Ancient Sites | Dowsing | Modern Druidry

A Pillow of Stars: Llandrillo by night

October 22, 2008

Tonight I felt a strong urge to go back to Llandrillo, and climb up to Moel-Ty-Uchaf stone circle again. Kal and I have been there only a few days ago, but I just had to go back. This wasn’t a feeling of curiosity that was driving this thought. It was more of an urging – a feeling that had to be assuaged. So I set off in the dark without a clue as to why I was going, nor any clear direction of how to get there.

Somehow I managed to take all the correct turns and pretty quickly (quicker than we got there at the weekend!) I was turning off for Llandrillo when I got just outside of Corwen village. I parked at the fork in the tiny road that forms a car park and read a text message from Kal: “You should have told me earlier you were going – remember to dowse for q.”“Dowse for q?” I texted back. “That funny reading we got last time.”. “OK – will do.” I grabbed my staff, gloves and hat, and started the trek up the steep hill. What more incentive did I need?

In the darkness all my senses were heightened. I took a moment to savour the night air and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. I stopped thinking and started walking slowly uphill along the narrow lane. As I walked towards the only light on the hillside that marked the site of a farmhouse, I started to feel a tensing of my stomach. I have felt this many times before. It was the effect of adrenalin. It was a feeling that I was encroaching upon the outer edge of the hearing of some dogs. I could feel their vigilance as I walked up the road, picking my way carefully along the tarmac, keeping to the grassy central strip. I imagined hardening the edge of my own nemeton as I walked. I found myself repeating in my head, “I am not here to disturb you. I wish only to pass peacefully. I will be about my business. You can ignore me.” and repeating these phrases over and over gently under my breath and in my mind.

I walked through the darkest part of the road where the trees overhung on both sides. Beneath my feet I could feel water seeping into my old knackered boots, and heard the slopping sound of my boots as they moved through a trickle of water that was running down the lane. Niiiice. After a further hundred feet or so, just as the trees thinned for a moment I felt the tightness in my stomach ease. This was the other edge of the dogs’ perception, I presumed, because now the light from the farmhouse was not visible any more. I audibly relaxed and exhaled. I stopped thinking about my nemeton’s edge and dissolved the hard exterior.

I was about a third of the way up now. I stopped to let my breathing recover slightly. Then I noticed the night sky above me. In-cred-ible. All around me were the brightest stars, clustered in formations that made me gasp at the complexity and the literal lines of interconnectedness they seemed to have. I can’t really describe how beautiful the scene was. I don’t think I have seen anything like it before.

I saw the full extent of the Milky Way, its arms spiralling in both directions either side of me. Directly above me was the centre of the Milky Way with two bright stars seeming to pin it to the canvas of the inky dark backdrop of the night. It was all in full three-dimensions too. The stars seemed to droop down towards earth in extra-ordinary patterns of star clusters. I had a “wow” moment for about five minutes – spinning my head around in all directions to try to take it in. Just imagine what it’s going to be like at the top, I thought!

Thankfully I had my staff with me. It was invaluable in testing the ground ahead of me as I climbed. When I got through the second gate the going got tough, with rocks strewing the path. I asked for some assistance in finding a safe path, and was attracted to walking on the green grass next to the main path. It was indeed smoother and had no obstacles. Sensible choice!

As I approached I had an urging to head up the hill, from the west side. My head was saying “Keep near to the path, and at the top hang a left up the hill.” but something was overriding this, and I stepped away from the path and headed straight up the hill. Suddenly I saw a dark animal track, a dark snake of a path, heading up the hill in front of me. I followed it to the top to arrive right at the King Stone. I nearly jumped at the sight of it a few feet in front of me!

I deposited my staff next to the King Stone as a handy marker point, and got out my trusty copper L-rods. Best get the dowsing over with first, I thought. “First”? Before what? I didn’t know, but I walked towards the circle’s edge. Again I was drawn around to the north side. A stronger wind was picking up now and a little rain splattered my face. Oh great! Cold, dark AND wet – nice combination for a Tuesday night stroll. But I was here now, and you don’t go home just because of a speckle of rain – I’m a hardy Northerner! I determined to stay. I looked up again – damn! The clouds coming in had obscured the stars – all I could see now was the occasional twinkle. Shame.

The south-westerly wind was blowing in my face as I stood with the rods in ‘ready’ position. The first thing I wanted to do was check where the circle’s nemeton was, and whether it was still flowing clockwise. I walked towards the stone circle from about twenty feet out and asked for the boundary of the circle. About six feet away I got a response. Hmmm…that seemed closer than when we were last here. I did it again, And again. From different positions. Same result. OK then , which direction was the flow of the nemeton’s energy? Both rods swivelled to indicate clockwise as a reached the nemeton’s edge. Good. “Was the direction of the flow caused by our last visit?” – Yes. I was happy with that much.

Now I switched my attention to Kal’s directive. I asked, “Show me a site used for spiritual transformation.” That was what Kal had asked last time when he got the bi-directional response (see previous post). I walked towards the circle from the north side again. As I approached the circle my right-hand rods started to swivel inwards (to the left). As I got to the stones it was at 90 degrees – the left-hand rod was still straight. Same reaction as last time but with the other rod now! I carried on into the circle and the right-hand rod kept turning towards me until it pointed backwards as I got to the centre of the circle. What did this mean?

I repeated the effect twice more, then stopped in the centre of the circle, puzzled. Then it struck me. The rods was trying to point at the stones in the circle. As I passed them it pointed back towards them. The other rod was firmly pointing at the other side of the circle. It was the stones themselves! The stone circle itself WAS the site of spiritual transformation. It was the energy flowing between the stones that effected the spiritual transformation! I asked the rods whether I was right – a strong ‘yes’. Oh wow. Most intriguing. It wasn’t a new response so much, more a literal pointing at the stones in the circle. Now I understood why the rods were reacting to something we hadn’t “programmed”.

I felt it was time to put the rods away soon. Whatever it was that was calling me was tugging at me again. I did one last bit of dowsing to prepare myself and try to find out why I was there. I asked, “Am I here for a purpose tonight.” – yes. “Does that purpose involve me sitting on my power centre?” – yes. Well, I felt sure I would find out exactly why soon enough so I tucked the rods away and went to find my power centre – the female spiral to the south-eastern quadrant of the circle. I sat with my back to the wind, lit a cigarette, and relaxed. As I lay back I saw that the clouds had dispersed revealing that wondrous show of stars again. I goggled for another ten minutes or so as I revelled in their perspective. I realised that the rain had stopped too. Perfect timing? Just another coincidence.

I started to hum a little. There was a musical refrain going around in my head,

Oh show me the way to the next whisky bar. Oh, don’t ask why. Oh, don’t ask why. Oh, Moon of Alabama, it’s time to say goodbye. You’ve lost your dear old mama. And must have whisky, oh you know why!” (Alabama Song, The Doors)

It was The Doors! Where had that come from? It felt a little mocking, as though Mother Nature was telling me that my “whisky”, my habit, was keeping me from connecting with “my dear old mama”. I got the message and put the cigarette out. This is not the first time she has warned me about this. But I’m just an animal in essence, and give in to all sorts of irrational needs! I felt she would forgive me.

When i had finished I turned into the south-westerly wind and put my staff across my lap. As I turned I lost my place – uurrrgh – this spot was cold and damp! The place where I had been sitting was warm, like power centres often feel. You feel warmer, and protected from the elements. In this new spot I felt exposed and cold! I shunted around a bit until I “clicked” into a spot and felt instantly warmer. Found it!

As I sat there gazing out over the valley below I could see power centre that Kal had used last time out fo the corner of my eye. It was between my power centre and his that I had seen energies flowing during our last session. Tonight, no ‘tracers’ or paths of light or any sign of movement. Perhaps I was being hasty. I waited and relaxed. Nothing was happening.

I decided to proceed with my usual ‘ritual’. I adjusted my gaze, stopped my chattering thoughts and began to go into a trance (I make it sound so easy – but this has taken a while to be able to do this so readily). I call it “druid meditation” as it differs from eastern approaches to meditation in that it is not concerned with disconnecting yourself from the world by closing your eyes and drifting away – instead it is very much rooted in the world, and can be performed with open eyes, if you prefer. Instead of disconnecting, druid meditation seeks increased connectivity with Nature.

I started my root and branch meditation technique to raise my energy levels. Soon my nemeton was glowing with strands of pale white light that formed a ball around me as I sat in the circle. For some reason I thought of Castenada’s description of this phenomenon. This article has a good description of how it all fits together. And so I formed my nemeton tree shape (roots below, branches above) and felt protected. I pushed and extended my “assemblage point” in the nemeton outwards. This is where it gets difficult to describe, because what you experience at this stage, in this state of mind, is a kind of overlaying effect. What you are projecting in your mind is faintly overlaid on top of what your eyes can see, like putting a faint acetate sheet over reality. Anyway, the energy ‘snake’ composed of threads of pale light slinked forwards in my mind towards the edge of the stone circle.

I expected that the ‘snake’ would stop at the edge of the circle, but instead is weaved its way out towards…the King Stone! On our last visit Kal and I had determined that the King Stone was showing a male energy reading. I also had a face craved into it, which spooks you a bit if you’re not expecting it. We also found two male energy lines coming out of each side of the King Stone which then curled into male spirals on either side of the circle (see Sacred Sites section: Moel-Ty-Uchaf sketch). I realised tonight was going to be about male energies – not a female connection in sight, even though I was sat on a supposedly female power centre.

As my energy reached and connected to the King Stone it was quickly split into two threads and these threads shot back along the two male energy paths, also very quickly. I felt that the energy was getting ‘stuck’ at the end of each spiral, like it was trapped and had nowhere to go. I felt its frustration. I wondered what I should do. Aha! What if I pushed the energy strongly to try to extend the lines further around the circle? That was what seemed to be required at this stage. I didn’t know why, but that’s what I felt.

I started to push the energy harder, drawing more up through my roots, and in through my branches, and visualising the energy pulsing through the King Stone and back out into each spiral arm. The spirals crept further around the circle, parallel with me, then moving behind me as I continued.

Then as I continued to push the lines along the spirals began to unfurl! They were straightening out, extending the last feet at the back of the circle, but something was not quite right. The two points wanted to join together, but something was missing. As though two cables wanted to connect but there was no glue or tape to bind them. What was missing, I asked? The answer flowed through me clearly, “Love is required to make this union.” Really? Oh dear Lord, how cheesy! Really? Love? I wasn’t going to argue. I was sitting in a stone circle at night with the wind blowing, and I was imagining threads of light – how much weirder could it get? 😉

I was about to prepare myself to generate some loving feelings when I got a swell of emotion rush through me making me smile in a really contented way. Oh – that would be the love energy I needed then! Right on cue. I directed it through my mind diagram down the snake, through the King Stone, and around to the back of the circle. The lines glowed red, then orange, yellow and finally as they reached a bright white light they joined in a flash of brilliance, and I woke up slowly.

Had it worked? Had anything really happened? Was I about to prove that I was truly a nutter and hand myself in to the authorities? I was excited and walked quickly to the King Stone. I dowsed one of the male lines out of the stone clockwise and ALL THE WAY AROUND the circle back into the centre of the king stone. Where had the spiral gone? Oh yes – it had really connected all the way around and the spiral was gone!

I needed to check this. I did it from the male line on the other side of the stone – it went all the way around, but felt like I was dowsing against the flow (widdershins). I checked the clockwise side again – same route, past the same outlying stones, and into the king stone’s centre. The two lines both went around the circle, enclosing it completely, and then back to the King Stone.

On my way around I dad felt a tug as I passed the gap in the circle close to the power centre, so I went back to investigate. A male line flowed into the circle from outside and spiralled on my female power centre! I dowsed this question, “Is there a male power centre here?” – Yes. “Is there a female power centre here?” – Yes. It had both energies now. Previously it had been just female, now it was both. Intrigued, I reverse dowsed the male line out of the circle and it went in a cog-like pattern in and back out of the circle’s stones, being drawn in and pulled out by the larger stones. The cog went all the way around the circle and back in to the new male power centre again. I will draw this soon and add it to the site’s description in the Sacred Sites section.

I am no longer a doubter. This was something. Something special. This wasn’t Kal, or me and Kal, this was me. I had done this with Nature’s guidance. I had changed the energy flow of this circle. I had re-balanced the female work we had done recently with some purely male energy work. And I knew my work was done with this circle now. It felt complete, working, whole, and so did I.

One final thing to do – some questions about what just happened. I dowsed about whether I had made a positive effect – ‘yes‘. Why did I need to do this on a starry night, when I can’t see any moon? ‘Because it is a time for Male energy’, came the answer. Because starlight has the same effect on male earth energies as sunlight? ‘Yes‘. Some of these questions came as answers in my head, which I then dowsed to confirm.

I recognised that over the last few weeks I had been dismissing the power and effect of stars when I had been encountering astrological information and theories. Nature was now showing me that it did have an effect, and what that effect could be used for. I was impressed. And converted. Never again will I dismiss the power of starlight.

Time to go. As I descended I asked The Goddess to guide me safely home. It struck me as not in the least bit unusual for me to be able to see a four feet wide path of dim light (starlight!) guiding me down the hill. I never stumbled once, nor encountered any large stones, holes or dips, and I got down safely. In fact, I only tumbled once, and that was when I left the starlit path to join the human-made path that I was walking alongside! Incredible!

I came home with everything wheeling in my head like a Planetarium show. As Kal reminded me, in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey film, the remark that the man makes when he has travelled to, what I presume is, the end of time: “The stars….” I felt that wonder this night.


Follow the starlit path.

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  1. I am curious about that too. It’s a literary convenience that I am using to denote the “other” that I distinguish from my rational everyday self. It is the force that I interact with when I choose to work with it. I have to give it some form of identity in order to report these events, because the number of words required to get something written if, every time I want to mention it, I have to say “that force that I interact with but which has no name or personification” gets a little bit verbose.

    When you see that phrase, take it to mean the above.


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