Posts Tagged ‘dragons pit’

Samhain – Part 2: Lowering Merlin’s Rowan

Dinas Emrys, Gwynedd, Wales – 23rd October 2010.

Now we come to the crux of the matter – the culmination of my Samhain preparations. I had cut, cured and carved a wand made of rowan in preparation for this visit to Dinas Emrys, the legendary castle of Merlin. Here I was expecting to involve the shade of King Arthur in guiding me through an Underworld journey to revive the Spirit of Merlin. What would happen beyond that? I didn’t know. What were the consequences of doing this? Another mystery. All I knew was that this was my path to follow by going with the flow of the universe. This was..for want of a less hackneyed term..my current ‘destiny’.

I pondered my encounter with Merlin - myth, fiction, daydream?

The title of this post refers to the second line of a three-line riddle, or ‘tercet’ to give it its more accurate name, If you remember, the riddle went: “Strong red / Lower Merlin’s rowan/ Second Llanddeiniiol (or stone) church“.

We parked at the bottom in a nearby lay-by and cross the road looking for an entrance. When I have been here before it has been dark and I have been in a hurry, so I have missed the obvious five-bar iron gate entrance. We climbed in and took to the path running along the bottom of the steep ridge, running parallel with the River Glaslyn opposite. Kal had spotted what looked like a cave from the road and soon we had found it again. Indeed it was a small cave, big enough to squeeze two people into, so we both shuffled in. It was very hospitable, although when Kal lay down he felt uncomfortable. From beneath him he reached round and pulled out a hand-sized quartz rock. I took it from him and pointed out how it looked like a perfect replica of the shape of the Dinas Emrys hillitself. I felt this was significant so I asked if I could keep hold of the rock. After some persuasion Kal agreed and I put it into my pack for later. Remember this bit – it will re-appear as a perfect example of how dowsing works later.

The weather was acting strangely. All around us there seemed to be layers of grey-purple bruised cloud pending with rain, yet shafts of sun also filtered through the trees on the slope. Again I wondered if Kal was destined to get soaked. Again I was wrong – somehow he survived with only a few light and brief showers whilst out in the open. It seemed surreal how he managed to avoid the elements.

Red and white dragons tussling

The Pool of the Dragons

On the way up we paused at the mid-section platform – an area of flat land that may have once been a track for carts to bring goods up the hill, or for builders to bring materials up the slope. Now it was full of decaying trees and mossy rubble. We set out first goal to be to find the pool within which the two dragons – the red and the white – were supposed to have fought [I will soon post the best account of the story that I have found, but if you need a quick reminder here's an introduction].

For some reason I wandered farther along the plateau than I ever had before and stood by some ruined mossy stones and bent tree trunks – something has pulled me here. Kal began to search for the pool using his dowsing rods and the rods lead him to the far end of the structure at which I was standing. “Here it is.” he said assuredly. I got my rods out and circled quickly back on myself right to where Kal was standing. Yep, I got the same.

Was this really the much-vaunted mythical pool? It didn’t look anything like the pictures I had seen of it. We were both sure we were correct, though. Very strong dowsing reactions, and … something else said it was correct too – a magical sense, an intuition that we have both been developing seemed to add to the conviction.

The site of the dragon well

So now it was time to climb up onto the upper reaches, to pass by the ‘sentinel’ trees that guard the site, and to finally venture into the Underworld to meet Merlin’s spirit. I think I physically gulped at the prospect. Everything over the last year had built to this point and it felt .. important. I was ready – we ascended.

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