Reclaiming the Dragon Path

A Water Dance : Celtic England, Wales, Brittany, Ireland

April-May, 2011

Dragon This journey through England, Wales, Brittany and Ireland had so many surprises in its intent, manifestation and implications that I have just begun to be able to write about now with some sense of "what did we do!" Maybe because dragon sized writing is a challenge and because of course we will never know the end of the story until the end of time! It is that simple. And it is that far reaching.

To seek out the path of the dragon and embody it on sites that aligned with our own energies, was an approach that took the co-operation of many people; the 9 women who were called to service came forward when the intention was set or identified themselves by persisting in their determination to practice. They are named below and their participation is described briefly. You can find out more about their individual work and/or statements about this journey on this website: Carla, Prune, Zoe, Sue-Claire, Tina, Emma, Allison, Lucie & Brenda.

Read more background to the Path of the Dragon, and our choice of the Water element, here.

There are more layers to this than I can mention but I also wanted to say that number 9 is also a powerful number in both Celtic and Eastern culture and so having 9 creatrix for this exploration, added a matrix of dynamism that followed our ancestors' lead and created a powerful container.

Prune HarrisPrune Harris was guided to initiate our container on the lands. She was accompanied by Tara in England, Wales and Brittany and initiated the water work on the lands that we were all involved with for the means of this journey. You can read about it on her website. She continues to hold energy for wellness and for the potential of the light within the element of water to reach everyone and everything that needs to "remember" the template of its wholeness and wellness.

Carla J SilverCarla Silver (Dancing Rainbow Dragon) was holding the ground for us at home in Nova Scotia; this involved more firekeeping than she anticipated but by her devotion she learned a great deal and gave us an energetic link to Turtle Island and to the sacred flame of the earth protector through the lineages of our created world.

Root: Cornwall: Prune and I met for Spring Equinox in Cornwall and started with a ceremony at Land's End, where you see the large dragon's head in the photo. When I passed the pipe to her one time during our evening, the full moon rose over her shoulder. The smoke did not want to end, the spirits were very strong. We went to several sacred wells and to a fogou. Prune's roots are in Cornwall and so I felt the benefit of having a Cornish woman deepen our practice. We were joined by Ben and Zoe who took us to Church Beach and to Zennor to see the mermaid (see photos). We were at many stone sites during the few days were were there, including St. Michael's Mount, where we felt the north/south alignment of sacred places.

Sacral: Dartmoor was the site of 9 Maidens Circle where Sue-Claire hosted and assisted at our workshop. We ended our two days with powerful, sensuous dancing at Spinster's Rock.

Tina CockettSolar Plexus: Guildford: Tina Cockett was my guide to the local pilgrimage site at St. Martha's church near Guildford.St. Martha tamed the dragon but local folk killed it, so we saw in the ancient story that sometimes the spiritual leaders are aware of something that everyone is not ready for and so we must all have patience with ordinary time. We held a 7 Sisters workshop during our time with the dragons and faery energies of the area. The group enjoyed a local community hall and environs that included a spring and another dragon hill. The folklore of the dragon is still strong in that area and the Anglo Saxons certainly would have not been surprised to hear of dragons appearing in that part of the countryside.

Heart: Glastonbury and Avebury: The heart of the Western Mystery Schools is in Glastonbury and so three of us from Canada went to the Tor and the Well and to the Avebury circle to appreciate that and the energy we were carrying to blend waters, cultural beliefs about dragons, and our intentions for healing of the heart. In this way Allison, Lucie and I also took care of ourselves before joining the others in Wales.

Throat: Wales: From Pentre Ifan to Newcastle Emyln, we found the sites that connected us with the ancestors and were welcomed to a contemporary Dragon Festival site. The founder of the festival, Pamela, invited us to sit in the dragon's egg, and we danced under the stars. We stayed at Godremamog Water Mill, a little paradise which we highly recommend. Our local guides in Wales were Emma and her husband James and baby Oisian. [See Emma's beautiful proposal for the Wales part of our journey - PDF.]

Describing the beauty and mystery of Wales only whets the appetite to go there and experience it. We were in good company for the Throat Chakra, with poets and singers with us as well as the tradition of the bard extending from ancient times.

Third Eye: Brittany: The Third Eye was in Brittany where we were seeking the LIght. Mont St. Michel was at the other side of the Celtic sea from its English partner. The Welsh fled to Brittany in the 8th century and so Merlin and Arthur followed to the Foret du Brocieliande (today's Forest of Paimpont). We went all the way to Carnac on the coast and visited many, many shrines, including one for those who have perished in motorcyle accidents. It was one of the most moving places for me to visit and I realized that the drivers were the knights of the road who still embody that sense of adventure when our modern culture has given us few other knightly opportunities to travel and be brave in what the road brings.

Lucie Brunet initiated and assisted the process not only because she is bilingual in French and English but also because she set her hand to seeding new relationships with the land and the people. We had third traveller with us to create the sacred triangle of energy and to enjoy the faery legacy. Those wonderful allies and new friends emerging to support our intention came to us at times when we needed more energy to accomplish our purpose, including a Welshman with ancient druid teachings, a man from Paris who brought Egyptian energy to our circle, a healer and artist we dubbed the Dragon Man, Pauline, who holds many ritual circles, another group of 3 women who intuited that we would arrive, and a group of shamans who have initiated a very powerful and compassionate healing path. One of their members is Chinese and our work with them opened a door to her own cultural inheritance around the dragon. The story has not ended.

Trees and Light: I must speak of the trees again, because they are central to our existence; they hold water and the water around them must be unpolluted, they help us breathe, they are joining heaven and earth, and the land must have trees to survive this century. In Brittany, some of the forests were desolate and unloved and some had presence because the trees were honored. This is an important part of our heritage that cannot be replaced by any other. I had visited Windhorse Farm for a blessing before departure. I wanted to root myself in the reality of that land before leaving. Jim and Margaret embody the stewardship that I hope for all trees to experience during their tree-lives, an enlightened stewardship and reciprocal energy being exchanged.

Crown: Ireland: I had four days on my own at Tara, staying on the hill at the B and B with Joan and her family who have shown us such hospitality over the years that it keeps me coming back. I walked in many directions, taking in the healing energy of the trees, the place and the stories of Martin and Nora, who are, in their own description, native guides for the hill and surroundings. [Their website:]

After Easter, Brenda Marita Mason assisted me with this crowning part of the pilgrimage. That is what some of those wild pictures are of us claiming our power, Maeve-like, based on hearing the land. The kings were not allowed to rule unless they married the goddess, the land, and it is metaphor for all of us needing to look at what responsibility that entails if we are to be monarchs of our own lives.

Donegal was the first leg of the pilgrimage where we experienced a reconnection to the stunning landscape of our forefathers and mothers. Brenda reclaimed her O'Donnell heritage (photo left). The three of us who went to Donegal were met by Sue-Claire and we settled in Roscommon until our last night staying at Rock O'Doon Lodge, which is within sight of Loch Key, near Boyle. Tom Brown, our landlord, hosted us for an unforgettable walk at Carrowkeel around sunset near the end of our journey. Meanwhile we went to the Famine Museum near Tulsk and to many places within Rathcroghan, making peace with the ancestors and not only our blood heritage but with the human creative spirit in all of us.

Brigit's Garden had to be visited before we left that area of Galway/Mayo; my last time at the garden was a solitary journey until joined by two dogs, white and black (see description 2006). We will seek this memorable site in 2012 again as a testimony to the vision of the founder, the inspiration of the garden and what it holds for our future.

The stop at the Hill of Uisneach on our last day nearly blew us off the map because we had become very lyrical and the energy there was more direct; the steward of the land, David Clark, let us through the gates where the Fire Festival had taken place a few days beforehand, and there was plenty of leftover fire. We went to the Stone of Divisions as part of our direction back to the center. Brenda offered up a pipe that deepened our ties to the land and its people and that carried the rainbow back to Turtle Island. We stayed on the hill of Tara the last night for closure at the Eye Well (St. Patrick's). Many waters of many lands were carried with us; and we merged with the spirit of the waters in its snake-like essence of flow.

The dragon was fierce, gentle, airy, grounding, teasing, challenging, firey, watery, always moving and changing, as we followed its path through the lands where people know that it still lies, in the lochs, in the hills, in the sky.

I had made a watercolor before I left that tells you what it wants to be, instead of me imposing an image on it. I let the dragon emerge on its own; it was in a cliff by the sea. There it is in landscape itself, on the side of a hill in Mayo not far from Croagh Patrick.

Full circle came round and yet it does not end here but in many places where the dragon has been stirred. Many hearts hold the courage of the dragon and ability to face fear. We are helping one another through the course of life's journey. The quality of the experience that we shared through our pilgrimage is that of people coming together and staying in their hearts, no matter what the journey brings, together in one place or long distance through prayers. It is a meeting of the past, where our ancestors walked, and an experience of spontenaeity as we traveled to find the unexpected, like the beating of the earth's heart under a full moon in a valley in Brittany. We are open to the moment now, some of us birthed on Turtle Island to make a new blend of DNA and experience. This converging forms the future because it is shaped by our powerful intentions and actions, which I hope are as big as the dragon and beyond that which we have imagined yet.

By working with weather, with the elements, we can bring harmony to the earth and not be afraid to work with our powers or our responsibilities. We can continue to clear our personal energy centers and to make space for more Light. We can become more conscious of our choices if we follow a dragon path of rainbow energy that embraces every living being in a great generosity of spirit.

Nancy Dancing Light

Read more from Nancy about the intention and preparation for the pilgrimage