Posts Tagged ‘druid’
Kal and I are still just outside the village of Ballyfarnon on the shores of Lough Melagh. It is our first day in Ireland on my ancestor energies quest. We have just looked around Kilronan Abbey and found some interesting and significant graves. Now we’ve crossed the road to St Lassair’s Well.
Saint Lassair is an interesting lady. There is very little historical information online about this woman, except that the well dedicated to her is associated with Brigit. Now, isn’t that significant considering that there is a small megalithic site right next to the well too? Seems like this may have been a site originally dedicated to Brigit and later appropriated in the name of Lassair? One account says that Lassair was Ronan‘s daughter – Ronan being the founder of the ‘modern’ abbey. Maybe. Here’s another consideration of her origins:
It is with Sanas Cormaic that we find the first explicit link made between this goddess and the element of fire, in the word ‘bri’. McCone has convincingly shown that the three arts it claims Brigit supervised— healing, smithcraft, and poetry—were in early Ireland all associated with fire. The authors of the saints’ Lives of Brigit seem to have been aware of the same-named goddess, though they never say so explicitly: all of her Lives give Brigit a druid father figure, so she is made into a member of the druid class, the same class as poets and judges….
…McCone has pointed out that another saint, the virgin Lassair, also has a fire name, from lassar, flame. In his view Brigit, like Lassair, was a goddess who became a saint in Christian times; both succeeded in the new religions because their attributes could be harmonized with those of the Christian God, for the Bible is filled with light and fire imagery.”
(source: p.64 – ‘Women in a Celtic Church‘ by Christina Harrington)
Hot Spots in a Cool Place
Of course, our first task is always to find out whether a place has any energy worth investigating. It almost went without saying, yet still we both dowsed for it in our own separate ways. We both asked the same initial questions and ended up standing next to each other underneath a tall but closely-cropped yew tree growing nearby to the well. We laughed and confirmed that we had both asked for the most energetic and beneficial places for ourselves and we had ended up at the same location.
From our evergreen vantage point we scanned the site. It is a curious mixture of modern Christian tacky monumental-ism, of rehashed re-interpretations of vestal virgin figures and sad-looking never-be brides combined with a plaque commemorating the visitation of the Polish octogenarian Pope John Paul II. Lurking politely to one side like a faithful pet is a small table of stone – an ancient monument of diminutive proportions whose first sight evokes a small smile and even so far as a smirk. What the heck is THAT? And what is it doing here?
In the second of my posts on recovering my ancestor energies we visited two sites for the price of one - Kilronan Abbey next to Lough Meelagh has a holy well dedicated to Saint Lassair right opposite it. As ever, we were driven by our findings rather than our curiosity, and my quest was directed by some higher intelligence, for I had only done a glancing amount of research to pick this site out before we arrived in Ireland. As usual, something else had decided that I would be in the right place at the right time. Here’s the tale of these two personally special places, starting first with Kilronan Abbey.
The most convincing information I have found about the origins of the abbey at Kilronan Abbey is this account by James McGarry:
“The first Church at Kilronan, Ballyfarnon, Co. Roscommon, was built in the 8th century by St. Ronan and his daughter St. Lasser (Lasair), hence the name Kilronan (kil or cill meaning church). It was replaced in 1339 by one built by Fergal O’Duigenan which was burned down in 1340 and replace three years later by the Church, one gable of which stands today. Sheltered by that gable is the vault of the McDermott Roes, in which Turlough O’Carolan was interred in 1738.
This gable is a memorial to the Gaelic Literary tradition from the 13th -18th century as represented by the O’Duigenans, hereditary erenachs of Kilronan (lay abbots who held church land from generation to generation), and chroniclers (as well as bards and ollavs-hereditary poets) to the Mac Dermotts, Princes of Moylurg, down to Turlough O’Carolan, sometimes styled “The Last of the Bards”. The O’Duigenans maintained a School of History on this site. The origin of the bards is lost in the mists of pre-historic Ireland.” (source: Freepages Geneology)
‘Erenach‘ – such a lovely word. It means ‘an ecclesiastic having duties akin to those of an archdeacon‘. More about Turlough O’Carolan later too.
There’s that name again – “O’Duigenan“. Followers of the blog may remember my encounter with the spirit of ‘Dignan’ at Vale Crucis Abbey in Llangollen. In that episode he gave me his name and then challenged me to follow him when he disappeared in a westerly direction. By meditation and dowsing I discovered that this spirit had re-located itself back at its source – Roscommon in Ireland. This was the reason I was here – to find this spirit again and fulfil whatever the next part of my challenge was.
At this point I had no clues about the nature and direction of my quest other than these two sites and the snippet of a vision I had obtained from Carrowkeel where I had seen a sword fight between myself and an ancient warrior. Where would I be led next, I wondered? What links would it make in the chain of the quest of recovering my ancestor energies? I was about to find out.
In a previous post I talked about the recently discovered information concerning my staff. I had discovered that it had acquired some powers courtesy of the Elemental |Masters that I had encountered at Tinkinswood Chamber near Cardiff. After doing a tarot reading I discovered the nature of those powers. To recap those powers were:-
- Earth – the power to inscribe glyphs and symbols into the earth, and to cast circles.
- Water – the power to energise and invigorate existing energy
- Fire – the power to re-kindle energy where there is none, resurrection of energy
- Air – the power to sweep energy away, to cleanse a place of energy
- I decided that one fine evening, just before it got dark, I would use the fading light of a dry and relatively warm evening to find a place in which I could practise these powers and discover their extent, how they worked and how they might supplement any existing magickal skills I might already have as a practising druid.
To find a suitable place I dowsed for a direction and a distance. I got a north-easterly direction and somewhere within a five-mile radius. I knew what features were in that area – my local hill. I used the dowsing rods to confirm my feeling that a sandstone base was the best ground to test these powers out on. Indeed it was – a perfect mixture of crystalline texture and neutral base. I knew my local hill was at the end of a long sandstone ridge, and that somewhere on that hill would be a perfect place to test these powers out.
Did these powers that I imagined were in the staff really exist? How could they be used and called upon? How well would they work? Time to find out!
I have been researching the origins of the traditional Dunce’s Cap – that conical piece of headwear so often seen reflected in pictures of old school days. The hat is also commonly associated with a Witch, being the tall black hat that everyone recognises.
However, in my research I have come to discover that the ‘D’ that is marked on the so-called Dunce’s Cap does not stand for “Dunce”, meaning a dunderhead or stupid fellow. Instead the ‘D’ once stood for Druid, with the conical hat being formerly associated with a tool to enhance and amplify the received vibrations and emanations of energy from stars, sun and moon.
Etymologically, the ‘D’ letter is found as the beginning character of the word for druid in many cultures that had druids as their shamanic figures, such as the Welsh word “Dryw“.
None other than the highly-respected socio-archaeological research institute “Adademie Societé d’Inigene Francaise (ASIF)” have also published similar information recently backing up this claim. Read their recent report here.
So, there you go. Just when you thought you knew something – it gets turned on its head. Literally!
As a follower of a seasonal path, and someone who has developed their sensitivity to the variety and strength of the energies available throughout the year, Imbolc - February 1st – marks the opening of the new year. For me it symbolises the return of the male energies. What does this mean exactly? It means that up until the beginning of February the Sun’s light has been too weak to feed the activity of the male subtle energies that inhabit the Earth, and which are present in living things. Therefore, for me, Imbolc marks the beginning of an increase in the strength and vitality of anything that is enlivened by the influence of male (or Sun-sourced) energies.
In Britain this year there has been an exception to this general rule concerning the presence of male energy. Male ‘subtle’ energy has in fact been available, albeit in a very weakened form. This has been due to the amount of sustained sunlight that we have been receiving. You can feel it in the land – the birds are singing, the buds are appearing, there have even been flowers blooming in January – normally a time when most delicate biological entities retreat into themselves and rest. An unusual year indeed. At this exact moment the frost and cold has returned to bite, yet the sun continues to shine. It is a most unusual beginning.
The heat and height of the Summer
The unusual start makes it difficult to contemplate how the year might work itself out. Are we going to see the seasons having “unseasonal” weather? Are they going to be unrecognisable from our traditional weather patterns? What will this mean for the strength and prevalence of the Earth’s subtle energy forces, and for the living biological energy of its inhabitants? My feeling is that we are going to see a real peak in Sun energy this year. This may require some balancing out by those of us who work well with Moon energy (female), as we feed a calming influence into the land through selected node points on the energy grid. Let’s not get all hot-headed and hysterical just because the Olympics are coming to town in the height of Summer! It’s just a game, an amusement, a distraction.
As with all previous years that I have followed my spiritual path I returned to the Llangernyw Yew Tree for inspiration. Communing with this tree seems to set the spark on the year’s tinder and soon a flame of encouraging light emerges from the kindling provided by this ancient life force nestled deep in the heart of a small village in North Wales. I will talk about the visit in more detail soon, but the outcome was one word: “Renown“. I will be spending the year seeking out sources to increase my personal power. Renown is a subject that I will return to and explain more fully in subsequent posts. No doubt I have much more to learn about it as the year goes on.
Now let’s talk about specific preparations that I am making for Imbolc, and that you could make too.
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]
In a way you judge someone by the quality of the places that they take you to. Recently I was taken to a place the day before Samhain this year. I had once so nearly visited but somehow circumstances had conspired to make me miss it by only a short distance. Now I had a tour guide with local knowledge. When Mike spoke of the place it was in reverential tones, and the hint was always that it was a magickal place. The kind of place where you may come away with the course of your life taking a slightly tangential turn. He had spoken of the place’s power for change in the way that people who have genuinely experienced life-changing moments do – hushed tones, distant eyes – as though recalling some kind or form of force that the Anglo-Saxon pillar was imbued with.
You are then left with a decision – do I believe the power of this place, or do I have to go test it our for myself? I have to test it, of course! Progress must take its course during the year’s treadmill. Places of power should be visited. The dilemma – who by? Yet the Land can have lessons for everyone, surely. Good or bad. Clever or stupid. If I tell of the place, then I advertise its wonder, and more people probably come. There are some wells near where I live that birthed and died through the advertisement of their miraculous energies, effects and efficacies. However, I will mention the place’s name. What people do with it will reap its own rewards.
In a previous post about the nearby Bullstones I had supposed that this had been the magickal stone that Mike’s tales had been centred upon. I was wrong. The description of the surroundings had matched my previous finding exactly, so when Mike and friends had allowed us to follow them up into the Derbyshire moorland and hills I thought I knew exactly where we were going. As we parked and got out of our respective cars the other group appeared to be heading in the wrong direction, until I realised that it was me who had made the mistake. Clulow Cross was down in the field on the Congleton side of Hammerton Knowl, not standing on the other side of the Knowl’s ridge between Wincle and Wilboarclough. This was the pillar remainder of an actual stone cross, not just a place name to locate a hidden monolithic treasure. And hidden it is. Nestled in a clump of middle-aged beech trees, the cross itself is hard to spot until you are within striking distance with an acorn.
An Aside About Access
I have probably pussy-footed and tap-danced around this subject for many years on this blog. Let me state this right out now as an opinion, and then I will attempt to back it up.
I have a right to walk the land. My right. My land. I will walk it. I will be respectful, courteous, kind and gentle as I do so. But I will walk it. It is my, our, everyone’s land.
Anyone who believes they own land needs to consider this perspective – the land has been there before humans as a species were even invented. Once we were invented we were given intellect to allow the development of the concept of custodianship. We are all of us guardians of our own lands, the lands with which we identify in our hearts.
Yes, others may choose to abuse their rights, and those that choose to be discourteous and un-cooperative with the custodians will always exist, but they are a manageable minority who will cause ill-will in whatever environment they find themselves. They are a test of everybody’s patience, and are not exclusive preserve of the irate farmer, or the country estate employee, or the quarry worker, or the member of this and that Trust.
Those who consider themselves to be “land owners” will have to live with their own arrogance on a daily basis. You ought only to encounter it occasionally as you walk these lands. We have a right to roam. We always have. We always will.
So, now that you understand my position and haven’t yet stopped reading in outrage and humph-pah, well, you should read on to find out what magick awaits the pagan who claims the right to roam.