ancient woodland, and then into moorland. I felt… at home with it all. Like I already knew the place. Or that I was being welcomed.
I parked near the top of the rise where the road began to flatten out. The wonderful mapping system that is ViewRanger had got me to within a hundred yards of the site, and there was a convenient parking place by the side of the road. As I got prepared for the winds, the rain and the other elements which may be thrown at me I watched in amazement as a lady on a racing bike pushed hard on the pedals to rock herself towards the top of the hill. And they say I’m mad.
As I crossed the wide stream between me and the sacred site I could hear falling or churning water. I heard the distant cry of a hawk, and stopped to appreciate the sign. Other birds, closer, chatted to each other as they were making their way under the stronger winds. A flock of sheep were huddling and snuggling on the hillside, their bleats making a curious chorus. The landscape looked bleak, but it was alive with movement and sound!
Unexpectedly, I saw a standing stone as I crossed the wide stream. The ground was boggy and difficult, but once on the far side it was easier. The standing stone was a typical welsh flat rounded stone with a taller peak at one end.
I worked using my dowsing rods, but my decisions were intuitive ones. I only used the dowsing to show me direction. I felt the required decisions. Should I cleanse before approaching the stone? YES. Show me where – the rods led me away from the stone to a “safe distance” (outside the stone’s energetic aura). I intended for my “worldly layers” to be removed in whatever time it took to do so. When I felt I was ready I moved on, on towards the stone. The rods took me to the sunny flat side of the stone, and there I sat. I was grateful it was also the dry side, and out of the wind.
I attuned to the stone using the natural meditation techniques that I have been sharing with my meditation group for some years now. The visualisation I used was of a tree, and this image emerged spontaneously. It was a very deep-rooted tree, with incredibly deep and vibrant roots and branches. The connection felt incredibly strong.
Inevitably my imaginary tree’s roots found some underground water courses, and when they passed into those I could feel a strong tingle when connecting to the energies of these underground waters, and those of the water courses all around in the landscape.
There was something deeper going on. It was more than a tingle. That was deep. I sat with it until the feeling decided to make itself more knowable. These are my ancestral waters. The Wye is my river. I am linked with it in an ancestral sense. This stream was one of the first tributaries to the river, and specifically it was the tributary which I was linked to. Wow!
This reminded me of something that Debra Delgyln has been researching this year. She is teaching Native Wisdom teaching of the Inca, and part of those ideas is that you have a Father Mountain and a Mother River. As part of her own journey she has recently walked part of the River Severn (see this blog post). I realised this was a similar journey for me when I saw where I was on the map.
Questions about Forging The Ring of Kinship
My current quest is “Forge the ring of kinship in fire and ice.” A complex riddle. I wanted to know if this was a place where I could discover more. I walked up towards the crag. It looked interesting, with bits almost falling off it. Great slidden piles of cloven shards lay crumbling and balancing, teetering and inviting me into the gaps. I knew by looking that there was magic in there, revealed by time. I used the dowsing rods to draw me to the correct place, weaving my way through the marsh grass to reach a cosy crevice.
Can I find out about forging the ring? Yes! Big. Yes. As I sat in wild meditation, linked with the rock, sending my energies down the valley with the water, and playing with the essence of the ancient woodland below, I felt something “archetypal” stirring. I knew the feeling. It was Merlin. My old friend. I hadn’t felt his presence for such a long time! He was back with me. Hawks whirled and cried in recognition of this moment.
I had the strangest feeling that I had been here before. In this exact spot, sat here, with Merlin. In meditation Merlin shows me that the “fire” of the riddle is lightning from the Merlin Staff – the oak staff I am currently carving. The “ice” is the chill wind of Autumn. In Autumn’s icy cold will come lightning. This is when the staff can be initiated and then used.
But what is the ring of kinship? What is that all about? I can’t get any more from this place and feel I need to leave. I’m just about to walk off when I feel I’m pulled back. “Where’s my reward?” say the Earth spirits in the crag. Ah… I haven’t brought anything to offer…. I reach into all pockets – all I have is money. “That’ll do – if you value it then that’s what I want.” I, er…. OK. I leave the gift of a five pound note. Seriously! Hey ho. Inflation. The Tooth Fairy would have settled for a pound, I’m sure.
A Midjudgment of Scale
Now, I came here to find a dolmen. I’ve only seen it in a picture, but it looks well-formed. Surely, on this barren hillside, I must be able to find it? I scour the crag area. Nothing. I climb to the top of the hill. Nothing. I zig-zag my way down inspecting all possible boulder formations. Nothing. I’m just about to give up when I see something at the side of the path I was on to start with. There’s a structure – a small hole – and it’s got a flat roof. But it’s about a foot high!
Yep. That’s it. No wonder I couldn’t find it!
I am determined to make use of this monumental sacred structure. I lie down with my head close to the entrance and I get into a meditation state. Actually, it’s pretty powerful! Soon I’m getting a stream of information in response to my question about the quest.
“Fire and ice”= Water! Forge the ring in water! And what better water than the initial tributary of the River Wye? Suddenly the pieces begin to come together into a clear picture. But where is the “forge” bit about? I pull out the stone that I have been carrying around since I arrived…it looks the shape of an anvil!
I leap up, giving thanks to the tiny dolmen. Here was the clear picture: The anvil stone needed to be washed in the waters of the Wye’s tributary. Like a tribute in itself. More than that, I needed to place it in a Faery Ring. That would be The Ring of Kinship – Kinship with the Faery kind.
Only problem – where in this dense marshy moorland could I find a grass faery ring? Time for the dowsing rods to do what they do best – to lead me to where I need to be. I put them into the search position, and set my intention. “Please take me to the place where I can enact my Ring of Kinship ritual”. Off we went….
I am taken down to the wide stream, wending my way through the tall grasses and ferns until I break into a clear section by the waters’ side. The rods move me towards a flat area, and there in front of me is a flat lush grassy area, and in the middle is…. you guessed it. A faery ring of grass.
I wash the anvil stone in the most oxygenated part of the stream, where three currents join, and then place it into a faery ring of grass in order to activate the connection. The connection between what? I get into meditation, and the answer comes quickly: between a ring of stars, a ring of sacred sites and the faerie portal here at the waterfalls.
I surround the ring with incense sticks to emphasize my gratitude, and to add the fire element to the equation. I am stunned. Everything came right – the random stone, the two meditation locations to sit at not one, the faery ring being impossibly present, the River Wye connection… a truly magickal experience!
Thanks Merlin! Tribute! Glad you’re back.