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by Sig Lonegren

There are a number of different ways to become involved in a megalithic site. Here are a few of the ways I've related to just one of them - Merryvale Stone Rows in Dartmoor, Devon, England.


Merryvale

I've always had a special feeling about this Bronze Age complex out in Devon in the middle of Dartmoor in SouthWestern England. Merryvale is an entire community/spiritual complex. In addition to the numerous hut circles (where its members lived) and the pounds, where they kept their animals, there are a variety of sacred structures all within a square area that is about three hundred yards/meters on a side. There are five stone rows. Two are in pairs on either side of a stream. The longer pair of stone rows has, a gate of two higher stones at one end, a lovely circular cist (burial) at its center, and a large blocking stone atthe other end. The fifth stone row runs off obliquely from this pair of rows. The stones have almost disappeared under the growing peat in this fifth row. In the other four rows, the stones are about a foot and a half high, though three and four footers are sprinkled along both pairs of rows.

In addition to these impressive avenues of stone, there are a number of cists in various forms of repair. The most significant one was obviously opened in the last century, as the roof of the cist was split using a star drill which wasn't invented until then. To complete this wonderful complex, there is a lovely small stone ring at the far end of the site with a massive (twelve feet plus) high standing stone just beyond it that marks the far (Southern) end of the site.


The Mind Mirror

Mind mirror
Walking the stone row with
the Mind Mirror electrodes in
place

Over the years I have done all kinds of work at Merryvale. Paul Devereux first took me there, and I did some work with my Mind Mirror at these stone rows with a group of dowsers that Paul, Jamie George, and I had brought to the site. The Mind Mirror measures beta, alpha, theta and delta brain waves - on both sides of the brain at the same time giving the observer a visual display of leds showing where the activity is. "Normal" waking Western Man is mostly beta, and in sleep we have all four, but how would brain wave activity be affected by just walking in sacred space?I asked Jeff Blundell, the man who made the Mind Mirror in London, to fit a radio receiver on the mind mirror, and a portable transmitter so the person who was wearing the EEG electrodes could walk unattached to the rest of the gear - the totally portable Mind Mirror itself and the tape cassette that was used to record the procedure. We fitted up one of the tour participants with the electrodes, and had her walk the longer stone row. She is wearing this gear in all of the pictures on this page.

There certainly were different brain wave responses at different points along the rows. The ultimate difficulty with using this equipment is that our facial muscles move involentarily when walking and dowsing. They effect the mind mirror and make the results unreliable. EEG's work better when the person is sitting or sleeping - i.e. not moving. Having said that, it is my feeling that these rows work like linear labyrinths, popping different chakras at different points along the rows.


Dowsing


Sig dowses participant's aura at
the Gate Stones at Merryvale

I've done all kinds of dowsing at Merryvale. In conjunction with the Mind Mirror, we dowsed the aura of participants before entering and after walking this row. Needless to say, the auric expansion was considerable. Unless it is a center of yin energy, as found at some holy wells and at Crossings of underground primary water, where the aura contracts, this expansion happens at most sacred sites - from just being in them.

There's at lEast one vein of water flowing underneath each stone in both pairs of rows. I find this at all of the rows on Dartmoor that I've dowsed, They follow different patterns at different rows. Some work like a braided pattern. At the longer pair of stone rows at Merryvale, veins of primary water snake back and forth down the rows. A third vein goes down the rows spiraling like a slinky down the row, Crossing only underneath the occasional larger stones.

On many occasions, I have also dowsed the hut circles where the Merryvalers lived. On my first attempt, I found no underground veins of primary water or energy leys under any of the hut circles that I happened to dowse, indicating that the villagers knew not to live over underground water. Recently when I dowsed more of the hut circles there, I found two of these circular habitation sites that had both veins and e leys underneath them. One was at the nearest hut circle (by far) to the stone rows. The other was next to the road that delineates one side (North) of the three hundred yard/meter square that encompasses the site. Both Bronze Age domiciles had Crossing veins of underground water. Both were on a ley that came from the cist in the center of the longer pair of stone rows. I'm not really sure what their exact title was, but it is my perception that the hut nearest the rows was worked by a female (?priest/shaman?) and the farther hut circle was the home of the community's male (?priest/shaman?).


Pilgrimage Through Merryvale

Merryvale
Circular Bronze Age Hut Circle
at Merryvale

While Merryvale has always attracted me, in recent years, more often than not, I got a very unwelcoming feeling when I go there. "Get Out!" was a familiar theme. While I found this disconcerting, I usually honored the request and left before I felt really ready to go.

So it was with some trepidation that a plan for an initiation ceremony at Merryvale for a group of students of mine began to form in my mind. They were from the Fellowship of The Spirit, the school that had ordained me. I spoke to the Spirit of Merryvale in advance, warning her/him that I was coming. I told the Spirit what I had in mind. I dowsed which stones to use and to see if what I had in mind would be safe. Everything checked out ok.

We arrived at Merryvale with the Sun shining brightly overhead. (I've been there in the fog, and it is remarkably easy to get disoriented and lost even though one is always within earshot of the road.)

We circled up and spoke to the Spirit of the Place. We also spent some time reviewing the reasons why each of us came on this pilgrimage, or focusing on something we need some help with in our lives right now. I choose the equivalent to a general reading in the Tarot - "What's coming next in my life?"

We then went to the gate at the longer stone row. We each individually stated what we wanted to work on, and in single file, walked down the row to the other end and the blocking stone where we arranged ourselves in a circle - like a lollipop at the end of the stick. While we were waiting for all of the participants to join us, I received two day signs that boded well for this event.


Day Signs

Skylarks were vibrantly trilled their song as they hovered above and near us. Paul Devereux tells a story showing a reason why his Dragon Project investigated ultra sound. One of the Dragon Project members was up at Moel ty Uchaf, a stone ring in North central Wales. He was lying on the ground with his back to one of the stones listening to the skylarks sing as they hovered above this secluded and isolated stone ring. Suddenly, a little old man appeared as if from nowhere. He asked, "Do you know why the skylarks like this place?"

When the researcher replied in the negative, the little gnome-of-a-man said simply, "It's the ultra sound." And with that he turned and disappeared out into the moor.

I too have noticed skylarks dancing above a number of sacred sites, and they are a sign to me that the energy is up and running. So the group was up and running.

I also saw two big crows flying to the South. Crows are tricksters. Hermes was both messenger of the gods and god of liars and thieves. This is crow energy for me, and they were flying to the South, the direction of Faith (for me). I could take on Faith that Hermes (one of my deities of choice, actually) was with us.


The Eighth Chakra

Standing stones have chakras (called nodes) just like people. When I dowse a man's Crown Chakra, it is positive, the Brow negative, Throat positive, Heart negative, Solar positive, Spleen negative, Root positive. Men have four positive (yang) chakras, and three negative (yin) ones. Women are just the opposite - Crown yin, Brow yang, Throat yin, etc. - four yin, three yang. We each carry and manifest the opposite within us - but apparently not an equal amount.

A standing stone is like a man buried in the ground just above his navel, with the first two nodes /chakras buried below the surface of the ground, and the upper five at various predictable points above. The Crown node is on the top of the stone. These nodes can be easily dowsed, and it is the Throat node (third from the top) that spins you off the stone.

Several physical objects in sacred space that I have dowsed seem to have an inverse spiritual counterpart directly above them. The Great Pyramid has one, and (as seen in two dimensions), these two triangles meet at the eye of the pyramid. "Yoga" means "union." This is also a function of sacred space - the union of the physical and the spiritual. In your mind's eye, push these two triangles together. They ultimately form a Star of David, which, among other things, represents this union of the physical and spiritual.

Likewise, a standing stone has an inverted standing stone above it. From a nodal point of view it is as if a woman were up-side-down with her head lightly balancing on the top of the head of a man who is buried up to his navel in the Earth. The "woman's" Crown Chakra/node can be found an inch and a half or two inches above the top of the stone. This is the eighth chakra.


Labyrinth

In "Labyrinths: Ancient Myths & Modern Uses" I referred to this eighth chakra in my discussions of the Classical Seven Circuit Labyrinth. It marks the goal, or middle of the labyrinth. The path order is 3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8 . In music, using "C" of the root chakra, the music of the labyrinth is E-D-C-F-B-A-G-C'. The eighth chakra is the C' - an octave above the tone of the Root chakra.

At Merryvale, it was my intent to be part of the opening of the eighth chakra of everyone in the group. I held my right hand at the eighth chakra point over the blocking stone, and my left hand over the head of the person next to me in the circle. They held their left hand over the head of the next person and so on until the last person held her head over my head. The circle was complete. I verbalized to all as I was feeling a tingling in my hand above the stone, that it was flowing through me and out over the next person's head. The people on this tour are well trained channelers and healers. Within moments, I felt a similar tingle over my head, so I withdrew my right hand from the stone.

(I normally think of using my left hand to receive and my right to give, but in this case, it was reversed. At first I was puzzled by this. My dowsing shows me that when one moves up or down a level, the polarity shifts. Left becomes right, yang becomes yin. In this case, my hands were working with the next octave up. The reversal was thus totally appropriate. At that level, the right hand receives best, and the left hand gives best.)


Psychic Rorschach Tests

Merryvale
Dartmoor ponies munch down in the Merryvale
Stone Ring. Tall standing stone to the South.

Carrying that feeling and awareness with us, we then walked down to the small stone ring at Merryvale. Grandmother Twylah Nitsch, Wolf Clan Mother of the Seneca (Haudensaunee/Iroquois) talks about entering a wisdom wheel by walking around the outside of a wisdom wheel in a clockwise direction (we come from the physical), and then entering the wheel through the appropriate gate and walking around the inside of the stones in a counterclockwise direction (and we go to the spiritual). The idea here at Merryvale was to walk around the outside of the stones looking each one in the "eye." Don't ever stop walking. Your eye will find each stone's "eye." Having done that you enter through the appropriate gate (I chose the gate for all of us), and walk widdershins/counterclockwise around the inside of the ring. The idea on this inner circle is to see what you see. Simulacra. It's like a spiritual Rorschach/ink blot test.

Participants were asked to keep track of what they "saw" at each stone, and upon completing the circle to write down in order the things they saw. (I had advised them in advance to bring paper and pencil.) One can then begin to relate the images in order to tell a story that speaks to the issue you came in with. While it is perhaps a bit of a digression, I share with you what I "saw" to give you a better idea of this process.

These are my notes in order of what I "saw" on each stone as I walked counter clockwise around the inside of the stone ring at Merryvale:

Cube with face (me?)

Horse

cup and ring marks

friendly face

horse

Algonquin burial stone

Owl/Wisdom

ghost face

food (bread)

crumbling

ghost face

Remember, the question I had chosen was, "What's coming next in my life?"

It begins with me where I am now, (cube with face/me) and is followed by two pairs of parenthesizes - horses make one and the ghost faces make the other. (I've arbitrarily spaced the list to show this more visually.) The Horse Goddess of the Celts was Epona. She was pictured riding on a horse and carrying a chalice or stemmed cup. She is associated with the Welsh Rhiannon, and also with the night mare. She supports my continued work (friendly face) with megalithic material (cup and ring marks). Also, it would be wise (owl) to form a deeper association with the Abenakis. And finally, the spirit world (ghost faces) support a crumbling of my unbalanced association with food. All pretty positive and appropriate information I would say.

Closing

To end the ceremony/pilgrimage through Merryvale, we went one at a time to the enormous standing stone beyond the circle to ground and make sure that our eighth chakras were closed down as appropriate. It was wonderful to have so many different sacred space tools to work with. This continues to be a very special place for me.

I need to return to the issue of not feeling welcome at Merryvale. I told this to the participants, and one of them related the following to me. I was the first to leave the stone ring to go and ground at the tall standing stone to the South. As I walked out of the circle, she heard a voice, "We belong here. He (Sig) doesn't."

Strong stuff. I must have blown it sometime in the past (life?) at Merryvale. On my next visit, I shall seek a way to make amends to this marvelous site. I intend to bring flowers to the cist in the center of the longer two rows.

Issue No. 7 >>