Posts Tagged ‘lake district’
High Harrington – a return to dowsing roots
On our way over from Castlerigg to Ennerdale I noticed that we would be going within a short distance of the village that I used to live in when I lived in Cumbria. It was too good an opportunity to miss, especially as I suddenly thought of something that might make the visit a bit more interesting – High Harrington was the first place that I ever dowsed, when I was about 11 or 12 years old. How about going back to discover what it was that I found int he field opposite my old house?
Despite the fact that the satellite navigation on my phone was really playing up that morning I still remembered enough about the area to be able to navigate us to the right place (after one false alarm due to new construction). I pointed out old haunts on the way through the village from the east side and eventually we parked opposite my old house, next to the field I had first dowsed in (not the house pictured, but similar if much smaller).
The first thing I noticed about the house was that the neighbours had cut down their beautiful cherry tree – the one bit of joyful colour in this otherwise drab street. Shame, because it would have been in bloom at that time of year. Now there was just an bland gap. Fools! We made our way to the field and hopped over the gate for a swift bit of dowsing – surely no-one would mind two fellas swinging rods around in a grassy field?
I asked the rods to find the exact spot where I had got a dowsing reaction 30 years ago, although back then I knew not why, of course. I was within ten feet of the spot and it only took me seconds to locate it. Now I had the knowledge to find out what the reasons for the reaction were. So, I asked the rods for more information about the spot. It turned out to be a very weak female spiral caused by some underground water at that spot. Wow – after all these years the round trip was completed, and the mystery solved!
Just as we were climbing back over the fence a farmer appeared asking what we were up to. Funny how he appeared just at that moment – almost like one of the locals tipped him off, or something? Still a bunch of close-knit nosy parkers then? Nothing changes up that part of the country. I explained my situation, my history and what I was doing. Farmers are often sympathetic to this. Indeed he was quite reasonable, not flinching one bit at the dowsing, and in fact confirming that there were several water springs in the field that he had come across when working the land over the years. Excellent – conformation of my findings too. What a bonus! I thanked the nosy parkers for their hidden intervention, and turned my suspicious thoughts into unqualified thanks.
Ennerdale Water – an exchange of spirits
The next destination we headed for was another one of my re-visitations. We drove to Ennerdale Water, one of the smaller lakes and the one closest to High Harrington (okay – maybe Loweswater is slightly closer – don’t be pedantic – it’s poetic license). I remember cycling to Ennerdale on several occasions on warm weekends and when I arrived I would usually walk around the lake, up into the hills, and sit by a stream or just look out over the lake for a while, then ride all the way home. No wonder I had legs like tree trunks as a youth!
In my mind I had a vivid memory of standing on the shore of Ennerdale, almost saying goodbye to it before I moved away. Now I was back. We parked at the car park and walked the short walk down to the edge fo the lake. There was no obvious way to get TO the lake itself so we walked around for a while, and then I insisted that we find a way down to the lake shore, so we plunged through the long grass whereupon I found an almost invisible animal track and we followed that. At the end of the track it opened out onto a pebble-strewn cove of some fifteen feet across and only a few feet in depth. I stopped shocked. This was the exact place I remember last standing in my memory of the place! I had found the exact point thirty years later. The power of the subconscious mind, eh?
It wasn’t warm, though. Kal and I skimmed some stones for a few minutes, admiring the ones that bounced several times and boo-ing the ones that plopped unceremoniously into the dark blue repository. It was a moment of youthful playfulness. Then I felt a tug, a need to connect to the lake. I have always had good experiences connecting with the spirits of lakes, but despite that I put up some protection. One never knows what’s out there, so it’s best to be safe.
The Blue Stone to White Stone exchange
With my protection in place I extended my aura out into the lake asking for any water spirit that wished to connect to do so. I also took out my set of elemental crystals (the only ones I had brought with me to the lake) and tried to remember exactly which one was for the water spirit. After a minute of deliberation I chose a blue agate that I had recently introduced into the set for some reason. I called upon the water spirit that I have become familiar with to move herself into this crystal so that I could work with her. I felt a distinct..unwillingness for her to do that! I picked out the other crystal that she might reside in (or through which I could contact her) and asked if she was in that one – YES. But it was an indistinct clear quartz crystal and it was easily confused with the other one in the collection. I needed to change this, so I asked the lake spirits if I would be allowed to remove a stone from the lake within which to re-house my familiar water spirit. The roar of approval was almost deafening to my internal ears, as it were. The overwhelming feeling of “rightness” was the permission I needed.
I picked up my staff and looked into the lake – which one to choose? There was a small white stone about six feet into the shallows that caught my eye. I asked, would that stone be suitable? Again the lake’s spirits responded encouragingly with a tingly pleasant feeling in my stomach, like excitement.
By the way – some signs for disapproval include birds making noises around me, anything that is very distracting just after the question is asked, or a feeling of queasiness in my stomach. The birds I take as a warning, the distraction is telling me that I should be looking elsewhere for an answer, and the queasiness tells me that the thing I am about to do is not good for me.
I fished out the stone, not wanting to touch the lake until the last moment when I picked the white Dolomite stone out. Kal kept saying, “Come on! Just pick it up!” but I had to do it carefully, with the minimum of disturbance and not too greedily. It had to come because it wanted to, not because I wanted it to. It arrived easily and willingly.
On the shore I held the stone for a short while and then was pleased to find it was warm and perfectly dry, despite the cold weather and my cold hands. Odd, but a good sign – it meant we were compatible. I asked my water spirit ally whether she would transfer her connections into the new stone and there was a whoosh of swirling energy around my head as the transfer took place. This was obviously a better place to live!
I took the blue agate stone that I could find no use for and filled it with my own energy – experiences of this day, my feelings for this region, my memories of the place, my stories from a life lived here – and then I hurled the stone into the lake where it disappeared instantly, never to be seen again. It belonged to the lake itself now. We had exchanged energies. The lake spirits had given me one of their precious stones, and in return I had done the same. I like that – I like to be in balance, neither in debt nor owed anything.
That was all we had to do – to evoke memories and exchange spirits. Quite a beautiful experience amid the dramatic cloud, water and hills around.
Gwas – finding a new home for an old friend
We chose Cumbria’s southern circuit of megalithic sites to be our venue and host for the Spring Equinox of 2010. The area had just the right balance of sites – waterfalls, stone circles, beaches, and hill forts – all of which we wanted to visit for a special purpose on this day. This Sunday 22nd March I was going to attempt to reconnect with the four elemental forces of Nature and thus kick-start my year’s energy work by doing so.
I had other agendas too: I wanted to find out the significance of the time between Spring Equinox and Beltane – did it have a particular activity associated with it that I should be involved in? Finally, I wanted to get understand what the Spring Equinox itself might mean in terms of energy.
The morning started brightly as we approached Cumbria’s southern fells, but there was a light cloud cover over the area once we actually got off the main southern road and began to approach Birkrigg Moor – the scene of our first encounter – the small stone circle of Birkrigg. Birkrigg circle is also known as The Druid’s Temple, but we won’t go into that! Recent scholars have argued the point that the creation date of these circles far predates the arrival of any known druid culture, but there does seem to remain a mythical attachment of the druids to the stones, in legend, lore and fable. I suppose people like me are only re-enforcing that view now that we are in some small way reclaiming these sites for our own usage, and are performing acts of natural magick there.
We had parked a way away from the circle and had to tramp across the bleak moor to find it nestled overlooking Morecambe Bay and the southern tip of the Lake District. At one point we considered using the dowsing rods to find it, but instinct led us there before we needed to resort to that.
It took us a few minutes to work out that this was actually two circles one within the other. The inner circle was obvious, but the outer one was demarcated only by embedded recumbent small-ish stones. Quicker than that Kal felt an affinity with the site and began to absorb the atmosphere, mentally preparing himself for communing. I, on the other hand, was totally indifferent to the place. Sure, I wanted to dowse the energetic properties, but for all it being called a Druid’s Temple I was prepared to stand aside afterwards and relax for a bit.
Here’s a summary of the energetic findings and properties of this stone circle:-
- The circle is at its energetic peak at the Summer Solstice
- It is most suited to those who are sun-aligned people [something you can dowse to check - what do you mean you haven't done it yet? ]
- The size of the stones and their placement were significant factors in forming the energetic qualities of this site
- There was no astrological significance to this circle
- There was a genius loci (a site guardian) for the site, and it has a sigil that is the ‘sun sigil‘ (see recent Nine Stones Close post).
I sat and watched as Kal began to do some work with the energetic qualities of the site. I dowsed to find the most energetic place for me to sit whilst Kal did his thing. I was just drifting off minutes later into a kind of far-away thousand-yard stare when I became aware of a movement in the corner of my eye. I looked to the centre of the stone circle expecting to see a dog running across it or a wandering sheep, perhaps. There was nothing there. I unfocused my eyes again, and there it was again. A movement. I concentrated on trying to describe the movement – it was a spiral, moving from the edges of the circle upwards to a point some fifteen feet above the circle. My eyes, providing I didn’t look directly at this movement, were able to see this shape, this invisible shape, this overlay, and were able to describe the shape of a spiral – a cone of energy.
I emerged from this state quite excited and Kal happened to be emerging from his seated posture too at this time. I eagerly told him about the experience, and then we had one of those ‘I know’ moments, as Kal described the visualisations he had done, and that a spiral in the centre of the circle had been the major process. I’ll leave it up to Kal to tell you what he went through that day – it’s his story – but my story was already getting interesting. As the cloud cover thickened and the wind picked up from off the sea to chill our bones we decided to generate some heat by walking quickly back to the car and on to the next site: Swinside circle.
There’s no easy way to get to Swinside circle. Although there is just about enough room for three cars to park in the lane near a farmhouse just off the A595 in a C-class road. It is signposted, but you have to look carefully. From the place where you park you walk left up a small track that rises steeply. All around you are even steeper fells until you open out onto a valley between Swinside Fell and Mere Crags almost opposite. It’s only once you are walking through that wind tunnel that you begin to appreciate the stunning situation of this incredibly well-preserved and quite large stone circle.
The first thing we did on arrival was to get some shelter from the biting cold and harsh wind from off the fells. We decamped behind the relative shelter of the wall that defines the field in which the circle dominates. The circle is constructed on virtually the only flat ground around, and has views that rival any other I’ve seen for sheer aesthetic qualities. For a site without trees it’s remarkably beautiful, ans I wish we’d seen it on a clearer calmer sunnier day.
While Kal roused himself to do some of his own work, I went about my business in a ..well, business-like manner. This was not a place to be hanging about in today, and both of us would be doing only what we felt we needed to do, and no more, to save our hands from the freezing winds. First thing I did was to find my compatible entrance to the circle. This turned out to be the entrance closest to where you enter the field, and the natural place for most people to enter the circle, I suspect. This was the moon entrance that faces you as you approach the circle. The sun entrance was immediately opposite on the other side of the circle where a large gap between stones could be plainly seen.
I deposited myself on a stone that seemed strangely familiar and sat thinking about the layout of the circle and looking at the stones, trying to get familiar with the ambiance of the place and to feel whatever feelings might arise from being here – ‘being and seeing’ as Paul Devereux puts it. I recognised the shape of the stone I was sat on – it was identical in every single feature to that of a female stone that was my power centre at Druid’s Circle on top of Penmaenmawr in North Wales. When I dowsed this stone it turned out to be my power centre here too, and it was a centre of female energies.
Kal and I discussed whether there might be other entrances other than simply Sun and Moon aligned ones. Quickly we found entrances for the planets Mercury and Venus too, although at the time we didn’t have any way to confirm this. Now I have some nifty software that should be able to confirm these alignments when we dowse for the time that the entrances are supposed to be energetically active. We can check this now, which is going to be interesting.
Big Stones and Little Centre
As I sat on my female power centre huddling from the roaring wind behind me I noticed that my eyes were moving between two stones. To my right there was a round-topped striated stone with a leaning sentinel alongside her. I knew the stone was female as I have become adept at recognising the differences between the two types (mostly) after spending so much time seeing rows upon rows of them and dowsing along the lines at Carnac in Brittany. On its opposite side my eye was being drawn to an inverse triangular stone, which was taller than the others and so obviously of a male shape. Male to female, female to male. My eyes were drawn across the circle, and passed through a little ring of stones placed geometrically in the centre. I hopped off my stone to see what the dowsing rods would make of these things. Would they confirm them, or lead me elsewhere?
I asked the rods to lead me to the strongest male stone in the circle. I was led by a wobbly path to the angular stone that I had thought it would be. As I approached the stone the path deviated off to circle around it and finally the rods touched the back of the stone in the centre. This was something that I had seen happen many many times when dowsing particular stones – the ‘entry’ or ‘exit’ point for the trail of energy was usually on the outward-facing side of the stone, even though the trail went inwards.
Was this stone linked to any other stone in the circle, I asked. The rods began to twitch and lead me off back into the centre circle of little rocks before changing direction and spiralling out of the centre and out to the other side of the main circle. Moments later I was circling around the largest female stone. Just as I had intuited, these two were somehow linked through the centre of the circle.
I dowsed for the energetic centre of the circle and arrived at the little circle of placed rocks that someone had made. So this was the connection point for the male and female energies of the biggest stones, but more interestingly, someone had specifically marked this spot with stones. Other dowsers? Or who? Someone energetically aware, that was certain.
The Work of This Time
One of the agenda points I had wanted answers to this day (because we’re dowsing and doing energy work with a purpose these days) was that I wanted to know what the purpose of the time was between Spring Equinox and Beltane at the start of May, which was the next significant marker in the eight-fold year. I was assuming that there was 0ne, given that I had been working to a theme for the previous eighth of the year between Imbolc and Spring Equinox. What was the purpose of this next phase, I wondered?
To find this out I needed to immerse myself in the energies of this circle, I felt. I spent some time dowsing for where I should stand, in what order, and to see whether I would need anything like incense sticks to help me. When I got my answers I set off positioning the incense, lighting it in the gale-force winds (a test of patience, surely) and then trying to relax into the feeling of the site. I was attempting to make contact with whatever helpful forces might be around, in whatever form that might be.
After what felt like an Ice Age I emerged from my half-sleep trance state with a quite clear thought running through my head: this next phase was about achieving balance, finding neutrality. Those were the themes. During the meditation I had been shown as the very centre point between forces above and below. I was the nexus point in the interchange of those forces, the neutral point, the axis. I was shown that if I could connect into the ‘network’ of neutral energy within the planet then I could use this energy to divert, shape and collect the male and female energy and to use it for my own purposes – I was being given the secrets of how the ancients began to collect and utilise earth and celestial energies.
This was quite a revelation, and far beyond what I was expecting. Suddenly I felt a huge burden of responsibility coupled with a dread as to the amount of work I might have to do to take on such a task. I would have to centre myself to such an extent that I could withstand the centrifugal forces of the energies that spun around me as I connected to the very subtle energy grid of the planet, drawing from it and shaping the energy into a meaningful form.
It all felt a bit too much to cope with. What would I have to do? Could I stand it? Did I have the mental strength, the ability, the sense of responsibility to try to do this? How did I go about connecting? What would I have to endure? What would I be shaping the energies into? For what purpose? A million questions exploded like emerging stars on a dark night.
We reconvened behind the wall to discuss our findings and Kal’s were equally interesting. It looks like we had both got a lot out of this visit. The clouds were thickening all the time and the temperature felt like it was a few degrees cooler than when we had started that morning. We decided we had withstood enough, and packed to leave, facing into the harsh wind once more as we tramped back down the track to the car.
Despite the chill wind and occasional sleet the lambs in the fields indicated the coming of Spring. It was a joy to see a few white and a pair of black lambs prancing about in the rugged fields back down near the farm buildings. It heralded the advent of Spring. even if the weather was not yet in agreement with that.
In the next post I will tell you how the day progressed. The first half of this day of balance had been filled with sun and light, but moving steadily towards a darkening. Next we went to search out Stanley Force – a waterfall in a beautiful setting near to the village of Eskdale. We would then climb again up the impossibly steep Hardknott Pass to the Roman fort to complete the day’s undertakings.
Little by name, but great in terms of energy. We had to look very closely to find this stone circle, which is dwarfed by her companion site Long Meg. Everyone visits Long Meg but very few visitors seem to bother with Little Meg. Well, sometimes that’s just the way we like it. We certainly enjoyed visiting her. Little Meg is formed by two circles next to each other. If the larger circle were considered to be the size of the earth, then the smaller circle next to it would be about the size of the moon. I wonder if that was in any way deliberate by the circle builders? Certainly I got very strong lunar energies from the stone just peeking out from behind the large stone on the right in the picture below.
The larger stone was strongly sun-aligned, as Kal found out when he was drawn to sit upon it and then wouldn’t move – at all. I deposited my bag next to the ‘moon’ stone and we were both happy with our arrangements. The concave shape of the moon stone made me think of another Dream Seat (theme of the day, it seemed). The site felt very pleasant, despite the lack of warmth that day.
In the picture below you can see the tiny ring cairn that sits next to Little Meg. A stone lies off centre at what might be considered to be the focal point of the parabola, and at a place where we commonly find power centres located. I must admit, I didn’t specifically identify its purpose or energetic imprint, as I was more taken with the relative sizes of the two circles and how they might represent the proportionate sizes of celestial bodies.
As I pondered this idea I walked around the circles in a figure of eight shape and felt the energies stirring from both circles. Kal was unfazed. He simply kept stating how nice it was to sit on his sun stone. Nutter! Meanwhile I’m walking around and around while the farmer collects the mown crop and every now and again drives out of the field to deposit it at the nearby farm. Despite the impossibility of sun breaking through the clouds the more I walk the thinner the cloud gets where the sun is positioned. Kal says he’s making it come out through sheer willpower. I almost agree as the watery sun tries desperately to break the dense cloud cover. The air warms slightly, and I have to take off my coat.
We depart for our next target – Addingham Church, which the OS map shows has an old sculpted stone cross somewhere in its vicinity. We decide to quickly investigate, although lunchtime is rapidly approaching. We find several candidate crosses converted into headstones int he church’s graveyard, but the one pictured dowsed as being the original one that all the fuss was about. What an unusual cross! Still, this is Cumbria, and things are a little different up here to the rest of the country.
As I take my snaps Kal is busy at the back of the churchyard, taking particular interest in a tiny tree that can barely be seen beneath its wire mesh cage. He invited me to dowse its aura, which I did. About 10 feet wide. Kal then pulled the wire cage off the little tree and I measured the difference in the aura – three times further with the wire cage off! Thirty feet wide now. People started to arrive at the church so I urged Kal to replace the cage, but he was very reluctant. So now Kal has become Protector of Trees, eh?
We drove on to the next site – a ring cairn near Glassonby village. We could see the cairn circle through the broken boughs of a massive ash tree, so we trotted through the field to reach it. The circle was badly damaged, and there were rabbits tunnelling all the way through it, but it was inactive energetically and needed nothing from us, nor inspired us to do anything. Kal did some cursory dowsing, and I spent my time trying to see if any of the stones were aligned with nearby hills like at Castlerigg.
I found one interesting correspondence between the shape of one stone and the hills behind…but it was hard to be sure.
That was our morning complete. We headed off for some lunch in a fabulous Cross Keys inn near to Penrith, before we would visit Mayburgh Henge, Gamelands stone circle, Seal Howe and Oddendale cairns and then we would find a site that hadn’t previously been listed on the Megalithic Portal, which was quite exciting!
Long Meg and Her Daughters – September 25th, 2009
The first thing that strikes you as you approach this site is the sheer size of it. Avebury could be considered to be massive, as it hosts a village at its centre, but Long Meg is also in the category of huge sites. Unlike Avebury very few of the stones are huge in themselves, but their spread is very wide. Wide enough for a narrow road to pass through its focal centre.
Kal in particular was disinclined to dowse here. Although he made some intial attempts, these were merely investigative dowses to determine whether there was any energy work to be done. He soon found that he was going to be kept busy in dull grey late morning by some healing work that he needed to do upon himself – some psychological healing. His recent personal circumstances warranted such work, so i left him to quietly get on with it, whilst I went around the site finding out some interesting things about it.
First of all, it was clear that I was not going to be able to map out the energies. The site was too large for that. Had it been a sunny day in summer, and this had been the first and only site we would be visiting, then such work may have been completed, but we had a big agenda this day and our visits would have to be targeted and investigatory. So be it. I started with Long Meg, the tall pointed upright stone that dominated the near corner of the site.
The Long Meg stone and her spirals
The Long Meg stone was fascinating in itself, never mind in its relationship to the rest of the site. The first thing that caught my eye was the notched cut-out on the top of the stone. This reminded me of a similar stone just to one side of the Carnac fields of stones. It had a similar notch on top, and when I dowsed the Carnac stone I learned that the notch was aligned to predict the position of either sun, moon or star constellations at certain times of the year. I wish I had known more and been more specific at the time, but that was the outcome then.
Long Meg’s notch is aligned to the moon, so the rods informed me. A touch more specific, although I didn’t go through a process of working out exactly when the alignments might occur. It probably changed every year anyway. That information wasn’t too important right then, as I didn’t intend to make use of the alignment anyway. But now you know, you moon ritual people could always go and check it out for yourselves if you needed it, right? I presume you’d need to observe it from a specific place such as your own power centre.
The stone had inscribed upon it some spirals that intruiged me – I would have to find out what they meant. I placed me hand over each of them in turn, feeling for rather than dowsing for energy. When I placed my hand over the top-most spiral I felt a shiver, despite the fact that the spiral felt warm as my hand moved through the air above it. Strange! I tried the lower spiral – nothing. No reaction at all – no felt energy.
Where did the spirals connect to, I wondered? I found the link for the top-most spiral and later Kal found the link for the bottom-most spiral. We both confirmed each others dowsing too in order to satisfy ourselves that this was consistent irrespective of who dowsed for it. The top-most spiral linked to a spiral power centre right between the two entrance stones (these are the pair of round-topped stones shown in the middle of the picture below). The lower spiral was found to link through the entrance but then terminate in a spiral between the pair of stones in the foreground of the picture. Interestingly, the entrance spiral was pleasant to stand in, but Kal found the other power centre to be quite detrimental and quickly moved away from it once he had confirmed his results.
Kal had discovered that one of the site’s major benefits is to promote healing work, as I mentioned. He went off to involve the two trees in the centre of the circle in some healing work on himself. After visiting the two trees he then went to the Dream Seat stone which you can see in the picture below – there’s Kal in the far distance next to a tall wide stone just to the left of the left-most tree.
As with Castlerigg there was a Dream Seat stone, but this one was a little less comfortable. It was more of a large hollow that you could lean against or sit with your back against, but it served much the same purpose, according to my dowsing results. There was certainly a strong flow of energy coming from that “scar” on the rock, and the angles and points of the rock’s general shape seemed to focus the energies to that point where the concave had been created. I sat there for a few minutes and could feel the strong waves and pulses of subtle energy coming out of it. More deviceless dowsing, huh?
Getting more purposeful
This was all well and good, but what was the site for? I ran through a list of usual suspects. The idea of the list of not to pinpoint a single possibility, because I think most sites have several ways in which participants can work with the energy depending upon need, ability and timing. Rather it is to hone down the list from every possibility to those that react the strongest and thus demonstrate to use the best possibilities for achieving something useful with the site’s powers.
Long Meg dowsed for having capabilities including regeneration (healing, empowerment), education (they almost all seem to respond to this element) and for revelation (i.e. transformation of consciousness). It also registered as being primarily a lunar energy driven site.
Given the lunar notch on top of Long Meg I was hopeful that it would dowse as a calendrical site too – it did. So, there were stone positions at the site that were paced in specific positions to mark certainn times of the year such as solar risings and settings, and lunar positions such as the Lunar Major Standstill and Minor Standstill points. I left the exact positioning of these stones until I come back to do a full dowse and mapping of the energies and stones. Maybe next summer.
In Earth Memory there is a summary of some astronomical findings related to Long Meg that adds weight to this:
“At midwinter sunset, John Glover observed that the shadow of Long Meg is thrown across the vast circle, so that the tip of the shadow touches the opposite side of the stone ring. R.D.Y Perret later showed that at the equinoxes Long Meg’s shadow provided true tangents to the circle.” (pp.116)
I obtained one final bit of information before Kal returned from his meditation adventures/healing session. I found that there were many more grounding and energising stones int his circle than I had found elsewhere. Maybe I had stopped at finding one at other circles, but here I walked around identifying THREE grounding stones (i.e. stones that would draw your energy from you) and FIVE charging stones (i.e. they robbed you of small change as you sat on them – no, I’m joking, I mean they would imbue you with subtle energy like charging a battery).
Our final bit of dowsing was to try out an experiment in dowsing the aura around Long Meg. We wanted to see if there was any association between specific musical notes and the chakra or rainbow colours of the aura. We firstly identified the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet bands of the aura. We placed a peg to show us where these bands started, and as at other places where we had done this the bands were wider at the outer edge (the red, orange and yellow bands) getting progressively narrower as the colour frequencies increased towards violet, which was only a few inches away from the stone.
Then I got out my MP3 player and plugged in some battery-powered speakers. I had pre-recorded the C2 range of notes, and the idea was to see if we got a dowsing response from any of the notes in this octave. We did indeed. The red band responded to the third note, the orange band to the fifth note, and the yellow band to the seventh note. The we ran out of notes! Damn!
I played a longer recording that went through more scales but it was impossible to keep track of where the notes were when the rods crossed. I would have to try this again somewhere else and this time include a spoken element stating which note was being played all through octaves C2 to around C4, I reckoned. Still, interesting correlations between the chakra bands and musical notes. Perhaps Pythagoras’ musical theory of harmonics had a resonance with colour frequencies and subtle energy fields? More testing required, I think.
On our way out of the site we came across a tree with lots of rags tied to it. Aha – another ‘wishing tree’ in active use, just like at Nine Ladies in Derbyshire and West Kennet, and many other sites. It seems this custom is being kept very much alive. Notice that, despite several photos being taken of this tree none of them came out sharp – they were all blurred. None of the other photographs of the site were blurred. I find this interesting. It’s happened before when taking photos of trees. I wonder if its something to do with their energy field? I had a similar experience at the Forest of Dean when I had to take five photos and really concentrate on holding the camera particularly steady before I got anything like a reasonably clear photograph. Very strange!
Time to move on to the associated ‘sister’ site of Little Meg, which was somewhere nearby.
Tying a yellow ribbon round an old thorn tree.
Keswick, Cumbria – 27th September
In the first part of our day-long epic journey into the vast wilderness of the Lake District in search of the sacred circles we had heard so much about Kal and I began by visiting what must be one of the busiest circles we’ve ever stepped foot in. Not a moment’s peace was to be had at Castlerigg on a Sunday morning, despite the fact that we pitched up at 9:30am. There was barely a parking space left amid the camper vans, mobile homes and country capable cars that lined the sides of the small road on the edge of Keswick town.
Were we not in the middle of nowhere of note? We were. Still, on this day it seemed like every man Jack and his dog was visiting this sacred site, and not many of them were being very sacred. There was a photographer or three knocking about positioning tripod in awkward positions, parties of American tourists with overly-white hair and bright clothing milling about in herds like bewildered dayglo sheep, and families with hyped-up kids clambering all over the stones. A motley bunch. Then we arrived looking for peace and solitude to bathe in the morning mist that clad the site and surrounding hills. Not a chance, lads. Not today.
The mist quickly cleared off to the higher ground, but the crowd only grew thicker. We realised that whatever we were going to do here was going to draw attention. By this stage in our dowsing and spiritual development this mattered little to us. Kal immediately set about determining whether there was anything in particular that we should be doing here – perhaps to re-balance the energies, or ourselves, or what? He found that it was all down to me this morning. A convenient finding, I thought, but that’s how it goes.
I was in no rush, however, having an agenda of my own in terms of dowsing. I wanted to see whether I could answer a few questions that had been buzzing around my head for the last few days. These questions were:-
- Could the site be considered to be “active” in terms of energy?
- How accurate were the visual alignments between the stones and the surrounding landscape, that I had seen depicted in Paul Devereux’s book “Earth Memory“?
- Did any of the stones display a magnetic charge when a compass was held near to them?
- Were there any dowsable emissions of radon or radioactive energies coming out of the stones?
- Was there a “dream seat” at the site?
In “Earth Memory” Devereux tells of a shaman who takes a man to a place where there is an ancient stone seat that shamans sit upon. When they attune to the spot the seat produces visions and dream states where the shaman can experience “shamanic flying” or out-of-body experiences. I liked this idea, and it reminded me of the two similar “seats” at Avebury that are such intruiging shapes:
I went in search of a Dream Seat at Castlerigg and an obvious candidate emerged, worn smooth by the number of people who had leaned against it observing the view. I elected to try it out shortly.
All these questions plus the usual suspects concerning the discovery of the uses for the site were uppermost in my mind. As it turned out Kal beat me to the punch with the “use of the site” questions. He had over heard a tour guide telling the tale that the site had perhaps once been used as a place of barter for tradesmen – a kind of market meeting place. Spurred on to test this he got his dowsing rods out and began his own investigations. Was the site constructed for the purpose of trading? NO. So, it may have become a trading post, but he didn’t feel as though that’s how it started out. Of course not – why would there be so many celestial alignments and carefully placed stones if the purpose was to create a trading space?
I began my own investigations to answer my new questions.
- Was the site energetically active? YES. Was it still functioning? YES.
- Did any of the stones show any magnetic charge? YES, four of them moved the compass needle slightly away from North. These stones were on the South-Western end of the circle. This did not correspond with what I had read in “Earth Memory” where one stone at the Western cardinal point had registered for magnetic charge.
- Were there any radioactive emissions coming out of the stones. NONE. I checked them all. But then I wasn’t using a scientific device, I was using a copper rod. Perhaps no surprise then!
I then went on to check some of the alignments. The most obvious one could be seen from….the Dream Seat stone! No wonder many people had sat on it – the alignment was both obvious and sublime:
I’m afraid I didn’t get the angle just right for the photo, but trust me – it’s a perfect fit with the two foreground hillsides. I carried on with my questions regarding the purpose of the site now that I had found the Dream Seat:-
- Was it an astral observatory, and aligned to celestial bodies? YES.
- Was it used as a calendar to track the position of the Sun and Moon at specific times of the year? YES.
- Were any of the stones used as: an altar – NO. A grounding/cleansing stone – YES. I found one such stone. An energising stone – YES. I found three of them.
- Did the circle draw energy into it? YES, from the sun, moon and stars.
- Did the circle push energy out? YES, into the surrounding land.
- Was the circle used for communication of any kind? NO.
- Was there a specific entrance? YES, for me it was at the South cardinal point.
- Was there a ley line running through the site? YES, in a NE to SW direction.
- Was there a specific path required to be followed to activate the energies of the site? YES.
This ‘ritual path’ (as Stone Dowser terms it) was particularly interesting. The energy path for me to follow was through the southern entrance, to the Sanctuary enclosure for some cleansing and statement of purpose, then out the eastern edge to the Dream Seat to see what needed to be done, then back out the eastern edge again to finish.
This last piece of information was particularly interesting as it encompassed the Dream Seat. I had wanted “a go” on it anyway, so here was my chance. Despite the endless stream of visitors I told Kal what I intended to do, and he said he would “observe”, which meant that he was going to have a laugh at me trying to make something happen here.
It took two attempts to make my meditative connection work, but I finally attuned to the site and had a vision sitting on the Dream Seat. In the vision I was spinning around above myself, hovering over the stone circle. From there I could see myself, and I could see that I was “spineless”. In other words, my spine was hollow, but nothing was flowing through it. I ‘knew’ I had a blockage in my chakras, and that it was glowing softly red at the base of my spine. The root chakra needed some work, I surmised.
After two attempts to unblock it I succeeded eventually. Much to everyone’s amusement I’m sure, watching a man with a stick moving from place to place around the circle and meditating for a while at each spot. In the end I felt “dreamy”, like I had awoken from a deep sleep – a feeling that didn’t really leave me until the end of the day on the way back home!
For me, it was a wonderful experience, and despite the heavy tourist traffic, very peaceful and calming. I went on to enjoy the rest of the sites that day. Out next stop would be Long Meg and Her Daughters and the companion site Little Meg.
Floating on air.
I am thinking of mountains because tomorrow I climb Scafell Pike in Lakeland. Once again I’ve under-estimated Nature. I thought, “2 hours to get there, 4 hours up and down, 2 hours back = 8 hours. Still daylight when we get back!” The review of the routes I’ve just read says 5.5 hours just to get up the mountain and back. Two hours to get to the mountain from the motorway. I make that an additional 5 and a half hours on top of my estimate. Let’s hope that’s an outside estimate, or it’s a long quiet tired drive back home in a day!
It takes many a year’s training to undo the modern obsession with self, and to properly scale oneself into the landscape. I am small. The mountain is vast. Mentally, I am preparing myself to meet this grandeur with an open heart as I breathe in Nature’s cleanest breath, and refreshing my soul in the process.
As I write this I am hearing that lovely Kate Bush song ‘King of the Mountain’ from her recent ‘Ariel‘ double album. Many of you will know of her from her 1980s success, but her later concept albums (if indeed that’s what they were) are stunningly stocked with conscientious, beautiful and challenging music. I strongly recommend ‘Ariel’ for evening time relaxation and inspiration, and also ‘The Ninth Wave’, the second half of the ‘Hounds of Love‘ album. This makes wonderful night-time listening, especially on headphones. No self-respecting pagan should be without that particular music! There’s even a homage to Wilhelm Reich in there, with the track ‘Cloudbusting’. Well ahead of the game, this lady!
I climb with a friend from work called Paulo. Paulo is a former rugby player and leapt like a goat up Ben Nevis when we tackled that peak in persistent rain a few months ago. His stamina makes me feel every aching and damaged joint and tendon, but there are many things to make the journey worthwhile:-
- the freedom of the wilds
- the clean air
- the awe-inspiring views
- the phsical challenge
- to feel the energies of Scafell as I find their paths
- to dowse on top for energetic places
- to see if cairns of rocks placed by walkers have energy
- the taste of a home-made sandwich on the top
I wasn’t ready for Ben Nevis. Its snow-clad peak, mist, sheer exhaustion….I couldn’t rouse enough energy to tune into anything but myself. My test tomorrow will be to see if I can tune into Nature early on, to try the ascent together, to learn something by the time I descend back to roads, shops and noise.
Such a shamanic journey should involve an opening up, and a returning with something. I’ll be singing as I climb,
“Hey ho, and up we go! Up into the hills where the four winds blow.
Hey ho, and up we go! Up into the hills with the ice and snow.
Hey ho and up we go! None of us know which way to go.
We”ll all be lost by the morning!“
Should cheer everyone up a little, yeah?
Follow your true path.