I’ve always enjoyed going out into the local city parks and, with dowsing rods in hand, exploring the energetic lines, spots and Fey places I can find. It’s my own form of what I guess you could call Urban Druidism or Urban Shamanism. I imagine it could be called all sorts of things (lunacy, perhaps?) but the above sounds like it fits the best overall. My posts about my work with Grandmother Tulip fall into this category.
After a move a little over a year ago, I felt pulled towards a small wooded area that sits on the edge of town. The park is a short walk from my front door, no more than ten minutes. There is an area that most people use but there are also woods attached to it. Most do not even think about it or even see it and it was only after I was poking around on Google Earth that I first thought to explore it. My first encounter with the energy there was after a major snowfall in the recording setting winter of 2013/2014. We had moved there in the Fall and early in January of 2014, I woke up and felt a forceful pull to head out into that small woodland regardless of the nearly two feet of snow on the ground.
Due to the snow, I could find no pathways to follow and simply let the rods take me through the cold, white wood. That morning was a magical visit as I was the only one fool enough to be out on a day like it. The woods after such a snowfall were quiet, hushed and I literally had the entire place to myself. I was led to a small space, completely encircled by dried briar and bramble and hidden from any paths or view. There I also found what appeared to be the remains of an old, small, lean-to shelter perhaps made by a homeless person? I was told this was a special place and that I would be shown this place again when I was ready. As I thanked the spirits of the place for showing it to me, a small snow junco landed on a branch next to me and twittered at me. Even now, in the re-telling, it feels like I dreamed it and, funny enough, I’ve not found that spot again after repeated visits. I’ve been told (after a series of questions with the rods) that I should stop looking for it for now. It will be revealed in time.
After that first experience, I’ve been back a few times but life distractions nudged me away from really focusing on the area last year. Now, with the dawning of the Spring energy this year, I vowed to make it a priority of my field work. I am told I am to learn of the area and “ken” it. In Old English, ken means, “to know” or “make to know.” So, I was to set about “kenning” the little valley.
My first hint that I had stumbled (been led) to something strong was when I returned in the following Spring after that first winter trip. Following the actual human-made path I discovered what I now call the Guard Gate. This consists of two very large poplar trees that bracket the pathway. With dowsing I discovered that there is, indeed, a gate there and that this gate is the magical “opening” into the small valley. More recently, with dowsing questions and some meditations, I was told the following. If you do not recognize this gate, if you simply plow through it, then you are simply a mundane visitor and will not be “recognized” in return by the spirits in the valley. If you do, however, stop and recognize the gate, you will be noticed in return.
The idea of a gate or an “entrance way” was not foreign to me but it was the first time it was explained to me in such clarity and with such immediate and obvious effects. For instance, upon recognizing the gateway, the sun will frequently pass out of clouds and bathe the area in sunshine, a mysterious wind will blow on a calm day and, the most dramatic and recent, a red-tailed hawk flew directly over my head and down the path.
Earlier this month, I went on my first “exploratory” visit in kenning the area. When I stopped at the Guard Gate to pay my respect my gaze was drawn, after the initial hello, to the skeleton of a dead deer on the other side of the left-handed Guardian. Near the skeletal remains was a single crow feather. I was told that the deer had come here to die during the winter and after being hit by a car on the nearby road. I was asked to help clear some of the residual energy left there and help any remaining spirit energy be “sent on it’s way” to clear things for the Spring. The Guardians, and the Wood as a whole, felt “sad” about the event. I place sad in quotations because it’s the only emotion which comes close to what I was feeling. For some reason, only two things would have cleansed the energy of the death, Time or a human who was able to do so. That day, the human was me.
I did so, of course, and directly afterwards a wind blew through the tops of the trees. A sign of acknowledgement and it was at that moment I felt these particular woods “open” to me. Throughout that visit, I was led, via the rods, to two other skeletons in the wood and asked to do the same. One was what appeared to be a cat skeleton (I had the intuitive sense that it was from the apartments at the top of the ridge above it and the energy was still lightly tied to it’s owners which I untangled) and the other a opossum or raccoon. It was if the Wood itself was saying,”Since you straightened that mess at the gate could you get this, and this, and this…?
All said and done it had the feeling of a Spring Cleaning to the whole event. (I want to note here that I did not ask, “Show me other skeletons.” I simply stated a typical phrase I use, “Show me what I need to see/do next.”) That day wrapped up with the rods taking me to a spot in the creek. I had thought I would find a nice crystal, a fossil or a geode. Instead, I found a broken piece of a primitive artifact. That afternoon I went home and began to wonder, “What have I stumbled onto here?”
On my second visit the next day, I was shown the Guardians were only a set of markers on a line that intersected the human pathway. In investigating it I found it was not a ley line or an energy line. It was a boundary line, a kind of marker or fence. I’ve been told it marks the sacred area from the “normal” area and that it works in conjunction with the Gate. I’ve spent two visits there charting the boundary line and I’ve found all manner of interesting similarities and repetitions. I’ll talk about these in upcoming posts. Also while exploring I’ve been led to at least three different springs, one of which is still flowing from underground and bringing up crystal bits and fossils. All of this within a roughly 1,000 x 1,000 foot area!
In meditation while in those woods, I’ve been told that I am welcome to make this a place to do sacred work, my Glen or Grove, if you will. I am not entirely sure where as there are many people that walk through the woods. However, At the end of my last visit, I was walking out along the main human path. I’d been in the wood for several hours and was in a very peaceful state. I’m not sure why but I stopped dead in my tracks and my head spun to the left. It was if I had become the dowsing rods! I was being pulled off the main path and as I looked I saw nothing particular. I just knew I needed to follow so I stepped off the turf path.
I was led to a beautiful clearing that was placed directly up against the small eastern ridge/rise of the valley. From there a small spring had cut a creek and the clearing was right next to this. I felt an intense wave of peace and calm and I was told that this was one of “the places” I was to be shown. I could come back to this place anytime and I was being encouraged to come and stay here “for days” if I wished. (I kept getting the image of a small fire and a camp. Not that I would camp in a city park but the nature spirits here made it very clear they did not care about the park regulations or Man’s laws.) They made clear I was welcome. As I always ask permission about taking pictures or video, I was told that neither would be allowed in this spot. So, unfortunately, you’ll just have to go by my descriptions for the time being.
The adventure this year has just started. I’ve asked permission of the land if it is alright to share my experiences there both past and future and it has given it. This is somewhat unusual as I’m often told “No.” One of the only other places that has granted permission was Grandmother Tulip. Typically, there is a larger reason for the permission given. I’ve learned not to question it but to always ask regardless! I’m looking forward to being able recount the trips and to share in my experiences. Who knows what lies ahead?