Today, prompted by a number of emails in response to my article of a few days ago about a mysterious light I encountered in the night in Clackitt’s Wood, I went back to investigate further.
I wasn’t a coward. Honest. It’s just that my grandchildren were visiting and so I took them along. [You will be even more loved by me if you tell me I look too young to have grandchildren].
‘It’s the unknown that draws people.’ E A Bucchianeri
They love Clackitts’s Wood, as much as I did when I was a wee lad, and I still love this ancient and mysterious place. This place frequented by Celts and Druids of old, and still is (if you include me, and probably others).
On our ‘hunting’ for the truth – the truth is out there (someone said on tv) – we past Y Goeden Mellt, lightning tree, see here.
Further on we came to the clearing where I saw that weird light that night, see here.
The grandchildren went even further on, as I pondered, walked around the area to see if anything suspicious was evident. I’ve read the newspapers about UFO in remote parts of the UK and the ‘jury is still out’ as to whether these things exist , but there were no scorch marks on the ground, no crop circle-like marks, nothing odd, nothing there.
The grandchildren were playing on trees, and really enjoying themselves, some two hundred or so feet away – close enough to be heard, but only just seen, and they were gleefully calling out to me, getting a little upset that I seemed to have hung back for no apparent reason. I eventually gave up the evidence-gathering exercise. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, it seems.
‘Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.’ Sherlock Holmes
So I went to rendezvous with the grandchildren, taking the most direct route (whereas, when they had left me minutes before, they had taken a circuitous route). And, here are two mysteries.
The first mystery: It was then that I noticed that on either side of my more direct route to meet up with my grandchildren, that low branches had been broken, and on trees in my path that I had to move around. Broken branches, as though a pack of hounds had run through.
We have foxes in the area, but nothing bigger that I know of.
Some still talk of the Cŵn Annwn [pronounced ‘kuhn an own’], literally, hounds of Annwn, and the latter is the underworld. This story was told when I was a young boy and I loved those stories. The Cŵn Annwn were spectral hounds, were most fearsome and were to be avoided if your heard them in the distance at night. Ofcourse, it’s just a myth. Or is it?
Myth serves a useful purpose. Based or encapsulating a truth they can instruct us today for those ready to listen and take it to heart. Living in a ‘scientific’-based culture, as we now do, we have to work ‘overtime’ to sort out the truth from the fiction that surrounds the story. Usually, many people ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’, remove much truth and magic, and what is left is the bare bones. ‘Much that once was is lost; for none now live who remember’, said Galdriel in Lord Of The Rings.
‘Myths which are believed in tend to become true.’ George Orwell
But, I couldn’t think how hounds could emit that mysterious light…but there were spectres, so who knows? As soon as I finished that thought, and remembering the old stories about them, I remembered the story of Mallt-y-Nos [pronounced ‘malty noss’], Matilda of the Night. She was another phantom, an old crone, who would ride with the Cŵn Annwn, and she carried a lantern! So, if you believe ancient myth, the mystery was solved, and it was Mallt-y-Nos and Cŵn Annwn running to and fro’. Ofcourse, it’s just a myth. Or is it?
I carried on walking, to meet up with the grandchildren, not saying a word about Cŵn Annwn or Mallt-y-Nos as I didn’t want to scare them – but I did love those stories when I was there age – and, there they were running through the very same over-arching trees that I used to play on (or maybe their ‘ancestor-trees), and they were calling each other to go the ‘the door’.
‘Children see magic because they look for it.’ Christopher Moore
Now, that’s interesting and this is the second mystery: As a child, I and my friends saw these two trees as doors to other worlds (and I think we were all fans of Lost in Space and similar sci-fi tc programs and used our childish imaginations a lot). We called these two trees Drws i fyd arall [pronounced ‘droo zi fid arrah’], meaning the door to other worlds, see here. And here were my grandchildren, without any prompting, calling the trees Y drws, ‘the door’. Close enough, I thought.
‘And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ Roald Dahl
Do you think locations can have ‘memories’? That the ‘magic’ of an ancient place can linger and be ‘picked up’ by others who are receptive? And if so, was it that that I witnessed when I saw that light? Or was it the spirit of the place, the Awen at play? Or, Mallt-y-Nos and Cŵn Annwn going through that ‘door’ to who knows where? Perhaps the underworld? Or could it be a ‘thin place’, a place, time and/or even where the veil between Heaven and earth is ‘thin’, and the Other is palpable?
‘There are things known, and things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception’. Aldous Huxley.
The mystery thickens. Any thoughts?