Danebury Hillfort Crone.

Waiting to go to St, Catherine’s Hill for the Mayday conclusion to the male and female mystery teachings we had been shown on the Magdalene Down Barrows, instead, we get the call to go to Danebury Hillfort… again! I was told that I would be given a new symbol there and another essence.

The 360 degree view from the highest point in Danebury. This is where we see, clairvoyantly, the house where the Guardian lives. He is often standing in front of the door, either alone or with his wife.

Danebury is the active Mother site for Hampshire, connected to many other settlement sites around the county, including St. Catherine’s Hill in Winchester. We receive many gifts at Danebury Hillfort and are often ‘called’ to go there. As usual, it is best to go without expectations because what we received was not what we expected.

As we walked through the entrance and into the womb of the site, I felt the guardian walking behind me. This time, he was wearing a simple creamy-white ankle-length tunic. But as we walked to the highest point, beneath the huge beech tree, I became aware of the old woman. I was surprised to see her, as it is Spring, so I did not expect to see the Crone of Winter!

But, she explained to me as we approached her, that modern humans have a tendency to separate the seasons. We see Spring as separate to Summer; summer as separate to Winter; Winter as separate to Spring. But they saw it as a continuum, an interconnected cycle, each season growing into the next. There was nothing to separate them. She highlighted the Blackthorn and how it flowers in Spring, then the blossoms become fruit which are then harvested in early Winter (They had no autumn!).

Crab Apple Tree inside the fort.
Crab Apple Blossom

Beech trees at the entrance of the fort.

When we got up to the top, I saw her patiently waiting inside her house, sitting beside the fire. She told me to take the bottle of water as she wanted me to make an essence. Into the bottle, she place a flame of her fire, to keep me warm in winter. Next, she put in a ladle of fruit-brew, made of leaves and berries she had collected since spring; food that had been picked and stored all year to prepare for the winter months. It represented the knowledge of how to prepare, how to save, how to source food from their locality. She placed some wheat into the bottle too; grown in Spring and harvested in late summer, again stored in pits for the long winter months. The essence was to be called: Winter Fruits.

Next, while the bottle was still open, she gave us each a gift. Mine was an arrowhead, on a thong made of deer-hide. Chris’s was a chalk loom-weight. Once she had given us these gifts, she then picked up an adder by the tail and dropped it into the bottle, then instructed me to close it, so the energy could not escape. I was also instructed not to release this essence until the right time, because it for the teachers.

It was then Chris’s turn to work. He was told to pour water on the ground, on a specific point, and when he saw the water go out in blue lines to other places. These lines also appeared as ribbons. Then he became aware of the Maypole and how lines of different colours, connected to different sites, radiated out into the landscape. The people dancing around the Maypole gathered the lines, like ribbons of energy, and wound them around it, thereby connecting themselves energetically to these other places. The coloured ribbons represented frequencies of light in and above the landscape.

Exmoor ponies on the Slopes.
Burial mound seen from Danebury.
Not a view the ancestors would recognise.

This is something I have anchored in other places too, but the first time that Chris has seen it. These ‘poles’ are static; they are not moved. The original meaning, and function, of the Maypole has been lost, but can be brought back if enough people learn how to work with them again. They are anchored at important sites, such as Danebury, Winchester, and Beacon Hill, and maintain the important energetic connections between sites.

When the Crone had finished her gifting, the Male Guardian appeared. He stood in front of me and drew a symbol of light with two colours, on my forehead. He said that this symbol was used in conjunction with the Shepherd’s Crook symbol, so it was a teacher’s symbol, for those ready to guide others through their initiatic gateways.

So, releasing expectations was the order of the day.

But we’ll still go to St. Catherine’s Hill, just in case…

Imbolc Celebrations.

Today is St. Brigit’s day, in the Christian tradition, or Imbolc in the Celtic. She was originally a pre-Celtic goddess, of fire, of healing and of fertility.

As the dark winter days brighten and lengthen, fresh shoots appear. Snowdrops give colour to muddy ground and sparse grass. Bluebell spears emerge from cold soil and energy grows. This is the time when the fertility of the land awakens. The sun’s energy is drawn, deep into the earth, to warm the sleeping seeds and bulbs, to fertilise the land itself with its life-giving rays.

The ancestors celebrated this process. Every few years, in settlements, such as at Danebury, in Hampshire, or Fosbury, in Wiltshire – embodiments of the Mother’s womb – , a priestess would stand on the highest point of the settlement, the belly of the Mother, and bring down, through her body, the solar energy, channelling it into the waiting womb of the earth. The Sheelagh Na Gig, the Crone of Winter, became youthful Virgin once more.  

These ‘Mother’ sites were part of a vast network of energies, through which the fertilising light of the sun travelled, even before its physical warmth could be felt. Once the symbolic egg had been made fertile, this energy fed many smaller settlements, some as small as single farmsteads, but all radiating the light into the soil, into the trees, into the hearts and minds of the people.

Giant Sheelagh Na Gig. Danebury Hillfort. Hampshire.

The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bríde,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground

One tradition on Brigit’s day was to clean the home, to sweep out the energy of the past and to welcome in the new energy that would bring newness and fertility to its inhabitants. It was all done with intent. The past year was gone, and a new one begins. Clear out old dreams; dream new ones.

This is the time when new pathways are forged and plans for the coming year can be put in motion.

There are many well-known traditions, and all accessible on the internet if you search. The most important aspect, in terms of energywork is the solar fertilising of the earth and the lighting/maintenance of the Flames.

As a planetary healer, part of your work is to maintain these energetic flames. Planting one in your home, if it is connected to this energetic grid, keeps the energy flowing. I have one in my home and have anchored them in the homes of my daughters and friends – other Gaia Method Earthways healers – when I am impulsed to do so. For two weeks before today, the energies rise and the flames are tended. Sometimes, they change colour, sometimes other energies are added. I can see them changing, in colour and number, sometimes becoming three, sometimes reverting to one. Each flame is a frequency of creation, a creative fire that inspires and keeps abundance flowing.

There are ‘Keepers of the Flame’ all over the world, carrying out these ancient tasks, and there have been for millennia. Now we are re-learning their ways so that the earth can be fruitful and abundant. We can change our old ways and learn how to live in communion with the Mother. Learn to channel the light into her pathways once more.

St. Catherine’s Hillfort, here in Winchester — the view from my house — has a flame. This year it has become a white flame, rising from the hilltop into the sky, spreading a disc of silver around the surrounding landscape; the abundance of the Mother. A necessary thing, in these times of fear and confusion. The White feels pure, light, bringing awareness and a feeling of spiritual power. The power of Light, not might.

St. Catherine’s Hill, Winchester.

The more we work with the ancient energies and ways of life, the better will be both our lives and those of others around us.

In searching for fertility sites, look for the signs, both through intuition and physical evidence. Where the stone-carved Sheelagh na Gig’s are, nearby you will find a site, waiting to be reawakened. Early Christian churches often use them, as they signified a place where the energy of Imbolc was activated, albeit in a different form. There are places all over the British Isles, and Ireland, that hold these energies. All it needs is for you to find them.

“Now is the time to tend the fires. To create anew your dreams for the future. Go into the landscape. Connect to the Mother, Brigit, Goddess of life, and bring fertility and life back into your lives.”