Posts Tagged ‘sun’

Venus Transit and The Hawk Lines

It’s June. We have to go out. We can’t help ourselves. So, even though the weather was looking ropey, we went out. Kal and I winged our merry way along the A55 westward towards Anglesey, the sacred druidic isle. My objective was simple – I had been instructed to learn the skill of “seeing like a hawk”, which meant to see the silver tracks where subtle energy flows. Others in the world of dowsing have recognised this silvery glow too – I am not the first by any means.

What is “seeing like a hawk”?

Seeing like a hawk essentially means getting an aerial or high view on the landscape and then being able to adjust your vision until you can see the silver paths that cross the land. Sometimes these paths are animal tracks, and this is why birds of prey go looking for them – they find the tracks and where they converge they will have found the homes of their prey. This increases the likelihood of finding prey out in the open – either at source, or on their usual passage ways.

For me, I learned that seeing like a hawk meant to adjust my vision from a vantage point such that I could see the silvery tracks of subtle energy as they flow through the landscape. Lush dark green grass is a good starting point for beginning to see such traces as it provides good contrast to the vague silver appearance of subtle energy. I hope, with practice, to move on to seeing subtle energy in other conditions, but for now dark green grass is a good starting point to test out the theory. So, where to find a high point, preferably a power centre, that also is overlooking lush grass?

The Perfect Vantage Point

Bryn Celli Ddu – ancient monument with vantage point

It was a last minute decision on our part but we decided to head to Anglesey. The old favourite Bryn Celli Ddu would be the perfect combination of easily-accessible site, dry inside if it rained, surrounded by grassy fields, and the mound would act as a perfect vantage point. As we set off I realised that I had forgotten my staff. Turning around to go back home I saw a hawk on top of a telegraph pole watching me with its beady eyes as I passed. Seemed like an omen that was too perfect to ignore. Bryn Celli Ddu it was then.

We arrived in Anglesey and drove the now familiar route westward along the southern coast until we reached the tiny habitation of Llanddaniel. We parked near to the bridge over the stream and walked to the monument with a joyful air, happy to be out and about after what felt like too long away from such journeys. On arrival, despite seeing other cars parked, we found we had the place to ourselves. Always a bonus if you’re going to be doing some spiritual meditative work.

The Venus Transit

Using my intuition I began to walk up onto the mound via a ritual path. Not no dowsing rods required on this day – the day of the Venus Transit. I checked my StarWalk app – yep – there was Venus, right in front of the Sun. Was this having any effect today? I stood in a power centre and dowsed the results.

  1. Was the Venus Transit changing the energy field of this site today? NO.
  2. Were the energies of Venus or the Sun affecting the site today? YES. Which? BOTH.

So, although the passing of Venus across the Sun was having no special energetic effects, the presence of Venus and The Sun in the visible skyline was adding the energies of these bodies to the available energies of the site. Nice. The place certainly felt good. Both Kal and I were smiling and bouncing around like kids. It was incredibly pleasant to be there on this day.

The Hawk Lines Experiment

Now for the crux of the visit – to test whether I could activate or acquire the skills of seeing lines of subtle energy – the “hawk lines” as I was calling them as part of this quest.

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Considering The Stations

I was reading the beginning of a book called “A Grimoire For Modern Cunningfolk” by Peter Paddon. I hadn’t got through too many chapters before I stopped getting useful information out of it, but I had got to the point where he was suggesting some associations between cardinal positions and elemental imagery. Paddon suggests more flexibility in thinking about traditional aspects of The Path when it comes to adopting elements of ritual and association. I liked this way of presenting this part of the material, and it caused me to stop and think a while about my own associations relating to the elements and their cardinal positions.

One of the things I did early on in my Hedge Druid work was to discover that I felt more comfortable with elements being associated with cardinal directions that are different to other pagans. For me AIR is North, EARTH is South, FIRE is East, and WATER is West – in line with the Aristotelian method, I later found. Other traditional pagan systems have FIRE to the South and EARTH to the East.

The Aristotelian elemental positioning

Does this matter? Well, only in the sense that this means something to you. I came to my way of linking these elements to their cardinal positions because I had been thinking about the land in which I live. In my island the mountains are to the North where the cold winds blow. The sea is closest to my western shore. The majority of the land mass is to the south of me, and the Sun rises to the East of me – this being my fire element.

Paddon’s book prompts the reader to re-consider their associations because he uses totally different terminology than we are often used to. Instead of the elements he uses Sky, Land, Sun and Sea. Boom! My head shook! Of course! That was how I had originally pictured the elements when I came up with my associations. Why was I using Air, Water, Fire and Earth?

I thought back to the many rituals and energy workings that I had done when I had tried to meditate using the elemental associations. I realised that in every one of those thought processes I had been doing a double translation – from cardinal position (North), through my picture of the mountains, to arrive at the element of Air. Why not simply say “Sky” instead of “Air”. And “Land” instead of “Earth”, “Sea” instead of “Water”, “Sun” instead of Fire? These were the initial images. No translation required!

And thus my work has changed. Now my spiritual life is easier. All because someone pointed out the bleedin’ obvious!

Gwas.

The Yew Tree starts the Year

The year has only just started and already I am way out of line with my posts and the dates upon which the action took place. I fear this year is going to be SO busy that we are going to have to start posting smaller and faster just to keep up. In this post I revisit the Llangernyw Yew tree that is the starting point for many of my previous years’ quests and adventures. This year was no exception. This episode occurred in late January, before Imbolc. Yes, we have all the Imbolc posts still to come! So much to tell you about already this year. On to this story.

It is a philosophical point as to whether the tree really communicates with the druid. Perhaps its still nature and deep-rootedness simply allow you to go deep within yourself and find a small reflection of your own wishes that are then brought out to serve as an inspiration for the elaboration that is to come? Certainly, that is often how it appears, yet there is always something that you never actually know yourself, something that you couldn’t have known, something that surprises you and this element is the unquestioning influence of the yew tree itself. It is for this reason that I visit the tree so often, and always at the start of the year. The yew tree starts the year, offering me its guidance on the theme of my work for the coming turn of The Wheel.

The massive Llangernyw Yew tree

Kal and I split up as usual, he going off to tour the graveyard briefly before settling into his own meditations around the tree, whilst I got straight to work beneath the mighty ancient yew. The weather was cold, but crisp and the sun was shining which made the day feel warmer than it should have been at that time of year. The yew tree would normally have been subdued by a biting frost and a layer of snow in January, but instead it felt ready to burst back into life as though Spring were upon us, even though Spring was still two full months away.

I settled into a meditation after dowsing for the best place to work from, and a direction to face – into the Sun, unusually. Little did I know that this would become a recurring theme for this year, as I will show in later posts. Within minutes I was deep inside the yew tree after setting up protection and doing my grounding and centring visualisations. They came easily, and the yew responded with a warm and deep hum like the clearing of an ancient throat at length. In humility I directed a question, a thought-idea at the yew and hoped for a response: “What is my direction for this year?” I asked. Deep quiet. Long silence. Then a stirring, and a word moving up from the depths of the roots into my consciousness: “Renown”. Just that one word!

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Marianne Williamson and Feminine alignment

I was at a talk recently given by Marianne Williamson, in her talk she often described various aspects of the Feminine. She related this to Earth quite effectively and I wondered whether there was any connection between this and female aligned people.

Currently I have learned the female aligned people are aligned with the moon. But it is one of them obvious questions that has never been asked directly. E.g. “Am I aligned to the moon?” Or rather is Gwas, since I am Sun aligned.

What we have kind of assumed is that since Male aligned people are also Sun aligned. So Female energy aligned people would be Moon aligned.

I did some dowsing at Avebury this weekend and came across some interesting results.

Here are the results:

  • Can people be Sun aligned? Yes
  • Can people be Moon aligned? Yes
  • Are people who are moon aligned also female aligned? Yes
  • Are people who are Male aligned also Sun aligned? Yes
  • Is it the same to say that Male alignment is the same as Sun alignment? Yes

That was a good and confirmatory start, right. Now take a look at this:

  • Can people be Earth aligned? Yes. Interesting.
  • So there are three alignment types of people? No.
  • Is there more than 3 then? No. Curious!
  • Are people that are male aligned also Earth aligned? No
  • Are people that are female aligned also Earth aligned? Yes.

Ah…Can it be said that being Earth aligned and Moon aligned is the same thing? I got the old half Yes answer, as if there was more. I pondered this for a while wondering what it could mean. Plus it wasn’t too fair that female aligned people got two astronomical connections! Then a thought from a far flung theory came to mind…

Are female aligned people aligned with the moon because it was once a part of the Earth? Yes.

Ah, a picture was forming. Are people aligned with the Sun or the Earth, but also the moon because it was once a part of the Earth? Yes. So, if the Moon wasn’t was a part of the Earth would female aligned people still be aligned with it? No.

A fabulous set of dowsing I thought.

Kal Malik pushing the boundaries

Note from Gwas:

I found it was with the Moon. Who says otherwise? Will check again tonight. Just because the Earth has been given a female “character” doesn’t mean ‘she’ attracts all female-aligned energies and people – that’s my opinion.

Absorbing Orion at Lud’s Church

This is the first of a three-part tale which was introduced in The Three Stars of Fertility. My Spring Equinox task has been to place myself at sacred sites that are currently reflecting the energies of three stars whose emanations will transform my energetic structure, change my aura, in such a way as to enable me to have the ability to promote the growth of plants. This is the first site visit, and as you might expect it was filled with wonderful coincidences and magickal happenings that convinced me that I was on the right path. This first episode takes place one early morning at Lud’s Church just on the edge of the Shropshire and Derbyshire border.

For some reason I had to get there early. I awoke unexpectedly early for me and had everything already packed and ready, so I began the drive into the Derbyshire hills above Macclesfield which were at least an hour away from home. I arrived and parked in the car park just outside of Gradbach village, on the way to the Scout Camp that is along the small road that follows the River Dane.

As I walked alone, enjoying the fresh sunlight and the sound of birds still making themselves heard in a variety of songs, I breathed in the air and drank in the beautiful countryside. Soon I had to ford the narrow Black Brook that crosses the path up to the rock formation that is Lud’s Church. At the foot of the long path up the hillside is a great beech tree to whom I have learned to pay my respects. I visited the tree and told him of my purpose, and asked if I might continue with his blessing. I felt that he was both intrigued as to what I might do, and delighted that I had bothered to ask permission. Maybe trees only reflect back what we wish to feel – who knows – but those were my feelings and they made the climb up the hill easier and I walked taller.

The guardian tree of Luds Church

The Cleansing

As has become my preference recently I next needed to find a space within which I could cleanse myself of my worldly energies – the kind of detritus that builds up around you as you shield yourself from wi-fi, radio, electrical waves of all frequencies and colours that stick to your energetic body like stains to a shirt. It is my experience that the ‘cleaner’ you enter a sacred site the more intense is your experience and the easier the communion or communication.

For this cleansing I went to sit atop the rocky outcrop that forms two small ravines at the top of the Dane Valley, and which gives an uninterrupted view over the whole valley towards Turn Edge. With the sun low and in my eyes it was easy to begin to enter a trance. I set up some magick-working crystals around me, lit some incense to scent the air and give thanks to the fire element, and then began to open my five principal chakras using my special vowel-based vocal technique.

Soon I felt the sun empowering me, filling me with its divine light as it streamed in through my energy body, and then I mentally cleansed myself and put up a light protective shield around me, which is now my regular practise whenever I enter any sacred site. The shield prevents unwanted or unhelpful energies from entering, but allows anything which is deemed to be of use to me. I am not the one who decides that, by the way. I leave such decisions to Nature herself. With the cleansing done I made my way slightly further up to Lud’s Church itself to see what awaited me.

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Spring Equinox 2011 Part 1 – The Serpent at Castlerigg

Castlerigg stone circle - [Megalithic] [Map]

Our Spring Equinox adventures began at the most beautiful stone circle in England – Castlerigg in Cumbria. As if that weren’t enough of a good start to the day we had a clear run to get there, and when we arrived the sun had cleared the sky to imbue the scene with such photographic potential that even a ham-fisted amateur photographer like myself could get a picture that was worthy of being a regular feature in any scenic calendar.

I didn’t know what Kal wanted to achieve this day, but my own personal agenda was the usual – to ask what my quest would be for the next eighth-part of the year. I wanted to know whether I had successfully completed the previous quest – to learn the sonic vocal qualities required to open my chakras – and then to know what my next quest would be. What would I need to learn next in order to progress on this spiritual path of druidry?

I remembered one or two things from our last year’s visit here – that the entrance for me was at the “back” or southern end of the circle, and that there was an in-built area which was specifically for cleansing myself of “ordinary world” energies. These two aspects were what I would concentrate on first.

Castlerigg at Spring Equinox

I walked around the edge of the stone circle’s aura, which I felt rather than dowsed. Today was an experiment in deviceless dowsing wherever possible – I wanted to feel rather than find the energies. At the unfashionable end of the circle I approached in reverent silence, head slightly bowed, and I felt for an answer to my question about whether I might be allowed to enter – I felt the familiar tug of acceptance. Off to a good start!

Inside the circle I walked straight to the Sanctuary enclosure – an array of stones laid out in a rectangle. There I positioned myself where it “felt best” and that happened to be on a small tuft of lush green circular grass - a power centre, clearly. I felt for the direction to face and it was West. I lit two sticks of incense (suitable for me) and admired their flavours. I turned West and asked to be cleansed of the world’s detritus energies – energies I may have accumulated form elsewhere, bad energies I may be carrying with me, foul energies I may have generated myself. After a few minutes Kal came over to chat and absent-mindedly I wandered off with him. “Have you finished?” he asked. “Could you check for me?” I asked, seeing as he had his rods handy. NO – not finished! I went back into the Sanctuary with a wry smile – it was worth a try, but this was one aspect of the energies that I wasn’t feeling – I had no idea when I had finished with the cleansing process.

Castlerigg at Spring Equinox - view of The Sanctuary

Luckily we pretty much had the circle to ourselves early on, but by the time I had emerged from the Sanctuary there were people milling around and observing our antics. I now moved to a place that I felt was my empowering power centre (as opposed to a cleansing one – two types: filling or emptying, draining or empowering, cleansing or energising – any of those diametric concepts will suffice). Again I felt I should face West and I brought my incense sticks with me. I also laid out the one set of crystals that I had brought with me from the car – my protection set, but this set also doubled up as the set that I used to align to significant stars to attune to their energies. You’ll see how this comes into play in a moment.

I placed the five stones around me in my usual protection configuration, with the pillar quartz stone pointing West – the direction that felt right. I set an intention of being guided successfully on my quest today, and for enough energy to get through what was likely to be a long and arduous day of physical, mental and spiritual effort. In my mind two spiralling strands of thick energy (they used to be thin, now they’re fatter – aren’t we all?) coursed up through my body to reach to the sun, moon and then back down into the earth’s core. I remarked to myself how much thicker these energy lines were than the last time I had performed this meditation. Progress? This went on for about five minutes until I brought the energies “to heel” and created a sphere of protective energy centred on myself. I was sparkling with effervescent “aliveness” and jumped up refreshed and smiling. All psychosomatic, of course. I felt I had created a protective shell that would see me through my work this day, and also recharged my batteries, as it were.

The ancient battle between Summer and Winter played out in the sky

Kal had been sitting directly opposite me in the circle, which we thought was notable given that this was Spring Equinox and the Sun and Moon were in exact opposition today. I also felt as though I had been facing West for a reason, so I asked the dowsing rods whether this stone circle was aligned to a particular constellation? YES. I then asked them to point to the constellation – they pointed West, in the direction I had been facing. Was the constellation visible now? YES. I used StarWalk to find some possibilities, but there was one obvious one staring me in the face – Serpens. Now, this opens up a whole facet of synchronicity. Let me explain.

The quartz pillar of my crystal layout had been focused on the constellation Serpens - the Serpent. As I did that my meditation has taken for the form of strong twin energies boosting my inner serpents – my twin coils of energy – my inner double helix. Not only that, but the constellation Hercules (Ophiuchus), the solar hero, is seen wrestling Antaeus (Serpens), the sea snake in the ancient depictions of the two neighbouring constellations. This is the old ritual of the Summer King battling with the Winter King (The Oak King and the Holly King) and on this Spring Equinox day they were in complete deadlock with the Oak King on the verge of achieving ascendancy. Interesting that this day my crystal layout was aligned to exactly that constellation, the very one which astrologically symbolised the Equinox point! Honestly, this stuff writes itself sometimes.

Castlerigg at Spring Equinox - layout

 

So there were three primary themes emerging from this work:-

  1. Forces in opposition creating energy – the astrological Hercules and Typhos, the equinoctal Sun and Moon, the druidical Kal and Gwas
  2. The double helix and the serpent energies, and their link to our human physiology – feeling empowered, cleansed, alive.
  3. The stone circle being aligned to a constellation that was suited to the time of the year. Does this mean that all stone circles change their star alignments over the course of the year?

Gwas

Arbor Low – Sunshine and penance

I am writing this post because I lost a bet. When I last went out with Kal to Derbyshire a few weeks ago the clouds were thick and black. All the way there we had persistent rain threatening to make our day out a rather damp one. We didn’t have much time and I only had tow things on the agenda – to take more accurate bearings at Arbor Low in preparation for my book research, and then to visit a cave near to Buxton to practise my chakra awakening using sound. As we approached Buxton it seemed like my second choice was looking like the best one – being in a cave seemed like the most sensible choice.

It was at that point that Kal made his bet – he bet me that he would be able to make the sun appear as he usually did, and that we would therefore NOT get wet at Arbor Low. Not get wet at Arbor Low? Today? With these dark clouds all around? And with Arbor Low’s reputation for wind, cold and rain? I took the bet. I said that if he managed to make good on his promise of sun I would write a post as penance, explaining how I should believe him, not doubt his faith, etc etc. Yeah, yeah. I took the bet.

As we got out of the car I was chuckling to myself – it was still raining and I advised Kal to take one of my spare waterproof coats. “No need” he explained, “I’ll be fine – the sun will come out soon and I won’t need it.” Unbelievable! The sky was dark slate grey with not a hint of the sun making an appearance for the whole day in any direction. We walked up to the large embanked circle and I began to take readings in the rain and freezing cold wind. It was not a nice experience and I may have hurried the measurements a little in order to get the exercise over with, and this may necessitate me going back again when the weather’s a little warmer. Hey – I’m human!

Johann Bode's depiction of the Phoenix constellation

I took some other measurements too – like finding out that the stone circle was built aligned to the star that Andis Kaulins had said it was – Altair in the Aquila constellation. I also got agreement from the dowsing rods that each stone was in itself a star map. This was very interesting, but it wasn’t making the experience any warmer of less wet. I dowsed for the current star alignment to see if it had changed. Using StarWalk on my iPhone I identified that the current star that Arbor Low is aligned to is … Ankaa, in the Phoenix constellation. Ankaa means Boat in Arabic. That was it – my hands were freezing – I had to stop now.

Kal was doing his own research with the stone circle, but when I called him over to mention this interesting information he reminded me that his book cover (see Active Enlightenment) is also a phoenix. Then, just as we were discussing that coincidence another one happened. Through the thick grey clouds the sun somehow managed to cut a hole and shine down upon us. It was like something out of a dream.. I couldn’t believe it was happening. Kal just smirked and said, “The sun, at a sun site, with a sun person…like a phoenix!”

The impossible sun

Just look at that picture! How…? Kal had won his bet. I knew that I would have to write this post, and that I would have to tell the whole Hedge Druid-reading public that yet again Kal’s faith in the miraculous powers of the sun are undeniable, and I should never doubt them. That is my penance done now.

Gwas.

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*** Been wondering who Gwas is? All will be revealed soon ***

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