Posts Tagged ‘spring equinox’
As we crawled at a few miles per hour towards the dead end that is Seathwaite in the Borrowdale valley we kept our spirits up and our frustration levels down by focusing on the end point – a set of three yew trees which I knew to be of ancient origin. They were among the oldest trees in the country, and I wanted to see them on this special “gateway” day, because the yew tree was such an important part of the start of my ritual year. Kal was excited too. Over the years he’s grown to like visiting these ancient trees, and now he was curious to see what these old specimens might have to offer.
The rain got worse. The tractor pulling a trailer was going our way – all the way to the end of the road! We parked at the ample parking area – no other visitors today – then got kitted out with waterproof gear. Luckily for Kal I had a new waterproof coat that I wanted to test out. He got to wear that and it was excellent. The rain was now horizontal and coming in waves of deep powerful droplets which soaked anything they touched. I asked Kal one last time if he wanted to brave these elements – the water angel’s expression of herself in full glory. Amazingly, he said he did, so we headed off on the well-signed path across the fledgling River Derwent – a river which I knew well from my childhood.
The Fraternal Four – Now Three
The yews were easily spotted despite the terrible conditions and the proclivity to keep our heads down. They stood majestically and apart from other trees of lesser standing. As we approached up the incline we saw the information sign which gave us a timeline for their existence. On a sunny day this might have been fun to read. We moved on. Facts and figures were irrelevant to our meeting.
We visited each of the remaining three yew trees in turn. Each had their own character, and each revealed something which could be immediately tested at the next tree. My meditation was a series of incredibly profound experiences, and so informative. Read on to find out what these ancient yews told me.
There are plans, and then there are impromptu moments. Our plan was to go to the Borrowdale valley to see some ancient yew trees. Things were conspiring to slow me down to a crawl however. We literally drove at no more than 10mph along the edges of Derwentwater as we waited for cars to pass each other, and then everything got tangled up at some temporary traffic lights. Sigh followed sigh and soon my attention became distracted. I began to let my attention wander, and it was picked up by the lake itself. I felt an increasingly powerful pull to go to the lake’s edge.
I felt like there would be somewhere to stop close to the end of the lake. We got through the interminable traffic light shuffle, and around the corner was a sign for Kettlewell car park. No second chances – I knew this was the place to connect with the water.
I headed down to the lakeside, but needed to go back – I felt I should collect a specific crystal from the car. I dowsed which one and it turned out to be a turquoise geode with a hollow in it.
I worked with Ash in a very emotional connection! I used the turquoise crystal to collect water from the lake, then hold it in my hands as I called for a Water Angel to work with me. Several made themselves known to me, much to my confusion! I had to pick which one “felt right”. Again, I felt like I shouldn’t mention their names in public – this is private magickal work.
I chose one because it felt right. Rain fell hard into the lake now, and everything became water-logged, yet the wind calmed down at this point. Seems like I was moving from the Air Angel to the Water Angel’s presence. I tested this idea by calling on the Air Angel and a huge gust of wind whipped the edges of the lake and pushed the tree branches down right next to me. OK -point proved!
This work was done. Next we were going to Borrowdale where I hoped to find some amazingly old yew trees. The rain got heavier. Puddles became rivulets, and streams became torrents. We tried to dry ourselves in the car as we made our way to Seathwaite - still slowly – now behind a huge impassable tractor. I relaxed even more. What can you do when the world slows you down? Go with it!
Spring is here! Well, it’s beginning to feel a bit more spring-like, even if only briefly at the moment. Kal and I went out for the Ostara festival date on Thursday 20th March this year. We had contingency plans due to the weather. The day before had been fine and still. The day after would be the same. Yet Spring Equinox itself was dull, grey, cold and windy. In some ways we cursed our luck, but in others we got to see all four elements in one day. That was the theme of the whole day – elements.
Our first stop was Castlerigg Stone Circle – Cumbria’s jewel in the crown, so to speak. The wind had reached a ripping rate by the time we arrive and dark clouds were threatening rain. Nobody had to tell us that this was going to be a quick visit! Actually, no-one could, because apart from a lady who we helped get her van started, there was no-one else who dared to be out in the open at the circle on this special day. Sensible people? No, they missed out. Let me tell you why.
Usually we need some cleansing before we start, and we both wandered off to respective power centres. Luckily, the cleansing routine was fast and we soon moved on.
I asked the dowsing rods to find the correct place for me to work and I was taken by a long and winding route to The Sanctuary - a rectangular section within the circle itself. This was not the first time that this place had been identified as the best location for magickal working. My Spirit Guide Ash was invited to assist with the work, and his assistance would form part of the routine that I would use for the rest of this day.
The meditation is fast. I ask what will be coming this year and the response is that I will receive the help of “Elemental Angels” – the first of which will be an air angel. I am shown a clear picture of four forces, four entities, each surrounded by their own specific element. It is a fascinating image, and one that leaves me wanting more. I know that patience is key to this day’s work, so I relax away from the vision and begin to see whether this is the correct place to begin connecting with one of these ‘elemental angels’, as they are defined to me.
Time now to see if I can interact with one of these entities.
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!
In this final part of my Spring Equinox story I reveal the reasons why I had been linking the four elemental sites around Llangollen. I am also shown why this link was important, and how it relates to my work with the energy form of Galahad this year.
Only a few miles from the edges of Clocaenog Forest is the beautiful secluded site of Sara’s Spring. The Sara in question may well be the Patron Saint of Laughter that Kal talked about after he visited the site. This day I wasn’t interested in discovering more about the energy form at the site, only to come with questions that needed urgent answers.
I began by offering an energetic gift. I placed incense all around the spring’s rectangular wall and then offered all of the story of my day and my quest for this part of the year. This was offered through my heart chakra, freely and with love. I hoped that this energy would be sufficient as an exchange for what I was about to ask.
I used the dowsing rods to confirm whether I could, should and may ask these questions here. Luckily the answers were all a positive and the feeling generally was that I should finally get some answers to my puzzling quest after such hard work this day.
Q. What was the purpose of linking the four sacred sites around Corwen?
In answer I was shown the white shield in the stone that I had energised in Valle Crucis Abbey. With that image came the following explanation:
The White Shield of Galahad is emblazoned by a red cross. The shield shape is formed by the four sites. The cross shape is formed by drawing links between them. I needed to have that symbol in my head as an elemental cross so that I could emblazon it on the shield that I had acquired from Valle Crucis. Without that emblem the shield would not be at full strength.
“…at full strength”. That was an unusual phrase that I would try to deconstruct later. For now, I wanted to know more about the rituals at the four sites.
In this second part of the Spring Equinox tale I begin with a bit of a soap-box moment, but quickly move on to talk about my favourite stone circle, and finally introduce a new sacred site. Let the wordage begin!
I begin this post with a bellyache. I’m going to get riled, spill bile, make a pile of fuss. Possibly about nothing, but let’s get it out of the way first. I’ve been stewing on it for years, and I think it’s about time I got it “out” into the open.
It pains me the way modern farmers slash hedgerows!
To me this is akin to punching small children in the face. “Look,” you could say, “They’re bleeding now, but in a few weeks they’re back to normal.” Hardly the point, is it? Just because something heals doesn’t mean we should make them go through the initial trauma of being battered. Ask any victim of domestic violence. “Ah, but you’re alright now, yeah?”
I’m not saying that I’m an advocate of the Backster experiments on plant feelings. Instead, this is a respect issue. I was under the impression that part of the duty of care that farmers were supposed to adopt as custodians of the land could be employed in their treatment of the trimming of plant life. This “hack and slay” policy, done for expediency and efficiency, is not only damaging to the main trunk and branches of the plant, but it’s also a display of contempt for the hedgerow, and damned ugly to look at!
Phew – I’m done. It’s in print. but I’ll still die a little when I see such a close haircut. I urge anyone with influence over these things to try to find a better way. I keep putting my thinking cap on to come up with something. One day.
</ END RANT>
Moel Ty Uchaf Un-Spring-Like
As I climbed slowly up the steep road to the circle at the top of the hill there were several things that caught my eye. Firstly, there were the lambs bouncing around in the lower fields as though Spring had arrived. There was certainly spring in their legs, so perhaps they were just keeping themselves warm. Such a bad year to be born into a cold snap, I thought. A week later there would be reports of many sheep and lambs dying due to the snowfall in placed like Derbyshire and North Wales. Joy and sorrow are close companions.