DFest 2018

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South Zeal

Where the main thrust of the action took place. Talks, workshops, shops and lots of interesting conversation.


Leaders: Sally Cunis and Mandy Bennett

St. Michael’s Church, with its beautiful stained-glass window of St. Michael and his sword, sits on top of the striking basalt outcrop of Brentor. It is a somewhat steep walk up the winding path to the church at the top of the tor, which provides stunning views around 360 degrees. This is an exceptional Earth Energy site to dowse, as the Michael and Mary Currents cross here; there are naturally occurring Earth Energy healing points; an Elemental Giant; a Portal; and, Energy Pentagrams. There are also both Iron Age and Medieval archaeological remains to dowse, as well as water.

Thanks to Alison Onslow for permission to use these photos.

Lydford Gorge

Stuart Dow describes how he led a group of DFesters through Lydford Gorge

(Stuart’s report was first published on the Tamar Dowsers website; with thanks to Stuart Dow and Nigel Twinn for permission to reproduce his report here, all photos by Stuart Dow)

. . . and so it was that a nicely manageable party of ten intrepid dowsers assembled at Lydford Gorge on the Sunday morning of DFest 2018 for a walk, talk and dowse along that stretch of the Michael Line.

Lydford Gorge, the deepest in the south west, was formed by a process known as ‘River Capture’, whereby a spring or a nearby river eroded backwards and downwards, until its origin intersected with the River Lyd, diverting its course into a second channel.

There was once a Bronze Age fort in the forest above the gorge. Hut circles and other ancient remains from this period lie beneath the present day village and its Norman fort mound.

Lydford was part of Alfred the Great’s defensive network against the Danes in the 880s – and the village is still discernibly laid out in the classic crossed lanes shape that Alfred learnt during his time in Rome.

Aelfthryth, who was born in Lydford Castle in 945, married Edgar 1st, and thus became the Queen of England. Lydford was of great strategic importance then, and it also minted its own currency. In 997 it was sacked by Vikings, who had plundered their way up the River Tamar, burning Tavistock Abbey on their way.

The first church at Lydford was of ‘Celtic’ Christianity, and it was a natural evolution of the practices of the earlier druid/shamen priests, who would have worshipped at the Gorge. As a result of the raids, by the Middle Ages the town had shrunk, and had become a dangerous backwater. In 1644, William Brown, writing in his ‘A Lydeforde Journey’, described the gorge as:

“near to the Gubbins caves, a peoples that have no knowledge of law, of God, or man; whom Caesar himself never subdued, whose lawless lives are of manners rude. All savage in their den . . . by whom, if any pass that way, they dare not find the least time to stay, for presently they would howl, upon which their signal they do muster, their naked forces in a cluster, led forth by Roger Rowle”.

At the head of the Gorge, past the present road bridge is a pool and hidden caves. Once the pool was known as Rowle’s Pool, now sadly misnamed Tucker’s Pool. It is there that these outlaws made their primitive abodes.

It is believed by some that these ‘Gubbins Folk’ came about as a result of Jesuit priests and others, who had served under King Charles during the Civil War, and had hidden from the Puritan forces – thus becoming infamous as ‘The Robin Hoods of Dartmoor’. Personally, I feel that the subtle, but powerful, effects of the Michael earth energy, channelled and intensified by this Gorge, had much to do with the power and naked lawlessness of these outlaws.

Much later, the present ‘Castle’ – which was actually built as a courthouse and prison – became known as a place of great dread. It was described as:

“one of the most heinous, contagious and detestable places in the whole realm”.

I think that is a good lesson about the power of ‘intent’ created on an energy line. We have a choice . . . and thus it is wise to go in peace in love and light upon this planet that we all share.

I handed each member of the group a map showing the course of the Michael Energy, and we set off on the three-mile walk, taking in the beauty of the woodland. Halfway towards the White Lady Falls, people were beginning to zone in on the genius loci of the area. They had picked up the dowseable energy of a curious granite stone way-marker, with a backwards S carved beautifully into it. This stone is an enigma. It has chakras, and appears to be placed on an energy line. Some found it severe and dark, others felt fine and were happy there.

As we approached the White Lady Falls, everyone appeared to notice the change in ‘vibe’, and soon we were tracking the course of Michael as we descended into the floor of the Gorge. At the foot of the Falls, where everyone stopped and gazed in rapture, is a beautiful, sparkling energy and undoubted healing presence, where the Lady conjoins with the coursing Michael Energy.

It took us quite a while to move from this place but, given the time schedule, we all continued along the woodland path by the river, with the Michael energy beside us creating a feeling of the ‘Otherworld’.

Further along, where the path crosses the river and also the Energy, there is a tunnel. Here, some found their dowsing rods spinning wildly! It was a wonderful to see the sheer joy on the faces of the dowsers.

We tracked, by this time more wearily, on through ‘Pixies Glen’ to the highlight of the walk, the Devil’s Cauldron.

At this point some left as time was pressing on for lunch, but the more adventurous bravely descended into the narrow gap between rails and rock down into the river chasm – with the near-deafening sound of the water assaulting their ears and senses. Rods were once more spinning wildly for some, as we were right in the middle of the funnelled, and thus accentuated, power of the Michael Line. At this point it’s a force to be reckoned with!

Here, I explained that the Devil’s Cauldron – no doubt named by a jealous church – should be renamed ‘The DIVINE Cauldron’! A chalice of white surging water, and of white noise – the sound of PURE energy!

I then spoke of our progression through the Ages, from Pisces (and of being ‘a fish in water’) to Aquarius (and of being ‘at one with water’) and that water IS life – and thus also the essence of pure Love.

I then asked everyone to spend a few minutes in silent meditation and gratitude amongst the deafening energy of the white noise, before climbing out of our Otherworld and back to the everyday world above.


Kes Tor

Leader: John Moss

Kes Tor is a massive granite Tor with rock basins and panoramic views in all directions. A moderate walk westward brings you to a significant Standing Stone, and Stone Rows. The Guardian of place; Earth Energy currents; stone transmission bands; remains of Bronze Age settlements, and Ancient site dowsing are all available in this wonderful corner of Dartmoor.

Belstone Tor

Leader: Angie Kibble

A two mile walk up a track of medium gradient to the side of the tor where the ‘Nine Maidens’ stones stand, along with a Neolithic cairn, and a glorious view all around. This is a magical location, with a Guardian of Place; and the full range of Earth Energies; as well as water energies. In addition there was a chance to visit the Holy Well on the Belstone Village Green with associated water dowsing of blind springs; and St. Mary’s Church nearby, which has the Energy Lines running through it and a very ancient Stone Cross, which may or may not allow you to dowse its age.

Scorhill Stone Circle and Tolmen Stone

Leader: Jo Rowe-Leete

Scorhill is arguably the most dramatic of all the Dartmoor Stone Circles. It was a moderate 15 minute walk from the car park. There are currently 23 standing stones and 11 fallen stones which form a circle 27 metres in diameter. The views West, South and North are breath taking. Dowsing could include the Guardian of place; remanence of missing stones; healing spots; blind springs with their energies; stone transmission bands; stone “cross talk”; the Mary Current, Energy spirals and much more. The Tolmen Stone, with its fascinating myths, can even be climbed through.
This is a short walk down the hill to the North Teign River. There are many hut circles forming part of an extensive Neolithic settlement in the area.


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