Posts Tagged ‘merlin’
We have been having a run of dry but cold weather. It almost felt like Spring was close at hand, and besides we couldn’t contain ourselves any longer. Some of us have already got quests to do, you know? I was on my quest to discover the Sword and Shield. At the Spring Equinox I had found The Shield. I created/discovered it at Valle Crucis Abbey in Llangollen. In combination with the four other sites I visited that day it was formed in my mind, and its purpose became clear – to assist the healing of energetically-damaged sacred sites.
Now I was on the hunt for The Sword part of that pairing. To that end I had received a vision in Alderley Edge that indicated this sword could be found at a sacred lake. The sacred lake in question was undoubtedly the same lake where there is a mythological association with The Lady of the Lake and the giving of a magical sword – that lake was Llyn Tegid, or Bala Lake. At first I thought it might be Llyn Brenig, but dowsing revealed a better ‘fit’. I didn’t yet know what the purpose of obtaining this energetic sword might be, but that could be determined afterwards. The focus was now on getting it.
To that end I had identified a useful starting point via the aid of map dowsing. Llanycil church next to Bala lake was an ancient sacred place, since converted or at least marked with a church. Llanycil Church is no longer in functioning use. It would appear that, for at least the second time in this place’s history, the religious order has been overshadowed. One may say that the wheel has turned back on itself in some ways, at least that was how we felt as we pulled up in front of it in the handy lay-by opposite on the Bala Lake main road.
As so often seems to happen on my outings around Wales I found that a place that I visited was dedicated to St.Beuno. This character seems to crop up at so many of the places that were once pagan sacred sites. I tell you – that man got about a bit considering there were no cars or good roads in his time! Somewhat amusingly, his name could be translated into English as “Bono“. Interesting parallel here – it is said of Beuno that:
“”on the seventh day of Easter he had a wondrous vision” (source: Wikipedia)
A calculation using this year’s Easter date would be around 6th April This visit was a couple of days after that. Close…..close enough to be interesting.
When the weather has been dry for several days in England then it would be rude not to go out into the world and see if you can feel the forces of Nature at work. Not wanting to be rude Kal and I gave a large part of our eating and drinking time over to a journey to our favourite magical woodland – Alderley Edge. It was the first visit of the year, and although it was definitely not Spring-like weather yet, at least it was dry and had been for days, which meant that we could walk around without fear of falling foul of a foot of mud and slutch.
As if our wont, we had to have a question to be working with in order to make the experience bring true reward (yes, wandering around aimlessly can be its own random reward, but if you want to make steady and sure spiritual progress then you need a mission, a plan, a guided meditation). For my part, I had questions about my recent work with The Sword and The Shield. I had managed to absorb some energy into my shield stone and this was very satisfactory. Now, I wanted to know about the Sword aspect. What was it, and how could I go about obtaining it so that I could fulfil my healing potential using these two magickal symbols and their associated energies.
My research into the figure of Galahad had shown that he had encounters involving a sword and a shield. For Galahad they were to be found like this:-
- The Sword of Spirit - a sword drawn from a rock
- The Shield of Faith - a shield found at the altar of a white abbey
Well, that was all to plan so far. I had found a white abbey (Valle Crucis), its ancient altar location, and had transferred the energy of the “shield” into my shield-like stone, and was now able to use that to quickly protect and retain energies for sacred sites. My thoughts thus turned to The Sword. Drawn from a rock? Really? Like Arthur’s sword, Galahad also had to draw a sword from a rock?
Who owns the sword?
Last year I had been doing some research into Gawain. During that year I had some experiences, particularly on Iona, the led me to believe that the Sword is identified with the Will. This is especially true in magickal work. However, was the sword that I would work with this year related to Galahad, Arthur or Gawain? It was a confusing picture! Did it matter? Could the dowsing rods sort it out for me? Or maybe a tarot draw?
The dowsing rods were able to help me divine the answer. It is Galahad’s Sword that I am to find and work with.
“Sir Galahad survives this test [being sat in the Seige Perilous seat], witnessed by King Arthur who, upon realizing the greatness of this new knight, leads him out to the river where a sword lies in a stone with an inscription reading “Never shall man take me hence but only he by whose side I ought to hang; and he shall be the best knight of the world… Galahad accomplishes this test with ease, and King Arthur swiftly proclaims him to be the greatest knight ever. ” (Source: Wikipedia)
Now, on to the Alderley Edge tale, where I find out more answers than I bargained for!
I feel like this is the first proper post of the year. Imbolc always feels like a door opening, a gateway swinging wide to let in the rush of the new year’s energies. This year especially so, for some reason. The anticipation, as always, had been eager, and so like two whippets let loose from a leash Kal and I hurtled towards Cumbria’s finest fells in the spring-fresh morning of an awakening sun. The day was bright, clear, the sky blue and uncovered. The Bride was waiting at the altar, and we were heading down the aisle to meet her – like… two whippets? That analogy so totally doesn’t work when you carry it through!
Our first stop on a packed itinerary was a well. I hadn’t actually planned the day to coincide with my recent Camelot Oracle draw – the agenda had been set even before that – yet the first card I had drawn for that reading was to place Merlin at The Wells on Imbolc. Sometimes the cards are so accurate that I wonder how we have any free choice at all!
A Morning Dip
Anna’s Well, or Stanger Spa, is a recently renovated saline well, which is unusual because it’s quite far away from any obvious salt source, unless there is chlorine or rock salt underneath somewhere. Normally we choose to go to a well first so that I can do some form of purification ritual. I like to cleanse myself of the worldly energies before embarking on a new year’s work and a new quest. This day I would be hoping for both a new quest and a new spirit guide. Absolution through a saline solution seemed appropriate. First, however, we have to get there.
Anna is probably a christianisation (if that’s a proper verb) of the earlier pagan Annan – a form of the triple goddess. Seemed highly appropriate on this, the first of the goddess’ feast days.
As we walked along a well-used bridleway we imagined that the going would be easy, however as is usually the case we were soon to meet an obstacle that would challenge our resolve and determination. We rounded a corner to meet the shining sight of a long iced-over pool of water that practically barred our path. Even in sturdy walking boots I baulked at the prospect of wading through the icy water. Then a foolish thought chimed in – would Kal fall, or would his new waterproof shoes save him waterlogged feet from the outset today? I raced to the end of the track to get a good vantage point on the forthcoming action!
Something was helping Kal this day. He stayed both dry and upright! Maybe I’ll have to sack the sidekick? He’s not providing the usual levels of comedy value these days! We made it over the water, the hill and across the frozen marshland to reach the well’s building.
Even though I was supposed to wait until Imbolc I did my first Camelot Oracle draw. It was only supposed to be a test so that I could become familiar with the cards and the unusual layout of the pack on the “Lands Adventurous” (the eight sacred sites in the Arthurian panoply), but you know how things go… I got carried away and did a real reading. I chose to do “the big question” – after all, if you’re going to test something – test big! My question was:
“How will I fare on my spiritual path for this coming year?“
Thanks to the open-ended questioning style that John Matthews’ accompanying guide suggested this was how the request emerged. It was a powerful question.
Firstly I chose my champion – an archetype that would represent a unified approach to the answers I was seeking. I felt that Galahad would be obvious choice for this year although I have not confirmed that in my spiritual work yet. Not until Imbolc will I know whether this year is really a Galahad/Gwalchaved year or not. Nevertheless, he was the card I manually chose to represent my work this year. He was placed at Camelot.
The Path Card
The card that was chosen as defining the nature of the journey this year was The Doubtful Path. This told me that the path this year would be filled with questions, doubts and points during which I would need to make decisions on how best to proceed. Already I could see that the year would be challenging. Onwards!
I have a new set of oracular divination cards. I call them this because they’re not really tarot cards in the usual sense. They describe themselves as an Oracle card set and I will go with this description. Especially given that I am going to Delphi soon to see THE Oracle. Seems appropriate that I should “gem up” on this ovatic tradition.
The set was devised by that eminent Celtic mythology scholar and druidical wise one – John Matthews. Of course, he got Will Worthington to do the artwork for the cards. Any sensible person in this field would do. I have several other sets of tarot cards featuring his excellent artwork (e.g. The Wildwood Tarot, The Druidcraft Tarot) and I highly recommend them for anyone in the field of druidic divination.
As you know, though, my work has been taking on an Arthurian bent over the past few years. Since 2010, when I encountered Merlin as a tutor and guide along my spiritual path, I have found that I have been working through Arthurian archetypes each year. This year seems like no exception to that, but trying to find information about Galahad/Gwalchaved is very difficult. Hence, I felt I needed a meditation tool that would allow me to get into “the spirit” of this archetype. When I saw the Camelot Oracle, and that it was written by John Matthews, then I needed only a split second to decide to buy it.
I have only read the manual about them – I haven’t tried using them yet. This being The Quiet Time I’m not wanting to stir things up just yet. I will get acquainted with the set first, for the next few weeks, and then when it comes to that all-important Imbolc or Spring Equinox moment when the year begins in earnest I will do my first draw with these cards and then report back on their efficacy for me.
As the set uses the Arthurian Archetypes I fully expect that I will be aligned to their output. I need first to confirm that my “champion” for this year is what I expect it to be. Once this is done I’m off – full flow – and let’s see where it takes me this year.
At the start of the year I remembered that I had been chatting to Kal about the idea of questioning everything. Not absolutely everything – I had done that once before during a Philosophy degree. Rather, this was the idea of taking all of the things that I had come to rely on in the magickal druidic sphere, and then checking whether everything that I was working from as a basis was still valid to me at this time and for the coming year.
After all – things change, people change – and it would be an interesting test to use my dowsing rods to check whether all those little aspects of ritual, or belief, that I use as a basis for working in Nature – do they still apply to me now or have I tied my rudder down in the wrong direction and it’s taking me off course?
I decided to check a number of things, only some of which I will document here. The things I wanted to check were:-
a) Is my teaching Spirit Guide still the same guide? NO. I have to find another spirit guide to work with.
This wasn’t the answer that I was expecting! I had prepared two subsequent questions on the basis that I still had a tutelary spirit guide, and now I had discovered that this guide has moved on! A bit of a shocker. I did some more dowsing about this to confirm it, triple check it, then ask some questions about the change.
It seems that the change occurred because we had got to the point where the guide had got everything they wanted from the relationship and i too had got what I needed from them. The change was related to the point where i took on responsibility for my own druid work, and had occurred at Samhain last year. No wonder I had said an extra log thanks to this spirit at that time! I was saying good bye even though I didn’t know it at the time. Why didn’t I know it then? Because I had been “stuck in my ways” and expected that everything would just continue “as normal”. If I’d been listening properly I would have known this was happening.
- Are my crystal sets still valid in the current configurations? Only my elemental, healing and protection sets are valid. The others are useless in their current configurations.
- Is the incense that I use still the correct incense for the year ahead? YES. The frankincense and sandalwood incense I have been using will still be useful in the coming year.
- Are the stations that I work with correct for me? YES. Sea to the West, Air to the North, Sun to the East and Land to the South are my correct stations.
- Is my Arthurian Cross correct for the coming year? YES. Merlin is associated with North, Arthur with South, Gwalchmai with West and Gwalchaved with East.
Questioning my assumptions about my work had been both a challenging and a reassuring exercise. At first I was concerned that everything I had been working with was wrong when I found out that my spirit guide had moved on. Then, when I checked all the other aspects of my ritual work I found that it was all solidly based in useful customs and objects that I could continue to use for my work in the coming year. Having that sense of stability meant that I was reassured that my work was not going completely off course!
Now I can proceed into the new year with a renewed feeling that I am heading in the right direction. The new challenge is, do I need a new spirit guide for the coming year? I think I need to visit my friend The Yew at Llangernyw in order to establish this, or perhaps a Tarot reading would throw some light on it? All that is to come. For now – it’s still The Quiet Time, and I won’t be starting any work until Imbolc on February 1st.
My summary of the year could easily take up several posts, but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to highlight the many important distinct elements that have taken place this year, and then provide links to the posts that illustrate these elements.
On the whole it has been an amazingly packed, dense, active year. If I were to summarise the whole year in one sentence I would say that this year I have ‘come of age’ in my druid work. I have accepted a level of responsibility, been given many new ‘powers’, skills and abilities, and I have seen a startling increase in my use of intuition. There have also been many surprises. I began the year expecting that I would be working with one type of energy which actually turned out to be something else. I have been to many familiar places, and some new ones too. Each time I have been astonished by the power of the experiences I have had.
It has been a truly rewarding and remarkable year for me, and for Kal too, I know, and yet again I couldn’t have done half of the work I do without his enthusiastic and sometimes madcap influence. So pleased to have such a great friend to work alongside.
Here are the main elements of my year, in roughly chronological order:-
Year of the Dragon.
First there was the dragon vision at Dinas Emrys – a vision of a Dragon at the “Solstice Centre”. This idea led me on a quest to find the dragon energy or spirit form that might exist at the centre of the land, and to do that close to the Summer Solstice. The vision of the dragon at the centre of the land, followed by seeing the dragon sylph in the clouds at Moel Ty Uchaf.
I was then urged to visit Hanger Hill in Sherwood Forest for a second time in the year to find this centre, and there I had a strong vision of the dragon energy covering the whole island. Finally at the end of the year I would see the sleeping dragon in Spain and wake the fire dragon when I linked the two mounds in Antequera with my friend Mike.
That was the prediction I made at the start of the year. How much did that come true? I have certainly felt that I have followed a path that had led to an increase in my personal spiritual power.
Renown has come to the fore in many ways – increased recognition (popularity of the blog), increased personal power (magickal energy), and through research into many historical and mythical figures that are closely linked to my own history.
This year I expanded the number of Arthurian archetypes that I work with to four. 2010 was a Merlin year, 2011 an Arthur year, and this year has been a Gwalchmai year. I thought it was Merlin at Lud’s Church, but now I realise it was a knight figure and that was Gawain/Gwalchmai.
Time and again I would refer to The Green Man and associate this with Merlin. Looking back I can see that actually this was totally the wrong association. It should have been Gwalchmai all along!
Start of the year was the start of the quest at Vale Crucis. Being directed toward Roscommon, Ireland by the shade of St Duignan. Finding my ancestral home, and its warrior kings. The wonderful and strange encounters in that land. Finally feeling a true link to the land. The rewards of this journey were instructions about how to access ancestor energies that I had received as ‘a download’:
- The first stage to unlocking the energies is to remember the quest that gained them, especially the moment when they were downloaded into me when I held the Eel Sword at the edge of Lough Key.
- I should let my mind go free and let it link with the land. It also represents will. Some willpower is required to unlock these energies.
- Use a feeling of joy to unlock the access to the ancestor energies once linked to the land and mindful of the downloaded energies.
Influence of the Stars
The link between my energy body and the stars that influence it. It started with Venus, but at the end of the year I was shown other specific stars that form a personal astrology – specific stars that influence some of my emotional traits.
The work came full circle on that subject. I now understand the very personal nature of astrology and its energetic effects.
POSTS: New dimension to stargazing
Predictions for crop circles
Certainly it has been an incredibly poor year for circles to say the least. People put that down to the amount of rain. I don’t know what caused it – but oddly I felt a compulsion to predict it at the beginning of the year. The quality of the circles was astonishingly poor – I felt like most of them were clear and obvious man-made circles, which is different to other years.
Re-balancing via the Sun
At Imbolc I was told by the spirit of Brigid that I needed to re-balance. I would do this by allowing more sun energy into my energy field this year. I have certainly spent much more time using male/sun energy than in previous years where I was almost exclusively using female energy forms. An orb makes an appearance at The Bridestones as though to confirm this requirement from spirit.
At the Spring Equinox Kal and I did a map dowsing experiment. We decided to choose a place to visit anywhere in the British Isles. When we compared notes we had map dowsed exactly the same square mile.
This is a skill that I have significantly improved this year. In fact, in many ways map dowsing started my whole year off with a bit of recuperation and some early site visits that would open a whole side to the country that I had neglected.
Becoming a Druid
Feeling like I had been “upgraded” to the “oak” level – the druid level in Ireland. Understanding that this would mean turning my thoughts to teaching the information I had gained, rather than just obtaining it.
Also, a new sense of responsibility and a duty to give something back comes with this new level of ability. I have felt this as a deep connection with the land, and a desire to plant trees.
The final aspect of this evolution was to discover that my druid name was closer to “Vassal” or “Son of Merlin” than “Servant”. This moved me a stage closer to that energy frequency. I feel just a touch more integrated with that energy now.
The Elemental Year
- Earth from Feb to May;
- Fire from June to Aug;
- Water from Aug to Oct;
- Air from Nov to Feb.
Later in the year I began to say “Sky, Land, Sun and Sea” instead of Earth, Fire, Water and Air.
POSTS: Considering the Stations
Powers of the Staff
Finding out that my staff has its own powers courtesy of the Elemental Masters of Tinkinswood. It became an indispensable and valuable tool this year. I have been guided to learn about the powers vested in it, and am now able to utilise those powers to define energy changes in an environment. This has been incredibly useful, but I have been led to realise that some of these powers have still to be mastered, and that invoking them is not enough. They also need skilful use.
This year more than ever people remarked on the staff and how beautiful it looks. I nearly lost it several times, but on each occasion I made a supreme effort to recover it. We have a strange relationship – one in which I mustn’t take it for granted. It has its own inherent powers now.
Bran The Raven & Seeing like a hawk
This was part of the Gwalchmai training. Ariel viewing, seeing hawk lines, silvery trails in the landscape. I would be taught by Bran the Raven about some techniques for remote viewing. He taught me how to use the raven’s bird’s-eye view to see far away, and how to project my attention to a far point.
I didn’t know why at the time but later I came to understand that remote viewing wasn’t just for acquiring knowledge of events distant in space but present in time. It could also be used for finding and healing past events.
Opening the Third Eye
This long-term quest was presented to me to encourage me to spend more time trying to see psychically rather than dowsing for answers. I think it has worked because my visions are more frequent and much clearer.
I have also begun to feel the energies, rather than needing to dowse for them. Finally, I have begun to trust my intuitive responses and intuitive information much more than ever before.
So many aspects of the year’s quests and events were related to the idea of Re-Union. At Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall I was shown that union could mean recovering past energies that were left like stray threads through our lives,
Later, in Ireland, I was re-united with my ancestor energies,and integrated energies from people connected to me in the past into the present to make the present a unified and more powerful whole.
The whole Iona visit was centred on the energy of union – the island resonated with it. I also found out that the colour of Union is fuchsia pink. Odd! The walls around my desk at work have recently been painted this colour by a strange coincidence. It’s the first time they’ve been painted in 10 years, and before that they were beige.
Although I have learned some useful techniques for providing readings for others, the majority of the work I have done this year, and the most astonishing, has been when I have done tarot readings for myself.
I seem to get most out of these readings if I do them immediately before or after a significant quest.
I released Merlin energy from the Underworld in 2010. Now in 2012 I was releasing Merlin energy from The Otherworld. I still don’t know the true significance of this, other than it required me to engage with some bardic skills, and this has re-kindled a desire in me to re-awaken many of the old bardic skills I used to use, but have since forgotten in all the excitement of my questing.
I had to visit several sacred sites to recover fragments of poetry in Old Welsh, then translate them, put them in order, and learn to recite the poem! I used to play musical instruments, write poetry and be able to recite some of it. I think I need to do this once more, so I will use Winter to begin again because I rather enjoyed the challenge of learning the poetry.
Aliens, Angels and Giants
Towards the end of the year things veered away from normality and into the kind of territory that I usually enjoy reading about but would not contemplate getting involved in. I got involved. I found that an energy that I had simply identified as “alien” was in fact angelic in origin, and on Iona this energy had been deliberately infused into a stone that had been placed by a giant who had come over from Ireland. Well, I’ll leave that one there, I think! This kind of thing was the very reason I stopped looking at crop circles. Things got too weird!
As might befit a move into the realms of the “Druid” level (my own certification, I hasten to add - I’m not on the OBOD course or anything like that) I have begun to involve myself in local ecological campaigns. I have been supportive of the bees, the ash trees and local tree planting initiatives. I have also been working on a subtle energy level to re-balance and re-energise several sacred sites. This has not been arbitrary work done in passing, but work that I was called to do.
Most of my charitable work I do not advertise here on the site because it’s personal, and I’m not trying to tell people what they should do. You are your own example, I believe.
POSTS: The Bee Campaign
The year began with a frisson of anticipation. Would this year bring the catastrophe predicted for a long time? Would it bring the energy shift that was a hot topic in energy-worker circles? Would it bring an alignment with a galactic centre and a rush of transformational celestial rays that would sweep mankind into the next generation of being? Well, even in January I had the feeling that the answer was “No”. All through the year I was re-iterating this to all and sundry. The only transformation possible is within YOU and initiated by yourself. I have found this year that our personal energies ARE linked to the celestial influences, yet there has been no general “cosmic download” this year. My cosmic download came in May when I visited Ireland.
For me the year has been one of working with The Past. I have been healing energy ripples from earlier in my life, re-uniting my current self with my ancestral selves, and learning about the power of re-unification generally from bathing in its frequency, to discovering its colour vibration, to washing myself in the uniting waters of three waterfalls. The year has all been about re-unification. The energy that has come from this process has been what I call “renown”. This is the energy that increases one’s personal power. A signifier that this was happening was my move into the druidical final grade – “druid”.
Thank you for reading our exploits on this year’s turn of the spiral. We are very grateful, and as we await another amazing year beginning in February 2013, we hope you continue your journey with us.