Posts Tagged ‘ash tree’
The wonderful thing about the Kilmartin Glen area is the density of megalithic sites, and the way the local authority has presented and preserved these important places. Dunchraigaig Cairn [link] is a prime example of this. We flew past it on the way in, but now we were heading back along the road we came in on so that we could access the site. Sometimes we “choose” the order of events, sometimes the order is imposed upon on by “chance”.
We parked in the small purpose-built car park and negotiated the surprisingly busy A816 road close to the Dunchraigaig Bed and Breakfast building. Once across we seemed to be in a serene space, surrounded by tall old trees of differing varieties which ringed the main attraction – a low-lying mound of rocks which capped two near-hidden cubby-hole entrances to the cairn .
Approaching Old Trees
The obviously striking spruce trees didn’t draw as much attention as the solitary old ash tree. The ash tree drew my attention and made me go towards it, where I placed all my things and sat down ready to rest. No rest for this druid! The moment I sat down I felt that the tree was trying to communicate. So be it!
I decided I needed a “proper approach” to the tree, and so I dowsed for a way in. The way was provided, and as I approached the rods stopped me. I looked down to discover tow mostly-buried stones forming a portal entrance way. I recognised the feature, connected to the presence of the tree, and then waited to see if my introduction would be accepted. It was, and now I could sit down and got into a meditative state at the base of this fine ash tree.
In the second (and slightly shorter) of the Beltane stories I am following a different ‘ripple’ from the initial ‘splash’ that was recounted previously. In this second part I am concentrating on the nature of a new quest that will run from Beltane to Summer Solstice.
I already knew that the previous quest – Become The Giant – had concluded in Anglesey at Lligwy Chamber (see post). Now I was keen to see what was next in store for my spiritual development. As we were close to Bodfari, on the old Pilgrim Trail from North to Mid-Wales, it seemed fitting to try to get access to a cave that we had previously only seen from a distance: St.Beuno’s Cave.
These days we are older, wiser and bolder. What would have put us off previously was no longer an obstacle, and as we descended into the valley, following a restricted path, we arrived at a house that must surely govern the access to the cave, we thought. I strode up to the door and made our presence known. It was “an inconvenient time” for obtaining the key to the cave itself, but we were allowed to walk up to the entrance. That, the dowsing rods indicated, would be enough for our purposes.
Beuno’s Cave entrance
Having permission to enter we walked carefully up the valley on the “right” side of the fence, avoiding treading on the newly-sown wild flowers, as we had been warned. The cave was up a steep side of the valley commanding wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
We found that we both dowsed the exact same spot as the most energetic place for us to be. Sitting in a small hollow with a shallow shelf upon which to sit, we prepared for a meditation session. Silently, with only the soundtrack of the burgeoning Summer surrounding us, we drifted into connection with Nature.
In this sensitive state I began to ask my key question: what was my new quest for Beltane to Summer Solstice?
The answer took a few silent minutes to weave itself into a song that spoke inside my head:
“Find the essence of Merlin’s staff“
Merlin’s Staff? Was this referring to the oak staff that I had obtained from Sherwood Forest recently and which I was seasoning in the sunshine in order to dry it out in preparation for carving? Indeed it was. So the new oak staff is Merlin’s staff? Interesting, but not surprising.
My final question was an attempt to get more information about how such information could be obtained. How could I find the essence of the staff? An image revealed itself to me, and again once I saw it then it was obvious – I was to use the new crystal orb that I had recently bought from a highly aware lady at a Mind, Body & Spirit Fair in Bury. I needed to scry with the orb to get the information. When I chose the orb the lady had told me that it was made of “Merlinite“. Sold!
“Merlinite is a potent catalyst for shamanic journeying and past-life recall.” says Crystalpedia.
I’m sure that buying such a stone is just a coincidence at this time. I’m sure the fact that it was made of something called Merlinite was also another curious yet meaningless coincidence. A cascade of coincidences.
Now I’ve researched all the theory it’s time to put the “call the lightning” quest into action! I had to sort out three remaining issues – the exact location where the work could take place, to re-affirm the full method of calling the lightning, and then to determine the exact timing of when it could be called and when ti would appear. One final local outing was required to do that.
I was called to go out the other night. I dowsed which direction I should go in, and knowing the sites on that bearing I worked my way outwards until I found the correct location. It was a nearby local hill, but not one I usually visit. I know it used to have an Iron Age hillfort on it once. That was the location where I would find something related to the ash wood – either a staff or a tree that I could use in my experiment to call lightning.
So it turned out to be the case. On arrival in the dead of night I saw the outline of an ash tree’s leaves. Was this the tree I could use? NO. But having identified the ash tree I noticed that next to it was a solitary tall dead ash tree! This was the focal point that I would use to call the lightning. It was perfect. I didn’t have to be holding on to it, and it wasn’t going to mean that a living tree would get hit. Perfect!
The way I would need to call the lightning had a couple of components:-
- I would need to bellow like a stag in order to get the ground around to vibrate at the right frequency. I think this will involve evoking the feeling of the stag as I did in the forest recently [see this post]. This would change the “charge” of the earth and make it begin to attract lightning from any storm clouds above.
- I would need to draw the lightning sigil around the dead ash tree in order to specify the location that I wanted to lightning to strike.
I did these things in preparation for the event. I let out a low grumbling bellow across the hilltop. It was audible but not loud – it was the dead of night after all, and there were houses nearby. I wondered whether it would be enough o cause the lightning though. We would see. Next, I drew the sigil out from the base of the dead ash tree that I had identified as the focal point for the calling. I dowsed afterwards and could follow the new energy pattern, so I was happy that this would be in place ready for the actual calling.
After a great deal of dowsing I was able to determine that the correct time for me to call lightning is during the three days of the Full Moon. I could do the work on any of these days, but the outcome was quite specific. Lightning would strike exactly three days after the peak of the Full Moon. By my reckoning that’s going to be somewhere around Midnight on Monday 21st October.
Now for the big event. Will I be able to call a lightning strike on this dead ash tree? Let’s see!
Sometimes when you are given q uest it’s tricky to work out the parameters of the work. It’s possible to rely on intuitive guidance, yet that demands an astonishing level of trust in one’s own abilities. Not having that level of trust yet, I often defer to divination methods, and I have found that dowsing or tarot cards are the most effective for me.
So, I have this quest: “To call the lightning and harness the power.” Cool (or more likely – very hot!). Time to do some dowsing to get to grips with the practicalities of what that means.
Call the lightning
Here are the questions I asked and their dowsed answers (I have spared you the minutiae of the refining questions):-
- Can I call the lightning for my own purposes? NO. Can’t be called for personal use or need.
- So, if I am not initiating the call, will some external impulse request me to do this? YES. You will be guided to call it.
- When is the best time to call the lightning? When a particular celestial event happens.
- How often does the event occur? Every month.
- Is it related to the Moon? YES. Full Moon? YES.
- When the lightning is called, when will it appear? Three days after the peak fo the Full Moon.
- Do I have to call the lightning exactly at the Full Moon’s peak? NO. Can be called any time in the three days of the full moon (1 day before and 1 day after)
- Can the lightning be directed to hit any specified place? NO. It will be called to the “best” place centred on the area that it was called.
So, some specific answers, but some hazy ones too. I didn’t fully understand the idea that I was not in control of the place where the lightning would appear. It seems like it will be “around” where it is called, but exactly when it will strike and where seem to be out of my hands. This leaves me with questions about what the value of a lightning strike is, and more importantly how the energy of it can be best gathered, or “harnessed” as the original request termed it.
I turned my attention to the mechanics of how the lightning could actually be made to appear. I had the approximate timing, and I sort of knew the general location. How could the lightning be physically drawn to that spot, I wondered? My starting point was the idea that ash wood is an attractor for lightning.
- If I call lightning do I need some form of attractor to be able to direct it? YES. The lightning will appear above the attractor.
- What is the best natural form of physical attractor? CONDUCTIVE METAL, then ASH WOOD. Doesn’t matter if it’s a twig, a staff or a tree – any form of the wood.
- Within what radius can the energy of a lightning strike be harnessed? TEN FEET.
- Is it necessary for me to put up energetic protection before a strike? YES.
- Apart from the physical attractor, is there an energetic component to the attraction of lightning? YES. An energy field can be created that will enhance the attraction. In fact, it’s a necessary component.
- What form does the energy component take? SIGIL.
- Does the size of the sigil matter to the level of attraction? YES. The larger the more attractive.
I went on to ask about the way that the sigil itself. Obviously, I wanted to know it’s shape, but in addition to the shape itself there was a specific way that it needed to be drawn in order to be effective. This was becoming more complicated all the time! High magick indeed!
The sigil is universal – i.e. not specific to any time, place or person. The lightning attraction sigil looks like this:
The sigil is drawn from the origin point at the base of the “tear” shape. The ovoid shapes begin with the smallest and work out to the largest, then the “tail” is added as the final flourish. I think that the “origin point” at the base of the tear shape may be the location of an ash twig or staff planted in the ground with the shape drawn outwards from that point.
The final component to this magickal process is to set up the vibration through the earth to cause the right conditions for a strike (as described in a previous post). Now I need to learn more about harnessing the power of the lightning before I begin the work to call it. And why it would be beneficial to me.
I have to say, the more I learn about this the more nervous I get about it. Let’s say that it’s even possible to call lightning. Having to get within ten feet of a lightning strike in a storm – that fills me with a strange nervous quiver. It’s both exciting, dangerous and possibly very stupid. Let’s see how it goes. There’s a full moon (Harvest Moon) towards the middle of the month. Can I harvest the energy from a lightning strike? Can I make a lightning storm happen on request? Mad, eh? These quests are mad.
In the final part of my Autumn Equinox posts from the island of Anglesey I talk about my visit to the wonderful and mysterious mound of Bryn Celli Ddu with my psychic friend Mike. As you might expect given the company I was in this was a different experience than my usual dowsing visits, and I was also able to find out what the next final part of my healing quest would entail for the next few weeks.
Bryn Celli Ddu
We walked the gravelly path to the ancient mound buoyed by expectation. Our visit to Barclodiad Y Gawres had been disappointing, but now the sun was trying to break through the cloud cover, and the wind was easing back from its incessant howl. Of course, as always happens, we passed some visitors heading away from the site as we approached. This is such a busy place!
As we walked down the path I again “noticed” the moss-covered stone at the corner of the final approach path. As we walked round the corner I saw my old friend the ash tree – one of the tree guardians of the site. I paid my respects and passed the time of day without expecting a response. Mike, however, got rejected when he tried a similar approach. I giggled a little at this – this is exactly how Kal started out when he first approached trees – with an expectation of instant friendship. I knew that the road was much longer and tougher to travel than many people expect when it comes to talking to trees.
We began our approach and I mentioned how “spooky” the hawthorn-lined path could be at night. Even in the day it is a little intimidating. Mike said that he felt we were being watched. I stopped and tried to sense the presence too. Oh yes! Now that I turned my 360-degree attention to the entity I could sense there was something watching our progress, and it wasn’ t the tree. Hmm…I made a mental note.
Now we rounded the final corner and opened to gate to the site. it was Mike’s first visit and he drew an appropriately large intake of air in a huge gasp of appreciation.
Castleruddery Embanked Stone Circle – Thursday 27th May
Ruddy hell – it’s Castleruddery! Now that we had the Active10 GPS unit loaded with the correct level of detailed map information finding Castleruddery [map] was not a problem. In fact, again, it turned out to be not far from the main N81 road and the Piper’s Stones that we had just visited – a short jaunt up a small hill. The day was warming up now – the gaps between the clouds were widening like a flock of tired geese unable to keep their tight formation, and this allowed us to bathe in sunlight for long and lingering moments. I thanked my wife aloud for the GPS unit which saved us so much time once we worked it out. A “godsend” really, and if you’re thinking of travelling a similar path to ours in Ireland then you have two choices: either stick to the main signposted sites, or buy a really good map or GPS system! One could waste a lot of time in search of errant sites on high level maps.
We read the information sign briefly before approaching the site. Apparently Castleruddery is quite a rare kind of site – one which has an embanked earthwork ridge surrounding the stones. Despite being close to a number of working quarries whose earth-shuddering roar and rumbling can be heard constantly in the background, the site itself is very picturesque and especially beautiful in May due to the five hawthorn trees being in bloom. I was very struck by it. However, you may notice in the photos that AGAIN there are pylons going right over this site. I thought the Irish cared about their history? Please, people, don’t place electricity pylons over your sacred sites – it’s like putting a toilet over your water supply!
As I approached it, instinctively walking around to the right-hand side in order to enter what I felt to be the ‘correct’ entrance for a moon-aligned person such as myself, a strange feeling came over me. I felt like I owned the site! I was ‘boss’ here. I was in control of what happened. It was MY site in a strange and long-forgotten genealogy that I could neither reason or fathom. Nevertheless I was instantly comfortable and at ease, striding into the site and looking around to assess the situation (whatever that might have been). This was an unusual feeling considering that I am usually humbled and in awe of such places.
As usual, one of the first things that Kal did was to determine whether there was any energy work required at the site, and whether it should be done by himself or by me. Predictably it was me. We determined that the overhead pylons that ran over one edge of the site had weakened the circle’s energies substantially. It felt to me like the trees that ringed the site were asleep, numbed into a torpor by the continuous drip of the crackling electricity passing through one edge.
How to Heal Electrical Interference
A rather pompous little title to this section, but that is in effect what I managed to do with the following actions. You may be able to do something similar at other sites where you determine such interference from electricity pylons is interfering with the normal function of the site. Up to you. I chose three large rose quartz crystals to assist me with the task of blocking and re-directing the subtle field created by the passing electricity lines. I placed them in a triangle shape at the affected side of the circle and then sat under one of the May Trees that dowsed as being a useful power centre for this work, and to which I was in a compatible alignment. There were five May Trees all around the embankment, and a stunted old ash tree too.
As I sat under the tree, gently dropping into a trance-like state of mind, my staff was yearning to be elsewhere. I could feel it mentally tugging at me to be somewhere else. Cheek! Did I feel slighted? No, of course not. There must be some purpose for it to be elsewhere, so I looked around gently waiting for my head to “feel” the right place for the staff to be. My head stopped turning at the stunted old ash tree on the embanked ring of the circle. I stood up and took the staff to the tree where, to my surprise, I found a hole where a branch used to be that perfectly fitted my ash staff! I placed it there and returned to my centre under the May Tree.
When I sat back down under the tree I felt much ‘better’…er..how can I describe it? I felt empowered again, ‘in charge’, and I used this feeling to good purpose. I began to imagine the movement of energies around the site in an anti-clockwise direction. I felt like there was a circulation of energy going clockwise, in the male direction, but that the female direction was ‘dormant’. I pushed the energy around using my own impetus, and once it was happily circling away under its own momentum (!) I began to enlist the help of the ring of trees to perpetuate the movement for me. As the energy flowed through and past them I felt the trees getting involved and taking over from my own movement of the imaginary circling energy field.
With my staff now propped up inside the ash tree, and the two setting up a circuit of drawing in and feeding out healing energies (for that is what my staff has been filled with whenever I get the chance to re-charge it), I began to draw a stream of healing energy from the ash tree and to add this positive stream into the circling energies being sustained now by the May trees. In my mind the healing stream was a different colour – a white stream – glowing and differentiated from the mundane circulatory energy forms. As the healing stream reached the first rose quartz crystal’s location I envisaged it flowing to the crystal, and then linking the three triangularly-positioned crystals, like blood coursing across a pointed arrow’s head. The crystals seemed to respond to the idea, and glowed in my mind, re-enforcing the shape and the path down which the healing white energy was now directed. Then the energy re-joined the main flow.
The final touch was to imagine the white flow picking up and transporting the electrical energy from the pylons, and then directing it down the point of the arrowhead, to let the energy flow out into the field beyond, dissipating into the earth rather than accumulating across the stone circle. I finalised the flow’s momentum in both directions, ensuring that both male and female flows made use of the ash tree’s white healing energy to transport the negative electrical field and let it flow away harmlessly into the environs. Moments later I was on my feet and had no need to dowse as to the effectiveness of this task – it was so, I knew. That confidence again at this circle – where did this come from, and why at this place in particular? Perhaps the trees, I wondered as I went off to see what Kal had been doing.
Kal had been lazing around in the late afternoon sun, thinking about this and that, doing a little bit of dowsing, and some stuff that he will talk about in his own good time.Little did I know as we walked back to the car and hopped over the stile that I had left something precious behind. Oh yes, I had indeed left my beautiful ash staff propped up against the old ash tree within the circle, and it would be the next day before Kal asked where it was, causing me to practically have a heart attack when I realised! How could I forget it? How could I not realise it was missing? Well, stranger things were to happen than that once we went to retrieve it, but that’s all to come.
For now we headed up past Dublin to reach the area around The Boyne Valley where our hotel was located – the delightful Annesbrook Hotel near Duleek. Our only thoughts now were of getting settled in and wondering what we might do next. As it happened, we couldn’t resist one of the special places nearby once we arrived. No stopping us, I can tell you!
I am reminded of a post that seems so long ago now in which I told you how I found my old beech staff, or rather, how I came across the staff in a magical moment where I asked for one to appear and moments later I came across the perfect branch for the job. In honour of this synchronistic and serendipitous gift I left the staff wholly unaltered and natural. It has served me well on my travels over the past few years, but recently I have not taken it with me for some reason. It felt “light”, or “lightweight”. I felt I had outgrown it in some way. I have left it propped under my apple tree all Winter, and have mysteriously forgotten to take it with me on any walks our outings recently.
This weekend I walked along the Whitegate Way – a well-prepared straight trail following a dis-used railway track in Cheshire. The trail forms part of the Gritstone Trail, I think. The track is lined by many birch trees, and I was delighted to reacquaint myself with this beautiful tree, and it made my heart rise in the depths of Winter, and I longed for the first signs of the new year’s growth, but appreciated the silver glow of the birch’s bark as I walked a circuitous route in and around the Whitegate Way. I had no druidic work in mind, and yet something found me.
Last week I discussed with Kal how I was still at the Yew Stage, and that this year should be about renewing the vigour with which I approached the study that this druidic stage entails: reputedly death, rebirth and transformation. I say “reputedly” because reputedly the Yew tree is symbolic of death and rebirth, and yet we found that it was a pacifying presence, and this alone was the reason for its presence at graveyards, or rather, people came to be buried at places close to yew trees because of the yew’s calming effect upon human death energies. Anyway, the Yew Stage for me is identified by one becoming two – one energy stream has become a twin pair of energy streams.
As I came to the end of what was frankly a pretty dull walk I was uplifted by veering away from Newchurch Common and getting back in amongst some pine trees. Feeling their enclosed warmth and comforting carpet of needles with their delightful scent invigorated me. I woke up a little and began to appreciate the languishing willow trees sucking on the juices of small ponds; the stubbornly green undergrowth; the row of upcoming birch trees that indicated we were back onto the Whitegate Way and nearly back at the car park.
As the path passed a barrier I noticed there was a smaller path undulating alongside the main straight and flat prepared path. I walked towards it then suddenly stopped dead: at my feet was a perfect length of tree branch, already topped and tailed with neat cuts and a curious y-shaped end. Wow! Although something had run it over scratching its upper bark clean and leaving a scarred bare side I could see the beauty of the wood beneath and I picked it up. It felt good – balanced, weighty, solid,strong. I walked with it on the undulating path – it was a perfect height for me, and walked well. I determined to take it home. The forked end seemed to resonate with me as a perfect symbol of this coming year’s work.
I identified the branch as ash, and when writing this account up I scoured the ‘Net to look up the significance of the Ash tree. This quote from the OBOD site made my eyebrows raise, especially after I had just written the previous statement about this year’s work being related to getting back on track with death, rebirth and transformation:
“The Ash tree has always been given mystical import and character, frequently being associated with healing and enchantment. In Celtic literature, there are many references to the Ash tree, but in particular as associated with the Welsh Magician-God Gwyddion, who bears an Ash staff/wand, a symbol of healing and especially transformation and empowerment in matters of destiny.” [link: OBOD article by Tanequil]
On this path I have chosen to walk, whenever I am walking in the right direction and sticking to The Way, I am given gifts from divine providence to help me. It sounds so corny that I wouldn’t expect anyone to believe it. I can barely believe it myself. Yet always these gifts appear at the right time, just when I need them, and with traditional associations that are perfectly in line with my intentions. Again, another perfect example. The Ash Staff for transformation and empowerment in matters of destiny. The walk continues, now with a new ally.
There is another coincidental element to contend with. A month ago I was reading Oonagh’s Worlds blog (the lovely Oonagh is so talented – see the front page of HD for a link to her blog). She had posted an article about how she had carved a delightful ash staff for a friend, called The Norseman’s Staff. I was so envious! I contented myself with my natural “beech” staff that I have been carrying for over a year, but I couldn’t help admire her work and I commented as much on her blog. You will see what I mean about her amazing carving if you take a look at her post and pictures – it’s truly beautiful. Now my secret wish has been granted! How wonderful. I smiled the whole way home knowing what I was going to do with the staff once I could work on it. The very next morning I went to buy what I needed from the DIY shop.
I spent a couple of hours taking the staff through a process of stripping the bark, smoothing the scratches and sanding the staff completely, and then waxing it with beeswax (natural colour). I am now completely satisfied with its look and feel.
In conversation with Kal it turns out that the two of us were both discovering new wooden tools to take with us on our travels this year – one the same day and at the same time but in two different locations. He was busy finding and learning about how he could employ a beech wand this year. Well, there’s a phrase I also thought I would never write! I told him how I might carve some symbols into the damaged and scratched areas on one side of the staff. He then told me how he was planning to do the same with the wand. We seem to have begun the year in complete synchrony. These things tend to happen when you follow The Way.