Cerridwen, Bala Lake and the Wild Magick of Wales Pilgrimage

On a pilgrimage, you are not just there for yourself. At least that is how it is for me. Sure, you have major personal epiphanies, gifts, blessings, and deep soul level work. Yet at the same time, the experience is something to be shared, to be freely given to those who could not be there with you, to those with you in spirit, or to those whom will be touched by the messages of Spirit.

Me at Bala Lake with my Oak leaf for our ritual on the Temple of Witchcraft's Wild Magick of Wales Pilgrimage

Me at Bala Lake with my Oak leaf for our ritual on the Temple of Witchcraft’s Wild Magick of Wales Pilgrimage

A pilgrim is a journeyer, true, but that is not quite it. A pilgrim to me is a messenger, sharing messages of Spirit from the journey.

A journey shared is like a pebble dropped in the lake, rippling out, sharing its current for all who seek to feel its vibrations, to connect with the lapping waves, to journey with you to the between and drink of the message. A journey shared is both within and without. A journey not shared is, well, just a journey.

Let’s turn the page and look at what is next to share from when I took part in the Temple of Witchcraft pilgrimage to Wales…

The Wild Magick of Wales Pilgrimage Day 4, Tuesday, August 20, 2013…our optional day trip…

An optional day on a pilgrimage, with two main choices… 1) mosey around town, shop and/or rest; or, 2) go on a trip to Bala Lake to commune with the land and spirits of Wales and the goddess Cerridwen.

Entering Bala Lake with Christopher Penczak and our fellow pilgrims

Entering Bala Lake with Christopher Penczak and our fellow pilgrims

Hmm. Guess which one I picked?

Yep. You guessed right! Bala Lake, here I come! (Well, or there I went anyway.)

A group of eight of us on the Wales pilgrimage took the day trip to Bala Lake. The beauty of the lake, the beauty of the place was unsurpassed. What a perfect setting for a ritual! Incredible.

The waters gently lapping and licking at the shore. The mountains, stalwart, in the background, the strength of that land’s people over time. Ancestors gathered ‘round, with families laughing and playing, voices softly drifting across the lake. And here we were, the Witches, the shamans, the mages, walking around through the wilder part of the lake.

Between. At the shore of Bala Lake

Between. At the shore of Bala Lake

On the edges. On the edge. Between.

We gathered, and we each took a Dragon’s Tear and then went to find a plant that spoke to us to bring it back for our ritual.

As I meandered through the grass and by the shore, I found feathers and rocks. But for the ritual itself, I went straight to a gorgeous Oak tree that called to me. It had these amazing roots, growing everywhere. I asked permission of the tree’s spirit, and I took three leaves from it. As it would turn out, that was the very spot where we were to have our ritual.

Bala Lake and the Mountains of Wales

Bala Lake and the Mountains of Wales

On this journey, I had blessed and brought pink quartz and amethyst tumbled stones to leave as offerings, which I did throughout Wales. I left my pink quartz offering in gratitude. When I came home, I also gifted some of the stones in a free raffle at one of our Spirit’s Edge: A Seeker’s Salon rituals, sharing the love and magick from Wales.

I spent time communing with the lake, and I anointed myself with its waters. The clarity of the water. The beauty of the stones at the water’s edge. Cleansed, purified. The sounds of nature all around.

After our time of silent and solitary communion, we gathered for our ritual.

Oak Tree at Bala Lake

Oak Tree at Bala Lake

As we gathered, we formed a semicircle with the Oak making part of our circle. We cast a circle and called the quarters. We stood between an Oak, Ash and Thorn. Ahh, magick was afoot. Indeed. It was a Druid’s spot. One of our fellow pilgrims, felt that this used to be part of Cerridwen’s Island. Messages abounded at the edge of the lake, in that copse of trees, in that magick tree circle.

We each took turns speaking of our plant ally that we had found, sharing its story and then placing it in a chalice. The chalice was also filled with water. When it was my turn, I placed Oak into the chalice, and I stirred nine times with my Oak wand.

Oak Leaves at Bala Lake

Oak Leaves at Bala Lake

Then we went around the circle again, taking turns as we each came up to our altar of stone and dipped our thumb into the water. As I dipped my left thumb into the chalice and put it in my mouth, it reminded me of the myths and stories of Cerridwen, of the lore. The vibrations called to me. She called to me.

Rattling accompanied us as we sank down into our journeys. We sank down into the Earth. Deep. Further and deeper into the Earth, into the depths of the below.

At first I was walking through red cave tunnels. Ancient. The walls had stories to tell and to share. And the walls had torches lighting them, lighting my path, lighting the way. Then it became dark. I went to the light. I sought out the light, and I came out into a forest. This forest was rich with Oak and many other plants. It was a deep, delicious, mysterious and powerful forest.

I was wearing a fur hide cloak of some sort, perhaps of deer. Warmth and comfort surrounded me as I walked. I saw a cottage, and I walked up to it. There was a cauldron outside. I went into the cottage, and though I had been at this cottage before and would be many times again, it was my first time to step across its threshold.

Her threshold…for this was Cerridwen’s cottage.

Cerridwen by ArwensGrace on deviantart

Cerridwen by ArwensGrace on deviantart

Cerridwen bade me enter and sit across from her at a wooden table. She then gave me her wisdom. She clearly had been awaiting my arrival. I find that happens so often on these journeys. The spirits know we are coming, they have been waiting for us, and they have messages for us.

Cerridwen told me that I would find a stick with two forks, and it would be symbolic of my path. She said I am on the right path. She said I have chosen the right path. There will be some bends and branches, she added, but I am going the right way.

She fed me barley soup in a cup. She embraced me. Cerridwen held my head in her hands, gazing into my eyes. It was the love of a wise crone, the love of a grandmother. I went back out the way I came, much more than the Witch that had entered that journey.

When we came out of the journey, we listened to the winds to hear its message and the message of the place. The winds spoke to me and gave me this message:

Our offerings from the Chalice on our stone altar

Our offerings from the Chalice on our stone altar

You will hear
Your way is clear
Mark your path
Make your way
Others will come
And they will stay.

It was such a great feeling and beautiful messages from that journey, the winds and the spirits of that place!

Simple. Powerful.

Sometimes simple is the best. I find that the most amazing connections with nature happen at those times.

Gas station in the town of Bala - gotta love it!

Gas station in the town of Bala – gotta love it!

After our journey, we went into the quaint and beautiful town of Bala. We had a lovely lunch at a pub. I had leek soup and a cheese and onion sandwich. Mmm, I can taste that soup now! Nothing like a good meal after a sojourn in nature and deep magickal work!

Next stop was a meander next door to a little shop. I got some post cards of Wales, one with a Hawk and the Moon, and we commented on their magickal images. Of course, I had to have a sweatshirt, right? The first sweatshirt I picked up was maroon, and I went to ask the shop owners what 1282 meant under the Welsh name for Wales. I had noticed the red blood splattered on it and thought it was to mark when Wales was taken over by England.

It was as I thought.

Shop in Bala

Shop in Bala

The husband and wife owners said it was the year that Prince Llewellyn was killed.

I said that I thought so and how that was perfect and made it so special for me. I held my hand to my heart.

They were so happy at that and asked me where I was from, and we chatted. They were absolutely delightful!

One of the most beautiful things about travelling is connecting with all of the people of the land.

Wearing my Prince Llewellyn swearshirt at the end of our pilgrimage

Wearing my Prince Llewellyn swearshirt at the end of our pilgrimage

As an aside, I should mention that I had been to Wales before, and I knew I would come back – and there I was again.

My passion was originally ignited many years ago when I happened to pick up a historical fiction trilogy on Wales in the time of the Welsh kings, written by Sharon Kay Penman. I highly recommend her books, particularly that trilogy.

As we left the little shop, I found a small Crow feather just outside. It was such a beautiful and magickal day. It was only to become more magickal as the day wore into evening, as you can see from my last blog post HERE.

One day trip. One journey. From one pilgrimage.

So that is the story for now. Until we turn the page to see what comes next…

Blessed Be,

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2 Responses to Cerridwen, Bala Lake and the Wild Magick of Wales Pilgrimage

  1. Pingback: Merlin and the Four Orders of Avalon, a Tale of a Pilgrimage | Thoughts on the Edge – Spirit's Edge: The Witch's Croft by Shea Morgan

  2. Pingback: Merlin of the Wild Forest, a Tale of a Pilgrimage | Thoughts on the Edge – Spirit's Edge: The Witch's Croft by Shea Morgan

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