In the second Imbolc story I am heading out towards the many cairn circles which are dotted along the North Wales Path beyond the Druid’s Circle at Penmaenmawr. Although I had found one of them before, there were others farther afield which I now wanted to visit. I also had in mind that I might have time to walk thought the Tal-Y-Fan pass to visit the stone circle and cromlech on the Rowen side of the hills.
I soon reached the first of the cairn circles. It was one I had visited before and was close to the main stone circle. I stood with my oak staff, wondering how best to approach. I let my intuition decide which way round I should walk, and I found that I was standing next to a stone upon which there were three lines carved deeply and clearly in parallel. Three, was the message.
I used the sign that I had been given and began to encircle the cairn once more, looking for the third entrance way between the stone clusters. I entered by the third entrance and sat on the central stone. I asked for Imbolc inspiration from the spirit of the circle. It was quick to come:
“Fresh start. NEW GROUND.” repeated continuously in my head.
What should you do with a message as clear as that? Why, you should begin walking and thinking about what it means, and you should then put the intention straight into action, of course!. I began to walk down the hill from the heights of Penmaenmawr and towards the town of Llanfairfechan. I was walking the North Wales Path, although there were other options, such as the Coastal Path. I only saw one other walker, and he wanted to be alone, as I did.
Fresh start. This year was a fresh start. I could feel the energies clearly. They were bright, new, fresh. This year was a year to get back into the druidic work. A year to start afresh – a break from the past.
The other part of the message resonated strongly too. New ground. I was being called to go to new places. Not to visit the old places that held such memories of Kal, had familiar patterns, and which would just re-enforce all my previous work. It was time to visit new sacred spaces, new amazing places, and to define new work based on the calling of those special sites. I felt I had the measure of the idea, and I searched for the small path which would lead me to the back of Tal-Y-Fan.
I found the path and followed it, all the way until it disappeared! The path was flooded and I lost its definition in the marshland. Soon I was just trampling and weaving about within bunches of reeds, and jumping from one small island of dry grass to another – sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I was getting wet and tired. Where was this damned path?
At one point my way crossed close to a troupe of wild horses. As I neared them I noticed one horse lying down seemingly un-moving. The others seems to be close but not leaving it. Was it alive? I could see no movement of breath at all, no rise and fall. I made my way over towards it. Still it lay unmoved. I got within a few feet and suddenly its head reared up and it rose quickly. I jumped backwards in astonishment. I had fully expected it to be dead! As if laughing, the horses began to move away with low neighs and snorts of derision resounding in my ears. Ha, funny trick, my equine friends. Funny.
I decided to follow a direct path. As I was on no path anyway what did it matter? I picked a skyline feature which I could keep in view and headed for it, knowing from the map that at some point I must cross the actual path. Eventually, after a hard slog, I did find the path and made a decision. There was no way, with only a few hours of daylight left, that I could get around Tal-Y-Fan and to the two sites which I knew of there. They were now too far away. I opted instead for a new stone circle in the distance, but which was at last closer to where I needed to be to get back to the car.
Clear water, clear air, clear mind
I found a gully with a burbling stream and decided to sit, rest, eat and recover. Above me there was a patchwork of cirrus, altostratus and cumulonimbus clouds at lunch time. I drank from the clear waters and was instantly refreshed. I breathed the clear air and watched the cloud theatre above me. My food was a welcome energy boost and I was glad of the rest and the shelter of the gully from the strong sharp winds. On a day like today I was glad to be out on my own. I wouldn’t have inflicted the last few hours trudging on anyone! It was my slog, and now I had my reward in sight. A few peaks away I could see my intended destination, behind which was a new stone circle.
After lunch I pondered the fresh start new ground idea as I walked. I had been prevented from getting to Cerrig Pryffaid stone circle, and the cromlech close to it. Why? Because it was old ground! The map showed a new standing stone for me to visit and slightly father a new stone circle. This was where I needed to go. I set my intention that I would ask for a new quest and to say that I understood the lesson about fresh starts and new ground. In addition I wanted to know what powers my new oak staff might have, or what powers can it gain? Suddenly, from being a tad weary my spirit was uplifted. Yes, this was what I could gain from this experience – new information, new ideas!
With renewed energy I walked around the hill and discovered a new standing stone in the lee between two hills. I dowsed the energies of the stone and found male energy linked to the hill fort of Caer Bach on the hill behind the stone. The male energies had a 7/10 strength. The stone also had two female spirals come out of flatter side of the stone. I left my staff against the standing stone, and found that it was being charged by the stone’s energies.
Great stuff! Now I was excited about the possibility of visiting the new circle. Onwards!