Posts Tagged ‘spring’
Our holiday to Hungary was supposed to be a whole week off, and particularly for me a whole week of spiritual interests. In large part it was, but somehow the forces of the wild managed to break through into my full-on Tourist Mode in the middle of the week. It happened to be a full moon – Milk Moon – so I guess that was a contributory factor too. Budapest is a splendid laid-back city and after a couple of days touring around on a bus we knew where the interesting places were.
On a typically sunny April day we were finding our way around the base of Gellert Hill. This hill was renowned for being the haunt of witches, which is always bound to interest someone like me. I like a bit of witchiness in life. We had just come out of the underground quaintness of the restored Gellert Hill Cave – a site still peddling its special aura on the basis of a later Christianisation.
It was the Spring Equinox, as the title suggests. Contrary to expectation it was freezing cold, and my idea about visiting at least three elevated sacred sites seemed even more foolhardy than it had done when it had first been “suggested” to me through a vision received at Dinas Bran in Llangollen. Would I prove hardy enough and stubborn enough to persevere and visit them all? Of course I would. There is a saying: “There is no bad weather: only bad clothing.”
First stop: Dinas Bran. For a moment I thought there might not be snow on top, then as I approached Llangollen a white-capped hill hove into view and I knew it was going to be a tough day. The long climb in winter clothing began. This early in the morning – 8am – there were no other visitors, even on this special day. Just me, the mist, the snow and the crows. Crows! Crows were following me all the way up. They cawed as I arrived, hopped out of my way as I passed, whirled in front of me as I climbed, and then performed aerobatics displays around my head when I stopped at the gate.
I don’t know how long the iron sculpture has been attached to the gate but I don’t remember seeing it before. A black iron crow was waiting for me as I hauled myself through the new gate structure that demarcates the steep part of the path at the back from the slightly less steep part. I looked at it in wonder – I guess this was the theme of the day? Crows. Not hawks? It was usually hawks….suddenly a hawk whirled above me too. Ok – hawks were still relevant! But today was about crows. I took the hint and moved on, making for the top.
I smiled. Bran was already communicating – this was an auspicious sign.
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.
Last year I had a bleak and pointless journey to Arbor Low. At that time I said that there were only two things that would make me ever go back there. One: a guarantee of warm weather. Two: if the site had awoken with the Spring, as this was the time when the dowsing rods suggested that the site would come alive with energy. It was Spring Equinox and the weather was warm. Damn! Still, what other reason did I have to return? I hadn’t counted on the one other thing that might entice me – a confirmed direct hit with some map dowsing!
When Kal and I had been discussing some places in the country where we might like to spend the Spring Equinox there were any number of suggestions, yet they all seemed to require at least most of the day to be spent travelling to get there. We wheeled and cycled through all the possible suggestions and then resorted to some old favourites. None of them sounded ‘right’ and none of them caused any excitement or offered any sort of potential for revealing something new and fresh for our 2012 quests. We wondered how to decide. Then a suggestion emerged – why don’t we each map dowse the result using the same directive, and then report back. Perhaps we could accommodate both results in the same day, or pick the most interesting one? With this task in hand we went off to do just that and report back.
A few days later we both had our results. I had used Bing Maps to narrow down my selection. The final result was a hill in Derbyshire next to a village I had never heard of before – Parwich. I wondered what else was close by that might occupy our day and discovered that there were two very close sites of interest - Dove Dale and Arbor Low! Both these places were within ten miles of the site that the rods had chosen for me.
I discussed my findings with Kal at the pub. I told him my results and asked him where he had dowsed as his location. He pulled out a bit of paper showing a cross and a spiral path that ended at a point slightly south-east of the centre of the cross. He explained that the cross was his ‘current location’ when he had dowsed, and that he had used his room as a map of the country. He then dowsed for a position in the room that represented the nest location for both he and I on Spring Equinox. The place was south-east of his room. When he translated that onto a map guided by a measurement of the distance he ended up at….Arbor Low! It was written on his paper. With all the possible sites in these islands we had both independently map-dowsed for the same location. Well – that was settled then. We would go to Arbor Low, Dove Dale and finally Parwich Hill.
We arrived on a sunny day. Everywhere else in the country was quite warm. Arbor Low was, as expected, windy and rather cool. I should have brought gloves! However, things soon warmed up once we arrived as the following tale about an elemental circle reveals.
I have a few more posts about my adventures on the trail of the southern energy ley from Arbor Low to Christchurch. In this tale I begin by getting diverted from my intended destination of the village of Rockley due to the crap signs and bizarre diversions caused by the inevitable roadworks in the town of Marborough. Add to that the consequential terrible traffic and the feeling of wasting a perfectly good sunny day, and you can see why I decided to divert myself to go in search of the barrow at East Kennet. I would just have to forego Rockley for this trip – it was impossible to get to!
Some miles to the west of Marlborough I saw the signs for the village and turned into the lane slowly tracking along watching both sides for any signs of the barrow. None. Any stones? None. Any tourist information? None. Anything at all? Nothing. Damn – I have still been unable to locate the barrow, and so I have decided to print off a very low-scale OS map and keep it in the car with me at all times just in case I go that way again.
In much higher spirits I headed to a place I did know how to find – the nearby West Kennet long barrow that I had visited several times in previous years. in fact, there isn’t a year goes by now when I don’t visit it at least once. Luckily, this being a week day, I had the place virtually to myself. I parked my car in the lay-by and walked down the well-made track with my ash staff and bag of goodies in hand.
As I walked towards the lone oak tree on the corner of the field I said hello. The tree seemed strangely lonely this visit – has a fence been removed, or a hedge perhaps? Something had changed – it all seemed much more open and exposed than usual. Everywhere seems bare! On the way up to the barrow I felt the urge to pick up a newly ploughed clod of earth. I began to break it apart in my free hand as I walked with my staff. I didn’t let it all crumble, but kept a handful and let it absorb the warmth of my palm, and let it receive the pulses of the beat of my heart and blood.
As I strode up to the barrow the only other visitors in the area decided that they had probably finished kind of, er, milling about and recalling fragments of overheard history and they wandered off down the hill. I smiled at them and wished them a fond farewell, but they were in their own worlds and didn’t notice. I went on top of the mound by the path I had been shown on previous occasions, and up there I settled in. I sat on my power centre, lay down my staff, took some pictures, and generally chilled out for a second, letting the traffic nightmare unwind from my body and psyche. It doesn’t pay to enter into megalithic structures in a bad mood or wound up. Soon I was in a dowsing state of mind – a hazy dream state that suited the warm and windless day. I meditated briefly to check that I was ready to enter, and, still holding the warm fresh Wiltshire soil in my hand I walked down into the entrance hall of the barrow.
As the Wheel of the Year rolls through the Winter months we reach the first major milestone on 2011 – Imbolc. This festival is the first of the year’s Nature worship moments – a time to appreciate the beginnings of new life in the land. So, what are the origins and purposes of this festival?
A good explanation of Imbolc comes from the Chalice Centre website:
“The First of February belongs to Brigid, (Brighid, Brigit, Bride) the Celtic goddess who in later times became revered as a Christian saint. Originally, her festival on February 1 was known as Imbolc or Oimelc, two names which refer to the lactation of the ewes, the flow of milk that heralds the return of the life-giving forces of spring. Later, the Catholic Church replaced this festival with Candlemas Day on February 2, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and features candlelight processions. The powerful figure of Brigid the Light-Bringer overlights both pagan and Christian celebrations.
In most parts of the British Isles, February is a harsh and bitter month. In old Scotland, the month fell in the middle of the period known as Faoilleach, the Wolf-month; it was also known as a’ marbh mhiòs, the Dead-month. But although this season was so cold and drear, small but sturdy signs of new life began to appear: Lambs were born and soft rain brought new grass. Ravens begin to build their nests and larks were said to sing with a clearer voice.
In Ireland, the land was prepared to receive the new seed with spade and plough; calves were born, and fishermen looked eagerly for the end of winter storms and rough seas to launch their boats again. In Scotland, the Old Woman of winter, the Cailleach, is reborn as Bride, Young Maiden of Spring, fragile yet growing stronger each day as the sun rekindles its fire, turning scarcity into abundance.” (source: ChaliceCentre.net)
Last year Kal and I went to Anglesey to follow the trail of Brigid along the River Braint. It was the first time that I full realised my relationship with birds of prey, particularly hawks. They were everywhere I went that day, culminating in them circling directly overhead when were ourselves going round in circles in the village of Brynsiencyn. It was a magickal experience which I will never forget.
This year Brigid has become transformed into Cailleach the crone aspect of the triple goddess. Now we are dealing with the other end of the spectrum of life and death. Whereas Bridget was the maiden aspect, Cailleach is the old lady. Therefore, I expect that the tone of this year’s pilgrimage will be different to last year’s. So, how did we know it was Cailleach and not Bridget this year? Well, she began to present herself to us – first at Ireland where she introduced herself to Kal, and then to me as a book-buying opportunity (the perfect way to introduce yourself to me).
How will this affect the way we approach the Imbolc day? In several ways. Firstly I would expect there to be a theme of life, death and regeneration involved somewhere on our long day’s journey to Lindisfarne. Here’s a section, again from the Chalice Centre site, explaining how Bridget came to symbolise being between the worlds of life and death:-
“Saint Brigid was said to be the daughter of a druid who had a vision that she was to be named after a great goddess. She was born at sunrise while her mother was walking over a threshold, and so “was neither within nor without.” This is the state known as liminality, from the Latin, limen: a threshold – the state of being “in between” places and times. In Celtic tradition this is a sacred time when the doors between the worlds are open and magical events can occur. “ (source: ChaliceCentre.net)
As a fire celebration Imbolc has become associated with anything symbolising fire, particularly candles. I will be taking some candles with me to light on Holy Island, and we will see where the dowsing rods direct me to place them, or where a sensation of it being ‘right’ comes over me. I will also be eating dairy products and maybe dedicating a few drops of milk or crumbs of cheese depending upon where I get to each my cheese sandwiches!
One of the things I need to do at Lindisfarne is to discover what the transition means for me. What tasks and duties will I be expected to perform in order to make progress on my spiritual path? Usually, I am led to a specific place to discover these answers, and then need to meditate to connect to the spirit of the time of year – in this case Cailleach or Brigid. Of course, I will report on what happens shortly after our visit on 29th January.