Posts Tagged ‘thynghowe’
Often I need to squeeze an evening out of nowhere in order to get my spiritual path moving a little. I had been stagnating for a while, burdened by “life” getting in the way of what I wanted to do. It happens sometimes. So, I made some time and invited Kal to come with me on a ridiculous quest to Sherwood Forest in the early evening. This evening I would feel the heartbeat of the forest, discover a hidden sacred site, and have a vision that would leave me wondering what I had got involved in! Here’s the first half of that tale.
Unlike my previous visit to the forest I had a particular reason for being here tonight. Last time I had met the Spirit of Place which we all know as the legendary Robin, a title later to be assumed or subsumed into a figure who some believe may have real historical roots – it’s a long debate for another time. On this occasion I was in search of the place known as Thynghowe, an ancient artificial mound that I consider to me my spiritual centre in the land on this side of the Irish Sea. Of course, as I explained in my previous post about finding the centre – it’s not a case of finding the physical exact centre based upon geography. It’s a spiritual place, and I was here to find out what that meant for me.
You may remember that my reason for locating this centre was a vision I had that I called “the dragon at the solstice centre”? Well, I was late for the solstice part of that, but I was in the right place regarding the dragon element. “Thing” places are the mounds of ancient law-giving, renowned as meeting places and moot hills, and central to the lands in which they are situated. They also usually have a tale of dragons fighting associated with them. I understood that to mean a site where male and female energies interacted in an interesting way – sometimes in conflict, sometimes in harmony.
As we arrived I could already see that it was more resplendent in Summer than it had been in Winter. Obvious, really, but would it feel good too? It was a wet day everywhere, especially through Derbyshire, and the sky was grey and the air filled with drizzle. We got kitted out for the occasion. It was New Moon, and only days before Ramadan. New Moon generally means a time of difficult energy working for me, given that I am a moon-oriented energy person. So it would turn out to be.
There are many ways that people have devised to find the centre of lands. From the beginnings of recorded history and probably much before then humans have established centres of land masses in order to establish a “pole” – a symbolic tree whose roots are planted in the core of the planet and whose branches stretch up to connect to the heavens. The World Tree, The May Pole, the Pole Star – these are the anchor points of civilisation.
When Britain was colonised by invaders they each re-worked the centre to fit their own surveying techniques. For example, one of the naming conventions used by the Viking race was the word “Ting” or “Thing”. On many of the islands to the north and west of the mainland we have place names at the centre prefixed by this word. These places, the moot places, are often mounds – artificial hills created for the purpose of providing a meeting place. It was always more than just a meeting point though. It was the very centre of government, and a meeting point for celebration and festival at special times of the year.
You may remember that in a recent vision I had been shown a dragon rising from the centre of the land. I knew that I needed to find where this place was. There are myths often associated with the central point, I later discovered, that recount tales of two dragons fighting. This was a myth that I knew related to Dinas Emrys, and which involved Merlin. Now I wanted to find the centre of all of the land mass on which I stand – the central point where my visionary dragon would emerge, somewhere in England, I guessed.
I set off with the idea it was a geographical place located in these lands, but my first question received a NO response when I asked – not with the current idea I had of the place. I would need to learn more about it to find it. The centre should not be thought of as a physical place. It’s tied to a physical place only in the sense that it can be placed in the third dimension. Here are some of the properties of the place I needed to find:-
- it is symbolic
- it is mobile, not static
- it’s location and nature changes over time
- it is created by the interaction of humans and the land
- it can be located to a specific place when coordinated with a specific time (i.e. one can find where it is now)
- the centre moves due to human interaction
- it moves at irregular intervals (not associated with the movement of stars, moon or sun)
I map-dowsed the country using the Megalithic Portal Map. The square that reacted to the dowsing rods was ‘SK’.
I zoomed in. What kind of site was I looking for? I dowsed the list of types of site. The result was “artificial mound”. I filtered the list. Only one – Thynghowe Mound [link]. This mound was only rediscovered in 2004-5. From what I read it has been recorded as a place of feasting, celebration, meeting and racing. Sounds like a fun place to be! It was later renamed “Hanger Hill“. Oh some people will go to any lengths to choke off a place of pagan fun, won’t they? “Don’t go to the hanger hill – it’s a place of death!!!” For a thousand years or more it sounds like it was place of life.
I got to Steetmap – show me the OS map of this mound’s position. It’s a few hundred feet away from where I found the Spirit of Place in Sherwood Forest! A few hundred yards away from the mound – an ancient meeting place between three parishes and possibly two Anglo-Saxon kingdoms – is a tree called “Centre Tree“.
If this turns out to relate to the movement of the Spirit of Place that I did earlier in the year then I will know why it is movable! Something is telling me I have to go back to Sherwood Forest!