Yesterday was good. The weather was good and the company was good too, so was the food & wine *g*. we did the circuit of the sacred sites … here are some pix.
Our first stop was to see the Lord & Lady. These two are each side of the chancel screen in Vowchurch church and both were “mutilated” in Cromwellian times because they were considered indecent. The goddess was a “sheilagh–na-gig”, ie the goddess holding her open vulva, symbolising the cave of the womb and that means to us. The god would have had large, erect phallus. Their hands and expressions tell what they were, as well as known examples elsewhere. I find it wonderful that at least their top-halves are still there and well visible in the church. It is so good to know that -even if not well understood by most folk – the Lord & Lady are still with us.
Having met the Lady we were now to meet the Lord, at Arthur’s Stone. for me, the Lord usually comes as Gwyn ap Nudd up there. Gwyn is a soul-leader and psychopomp, well versed in walking between worlds. The “Stone” is a 4000 yr old tumulus, once covered in earth and turf – Google it for more. The inner stones of its skeleton are now uncovered but the site is alive and vibrant. The way in was a curved tunnel, through which you had to crawl, emerging into a larger chamber … just like the vulva and vagina entrance to the womb. Only this is more the womb of the god! Confused? Gods don’t have wombs? Sorry, but the Celtic works by even more riddles than a Zen master *g*. This god-site, place of the Lord, is certainly a womb. Before crawling in we had to say aloud what we were leaving behind as we re-entered the womb. This is an ancient rite common all over the world – and very effective. As you exit after your sojourn within the womb you say aloud what it is you bring with you, for the good of the world. This sort of rite is never just for you, always for work you can do to help others.
While one of us was journeying the other drummed. to hear the drum while lying within the stone chamber is like being within a drum itself. You are sound, every part of you vibrates, you are sung and pulled apart and rewoven by the sound.
While we were working some other people came to see the site. They were most respectful and didn’t come in until we had finished which was very kind of them. I did get my picture taken while I was drumming – hope the man didn’t mind, his vibes seemed cool so I think not :-).
We went on to the next place, Moccas Park. this is an ancient Anglo-Saxon deer park, where the legend of our local Merlin-figure took place. His name is Dyfrig. The park is an SSSI and closed to the public so that the wildlife are not disturbed but you can look through the gate and the fence. We did, admiring the ancient oaks. At the end of the 19th century the local vicar, the Rev. Francis Kilvert, also a poet, in his diary of 1876, said this about its ancient trees:”I fear those grey old men of Moccas, those grey, gnarled, low-browed, knock-kneed, bowed, bent, huge, strange, long-armed, deformed, hunchbacked, misshapen old men that stand waiting and watching century after century, biding God’s time with both feet in the grave and yet tiring down and seeing out generation after generation, with such tales to tell, as when they whisper them to each other in the midsummer nights, make the silver birches weep and the poplars and aspens shiver and the long ears of the hares and rabbits stand on end. No human hand set those oaks. They are ‘the trees which the Lord hath planted’. They look as if they had been at the beginning and making of the world, and they will probably see its end.” this is the inspiration for the novel I’m currently writing :-).
We went next to visit Moccas church. This is the place where Dyfrig built his final school, in the place of his vision. He was told – by the most beautiful woman all dressed in White with long golden hair – to go up the Wye until he came to the place where the white sow was suckling her piglings. The church was built on this spot some 600 years later. Now, the white sow is one of the forms Ceridwen takes, one of her totems. Again, we were working with the Lady in her Ceridwen form. I told my friend the story of Dyfrig – I’ll do it again for the blog, maybe even a podcast :-), but not now. My friend noticed the twining ley lines curling up the nave of the church and fond the vortex behind the altar. Another friend, Hamish MIller, called these double, twining, ley lines the “Michael & Mary” lines. Of course, the Moccas church is dedicated to St Michael … what else *g*.
And the twining ley lines are another representation of the god & goddess, the Lord & Lady.
Our whole journey had been to meet and work with the Lord & Lady, sovereignty and her guardian. It was wonderful, peaceful and enlightening. We came home well satisfied and replete as well as with lots of insights about things we might do to be useful to the Land, in our own small ways.
Blessed Be …