In the third and final part of my Imbolc story I am making my way towards a new stone circle in the area of Penmaenmawr in North Wales. The sky is blue, and I’m excited about the possibility of seeing a new circle. In fact, as I’m walking I’m wondering why Kal and I never went to the two other stone circles in this area – we only ever went to The Druid’s Circle and the cairn circles nearby. Nevertheless I’m following the new directive – “Fresh start – New ground” to the letter. I’m on a path which I’ve never trodden before on the opposite side of a valley which I have seen many times but never walked.
I walked down the hill from the impressive standing stone, being glad to have gravity aiding my movement after the hard slog getting through, up and across the marshlands in the valleys below. I have an open vista sweeping down into the area around the towns of Rowen and Pentrefelin. This is when I begin to feel the wind and realise that, despite it being a beautiful day it’s still rather cool. The sun is also descending quickly now, and this weakens its warming effect even further.
The Crow Know Where To Go
I begin to tune into the surroundings. I pass beautiful wild horses who are somewhat disinterested in my appearance. Then I pass some hoary old trees – notably a wide sycamore and an old ash. Here I take the time to pay a little attention to the old trees, stopping to place my hands upon them or place my attention around them. They are pleased to be noticed, I feel, but the interaction is always too quick for a tree. We move like flies to them – buzzing and zooming past. How I wish I had all the time of my life to spend cultivating a deeper interaction! Time will come.
I am plotting the course of the new stone circle on my electronic map as I walk onto a gentle rise just past a sheepfold and stile. The birds are beginning to take an interest – they can feel that someone is about to do something interesting. A few birds come to take closer look, and make a few sounds, registering with me to see if I notice. I do. I hear a hawk’s call somewhere far off in the valley.
I’m now looking around for the circle – scanning for stones. Nothing in sight so far. Is the map an illusion? Is it a destroyed circle and now there’s nothing to find? The final guidance comes in the form of a lone crow, which swoops across in front of me then circles back and caws as though to say “It’s here!“. It holds its flight in the face of the wind as long as possible to make the point, before lifting and tilting with the current to be swept to one side. I switch direction and head for the crow’s indicated space, and behold – the circle becomes visible before me. Thank you crow!
The Lure of the New
As I reach the perimeter of the stones I stop to admire the shape. It’s a sort of boat -shaped ‘circle’, what’s left of it. There are a few tall angular stones, and some smaller round-topped stones with notable gaps and fallen megaliths. I am tingling with the excitement of the new, but I stick to my well-researched method of approaching. First I prepare myself; then I circle the perimeter to find an entrance; then I ask for permission to enter if I am in the right energy; finally I enter and dowse my way to the correct place for me to be in order to learn.
As I perform these actions the lone crow watches from a stone a little way away from the circle. It must be resting. I notice that a rainbow has appeared. Something is right.
I feel the need to leave my Merlin Oak Staff perched up against the tall sharp stone. It immediately falls down! I ask for permission to place the staff there, and this time the staff stays in place. Hmmm. Manners, remember manners!
I go to sit at one of the other larger stones. It bears an unusual fracture, and I feel that I should reach into my coat and deposit a found sheep’s bone into a gap. It fits perfectly, and despite the wind it stays exactly where I place it. Like it was meant to be there. At this point I say farewell and thanks to Cailleach. The Winter is over. She is leaving us, to transform into another shape, to change her energy, her attitude, and her gifts. I welcome in Brigid, welcome in The Spring with incense and a prayer.
I get deeper into meditation and ask all of my guides and helpers for instruction as to my new quest for the next turn of the wheel – what should I be doing next? I soon get a message:
“Sing the song of the raven.”
Then immediately, as I open my eyes, a black bird flies over me!!! This is my sign. Crow or raven, I couldn’t tell, but I understand the indication. This is right and for me, here, now.
I feel a cold slice of wind, and turn to see the sky in two halves. The day is receding and the sky is one half threatening and the other half inviting. I must work quickly, because I have one more thing to ask about. For this I need to be re-united with my staff, so I go to stand with it by the tall sharp stone. Here I ask for the powers of the staff to be revealed to me – can I know the powers, so that I can work with them as and when the staff obtains them? I feel like I am granted this request, but that I will have to ask again and work to find them out. I feel that the powers of the staff will come in time, with work, and that I too will have to work to discover these powers. Always the way – I never expected such information or power would be easily given!
The weather turns nasty just as I had finished asking about the staff. I feel cold droplets and a rising wind. I am being invited to leave now. I have got what I came for, and given back what I could. Time to go.
The rain chases me all the way back to the car park at the top of Penmaenmawr. As I get unencumbered and collapse in relief into the car I see a rainbow to end the day. A perfect circle! Happy Imbolc!