Archive for the ‘Ancient site visit reports’ Category
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
When the weather has been dry for several days in England then it would be rude not to go out into the world and see if you can feel the forces of Nature at work. Not wanting to be rude Kal and I gave a large part of our eating and drinking time over to a journey to our favourite magical woodland – Alderley Edge. It was the first visit of the year, and although it was definitely not Spring-like weather yet, at least it was dry and had been for days, which meant that we could walk around without fear of falling foul of a foot of mud and slutch.
As if our wont, we had to have a question to be working with in order to make the experience bring true reward (yes, wandering around aimlessly can be its own random reward, but if you want to make steady and sure spiritual progress then you need a mission, a plan, a guided meditation). For my part, I had questions about my recent work with The Sword and The Shield. I had managed to absorb some energy into my shield stone and this was very satisfactory. Now, I wanted to know about the Sword aspect. What was it, and how could I go about obtaining it so that I could fulfil my healing potential using these two magickal symbols and their associated energies.
My research into the figure of Galahad had shown that he had encounters involving a sword and a shield. For Galahad they were to be found like this:-
- The Sword of Spirit - a sword drawn from a rock
- The Shield of Faith - a shield found at the altar of a white abbey
Well, that was all to plan so far. I had found a white abbey (Valle Crucis), its ancient altar location, and had transferred the energy of the “shield” into my shield-like stone, and was now able to use that to quickly protect and retain energies for sacred sites. My thoughts thus turned to The Sword. Drawn from a rock? Really? Like Arthur’s sword, Galahad also had to draw a sword from a rock?
Who owns the sword?
Last year I had been doing some research into Gawain. During that year I had some experiences, particularly on Iona, the led me to believe that the Sword is identified with the Will. This is especially true in magickal work. However, was the sword that I would work with this year related to Galahad, Arthur or Gawain? It was a confusing picture! Did it matter? Could the dowsing rods sort it out for me? Or maybe a tarot draw?
The dowsing rods were able to help me divine the answer. It is Galahad’s Sword that I am to find and work with.
“Sir Galahad survives this test [being sat in the Seige Perilous seat], witnessed by King Arthur who, upon realizing the greatness of this new knight, leads him out to the river where a sword lies in a stone with an inscription reading “Never shall man take me hence but only he by whose side I ought to hang; and he shall be the best knight of the world… Galahad accomplishes this test with ease, and King Arthur swiftly proclaims him to be the greatest knight ever. ” (Source: Wikipedia)
Now, on to the Alderley Edge tale, where I find out more answers than I bargained for!
In this final part of my Spring Equinox story I reveal the reasons why I had been linking the four elemental sites around Llangollen. I am also shown why this link was important, and how it relates to my work with the energy form of Galahad this year.
Only a few miles from the edges of Clocaenog Forest is the beautiful secluded site of Sara’s Spring. The Sara in question may well be the Patron Saint of Laughter that Kal talked about after he visited the site. This day I wasn’t interested in discovering more about the energy form at the site, only to come with questions that needed urgent answers.
I began by offering an energetic gift. I placed incense all around the spring’s rectangular wall and then offered all of the story of my day and my quest for this part of the year. This was offered through my heart chakra, freely and with love. I hoped that this energy would be sufficient as an exchange for what I was about to ask.
I used the dowsing rods to confirm whether I could, should and may ask these questions here. Luckily the answers were all a positive and the feeling generally was that I should finally get some answers to my puzzling quest after such hard work this day.
Q. What was the purpose of linking the four sacred sites around Corwen?
In answer I was shown the white shield in the stone that I had energised in Valle Crucis Abbey. With that image came the following explanation:
The White Shield of Galahad is emblazoned by a red cross. The shield shape is formed by the four sites. The cross shape is formed by drawing links between them. I needed to have that symbol in my head as an elemental cross so that I could emblazon it on the shield that I had acquired from Valle Crucis. Without that emblem the shield would not be at full strength.
“…at full strength”. That was an unusual phrase that I would try to deconstruct later. For now, I wanted to know more about the rituals at the four sites.
In the fourth part of this Spring Equinox story I visit a new stone circle (or two), working with the energies and completing the sigil shape that I had been tracing in the Llangollen landscape.
Bryn Beddau cairn circle
Hidden in the murky depths of the Clocaenog Forest are two small cairn circles. One or maybe both of them are named Bryn Beddau. It’s difficult to tell from the Megalithic Portal article, because it shows both of them in the same description. They are very close to each other, though. One is accessible from one of the many compacted gravel forest roads, whereas the other is further inside the forest, accessible from a path linked to the first circle.
I was grateful that I had Ordnance Survey GPS and maps on my phone. Without that it would have been hard going. As it was I found the sites pretty easily, but first I had to traverse along the “new straight tracks” that Alfred Watkins would surely not have approved of. These long straight roads were not good for retaining energy! It was an effort not to lose all the energy I had gained so far while walking these uninspiring grey roads that vanished into the distance, then turned 90 degrees to get anywhere. A kind of Roman efficiency. I walked with a rapid stride and a musical rhythm.
Occasionally a scene of beauty emerged by the roadside as snow dripped from coniferous branches, water languished in near static pools and tall trees braced against the cold air. The only sounds were the occasional movement of birds in the treetops, signalling my presence to each other.
The first circle I discovered by treading carefully down a deeply rutted track that veered off at an angle from a junction of two forest roads. I was glad to get into the trees and off the grey gravel road. After only thirty feet of careful walking a clearing opened up and I got my first sight of a new circle in ages.