Dear readers, followers and passers-by,
This blog has reached a monumental milestone today. This is our thousandth post. Of course, our first task is to congratulate you all, whether new or old comers to this material, for spending your valuable time considering our humble ramblings.
I think it is apposite for me to re-state our aim at this point. We began as a journal recording our findings in the world of dowsing primarily. Soon the fledgling arts that comprise modern druidry (or “edge wizardry” as Kal calls it) began to have a stronger influence on our work. When we consider how much we have developed as spiritual people over the last six years it is astonishing to us. We often say that we have lived a second lifetime in that period, and you, dear readers, have all of this development recorded in one space as a testament to that work.
Our aim has not changed much since we started. Back in 2008 we wanted to record the truth about our dowsing discoveries. We still do that. We wanted to be prepared to be wrong about our ideas. We often re-develop and re-record our new findings, sometimes completely overthrowing ideas that we held before. I find that constantly exciting. We wanted to unpack the “loony bin” of ideas that we saw other people involved with, and to discover for ourselves which parts of those ideas had validity. The “bin” is almost empty!
What I feel we offer now are new perspectives on old ideas. I feel we take dowsing along a different path – the path of psychic questing. We offer new insights on mythological archetypes like the Arthurian archetypes and Celtic deities like Bran and Cailleach. To some extent I think we also re-vitalise, repair and restore many of the ancient sites that still exist in the isles of Albion through our interactive visits. You get to share these stories.
I call them stories, but only in the sense that we want to entertain while we record information. Our prime directive remains being truthful about our experiences. Whilst most of the activity recorded here occurs deep within the recesses of our minds, our aim is still to allow as much as possible to accurately spill onto these pages. There are always astonishing reflections, refractions and confirmations occurring around us in Nature as we work. What has been most difficult for us is to bring those reflections into the stories we tell, and to accurately record their feel, their qualities, their purpose. Yet, ironically, these are the crucial aspects which give us the confidence to continue on our paths.
Therefore, even as I make the statement that we are blogging a true path, that requires an act of faith on your part. This faith, this hope that what we say is ‘real’ and practical, this relationship that develops from the very words that we write and which you read – that is the very heart of druidry, for it is the AWEN itself. The living inspiration of truth-seeking, and its poetic reflection back on to us as feelings of love, joy and respect. This spirals around lifting us all higher on your journeys towards inspiration, motivation and hopefully elevation.
Thank you all. Seen and unseen.
Gwas and Kal.
Since Imbolc I have been reading up on yew trees. The aim is to assimilate as much knowledge as possible about this incredible species so that when Spring Equinox comes around I will be able to begin the process of understanding my yew staff’s potential powers. At the moment it is merely a piece of yew with a stag’s antlers on top. Soon I am hoping that we will forge a relationship that will be as fruitful as the one I had with my ash staff.
This book revealed many amazing insights which I had never considered before such as:
- yew trees may have been transported here from the staves carried by such well-known early Celtic Christian saints such as Cadoc, Patrick, Christopher and Bueno
- the trees may be the source of the myth of the “golden bough”
- the yew tree is the origin of the concept of the World Tree – or the Tree of Life
I am now adept at putting my consciousness outside of myself. The great Bran taught me many of these skills, and others I have worked on through my own training, guided as always by those forces unseen which lend their collective hands to guide me along this druidic path. Consciousness relocation is a skill which I have become so accustomed to that I have almost forgotten that I once couldn’t do this on demand.
I got a wake-up call recently though. I was reading “Fire In The Head” by Tom Cowan and he reminded me that the ancient bards talk of another level of consciousness re-location: shape-shifting.
I have been in many shapes;
I have been a narrow blade of a sword;
I have been a drop in the air;
I have been a shining star;
I have been an eagle;
I have been a boat on the sea;
I have been a string on a harp;
I have been enchanted for a year in the foam of water.
There is nothing which I have not been. [Taliesin]
This boastful style belies an inherent druid skill – the art of placing one’s consciousness within something else in order to see and experience from the perspective of that life force.
I am reminded that the Borrowdale Yew trees were hinting at this when they talked to me about the notion of “Propagation“. This is the concept of placing my energy (for energy also read ‘attention’) in something so that I can revisit it later and experience from that perspective.
Having been reminded by Mr Cowan that this is also a major part of the bardic journey I am going to try to make time for such practises this year. Let’s see what tales will come of it!
As you know I can’t say the name of the elemental angels that I am working with, but I can tell you something about them and their role in my future. I did a tarot reading asking one fundamental question – what is the nature of their relationship with me? The results chimed so clearly with the drawn cards and with the way that I experienced their arrival that I felt I had to write it down.
In the detail below some recurring themes emerged:-
- the angels command and demand a great deal of respect
- they offer the potential for a large amount of knowledge, skills and learning generally
- there were lots of “vessels” cards indicating a strong emotional involvement
- there were lots of “bows” cards indicating strong spiritual elements
Let me show you now how each of the draws revealed something useful about the forthcoming relationship.
The Thule Society, an organisation founded by German occultist Rudolf von Sebottendorff is usually linked to the National Socialist Workers Party of the Nazi era. However, before it was adopted by the ruling elite of the Nazi Party Sebottendorff’s organisation was originally full of practising druids. These initiates were keen on using what they termed The Rule of Nature – a philosophy which insisted that only processes which mimicked natural forms and conditions could be utilised to form the structure of society and its culture.
The motto of the society – “Der Weg ist in Dir - ‘The Way is present in You‘” is akin to some of the sayings and central notions of many of the pagan movements who espouse positions of religious freedom and self-realisation in their relationship with The Other, and particularly with Nature.
The society held its meeting in a hotel called “The Four Seasons” – an indicator of the motivations behind their Naturalistic theology. The term “Thule” refers to their idea that there were four hidden originating kingdoms from which the first humans populated the planet Earth. The northern-most kingdom - Ultima Thule - became the very real target for Nazi commanders seeking to re-connect with these lost kingdoms, and to rediscover their “original wisdom” and supposed futuristic technology (e.g. free energy, solar power) to assist the war effort for the German side.
From a modern perspective, is there anything which the druid revivalism movement has embraced from this era? Well, actually yes. The Germanic druid culture of the Thule Gesellshaft was a key instigator of the Ostara Festival – the springtime celebration which is characterised by the fertility symbols of the Hare or Rabbit, The Egg and the May-Pole – that phallic symbol which is dutifully bound up by the virginal maidens who dance around it in the Spring.
Their enthusiasm for the Spring ritual should be seen as an example to modern pagans of how to generate substantial interest, to re-engage a wider public in the notion of what we may call in the modern era, The April Thule.
The third elemental angel was found at the end of one of the muddiest walks I have ever done. I think there was barely a moment on the walk when Kal wasn’t complaining – but that’s what you get if you wear inappropriate clothing. This is Cumbria!! We parked at Long Meg stone circle, just north of the village of Little Salkeld. We then walked further along the track past the farmhouse next to the circle. Beyond that the path went into some woodland, but that just seemed to make the mud worse, if that was possible. Some mechanised vehicle with huge tyres had been moving along the track too and had cut deep ruts into the soft earth. The whole path was a sandy pink-coloured loam of squelching earthiness. At least the rain was easing off, and I laughed. We were clearly heading into the domain of the earth angel, and I for one was excited at the prospect of meeting this being at our intended destination – Lacy’s Caves.
The path came back along the River Eden – a wide and impressive river which meandered lazily along the valley floor. The path went back into the woodland and soon we were climbing into sandstone rock, then the caves could be easily found on one of the higher headlands. We were impressed. The caves had been clearly cut out by skilled hands and were beautifully situated with stunning views in both directions along the river. We got to work.
I formed a circle of found stones and drew a make-shift magick circle in the sandy floor of the caves, facing outwards towards the river and the bank opposite. An earthy smell filled the air and I breathed it in deeply, before connecting and expanding my aura once more. I stood with my yew staff and asked for any compatible earth angel to come to me if it wished to work with me. I got not one taker, but two. I used my intuitive sense to discern that one in particular was the one which I could work well with. i thanked the other for its interest, but let the one I wanted come into my magick circle. I got a beautiful sense of connection to the land, and immediately wanted to come back to this place. It felt amazing to be here.
At that moment the rain outside stopped completely and the sky seemed to lighten a little. There was still no break in the grey-white clouds, but at least there was whiteness now, not pure grey-blackness all around. hen a minor miracle happened. The sun broke out from a slit in the grey-white cloud and it shone a ray of light onto the caves where I was standing! nearly fell backwards in amazement. If I’d fallen forwards I would have been swimming in the river! I took some photos quickly and then Kal appeared. He asked if I had seen the sun, and mentioned that the coincidence of its appearance happened to match the work he was doing. He suggested that if I wanted to speak to a fire angel, that this might be the best time to do that as it might not last long. I decided that this was a good idea, and got back to work.
The dowsing rods confirmed that this was a suitable place to ask for such a request. I stood in the sunlight with incense burning around me. Then I called for a fire angel to come and join me in my work. Again I got a choice of beings, but only two. One, I felt, was too fierce and flighty. The other was older and more… sure of itself. I felt this was the right one to go with, and so asked it to join with me, which it did.
My elemental cross of angelic assistants was complete. In the final post I will tell you about a request that I worked to fulfil before I left the caves, and I will also talk a little bit more about the concept of elemental angels.
As we crawled at a few miles per hour towards the dead end that is Seathwaite in the Borrowdale valley we kept our spirits up and our frustration levels down by focusing on the end point – a set of three yew trees which I knew to be of ancient origin. They were among the oldest trees in the country, and I wanted to see them on this special “gateway” day, because the yew tree was such an important part of the start of my ritual year. Kal was excited too. Over the years he’s grown to like visiting these ancient trees, and now he was curious to see what these old specimens might have to offer.
The rain got worse. The tractor pulling a trailer was going our way – all the way to the end of the road! We parked at the ample parking area – no other visitors today – then got kitted out with waterproof gear. Luckily for Kal I had a new waterproof coat that I wanted to test out. He got to wear that and it was excellent. The rain was now horizontal and coming in waves of deep powerful droplets which soaked anything they touched. I asked Kal one last time if he wanted to brave these elements – the water angel’s expression of herself in full glory. Amazingly, he said he did, so we headed off on the well-signed path across the fledgling River Derwent – a river which I knew well from my childhood.
The Fraternal Four – Now Three
The yews were easily spotted despite the terrible conditions and the proclivity to keep our heads down. They stood majestically and apart from other trees of lesser standing. As we approached up the incline we saw the information sign which gave us a timeline for their existence. On a sunny day this might have been fun to read. We moved on. Facts and figures were irrelevant to our meeting.
We visited each of the remaining three yew trees in turn. Each had their own character, and each revealed something which could be immediately tested at the next tree. My meditation was a series of incredibly profound experiences, and so informative. Read on to find out what these ancient yews told me.