Friday 18 November 2011

North Wales - Holy Wells and a Holy Mountain

After my experience with Gwyn ap Nudd on Dinas Bran I travelled over North Wales visiting several of the holy wells there.

St. Tecla's Well (where epilepsy could be cured by carrying a chicken under your arm!) was in a small village and seemed to be well looked after.

St. Dyfnog's Well was in a magical wooded gully behind a church and has a large bathing pool where I was guided to go in and take an icy dip! I amplified the healing properties of the water here using my wand.

St. Trillo's well was in a tiny chapel on the seashore, in the smallest church in Wales! Legend states that St. Trillo was drawn to the well by a column of light issuing forth from the ground. I ended up sitting through a Eucharist service here in order to sample the well's water's! I didn't feel like St. Trillo made me feel welcome there though.

St. Tudno's Well, on the Great Orm's Head, was overgrown and forgotten, but somehow clogged up with plastic rubbish which I spent some time removing.

Next on my list was St. Seriol's Well at Penmom Priory on the island of Anglesey. I was quite excited to be going to Anglesey, and my first view over the Menai Strait was directly towards the remote corner of the island where Penmon Priory lay.

After crossing the Menai bridge I arrived at Penmon Priory quite late in the day. After a quick look at the ancient and impressive dovecote I went directly over to the holy well, which lay just behind the priory. The short winter day was already drawing to a close, but a family was there already, the children gazing at the coins deposited in the crystal-clear waters of the well, so I took the opportunity to explore the area around the well and look back towards the priory.

When I returned the family had gone, so I finally had the place to myself.

I sat on the stone seat inside the wellhouse and meditated.

I didn't get any messages in there but was drawn instead to the circular foundations outside, the remains of the ancient hermit's cell of St. Seriol.

The cell seemed to be filled with  a yellow, glowing light, which flickered inside golden tendrils. I cautiously stepped into the energy of the cell and stood directly in its centre, where I planted my wand purposefully into the ground. Golden energy then seemed to fan out from my wand in all directions, like the spokes of a great wheel, connecting it to the walls of the cell. A beam of white light then shot out from the tip of my wand, directly upwards, seemingly all the way up to the stars. My wand now seemed to be connected to a distant star hidden deep in the heavens, and it felt like some kind of communication was going on, like my wand was receiving a download of some sort. The communication finished, but I didn't quite know what any of it meant, it felt like whatever information my wand was now carrying was there for me to use somehow.

I decided to get out my dowsing rods to try to find out what was going on here. I summoned the white light down from the sky into my rods, like I always do, and put up my protections, but instead of the energy entering into the crown of my head as it usually does, it landed in front of me and instantly transformed into the glowing white image of Merlin!

Merlin spoke to me. He told me I had performed my tasks well. I had not abused my power, and was ready to ascend to the next level. I would become Merlin! What did he mean by this? He told me to go to the highest point on Ynys Mon and meet him there.

I walked back to my car in the gloomy twilight and said hello to the local cat, who seemed to be waiting for me and was meowing loudly. I sat in the car and got out my map. The weather was cold and damp, and I could feel a cold coming on. I did not relish the prospect of having to climb a mountain! Luckily for me though Anglesey (Ynys Mon) does not have any mountains as such, just some moderately high hills!

A quick search on the internet soon directed me to Holyhead Mountain, the highest point on Anglesey. Although not strictly on Anglesey, as Holy Island is separated from Ynys Mon by a narrow strait, I instinctively knew that it was the right place. The Holy Island! Where else? It's name goes back to ancient druids when Anglesey was the holiest place in Wales, and Holy Island was the holiest place on Anglesey! Truly a place of power!

So I started the engine and drove over to Holyhead in the dark, and awaited the dawn.


It was a chilly, windy, damp day in late November. My throat was getting sore, my nose runny and my limbs achy, so I drove as near as I could to Holyhead Mountain, up a farm track near its south face. The mountain looked daunting, with sheer rock faces, but my map indicated a path of some sort to the top, so off I trotted, feeling better with each step I took into the clean fresh air.

I walked over to a craggy point on the east of the hilltop and stood facing into the strong wind. I held my wand in front of me and meditated while the wind buffeted me. Soon I could hear myself chanting, a deep guttural tone sung directly into the wind, which seemed to carry it right through me and deep into the mountain.

"The old ones would awaken!" I thought as I heard the sound reverberating through hidden underground caverns.

Then Merlin appeared before me, a giant, huge and powerful, composed entirely of white light. I rose up in size to meet him, Aurvandil, tall and powerful also, another glowing giant of light. We stood there facing each other on the mountaintop, as equals. Merlin praised me again, and told me that I had now achieved my initiation. He told me I could now ascend to the next level. He touched a blue teardrop crystal that sat on my forehead and it glowed. Was this my third eye opening? Had I now come full circle? From my initiation in Merlin's Cave to my ascension on Holyhead Mountain?

The blue gem on my forehead glowed brightly, as did the white crystal on my wand. They both glowed brilliantly with a blinding light. I raised my wand into the air and called down a huge and powerful column of white light from the sky which filled the whole mountain with its energy. So powerful was the energy that soon the whole island seemed to be filled with it. I connected this place of power into the grid of energy, but somehow this felt different, not just a node of energy but an entire hub, huge and powerful. The holy island of the druids, the power centre of Anglesey, the power centre of Wales, the Holy Isle of Merlin! As the energy coursed through me I could feel my body trembling as the huge column of light passed through me, into the mountain and then out into the web that covered the whole earth.

As the energy slowly faded I could feel myself returning to my own body again, back to the windswept mountaintop and the wild nature of the island of Britain. My body had been shaking but now I felt calm. Merlin told me that my task for the present time was now done. I should relax now and await further instructions.

I started to set off walking back down the mountain but soon came to a pool that I hadn't noticed on my way up. I felt compelled to place a crystal in the pool and some of the water from St. Trillo's well. This mountain would now become a magical place I thought, full of dancing lights and strange energies and phenomena. Local people would notice the difference, the old magic would return.

As I reached the bottom I looked back up at the summit. In my mind's eye I could still see the giant forms of Merlin and Aurvandil standing up there.

"Once giants walked the earth," I thought.

And maybe soon they will again...


Rob Wildwood (Aurvandil) has now released a book containing hundreds of his own stunning full colour photos of many of the magical places he has visited in his travels. The images capture the magic and mystery of each place and are enhanced by extracts of local folklore that reveal the magical lore of each place and tempt deeper investigation. Every site listed has full directions and map grid references that can be checked online, so join Rob Wildwood as you discover Britain's magical places at

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Castell Dinas Bran - Gwyn ap Nudd

Castell Dinas Bran near Llangollen in Wales is where St. Collen was invited to the court of the fairy king Gwyn ap Nudd. Legend says that he climbed the hill and entered a magnificent kingdom of richly attired courtiers where he was offered all the food, drink and entertainment his heart could desire by the fairy king who was seated upon a golden throne; but St. Collen refused to believe the illusion and threw holy water over them all to make them disappear.

I arrived in Llangollen on a dank, cold, misty afternoon in November. It was already getting late so it didn't seem like the right time to head up to the summit. I contented myself instead with wandering around the fairy-haunted woods below. Local folklore tells of an ancient walnut tree near Llandyn hall where the fairies used to hold their weddings at night.

I found a likely looking spot that fit the description, but the tree was no longer there. It was chopped down in the 19th century, but not before the fairies had their revenge, as a man was killed by a falling branch during the process!

I reached the base of Dinas Bran but the summit was barely visible through the mist, just a hint of ruined walls visible now and then. A sheep coughing sounded eerily human, the atmosphere was sombre. I could sense the presence of the fairy king up there but now was not the time to pay him a visit, I would return the next day.


I was greeted in the morning by bright sunshine, what a relief! I set off early to Dinas Bran and parked in a lane behind the hill to save on climbing time. The valley below me was still filled with the early morning mist, so I wandered down through the fairy woods to soak up the atmosphere.

I recalled another tale told of Dinas Bran where a shepherd had an encounter with the fairy folk in a wooded glade called Nant Yr Ellyllon. He met a small man playing the most magical music on a fiddle while the fairies danced all around. Unable to resist he joined in the dance and was unable to stop until his master arrived in the morning and broke the spell.

I sat in the woods above Llandyn Hall and meditated, hoping to make some connection with the Fae there, but all I could sense was Gwyn ap Nudd up on the hilltop, waiting for me! Clearly that was where I was meant to be!

I couldn't put it off any longer so up I climbed. The walk was a lot less difficult than I thought it was going to be, so I soon found myself near the top. I came first to the shallow remains of a ditch, that probably once surrounded the ancient hillfort that crowned this hill. I felt like I should say some words before I stepped inside, so I circled the ditch chanting:

"Gwyn ap Nudd,
Lord of Annwn,
I ask your permission to enter!"

I could feel the energy building, something big is about to happen! I stepped forward: "I am Aurvandil, the luminous wanderer. I come here bringing the light. The light of the evening star. The light from above."

I approached an archway in the ruined walls of the ancient castle.

Gwyn ap Nudd is standing there in his shining black armour and greets me: "You are most welcome here Aurvandil!"

I walk through the archway and feel myself stepping into another world.

A large banquet hall is filled with much revelry and music. I sit at the high table besides Gwyn ap Nudd and he offers me food and wine. I feel like I am a powerful and respected lord like him, my white silks contrasting with his magnificent black armour.

I stand up and my crystal-tipped wand glows brilliantly in my hand as I hold it aloft.

"I come here to bring the light and the energy you need!"

"No longer must you live underground. It is time to return to the world above!"

The hall erupts into a loud cheer as they hold their drinks aloft and celebrate.

I open my eyes and find that I am not alone in Castell Dinas Bran. A German photographer is there, taking photos for an article about Arthurian sites in Wales. The castle is linked to the grail legends through its association with King Bran. I'm hoping that he's going to leave soon so that I can perform my ritual in peace, but he lingers, taking photos of the fort from every possible angle.

I can feel the Fae growing restless: "What is he waiting for?" they say.

Eventually I can wait no longer and with the photographer still hanging around the periphery I step into the centre of the fort and start to tune in to the energies. I can feel the energy building like a lightning storm about to explode. I start to feel light-headed and cast a circle around me. I raise my wand above my head and as I do so the lightning strikes! The energy courses through me directly into the hill, a massive amount of energy!

I plant my wand into the ground to anchor the energies there. All the while the energy is still flowing down from the sky into the ground, filling the whole hill with a matrix of white light. I can feel the Fae being transformed into beings of light, and see them flowing out of the hillside in great streaming, serpentlike torrents, up into the sky.

Gwyn ap Nudd stood before me, no longer dark he was now composed entirely of white light covered in streams of iridescent colours like some being from another dimension. He thanked me for what I had done. I could now see the web of light connecting this hilltop with countless similar places of power all over the world. The Unity Consciousness Grid! Was this it? I had just been reading about it, and how it was preparing the world for the shift in consciousness and the ascension the next level of being. Was I here in Britain doing my own small bit to contribute, like so many other lightworkers all over the world? I had just been reading about how the ancient Maya had been exiled underground, awaiting the fifth world when they could return to earth as beings of light. Were the Fae our version of the ancient Maya? Weren't they also forced underground long ago, and were they not now returning?

Suddenly everything that I had been doing was starting to make sense. Anchoring energies. The grid. The return of the Fae. Raising the consciousness of the people by energising the water. The ascension. Those that will rise to the next level and those who will be left behind. A new world created. Nature in harmony, vibrant and alive. The Lord of the Wild claiming back is domain. The Fae who will once more walk over the face of the earth, and the enlightened ones who will create a new world!

Looking around the castle I notice a little enclosure that looks like a shrine, it is facing due west. I leave an offering there and give thanks.

I walk down the hillside and watch two jays chasing each other through the trees. The magical wooded glade ahead is surely Nant yr Ellyllon as mentioned in the folk tales. The glade of the shining ones, where if you're not carefull you'll spend all night dancing with the fairies!


Rob Wildwood (Aurvandil) has now released a book containing hundreds of his own stunning full colour photos of many of the magical places he has visited in his travels. The images capture the magic and mystery of each place and are enhanced by extracts of local folklore that reveal the magical lore of each place and tempt deeper investigation. Every site listed has full directions and map grid references that can be checked online, so join Rob Wildwood as you discover Britain's magical places at

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Craig y Ddinas Fairy Fort

The vale of Neath in South Wales has long been held to be a place of special enchantment and has many tales attached to it regarding the fairy folk, but the central place of enchantment in the whole valley is the fairy fort of Craig y Ddinas, said to be the last stronghold of the fairies in Wales.

I arrived there on an early November afternoon under an overcast sky. The minor road through the village of Pontneddfechan led over a bridge to a small car park right at the base of the craggy hill. A couple of climbers wearing hard hats were scaling one of the rock faces, while another rock face had been completely covered over in a wire mesh, presumably to avert rockfalls. This was disappointing, I was hoping to have the place to myself, and fairies really don't like iron!

I avoided the climbers and managed to find a small trail to the right that seemed to lead right up the side of the hill. As I crept up the path got steeper and the rocks got slippier, until eventually I was climbing on all fours, hauling myself up the side of the crag through narrow gaps in the rocks or around precipitous ledges.

With relief I made it to the top and admired the spectacular view. It was then that I noticed that this rocky promontory sat in a fork between two rivers that joined together just beyond the car park. I had always found these no-man's lands in the fork between two rivers to be especially magical places, and in that respect this was the most magical place of it's type I had ever been to! I could clearly hear the roaring of the rivers on either side of the fort, even though they were out of view down deep wooded gorges.

Closing my eyes I stood there on the summit of this high windy place and tuned in to the energies. I was immediately transported to the face of the cliff, just in front of where I was standing. Floating there in mid-air I saw a fairy door open in the cliff face before me, so after a slight hesitation I stepped inside.

The interior of the hill contained a rabbit-warren of dark corridors populated by elves in dark shiny armour, who all seemed to be preoccupied, either going about their business or just standing there as if on guard. I didn't find anyone to talk to and soon found myself transported back outside to the summit where my physical body was still standing.

My guide Atheron was there, himself one of the 'dark elves' he told me to link this fort to the others, as I had done oftentimes before.

"The dark elves are hidden here, not departed," he told me. "Connect them to the web!"

I raised my wand over my head and did as I was instructed, bringing down the pure white energy from the sky, conducting it through my own body, and down into the ground through my feet where it entered the chambers below me. The energy then spread out in many directions on beams of white light, connecting this fort with all the other high places I had visited, both in this land and in others, linking it in to the web which now seemed to cover the entire earth.

Then I remembered the tale associated with this fort of the sleeping knights of King Arthur who are said to dwell within it. All at once I knew! The knights had now been awakened! The knights were the fae! Sleeping, waiting for the day when they would return once more to the surface as beings of light.

I wandered over to the very edge of the cliff and sat with my legs wrapped around a young oak tree which was perched precariously over the void.

I was sitting right on top of where I now knew the fairy gateway to be. I could see the car park far below my feet and the forest rolling off into the distance ahead of me. Below and to my left I could see a long slope of bare rock reaching all the way from the clifftop to the base of the hill. Closing my eyes I could the days of long ago when beings of light happily danced and played and span cartwheels down the long slope, to the amazement of any local people who happened to be out wandering on these auspicious nights.

With a slight sense of vertigo I hauled myself back up and went to explore the hilltop further. I soon came across a strange shaped rock that looked invitingly like a throne.

I couldn't resist settling down into it and as soon as I did so I found myself uttering the following words:

"O fairies of the sacred hill
I come not here to wish you ill
I come here but to send you forth
To east, south, west and north
To carry forth across this land
The members of the secret band."

I then stood up from the 'chair', surprised with myself again! I wandered over to the cliff edge, this time to a deep crevice in the rock that overlooked the wooded gorge containing one of the raging rivers. A dangerous looking path seemed to lead down through the crevice to the cliff face where it turned a corner and disappeared from view.

It made me think of the tales of fairy treaure that had been found up here and I wondered if any of them were true and where this mysterious path led.

I closed my eyes and summoned Atheron again, but he had other things on his mind:

"It's time to step into your power!" Atheron told me. "Time to become one of the beings of light!"

It's a message I had got many times recently, but I still did not fully understand what it meant.

"Most will be left behind in this fourth world, but some will ascend to fifth world to join the shining ones. Others will be inspired to follow, but your real job here is to help prepare the world for this ascension."

He was refering to the Hopi prophesy that I had learned about recently in Arizona. They believe that this present world, which they call the fourth world, will soon be coming to an end, and only those who remain of one heart and follow the teachings of their god Maasaw will survive to populate the coming fifth world. But Atheron seemed to be giving me a slightly different message, that somehow some people would 'ascend' from this world, leaving the old world behind. To my mind it meant that those who ascended would enter a different reality, a different consciousness, while to those who were left behind it would appear like nothing had happened. This would all become much clearer soon, but at this point my understanding was still rather vague.

I stepped back from that hollow place near the cliff edge and decided to go searching for Ffynon Ddu, the black sping. I continued down the path that passed down the spine of the hill until eventually I came to a tiny little rivulet of water that passed over the path. "This must be it!" I though. Now all I had to do was follow it to its source.

I scrambled through bracken and briars for a couple of hundred yards until I noticed that the gurgling rivulet to my right was no longer there. I backtracked a little and there hidden under a mass of brambles and ferns was the spring, bubbling up from between some rocks.

After dowsing to ascertain if this spring carried the correct vibration, I placed a crystal deep into it's source, energised it, and then drank the water.

I could see the web of light in the sky that connected this fairy fort to all the others, immediately to my mind came the Hopi prophesy that one day a web would cover the entire land. This has been interpreted as meaning the internet, but was this the real web that was prophesied? I then saw all the springs, and the web of energy that they created over the land too. The male energy of the sky web, and the female energy of the earth web.

I sank deeper into a trance and was told that I should soon ascend into the light and leave this mortal body behind. It's worries and concerns were not mine. My work here would soon be done, the old me would die and a new me would be reborn.

Suddenly I felt a powerful presence to my right, it was the god Pan. I felt humbled and called him my master.

"I am not your master," he retorted. "Your love of the wildwoods comes from your past lives that you're still holding on to. You must truly let this go before you can ascend into the light."

I knew that he was right, but right now I did not feel ready to let go of my attachments to this earth and all its wild wonder.

I was then given a revelation concerning the shamanic worldview of lower, middle and upper worlds: The lower world is the previous third world, where mankind and nature were one. The upper world is the coming fifth world, a magical, spiritual realm where the current laws of nature do not apply. I had nothing to fear from the fifth world, nature is still there, but in the fifth world it would assume its perfect form and I could commumicate directly with nature's devas.

"Step into your power! Become Aurvandil!"

Coming back down to earth I returned to my human body and continued walking through the woods, down the slope on the far side, and down to the river encased in autumnal forest, thinking of how attached I was this this world and all its natural wonders, despite the cold gloominess of the day and all the imperfections of this world.


Rob Wildwood (Aurvandil) has now released a book containing hundreds of his own stunning full colour photos of many of the magical places he has visited in his travels. The images capture the magic and mystery of each place and are enhanced by extracts of local folklore that reveal the magical lore of each place and tempt deeper investigation. Every site listed has full directions and map grid references that can be checked online, so join Rob Wildwood as you discover Britain's magical places at

Monday 31 October 2011

St. Anne's Well, Trellech - Fairy frogs?

I'm starting my investigation of the faery lore of Wales at St. Anne's well, Trellech, in the south-east corner of the country near Monmouth.

As well as being associated with the Celtic deity Annis, goddess of waters, wells and wisdom, St. Anne's well is also said to be the haunt of fairies, who come out each midsummer's eve to dance around the well and drink from harebell cups.

I arrived on a dull, wet, overcast Samhain, cursing the foul weather. Having just arrived back from the hot deserts of Arizona I gave thanks for the rain anyway, remembering the life and vitality it brings to our land, but wondering if we really need so much of it!

The well lies just by the road and is easily accessed. I could immediately see the clootie rags tied to the trees and the stone outline of the well.

I stepped inside and saw many more offerings lying in alcoves and around the well.

I approached the alcove containing the well and peered down into the murky water, it looked stagnant and not a trickle could be heard.

I left an offering in a scallop shell and tied a silk clootie rag to the tree. It was not an inspiring day, but the drizzle was easing off so I got my dowsing rods out to try to get some inspiration. The only message I got was that this water carried a vibration I needed and I should drink it!

Putting off the idea of dipping my cup into the murky water I sat down under the trees to meditate instead.

As I did so I noticed a small frog in the grass.

"I bet you like the rain!" I said.

It made me realise that while I was cursing the rain, others were thriving in it and needed it for their very survival. That made me feel a bit more humble.

"Are you the guardian of this place?" I asked.

I picked up Mr. Frog and held him in my hands. He didn't like it and leaped off, but as he did so it felt like he was leaping down my throat!

I could hear my voice speaking with the voice of the frog, I literally had a frog in my throat!

"Drink the water!" he said in his froggy voice.

"Not that again," I thought.

As the frog sat there in front of me I closed my eyes and meditated. I followed him into the otherworld and he showed me the fairies dancing in a circle around the well. They looked like children wearing white shifts with flowers in their hair. I wanted to see more, I wanted to know why I was here, but he had nothing more to show me, so I bade him farewell and returned to the well, drinking cup in hand...

I peered down into the water. It was dark, deep and still, but I could just make out the bottom, which meant that the water couldn't be that murky, could it?

"Oh well, here goes!" I thought.

I scooped up some water and pondweed. It looked surprisingly clear, so I took a sip, and then another and another. It went down nicely, as did the small pieces of pondweed! After the third sip I opened my eyes and was astonished to see a big frog looking back up at me from the depths of the pool! I didn't even question it, it was magic! The guardian of the pool like the salmon that guards magic pools in Irish legends.

He was swimming around helplessly against the side of the well, but how could he possibly get out? The well was over a foot deep from the rim to the waterline and there was absolutely no way to jump out! A magic frog indeed!

I thought I would give him a hand so I placed my hand under him, fully expecting him to struggle and squirm, but he just lay there contentedly as I picked him up and placed him gently in front of the well opening.

I sat and looked at him, and he sat and looked at me.

"Do you mind if I take your photo?" I said. He didn't object so I went to fetch my camera.

What did he want me to do now? Was he a messenger from the fairies? Did he have a task for me? Did he want me to follow him?

I took some crystals and other items from my bag to try to get a clue, but he showed his disapproval by crawling back inside the well-house and sitting in a crevice in there.

"You take a lot of photos," he said.

"I like to show people what I've been doing," I replied.

"Release that need," he said.

He was right, I worry too much about keeping records and informing people, I was getting distracted. I had been away from my homeland too long and was focusing on the wrong things.

"Switch off your mind," he said.

I knelt down in front of the well and meditated deeply. I pushed my head through the entrance and seemed to pass through a veil into another world. Sounds echoed around and oscillated within the chamber in a strange way. Soon I was in a world of huge gnarled old oaks, black and damp from the rain. The frog was ahead of me leaping through the wet twisted roots as I jumped onto his back. We were in the underworld, the old world of nature and spirits where I came from before I entered this world.

"Use your intuition," he said.

I opened my eyes and then noticed the half-burned joss stick sticking in the earth right in front of him.

"Light it!"

I got a lighter out and lit it, fully expecting him to reel from the flames, but he just sat there impassively, staring.

First I placed the joss stick outside the well, but a tiny frog appeared from nowhere, jumping out of the well and past the joss stick! Now I'd seen three sizes of frogs; medium frog, big frog and now tiny frog!

I placed the burning joss stick back in the well and knelt down to meditate some more. I was immediately carried away on the heady scent, to the spicy land of India with visions of deserts, towering dunes, mystical cities,intricately carved temples and exotic robes. I could feel myself back there and I was loving it! Did I have to return again? The idea had been in the back of my mind for some time now. Is this what it took to bring it to the front of my mind?

I opened my eyes again. Big frog was still sitting there impassively in his crevice, throat oscillating with a regular rhythm.

"Thanks Mr. Frog," I said.

I sat down on the stone bench inside the well and took out my glittering purple stone which I use for releasements.

I called upon archangel Zadkiel and felt the whole chamber fill with a violet light from the heavens. I released the need to record my discoveries, my need to share my findings with others, the need to convince others, and anything else that was holding me back from getting into the flow of my own true path, all the fears and pressures of this physical world.

I could see my path unfolding before me and the freedom was exhilarating! The freedom to pursue my destiny! 'The Virtuous Well' was showing me the virtuous path!

And now that I'd released the 'need' to record all this information I could actually enjoy doing it again! ;)


As dusk fell I went to visit the nearby standing stones. The waters of the spring are said to run under the stones and be linked with druidic rites. I could just make out the stones in the twilight and could hear the loud screeching and hooting of a pair of owls nearby.

I saw a fluttering near the top of the right hand stone. One of the owls? I walked around them in the darkness and placed my hands around the central one. They seemed to be pointing up towards the stars. Ancient reminders of a long lost technology and civilization. A monument to the vanity of mankind. Maybe this was why I was never too keen on standing stones, mankind's earlier attempts to manipulate the forces of nature. Springs were entirely natural, the creation of the goddess, standing stones were not, they were planted there by mankind, linking earth and sky, as above so below.

It was Samhain, a magical night when the veil between the worlds was thinner, but now it was cold, dark and wet. The frogs had nothing more to show me this evening, it was time to seek shelter and warmth.


Rob Wildwood (Aurvandil) has now released a book containing hundreds of his own stunning full colour photos of many of the magical places he has visited in his travels. The images capture the magic and mystery of each place and are enhanced by extracts of local folklore that reveal the magical lore of each place and tempt deeper investigation. Every site listed has full directions and map grid references that can be checked online, so join Rob Wildwood as you discover Britain's magical places at

Monday 29 August 2011

St. Blane's Church & The Fairy Well

The ruins of St. Blane's Church lie on the site of an ancient monastery, one of the first of it's kind in the British Isles. The walls of the monastery and the foundations of some of the ancient monks' cells still exist in this secluded wooded location near the southern tip of the Isle of Bute.

I was drawn to the place because of it's healing fairy well and a strange circular enclosure called the Devil's Cauldron which archaeologists can find no real explanation for. Folklore tells that within the Devil's Cauldron grew a pine tree that had the magical power to give visions if a sprig of its leaves was left under one's pillow overnight.

I arrived at St. Blane's Church in the light of early evening, bright and breezy. The place was deserted so I had it all to myself!

The layout of the place was impressive, with the vallum that enclosed the original 6th century monastery still clearly visible and marking out the boundary of this ancient sacred space.

I could see the ruins of the 12th century church ahead.

I ignored the ruined church for now and headed straight for the fairy well, but I was disappointed to see that a very heavy iron grille had been placed over it, set permanently into concrete.

To me it was a desecration to treat such a sacred place in this way, it interferred with the spirit of the place, but at least the well was still there, even if it did have to be viewed through iron bars, and it still gave off a certain sparkly energy.

I next went over to the Devil's Cauldron. It no longer had a pine tree growing in it, or any trees growing nearby. Perhaps those eager for visions had destroyed the pine tree long ago? Now it was just filled with cropped grass and a few rocks, but it had a certain energy that made me wary about entering, it felt somehow powerful, glowing and golden.

I did some protections and then stepped through the entrance.

Inside it was filled with golden light, and I could see an even brighter light coming from a large being that stood inside there. It was a strange 'alien' creature, with a long head and long arms that stood stooped over me. I reached out to touch its long fingers, but it was like trying to touch a mirage, I was not able to communicate with it.

I stepped back outside the Cauldron and noticed many primrose leaves growing nearby. I picked 13 of them and rubbed them into my wand so that the juice stained the runes on there. Primroses are known from folklore to be a way to open doors to the otherworld, so my intent was to infuse my wand with this ability. Perhaps it would come in useful someday?

I next decided to get out my dowsing rods and I dowsed an energy line going into and of the Cauldron, but when I stepped inside the Cauldron to follow the line it formed a spiral going in to the centre. This was definately some kind of power node, a place of power and a place of visions. So I decided to lay down inside the cauldron and see where it would take me.

I was accompanied by a power animal that had been lurking around in the background for a while now, but who I'd never quite got aquainted with. It was a blue-eyed silver wolf. He took me to a crystal cave where a wise old bearded man awaited, some kind of god-like spirit guide. He showed me that the cauldron was a place of power, glowing with yellow energy, and he showed me the sparkly white energy coming from the well.

This is the reason why the monks chose this place and built a wall around it all. They wanted to harness the energy of this place and use it for their own ends, to employ its power and to have spiritual experiences and visions. These monks were more like druids than churchmen! But over the generations these powers were forgotten as the monks became more orthodox.

I was told that I should venerate the well, and focus my intention there to make it become a sacred and magical place once more.

I got up from the cauldron, feeling rather spaced out, and headed back over to the well.

I took a quartz crystal out of my bag and held it in my hand.

"With this crystal I hereby place my intention
That this place shall once again be venerated.
It shall become a holy place,
A magic place,
That folk will flock to
To worship
And receive healing, joy and happiness"

I placed the crystal into the well and then took out a corn dolly which I had bought in Glastonbury. I attached to to the metal grill so that people would know this was a special place.

"Let the magic flow forth
Flow forth from this holy well
Let it light up the sky
Let it draw folk here from far and wide
It's magic shall flow out
Flow out over the land
Drawing people here
Bringing the joy of nature
And Mother Earth to all
They will dance and sing and tie ribbons
Soon they will come
They will feel the magic
It will enter them
A place of ceremony and celebration
A new paganism
A new spirituality
Filled with joy and love
I will make this happen!
Old institutions will crumble
All shall be enlightened, renewed and refreshed
So mote it be!"

I felt like my work was done here at last, so I wandered around this peaceful and enchanted place in the late evening light enjoying the nature and the atmosphere of the place.


Rob Wildwood (Aurvandil) has now released a book containing hundreds of his own stunning full colour photos of many of the magical places he has visited in his travels. The images capture the magic and mystery of each place and are enhanced by extracts of local folklore that reveal the magical lore of each place and tempt deeper investigation. Every site listed has full directions and map grid references that can be checked online, so join Rob Wildwood as you discover Britain's magical places at