Posts Tagged ‘stone circle’
The evening was warm and dry, the chance to go out was tugging at me like a young puppy. I decided to go out after work to “somewhere in the North of Manchester” – that was as far as my plan went. Using the Megalithic Portal on my phone I found a list of sites in the areas north of Manchester. I scrolled through and saw one called “Delf Hill” which had a stone circle on top that looked nice and welcoming - no time for details - just go! I set the satellite guidance and headed off.
The journey was through rush-hour Manchester. Bad move! Then I was free once I got past the Trafford Centre, and heading up the M61. But it was much farther than I expected. It took me an hour to slog through Manchester traffic and then another hour to get into the back of beyond on the M65 to Burnley. Burnley? Why was I going to Burnley? I didn’t even like the place! In fact, I’d warned someone from going Blackburn way only this week! If I’d realised I was going this far and in this direction I wouldn’t have gone! You know when you reach that point, though, when it’s as far to go back as to go on?
The navigation system took me to a small lane near the top of some hills near to Briefcliffe. The name rang a bell, but the bell was silenced by the intrepid quest for the new stone circle. As I got out I looked around. I recognised this place. This was the place that my father had taken me and my brother sledging one year when it had been particularly snowy. In fact, it had been one of the few times we had done that, hence it being so memorable.
Looking at a map on the phone I realised that the stone circle was still a long walk away and it was going to get dark in the next half hour. I gave up on the circle, but decided to go and explore the area. I had lived only a few miles down the road. I remembered a power centre that I used to sit on as a boy. Would it still be there? I drove towards the quarry where the power centre used to be. I could see it clearly in my mind. My new objective! My ‘new objective’ is now a housing estate and I missed the turning to get in among the houses. Never mind, I’d just take a few left turns and I’d be back on the same road. The left turn took me into the street that I had lived in. It looked the same, but I knew it wasn’t.
I saw that the only light in the street was from the corner shop. A welcoming cosy light in the nearing gloom of the end of the day. I needed a drink, so why not stop in the old shop? When I knew the shop as a boy it sold sweets on a tray for a penny, and was run by a nice lady called Veronica. There was a space for a car outside the shop so I pulled up and went inside. Inside the shop was the same! Nothing had changed in 30 years! The counter still had the same trays of cheap sweets. The window was stacked with jars of favourite sweets – chocolate limes, bonbons, rhubarb and custards, everything I remembered.
As I approached the counter a lady with greying hair stepped out and smiled. I smiled back and told her this was a “blast from the past” and that I used to frequent the shop many years ago as a boy. I mentioned that the place used to be run by Veronica. “That’s me, “she said. I was amazed – still here? 37 years, she confirmed. Soon we were talking about the street, my family, my times there, the schools I went to, and how the place had changed in the years she had been there.
She mentioned that I was “lucky” to come back when I did. This would be her last year running the shop and she was due to retire next year. I feigned surprise, but it was of no surprise to me really. Everything had led me here for some reason. I was now just waiting to know why.
I bought some token items to stave off my thirst, and as the small talk dwindled I looked her in the eyes:
“Good luck and lots of enjoyment in your retirement.” I said, with heartfelt tones, “and from all the children in the area – thanks for serving us all these years. You’ve been great.” She blushed, and I did too. But I kept eye contact. She knew I meant it. My eyes watered a little.
What I realised from this episode was two things. Firstly, no matter how many times I think I’ve escaped my past and that I have no need for it now – sometimes it re-emerges so that I can shape the rougher edges, repair some of the holes, say some of the things that I never got a chance to say. Secondly, a life of service can be one of the most dignified and rewarding ways to spend your time as a human being in society. Now, as a Hedge Druid this gives me something to think about. I have a strong yearning to be of service, but a real dislike of being part of a community that I don’t think would accept me for who I am. This, I feel, is something to make me think in the coming darker months.
Goodbye Veronica. Your penny sweet tray and your sweet smile will be sadly missed.
July 5th was a couple of days past the full moon which I have come to know as “Hay Moon”. Hay moon presumably because it lasts so long and shines so brightly, and by this point in the year farmers might be beginning to reap some of the harvest that they sowed earlier. Not this year, I reckon! We’ve had two full months of continuous rain. It has rained almost every day since the middle of May. I know the land needs to re-balance after being so dry last year, and at the start of this year, but really – this is getting ridiculous now! It’s almost biblical in proportion – a deluge! Consequently, one takes every opportunity possible to make the most of the one or two days when it hasn’t rained all day. Such a day was July 5th.
if I had my way I wouldn’t have gone to Moel Ty Uchaf stone circle. It’s quite a way away from my home and I wanted to spend the maximum amount of time at a site, rather than spend the time travelling. However, something else had other ideas. When i dowsed for the place to visit it was the only candidate. Really? I double-checked, balking at the prospect of the arduous climb up the steep hill. YES – go to Llandrillo, the rods said. Damn. If it rained or was windy that place can be cold at any time of year. Damn. I hoped the visit would be worth it. I went on the motorbike – testing it still ran alright after it had been knocked down by an invasion of cows. Told you my front garden was open to all! Luckily I have new summer bike gear because otherwise the heat would have been unbearable. Wow – finally a hot day!
The journey was very pleasant and the bike was fine. I arrived unflustered and ready for action. On the way up I gathered some flowers. It felt like I should so I asked permission from the various flowers and hedgerows and told them it was for a dedication to The Goddess (Mother Nature – the female personification of our nurturing spirit). There didn’t feel to be any particular objections to that. In the hedgerow was honeysuckle, briar rose, dock leaves, cow parsley, elderflower, buttercup, foxglove and pink campion. The sprig was a beautiful mixture of purples, yellows and whites when I had finished. I put them into my bike helmet for safe-keeping and it looked quite incongruous – the black menacing helmet bedecked with beautiful flowers. Such is the contrast of this modern hedge druid – masculine and feminine, technology and nature combined in equal proportions.
By the time I reached the top I was exhausted. Summer bike clothes they may be but they are still too hot for walking up such a steep hill. I had to take most of my clothes off in order to cool down. Luckily Moel-Ty-Uchaf is one of those places where you can only be seen if you’re standing on a distant hilltop at a height of several thousand feet! It took me half an hour to dry off in the cooling evening breeze. After wandering about aimlessly I re-clothed and stood by the King Stone to try to find out why I was here.
I decided to locate North for orientation. I stood where I thought North was and got my iPhone app out to check the position. I was at zero degrees – North! I thought the app was broken so I moved a millimetre to my left and the gauge moved too. Yep – I had been pointing perfectly North! Ha ha. Who needs rods these days?
Having my pendulum I was able to get some directions before I set to work. I needed to go to the end of a promontory and cleanse my energies at a power centre there before going to the King Stone outlier (my base). At the King Stone I got ready to approach the circle. I couldn’t at first. I had to walk around the edges feeling for an entry point. The entry point was where it was usually – the southern break in the circle.
Now that I knew how to enter the circle and it felt right, it was time to do some work.
When I dowsed to find which sites I should visit for the Winter Solstice this year I was surprised that only two types were signified: a circle and a cave. Well, it didn’t take me long to work out which stone circle I should visit. Top of my list was Nine Ladies, and it remained the favourite because all the others failed the suitability test when dowsed. Next I had to find a suitable cave. This task was much harder. With my first site being in Derbyshire I reckoned that finding a cave in the area would be simple .Far from it! It took me several days to find and dowse the suitability of a natural cave that was not a tourist attraction closed for the Winter. The result was Thor’s Cave, which was just inside the Staffordshire border, but close to Leek and south Derbyshire. Perfect! I deliberately didn’t read up anything about it so that the experience would be fresh and exciting. I will blog about the cave visit soon, but first, here’s my account of my Winter Solstice visit to Nine Ladies stone circle.
Solstice morning arrived and I began to tedious journey across to mid-Cheshire to meet my friend Mike. At each step of the journey I was delayed – firstly by a huge lorry trundling along the back roads, then by a tractor pulling a huge payload of hay bales, and then, just as I had cleared that obstacle and was wondering whether I could possibly get behind anything that would be slower – out pulled a funeral cortege and I was down to 20mph for the next few miles of reverent driving. I had to laugh! When I arrived at Mike’s I fold him that I had arrived at exactly the right time – 15 minutes late, but just as I had completely chilled out due to the slow pace. Perfect timing!
Nine Ladies Dancing
As we approach the stone circle from below, following a track that is probably only visible in the Winter months, I stop to register the edge of the stone circle’s nemeton – I can feel an energy change and I turn to look at Mike, but Mike has a puzzled look on his face. Is he sensing something, I wonder? He says that he can see lots of “little people” all around us, gathering to usher us on towards the stone circle, and dancing around our feet. He wonders if I can see them. I can’t, but I can feel their presence, like being brushed past by lots of invisible mice. He searched his mind for the correct word, and returns with “Pixies”. I haven’t heard that word in years – how quaint!
We continue to the small gathering of sandstone rocks that are heavily carved. Now that the undergrowth is completely gone they are all exposed, and I can see one facing me with a very clear message…
Although we set off in the early afternoon Kal and I intended to pack as much as we possibly could into our day out in Shropshire. Our intention was to visit one of the few remaining megalithic circles in the county – Kerry Hill, close to the small village of Kerry (or ‘Ceri’, in Welsh). The site is also called Kerry Pole, which is good to know because that is the name of the hill on which it lies.
Sadly, most of Shropshire’s megalithic history has been lost to the farmers of many centuries. When you drive through the rolling hills and lush pasture land you can perhaps understand why, yet many of the stone circles now listed as destroyed were in existence within the last hundred years, and we have hardly been on the brink of starvation as a nation at any time during those hundred year. Such a shame we have destroyed our heritage for the sake of a few measly ploughable acres. It can only be greed, ignorance or dis-respect that drove such destruction, none of which is an estimable human quality.
Back to the action. We followed the satellite navigation that brought us to the ‘back’ of the site – in other words we would approach the circle from the top of the hill instead of climbing up to reach it. Having visited before we knew approximately where the circle could be found, which is just as well because there are no signs to guide you, no indicators of any sort, and the stones that constitute the circle are very small making it difficult to spot. As with our first visit we were almost on top of the circle before we spotted it, hidden amid a herd of Herefordshire cattle. From the look on Kal’s face I could tell he was looking at the stocky black cattle and thinking “Bullocks!“.
When we had dispersed the cattle we settled into the circle. Kal dowsed as to who was due to do any work here and found that it was for me, this trip. Before I would launch into my work I did some videos of my dowsing the unusual arcing neutral energies that flow from each of the stones into the central stone. The few other circles that remain in Shropshire have similar central stones, however this is the only one that we have found has these arcing energies into the centre.
Next I would prepare myself for interacting with the circle and seeing whether I could learn anything from it.
This is a brief and largely unexciting account of a recent visit to Arbor Low. Unless you’re specifically interested in this site I’d skip it because it doesn’t reveal much of interest outside of those who would visit the site. I’m posting it for completeness’ sake, and for those who have an unhealthy interest in Arbor Low.
It was a damp and windy September day when I arrived at my friend Michael’s house. The usual crew of our psychic friends were there, plus a new addition whom Michael had been wanting to introduce me to for ages. I was introduced to Janet and immediately I liked her. She was robust, earthy, plain-speaking and no-nonsense. Being a Yorkshire lad I felt right at home with that. We chatted for a while and Janet offered to let me read a copy of “The Eye of Fire” by Graham Philips – the sequel to the astonishing book “The Green Stone“. I had read The Green Stone recently and had been fascinated by it. I was going to buy the book and its sequel second-hand but prices were starting at £20 each and rising quickly to ridiculous figures! Luckily, Janet had a copy and was willing to lend it to me. I devoured its contents the next weekend! Now I am busy working my way through Andrew Collins‘ account of the same events in his book ”The Seventh Sword“.
We didn’t hold out much hope for a break in the rain as we wended our way past some of the places mentioned in the Green Stone book, particularly Biddulph Grange. The discussions about the books passed the time on the way to Arbor Low. I was liking Janet even more, her ready smile, her chuckle, and her immediate warmth.
At the end of August 2011 I found myself with an evening free and an urge to visit a sacred site where I could learn more about the five healing rays that I have been studying. As a reference for those of you who haven’t been following this particular series from the beginning, here are the related posts:-
- My five healing rays - in which I identified the rays, and their basic principle
- Five healing rays get the Tarot treatment - in which more properties were discovered
In this visit I was hoping to have some information revealed to me that would show me how these healing rays could actually be used, in other words – how does one invoke them, and how are they utilised once invoked? The beautiful circle of Moel Ty Uchaf was to be my teacher this evening.
On my journey up the steep trackway to Moel-Ty-Uchaf stone circle I was welcomed by a rainbow, which was somehow fitting considering I was here to try to get some more answers about the nature of the healing energy rays that I can work with. Apparently I have until Samhain this year to get my theory and practise all sorted out, because then I will face a challenge, a task, a test of skill, perhaps an opportunity to progress. I knew what failure meant – another turn on the Wheel of the Year to go around in a circle rather than a corkscrew movement upwards. I was taking every opportunity I could to do my homework.
As I passed the trees that line the lower part of the route up the hill I asked them about their energies. Are they male if the tree is male, and so on? The answer was that trees have no gender, they are both male, female and neutral, and so they can create living energy lines that are of any of these “flavours” depending on what the tree wishes to harmonise with, draw from, or support. Its own intent creates the required alignment.
With all my physical training I found that I didn’t need to stop once going up the hill. At the top I was breathing deeply, but not out of breath for once, nor tired or leg-weary. My calf muscles were also intact for once. Amazing result! But nowhere near as amazing as the view that I was about to be presented with as the clouds that had dogged my ascent began to part letting through the rays of the setting sun over the Conwy Mountains. In the picture below, look for the unusual photographic artefact of the sun converging to a turquoise point! Or is it something from the ground opening a hole in the clouds?
I ate my Co-Op convenience catered tea at the King Stone and began to introduce myself once more to the Genius Loci, asking for permission to work with her to ask questions about healing. Using my rods I determined that she would co-operate with that, but I felt that I would have to offer her something in return. Intuitively I was given the sense that there was some earth energy healing that I would have to put into practise here. This wasn’t going to just be a one-way theoretical lesson!
After going to East Kennet it would have been rude of me not to visit another of my favourite sites in that area, so I went to Avebury. Even though the “official” car park was closing, I was able to park for free in the car park right next to the Red Lion pub in the centre of the village. I’m glad I didn’t park at the pub itself because soon hundreds of motorcycles appeared and began to congregate which would have made an escape quite tricky! Not that I dislike motorcycles – I ride one myself – so I got the chance to eyeball a few tasty specimens of chrominess before I departed later.
But I’m getting side-tracked! Back to the action, because I have a strange tale to recount. I began to walk around Avebury’s massive ring of stones. As you know by now, I have to have an intention – a motivation – for such trips so in the car I had been determining one. My intention would be to charge myself up and consolidate the energies I had gained from the work done at the East Kennet Barrow. A bit flimsy, I know, but it was all I could come up with in the ten-minute drive.
I put up some good amounts of protection (Avebury is visited by all types of people – some have good energies, some not) and then sat down by one of the stones that the dowsing rods said would be beneficial. Note: back to using rods here, not intuition. Hmmm..tiredness? Right, so I needed an intake of energy to re-invigorate me, and where better than the grandest stone circle of them all? I calmed down and tuned in. Nothing! Right. Change of tack – I would hand back over to intuition and see what happened. I picked up my three lit incense sticks and began to walk around the circle clockwise (the energy-making direction).
Don’t walk there – walk here!
I stopped to gawp at all the big stones as I passed them. It’s not really “the done thing” to insist on walking all around the edge of the circle these days. There are paths and fences which lead the casual visitor through the stones in a quite definite way so that you can’t actually walk around the edge of the circle any more and are instead guided into the heart of the circle once you have crossed the road which cuts through the heart of the complex. Which is both a good and a bad thing. At nearby Stonehenge, for example, Kal and I were nearly sick with the bad energy of everyone being funneled around the stones in one direction only. But in this case I wanted to generate some energy so where possible I stuck to the outside edge and thought about subtle energy generation.