The coast of Cornwall is always a delight - and the first warm day of spring in the countryside is something special to savour. Put the two together, add in an ample helping of quality dowsing in convivial company and voila - one of those magical cameos you hope no-one will write about, in case loads of other people crowd you out next time.
Strangely, for a group of adults, most of whom had lived in the South West for years, none of us had ever been there before. No preconceptions, take it as you find it, hidden treasure.
First stop, St Piran’s Well - an unprepossessing, heavily restored, mock-beehive monument, seemingly beleaguered among parked cars and farmyard debris. But beneath the 1950’s makeover lies an exciting and bewildering complex of energy, water and ley lines. We tried to understand their various colours, chased them across the road and followed them into the nearby church - a quiet simple building, full of peaceful energy. Annie found a few minutes to carry out some ad hoc dowsing tuition for a couple of passing students, while Alan, Peggy and Joy helped a neighbour find a lost well. Annie and I followed along and proceeded to ‘find’ it in different places, but such is the unpredictability of a day out with the Tamar Dowsers.
St Nectan’s Glen was full of soothing spring smells and subtle sensations. Well mostly soothing. At one point I picked up what seemed to be an energy line, which Annie dowsed to be the site of a possible murder. Moving quickly on . . .
At the end of the Glen stands a hermitage. Again, not much to look at - turn of the century (the last century that is!!) half-timbered house, with a £2 entrance fee. Inside - the remains of a medieval monk’s cell. Despite the tourist veneer, I felt this place retained a profound sense of peace and sanctuary. Not everyone agreed, but plenty of energy was certainly present - this was still an important place. Part of the gate money allows entry to the steep, sometimes slippery steps, leading to a waterfall. Despite there having been no rain for some days, the waterfall was in good voice - pouring through a holed rock into a surprisingly calm pool. The pool, in its natural gorge, emanated the most uplifting sense of healing strength. The surrounding plethora of clouties and pebble heaps were sound evidence that many others had sensed this too. I had no qualms about merging with the force for a few moments to hasten the recovery of my wonky knee.
Rocky Valley (in fact it’s the same valley as St Nectan’s Glen, but this is the bit to the seaward side of the road) has its own, very different, but very distinctive, charm.
Weathered rocks, rushing water, industrial archaeology - and the labyrinths. Carved on the rock face are two ancient, left-handed labyrinths, which dowsed to being over 4000 years old (although the sign from the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works stated that they dated from between 1300 and 1800 bce). As John rightly pointed out, our views on archaeology have changed quite a bit in the last 50 years or so - and we’ve rediscovered a good deal about dowsing too. The labyrinth images lie in the middle of an energy spiral, formed by two ‘female’ (left-handed?) earth energy lines, much as they have for millennia.
Nearby, the ruins of wheel-houses mark the locations where frantic industrial activity grew up, declined and all but disappeared in what, compared to the life of the labyrinths, was the briefest of chapters.
Rocky valley itself is a little Eden. We studied the flora, contemplated the geology, watched the action of the whirlpools, gazed out to sea - and almost reluctantly made our way back.
Don’t go there - you’ll hate it. I want it still to be Eden - after the winter mud and before the tourist industry scatters the tranquillity - next year.
A man at the nearby hotel remarked to Ruth, in a matter of fact sort of way, that a ley line ran through his flat. It does. It also runs through the pinnacle that is Long Island and what looks like the oldest house in the village of Trethevy. Dowsing in the community - I feel a book coming on.
On a day when some of the world’s most arrogant and aggressive regimes are busy bombing the hell out of one another - and anyone else unfortunate enough to be living in the vicinity - it is reassuring to note that the quietly positive forces of the world are patiently and persistently redressing the balance.
One day - hopefully not too far away - the ‘Rocky Valleys’ feeding the Tigris and the Euphrates will also return to being quietly uplifting in the spring sunshine.