I was introduced to Earth magic by Sue Vincent and Stuart France of the Silent Eye but if I am totally honest, they really rather reawakened something within me that has always been there. If I look back, what turned into an early career as a Geologist, involved a love of the wilderness – the lonely places of beauty sculpted by forces more powerful that you can imagine. Tramping through moors and dale with my hammer and rucksack studying how Mother Nature had shaped our world was the singular driving force that turned me from an average school student into a natural born Geologist capable of original research. It was a tad miraculous really if I think back.
Totally crap at math at school, my PhD thesis relied in part upon complex multivariate statistics. My shoddy knowledge of biology was turned into expertise in trinomial nomenclature in that same thesis…
The area north and east of Brno is formed by the Moravia karst – a limestone landscape and natural park of considerable beauty and filled with attractions. Today, I went to the tiny hamlet of Holštejn. A remote village at the end of a dead end road in the middle of nowhere about 35km outside of Brno (see map).
There on top of a limestone hill with two sheer sides is the ruins of Holštejn Castle. Built in or around 1278 by Hartman, the son of Crha of Ceblovice. Sometime around 1320, it is purchased by Vok of Sovinec and just four generations later, it is owned by Hynek from Valdštejn, Půta from Sovince and Dobeš Černohorský from Boskovice. In 1493, Holštejn bought Hynek from Popůvek, after his death in 1528 the estate was inherited by his daughter Markéta. In 1531, the castle is listed as desolate. The Castle ruins are directly above a large limestone cave called the Hladomorna cave (famine Cave). It was bricked up in the middle ages but was connected to the castle.
As with many locations in these lands, the cave is associated with some interesting tales. One revolves around a buried treasure guarded by a black man who lives in the cave. There is also another legend that one of the Vok’s (IV) fell for the charms of a nearby maiden and not able to win her over with gifts, took her and her Mother by force of arms. He imprisoned the Mother in the cave and would only release her if Agnes would marry him. Unfortunately, Agnes’ Mother died of starvation and Vok had to go off to war. Agnes was rescued and Vok met a nasty end in battle. Interesting, a local historian of an earlier era states that the black man is actually a red woman! Perhaps the ghost of the poor lady who was starved there? Indeed, the Vok’s were not very nice people it seems and they routinely held travelers for ransom and imprisoned them in the walled up cave.
Whatever the history and legends, I felt an energy there and next time I visit, I will take my dowsing rods. It seemed to me to be an idyllic place for meditation and working with the Goddess Živa (due to the stream) and I sensed no evil presence in the cave or area of the Castle. Behind the limestone hill on which the Castle stands is a beautiful stream that when I was there was full of water due to melting snow. It bends around and eventually disappears underground. The area is full of underground rivers, stream and caves of course and I believe the water comes back to the surface again at the nearby Macocha cave. The Macocha cave area is reputedly the site of a dragon and therefore I believe strong Earth energies. The area behind the Castle and to one side of the stream seemed to me to be a very peaceful and strong energy area.
This may be the final post that I get chance to write for the Silent Eye… that decision has been taken out of my hands. I spent much of last week in hospital, having, as many of you know, been diagnosed with incurable small cell lung cancer last September. It has been an interesting and informative journey on so many levels as familiar things have been stripped away and a gift of love left in its place… rather like the tooth fairy leaving something of real value in place of a discarded incisor.
First to go was the illusion of near-immortality that gets us through life, one way or another. We know there is a certain inevitability about life leading to death, but we tend not to apply it to ourselves until we are forced to pay attention. Dealing with the situation that made me sit up and listen meant…
Wilsonuv Les or Wilson’s Forest in English is another spectacular spot of greenery in Brno. According to a website I found, it was ‘founded in 1882 by the landowner and notary Ludvík Odstrčil in close proximity to the then settlement of Kamenný mlýn in the south of the cadastre of the village of Žabovřesky. Thanks to his cooperation with the Afforestation and Decoration Association of Brno, a forest park with today’s area of almost 34 ha was created. The current Wilson Forest is at the foot of the slope, the Pod lesem sports complex with the historic Rosnička restaurant and the multi-purpose sports hall of the same name. At the beginning of the 1970s, a gap was cut in the forest park and a ski slope with an artificial surface was set up, but later it was taken out of operation and fell into disrepair. Although a plan for restoration was created at the beginning of the 21st century, unfortunately a number of Žabovřesk residents, including a civic association, opposed it. Therefore, this plan was abandoned and in 2008 it was decided to include this section in the forest park. In the years 2011-2014, the park was reconstructed with the support of the European Regional Development Fund and the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic. As part of this implementation, the removal and treatment of woody plants and the planting of new vegetation elements took place. The forest park is located on the slope of a rocky hill on the left bank of the Svratka River in the modern cadastral areas of Stránice, Pisárky and Žabovřesky.’
You can see where it is on the map below – it is marked with the red blob and labelled Wilson Forest Park. My home is shown in a blue blob in the lower right side of the map just below Hrad Spilbirk (Take a walk with me around the castle?)
On the map, you can also see the location of Kostel svateho Augustine (St. Augustines Church) and may recall I had mapped an energy line from the Castle all the way to that church. The line continues down to the park. So today I thought I’d take a look around the park and see if I could track the line a bit further.
I started by walking the opposite direction to do the grand tour of the park. It is really beautiful and offers spectacular views of the city as you can see in the photos.
After circling the park, my challenge was to find the line. In other words, I was not working from the last point I had found it but instead trying to find it on the other side of the park and then would work back to the last place I had mapped it previously. This is a bit more challenging as I have to find the line and work back. However, to my surprise, I found the line within 100 m of commencing dowsing and then started to work my way back. I tracked it across the park and to the end of the street that goes up to St. Augustines. There, again to my amazement, I found a cross directly on the line at the edge of the park. It must be a war memorial looking at the dates but it lacks any other inscription. But once again, I was forced to muse about how it got to be placed on an energy line???
Further mapping will have to wait for another day….. but I enjoyed visiting Wilson’s Forest.
I wrote an autobiographical book about finding my place in Czechia through connecting with the magic of the land. It was called Chasing the Shaman and it continues to do rather well for such a book – a sort of magic/Earth energies/autobiography thing. What started everything to kick into place was my discovery of a mysterious shaman operating in plain sight right here down my street. His wonderful stone arrangements lay for months yet no one disturbed them and his continual visits were documented with gifts of tobacco and new stones.
I never did find out who he was and his activities stopped earlier this year. But mine didn’t. He had led me on a journey I had not anticipated nor expected into the Slavic Deities and customs here in Czechia and beyond. I started mapping Earth energy lines with my dowsing rods, visiting magical places with rumors of dragons and imaging myself as Perun – God of Thunder and Veles – God of the Underworld. I made relationships with trees and with the Goddess in nature discovering a whole new world right on my doorstep – and a whole new me to boot. I put this into a new book that I called Chasing Dragons in Moravia. The cover of the book features a Czech stone circle called Karluv Stul (King’s Table). I don’t know if it were my timing but this book officially bombed. I think two people have purchased it. The question is why?
Anyway, I’m now engaged in a furtherance of the activities in that book and working the Winter and Spring with Morana and Vesna – two Slavic Goddesses that represent death and winter, and fertility and spring. I am combining that with working under a Slavic shaman out of the US that I discovered and her moon work. This had me build my Morana effigy on the Winter Solstice, for example. The plan is for a third book called – yes – Chasing the Goddess. Meanwhile, I am documenting some of the work here as well.
Vasey’s new book continues to bring insights and his personal experience of a whole field of esotericism that is both ancient to the larger world, but completely new to me. I had never heard of Perun and Veles before, yet I was enthralled by his invocations of both, and his honest responses when – as often happens in this kind of Work – nothing seems to happen. When in fact, as time reveals, everything was always happening.