Archive for the ‘Dowsing’ Category
In this final part of the Beltane story for this year I record the nature of my quest for this part of the Wheel of the Year – Beltane to Summer Solstice.
We were back into the east of Derbyshire now and visiting sacred sites along the way as we came to them. Being back in Derbyshire visiting places we knew felt like coming home, and it also felt like the right time of year to be working. Arbor Low was briefly in sunshine so I took some pictures before the freezing cold gale-force winds forced another early retirement from the site. Is that place EVER warm?
As we moved towards Congleton I veered off the road and up a hill to park near to a field. In that field could be discerned Clulow Cross – a vertical gritstone pillar on top of an ancient mound. Personally, I have always had the impression that this was a meeting place since ancient times, and once or twice I have felt the presence of a ghostly host on the lower slopes, gathering to listen to the pronouncements of an exalted few on the top. Others who have visited the site have said similar things, but of course there’s unlikely ever to be any form of evidence for such events.
After the bitter chill of Arbor Low this site was… exactly the same! Aaargh! If anything the wind had become stronger. Kal and I passed each other on the hill and exchanged knowing glances. We wouldn’t be here long today. I found shelter at the base of the cross and thought about which spirit to connect to in order to ask what my next quest would be. Should I try the Spirit of the Place, the various nature spirits that I hoped might be around, or one of the spirit energy forms that I have worked with previously?
The Lady of the Lake came to mind. She fitted the bill because she had worked with me in providing the Sword and Shield of Galahad. As my quests this year seemed to be entirely related to this Arthurian stream of development then I would continue in that vein unless something indicated strongly otherwise. Hunched in a quiet area behind the pillar I invoked images of the Sword and Shield, forming connections with the site, the earth and celestial objects above me. I then asked what the next stage was, directing my request to an image of the Lady that I had seen when I last worked with her at Lyn Tegid in North Wales.
I had deliberately kept the number of site visits low for Beltane. The daylight hours are still short, the distance we had to travel to get there was sufficient to drain away the day, and I wanted to be able to feel ‘unhurried’ when we got to a site. Almost as if enhancing this mood I had parked at The Broad Oak pub car park in the village of Strelley. It took us ten minutes to walk to Catstone Hill, and really it would have been easier to park right on the corner of the road just before the main village where there was ample parking, and the distance would have been more than halved. Such is life!
That wasn’t the end of our woes finding the site. Intuitively, and with only the barest map navigation, we found our way on to the hill. We inspected the broad flat plateau but couldn’t find any “capstones” for burial chambers. Were they hidden by the brambles and gorse? We tried to find more accurate maps on our phones but failed, so we resorted to dowsing rods. The rods pointed us out in the direction of a ploughed field. Our rationality kicked in and caused us confusion. We split up and went searching. Eventually I found the right place. It was at the end of the ploughed field and off the plateau behind a line of trees. The M1 motorway was is view below. Nice! Being off the main plateau was why we hadn’t seen it. We also realised there was a much easier way in if we’d only taken the steep tracks up the hill instead of following the main path. Once you know, you know – hindsight is clear.
We inspected the area around the capstones. No entry into these chambers, if ever there was any. They were silted up to the brim now. Disappointment began to set in. We stumbled around tripping over the tangle of briars and bramble thorns, the thick dead grass and the outcropping tangle of shrub branches. Our sense of frustration was compounded when we discovered that the site had no energy signature either. There were no earth energies running through the site at all. The disappointment grew. Should we turn away and go somewhere else?
Hey – where have I been? Well, to Budapest, then back for Beltane, then off to Barcelona. I’ve been a busy bee! It’s all go at this time of year! Normal service is now resumed, and no neonicotinoids were ingested along the way.
For Beltane this year I decided to go over to the very edge of Derbyshire where it touched with Nottinghamshire. The meeting of counties seemed like the kind of liminal space where worlds collide and interesting things happen - a kind of amalgam which I’m calling ‘Derbinotts’. We would visit two new sites in the Nottingham area, and on the way back visit some favourites from Derbyshire, but first we had a “local” Cheshire site to do, because all good Fire Festivals should start with a cleansing.
Indeed, I had noticed that there was a pattern to the many years we have been marking these festival dates. For Beltane the pattern was this:-
- Cleansing and purification through water
- Concepts of birds, wings or flight while at a sacred site
- A celebratory fire ritual, usually involving incense.
You may remember that I am following the route of some tarot cards that I drew and interpreted at the start of the year. For the four Celtic Fire Festivals there are specific readings and I was keen to discover the first of what I would term “the tricky encounters”.
The tarot has said:
Q. How do you see yourself?
Vision: “A picture – a person turning into a place and back again. A choice. Then a wilderness – dark trees, tangled thorns and branches. A despairing, Lost. Lost in many ways. A lady’s laughter.”
For Beltane the reading had shown the place as being “The Hermitage” and the associated character as being “Linet“. The main character of the reading was that I would be challenged and goaded into making an important decision regarding my progress on the path. If you like, my faith would be tested! I was feeling confidant, however, after having gone through the process of acquiring two energetic talismans – The Sword and The Shield of Galahad – and I felt that these tools would assist me greatly in dealing with anything “untoward” that might occur in my mind space during this quest.
Cleansing at Chad’s Well
To me Chad was that character who looked over the wall – the essence of childish curiosity, and a character which can be seen on many school walls. Apparently he’s also called Kilroy.
To the established Christian Church he was a saint of the 7th Century who lent his name to a well just outside of Stockport near Romiley in Cheshire. Maybe one day he’ll want it back? For now his name adorns a beautiful and well-constructed holy well that lies at the foot of a steep hill below the Peak Forest canal. The canal is the essence of tranquillity, and the whole area is suitably brushed with this soft and gentle quality.
Our holiday to Hungary was supposed to be a whole week off, and particularly for me a whole week of spiritual interests. In large part it was, but somehow the forces of the wild managed to break through into my full-on Tourist Mode in the middle of the week. It happened to be a full moon – Milk Moon – so I guess that was a contributory factor too. Budapest is a splendid laid-back city and after a couple of days touring around on a bus we knew where the interesting places were.
On a typically sunny April day we were finding our way around the base of Gellert Hill. This hill was renowned for being the haunt of witches, which is always bound to interest someone like me. I like a bit of witchiness in life. We had just come out of the underground quaintness of the restored Gellert Hill Cave – a site still peddling its special aura on the basis of a later Christianisation.
My second favourite method of divination, after dowsing, is now tarot card reading. I don’t use much of a methodology – I’ve never “learned” the cards, nor do I have any background in the original tarot card meanings. At one point I was as far as to learn the general characteristics of the “suits”, but then with each changing deck this got re-worked and soon I forgot all about that information. I now just take some keywords from the book that accompanies the cards, read the general meaning, and let my intuition find the meaning for me in the light of the questions I asked. This method has worked very well for me, and has been astonishingly useful. I’m not going to change my ways now, even though I have bought the renowned tarot book “78 Degrees Of Wisdom” on Kal’s recommendation. One day I might even read it.
I wanted to do a tarot reading to fill in some of the gaps from my current quest of “The Sword and The Shield”. Sure, I had gone through two incredible experiences to acquire these energetic symbols, artefacts if you will, but what were they for and how could I access them? These were among some of the many questions that I had about the quest. I gathered my questions, and then pulled out the Wildwood Tarot deck – my favourite deck for druidic forms of answer.
Here are the questions that I came up with to ask:
- What is the purpose of me having Galahad’s sword and shield?
- To what purpose should I put these energy forms?
- How will the sword and shield help me in my spiritual quest?
- How will the sword and shield help others?
- How can I evoke the sword?
- How can I evoke the shield?
Some preliminary dowsing was required to complete my other questions, which I felt weren’t suitable to a tarot form of answer:-
- Will these energy forms last beyond this year? – yes, for as long as I work magickally
- Is there anything else I need to know about the energy forms? – this tarot will reveal all
- Is Ash involved in evoking their powers? – yes, I will always need as Spirit Guide to assist with their use.
- Do the two energy forms of sword and shield always have to be used together? – no
So, with some questions answered, and many remaining, I dowsed for the number of cards to draw for each question, and then made an ad-hoc layout on that basis.
We have been having a run of dry but cold weather. It almost felt like Spring was close at hand, and besides we couldn’t contain ourselves any longer. Some of us have already got quests to do, you know? I was on my quest to discover the Sword and Shield. At the Spring Equinox I had found The Shield. I created/discovered it at Valle Crucis Abbey in Llangollen. In combination with the four other sites I visited that day it was formed in my mind, and its purpose became clear – to assist the healing of energetically-damaged sacred sites.
Now I was on the hunt for The Sword part of that pairing. To that end I had received a vision in Alderley Edge that indicated this sword could be found at a sacred lake. The sacred lake in question was undoubtedly the same lake where there is a mythological association with The Lady of the Lake and the giving of a magical sword – that lake was Llyn Tegid, or Bala Lake. At first I thought it might be Llyn Brenig, but dowsing revealed a better ‘fit’. I didn’t yet know what the purpose of obtaining this energetic sword might be, but that could be determined afterwards. The focus was now on getting it.
To that end I had identified a useful starting point via the aid of map dowsing. Llanycil church next to Bala lake was an ancient sacred place, since converted or at least marked with a church. Llanycil Church is no longer in functioning use. It would appear that, for at least the second time in this place’s history, the religious order has been overshadowed. One may say that the wheel has turned back on itself in some ways, at least that was how we felt as we pulled up in front of it in the handy lay-by opposite on the Bala Lake main road.
As so often seems to happen on my outings around Wales I found that a place that I visited was dedicated to St.Beuno. This character seems to crop up at so many of the places that were once pagan sacred sites. I tell you – that man got about a bit considering there were no cars or good roads in his time! Somewhat amusingly, his name could be translated into English as “Bono“. Interesting parallel here – it is said of Beuno that:
“”on the seventh day of Easter he had a wondrous vision” (source: Wikipedia)
A calculation using this year’s Easter date would be around 6th April This visit was a couple of days after that. Close…..close enough to be interesting.
I can’t think of a time when I have said no to a visit to Dinas Bran. It is such a connective and experience giving site, how can one say no? So when Gwas suggested an evening visit to the Dinas Bran, I said YES instantly. I met up with Gwas around 7pm on a cool early spring evening. We were at the bottom of the small mount that Dinas Bran sits upon. Night had fallen and the stars were shining crisp and bright. It was going to be an amazing night. We had decided to take an alternate route to the top and it proved easier than our usual path.
As we got closer to the top we were hit by a blast of cold wind that reminded us that we were still only on the edge of winter. Freezing wind demanded we leave the hill rapidly however we were robust enough in our resolve to stay until our collective work was complete. As always, we separated at the top and went about our own quest. Mine was simple. Could I gain one of the nine questions that I was seeking this year. But before that could be done I was drawn to the place where my Energy Double liked to connect with. It was a window overlooking a valley and at this time of clear night was filled with stars and just above hung the Great Bear. I sat in the cold harsh place looking out at the Bear and pondered the adventures that I had had at Dinas Bran.
The Great Bear Symbol
I would have loved to stay seated in that window on eternity for much longer, however the wind blasting through it was excruciating and only some few minutes could be had with that beautiful vantage. Then I was off, dowsing in the dark for a place to commune with Genius Loci aka Bran. It wasn’t long before I found a suitable place and thankfully behind an overhang which protected me from the wind. I had a question in mind…
- Can I find one of the nine questions (from the Dragons Soul book) here?
Almost immediately I got an overwhelming sense of Yes. Wow! That was indeed promising and surprising. This early on in the quest and a Question was forthcoming. Alas I was not that lucky. With some eagerness I took up the rods and looked for a place that would have a suitable resonance to seek this question. Bump! I smacked right into a wall. Ouch! I tried again and bumped into another wall. Confused, I asked whether this was the time to seek the question? I got a no. Did I need to prepare in some fashion? Yes. Ah. Could I do that here? No. Oh. I was disappointed to say the least. Such a promising start.
I stood with my back against the wall, looking up at the stars. I recalled for a moment that the wall behind me had been the place where my Quartz Citrine had vanished from almost a year ago. What an exciting experience that was. My gaze was drawn to the star-scape and the Great Bear. Gwas’s notions of alignment with stars and star energy effects came to mind. Was I currently in alignment with any stars? The rods reckoned yes. I was in alignment with the Great Bear. I’ve not really worked in this area much but am willing to try something different so, I visualised the connection between me and the myth that surrounds that star pattern. Immediately, Tintagel came to mind.
Tintagel, a castle that I had visited often during my stay in Devon a couple of years ago. Was the Genius Loci suggesting that that was a place where a Question would be forthcoming? Yes. So it seems that I have to go there before I can garner knowledge from Dinas. Well that is going to have to wait a while. It’s only a 7 hour drive to Tintagel after all. Sigh.
These quests are indeed demanding. But I do confess they are equally rewarding.
With that knowledge gained I was happy to retire to a pub for a drink and some much needed warmth.
Kal Malik walking the spiral once again