Thursday, 18 August 2016

Roslin Glen and the Rose Line

The mysterious Rosslyn Chapel sits on the edge of the magical Roslin Glen in Scotland, drawing the green energy of the glen up into the chapel as demonstrated by over one hundred unique carvings of green men in the chapel. 

Rosslyn Chapel exterior (no photography allowed inside!) 

Rosslyn Chapel also sits at the heart of the Rose Line, a Scottish meridian encompassing many sacred sites and places of power.

Six hundred year old chestnut tree in Roslin Glen

The heart of the chestnut tree

Another ancient tree

Part of the yew circle, where rituals are performed

Wallace's cave on the opposite side of the river 

The River Esk flowing through Roslin Glen

The age and identity of this face are not known

Roslin Castle has a ghost dog which haunts and howls here, along with a White Lady. The drawbridge to the castle itself has also been the site of an apparition of a black knight on a black horse which gallops off the drawbridge - legend has it that the hoof prints of the horse can be seen on the vertical rocks upon which the drawbridge has been built.

Roslin Castle

Wallace's cave, referring to William Wallace of 'Braveheart' fame who is reputed to have hidden here.

Cave interior

Mysterious rock carvings near Wallace's Cave

Exploring the lost pathways of Roslin Glen today in some lovely Scottish weather! 

The mysterious hidden village of Temple, once the headquarters of the Knights Templar when it was known as Balantradoch

Mysterious masonic gravestones at Temple

 Magical stream behind the ruined church at Temple

Arthur's Seat, a volcanic plug in Edinburgh that sits directly on the Rose Line

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Bridget's Shrine, Faughart

Today I watched ancient pagan rituals being performed at St. Bridget's Shrine in Faughart near Dundalk, only nowadays, and for the past 1500 years, these rituals have been Christianised with the reciting of Hail Mary's etc. I wonder how long this has been a place of healing and how old these rituals really are?

St. Bridget's healing waters

Lying out on the eye stone

This pilgrim performed a whole series of rituals while here, the whole time reciting Our Father's, Hail Mary's and Glorias.

Wishing well

The knee stone, where you kneel for cures

While at the waist stone, I saw a pregnant girl being told by her father to wrap her legs around the stone. "It's for pregnant women". 
"How do you know?" she asked. 
"Because people have been doing it for hundreds of years!" 
She also splashed the healing water on her belly, and the whole family, including the babies, had their faces and hair wetted by the healing waters.

The waist stone

The head stone, another curing stone

Reciting prayers with one foot planted on the hoof stone

Shrine to St. Bridget

Skellig Michael

Today I headed for Skellig Michael, a remote monastery off the West coast of County Kerry in Ireland. It is famous for its remarkably preserved state, having been founded as early as the 6th century and abandoned in the 12th century, it has changed very little since that date.

The boats to the island were all booked up weeks ago but I was hoping for a cancellation so I could get on board one of them. When I got there, early so I thought, there were already eight other people there waiting for a cancellation too, and we were told that there weren't any cancellations that day, so my hopes were not high! 

This was the second time I had tried to get to Skellig Michael, the previous time was a few years ago and the trip was cancelled due to bad weather. Perhaps I was not ready to go at that time because this was before I had heard about Apollo/Athena ley line, that makes its first major crossing on Skellig Michael.

After driving all the way across Ireland for 6 hours, I really felt ready to go this time, and trusted that everything would work out as it should, even if I had to try again tomorrow… Suddenly I overheard an old lady tell her friend that she couldn't go and wanted to sell her ticket, so of course I jumped at the chance and offered her the money immediately! I couldn't believe my luck as I walked down the pier to the boat, the other eight people who were waiting didn't say a word (though I’m sure they were giving me daggers!)

As the boat headed off towards the island I still couldn't believe that I was actually on my way to Skellig Michael at last! All those other poor people were still standing by the pier as our boat chugged off along the calm sound between the mainland and Valentia island, and then out through a narrow channel onto the big rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Immediately Skellig Michael was visible in the distance, a tall black pyramid of rock jutting out of the limitless ocean. I imagined the poor monks in their small coracles making the treacherous journey out to this remote windswept island all those centuries ago, where all that waited for them was a life of isolation and austerity living on fish and seabird eggs.

The name Skellig derives from Sceillic which means 'steep rock'

To avoid seasickness I kept standing and focused upon the distant island, and within 45 minutes we were there landing at the tiny dock. The climb was a hard slog up, and the tiny monastery at the top was flooded with tourists, making it difficult to get any good photos.

Steep flight of steps leading to the monastery 

View of Little Skellig

Series of cells and the monk's cemetary

The monastery may have been founded as early as the sixth century

I located the Apollo/Athena node in a roofless monks cell, but unfortunately the entrance was sealed off with a block of wood. I had already been told off once for walking somewhere I shouldn't, and clearly this cell was out of bounds too. What to do? Well eventually there was nothing for it but to brazenly climb under the block of wood, plant my crystal in the cell, and perform a little ritual there which would activate the whole of the Apollo/Athena line starting at this point. Luckily the guides didn't notice and the tourists paid little attention. 

Location of the Apollo-Athena node

As I sat there I felt a warm peaceful feeling take over me, I envisioned all the energies rising up from this place, the heat from the Earth rising up through this pyramid-like volcano, surrounded on all sides by sea and sky. All four elements were here in great abundance and this was surely one the key anchor points for the whole of the Apollo/Athena line, the wild energies of this place would be carried all the way along the line across Cornwall, France, Italy and Greece, into the Holy Land, bringing with it the peaceful energy of this place and the vitality of its raw nature!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Icelandic Elves

Today I'm in Iceland and I've been studying with Magnus at the Elf School! Magnus told me many stories about encounters with the elves, told me about some more magical places to visit in Iceland and showed me the rocks and mounds in Reykjavik where the elves still live. So I headed down the coast to Vik taking in some interesting elf locations along the way.

Elf Hill

This location has more elf stories associated with it than anywhere else in Iceland. On one occasion they actually tipped over a large cement truck for driving over the edge of their mound! 

The Gray Stone

The construction of this highway had to be halted due to all the trouble being caused by the elves. After a week of negotiation with the elves they finally relented and allowed the constructors to move the stones fifty metres out of the way, so here they still are!

Chicken Farm Stone

An elf came in a dream to a local farmer and told him not to harm this stone. When the new owners of the chicken farm decided to extend the barn and destroy this stone the chickens stopped laying eggs, hundreds of them! It lasted for weeks and was in all the newspapers as the 'chicken farm strike'! Scientists and others sent to investigate were baffled. Eventually the new owners relented and decided not to destroy the stone, and the chickens soon started laying again.

Eyjafjallajokull - Famous volcano since it's recent eruption!

Helgafell - Sacred Mountain 

Magnus told me about elves living in these cliffs

The story at Vik is about some fishermen who used to fish out in the bay, but the conditions there were quite treacherous so it was not uncommon that somebody would drown. One day a new fisherman joined the crew after just such a drowning, but he was different, he had the sixth sense and could see the elves. Each day he would watch the elves pushing their boat out to go fishing, and he would wave to them and say good morning.

These elves lived in the cliffs behind Vik and it is often said in Iceland that the elves live in the cliffs in an Otherworld realm.

One day the fisherman noticed that the elves were not putting their boat out and he warned the other crew members that something must be terribly wrong if the elves are not fishing. They had a vote and decided not to go out that day, but unfortunately their boss would not hear of any talk of elves and so he forced them to go out fishing.

The bay at Vik where the elves used to fish

The crew were afraid and so didn't go out far and kept close to the shoreline. Very soon an incredible storm blew up out of nowhere! The storm raged for a couple of days but the crew managed to make it to shore and took shelter. When they finally made it home their friends looked at them like they were ghosts because they were convinced that they must all have died out there.

Their boss was very sorry and said that he would take note of the advice of the elves in future, which he did, and so no one from Vik ever drowned again.

Although one day the elves did not go out even though the weather was fine with a clear blue sky. So the boss made them go out fishing that day and they fished all day and didn't catch a single fish! How the elves laughed at them when they got back, they knew there wouldn't be any fish out of there that day. Will the humans never learn!

This story took place at the beginning of the 20th century and was collected by Magnus from a first-hand account. He has been collecting these stories for many decades and has recorded thousands of interviews with eye witnesses during this time.

When I visited the cliffs at Vik I found a flat wall that appeared to me like a portal. I meditated there and had a vision of entering the cliff and passing down into the underworld through a cave. I had a vision of Fingals Cave on the Isle of Staffa near Iona, with the hexagonal basalt columns all around it. 

Portal to the Otherworld...

Not ten minutes after having this vision I noticed an information board which told of exactly such a cave in the next bay! I quickly drove around there and found the cave known as H√°lsenefshellir which was indeed composed of hexagonal basalt columns.

The cave has a legend associated with it telling of selkies that used to gather in there and leave their sealskins lying outside. One day a local man found them and stole one of the skins, when he came back the next day he found a naked woman looking terribly unhappy. He took her home and eventually they were married and had seven children, but inevitably one day she found her sealskin and returned to the sea. She quoted this rhyme:

"Woe is me!
I have seven children in the sea 
And seven on land."

She never came back to her husband but was on occasion spotted in the ocean looking towards her children on the land.

Quite a find, and a really magical place!

H√°lsenefshellir - the Selkie Cave

Basalt formations