Posts Tagged ‘constellation’
In this second part of the Spring Equinox tale I begin with a bit of a soap-box moment, but quickly move on to talk about my favourite stone circle, and finally introduce a new sacred site. Let the wordage begin!
I begin this post with a bellyache. I’m going to get riled, spill bile, make a pile of fuss. Possibly about nothing, but let’s get it out of the way first. I’ve been stewing on it for years, and I think it’s about time I got it “out” into the open.
It pains me the way modern farmers slash hedgerows!
To me this is akin to punching small children in the face. “Look,” you could say, “They’re bleeding now, but in a few weeks they’re back to normal.” Hardly the point, is it? Just because something heals doesn’t mean we should make them go through the initial trauma of being battered. Ask any victim of domestic violence. “Ah, but you’re alright now, yeah?”
I’m not saying that I’m an advocate of the Backster experiments on plant feelings. Instead, this is a respect issue. I was under the impression that part of the duty of care that farmers were supposed to adopt as custodians of the land could be employed in their treatment of the trimming of plant life. This “hack and slay” policy, done for expediency and efficiency, is not only damaging to the main trunk and branches of the plant, but it’s also a display of contempt for the hedgerow, and damned ugly to look at!
Phew – I’m done. It’s in print. but I’ll still die a little when I see such a close haircut. I urge anyone with influence over these things to try to find a better way. I keep putting my thinking cap on to come up with something. One day.
</ END RANT>
Moel Ty Uchaf Un-Spring-Like
As I climbed slowly up the steep road to the circle at the top of the hill there were several things that caught my eye. Firstly, there were the lambs bouncing around in the lower fields as though Spring had arrived. There was certainly spring in their legs, so perhaps they were just keeping themselves warm. Such a bad year to be born into a cold snap, I thought. A week later there would be reports of many sheep and lambs dying due to the snowfall in placed like Derbyshire and North Wales. Joy and sorrow are close companions.
This is the final part of this tale that brings me up to Beltane. You may remember that my task from Spring Equinox to Beltane period was to discover the powers of my staff. I thought that I had done the majority of that work already, but when I did some checking to see whether there was anything remaining I was surprised to find that, with barely a week or so to go, I had more work to do. This particular evening I was called to go somewhere to discover one more power. That was an exciting prospect!
I let my mind roam to discover the location that would offer me the information about the staff. It was already late in the evening and so I hoped that the trek would not be too far. The picture I had was of a familiar place – it was Llangollen. I began to conjure up some of the usual sites – Dinas Bran? No. Vale Crucis? No. Carreg-Y-Big – the slanted standing stone that we had visited in March this year. This received a positive response – a warm feeling that flowed through the body. Yes, this was the place. I needed to visit again.
At first this was a surprising location – it is on a hilltop above Llangollen and it was 10 o’clock in the evening already! Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised. When I looked back to my previous post on the subject I had said that the best time to visit it would be early April. Here I was in the middle of April, so I wasn’t far out. I got my dowsing rods out to help gauge the energetic suitability. I had missed the “high point” of April 9th, but a week later the site would still be energetically aligned for the purposes I needed it for. That was it, then. I was going, despite the lateness. At least the weather had been unseasonably dry for a while now and the ground would be firm in the dark.
I found my way with little trouble (one wrong turn) having been there before once in daylight. The car still struggled up the hill and the engine smelled of overworked oil when I parked by the roadside at the top of the hill overlooking the orange and white lights of the town below as they filtered through the conifer branches that lined the upper slopes. I found the stone straight away by navigating to the tallest specimen in the avenue of trees that define the old straight track atop the hill. How many times had I used a tree to navigate in the dark? They really are wonderful signposts.
The Importance of an Entrance
I walked carefully up to the stone in the darkness and stood about ten feet away from it, looking around to judge whether I was going to be surprised by the ghostly figure of a late night sheep or something else. Everything was silent except for the distant rumble of a souped-up car buzzing the town in the valley below. Yet, something was wrong. Was it the biting wind? No. What was this sense of unease I had? Was there some spirit watching with malevolent eyes? … I felt not. I stopped my rational mind and let my intuition have a go at the problem. Seconds later I knew what the issue was. I hadn’t been through the right entrance to the site, having bypassed the two trees that form a portal in my haste to get to the stone itself. This was a rude entry! I needed to make amends, so I made my way at a respectable distance back around to the two trees and stood before them.
Not another reality TV show, by pointing at the stars I am referring to “standing” stones that are deliberately angled to point to particular stars at certain times of the year. One such stone is the ’Careg Y Big’ stone [megalithic] that is high on the tree-lined southern hills above Llangollen. Getting up there is a test of your car’s engine, that’s for sure! As we parked in a small lay-by close to the top of the hill we could smell the heat from the engine and the brakes as the steep road and sharp corners had taken their toll. The view, however, was worth all the (car’s) effort!
We had taken the small road from the centre of Llangollen out past the Plas Newydd Museum, and heading towards the village of Pontfadog. As the crest of the hill appeared and the road became a T-junction the stone could be seen in the field to the right-hand side of the hill road, nestled and almost hidden by a line of hardy and gnarled trees about two miles out of Llangollen itself.
Once you hop into the field (by gate or by low dry stone wall) it is a short skip to the stone itself. As you arrive you notice that the line of trees forms a sort of avenue along which some ancient trackway may once have been dug into the landscape. It’s almost a small cursus feature, and if it had been a corpse road or similar then it would have been quite wide, I feel. Enough for a thronging procession to carry several biers side by side!
The stone itself struck me immediately, not only for its unusual angle, but for its composition. I had seen this type of agglomerate before – like round pebbles in cement – at Harold’s Stones in Monmouthshire. How interesting that Harold’s Stones were of a similar composition and similar slant too! Coincidence or design carried across several counties distance?
I next turned my attention to trying to find out which astrological body this stone might have been erected to point to – Sun, Moon? Neither – the dowsing revealed that it was a particular star/constellation of stars. By dowsing the date on which the star that this stone is aligned to would be in alignment with the stone this year we got the date April 9th at 10:00am. I set the Starwalk app to this time and date and then placed it on the stone to show me which stars would be in view along the stone’s axis and angle. The result was: Neptune was passing through the Aquarius constellation.
Astral alignments explained
Now that I had determined the specific astrological connection - Neptune passing through the Aquarius constellation – what is the relevance of such a conjunction to this stone? Why was it set to align to this conjunction? I could find only some general information relating to the thirteen year cycle of Neptune, which is apparently moving into Pisces currently. However, the information may be relevant so let’s look at it. I show my ignorance of astrology here by deferring to other commentators! According to one astrologer:
“Neptune represents the broader economic currents. Therefore Neptune in Aquarius represents times of economic reform or revolution. Since the “spirit of the times”, the “zeitgeist”, is represented by Neptune as well, the economic changes spring out of a new spirit, a new vibration. There was a scientific and artistic revolution during the last Neptune in Aquarius period — and there was a corresponding economic revolution ….
Based on past periods, Neptune in Aquarius will be a time of religious freedom and reform. Likely, the old faiths, whether faith in science or religious faith, will undergo dramatic change … The underlying spirit of Neptune in Aquarius is a need to break out of the ordinary, to breakthrough to new spiritual states, to change life, to go for something larger than yourself.”
The economic bit seems rather accurate at the moment! There is also an alignment to the Pegasus constellation. What might this mean?
”Pegasus is the hippocampus of your brain. The place of memory.” (source: HiddenMeanings.com)
“Symbol of wisdom and especially of fame from the Middle Ages until the Renaissance…..Personification of the water, solar myth, or shaman mount, Carl Jung and his followers have seen in Pegasus a profound symbolic esoteric in relation to the spiritual energy that allows to access to the realm of the gods on Mount Olympus.” (source: Wikipedia)
“Pegasus is the white horse that caused the fountain of the Muses to activate on Mount Helicon. Consider meditation and the spiral energy called Kundalini or the coiled serpent which rises up from the base of the spine to the Pineal Gland of the brain. ” (source: CrystalLinks.com)
Also rather interesting! Like a reminder or a signpost the standing stone may be there as a reminder that stones are linked to the stars. Maybe the stone itself contains memories that a sympathetic intuitive mind could access? maybe it was planted and aligned as a means of connecting the Earth with the stars? Maybe it is an access point through meditation to connect to the constellation’s energies and move the mind into a higher dimension? Maybe it enervates the chakras when meditated upon in April 2012? Will I get the chance to re-visit the stone at that time? “All this coming up soon in the continuing adventures of…The Hedge Druid“.
I also find the interpretation of Pegasus being associated with fame as notable considering that my over-arching quest for the year is to claim the power of “renown”. I will discuss this term and this quest in more depth in subsequent specific posts.
Finding this alignment and its significance to a specific conjunction of stone and star begs the question about why some standing stones point at particular stars? This is an area that I hope to investigate further when the weather warms up a bit. Standing in the raw Winter winds that whipped across the hilltop field that day I was less than inclined to dowse for an hour to try to make inroads into such a complex question. That will have to wait for another day.
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 year, 2011, I spent Samhain at two places. Not at the same time, obviously. That would be impossible even for a hedge druid who is accustomed to the unusual. I first spent some time with a group of friends in Derbyshire (more about that soon) and then I went with my wife M to Pembrokeshire. In Pembrokeshire we first climbed the hills to visit Arthur’s Grave (see previous post this month) and then I made an unannounced stop off at Pentre Ifan, because I remembered that it was quite close to the route we would take to get back home. Never one to miss an opportunity, I saw this as a chance to discover what the remainder of the year might offer in terms of my healing quest.
As far as I was concerned the visit to Arthur’s Grave an hour earlier had been the culmination of a spiral that had begun at Spring Equinox and had completed this Halloween. I wasn’t sure, therefore, what I would get out of visiting Pentre Ifan. All I knew was that I felt drawn to it, and that i wanted to see whether its incredible energies would spark any further revelations about my tasks for the year. Perhaps it might confirm that actually all was done and I could rest for the remainder of the year? No more site visits or blog posts, perhaps? All quiet now? Rest and recuperation? Not a chance!
We stopped at the site information board to take a look at how the archaeologists have reconstructed the mound. Their representation seemed remarkably familiar – it matched the reconstruction done at Tinkinswood in South Wales. Perhaps the neolithic people were all working from a similar template, or perhaps the geometry or the physics of the places simply suggested a natural configuration that was now generally agreed upon amongst The Intelligentsia of our times? I wonder what became of all the rubble that one surrounded the great stones? The site is so clean now. The information sign put the entrance portal at the south. I have previously dowsed the same, so that’s one aspect I agree with.
I re-introduced myself to the site,. seeking the permission of the Spirit of Place before attempting to enter its energetic boundary. Being successful (politeness and respect seem to be viable currency with the spirits that inhabit such places) I began to dowse for the best starting point for me at the site. It was a flat round rock at the eastern edge of the main uprights, and I recognised this as the same stone upon which I had started and energised when I had previously visited the site in the late summer of 2008. That seemed like someone else’s life, and a whole lifespan away, and I found it hard to relate to the person who had stood there only three years ago. Yet it was me. How would the site react to me now, I wondered?
I sometimes find myself doing some very strange things without knowing why. This night was one of those strange evenings, and yet the strangeness would continue beyond this night and lead to an even stranger conclusion by the time I had finished unravelling all of the clues.
I had decided that at some point in the week I would need to go somewhere. The weather was good, so I got out my dowsing rods and began to enquire about a suitable place for me to learn something that would progress me on my spiritual path – the usual request – general and open. The responses I got seemed to indicate that I could find such a place in the county of Shropshire, and that the place existed on the Megalithic Portal, so it was only a matter of bringing up a list of sites in Shropshire and working through a process of elimination to find the site that I was expected to go to. Soon I found it – The Berth – an ancient hillfort and associated pool near the village of Marton a short distance from the main A5 road. I did some reading on the Megalithic Portal about access to the site – not good. Permission from the local farmer is suggested. Well then, a covert visit may be in order given that I would be arriving late at night.
The Berth [Portal]
I put on my dancing trousers (well, the fleece-lined ones – it might be cold) and began to journey southwards from Cheshire. Soon I was past the eastern edges of Wales and skirting the western fringes of England. Within an hour I had arrived at Marton in the dark of the late evening and was searching around on a small-scale OS map for the perfect place to park and navigate through the fields to the hillfort. Luckily, without too much fuss, I found such a place down a road marked “Unsuitable for motor vehicles.” No kidding! Good job I was in a four-wheel drive machine.
I parked at the only place down the narrow country lane that would fit a car. Using my print-out of a low-level OS map I headed off further down the lane. Five minutes later I realised I must have gone past the entry point I was looking for and doubled back. The entry point turned out to be where I had parked the car! When will I learn to trust my intuition? Such a hard thing to do!
Several times I had to stop myself from asking the obvious question, “What the hell are you doing in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night?“. Luckily, I didn’t allow myself to even try to formulate an answer, but instead began to walk across the fields towards what I hoped was the right place, breathing in the still-warm evening air and wishing I hadn’t muffled myself up because I was beginning to overheat! This is October, right? Supposed to be cold and damp? Instead we are in the tail end of a heatwave and it was still 15 degrees late into the evening. Bizarre weather!
Fortune seemed to be on my side, guiding me towards something whose very impulse and importance I could sense like a scent on the night air.
Kal had just flown back from New York where he had been taking a well-earned break from his work in Devon. I, too, had just got back from my holidays in Northumberland and was eager to get out and about to fulfill the third and final part of my Spring Equinox quest. You may remember that I had been given the promise of some form of change that would take place in me, possibly to promote my ability to grow plants, and that tis had involved me identifying three stars in three constellations that had the right energies for me to use int he process of this transformation. Having done the previous two site visits in one day (Lud’s Church and then Arthur’s Cave) I now had a final destination that was even further afeidl that I wanted to get to – Beddarthur – a sort of stone circle in the far reaches of Pembrokeshire.
Sunday 29th May began with spots of rain and dark cloud making the whole sky grey and uninviting. I had just decided to make the journey to the Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire when I looked at my phone to check for messages. There was one from Kal, which was a surprise because he had been unusually silent for the last week or so since I got back from Paris. I was about to send out a search party when I noticed the text message and read it. “What are you doing today? Wanna meet up? Usual place?” Aha! So, he was alive, and was around too. I texted him back – “I’m going out – wanna join me on a quest?” How could he resist? He didn’t. We agreed to meet an hour later which gave me time to get everything prepared.
When it came to leave I drove off with Kal eager to tell me his tales of New York. We hadn’t got far when I realised I had forgotten two very vital ingredients – my staff and my wallet! About turn! Kal revealed that such things were a major part of his two weeks in New York too. He had done plenty of going back over his trail in his adventures, but I’ll let him tell you all about that in his own time. For now, let’s continue with the story of the stone circle in Pembrokeshire. The journey was tediously slow. I have noticed this about this particular task. It seems that there is a particular timing to be achieved and the universal forces at work are ensuring that my timing is correct by placing barriers in my way such that I arrive at the correct time. On my other day out to the other connected sites in Derbyshire and Monmounthshire I encountered the same thing – really slow traffic getting in front of me at every turn, impeding my progress. So much so that on the first day out I could only do two of the sites in stead of all three in one day, which was my original intention. I felt that this was all designed for a reason yet still it was very difficult to live with.Driving for four hours at 40mph becomes quite a cross to bear when you are eager to get things done. Nevertheless, it seems that this slowing down of progress was necessary – you will see why timing becomes important when I mention the energy of the constellation Perseus.
We arrived and began to walk up the hill. After a few minutes I stopped – I had forgotten something! The small hand-worn stone that I had collected from Le Jardin Des Tuileries in Paris during a psychic moment had been left in the car, even though I had got it out and shown it to Kal, and then left it in a prominent position, ready to be taken out once we parked up. How could I have forgotten it? I had to go back down the hill and retrieve it from the car. Yet again I had to retrace my steps. I blamed the episode on Kal. Clearly, his strange energies were creating this phenomenon, I joked.
We arrived at the summit of Carn Sian and caught sight of our destination marker – a gathering of angled bluestone rocks called Carn Bica that were the place where several paths came together on the way to Carn Menyn. Carn Menyn is the mountain from which the bluestones that were transported to Stonehenge came from. That particular summit was not our destination today – today I only had eyes from finding the small stone circles known as Beddarthur. As we sat on the angular rock outcrop overlooking Carn Menyn I spotted the stone circle just below us in the saddle between the two mountain peaks of Carn Sian and Carn Menyn. We descended the short distance and prowled around the outside of the circle warily, looking for an energetic entrance and assessing the circle. The first thing to notice was that it was not a circle! It was much more of a lozenge shape, an oval flattened at either end and with almost straight sides that only curved slightly at the ends. The stones at each end were embedded rather than prominent, giving the feeling of entrance points, and each of the standing stones that made the circle was angled inwards. The whole structure looked like a human rib cage rather than any stone circle we had seen before.
I entered by feeling for a space in the energy field. I asked permission to enter from the guardian spirit and felt like I was able, nay pulled, to enter. Straight away Kal took my dowsing rods and began to look for the best place for him to be. I already knew where my perfect spot was, my power centre, and I walked towards it and bumped into Kal as the rods in his hands circled on exactly the same spot. We laughed. Looks like we would be fighting for the best place! Someone had also found it to be an energetic centre because they had left a hand-sized chunk of quartz that was striated with layers of the local bluestone too. Interesting. For now I left if there. There was no time for playing about here – I had work to do and it would be a difficult and involved task, I felt, so I had better get on with it. This was the culmination of three sites and their energies, and I had not a clue how to proceed to make this whole energetic transformation work. The pressure was building.