Posts Tagged ‘paul broadhurst’

Arthur’s Stone – Initiation and Concepts of Arthur

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.

Plan of the sites surrounding Dorstone

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.

Looking into the initiation chamber

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Beltane 2011 – Part 3 – Hunting The Hawk Of May

In this third and final post on the Beltane trip I will reveal how I discovered the true meaning of the phrase “See with the hawk’s vision” – a phrase that had been given to me during my meditation beneath The Llangernyw Yew tree.

After Llangernyw we drove the twenty or so miles towards the north coast of Wales and soon were speeding along the main arterial road that feeds the northern holiday towns with their tourist lifeblood durkng the summer months. We passed Llandudno, then the junction for Conwy, through the short tunnels and out into the shadow of the hills above Penmaenmawr. This seemingly innocuous and insistinctive village is actually a gateway to one of the tightest agglomerations of cairns, circles and cromlechs anywhere in Wales.

Our destination on this May Day was The Druid’s Circle – a stone circle known to have a particular alignment or association with the energies of the Beltane time of year. We drove up the ridiculously steep hill, threading our way from the centre of the village in alternate left and right turns that were now well practised and instinctive despite the infrequent and late signage. If you plan to visit the stone circle for yourself then we recommend a good map, and a willingness to explore the housing estates above the village!


A beautiful view from Penmaenmawr Druid's Circle

On the top of the hills above Penmaenmawr the view was clear and beautiful. We had endured the harsh winds all the way up and now stood bullied by the winds as we drank in the views across to The Great Orme at Llandudno. F0r the first time we took an interest in some rocks that seemed to form an alignment with the small cairn circle that we previously named “The Little Druid”. There may not be any significance in this alignment of stones across the hillside, but nevertheless we noted it for future visits.

Busy Beltane at the Circle

Kal was soon to disappear as we reached the main circle. He had taken an interest in the outlying people and stones, probably because the main circle was populated with several groups of people all engaged in their own Beltane work. I had work to do too. I wanted to connect with the Genius Loci of the place, as I had done previously, and to see whether I could get information about the Hawk of May quest.

I went into the centre of the circle (which I usually avoid, but on this day it seemed charged with potential, whereas it is usually quite confusing and difficult to work with). I stood there and cleansed myself of my worldy energies. Soon I was off towards one of the stones in the southern edge. Kal had been sat at one of those stones too, but now he wandered off in search of something interesting to do. I was trying not to use my rods, but instead to feel for where I should be. I felt one stone in particular was the right one to be at, so I sat there being blasted in one ear by the strong wind.


The stunning setting of the Druid's Circle

This southern stone, not one of the ‘feature’ stones of the circle by any means, I felt had a connection with the Genius Loci. I went into a trance and my mind wandered up and down, to the sky and into the earth, then back to the circle. When I connected it to the Genius Loci’s spirit then things began to occur. It was difficult at first to hear anything because I was trying to listen over the top of the howling wind. As soon as I made the wind the backing music to the trance then the low distant voice of the spirit of this circle emerged to speak. I made my now customary offering of emotion and information, offering love, gratitude and a download of my recent druidic events in return for the information I might receive. Once I had donated this gift then the gift was reciprocated, and soon I learned some things about my quest.

I was taken into the air, flying like a hawk above the scenery. I knew I was in a hawk’s form because I could switch my perception between two modes – an aerial view where I could see for miles around in all directions, or I could focus on one spot and zoom right into that place in minute detail. I practised this way of seeing for a few minutes until I grew comfortable with how it worked. I wasn’t exactly sure whether I was seeing a real place, or a concept of a place because it was hard to recognise the landscape with these two new ways of seeing. Either way, I went with it, and began to ask my question to the spirit of place.

  1. Is this way of seeing the end point of my quest? – NO, this is a gift for you to learn from.
  2. Should I been seeking a real or a metaphorical hawk? – BOTH. You should find the hawk that is really in the landscape.
  3. In the landscape? Is this a terrestrial landscape figure I should find? – YES.
  4. Where can I find the hawk? – CLOSE TO HOME.
  5. How will I be able to begin to identify the hawk? It seems like an impossible task! – FIND A HOLY WELL. This will be your starting point.

The connection faded. Either I was weakening energetically, or the information was dwindling. The connection faded and I returned to normal waking consciousness and found myself back in the circle with all the other people and the howling wind. I had almost forgotten about them for however long I had been away! Now the wind made itself known again and I wrapped myself up against its cool penetrating fingers as they pulled my hair around into stupid shapes.

This new dimension to the quest made it more exciting. It was just like something out of “The Secret Land” that I had finished reading some weeks before, where terrestrial landscape figures were found by scouring old maps. Now I had my own local quest to find a hawk in the lands close to my home. I couldn’t wait to start searching, but first I had to search for Kal, and to thank the spirit of this marvellous circle for again providing me with the state of mind where I could explore this quest in more detail. Despite, or perhaps because of the sense-blocking weather conditions, yet again I had come away from the Druid’s Circle one step closer to achieving my goal.

Gwas – Hunting the Hawk of May

January podcast now available

Follow the Hedge Druid on iTunes too

We have started the New Year back on track with the release of our first podcast.

There’s plenty to get your teeth into in this episode, including new books I’ve received this month, plus reviews of the ones that I have read too.

For the first time on a podcast I do a reading of a Ted Hughes poem, there is some response to reader feedback, and some indications of the directions we will be going in for the coming year.

Of course, there are all your favourite regular features too, so sit back and enjoy the latest podcast, to be found as always on our podcast page.

Happy New Year!


Hamish Miller dies: my tribute

HAMISH MILLER 1927 – 2010 

 Hamish was probably the most publicly-known dowser at the time of his death. He had built a reputation as a tireless educator in the field of dowsing, and there is not a single character in the field who will be able to step into the gap he leaves. His boisterous yet gentle character and permanent smile in the face of what must have been endless questions about the subjects he loved and live were an inspiration to me and I’m sure to many others who will have got the chance to see him dowse, hear his lectures, and learn from his wealth of experience over the last few decades. 

He died on the 25th January this year, aged 82. I had read many of his books (in fact, only a few weeks ago I re-visited is seminal “Definitive Wee Book of Dowsing” for some pointers as to a seminar article  am writing myself and found him, yet again, to be an inspiration to my work. 

His initial inspiration to dowse came from a near-deathexperience (which he talked about every time I saw him). It was to turn his life around in his latter years, after having initially been a blacksmith and businessman. When he turned to dowsing he maintained the blacksmithing, forging his own style of dowsing rods. 

His inspiration 

When I first came across dowsing I was looking for as much information as possible – buying every book I could find, and trying to see how people went about doing dowsing – what issues did they come up against? What was their technique? What kinds of things could they find? Hamish Miller took part in a pilot programme which subsequently did not go to air, but made it to DVD, released as “The Spirit of the Serpent”, and featuring both Hamish and Ba Russell (his long-time partner), and Rupert Soskin and his wife. Oddly, Claire Grogan fronted the programme! A bit incongruous indeed. The team investigated the Merry Maidens stone circle in Cornwall over two days. 

What inspired me about this program was the way in which Hamish visually defined the earth energy spirals he found by placing pegs in the ground at intervals and then looping ribbon around them to visually demarcate the lines. I was inspired by this, and enjoyed listening to his explanations to a bemused Altered Images pop starlet about the way these energies could be discovered. 


 What he brought to the subject 

For me he introduced me to the concepts of the spiral form of energy and how it could be traced against the background patterns of the criss-crossing Hartmann and Curry grids. His detailed explanation of this fed into my own work on finding the spirals out in the land at so many places around ancient sites. Others may have found this before hand (Underwood or Michell perhaps) but Hamish brought it to life for me.

He also demonstrated concepts such as manifesting energy, in other words, using the power of the mind to ‘bring out’ patterns that already exist within the earth. These manifestations, he showed us, could be chained together from one site to another with increasing complexification occurring downstream. Another practise that I tested myself and found to be somewhat valid (my patterns got increasingly simple!).

 His inspirational books

Hamish might be best remembered for his classic dowsing treatise “The Sun and The Serpent”. A seminal work with Paul Broadhurst (another author whose work I admire). Together they followed the Great Dragon Ley Linethat John Michell had identified earlier. This line is an earthenergy line that can be found all the way from Norfolk to the tip of Cornwall. Miller and Broadbent added to this identification by dowsing the male and female “Michael” and “Mary” earth energy lines that moved around this national ley line. Fascinating stuff, and inspiring to a new dowser like myself.

His unique dowsing rods

Hamish was, as I mentioned, a blacksmith. He used his skills to create his own style of dowsing rods. Frankly, I didn’t like or understand them, but that was probably my problem. Hamish certainly made expert use of them, and I could rarely disagree with his findings, although we did differ on the detail, and I was also quite surprised that he never elaborated greatly on his findings in any study paper. But then he was a very practical man, and such things were probably anathema to him.

Hamish's unique and unusual hand-forged rods

Miller – The Teacher

I will remember him best for his practical demonstrations of dowsing, and for his unswerving enthusiasm, even in his later years. I’m so pleased to be able to say that I saw him, learned from him, questioned him, and that he was my inspiration for taking dowsing to even deeper levels. I wish him his peaceful rest.

Gwas Myrddyn

Following on from the Great Man.

The Cirencestershire Conflab

Kal has already written a lengthy and laudable account of the British Society of Dowsers conference recently, but he has urged me to add my own bits to it, and so I will add those elements that are in addition to his write-up, or which display my own perspective on those events.

As we journeyed down to deepest darkest Gloucestershire we were in good spirits. I was excited, and wondering about how we might fit into a group that I expected would be primarily of retirement age, or batty as Battenburg cakes. Probably both.

On arrival we were immediately made to feel welcome, and were given our name badges and starter packs. Hmmm. At least Kal had a pen and notebook in the pack – he always takes mental notes instead of writing stuff down. Kal ditched the name badge. I played the game to see what happened. As I’m not a very social person it seemed to help during the day.

Dr. Serena Roney-Dougal – Where Science And Magic Meet:

Although the first lecture of the four we would attend that day, this was the most interesting. Dr.Serena talked about what seemed to be quite diverse subjects, and in some depth, but she managed to pull them all together into a cohesive argument for the validity of shamanic practises, as they related to the earth’s energy grid and fields.

The important information I got from this lecture was:-

  • The earth’s “GeoMagnetic Field”, or GMF, is perceived by Dr.Serena as synonymous with the Hartmann and Curry lines and grids.
  • Earth energy at ancient sacred sites is probably linked to geological features such as fissures, weak points, stress points, fractures and fissures. Water is a factor in the production of earth energies too.
  • When the GMF is strong (or active) due to earth changes (seasons, tide, sunspots, moon phase, geology, earth’s magnetic core) then poltergeist activity and healing work is stronger.
  • When the GMF is weak (or less active) then remote viewing and telepathy is stronger.
  • DMT (Di-Methyl Triptamine) is in the pineal gland of the brain and directs all other systems depending upon its chemical levels.
  • Triptamines can be introduced from external sources such as the ayahuasca vine, or many other shamanic plant extracts, to induce a living dream (or lucid dream state).
  • At 3AM (“The Witching Hour”) our brains naturally produce more triptamines and start releasing them to induce dreaming.
  • Certain structures such as long barrows (which have a layer of organic, then inorganic substances) seem to act as shield against the effects of the GMF on “psychic” abilities.
  • Our sense of direction and navigational abilities are linked to the GMF (studies of pigeons).

As you can see, she pulls together brain chemistry, dream states, psychic abilities, the effects of the electromagnetic energies of the earth, and the purpose or usage of ancient sites. Quite a lecture in an hour!

I found that so many of those topics chimed with me. In addition I have always had a good sense of direction (on most occasions) and can find paths through seemingly impossible terrain, but have never linked it to the GMF activity before. Something for me to think about. I particularly liked the link between GMF activity and “psychic” abilities. I will try to be much more aware of this when attempting druidic work.

I think that the conclusion we could reach is that remote viewing and telepathy would work better from within a long barrow or chamber, whilst a stone circle may be better suited to healing and spirit activity.

Dr Tim Darvill – Stonehenge and Healing:

Dr Darvill (‘Davros’ I kept thinking) was something of a coup for the convention. His TV programme about his excavation work at Stonehenge was getting its first showing on mainstream TV that night. Dr. Darvill therefore delivered his lecture with the smooth assurance and well-rehearsed aplomb of a man who has worked through his theories and re-visited them until he felt they were as convincing as he could muster.

I must say I found it all very fascinating and I felt it turned a listed contender for the purpose of this most famous stone circle, and elevated it to an ‘almost definite’. Healing was, I am convinced now, being done at Stonehenge at some stage in its development, and Tim can practically pin-point that time. But it’s not the whole time. It’s a fragment.

Whether healing was Stonehenge’s original purpose, capability or raison-d’etre I wouldn’t like to say, as I think other competing theories are just as likely seeing as the monument went through several re-workings, and passed through thousands of years of use. Ye gods, we can barely keep one of our modern miracles of architecture for the same purpose more than a year these days!! Now it’s a bank, now it’s a cinema, now it’s a shop, now they’re all flats….Imagine trying to trace an original purpose to any modern building after even 200 years of use. The one constant we can rely on is change. The line may become twisted and broken. The evidence may be cleared out. Purpose may have to be divined as much as reasoned. And we use written records. Most of modern archaeological theory is as much creative cultural anthropology based upon fragments as it is true history backed by permanent record.

That’s not to belittle the work of Darvill and others before him. Anything that adds to the certainty of a theory is welcomed by me, and he presented his arguments assuredly and provided physical and historical evidence to back his claims. Diseased bones that could be traced to a man who came from the Alps is n interesting development. Click here to read about his recent work and theories.

A convincing answer is what Kal and I are after – not an intractable debate. There is more to Stonehenge, though, than simply a healing site, however good it was in its prime. This quote about it comes from a Guardian newspaper article:

The latest finds imply a much more complex story: they include a Roman coin among stone fragments, suggesting the Romans also believed in and sought out the healing magic. The later charcoal deposits suggest to Darvill and Wainwright annual gatherings, perhaps for feasting and ceremony at the winter solstice, continuing as late as the 17th century.

The modern-day druids and pagans who assemble bearing green boughs for the winter and summer solstices may not be so far off the mark after all.

Guardian newspaper, 23rd September

I found it interesting that the healing Blue Stones were from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire (not the Presley Hills, my American friends, he didn’t own them too – and they probably can’t revive him now). Recently I had been on holiday to Pembrokeshire but had had no idea as to how many sacred sites there would be in that area. I now wish I’d gone for a fortnight instead of three days! A strong place for energies and sites, a rather uninspiring holiday destination though.

Darvill continued to raise the stakes though by saying that Stonehenge might have been a copy or replacement for a more natural circle of stones atop one of the mountains in the Preseli Hills. His candidate is Carn Menyn. From his slide presentation photos it looked a good bet. A complete circle of jagged natural ‘blue’ stones formed a gigantic cathedral that is a natural wonder.

A lunchtime interval came as a welcome opportunity to try a bit ofdowsing in the warm afternoon sunshine, the results of which Kal amusingly recounted in his post. I must say I had to laugh when I guessed that he had played a trick on the rather-too-smug lady by shrinking the boundary of her energetic aura to a few feet. It had a positive side – every time we dowsed for auras now we were able to pick them up easily. Now Kal was demonstrating his skills at manipulating them too, which is something I want to study and practise too after learning about the concept of the nemeton (see previous post).

Hamish Miller – The Southern Serpent, New Zealand and Healing The World:

I had been looking forward to Hamish’s talk, as I have read a couple of his books and had a lot of respect for the work he has put into understanding the nature of the energies he has encountered. Luckily, he didn’t so much re-capping on his near-death experience, or much about the Michel and Mary line that he had dowsed with Paul Broadhurst. Instead he started off talking about the Apollo/Athena line, a line running from Skellig Michael in southern Ireland, and which continues through many sacred sites until it reaches Armageddon in Israel.

Hamish then told us about a phenomenon that he had experienced on both lines – that when he placed a stone on a power centre at the sites along those lines the manifestation pattern would complexify as he followed the alignment ley from one site to the next. Even going back would increase the complexity.

Whenever I have manifested patterns I have invested my energy into the stones before producing the manifestation, but Hamish doesn’t believe that is necessary, in fact stated to me directly that he thought it should not be done using one’s own energy. I will have to test this out – any stone vs. one I pick and invest energy into. I will see what differences emerge. I also plan to pick three sites on an alignment to check for the compelxification of energy patterns as I travel to each in turn. I have such an alignment locally, so it should be easy to check out.

The second half of Hamish’s lecture concerned his visit in search of what he called the “Southern Serpent” in New Zealand. He talked a little about the potential that there had been an indigenous people in NZ well before the Maori people colonised the islands, which he named as the Hawaiki. This group of people may well have come from China, the Pacific Islands, and possibly even Easter Island! I believe there is little at the moment to back this up except ancestral memory, folklore and strong supposition, yet it was an endearing thought, because many of the tales of energy paths, spirit and energy flows and netherworlds all seems to have originated from this Hawaiki people’s culture.

A mother and daughter that Hamish and his wife Ba met whilst there were Maori people who were well-versed in energy work. The daughter had been taught from a small girl to appreciate the energies, venerate them, work with them, and induce energy through the use of a “magical” stone that she kept in her possession, and which had been a gift to her, presumably as some form of rite of passage with the work. During her tuition she had been taught songs to draw out the “song lines” as the Maori’s call the energy. This girl then visibly demonstrated her powers to Hamish’s assembly of friends when she placed her stone onto a sacred site’s centre and sang energy into marvellous patterns of manifested earth energy.

After the talk I questioned Hamish about some of our suppositions: did he agree that energy lines were male, female and neutral? He did, but was not sure what I meant by neutral. I think other people call them ‘null’ lines, alignments, ley lines. They are the guiding force that keeps the male and female wave patterns moving along a particular alignment between sites. But we have also seen the lines have a vital role within the sacred sites themselves in terms of linking the major stone of a stone circle, for example. Hamish stated that the polarities, he found, flipped over between sites so that male became female and vice versa, at various points along a long line.

I found this food for thought and thanked him for his input, and the lecture before Kal and I moved off towards the enticing book store that had been housed int he next building to the lecture theatre. We had one more lecture to attend, but there was some debate. Kal wanted to go and see a workshop about earth acupuncture. So did I, but that workshop was officially full, and so we had to stay where we were.

Michael Bott – Standing With Stones:

Michael was not a dowser. He was, however, amiable and amusing, so despite the fact that he had very little to offer a group of dowsers he managed to make a reasonably entertaining hour pass with some beautiful photos taken from the DVD he has produced with his mate Rupert Soskin – who he said WAS a dowser, but didn’t dowse during their epic tour of hundreds of megalithic sites across the country! O…K…..well.

There’s not much to say about this really. The images were nice, the stories vaguely amusing (in a kind of Open All Hours sort of way) but when I asked whether they had had any mystical experiences then answer was…er…no. They had been too busy filming. O….K…..well. See you then!

However, Kal and I saw Callanish in all its glory and if nothing else we learned that we really needed to go there and do some energy work – preferably close to Winter Solstice, if possible. What a place!

All in all it was a hugely enlightening experience to spend time with some seasoned dowsers, but we did wonder how often they dowsed these days – no-one seemed to be doing it – were we falling foul of some rule of etiquette?

I’d like to thank the staff of BSD who organised the event for making us feel so welcome and remaining upbeat to everyone they encountered. It made the travelling worthwhile. A special thanks to Helen Lamb for making every effort to get us there and for her helpful recommendations all through the day. That’s the kind of dedication and effort that keeps societies going.


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