Posts Tagged ‘initiate’
Near to the village of Dorstone in the Golden Valley of Herefordshire is a wonderfully preserved ancient monument called “Arthur’s Stone“. The monument is on the borderlands of England and Wales, and as the map below shows there is a congregation of settlements and an alignment of sites along the ridges between the rivers Wye and Dore (“of gold”). Before I go on to explain my findings at Arthur’s Stone I want to discuss a little bit about my current concepts of what Arthur is, or who he was.
My current concept of Arthur
This Arthur fellow – he got about a bit, eh? These days I prefer the interpretation I read recently that “Arthur” is a title adopted or given to many kings, several of whom may have contributed to the myth and legend, the story and history surrounding the King Arthur that we have been remnanted. I like Paul Broadhurst’s idea that the Arthur figure was associated with the fixed constellation of the Great Bear, the guardian of the Pole Star. In my own additional interpretation, Arthur is aligned with and gets energy from the Great Bear’s stars. In particular I think this is the asterism of The Plough, or The Big Dipper as it is also known.
My wife, M, entered the site straight away and went to sit on a small man-sized mound next to the monument. There she settled in for what she expected would be a long dowse. I wasn’t about to go against expectations. I got my dowsing rods out and began to explore, but first I had to find an entrance suitable for me and my energy at that time. I entered the site after asking silently for permission from the spirit of the site. I would be allowed in today – no pushing away or dive-bombing birds, or claps of thunder or anything like that.
As I entered the gate in the fence surrounding the monument I saw two other couples reading the information board provided by English Heritage. I turned my attention away from them, not wanting to overhear anything they might say about the site. I would stay out of earshot until they got bored and wandered away, as most people do at these places after ten minutes. I began by asking to be shown a ritual path that I could follow that would lead me to a power centre that was most suitable for me. I was taken from where I stood in a path that snaked in front of the “false entrance” stone, and then wound its way into the monument from the right-hand side of the covering front stone (seen slanting in the picture below). My path ended in the shadows at the back of the chamber on the left-hand side. I repeated the exercise from three other locations chosen at random and soon I was walking the same snaking path to the front of the dolmen, and then into the right-hand side of the chamber and to the back left corner again and again. By the fourth time I was realising this was a pretty certain dowsing result.
-dom suffix denoting condition or state, as in freedom, wisdom state of being free, wise, passing to the sense of domain, realm, territory
I have noticed that I have passed into a sense of a domain, too. I have passed through one state of being – always learning – into a state where knowledge is beginning to coalesce and interlink. In my previous state of mindfulness my synapses fired randomly, seeking out links but finding few connections except coincidence. Recently, these coincidences and seemingly random pieces of information have begun to weave themselves together using the wyrd of the world until I can begin to travel like a spider along their fine and newly-formed threads to reach junctions, correlations, realisations.
I believe that what I am noticing is a passing from one stage of druidry into another. I have begun the move from neophyte to initiate. Oddly for me, at one level this means moving into a tutorial role – I am beginning to come out of myself in order to teach others the beautiful things I have found. That’s partly what this blog is about – you get to travel with me on my excursions and to be privy to some of the secrets that I uncover. This year has already shaped up to allow me to teach people on a one-to-one basis too. I am in the process of setting up a web site from which I will be contactable for tuition or consultancy. A major step for me. There is also the promise of two dowsing courses to be taught this year. Another prospect I could not have considered last year, and not simply due to modesty, but to a true belief that I was not in any position to teach yet. Now I feel more confident about it.
Stages of Learning
When I began my learning process I thought that there were only the three traditional stages of druid learning – the first being Birch, then Yew, and finally Oak. These three trees do indeed seem to have framed my first three stages of learning. Now I have reached the Oak stage I think things might work a little differently to what I had anticipated. This is certainly not the last stage of learning, so one of three things may be happening:-
- The spiral begins again and I go back to the Birch level, but at a higher state of learning, and I learn in more depth the lessons that I needed to undergo at that stage, and so on the the other two stages too.
- The Oak stage is further sub-divided, like the divisions in martial arts when the student reaches Black Belt, and an area of specialisation begins to develop. This would mean that the Oak stage could then continue indefinitely as more and more skills are refined, or deepened by further learning.
- There are other trees to learn from and thus many more stages to go through before I reach any level of competency. In some druid systems there are twelve (zodiacal) or twenty sacred trees that could all symbolise (indeed ‘personify’) teachers in their own right.
At the moment my intuition is that the last idea feels the most correct for me. I feel that I will develop an affinity for other trees at various stages of my druidic training and that I will learn skills and lessons from each of them at some time in the future. However, both Kal and I have noticed that we are moving around in spirals of understanding, so maybe there is an element of the first concept happening to – that we are going back to things we thought we had learned but learning more about it at a higher or deeper level. It’s all very intriguing. Only time will tell.
As it stands now I have passed into another level of freedom – the freedom to be more …me. This is the “IS-DOM”. I am more assured of my knowledge and how it all works together than I was only last year. This is the coming of the “WISDOM”. However, there is no end to the learning process, that is another aspect fo acquiring wisdom – knowing that you know little, and offering everything you do know to anyone because you have established your sense of self.
Why am I telling you this? Self-promotion? Glory-hunting? Fishing for compliments? None of that. Reflection. If you too are in my position then it may be time for you to stand up for yourself, be proud of who you are and who you are becoming. On this path of Druidry may you discover your inner Is-dom and forever walk the eternal path toward Wisdom.
Please tell me your feelings and thoughts on your own progress this year. What are your hopes, expectations, and how have you felt yourself grow? What do you think about the stages of druidic learning – which feels right for you and why?
Gwas Myrddyn, Hedge Druid, growing in his gnowing.
Friday 28th May – Newgrange, Country Meath, Ireland.
This is the second part of the account of our visit to Newgrange. One thing became abundantly clear to me as we were there – this was not a suitable place to be doing some work on my chakras. The rods luckily agreed with that instinctive diagnosis. Instead, we spent our time finding out about the place – what was it for? How did it work? Was the main mound the only interesting part of the site? It wasn’t.
Emerging from Newgrange’s main chamber, Kal and I headed in the opposite direction to everyone else. We walked clockwise around the huge wall of white quartz rock with its occasional studs of differently coloured stones protruding like dull stars in a negative image of the sky at night.
We set about dowsing and discussing the quartz wall of facing stones that was a reconstruction from the fallen stones found at the site when it was rebuilt recently. We dowsed that the quartz was used to amplify the energies captured and then filtered through the mound’s many alternating layers of organic and inorganic material (cf. Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone Accumulator). This fantastic site has some excellent imagery of the layers discovered during the excavations.
We spent just another few moments at the reconstructed quartz wall, trying to find out whether those intermittent stones had any effect. We found that the duller spotted stones were important somehow. It was important that they were part of the wall, important that the broke up the continual pattern of white stones but they were not energetically significant in themselves. They had a function, but the purpose was not fulfilled by some property of the stone, only by their placement in the pattern. With this confusing response, we decided to wander on, around the exterior, contrary to the flow of the other tourists who looked at us with some idle amusement.
We walked around the right way and Kal showed me his discovery from when he had been off wandering alone earlier - a small double chambered building. What was it? What was its purpose? We wandered inside to try to find out.
The building had two chambers and an entrance porch. Beyond the porch was the larger of the two chambers, large enough to seat eight people, and indeed there were eight alcoves built into the round chamber’s wall. There were two such alcoves in the entrance porch too. Beyond the main chamber with the eight seats was another smaller chamber which had one seat cut into the back of the wall. The smaller chamber looked as though it would fit someone in if they were sat down, perhaps with a ‘minder’ or observer watching them in the seat opposite.
We went back to the entrance and began to investigate the purpose of each of the parts of the building. We dowsed that the two entrance seats were for guards, people who would prevent others from entering and disturbing the proceedings, whatever they might turn out to be.
Inside the main chamber we found out much more information. There were four seats on the right-hand side of the chamber which were for men to sit in. The four seats on the left-hand side were for women. The purpose of the eight participants was that they would draw down moon energy through the small portal windows that dotted the chamber at strategically placed points above eye level.
The whole building was geared around an initiate. The Initiate would have someone with him or her, who would guide them through the process they had to follow. The Initiate would sit in the smaller far chamber with the guide watching over them. The eight people in the main chamber would channel the moon’s energy into the Initiate through the small gap that leads to the Initiate’s chamber. This would be done during the three-day cycle when the moon was at its fullest.
The signal for the end of the process would be a shaft of sunlight that would enter to strike the Initiate through the small window in the Initiate’s chamber.
One very interesting aspect of this energising ritual was that there was a spiral formation in the main chamber. When I dowsed as to where the energy went from that point the rods directed me to the main Newgrange chamber. This got me thinking – was there some kind of passageway between the two places, because there was no obvious entrance in the side of Newgrange’s main mound? The rods indicated that there is a hidden passage beneath this smaller building that leads to the main mound. It seems as though, even with all the excavation that has been done on the surface of this site perhaps something has been missed that existed underneath it? Without some kind of surveying equipment I have only got the dowsing rods to rely on.
This is, of course, highly speculative and we have nothing to rely upon here except the dowsing. There were several correlations, though, both before and after finding this information out, that would contribute towards correlating the ritual and how it was conducted. In other places we found the three day Moon cycle was important (Knowth and Dowth).
It was with some interest that I can now piece together two pieces of information that I didn’t have at the time. I noticed that the floor plan of this building, its layout, is exactly the same as an inscription carved into one of the rocks in the Four Knocks mound – a carving which shows a spiral in the middle of the larger chamber with a smaller chamber next to it. This is what we found here too, before we had been to Four Knocks.
Next we would take a long walk along the valley to a site that very few visitors seemed to bother with (because no tourist bus went there). We walked to Dowth, a large mound whose features I recognised immediately, and which Kalhad a particular affinity with. Newgrangehad provided us with some interesting information, but Dowth would surpass even that.