The Journey of the Feathered Seer Part 4: The Magic of Arbor Low by Alethea Kehas

IMG_1528I never made it to Peter’s Rock, although we passed close by it in the car, and as we did I made a vow to visit in a future trip. It is said to be a place of initiation, where one must face fear to move beyond the veil of illusion into the Light of Truth. The shaman took us there during ritual 4, and I felt I knew this place, at least in essence. But to feel its actual presence would have to wait.

During the week, I thought often of the snake I had found coiled like a sacrifice in the middle of my basement floor before I left for England. A symbol of the cycle of life that moves through birth into death in an endless repeat. I knew before I left my home that I would be going through an important phase in this cycle during my journey in England. The stones had whispered this in my dreams, and they did not disappoint.

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After visiting the site where Bratha lived out her life as a Seer, the five of us refueled at a lovely pub, then made our way to the Serpent Stones. It was time to feel the enchantment of the land. Although I had heard Sue, Stuart and some of the others hint about the secrets of these stones, I was not wholly prepared for what I would encounter among them. Which is, I believe, just the way it should be. I had already discovered that stones hold the memory of the land and its children, but I had yet to experience the awesome force of their enchantment. This site, as I soon saw, is not asleep. The serpent stones are more alive than those who walk among them. It is like nothing else I have experienced before. It is, quite simply, magical.

The path to the stones, like all journeys, can be taken more than one way. The land surrounding and containing them is, without a doubt, holy ground. Here one walks the body of the goddess in all her power and glory to rebirth anew in the continual cycle of life. The guardian of Arbor Low takes the form of the living. It resides in the balancing energies of cows, chickens and the humans how tend to them below the mounded earth. Here the magic of the stones is settled into the grounding energies of daily life, neutralizing their force. The mundane nature of these seems necessary once one experiences the effects of the stones.

At Arbor Low, I discovered that when you are open to the magic of the Land, it does not disappoint. The memory of it makes me smile with shear joy, just as I did when I walked among its stones. Here is where the Light of Hope is very much alive, and has been for thousands of years. The land here is in control, protected by a force much larger than the Earth itself. Here, the sacred is not broken by human hands (at least not enough to break its magic).

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The Journey of the Feathered Seer Part 3: Finding Peace by Alethea Kehas

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Bratha left the Raven’s Nest with the gifts of the clan. Now cloaked with the wisdom of a seer, she traveled with her guide to speak Truth to those who sought knowledge. I had a day to process my experience at the Nest, which followed the weekend’s workshop with the Silent Eye School. If you read Part 1 and Part 2 of my journey, you will know that it was a transformative experience that was difficult for me to put into words. To play the role, and then travel the landscape where a seer once walked to share the wisdom of the Light, feels like both a gift and a burden. It is not my intent to sound dramatic, but there is the question that always begs to be answered, What does one do with an experience such as this? 

It is intensely intimate and personal, yet it is also, I feel, one to be shared. Bratha’s need to seed the magic of the land and the truths of the Universe is also my own. It is the inherent longing in all living beings to know Home.

Leaving the Nest was difficult for me, as I imagine it must have been for Bratha and others who have known its presence. Feeling my heart open to the raw and beautiful truth of my unseen guide, and the magic of a now troubled land had stirred a deep longing inside of me. It made me acutely aware of how latent my own senses were, and how separate we often live from Truth. I had never felt such a connection to the Land and to those who have loved it so fully and completely, and whose presence can still be felt in its stones.

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There is a safely to the Nest, but the fledgling is born for flight.

As I walked down from the hight of the Nest, as Bratha once did, I carried with me the feeling of sorrow and longing. In the hours that followed, each time I attempted to process my experience into words, I wept the abuse of this sacred Earth that is both our home and our mother. When we focus on the life we have grown accustomed to living, it’s too easy not to feel the inherent connection we have with our Earth Mother and with all beings who reside within Her.

The Light of Hope, though, was also within me, as well as its tangible presence in the form of a handful of stones of different colors, charged from the collective energy from the weekend’s workshop. There were many others who would be planting these seeds to help “re-enchant” the land and repair what mankind had broken. And, there was the knowing that there are so many beings who reside on this planet who are doing their part to seed the Light within and without.

After a day in Bakewell touring more recent, but still old sites, my traveling companion, Deb, and I got into our car once again to drive to the moors. This time we were following Sue, Stuart, and Sue’s son Nick, to the site where Bratha lived out the end of her days as a Seer of Truth.

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The Journey of the Feathered Seer Part 2: The Raven’s Nest by Alethea Kehas

The ravens travel the skies above the high cliffs of the moors. They appear to both lead and follow, watching to see if you remember the way to the Nest. There are as many ways to get there as there are travelers, and the keen eyes of the raven know the paths of darkness and of light. They observe and take note, recording each footstep in the stones.

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As our car began its climb away from the valley, I felt the pull of the moors, stirring my cells to life. We parked at the foot of a hill where the raven clan dwelled before man forgot how to live in harmony with the land. Here, at the base of the Nest, a river runs turbid memories under a bridge. Its waters sing of fear, but also of hope. They carry the memory of balance.

I turned toward the hill, where a young seer once traveled with her guide to learn the language of the soul. A grove of trees marks the beginning of the ascent, and the fey hold reign of the shadows. They watch like the ravens do. Reading the intent of the seeker, they are eager to play with the mind that likes to wander. I thought of my journey to the Nine Ladies one year ago, remembering the wild urge to roam and never return.

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I stood on the threshold, where the uninitiated can become reckless. The impressionable mind is easily confused, and the moors are places of magic. Both dark and light. Voices call from the shadows. Sometimes it sounds like laughter, sometimes like a scream. Here, in the trees below the Raven’s Nest where the canopy breaks open to sun, sorrel blooms white above green.

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The Journey of the Feathered Seer: Part 1 by Alethea Kehas

Alethea Kehas and her friend, Deb, flew over from the US to share the journey of the Feathered Seer with us. Alethea begins her account of her part in the weekend…

This time I traveled without my family, taking in their place a friend who did not yet know the land. There comes a point in one’s journey when the comfort of the familiar gives way without fear to the unknown. I was to play the role of Bratha, the “Feathered Seer,” without knowing what would await me. When I left the comfortable place of the hearth to fly across the Atlantic, I did not know that the role I was to play at the Silent Eye’s annual workshop would become me as the land gave way her secrets.

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The journey began long before I boarded the plane. Such is the nature of all journeys, whether we are aware of it or not. They do not abide by the rules of the mind, or the laws of life as we are accustomed to living it. The truth is, the rocks had been whispering to me inside of my dreams; the land calling out to me with my first breath, as it calls out to all birthed inside the womb of Earth. We listen when we are ready. We follow the lead when it becomes the only path that pulls.

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Bratha lived at a time, long ago, when the land was still considered sacred, but its people were turning away from the Mother, toward ego’s fear and greed. As the threads of light were torn by the hands of mankind, the stones became the keepers of memories, holding the secrets of the light inside their seemingly inert bodies as they waited for those who wanted to remember. They became the guardians of the secrets, marking the nodes of the web of light waiting to be re-ignited. They guard them still.

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Light Reborn: Awaiting the Winter Solstice – Jan Malique

Jan, a Companion of the Silent Eye, joined us for the Saturday of the Ash and Seed weekend and here shares her own perspective on the day:

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Image: Anglesey, Jan Malique

This post has taken a while to write, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps I needed to integrate all the insights gained over the course of the day. I attended one day of a Silent Eye pre-solstice weekend workshop on Anglesey, North Wales last Saturday (03/12/16). It was entitled ‘Of Ash and Seed’. Our explorations involved walking a sacred landscape known to be the last stronghold of the Druids; paying our respects along the way to seekers gone before us. The culmination of Saturday was a symbolic act to release stagnant and unhealthy energies preventing our movement into a new phase of being. That’s a simplistic take on the events of the day admittedly.

What of my feelings in this journey? The day began at 6.10 am on Saturday and was infused with a sense of excitement and hope. I felt like a pilgrim journeying to commune with their gods on the holy isle and to meet with others of their tribe. A little fanciful you may think. Many, many pilgrimages have been made, always resulting in a change of consciousness and life path. They’ve been necessary in order for my spiritual evolution. Stagnation was currently impeding growth and filling me with great frustration. What to do dear Reader? A solution had to be found. Here was an echo of, something terribly familiar. We appear to be experiencing a collective Dark Night of the Soul, a condition that is replete with fear, confusion and anger. It’s also occurring on a personal level. Therein lay my answer.

As for the location, please let me set the scene to start us off. The island is rich in prehistoric remains, the earliest evidence of human habitation dates from the Mesolithic (7000 BCE). The Isle of Anglesey (Welsh – Yns Môn), as elsewhere on the British Isles, was witness to the transition of the old Celtic world to one with new values and rulers. This occurred over a period of time, starting with the Roman occupation of Wales that lasted for over 300 years. Roman legions XIV and XX launched a ferocious attack on Mona Insula (Anglesey) in 60 CE. It was of strategic importance, a source of valuable agricultural land and mineral wealth. In addition, it was the last outpost of the Druids and hotbed of resistance to the occupation. These people were standing on the threshold of devastating changes, as we are in modern times. It was the ending of an age. Destruction was clearing the way for passage into a new era. This is the canvas against which I set my personal journey.

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