Les Sites Antiques de Breizh
Earth Energy Dowsing on the Coast of Brittany - late autumn 2019
Just as Penwith is to Cornwall, and so on to distant England - so Finistére is to Brittany, and to the greater France.
I have always found that dowsing in this Celtic corner of north western Europe has something rather special about it. Whether it’s the place or the people, past or present, the geology, the atmosphere, or some inexplicable psychic or spiritual quality of the area - je ne sais quoi. What seems very evident, and often quite tangibly so, is that the earth energies in particular feel sharper, cleaner, somehow better defined. Maybe it’s just down to the dowser.
With heavy rain and strong winds forecast to accompany our petit vacances (to mark Ros’s theoretical retirement), we chose to keep our outings close to our port of arrival - Roscoff. Despite this, we found five stunning sites, in just a few days, that had somehow evaded our many previous visits. It was almost as if it was our time to find them - and maybe that we now had enough experience between us to make a bit more sense of these multi-layered locations.
Our first visit was to the Menhir of Camm Louis, on the coast above Plouscat just a few kilometres west of Roscoff itself. We’d never really heard of it, although it was the one place that we should have visited with the Earth Energies Group in 2016 but, on that occasion, we unexpectedly ran out of time to go there.
At first sight, it appears to be a fairly standard, if very large, standing stone. As we approached, it seemed to have a slight shimmer - not quite a visible aura, but more than just an indication of one. My dowsing implied that it is the last and largest of a group of five such uprights, one of which still lies prone nearby. In terms of grids, it stands on a Hartmann crossing point but, more poignantly, it is sited squarely within the lines of a Benker box, much like the last longstone at Merrivale and, quite possibly, they are both still standing for that same reason.
A notch towards the bottom of the rock appears to be a natural feature, but dowses as having been the remnants of a (thankfully failed) attempt to fell the giant by Christian quarrymen back in the 14thCentury. Ros dowsed that the smoothed indent actually helped to take away some of the alpha male aspect of the menhir, and introduced a more female aspect to it - inadvertently improving its energetic balance!
It stands on the crossing point of two leys (of the Alfred Watkins earth energy type), both of which have their next reference points on natural features. One of them points to a striking rock outcrop on the nearby promontory to the west, while the other aims at a smaller rocky islet poking up out of the waters of the bay. Natural leys do occasionally include geological nodes, but to get two such lines crossing so obviously is a bit unusual, to put it mildly. Clearly, those erecting the megalith were only too aware of all of these currents and chose their spot accordingly.
It is also worth noting that (rather like the Scilly Isles) the whole of this coast was once much higher above sea level than it is today. Prehistoric sites must be abundant on the surrounding ocean floor, and the dramatic location of the menhir(s) overlooking the incoming tide would have seemed rather different when the vista to the north of it was all dry land.
Our second site was even more of a punt in the dark. Having noted on a (not very detailed) French road map that there was a ‘beach chapel’ and some ‘carved rocks’ near Ploumanac’h on a headland not too far to the east (at least as the seagull soars), we decided to give it a go. It was a longer trek than we had thought, and when we reached Perros Guirec, we found that there was a public sculpture garden of large (possibly concrete) carvings. Well, they were carved rocks of a sort, but our hearts did sink somewhat. However, if you are in dowsing mode, it always pays to just go with the flow.
Eventually we came across a sign pointing to ‘la chapelle’, so we worked our way towards it. Always expect the unexpected when out dowsing. We did indeed find a strange (if seemingly quite modern) chapel in amongst a vast collection of even more strangely anthropomorphic rocks. The chapel had a small cross on its roof, but little other Christian symbolism - the main physical features being weird and monstrous carvings and gargoyles. However, the most obvious energetic aspect of this odd structure is that it sits astride a huge, and incredibly strong, energy ley - the sort that almost blows you off the footpath, albeit in a nice way. The surprisingly pleasant and evidently benevolent nature of the flow seemed completely at odds with the strange building in its midst. To be honest, we were a bit perplexed. Only then did we start to appreciate the full extent of the anthropomorphic outcrops around us. Not only were they intriguing, but it was difficult to understand quite what was the original geology, and how much of it was sculpted modification. It seemed part Tolkien, almost sci-fi in style, but clearly very energetically animated - and essentially natural. My dowsing indicted a degree of human ‘enhancement’, but even that had been an incremental process, with ancient man having made modest changes to significant places, as well as more recent incursions by artists unknown.
To add further confusion, we came across - well, almost fell into - a healing spring, unmarked on any map we had seen, and stuffed deep in a gulley which was difficult to access, and with at least two rock-built basins installed to catch the overflowing water. Without the dowsing, it might have looked a bit like a conveniently obscured laundry facility, of which there are many such examples in this part of France. There was no cross atop the housing of the ‘shrine’, yet the energy lines told a different story. It stands inside the ley mentioned above, and other crossing energy lines further enhance its beneficial impact. It was an astonishing find. The presence of a phare (lighthouse) just a few metres away added to the strange juxtaposition of the clearly practical and the decidedly inexplicable. The dowser and author Peter Knight is always on the lookout for naturally sacred sites such as this. However, most of his places are well off the beaten track - here was one that is clearly usually a French family half-term honey-pot, and only the appalling weather forecast had enabled us to stand back far enough to see it as might once have been intended. Astonishing.
The following day, a brief window in the generally poor weather encouraged us to make a return visit to the gloriously understated L’Isle de Batz. Barely a couple of nautical miles from the busy ferryport, this small island once made a hand-to-mouth existence by growing onions and sending them to the UK courtesy of expeditionary ‘Johnnies’. Judging from all the shuttered second homes, the 600 inhabitants are now heavily reliant on tourism, but it was nice to sense that most of the visitors, off-season at least, were Bretanic locals. With limited time to wander, we set off to the end of the island that we had not visited before.
This brought us to a rock outcrop, which had visibly been well robbed out by stone cutters (almost 20% had disappeared according to my dowsing), but was still redolent with powerful earth energies. Like many similar groups in the area, these rocks had an anthropomorphic aura, and some are still sufficiently intact to evoke that ‘active life petrified’ feel about them.
Most significantly, a strong ley coursed through these rocks, running off into the sea and onwards towards the next section of coast, to the west of Roscoff. Before it was emasculated, a finger of rock would once have perched on the apex of the outcrop, not unlike a logan stone. It would have pointed out the ley for all with eyes to see it. It struck me straight away that in looking for the next point of reference, I was in fact peeking over a gently pointed rock, which itself was on the line. On the far horizon, and really only discernable with binoculars, was a small pointed stick, which could only be a church spire - about 212 degrees to the south west.
The following morning, we trundled through the housing on the coast, but all the settlements there were too new and too touristy to be the remnants of real communities with spired churches. So, we drove inland a little to the first place in a direct line with the western end of L’Isle de Batz - Kléder. In purely visual terms, it seemed far too far to be seen from such a distance, but it was the first place where the rising ground would provide enough of a platform to break the horizon with an impressive steeple.
Like most of north west France at this time of year, it seemed to be an all-but-deserted village, with a vast, open, but quite empty, church. We found the ley, sweeping across the nave, just east of the base of the spire.
An interesting feature of this church is its collection of three ‘fonts’ tucked away in the back corner of the nave. One, looking more like a small hand basin, dowses as being on the original font site, with the currently used receptacle beside it protected by an elegant, golden templar-style scallop-shaped cover.
Our last little outing came on our final morning. The forecast was dire, and the cold rain was already sweeping in. Roscoff, like most similar small towns of the English westcountry, is not much of a place to be on such a day - and even a luxurious 10.00 breakfast can’t be made to last indefinitely.
So it was, that we made our way to the nearest spot with any indication of indoor activity. St Pol de Léon is a modestly sized community with two quite disproportionate ecclesiastical structures - the Cathedral, and the parish church of Notre Dame de Kreisker. We found a parking space close to the latter. As with many such churches, it now seems quite out of scale for the smallish settlement that it serves - especially given that there is full-blown Cathedral barely half a kilometre up the road.
Not knowing how long we would have the interior to ourselves, I slipped into Billy Gawn mode, and asked to be shown the most important thing that I needed to experience that day. I was led to the crossing point in the nave, which was no great surprise - but things are never quite what they seem. My rods pointed towards the high altar and through a wooden cross, positioned on a modern wooden altar close to the crossing point - nothing too unusual about that, I thought. However, it occurred to me to have a look at what the rods were actually indicating. To start with, I was on the centre of a ley which, unusually, ran straight up the centre of the church. This also happened to be concurrent with both a Hartmann line and a Benker line - and also one of Billy Gawn’s planetary grid lines, this time a piece of the Venus grid. Adding in the usual earth energy line running up the nave, the lines of consciousness of all the people who had ever stood where I was standing, and the track lines of their periodic processing - it was beginning to dawn on me just how significant a spatial location this was. I went to the back of the church to explain this revelation to Ros, only for her to point out to me that the wooden cross and the high altar were not actually quite in line from that viewpoint. Hmm.
While the various energy lines do indeed overlay one another, the architecture of the church appears to be just a degree or two skewed to one side. Given the Masonic precision of such ancient structures, this seemed - and seems - surprising. Was this really a genuine construction error, or were the mediaeval builders actually and subtly aligning the church with something else entirely?
Perhaps the last piece of the jigsaw from our sojourn was to appreciate that this voluminous ‘parish’ church is a profoundly female location - dowsing to be at least 80% feminine. Above the high altar is of a full-scale statue of the Virgin Mary, with a tiny baby Jesus in her arms. The adult Christ himself is relegated to a substantial, but secondary, figure above the south door - and therefore not visible as you enter the church. The presence of the Venus line, and the earth energy gender count, add to the overall impression that this very much is a place concerning, and dedicated to, the female aspect of the divine.
Each time we have been dowsing in Brittany, we have found fascinating new places, and come across different and unexpected aspects of the earth energy phenomenon. Yet, I am sure we have only started to scratch the surface of this enigmatic Department.
Nigel (& Ros) Twinn