Posts Tagged ‘Arbor Low’
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.
Last year I had a bleak and pointless journey to Arbor Low. At that time I said that there were only two things that would make me ever go back there. One: a guarantee of warm weather. Two: if the site had awoken with the Spring, as this was the time when the dowsing rods suggested that the site would come alive with energy. It was Spring Equinox and the weather was warm. Damn! Still, what other reason did I have to return? I hadn’t counted on the one other thing that might entice me – a confirmed direct hit with some map dowsing!
When Kal and I had been discussing some places in the country where we might like to spend the Spring Equinox there were any number of suggestions, yet they all seemed to require at least most of the day to be spent travelling to get there. We wheeled and cycled through all the possible suggestions and then resorted to some old favourites. None of them sounded ‘right’ and none of them caused any excitement or offered any sort of potential for revealing something new and fresh for our 2012 quests. We wondered how to decide. Then a suggestion emerged – why don’t we each map dowse the result using the same directive, and then report back. Perhaps we could accommodate both results in the same day, or pick the most interesting one? With this task in hand we went off to do just that and report back.
A few days later we both had our results. I had used Bing Maps to narrow down my selection. The final result was a hill in Derbyshire next to a village I had never heard of before – Parwich. I wondered what else was close by that might occupy our day and discovered that there were two very close sites of interest - Dove Dale and Arbor Low! Both these places were within ten miles of the site that the rods had chosen for me.
I discussed my findings with Kal at the pub. I told him my results and asked him where he had dowsed as his location. He pulled out a bit of paper showing a cross and a spiral path that ended at a point slightly south-east of the centre of the cross. He explained that the cross was his ‘current location’ when he had dowsed, and that he had used his room as a map of the country. He then dowsed for a position in the room that represented the nest location for both he and I on Spring Equinox. The place was south-east of his room. When he translated that onto a map guided by a measurement of the distance he ended up at….Arbor Low! It was written on his paper. With all the possible sites in these islands we had both independently map-dowsed for the same location. Well – that was settled then. We would go to Arbor Low, Dove Dale and finally Parwich Hill.
We arrived on a sunny day. Everywhere else in the country was quite warm. Arbor Low was, as expected, windy and rather cool. I should have brought gloves! However, things soon warmed up once we arrived as the following tale about an elemental circle reveals.
Well, I see that Kal got his summary out first. Still, “if you can’t beat them…”
Generally, what type of year it has been? Dis-jointed, slower than last year’s breakneck speed, measured, with lots of deep synchronicities. When I come to review the year I realise that I still made lots of progress on the various tasks that I was lead to perform in order to progress along my path of Druidry.
Below are the main topics that I have picked out from this year’s blog posts. I have tried to keep the explanations to a minimum, so have included links back to the original postings if you want the detail for each of the topics. What I thought was a quiet year has actually turned out to be incredibly packed and busy. The topics are in no order whatsoever, which kind of fits with the way that the year’s learning has come about – seemingly haphazard, but all threading into and through itself like some kind of cat’s cradle whose overall pattern will only be known when the final moves have played out.
26 topics I have been involved in this year:-
a) Healing – Most of the year has been spent developing healing skills, whether that was using remote energies, balancing the chakras, healing with the hands, or with crystals. I have realised that I am more attuned to healing places than people currently, but that is changing. The healing energies can be attuned to different colours for particular effects. To work with these energies I need to understand which “colour” is missing from a site and then call upon the energies of the local living entities to gather together to create this missing colour and thus heal the site. [related posts: My Five Healing Rays, Healing Rays Explained]
Also, in conjunction with my friend Mike, we created a new healing centre at The Bridestones in Cheshire. [related posts: A New Healing Centre]
b) Re-discovering the bard - Discovered great new music (and that I like the new forms of folk music) at The Green Man Festival, and saw Roy Harper in concert in London. This year music has really connected with my heart and stirred great emotions. I have written more poetry this year than in other years too. [related posts: Green Man Festival, Roy Harper]
c) Astrological links to Venus, Orion’s Belt and Sirius affirmed at almost every site. Also Scorpius, astrological links to Arthur and the Great Bear constellation. The constellations of Serpens, Corvus and Perseus have been especially meaningful to me this year, guiding me along a very meaningful path from one end of an energy ley to another. [related posts: Serpent at Castlerigg, Arthurian Archetypes of Corvus, The Berth and Death of Scorpius, The Three Stars of Fertility, Absorbing Orion at Lud's Church]
This is a brief and largely unexciting account of a recent visit to Arbor Low. Unless you’re specifically interested in this site I’d skip it because it doesn’t reveal much of interest outside of those who would visit the site. I’m posting it for completeness’ sake, and for those who have an unhealthy interest in Arbor Low.
It was a damp and windy September day when I arrived at my friend Michael’s house. The usual crew of our psychic friends were there, plus a new addition whom Michael had been wanting to introduce me to for ages. I was introduced to Janet and immediately I liked her. She was robust, earthy, plain-speaking and no-nonsense. Being a Yorkshire lad I felt right at home with that. We chatted for a while and Janet offered to let me read a copy of “The Eye of Fire” by Graham Philips – the sequel to the astonishing book “The Green Stone“. I had read The Green Stone recently and had been fascinated by it. I was going to buy the book and its sequel second-hand but prices were starting at £20 each and rising quickly to ridiculous figures! Luckily, Janet had a copy and was willing to lend it to me. I devoured its contents the next weekend! Now I am busy working my way through Andrew Collins‘ account of the same events in his book ”The Seventh Sword“.
We didn’t hold out much hope for a break in the rain as we wended our way past some of the places mentioned in the Green Stone book, particularly Biddulph Grange. The discussions about the books passed the time on the way to Arbor Low. I was liking Janet even more, her ready smile, her chuckle, and her immediate warmth.
On my travels southward I had been following a line that I had felt was true, consistent, and indivisible. The energy ley was varying only in terms of its width and strength, but in terms of its direction and integrity it was whole and cardinally oriented. On the morning of the last day of my travels I stood on top of Christchurch Castle in the freezing grey morning, hardly daring to take my gloves off for more than a few seconds to dowse. Yet, I was glad I did because the results were extraordinary and unlike anything I had dowsed before in relation to neutral energy leys.
I was dowsing for the direction of the ley and my first response was that it went towards the Norman House down below me – a ruined house that stood next to an unusual water channel that split the River Avon in two. Now, Christchurch used to be called Twyneham, because it has two larger rivers running past it, and the town stood ‘be-twyn-em’. Yet, the Norman House had two parts of the same river flowing past it – the normal river course flowing fast and free, and then this narrow channel that was running slower.
Back on the castle’s small mound the rods pointed at the Norman House ruins and I made a mental note of the direction, then checked it using my compass. Damn thing must be going wrong – it was pointing East not South! I dowsed the width and strength of the line as it went to the east – it was only a few feet wide and with a medium strength. At this point I was expecting something stronger. I became suspicious.
I began to ask more general questions such as:
- At this castle what is the overall strength of the energy ley connected with Arbor Low? – Ten. But…another question then.
- What is the width of the line passing through this place at its widest point? – The rods turned at 22 feet. That tallied with other places where the line had been strong.
So, what were the previous answers which indicated a line strength of 5 and a width of only 4 feet? I moved to the northern side of the castle to ask some more questions:-
- Is the energy ley line passing through this point? YES
- Is the line 22 feet wide at this point? YES
I instructed the rods to allow me to follow the line. I began to walk forwards and one rod continued pointing towards the distant Priory to the south, and the other rods began to bend left, towards the Norman House! Was the line splitting at this point? It seemed so. The wider, stronger line was going in the north-south direction that I expected, but a smaller line was being diverted to the Norman House down by the two rivers. Why? What was causing such a split, and how?
Gwas had decided that he was going to follow the Southern Ley line that passes (starts) at Arbor Low. Being a sun aligned person, how could I resist a trip to that fantastic sacred site? So I had travelled up the 250 miles just for a hour or so at this magnificent site.
Arbor low is known as the Stonehenge of the North and having been to the more famous southern one a few times now, I have to confess, Arbor Low has energies that dwarf its more famed cousin. Why? My personal speculation is two fold, the first is that all the people visiting Stonehenge for tourism purposes rather than ritual or magic have caused its energy to diminish. Second (and more importantly) I believe that the people who visit, having to follow a directed path around it, are actually walking around the site the energetically speaking, the wrong way.
I was ready to meet Gwas at about 7:30 a.m and I got into my car at 7 and was utterly astounded to see that the very same wheel that had been punctured only three weeks ago had a nail stuck into it!
Since the weekend I have done some speculation regarding this rather unusual coincidence and rather than putting it off as literally a coincidenceI feel that it was caused by my having received a Reiki healing session (the night before) from a person that I felt shouldn’t have been doing them at the time (he seemed not energetically well). Of course this could just be me being paranoid and I wouldn’t have brought it up if it hadn’t been that right after the healing session, when we came out into the car park his car window had been smashed. Just a coincidence?
Thus Gwas came the extra few miles and picked me up from home. Our journey to Arbow Low was spent updating each other on our previous weeks exploits and so it was that we arrived at Arbow Low without even noting the passage of an hour and half. What we had however noticed was the down pour of rain. Which seemed to be getting steadily worse.
At some pint in the in the past Arbow Low must have been blessed by a passing Rain God. Of all of the times we have been to the place (twenty perhaps?) it has only once been dry and sunny (and on that occasion we hadn’t intended to go, we were passing past it and saw that it was sunny and managed to sneak in when the weather was hospitable!)
Gwas had a lot of work to do at the site on this occasion and so whilst he busied himself with that I had some confirmations to make. The questions I had gone with were concerning my Knights Quest:
On a trip to the Merry Maidens I had garnered that I had to have a crest for my Knights Quest. My hints for what would make up this symbol were a phoenix, Gemini and infinity. What I wanted to know was whether these would form three separate sigils or a combined symbol that represented all three. The answer was that it should be a combined. I asked whether there would be a restriction on colours, I went through the colours with the following result:
- Red, Green, Turquoise, Gold and Purple
Right, that felt pretty safe and reasonable now for the bonus prize. I had occasionally thought about the symbolism of the Holy Grail, especially with the Rosicrucian and Templar connection I had got. Now, my curiosity had been peeked by the Dragon at the Merry Maidens being aligned with the Phoenix constellation. Mostly because the central theme of my coming book is the Phoenix. Could this be a coincidence? Of course. However, it was as I finished my Crest questions that Gwas called me over to help him out with some of his questions. Working our way down his list he had a question for Arbor Low.
- Was Arbor Low currently aligned with any astronomical/logical body? And if so what?
To both of our surprises it turned out that Arbor Low was currently aligned with (drum roll) the Phoenix Constellation! Coincidence surely!
This was too much for me, so I snuck off to my power centre and asked a question that my intuition was kicking me to answer. Was my book being represented as the Holy Grail? Honestly it was a tough question to ask. But what can you do? You have to follow the path even if it leads you up strange roads.
- The answer was, rather too significantly for my liking, Yes.
I was smacked in the gob (an English euphemism for being totally shocked) once again. Seriously was this what the rods were telling me? Yes. Absolutely? Yes. Then to top it all. On a day that had no chance of the sun coming out (see Gwas’s promise) the sun broke through the immense cloud cover and briefly presented us with a sign.
Kal Malik – wondering and wandering
I am writing this post because I lost a bet. When I last went out with Kal to Derbyshire a few weeks ago the clouds were thick and black. All the way there we had persistent rain threatening to make our day out a rather damp one. We didn’t have much time and I only had tow things on the agenda – to take more accurate bearings at Arbor Low in preparation for my book research, and then to visit a cave near to Buxton to practise my chakra awakening using sound. As we approached Buxton it seemed like my second choice was looking like the best one – being in a cave seemed like the most sensible choice.
It was at that point that Kal made his bet – he bet me that he would be able to make the sun appear as he usually did, and that we would therefore NOT get wet at Arbor Low. Not get wet at Arbor Low? Today? With these dark clouds all around? And with Arbor Low’s reputation for wind, cold and rain? I took the bet. I said that if he managed to make good on his promise of sun I would write a post as penance, explaining how I should believe him, not doubt his faith, etc etc. Yeah, yeah. I took the bet.
As we got out of the car I was chuckling to myself – it was still raining and I advised Kal to take one of my spare waterproof coats. “No need” he explained, “I’ll be fine – the sun will come out soon and I won’t need it.” Unbelievable! The sky was dark slate grey with not a hint of the sun making an appearance for the whole day in any direction. We walked up to the large embanked circle and I began to take readings in the rain and freezing cold wind. It was not a nice experience and I may have hurried the measurements a little in order to get the exercise over with, and this may necessitate me going back again when the weather’s a little warmer. Hey – I’m human!
I took some other measurements too – like finding out that the stone circle was built aligned to the star that Andis Kaulins had said it was – Altair in the Aquila constellation. I also got agreement from the dowsing rods that each stone was in itself a star map. This was very interesting, but it wasn’t making the experience any warmer of less wet. I dowsed for the current star alignment to see if it had changed. Using StarWalk on my iPhone I identified that the current star that Arbor Low is aligned to is … Ankaa, in the Phoenix constellation. Ankaa means Boat in Arabic. That was it – my hands were freezing – I had to stop now.
Kal was doing his own research with the stone circle, but when I called him over to mention this interesting information he reminded me that his book cover (see Active Enlightenment) is also a phoenix. Then, just as we were discussing that coincidence another one happened. Through the thick grey clouds the sun somehow managed to cut a hole and shine down upon us. It was like something out of a dream.. I couldn’t believe it was happening. Kal just smirked and said, “The sun, at a sun site, with a sun person…like a phoenix!”
Just look at that picture! How…? Kal had won his bet. I knew that I would have to write this post, and that I would have to tell the whole Hedge Druid-reading public that yet again Kal’s faith in the miraculous powers of the sun are undeniable, and I should never doubt them. That is my penance done now.