Saturday, 29 July 2017

Beverly Minster - A Truly Spiritual Experience


Whenever we visit the busy market town of Beverley our trip is never complete without calling into Beverly Minster to escape the hustle and bustle for a few moments of peace and quiet reflection. Not only is the building an incredible work of art, widely recognised as one of the finest examples of Gothic churches in Europe, the energy of this beautiful place never fails to enthrall  me. I have visited many churches, cathedrals, and minsters over the years but so many have left me feeling unmoved energetically. There is often a feeling of aloof coldness that comes from them, as if you are somehow intruding and don't belong.

However, there is something so friendly, warm and welcoming about Beverly Minster. The multitude of layers of faith and belief, strength and devotion, love and compassion built up over the years has such a soothing effect on my soul; as does standing in the presence of the shrine to St John.

 

John of Beverley (died 7 May 721) was an English bishop active in the kingdom of Northumbria. He was the bishop of Hexham and then the bishop of York which was the most important religious designation in the area. He went on to found the town of Beverley by building the first structure there, a monastery. John was associated with miracles during and after his lifetime, and was canonised a saint by the Catholic Church in 1037. 

The minster owes its origin and much of its subsequent importance to Saint John of Beverley, who founded a monastery locally around 700 AD and whose bones still lie beneath a plaque in the nave. (Wikipedia)


 

We last visited the minster a couple of weeks ago taking lots of photos but the final one that Phil took we later discovered had captured so many orbs we were amazed. There was nothing in any of the other photos we had taken, just this one below. I love that there are some high above looking down, one clearly moving through and below several sat beneath as if they are praying. It made our visit extra special. I wonder if one of those was St John :-)


I could spend hours just gazing up at the the stained glass it is so beautiful

  

  


Monday, 24 July 2017

The Devil's Arrows



On a beautiful sunny summer morning while on a trip to the Yorkshire Dales we stopped by a field in Boroughbridge and found ourselves in the presence of 3 magnificent standing stones known as the Devil’s Arrows. Originally believed to be either four of five in total, the other two removed either in the belief that treasure was buried beneath them or simply to be used as building materials many years ago.

The stones are believed to date back to either the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age period. The tallest standing stone is greater in height than those at Stonehenge and stands by the roadside among trees immediately on the west side of Roecliffe Lane, the other two are across the road in a field which is flanked by the lane which leads to Boddy’s timber yard and the Boroughbridge Marina. The lightest of the Arrows weighs over 25 tons.  These are all made of millstone grit which over time has worn away leaving various lines and indentations in the surface making them look as if they did indeed once streak through the air.  

 

Also known as The Devil’s Bolts, The Three Greyhounds and The Three Sisters, legend says that up until the 8th century the fair of St. Barnabas was held near the stones on Midsummer's Day each year. The standing stone became known as the Devil’s Arrows from an account of the Devil firing arrows of stone on a nearby Christian settlement at Aldborough. The area powerfully protected by the prayers of the faithful prevented any damage, and causing the “arrows” to fall harmlessly into a nearby field.  It was also claimed that walking 12 times around the stones anti-clockwise will raise the Devil.

It has also been suggested that the stones were erected by the Romans to commemorate some great victory and there certainly was a Roman fort immediately to the west of the stones. Others have attempted, without much success, to connect them to Ley lines. More feasible is the theory that the line was built in prehistoric times to align with the southernmost summer moonrise. Inevitably a religious purpose is ascribed to the stones more than any other. But it has also been suggested that they are monuments to the power or prestige of a local chief, that they are an avenue leading to a henge, or ford, or burial area. (http://www.boroughbridge.org.uk/Devils_Arrows_3069.aspx)

There are many other stone circles and henges in this area forming a large fascinating prehistoric area of great importance in the valley of the River Ure. I look forward to returning one day and spending more time in this area exploring the other stone circles and henges. Whatever the true story behind these stones the spiritual energy radiating from them was just incredible, forming a fascinating link between the past and the present.




Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Walking With My Ancestors


As a unique way of celebrating our wedding anniversary Phil and I decided to have our DNA ethnicity tested. It is something which has fascinated us for a long time and with our interests in different cultures, spiritual paths and belief systems it would be interesting to see which ones we were linked to through our DNA

Once we returned our DNA kit we spent 6 weeks speculating where we may have come from. We received our results yesterday and much of it was a huge surprise, but there were also a few “Aha” moments too, and I guess more will follow in time as we explore more deeply. Interestingly for me was discovering that my main DNA was firmly rooted in Western Europe, with Ireland the second largest data base, while my British roots were incredibly shallow. Being born, and other than a few holidays aboard, living my whole life in one country it is incredible to think that the blood which runs through my veins is the result of so many of my ancestors all around the world, many places I never thought about yet alone visited. However, now with hindsight I have been able to see some parallels in my life.

I visited France very briefly many years ago, and although I have experienced past lives there and know my connection, in this lifetime, there was certainly a familiarity with it. 

Spain, however, was another thing altogether, the first time I visited was a huge experience for me. I made a powerful connection to the place. In truth I was drawn to it even before I went, reading and watching everything I could about it beforehand. Once I arrived, even though I knew little Spanish, I quickly somehow seemed to understand the language. It all just felt so familiar to me, like I had come home. There was a familiarity with the people, the way of life, the whole energy of the country. When I returned to England I felt bereft, more than the usually post holiday blues, I felt as if I had left a part of myself there. I began to have powerful out of body experiences each night where I would find myself back there walking through the hills. I returned to Spain several times physically over the years and although it will always have a special place in my heart, I never had that kind of overwhelming experience again.

At school I found learning the German language very easy, perhaps this is a result of my DNA. I have never seriously pursued learning other languages but after this I might have another go.

I have always felt very drawn to Ireland, also a large part of my DNA. I look forward to visiting one day; I have some wonderful friends from there. I was born in England, my father is English with Scottish roots. My mother is half Welsh so the Celtic energies and ways have always been an influential part of my spiritual path.

I know religion, both Catholic and Protestant, is a recurring theme through my family tree, the church has formed the foundation of many of my ancestors lives. I was brought up a Christian and this is important to me, although I can’t say I agree with many of the ways of the church. I prefer to connect and worship in my own personal way.

The Fey has also been an important aspect of my spirituality since I was a small child; I really was the little girl who played with the fairies at the bottom of the garden, something which is close to the hearts of many Celts. I find there is something deep and timeless when I connect in my spiritual work, as if it has always been a part of me and now I know why. I studied Druidry with OBOD (Order of Bards, Druids and Ovates) for many years and this helped to strengthen my connection to my Fey path and also how taught me how to integrate different belief systems into my spirituality. Like many on a similar path to mine I consider myself a Celtic Shaman and by embracing my Christian roots I have an interest in Celtic Christianity. For me this provides the perfect blend of my two sides.

The Scandinavia connection is an interesting one for me as I feel drawn to Nordic energies and legends and often work with Freyja in my spiritual practice. Many of the countries I am connected to are part of the “Elen Ways” of how I work. Elen as an antlered woman is often called a deer woman, though there is only one deer species where the female has antlers and that is reindeer. Elen is The Reindeer Goddess of the tracks, these being the migratory ways of old; before the seas cut Europe off from Britain some eight thousand years ago there was a great forest and this connected one huge land mass. Along this stretched the great tracks and trails, where beasts and men moved with nature, rather than against her. These then were her Ways. She is also associated with Ley lines. 

The Sami people are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sami are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples, and are hence the northernmost indigenous people of Europe

One day I would love to visit these places and see how each affects me energetically now I am more advanced along my spiritual path. I think learning about our roots can really enhance all aspects of our life. There is something comforting knowing that we are result of the love of generations of people from all over the world. We often hear the terms we are all One and for me this really brings it home in a heartfelt way. We are all citizens of the world connected to one another. I am proud of who I am and below is the DNA which flows through my veins.

51% Europe West
Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein
32% Ireland
9% Great Britain
England, Scotland, Wales.
2% Europe East
Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia
2% Iberian Peninsula
Spain, Portugal
1% Finland/ Russia (northwest)
1% Scandinavia
Sweden, Norway, Denmark
1% West Asia: Caucasus
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey
1% Asia Central
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan



Love & blessings, Raine x