Archive for the ‘Ancient site visit reports’ Category
I had seen the sights around St.Cleer and was now heading firther into the moorland in search of one of the best stone circles in the country – or should I say the best three! The Hurlers. I had never seen them without them being shrouded in mist. Today…. it was likely to be the same! Still, it would add to the atmosphere.
From there I planned to walk across the moor to The Cheesewring on Stowe’s Hill, and then to a few sites beyond that which were marked on the map.
Top tip: Don’t trust that there will be a site just because it’s listed on the OS Map! Especially in this area!
Anyway, several false leads aside, I did get to see a few interesting places, and had a great experience sleeping in Arthur’s Bed (sometimes the jokes write themselves).
1. The Hurlers
Wraiths of mist whirled around the curving lines of standing stones which formed the three consecutive circles of The Hurlers. Only two “full ” circles are still obvious. The first circle, which has most of its stones missing, is strangely the one which I am most drawn to, and where most of my work at this site gets done.
So it was today too. When I asked whether there was any work for me to do here I was taken to the large remaining tall stone in the first circle. The dowsing rods crossed just to one side of it, and I stepped back in order to enquire further about what the work would involve. It seems that some dark energy (i.e. energy which is not beneficial to people visiting the site, or natural to its configuration) had been deposited next to the stone. I could clear it, so I would.
I marked the spot with a pencil so that I could focus on it (well, there was a pencil lying next to the stone – it was like picking up litter). I looked around for inspiration as to how I could clear the energy. A gust of wind slapped me in the face to remind me that air energy is perfect for this kind of work. I set about calling upon my favourite air elemental to assist with removing the useless energy form. She whizzed past in a flash and I caught the tail end of her passing as another gust of wind. Gone! A quick dowse confirmed the reinstatement of equilibrium between the energetic forces in the circle. “Balance in all things“. I might have that tattooed on my forehead.
Before the Winter Solstice I spent a week down in Cornwall. My wife was working down there and I had a week’s holiday to take, so I decided that the trip would server two purposes – I’d be there to support her with the driving and taking her out for a proper meal together in the evening, but also I would have the day free to visit many of the great places that Kal and I had visited in the summer – perhaps some new ones too.
I would be able to test how the energies felt at this time of the year, and it would also be a more leisurely visit, as I would have as much time as I needed to spend at any place. As it turned out, in winter, it’s not ideal to be hanging around in some of these exposed places getting wet and cold! And so, as each day arrived, I would pick a part of the county and head to that area, looking for new and familiar sites to visit. I got through many more sites than I imagined! Many of them I couldn’t find, or didn’t exist any more, and I haven’t documented that wasted time, but in the next seven or so posts I will take you through my experiences at the many places I did get to see. The experiences vary from simple tourist visits, photographic opportunities and walk to encounters with spirits and progress on my quests.
Come with me into Cornwall in Winter! First stop – the village of St Cleer on Bodmin Moor.
1. Doniert’s Stone
I was heading towards Bodmin Moor from the south. Normally I would approach from the east or the north, so I was driving on roads I didn’t know. By chance, one of these roads passed by a site called “Doniert’s Stone” – a tall pillar which once had a cross on it. Now it is broken into two remaining parts. Interestingly, the inscription can still be read, and talks about the person buried at the site – Donyarth, the last recorded King of Cornwall (then part of the tribal state of Dumnonia).
I found the location of the spirit of place for the site. It was very close to the broken cross, so I sat down on one of the stones to see what I could find out by communing. I firstly asked to connect to “Donyarth”. Here was the information that I got back from ym conversation:-
He wanted it known that his name was pronounced “Den-EYE-art” with the emphasis on the EYE part. Quite insistent on that!
He loved the land he was buried in, and this location particularly
I asked if there was anything I could do, but there wasn’t. He was staying, and didn’t need or want anything from anyone. I began to realise that although I was in contact with him, we were not compatible. The longer I tuned in to him the less I liked him. These days that’s a rarity for me, and such sentiments are usually reserved for those who are arrogant, self-centred or haughty. Doniert had all three of these qualities. I said my goodbyes, and left.
There was so much more to see today, I didn’t want to hang around. I still had Trethecy Quoit, The Hurlers and The Cheesewring to see.
In the final part of my Winter Solstice story for 2013 I talk about one of my favourite places – Dinas Bran. It’s one of the most beautiful, impressive, magickal and mythical places in my area. Having spent time getting to know its spirit of place – the mighty Bran the Blessed - it has provided consistently astonishing results through acts of communing.
On this day, having visited Holywell, this was the destination that Kal was driven (literally) to visit next. Our adventures at Vale Crucis and Eliseg’s Pillar would come afterwards. While the sun still slanted shadows across the land we climbed the impressive hill to reach the remains of the fort on top.
The day was beautiful and clear. Surprisingly, there weren’t many people on the hill today! It was a perfect day for photographs, but we were here for other purposes. Kal was on a mission, and I had a burning question:
Why were some sacred sites and standing stones aligned to stars?
I was hoping that Bran might be able to answer that for me.
My previous visit in 2011 to Arthur’s Stone had been in full sunshine. Today, Samhain, was very different with a blanket of grey cloud shedding rain all around us in sporadic bursts. I felt sure that we were in for a damp visit, but on arrival the clouds stopped dispensing rain and left only a wet sheen over everything, clouds still deepening in the background.
Kal set about trying to make the sun appear. By now I knew better than to vocalize any doubts about his abilities, but I have to say that I was really doubtful that he could penetrate the dense grey could cover that was all around us, and had been for most of the drive into Herefordshire. If anything, it was getting thicker and darker with every passing minute. Nevertheless, he stated his intention and I left him to his impossible task.
The second place we intended to visit on Samhain this year was a newly-designated stone circle on the exposed side of Hay Bluff. Hay Bluff is a beautiful bracken-laden burgeoning hill which rolls gently upwards from Abergavenny until it tilts downward towards its English cousin Hay-On-Wye. As we rose towards the top of the hill we simply had to stop and take some photographs because the vista was so stunning.
The drive up revealed the autumn rust colours of the bracken contrasting beautifully with the remaining greenery. The narrow road gave us a few heart-stopping moments, but on the whole most people were very courteous in letting us past or negotiating a passing place. It was worth the treacherous and tortuous tiny road required to reach the top.
A Sad Little Circle
On arrival we found that the exposed ‘circle’ was too windy and wet to do much for any length of time. We had to work quickly. The circle has one standing stone a few feet tall and angled. Other stones are small, buried and often missing. The size of the circle is about ten feet in diameter. It doesn’t dowse as being very strong. No wonder it had gone unrecognised for so long!
My reason for visiting was that I thought we have some work to do here and I want to find out what that was. Were we expected to protect it, put energy into it, clean it up or restore its spirit of place? I got out of the car and began to dowse despite the howling wind that was causing people around us to pull hoods up tight and shuffle off on their walks with some element of doubt about why they had chosen this day.
The dowsing revealed that we should work to restore the circle’s part in a larger network by inviting back the missing Spirit of Place.
I turned to Kal and explained my findings. He explained his. They were the same! With that kind of independent correlation we knew we had to do something. We split up again and began to work how each of worked best.
In this second part of my Samhain visit to Tinkinswood I tell about how I negotiate the charging of my new yew staff at a sacred site near to Cardiff. The site is a ‘burial chamber’, and was chosen due to the amazing response we got from it on our last visit. Having travelled over three hours to get here, we were rather pleased that the site was in a powerfully energetic state as this time of the year. “Lucky”, I guess, right?
At the entrance to the site is a new audio feature powered by cranking a handle. We listened to the various sections which speculated as to the purpose and use of the site in relation to the archaeological evidence. This kind of thing always makes us smile. Looking at the archaeological evidence of a sacred site is like looking at the waste products of a household and deducing their philosophical predilections from the packaging they discard. A mere sliver of the total amount of available information, as any psychically-oriented person will tell you,. The key phrase which sets us off is the phrase “…for religious purposes…“. We love that.
Here’s a snippet of what’s on offer:
Charging the Stag Staff
Interesting – that’s the first time I have written “The Stag Staff” as a description of my new staff, and yet that’s what I should always have called it. I will call it that from now on.
I ran through my usual “dowsing etiquette” questions – the ‘could I’, ‘should I’, ‘may I’ type of preliminaries, and getting a favourable response I began to search for the best location to station my staff while it was worked upon.
Samhain is a point of extreme contrast. It is in opposition to the bright awakening of Imbolc, and is the point of darkening – the clocks go back, the days shorten noticeably, the sun weakens, and the separation between the souls of the living and those of the dead is momentarily dissolved. This last aspect is almost completely forgotten by mainstream society now in favour of the costumery of Halloween. For many in the pagan community it marks the end of the year and the beginning of the new year.
We had decided to go back to South Wales, and then to work our way back up north through The Golden Valley near Hay-On-Wye. Our first site visit was a re-visit to Tinkinswood burial chamber. It had had such a positive effect on my ash staff (which I lost this year) that when I replaced the Ash Staff with a new Yew Staff, my first thought was that I ought to go back to Tinkinswood. This was my first clear opportunity to ask the spirits that inhabit this sacred site whether they would consider charging up my new staff.
As we arrived, parked up at the convenient small lay-by, and made our way through the dip towards the stone, the antitcipation level;s were rising for me. We stopped, me with staff in hand, at a recumbant set of stones near to a signposted old quarry. For some reason we were both drawn to stop here, and we knew from experience that this was our cleansing point. A place to re-attune our energies to those of the site nearby. A place to shed our modern world taint.
As we stood at the flat stones I felt like I should sheathe the overhanging power cables with some protective energy to prevent them affecting our work at the site. A moment of concentration later and the effect was realised. I didn’t mention it to Kal, but later he remarked how quiet the cables had been during our visit. When I revealed my preparation work he had to laugh: “That will be why, then!” he giggled.
Now we come to the work that was done at this powerful site on this special day…