Light Weaving

A Rainbow Journey in Britain and Ireland, 2009

To my fellow Pilgrims:

London’s Summer Solstice Dragon

This year’s journey took me to London for a workshop that found a Dragon Tree in Wandsworth Common. The ancestor-as-tree that we identified is holding the dragon energy at its base. Our tree guards the energy egg of the world in its roots. It is the tree that connected us all to the primordial energies of the elements through the dragon lineage. I came to London to support the remembering of this lineage among the circle of Light workers who attended our Solstice gathering. Merging with the dragon’s vast qualities and wisdom teachings brought us closer to the manifestation of those qualities in the world. We have been practicing our calling for many years now by drumming, dancing, and singing so that sleeping earth energies awaken and rise again. We practitioners need to be able to shape shift and merge with the spirits in order to move past the limitations of our fear.

This is one path of service to “all our relations” that can be enhanced by alignments of place, season and the body’s energy centres.

We can only commune with something that we accept in ourselves instead of labeling it as Other. The workshop provided a safe container for doing this. The Dragon qualities have been demonized in the West and we have forgotten how important this primeval energy is to the protection of the earth. If we are not harmony with all of our own “dragon qualities”* we can’t be in service to the larger alignments that create harmony needed for emotional, spiritual and environmental balance. .With archetypal energies protecting us, guiding us, healing us and giving us vision we become “expansive” and more spacious beings, that let our self consciousness fall away in service to the Highest Good. Everyone benefits from a society of fearless spiritual warriors that embody the wisdom and compassion of the Dragon. Our group brought the potential for that society forward during our weekend together. Each person carried a dragon wand home. The wands were made of found wood and were tied with ribbons that were blessed by the other participants.

Our wands are tools to help us direct and manifest the balance of energies needed at this time, within ourselves and in our environment. This is not an intellectual process but an instinctual process that serves to restore a dimension of our souls that got forgotten and/or lost in the changes that came to a Western culture more and more disassociated from the earth. May the wands be used to restore the soul of the earth and its beings.

I was completely entranced by the trees again in the common and let myself stay in tune with them as the week continued. The presence of these ancestors in the middle of the city keeps London in touch with its roots. I was in such gratitude to be staying in the area, surrounded by sacred artworks on the walls where I slept, encircled by green space and welcomed by old friends and people new to my acquaintance.

Oxford as Meeting Place

My personal pilgrimage continued in Oxford where i was invited to have tea with Caitlin Matthews. I had the pleasure of meeting her husband, John, who was going off to Croatia to investigate a tombstone of what possibly may be the earliest recorded historic Arthur that inspired Arthuric legends. The restoration of our origins is part of the contemporary shaman’s soul work, in which John and Caitlin are Pathfinders living Elders. They are shining the Light on the shamanic way of wisdom in order to bring its relevance to the awareness our modern society.

While at their place we had a chance to speak of “Returning to Our Roots”, a shamanic convergence planned for the 2009 Fall Equinox in Nova Scotia. The intention was that Caitlin would be our keynote presenter, and I was fortunate to spend time with her in anticipation of her first visit to Canada. Caitlin’s commentary on results of the convergence can see seen on the web site:

Devon’s Ancestors

 It was significant that our workshop in the town of Budleigh-Salterton started at a local community hall where people have been gathering for life’s passages and celebrations for many years, whether in the building or on the green. As soon as we formed our circle, the spirits of the ancestors joined us and we spent a wonderful morning journeying to greet them. We received personal support and encouragement from our own families’ grandfathers and grandmothers as well as the ancestors from other times and bloodlines. It felt like a promising beginning for the “Accord in the Land” experience.
One of my hosts, Sue-Claire Morris, has lived in the area for 9 years and has done a lot of research and living that guided our requests for cooperation from the local spirits. She and I had asked for permission the day before to be in the territory of the horses residing in a field next to a nearby forest. We took our group back to the site and drummed and journeyed together; we established a deep level of contact to the tree beings and joined our roots together with them so that we could sense our circle’s energy and connection even more strongly.

The horses appeared once more, both in spirit for the shamanic journey and in the flesh for our enjoyment of ordinary reality. One of the participants ran into the field like a wild flame and all time seemed suspended in bringing us to the moment. We spiritually entered the space and creature awareness of our four legged horse friends who spend time just being who they are with no self-consciousness, and with great connection to the All. We received this blessings of Oneness with them, each other, and all beings in the woods.

On the second day, a session was held in the hospitable warmth of Richard and Sue-Claire’s home. We were fortunate to be in a place where we could experience the physical embodiment of the family tree . We could feel the caring that went into stewarding the gardens and buildings. Our circle was supported and nurtured by all the years of intention that built a home and a family. We were feasting on bread baked right on the premises.
That morning’s exploration was a chance to contemplate that legacy of stewardship and to earth our intentions of joining together in community. We received more visions of ways in which we could be together again. We collectively saw a future that would include the creation of a local labyrinth and a healing centre in town.

The common vision was to keep in touch with a prayerful intent for community, to foster spaces where we could bring future group celebrations and rituals together, and to receive support by having a place in the circle where each individual could share his/her gifts.

One of the spiritual grandmothers of this Devon circle ended up coming to “Returning to Our Roots” in Nova Scotia this fall. Her return will occasion a weekend when she can “share her medicine” with the group: storytelling must happen to keep a community in touch and the grandmothers’ wisdom needs to be heard.

Stepping back a bit however, to the last afternoon of “Accord in the Land”, a winged one would have found most of us in the circle going to the site where the Otter River runs into the sea. We drummed and sang and danced our intentions to the spirits. We sat in circle and invited the rainbow of diversity.

Our prayers got so immediately answered that we could not keep from bursting into laughter: a procession of people from an obvious variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds started coming to the end of the beach we occupied. Someone was even carrying a huge rainbow umbrella!  We made eye contact with the people and realized that they were singing hymns that some of us remembered from our own families, and so we sang with them as they passed by our circle. It became evident that that a baptism was going to happen and our energies touched briefly before they went past us to the river for their ceremony.

Later we also immersed ourselves in the water and released and surrendered our own intentions to the spirit of the sea. Overseen by the Goddess carved by nature into the cliff, we let the Great Ocean Mother embrace our prayers and take them to the world on the wind and the waves.

In the completion of our circle we realized that we drawn together as a circle of soul friends and that we were constantly being given signs all weekend that we were to continue a legacy of caring for the land, of sharing in community, and that we were to continue to ground a common world vision.

Hand fasting

It was a privilege to attend a recommitment ceremony while in Budleigh-Salterton. My hosts and their children stood within a circle of friends to exchange vows and to celebrate the next spiral on their journey of marriage and life in a community that they have attracted and nurtured. This thread of partnerships and joining of the male and female principles kept appearing as I traveled.

Eden Project

Sue-Claire Morris, Zoe Hudson and I met up with a couple that I know who work at the Eden Project in Cornwall. These two wonderful people at Eden, their family, and my family had spent time in Botswana, Africa. in connection with an agricultural project, Thusano Lefatsang. My husband and I had volunteered for Canadian Crossroads International over twenty years ago and one of the gifts the experience brought us was this fine family of friends.

After our initial greetings of newcomers and oldcomers and photos over lunch, one of the pair went back to work and her husband led us to meet Diana, the storyteller and labyrinth steward at Eden. A couple of other young staff members were present and Diana was inspired to share some tales with us. Her experienced telling brought special magic to our informal circle. As a response, we three visitors wanted to honour her. We created a dance on the labyrinth as Maid, Mother and Crone. We all experienced a very sweet bit of timelessness under the withy bower, within the enclosure of the clay quarry that contains Eden, within in the spacious Cornwall countryside,. Like graduating circles, the energy of all of our group’s collective love and service to the natural world rippled out and returned, spiraling back around from moors and hills, to Eden’s china pit boundaries, to the arboured labyrinth, strengthening and focusing the alignment of the many aspirations shared that day.

The Shining Dark of Wales

My companion traveling with me in Wales had no idea that I would be the one so consistently moved to tears while we traveled through her country of residence. I could not seem to stop the waters from flowing and so I surrendered  to the many moments recognition to my soul. If there was a grail there, it flowed over.

We set off for our quest from an elven farm in the Southwest, where a dedicated couple keep in deep connection with a the beings of their land and surrounding forest. We were only two travelers in a procession of many guests whom the stewards had welcomed to their safe sanctuary over the years. It was a privilege to begin by meeting such highly conscious people who are “walking their talk” .

I was under the direction of my fellow traveler as Navigator, who chose the sites where we were to go.  We went North to Pistlyil Rhaeadr Waterfalls, one of the seven wonders of Wales. It is a well tended place that is protected by the gatekeepers. For us the falls create a veil to the Otherworld and many people bathe in the pool below the falls just for fun.

Our intention was to stay overnight in order to sleep in the mists of the waterfall and to understand more clearly through our dreams what had drawn us there. In the ordinary reality world a wedding was being held over the weekend. The celebration seemed auspicious to my friend who was going to get married later in the year. I got to go into the water below the falls very early in the wedding day, before the wedding party needed their camera space!

We two pilgrims started our day’s hike together by following the map drawn a local wizard who directed us to a faery stone circle above the falls. It was much like Lord of the Rings, in that there were clues, but we had to connect the dots intuitively and we had to face the challenges of the unknown. The eagles were on our side, so we ended up finding the circle from ‘above” where the winged ones reside. We co-created a whirling rainbow of energy above the hills and sent our dance and song prayers to the winds. Our spirits soared far above the Druid’s Cup, the vale below the falls. This valley, which is where we slept, helped create a container for visioning and spiritual training for our ancestors. We were benefiting by retrieving the remembrances of this within ourselves. We also could serve all beings by creating new layers of Light weaving, bringing in strands from North America and other lands we had traveled and practiced.

We asked to understand what is needed for present balance on the planet at this time so that we can respond to both the visible and the invisible worlds that we live in. When we forget our birthright, through losing our culture, losing our lands, and our “knowing.” we need to restore our ancestral memory and ask for support and to offer it back to the earth; we can heal the past and draw from an imagined future of wholeness because time is an illusion and we can stand in the future as well as the past. I believe that we will continue to need these re-weavings of the Light in the future, when because of world circumstances or our personal history we may be threatened by the illusion of disconnection from other beings.

The two of us as pilgrims will continue to be supported by these re-initiations that our ancestors gave us that day, and we will share them within our families and communities whether connected by blood, geography and/or values.
An elusive faery glen gave Great Mystery to our wanderings the next day or two as we wandered the local countryside yet even further north . There were many initiations of Maiden to Mother for my fellow seeker. I was honored to support her as the Crone that can hold the container, provide the gate keeping and be a midwife for the transitions. We were supported by Wales’ deep ravines and dark waterways, which were an external manifestation of the purification of our beings. Some comfort came from tears that sorrows bring, as we reconciled ourselves to the loss of the realms we remembered, and for the joy of our return. We felt the history of the people and the land that has held its secrets for the centuries and provided a place to protect the locales of the Shining Ones. We became immersed in the great cleansing and abundance of the element of water.

The rains came and went, and we kept releasing roses to the streams of life. We stood on the largest white quartz outcrop I have ever experienced, an overhang along the glen where we went on our second day in the area. The white quartz created a powerful energetic accompaniment to the current of rushing water below, a synthesis of fire and water, earth and intense music-filled sound. Deep in the glen there was a cavelet, and Otherworldly portals that held deep feminine polarity so that we could project our spirits and be literally thrown into the surrender of healing body and soul. We thank the person that owns the land and shares that last glen with visitors.

We spent a short time at Lake Balor. It was a cauldron that reminded me of my connection to Cerridwen and the stories I had heard of her in Canada and most recently at Eden in Cornwall.
When I stood on the grounds of Winifred’s Well at Holywell, and felt the faith and devotion of the pilgrims and the martyrs, I was overwhelmed by my own emotions again. We were fortunate enough to attend a service in the chapel and to hear the prayers of the other travelers, some of whom came for physical healing, as evidenced by wheelchairs.
A small boy dived into the public pool, against the order of the day, but as he splashed and kicked he created a thoroughly enjoyable the experience for all of us. I think everyone forgave him for trespassing into the schedule of when and when not to go into the water. He was following in the spirit and the footsteps of pilgrims who came to this place where even the Reformation could not stop them coming to seek their healing. Winifred has had her way for hundreds of years and is a very powerful lady.

Anglesey offered us a 7th century church and sea caves along the Northern Coast, facing the Isle of Man which lay beyond our horizon. As we walked along the cliffs past that church located at White Lady Bay, we decided to stop and listen to the faery realms. My companion picked up her harp and plucked the stings intuitively. She played to the dolphins and the seals, all the sea people, and to the realms beyond. The sound went out over the waters with the pulse of the sea caves under us, the grass blowing and the seagulls wheeling. We entered the net of Light that creates a protective dome over the island, where the Druids ‘threw” their sacred stories for etheric storage. The Romans perceived the Druids as muttering and incanting and little did they know, they were preserving the knowledge for the future. The contemporary Light workers like ourselves, could, with ancestral memory, come to retrieve the lost pieces.

We were told that the power plant on the bay is not real power, but that the power is in us, the people who have connection with the invisible world and with all that lies beneath the land and the waves as well as above.

The harp’s song was accepted and the response from the spirit world flowed back into us, messages about the White Dragon, the white mist, the White Lady, the Gwynefyr and Winnefryde....the knowing of other realms that is contained in the legends and history of the holy island, another training ground for those that held the energies of the elements and the weather in order to benefit the people.

We were gifted with the sight of the great White Lady rock in the bay when we returned from our excursion. The Lady stood alone, proud, apart from the shore, in her splendour, her presence regal and primeval at the same time.
The young woman who I traveled with on this journey is learning about the faery wheel directly from guides on the Other Side; her intuition drew her toward places where she would get many pieces of her "research” from her commitment to follow the guidance she was receiving, including inviting me as a supporting mentor. We are inheriting the earth and it is a blessing for me to witness the legacy being passed on and to encourage new visions and creations to emerge.

It was with great regret then that the following day we had to let the veil between worlds fall back again and to turn in different directions for the next part of the journey, hers to the South, mine North, toward Ireland.

Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains

Coming toward Ireland on the ferry from Holyhead to Dun Loghaire was just what I needed for a transition time. The blues and greens and buffs of the hills and harbour welcomed me in the soft light, and I looked forward to a restful train ride by the sea.

Meeting up with another young woman, this time in a town south of Dublin, meant that I went to Rathdrum for the next segment of the journey.

My companion and I spent time in the woods on Parnell’s Estate and met the nature spirits and the trees. A bird came to us and would not leave, hopping on our bodies and greeting us with such peace that a serene and cheerful mood prepared me for the day’s adventure.

We spent the day walking extensively and merging with the natural world of the woods and waters in the area. It reminded us of our sensuous nature and how we can express our Oneness with the marriage of the divine masculine and feminine principles. Again, I was in service to the spiritual journey of someone whose Inner Teacher is leading her to the lessons most needed for soul growth at this time.

Vale of Avoca

One of the sites I wanted to see about for future work was the Vale of Avoca where two rivers meet. My friend saw a water dragon there and we took turns dancing like sprites along the banks. As so often happens on these occasions just the right people come along in just the right numbers to enjoy what is happening spontaneously . It was a fairest of fair days and I will return.

Rainbow Bridging

After I took leave of Rathdrum and my fellow traveler, I met up with Dermot O’Hara from the Celtic Rainbow School of Shamanism. His lodge and tipis are at the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, outside Dublin. We spend time asking the spirits to guide is on our weekend together with his second year group, and then were off to Glencree to settle in and to prepare further.

We danced, drummed and told stories around the parallel spirit wheels, looking at the Celtic and Native traditions of the sacred hoop. Our alignment of day and place was tied to a sundance I am a part of in Alberta, and to the day of the Orangeman’s parade, held not only in Belfast but also historically in Canada as well. My grandparents were Orange Lodge members and so I was raised to recall the significance of that date all my life. In order to make peace with our history I brought my apologies to Dermot’s circle, supposing that it is likely that my ancestors had been on the warring side of something that has wreaked so much pain in Ireland and among the descendants of the Roman Catholic and Protestant families involved in a dark history together. Our ancestors need to hear us reconcile and we need to take responsibility for our historical biases and behaviors in order to clear them from the energy field of the earth.

Dermot shared that he dreamed of a rainbow bridge with the word “EarthSea” on it. I reminded him of the EarthSea intentional community building that took place on one piece of land for a decade, and that has now become an intention for community that is much more expanded. We don’t have “members” but we have a legacy of community intention that is shared by many circles. Another part of our extended community was dancing at that sundance in Alberta. We offered up our prayers to them in the sweat lodge and could feel that the dancers were being blessed by cool temperatures. Maybe we took out some of the heat!

Near the end of the second day of our weekend we met within the standing poles of the larger tipi that Dermot wants to maintain next year. We did some letting go ceremonies and a welcoming ceremony for Freya Fee, a child from North America that was born around that time.  Her spirit was present with us as a newborn child of the Light. Somehow Dermot and I embodied the godparents, the grandparent aspects of the sacred circle and  in that way we acknowledged our ancestors coming back through us and our people. We acknowledged the weaving of the medicine wheel of the Americas and the spirit wheel of the indigenous people of Ireland.

It was both a time of letting go and of new beginnings, sitting in awareness that that as a group that we were recognizing the passing of what was, and sending an invitation to what can be.

Dermot said there would be a rainbow before the end of the weekend.

Saying good bye without seeing it “yet” was part of the challenge of leaving: the future was hidden again.  Saying goodbye was very difficult because I had felt welcomed and nurtured by the benefit of Irish hospitality. I felt the potentials of the future in spiritual gifts of the group.  I appreciated their natural humor, and their dedication and commitments.

I was a little sad on the ride to Dublin until the woman who drove me pointed and exclaimed, “There is its! The rainbow, right over there!” Her finger stretched toward the place where I was going to stay overnight. One end of the rainbow went right into the roof of the place, Dublin Bay a smoky blue in the background. We called Dermot to tell him what we were seeing, and I thanked the spirits for affirming our connection to the sky spirit’s manifestation of peace within diversity.

The completion of my journey began when I met my husband who had danced again at the sundance. We were showered with abundnce of love and storytelling during a four day retreat that we took for ourselves. Our one visit was to see our granddaughter who had spent months in the hospital as a preemie. It was wonderful to see her in her own home.
David told that the sundancers had seen a double rainbow and so they were holding the other end of the etheric one that went from Ireland to Alberta. Two of our Nova Scotia sundance group were joined in marriage under the sundance tree, also weaving more threads of Light and joining the masculine and feminine. By each of us going where we were guided, we were joined in the Light. The commonality of our experiences, physically far from one another, put us in a good space for a shamanic convergence in the fall. EarthSea as an ecovillage is a past incarnation but its intentions have been folded into the embodiment of community spirit within many circles, under the rainbow's blessing.

The rainbow is an expression of Light that shows us the potential to be diverse and to be One. It is not limited to one culture, sex, age, to one’s material wealth, formal education, status in the world, it is for all nations and for the Seeker in me.

In gratitude,
Nancy Dancing Light
October, 2009