In the beginning…

I have worked, energetically, with stone circles for twenty years, but it was on a trip to the remains of a stone circle in Cumbria, deep in a forest plantation, that I was granted a wonderful insight into one way in which our Bronze age ancestors used the circles.

From that experience, I understood that some circles were associated with maintaining fertility. They were used ritually at certain points of the year, (solstices, equinoxes, etc) and at that time priests, priestesses, and the entire community channelled the energy of the solar light into the circle to fertilise the wheat they had harvested the previous season, and to fertilise the waiting earth beneath; the masculine creative force of the sun, fertilising the female earth.

At the end of the Mesolithic period, ancient communities moved from hunting and gathering, to growing and tending. Their focus was on the growing of food, so taking care of both the physical landscape and the energetic landscape meant they had a better chance of survival. Their awareness of the Oneness of life was a part of them. They did not simply live on the planet, separate to it as we do, but they understood they were an integral part of it.

But how did the Early Neolithic farmers begin to use stone to contain and hold the energies they built in the landscape? How did they learn that particular form of energy-work in the first place? I have found no evidence of fertility work of this nature in the earlier Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. It seemed to arrive with people who grew their food on a large scale and who needed specific energetic help to accomplish that.

Before agriculture, hunters worked shamanically to connect to the spirit of the animal they were about to hunt, communicating with it before the hunt and asking for, and acknowledging, the creature’s sacrifice to feed them. But, with the advent of agriculture, some of these practices changed. To the ancestor, everything was energy. Every living thing, including apparently inert objects, such as stone, soil, etc, had a spirit and therefore deserved respect and acknowledgement. (You only have to look at the current indigenous people of the world to see how our ancestors might have lived).

It has always been a mystery to me how practices changed, from hunting and gathering, to include the growing of crops. Once you begin to grow food, the process and focus changes. But when did they begin to associate stone circles with corn-energising rituals?

It was only while reading Home by Francis Pryor, that I found a possible answer. Francis had been working on a Neolithic causewayed enclosure site in Etton along with his wife. The enclosure was part of a complex of enclosures, like Salisbury Plain, and comprised a single circuit of interrupted ditches. They discovered, at the end of each ditch segment, objects which had been carefully placed there. The deposits in the segmented ditches were laid in layers, each protected by a birchbark mat, which would have been naturally waterproof. Intact pottery vessels, turned upside-down, skulls, and broken quern stones, for the grinding of grain into flour, were also placed in layers in the ditches.

Upright Saddle Quern Deposit.

According to Prior, the objects placed within the ditches were crafts traditionally carried out by women: pottery, weaving, bread-making, etc. That makes me wonder why they deposited these particular objects in the ditches? Was the site traditionally viewed as female? Just as with the Cumbrian circle? The female energy was believed to reside in the earth, so it makes sense that if they wanted to ensure the positive flow of energy into their own home and tribe they would make offerings of gratitude for the resources already received and the petition for that flow to continue for the coming year.

Quern stones at each side of causeway.

Within the henge, there were also multiple pits filled with ritual deposits, but the most striking thing for me was that in the ditches on either side of the causeways, quern stones had been placed on their sides, so that they stood upright. Stones were placed on either side of the causeway, of which there were possibly four, oriented North, South, East and West, although the South entrance was subsequently destroyed. The deposits seem to have been placed, on separate occasions, but in the same place each time, in layers, perhaps during large gatherings, and by kin groups. Each time they gathered, they carried out ceremonies and a new stone was placed there; again on its side so that it stood upright, but above the buried layer of the previous celebrations.

Grain was an important part of their survival and the excavators of Etton discovered evidence that “cereal crops were both grown and processed within the immediate vicinity, perhaps within the enclosure.”

Datchet causeway. Example of how ditches were spaced.

When I read this for the first time, it immediately reminded me of my visit to Cumbria. and the importance of the stone circle in charging the wheat for the following growing season. The deposition of saddle querns, upright in the ditches, signalled for me the mental leap made by the Neolithic communities from ritual deposits of stones for wheat-grinding to standing stones. Wheat was such an important part of their survival that it stood to reason that the objects associated with grain processing should be held in such sacred esteem. I imagine, through the deposition of these stones, each family was both manifesting their food for the coming year but also giving something back to the Mother, in gratitude for feeding them; for taking care of them. And, as the quote above suggests, if the site was used for the processing of wheat, then corn rituals might well have been carried out in the centre too, creating what later became, the stone circles.

Knowth Basin.

In Knowth, there is the huge concave stone in one of the recesses within the burial mound. Burial mounds represent the womb of the Mother. Knowth is part of the Newgrange complex, where the sun enters the chamber at Midwinter, to light up the darkness within. Again the solar rays fertilising the Mother. The large concave stone is like a huge ceremonial saddle quern and may well symbolise the fertilising of the grain. A gift to the mother and holder of the ashes of people who may have been the ones who carried out the sacred ceremonies.

The carving inside the stone is interesting too: To me, it looks like an energetic representation of the solar rays fertilising the seed within the womb of Mother Earth.

Knowth Inner carving.

Of course, it may have had multiple meanings. As modern humans, we see symbols as representing things we only have understanding of ‘in the present’. We see things one-dimensionally. Our ancestors may have had access to knowledge we can only imagine, or re-learn, as we work in the energetic landscapes of the Mother.

The positioning of the saddle querns in the site in Etton also made me think of Mecca, where before Islam, tribal communities gathered there yearly. Each tribe had its own stone statue representing the energy of their tribe, their over-ruling deity, part of a circle of stones around the sacred site. Only with the coming of Islam was this practice destroyed and now only the ruling family have their ‘stone’, contained in the Kaaba. (Mecca had been a sacred site for many centuries, sacred to a triple goddess. One of these goddesses, Al-Uzzah, was a grain goddess).

Old Mecca.

As I was writing this, I found this very interesting article: https://www.hunebednieuwscafe.nl/2017/10/british-stone-circles-were-used-for-parties/ The article states: The research into the Ring of Brodgar also showed that each stone comes from a different part of the Orkney Islands. Apparently, each of the diverse groups of people brought its own stone and placed it in the monument. Remarkably, Professor Bayliss’ research also found evidence that people travelled to the Orkneys from as far away as Belgium. This fits very well with the idea of family groups/tribes having their quernstone in the circle.

Many ancient Mother/Goddess sites were symbolic womb; places where, at certain times of the year, the energies of fertility were strongest. The midwinter ritual of the sun piercing the darkest recesses of burial mounds, and temples, were fertility processes: the male sun sending his fertilising principle into the dark womb of the Mother to activate the egg waiting there. These were no empty rituals, however. Our ancestors understood the active energies that revitalised the energy lines in the earth, that brought new vitality after the dark of winter, warming the earth; bringing new growth. Where energy flows, so too does life.

There are naturally powerful places on earth where the energy is palpable, such as volcanos, places where crystals have formed, and deep underground caves. Places too where elemental energies are strong: rivers, lakes, mountains, and forests. But energy is also built through ritual and intention. I have never been a ‘ritual’ worker. I never really understood the purpose of ritual except as a focus for creating and for intention. But, I recently had an experience in a Cathedral Church in Arundel where I saw the result of ritual actions on the energy of a place over time.

We were working on making a triangular connection between the sea and the river Arun. I wasn’t sure where this connection was supposed to be anchored but we went into the cathedral, just in case. I had been given water energy by a wonderfully loving sea elemental on Littlehampton beach and although I knew I had to put it somewhere; I didn’t know where, until it happened. As I approached the altar, which was built on top of an ancient spring, I saw the blue column of light behind it, which had been built up over the years by the priests doing the bread and wine ritual. This was a surprise to me. The energy had built up over so many years and had created a healing channel in the cathedral. This is also where the water energy gift was anchored, which was also a huge surprise. (One of the important things to remember when doing energywork is that religious belief plays no part. It is the positive intentions to help humanity which are important. Although saying that, the ancientness of the catholic ritual contains an energy that I have not found in other, more modern religious rituals).

But this ritual also involves the energising of bread, just as the ancient ritual in the stone circle Cumbria showed. (I think the energising of the wine might have been Roman in origin and added later as patriarchal religions became more prominent. The wine is energised from ‘above’ whereas the bread should be energised by the mother-energy ‘below’).

So that brings us back to the quernstones. We know that causewayed enclosures were the forerunners of stone circles so if the quernstones were placed as sacred objects and connected to a particular kin-group, (as in old Mecca, and Orkney), then it is not such a stretch to see that the later ‘standing stones’/quernstones in a circle came to represent each kin-family’s offerings to the Mother Goddess. The rituals building up over time gave these places their sanctity but there may well have been an extant ‘energy’ that told them where to build these sites in the first place.

The alignments of the main causeways appear to be directional, and the east/west entrances align with the sun. (We have often found main energylines crossing over in these sites, although not necessarily NSEW aligned). The astrological alignment aspects of stone circles might have come into play as a way for them to be sure about the timing of important events. I’m sure the simple beginning of the ritual circles became more complicated over time.

A very good book which explains how Glastonbury abbey was created is: The Gate of Remembrance by Frederick Bligh Bond, F.R.I.B.A. It is a book about the discovery of The Edgar Chapel through automatic writing and gives very interesting energetic information on how a sacred site is created.

Here are some more links for information.

https://www.historyscotland.com/exploring-scotland/stone-circles-and-henges-c-3500-1000-bc-history-map/

https://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/things-to-do/historical-places-to-visit/stone-circles

The Bread of The Mother.

Yesterday morning, Sunday, (I wrote this a few years ago) I was listening to the Radio 4 church service (not something I often listen to, but it was an impulse I followed). The teaching was ‘The loaves and the Fishes’. You know, the one where Jesus miraculously fed the 5.000 people with only 5 loaves and 2 fishes after the death of his friend and teacher John the Baptist? Finishing up a beading project, the fact struck me that people never question this story. They relate it as though it is an absolute truth. But to me, they are missing an important point. Jesus was a spiritual teacher, teaching people something important. There was a deeper meaning to this story.

People, such as Dr Marcellino D’Ambrosio,  have looked into certain Judaic meanings behind the symbolism, such as the five loaves representing the Mosaic teachings in the Torah. There are 5 books in the Torah.  So perhaps, on one level, Jesus was expanding on the teachings and inner story of Moses, who was also a prophet, and a teacher.

But he was also quoted as saying that he was the ‘Bread of Life’. To my mind, this was a misinterpretation. He was also known as the ‘Water of Life’ which felt more appropriate. Could he be both bread and water? All spiritual nourishment? To many he was/is, but I have experienced a completely different awareness of what the bread represents. Over the past twenty years of doing energy healing, at many sacred sites around the world, I have found that the Bread represents the Bread of the Mother, of the earth.

My first experience of this came in 2006, in Cumbria, at a stone circle complex in the Broomrigg Plantation. One of my psychic gifts is the ability to tap into ancient knowledge and experience it in the present. It is psychometry; I suppose. Tapping into objects or places and opening doorways into past lives.

Broomrigg Stone Circle

On this occasion, standing on an ancient stone which had once formed part of a stone circle, I went back to the Bronze Age and found myself watching an ancient winter solstice ritual. Within the circle, a priest stood, and around the inside of the circle also stood containers of wheat which had been harvested the previous autumn. A priestess, who personified Artemis (I was a little surprised at that) drew down the energy of the sun and brought it into the earth, which opened like a womb to accept the solar energy. This fertilised a giant ovum and filled the womb with golden light. The priest had strewn wheat grains around the inside of the circle petitioning the Goddess Artemis, within whose hands he had placed a sheaf of corn. As this happened, the wheat in the containers was also ‘charged’, which effectively imbued the seeds with life, so that when they planted them again in the spring the resulting crop would be abundant. At the end of the ritual, the priest sprinkled water around the inside of the circle, because, without rain, the wheat could not grow.

Once the ‘ritual’ was complete, some of the grain was taken from the containers, ground into flour and made into bread. Each household in the tribe was given a portion of this ‘charged’ bread in order to bring fertility to the entire tribe over the coming year. Everyone was equal and everyone was fed. No-one was left out.

This experience prompted many questions. Over the past few years, some of these questions have found answers. I had, on occasion, to travel back to Ireland for Catholic funerals or memorial services, and noticed during the consecration of the bread and wine, during Mass, that all the energy from ‘Above’ seemed to charge the wine but not the bread. I also thought it was significant that only the priest drank the wine, (things have changed since then!) thereby gaining the benefit of its charged energy. But the communication wafers, the Bread/Body of Christ had no energy and yet this was distributed to the people during the Mass. I found this very interesting Why was the bread not ‘charged’, and why was it only the priest who benefited from the spiritual energy which should have been shared? I wondered if it was to do with power dynamics within the early church? Communion is such an important part of the Catholic Mass ritual and I can remember, as a child, taking communion seriously, believing that I was eating part of Jesus’ body. When it stuck to the roof of my mouth and broke, and I tried to remove it with my tongue, it was a serious disaster. Jesus was real to me and I thought I was breaking him apart.

The word communion signifies a joining, a sharing of energy, but there was no energy in this communion. It was rice paper, nothing more. For years, I had wondered why this was (I only rarely have communion now. If I feel an impulse, I will take it, even though I know it contains nothing). However, this year, I experienced another teaching, through ‘psychic time-travel’, that explained more of the mystery. It was in St. Dogmaels’ Abbey in Wales, near Cardigan Bay and I was doing my usual energy work, as I do in many churches, (both ancient and those still in use), when I felt an impulse to stop at a point which was below ground level. In the past, the altar of the church would have stood above this room and as I stood in the centre of this ‘cellar’ I felt a powerful female earth energy, like a vortex. It was still active, and very strong. When I stood in it, I ‘saw’ a monk standing in front of the altar in the room above me. He was consecrating the wine and the bread, but as he focused on the bread, which was a round loaf, he drew the energy of this vortex into the bread, spiritualising it with the female energy of the Earth, the Mother. Next, he drew down the energy of the sun and consecrated the wine with that energy, the Male fertilising principle! Finally I understood! Somewhere along the line, this connection and honouring of the role of Mother Earth, in sacred ritual, had been lost.

The Abbey itself was built in the 12th Century and is a Trionian Abbey, founded by monks from France who were dissatisfied with the way things were going in the French Monasteries. They wanted to get back to a simpler way of living, and of serving. But they also knew that the balance depended on honouring both Mother and Father.

At one point during this exploration through time, I was also given the understanding of the Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father is obvious; he is the male principle, Solar, Christ Light. The Holy Spirit is the Mother, the Female principle: the Earth; and the son, is the priest /medium. The Son of both Mother and Father is the priest; he is the medium between the two; the one who can work with both energies and who is trained to materialise these energies in the bread and wine, thereby bringing succour to the community through their distribution. What is missing here, of course, is the female representative, the priestess. But, at least they still knew what they were doing, even though they were using both energies in a less earth-focused way than our ancestors at Broomrigg had done.

But, what I still did not know, was when this understanding disappeared. Perhaps during the dissolution of the monasteries, when the Divine Feminine, through Mary, was removed from the collective consciousness? Perhaps that understanding will come later.

So, back to the loaves and the fishes. Jesus (or someone) was trying to teach about the balance between the Masculine and the Feminine. The bread of Life comes from the earth, from the Mother. The fish is a male symbol, and one which I also have experienced in the course of my work, and which I know to be a symbol of life in the Ancient Solar priesthoods of Egypt, Greece and Western Europe. The symbol of Christianity is the Fish. The fish swims in water; water is life. The fish is a symbol for the fertility that comes from water, the abundance of a masculine god.  

Jesus was teaching the multitudes about Honouring the Mother and Father, just as the commandments told them to. Not just your physical, earthly Mother and father, but all of life through the Earth Mother and Solar Father. I believe the story tells us that nourishment comes from Mother and Father. What comes from the sky is Masculine, sun and rain, which fertilises the earth, the feminine, so that all her people can live. You cannot exist without both. What can you create with sun alone? Without the mixture of earth, what is it? If you honour both, you can feed thousands.

Maybe we need to get back to that. We need to relearn these ways of thinking about the earth, or Gaia, and her relationship with the Father, in order for us to live sustainable and fulfilling lives. It’s really not that hard. We just have to change our core beliefs. It might take years but at least the world of the future will be one worth living in again! And I wonder what would happen if we started to do these rituals in the way they were intended? That would be an interesting experiment.

PS. When I was in the Hare Krsnas, back in the seventies in Dublin, they cooked their food and blessed it before sharing it with people so that everyone could eat the sacred prasadam of the god of love, Krishna. Even one meal was enough to give you Krsna’s mercy. Blessing food is an ancient tradition.

A more modern story is the story of the foundation of Findhorn, one of my favourites.

Magdalene Down Male Mysteries

After our first day’s information about the Female Mysteries of Spring, we went back the following week to learn about the Male Mysteries.

Magdalene Hill Burial Mounds.

This time we stood on the second largest barrow, where we had seen the Elder the previous week. As soon as we tuned in, he appeared and he instructed us to sit.

I felt as though I was in a class, as it would have been held centuries ago, but I was male. There were five or six of us being trained. The elder explained about our role in the Spring festival. We were a new cohort, and this was the start of our training. The Elder would instruct us on how to serve the Mother, both in what we did, as priests in training, and for the rest of our lives. What we were being shown was male priest training, rather than simply something for the festival rituals.

He explained that male fertility was connected to the waterways: the rivers and to the sea. I saw the Itchen river in my mind, running around he base of St. Catherine’s hill. As we were being shown the connection between the river and the hill, an image of Silbury Hill, near Avebury, with the water all around the base, popped into my head. I wondered if, in ancient times, the waters also rose at certain times of the year and flooded around the base of St. Catherine’s; the mound a pregnant belly that emerged from the waters of life.

Water carries fertility, like seminal fluid carries sperm. This is how they understood it. Because many female fertility sites were connected with waterways i.e., Stonehenge, Stanton Drew, etc., it fell to men to hold the energy of water-fertility. They were the active principle and the female was the receptive.  

River-tumbled pebble

The Elder, having explained about the importance of water to these young men, then went on in a more serious tone. He handed each one a rounded, river pebble. He told them that the water had shaped these stones, tumbled and smoothed them over many years. The water had the power to shape the hardest material, BUT, the stone was of the earth and the river ran THROUGH the earth. The water, on its own, was simply water. The Mother, Earth, was the channel/river-bed through which the water ran, it ran through her body. She was the foundation of all.

This teaching was to curb feelings of power the young men might harbour, believing that because they held the power to fertilise, this meant they were more powerful than the earth itself.  

At that point, to continue the lesson, the Elder told us all that we would now go to the other side of the hill, but to bring our stone with us. This was a couple of miles across the land for them, but necessitated a car-ride for us. From last week, we knew the men had their training by the river and that by the time of the Spring rites, they would proceed from there to the top of St. Catherine’s.

We drove around to the other side of Winchester, and tried to find a car-parking space close to the river. That proved tricky, as now everyone goes for coffee and a walk beside the canal! Because we could not find a space, we went to the water-meadows at. St Cross Hospital, where we had access to the river. This was better as it was the more natural part of the river; the part currently flowing alongside St. Catherine’s Hill is the navigation canal built in the late 17th Century.

We stood by the river bank and waited for the Elder to tell us what to do. We still held the stone. Because the Elder was not physically real, the stone he gave us wasn’t either. But, I had one in my pocket I had picked up somewhere. I’m always picking up stones! It didn’t have to be physical, of course, but it made it feel more real.

Itchen River, St. Cross Hospital, Winchester.

Standing by the river’s edge, the Elder told us that we had to throw this stone into the water. But, in throwing it in, we were handing over our ego, or sense of power and personal Will to the Mother. We were acknowledging that we, as men, served her. We were not master over her. In order to serve, we had to let go of all our attachments to power over others, over the tribe, over the land. We were making a commitment to serve her as she wished to be served.

It was a very solemn, and thought-provoking exercise. If we, as young priests were unable to let go of our male ego, our need for control, then we would be unable to serve in a fertility capacity and therefore would not be able to officiate at the Sacred Fertility Rituals, such as the Spring rites.

Because I was, effectively, a young man in this experience, I felt the seriousness of what I was doing and when I felt I was ready to give up my need for control and power, I threw my stone into the water, giving it back to the Mother, from whence it came. I accepted that she was more important than me and that I willingly sacrificed my need for power and control.

I was aware of the other young men in my group. Some were reluctant to let go, not fully understanding how it would impact on their lives. They were not ready. Some might never be and would go on to do other work within the tribes. But, for those, who were not quite ready, they would be given the chance to continue their training and repeat the exercise the following year. But that also meant, they could not be chosen to be a candidate in the current year’s Spring Festival. There was no judgement around this from the Elder, as they were only human and he understood the challenge of the sacrifice.

Spring Violets in the dew.

This experience, and the previous week’s one, was an amazing glimpse into how our ancestors worked with the very potent Spring fertility rites. The exercise, by the river and on the barrows, was quite a powerful one for the young men; the fear of letting go of personal power was palpable.

By contrast, the women’s rites felt free and joyful. There was such excitement and light-heartedness as they began the rites. But the men’s seemed quite serious, as if they had more to learn, more to let go of. But all were young. From late teens to early twenties. An appropriate age for Spring.

Next week, we’ll be up on St. Catherine’s Hill. It’s the culmination of the Spring festivities, the joining of the male and female energies, the festival that ensures fertility for the coming year. I am looking forward to seeing what we experience then. All we have to do is avoid the coffee-crowds.

Queen of the May.

It has been an interesting few months. The winter has been long and I really did not feel like going out much. Winter is never my time, energetically anyway, my time begins at Imbolc, the beginning of February. This is the time of female fertility, when plants emerge once more from the womb of winter and begin their growth towards the sun. 
This February, we explored a part of Winchester that has always beckoned but never quite seemed to be the right time. Because there are now so many people walking the places we usually frequent, we wanted to explore some place quieter. We found ourselves on Magdalene Hill Down and the five Bronze Age burial mounds there. 

It took two days, a week apart, to receive this information, so I will focus for this entry, on the first visit to the burial mounds.

Magdalene Down Barrow Cemetery.

On the slope of the Down, there are five Bronze Age burial mounds. Three are still intact, albeit with dips in the centre. The other two are barely discernible. We stood on the first large one in the row and tuned in as usual. This brought me back to the past in a wonderful way. The story is a female story.

Moving into the past is like re-experiencing past events in a physical way. I become part of it. Standing on the barrow, I am in the distant past and I am aware of being a woman, wearing white. There is a huge sense of joy and celebration and I am calling to the clans from the settlements to the east of the barrows. Many women and girls hear the call and they come, joyously, dressed in white, to join me. There is much excitement and I am aware of how important these sites are for the women. They are not merely places to bury their dead, but sites of great significance, of birth, of renewal, of life.

They come from their settlements with a sense of urgency. This is the time they have been waiting for. It has to be now – today! They connect with each other on a telepathic level so they are all working together with one mind. There is no separation here. Together, all holding hands, while I remain on the mound, the women dance around the barrow. Collectively, we call in an energy, which I recognise as dragon-energy, but they identify as something else, a creative-force, a tangible thing, alive. To me, with my modern mind, it is the white-dragon, which is highly creative and inspirational and feminine. To them it is a living energy, the same energy but we each have our own ways, through time, of experiencing it.

St. Catherine’s Hill from the barrows.

When the women call in this beautiful, creative force, it rises from the barrow and travels along an energetic path to St. Catherine’s Hill. They watch it, holding its energy with their Will and hearts until it reaches the summit of the hill, where it then encircles the top.

The process they are initiating will culminate in May. There is a corridor of time and energy between the beginning of Feb and the beginning of May in which to do this work.

On the second barrow, there was a distinctly masculine energy. It comes in the form of an Elder, with grey hair and beard and he is dressed in a grey robe. This energy is about male fertility, symbolised by the fish. It feels hot here, and a spring flame, which I call Brigit’s flame, is burning.

(We didn’t get any more on the male energy rituals until the next time we visited.)

Next, we stand on the third barrow, which after the heat of the previous one, feels really cold. This one is female again. I can see the women who had joined in celebration but now they are creating a tunnel of Blackthorn boughs in blossom, holding them in an arched corridor above their heads. Each girl takes her turn, like a dance, going through the blossom arch and as they travel, the energy of the blossom permeates them so they become the same energy. It is a fertility dance and they are being imparted with the fertile energy of the Spring Blossom which makes them fertile too. It is an energetic process, not a simply ritual one. They absorb the fertile energy of the blossom into their bodies, by osmosis until they and the energy of the Blackthorn are One.

Individually, they dance through, until the ones at the beginning of the archway, are now at the end, until each has had her turn. When Mayday, in their calendar, arrives they will process to St. Catherine’s Hill to complete the ritual. Everything they do is in preparation for that day and it all takes time. They know how to wait for the processes of nature and nothing is rushed.

When May arrives, one woman is chosen to be the representative of the earth’s creative energies and one man is chosen to represent the fertility aspects of water and sun. Together, each holding their respective energy, they reign until the following year, when a new couple is chosen. The couple chosen do not know who they were going to be paired with until the day of choosing, and the two are chosen because they showed the right qualities of dedication and learning over the preceding year. 

The newly crowned couple hold the energies for the surrounding areas for a year, enacting rituals that ensure the fertility of the area around the hill. They know their work will ensure the continuance of life for everyone and that the Mother and father will continue to care for them, providing them with food and shelter for another year.

This was a beautiful thing to witness. The Queen and King of the May are such an ancient tradition but it was interesting to see just how far this tradition went back. In modern times, the ritual is a re-enactment, but in times past it played an important role and was very real. The female group in the ritual were young women that appeared to be part of a group of women who trained to play this part. Only they were trained to hold the energy and to work with the necessary energies.

(The same applied to the young men, who had their own training, which we discovered when we returned the following week. But on this visit, we were shown the female aspect).

In May, they joined together, each representing, and holding, the masculine and feminine forces of creation.  

This entire experience seemed to be a process through time, where the celebrations and calling happened first, followed by the blossom-archway and then the celebration on St. Catherine’s.

On the fourth barrow, we were given the same information about the Queen’s awakening. Between February and May, she awakened, life returned. This was her time. Perhaps this is also about the Queen’s representative awakening to her role. The fact that this all happened around St. Catherine’s Hill was also magical. Maybe we should reinstate it?

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.”

Black Lotus Vision. 30 April 2015.

30 April 2015. Luxor, Egypt.
Sitting at my computer I began to feel energy coming in. I brought down the white sphere with my arms, until it was completely around me, then raised my central pillar and opened the lotus in the top of my field. Raising my arms up again I brought a sphere of Solar energy, slowly down into my energy-field.  Then I had to bring another energy up from the earth. It was a black lotus. Never had one of those beforeblack lotus! It completely folded up around me, so that I was sitting in the centre of it, with its petals closed above my head. I felt like I was in a dark cocoon, protected, but alone. I was aware of a lunar crescent at my third eye, and then the sun energy that I had brought down began to shine out of my heart, and light up the inside of the lotus.
I sat there for about 15 minutes, with just the lunar light at my forehead and the solar light in my heart. I seemed to be just shining this light. I felt like a seed in a seed pod, waiting to emerge. There seemed to be nothing I could do but wait and hold these two lights, but I felt like I was waiting for something to pass, something difficult and all I had to do was wait and hold the light.
After what seemed like ages, the petals at the top opened slightly and I could see a patch of blue sky. Again this lasted for a few minutes so I knew, that although that it was clearing ‘out there’, I still had to wait.
A few minutes later the OM symbol appeared in the blue sky above the lotus petals and I knew then that it was safe to emerge.
The next image I saw, as though I was being given an image of the future, beyond this experience of waiting, was of myself in some other place. I was living on a farm, more in my Goddess-self than my human-self. I had my arms raised to the sun. Then I knelt down and ran my hands and fingers through the soil, loving the earth, feeling my connection to its fertility.
I saw myself  walking up the trackway to the yard and I stood in the centre of it, and once again raised my arms to the sky. I became a tree, huge and green, with large fruits growing from my branches. Then people began to appear and they each plucked a fruit from the tree. They opened the fruit and it was full of seeds, like a pomegranate, rich and red and full of potential. Then each of these people took their fruit and walked out of the place in all directions, like thcobraey were walking on a giant spider-web, to all corners of the Globe. The tree reminded me of the Egyptian carvings of the Goddess in the Tree, feeding the people.
The last thing to appear was a giant Cobra, whose energy covered the entire place. She was its protector, protecting the Divine Feminine energy from all harm.
Then the energies faded.

Looks like we are going to go through quite a challenging time around here. Feels like mourning, and reminds me of when my sister died suddenly, ten years ago. I grieved, but I also knew where she was, and I knew that she was back ‘home’. So I was glad for her, but sad at the same time.. I realised that it is a person’s Soul energy that we miss when someone dies, their essence. Once they have left it is a reminder to us, on an unconscious level, that they have returned to their Soul home and we are still here! Weirdly, as a medium, I was still able to communicate with her, so I really did have to put my money where my mouth was. Did I believe in the immortality of the Soul or not? Yes, I did, and my sister helped me to really live that belief.

Now, it looks like I have to do the same again. Glad I am energetically prepared! But beyond that, is my dream, so it will be worth going through it, even if it is hard work getting there.