Monday, 7 March 2011

Return to Scotland - Polveoch Burn, Aberfoyle and the Highlands

Having completed my quest for King Erowyn I returned to Lindsaylands faery mound and met with my guide Atheron there. The place seemed troubled, not so tranquil as it had done before, but eventually I was able to make contact with the king again. As I stood on the mound meditating I saw Aurvandil walk towards the King Erowyn and his court and embrace the king's daughter. It was odd, usually I am Aurvandil but now I was seeing him in the third person. So is he me? Or is this a vision of another time, another world? He dwells in the land of faerie where all things are beautiful and immortal, yet here I am stuck in this human body with all my bodily cares and woes. If I am to receive any reward for my efforts then seemingly these rewards are going to come to me in the otherworld and not in this world? My task as a human being seems to be to release all my negative energies and fears, and raise myself to the level of the Fae so that I may join them again in their world. So have they tricked me again? Has it all been for nought?

I am left pondering this as I turn to leave the fairy mound again, clearly there is nothing more for me to do here, my task for King Erowyn is done. I ask Atheron to accompany me and guide me, so that when I lose my way I can call upon his help and guidance.

So I had been guided to return to Scotland to look for 'elves'? I realised that the word used was vague, that these were going to be different beings from those that I had already encountered and called elves. I was guided to visit the Leadhills area of Lanarkshire and so I began my search there using my dowsing rods to guide me.

My guidance eventually led me to a remote windswept hillside known as Corbie Hall, I couldn't work out what a 'hall' was but it seemed to refer to some large underground chamber. I lay down in a small gully there to get out of the biting wind and tried to commune with the beings who lived there. I could sense tall thin brown-skinned creatures all around me. They had black bug-eyes and long pointed ears, their voices were rasping and unfriendly. They wouldn't talk directly to me but my guide Atheron was able to communicate with them.

"Two roads cross on high. Take the holy spear!" he translated.

I didn't know what it meant. Were these elves trapped here? Did they need this magic spear in order to free themselves? I was able to get that the cross was in Scotland (Ayrshire?) and that Hecate would show (or guard?) the way. I could sense other communities of elves around who were even less friendly, these were not the gentle Fae I was used to.

I decided to leave Leadhills for now and head further west to Kirkconnel. I'd heard an interesting piece of folklore about some devil-haunted woods around there near the Polveoch Burn.

"The braes of Polveoch, at the west end of the Bank Wood, was a favourite trysting place of the fairies. Here the good little folks assembled on May Day to celebrate the advent of summer; contingents came in from Kello Water, Glen Aylmer, and Glen Wharry, and when all had gathered together they rode merrily over the knowes towards the Bale Hill, in whose sun-ward slope a beauteous doorway was said to open for them, which they entered two at a time, the green turf closing over the last pair to get in. Hallowe'en was another of their gala nights.

It is related that one Hallowe'en two farm servants, while on their way to Todholes to see their sweet-hearts, heard sounds of most enchanting music issuing from Polveoch Burn. Turning aside to discover from whence it came, they were astonished to see in a green opening among the trees a company of fairies, male and female, dancing to a band of pipers. All were dressed in the most elegant style, and their delicate little bodies swirled round in a fashion that quite entranced the awestruck swains. One, however, thought the strange sight could bode no good, and he beat a hasty retreat, leaving his companion gazing admiringly on the dazzling show. Long he stood and feasted his eyes and ears on the exquisite scene and the delicious melody, when, his presence being discovered by one of the company, he was invited to take part in the dance, and presented with fruit and wine. He daringly accepted; the refreshments seemed to put a new life into him, and he joined in the dance with the most lively spirit, acquitting himself so well that he was made quite a hero by the little ladies in green, who did all in their power to make him enjoy himself. To drink of the fairies' wine was to lose all calculation of time, and twelve months went round and found the young fellow still enjoying himself with the wee folks. On Hallowe'en following he was found at the same place by his companion, who, refusing a drink that was proffered him, gave offence to the fairies, and, dragging hold of his friend, pulled him away, and broke the spell that bound him. He could scarcely believe he had been twelve months with the fairies, and said the time only seemed like an hour or two. Ever afterwards he was endowed with second sight."

I started by walking east through once much-haunted Bank Wood which still held all its trees, protected as it was nowadays between a steep slope and a railway line. I came across a beautiful spring under a rock ledge and as I meditated there I had a vision of small green glowing lights emerging from the hillside all around. I also had a vision of the sidhe, processesing in their glowing white robes along the Polveoch Burn.

As I stood gazing at the spring I remembered a message I'd got. I was to place crystals in these spring in order to energise the waters, but unfortunately I had no crystals on me at this time.

I walked all the way along the base of Shiel hill (Sidhe hill?) and then climbed up to its summit. I stood there at the summit on a small square rock and had a vision of one of the sidhe riding up to me on a horse. He was wearing a green robe and was quite confrontational. I held him at bay with my wand and revealed to him my true form as Aurvandil. He told me to return later in the year (at Beltane or the equinox?)

I also had a vision of the faerie king by the Polveoch Burn so I decided that it was time to go investigate the mysterious brook that lay on the far side of the hill. I walked down the hill until I came to a small burn with a little waterfall. I followed the stream downhill and eventually came to a much larger waterfall that disappeared into a gully.

Unfortunately the water here became polluted with mine run-off, which somewhat spoilt the magic of the place, but it was a tranquil and beautiful spot nonetheless.

I followed the burn back to the road and further investigations in the area revealed nothing more that day. The elfin knight had told me to return later so maybe I had to visit the place on a date when the veils were thinner before this place would reveal more of its secrets to me?

My next stop was Aberfoyle where I intended to return to Doon Hill. I picked up my friend Catriona and we headed off through the woods towards the famous fairy hill. I stepped through the forked tree that I had stepped through the last time I visited and as I did so a voice in my head said:

"Two times in, two times out!"

It was a reminder that the last time I came here I had forgotten to step back out the way I came in! Perhaps this was why I had been feeling so drained and spaced out since then? My head had been stuck in faeryland!

As we approached the fort I felt the bolts of energy being cast down at me again, but this time I did not resist and simply let them enter me. They seemed to be cleansing me and removing my negative energy! Why had I not trusted them the last time?

We reached the glade at the top of the hill where the magic trees with their clootie rage stood and I was struck by the change in atmosphere there since the last time I had visited! It was so much lighter and more airy and magical! The place looked clean and well cared-for and wind chimes gently tinkled giving it a serene atmosphere. It was almost as if the work I had done here the last time I came had raised the energy of the place and made it more light and magical.

I found one of the fluorite eggs I had placed on my last visit and was told to take it. It had now done its job and I could keep it.

Catriona meditated and met with her spirit guides. She was then taken to see a bear and a beetle. The bear represented the strength in the land, but now that bears were extinct in the British Isles mankind had to find a way of fulfilling that role. The beetle said something very simple: "Remember the small things!"

The only message I got was to cleanse my blue teardrop-shaped pendant that I had found there the last time by placing it in a spring.

After spending some time soaking up the atmosphere there we headed back down the hill and this time I remembered to climb back through the forked tree, twice! So now I was back in the real world at last!

I said goodbye to Catriona and continued my journey north, up into the wilds of Scotland and up the eastern side of Loch Lomond.

This is the less-visited and much wilder side of the famous loch and I headed as far north as the road would take me, to a tiny little place called Rowerdennan.

There I got out of my car and climbed up to a secluded little waterfall by a place called Rowchnock.

I had come to this secluded spot for a reason, to connect with the spirit of Mother Earth herself! As I sat there meditating by the waterfall with the earth beneath me I suddenly felt a huge surge of energy as I felt myself connecting with the spirit of the entire earth! I had never felt anything like this before! This was huge, powerful and terrifying!

As I felt this awesome power it made me realise how insignificant we all are, scratching a living here on the thin surface. The spirit of the Earth lives deep deep below and is all powerful! I wondered then if people in ancient times had felt this power as I was feeling it? If they were aware of such a powerful presence then its no wonder that they treated it with such reverence! Did they also feel the power of the sun and the moon in this way? What an amazing thing is creation! How the powers of Earth, Sun and Moon keep everything in constant motion, ensuring that the Earth is constantly recreating itself. The winds blow, the clouds deposit their moisture, the rivers cut deep fissures in the earth, the continents shift, volcanoes create and destroy, and the atmosphere creates a perfect greenhouse that sustains all life.

All of this came to me in one moment, the awesome world that we live on. Everything of the earth is Gaia! One great living organism. Even all the creations of mankind are of Gaia. The clothes that we wear and the technology that we use, it all comes from Gaia and it will all go back to her as the Earth constantly recreates itself. We are nothing more than an itchy fungus on her skin, so insignificant and so small that Gaia is not even aware of us!

But in that brief moment of communion with the great mother she was aware of me! She noticed me! I felt it!

I was playing with forces here more powerful than I could possibly comprehend! But what an exhilarating experience it was nonetheless!


I continued my journey further north until I arrived at Tyndrum where I wanted to search for a patch of ancient Caledonian pine forest by the name of Coille Coire Chuile that clung to a snowy mountainside.

My first attempt to reach the forest failed as the way was blocked by a deep and fast-flowing stream at the bottom of a gully.

But undeterred I tried another approach and walked from Tom na Croiche until I reached a rickety little footbridge that crossed the Allt Gleann Auchreoch stream. The 'bridge' was just a couple of railway lines with loose wooden sleepers in between that were all rotten and broken. Some of them had already disintegrated into the raging waters below, so I had to get down on my hands and knees and edge my way slowly across to avoid toppling into the stream!

I finally made it into the pine forest and it was a magical place, unlike any modern forest or any forest you've ever been to until you visit one of these ancient places.

I walked slowly through the ancient and silent forest, touching some of the trees as I went. The area seemed to be covered in mounds and dips and hidden gullies. As I approached a wide basin-like gully in the centre with a small mound in the middle of it I spotted some roe deer ahead of me grazing. I sat and watched them silently before they eventually noticed me and skipped away. I then made my way to the small mound in the centre and meditated there.

I got the sense of this tiny forest being like a fortress, holding out against the forces of change and the modern world, waiting patiently to repopulate the land once its time came again, once the invaders had exhausted their food supplies and retreated. The modern world is unsustainable, and the trees silently waiting knew this.

But the trees here were not happy, the land was over-grazed and no young trees were growing. They were under siege and weakening. I drew energy down into the place, as much as I could, to help with their regeneration.

I continued on up the mountainside but the weather was starting to turn so I decided to head back and try to cross the stream higher up. I crossed a small stream and found myself on a high spit of land. I sat down there and plunged my wand into the earth where it sank deep into the peaty ground. I imparted more energy and healing into the land and then withdrew my wand to find it stained dark by the peat.

I tried to continue but found the larger stream ahead to be uncrossable, so eventually and with trepidation I had to make my way back to the rickety footbridge!

I had made my way up to the wilds of Scotland again and had all kinds of interesting experiences up there, but now it was time to turn around and head south again, back home.


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

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