Last weekend I spent a fantastic four days on a Druidic Shamanic retreat at Cae Mabon in North Wales. The eco centre is located in a tiny valley hidden by trees, on the other side of Llyn Padarn from the village of Llanberis. Afon Fachwen, the ‘little white river’ runs through the site and it’s next door to the forested Padarn Country Park. It’s the perfect setting to get away from it all and do a little spiritual work.
Apart from a couple of hours of sunshine and blue skies, the weather was pretty wet and windy. This actually enhanced the whole experience for me and I spent a happy half hour meditating at the end of a tongue of land sticking out into the lake. Surrounded on three sides by water, with the wind blowing a gale and the rain lashing down, I felt suspended between the three elements of earth, air and water. The worries and stresses of life were scoured out and I came away feeling balanced and reconnected.
We did plenty of inner work over the weekend, and there was a wonderful candlelit labyrinth ritual for some of us, while others took part in a sweat lodge ceremony. The sparks from their fire blew across the river and ripped through the trees like fairies. While we each walked the labyrinth, the rest stood chanting. I heard a lot of new chants and I’m hoping to learn them by heart so that I can use them in ritual myself.
The weekend was lovely and relaxed and we had plenty of time to simply walk out into Nature or sit and chat. We were also treated to a wonderful Dream Journey, where we meditated to sound – drums, bells, percussion and voice; an Eisteddfod held in the roundhouse, and an afternoon of crafting.
Cae Mabon feels like Brigadoon, it is a place out of time. Sitting in the ancient woodland I did wonder if I would step back out into the world and find a couple of centuries had passed. It’s a magical place, full of earth energy and Spirit. I arrived home damp and smoky but blissfully happy.
The View from the compost toilets. I couldn’t get used to not flushing. Every time I paid a visit I turned round to look for the loo handle!
The river has a series of waterfalls down the hillside – this is one of the smaller ones. In this sort of weather it certainly is white in appearance.
Sunshine through the loo window.
View of the Round House from the Barn.
View from the Roundhouse
Lynn Padarn. On the last morning the wind dropped.This made the lake seem especially ethereal and otherworldly
Some beautiful tiny violets.