It’s always good fun to experience somewhere new and unexpected – especially when it’s somewhere quite close to where you live! The small town of Cullompton, in East Devon, is barely an hour’s leisurely drive up the main road – yet it was virgin territory for me.
I was the guest speaker of a local self-help group, who provided me with a most engaging and welcoming audience.
Giving a talk in a building you have never seen, and in a town you have never visited, is always a bit scary, even for an old hack like myself. However, I needn’t have worried. While entering the designated room with the fenestration wide open, in an effort to offload the excess heat, might have set me on my guard, the room just felt ‘good’ – and I sensed strongly it would be a summer’s day of enjoyable plain sailing. Even managing to copy my presentation images to the wrong file, and ending up talking to my self-chosen colleagues unaided, did nothing to put me off. Some events seem destined to work, regardless of the competence of the presenter!
Those of you who know about the wonderful world of dowsing will already have gathered that the energies in the room were positive and supportive. A substantial ‘female’ earth energy line meandered amongst the chairs, and out of an open window in the direction of the town church.
As if on order, in the coffee area outside a suitable underground water line snaked across the open space, crossed by the straight track of an underfloor water pipe (leading directly to a basin in the loo). It felt like reading the requirements from an unscripted menu. To cap it all, a not insubstantial ley clipped the edge of the meeting room and it, too, stormed through the coffee area where, later on, some rather bemused gentlemen were entertained by an enthusiastic group of ladies, plus myself, getting to grips with the basics of divining. Through the window of the room next door, I could see that the ley also pointed directly at the stocky tower.
Given that I had a couple of hours to while away constructively, I followed the town guide, which took me to the massive parish church of St Andrew. The architecture of this sandstone edifice is something of a jumble of styles and eras, but inside the ambience is superb. My own experience was enhanced by a technician testing the rather effective sound system, by playing ethereal world music – very much to my own taste, and perfectly suited to the sacred space. All the main energy lines entering this building are female, which had me wondering where St Andrew had got in on the act. However, the guide booklet informed me that it had, in fact, been dedicated to St Mary until the 15th Century – but no-one seemed to have relayed this makeover from the middle ages to the green goddess below!
The usual configuration of energy and water lines was much in evidence – and the vast floorspace, coupled with an absence of early morning parishioners (just the sound man and myself), made for ideal dowsing conditions.
The church has various artifacts of religious interest, including a mediaeval ‘Golgotha’, a frieze of feathered angels (all male!) and an array of elevated roof bosses. My own belief system wanted to find at least one green man, but I feel they were all red sandstone images of patrons or masons – but worth the crick in the neck for all that.
One minor dowsing quirk that did intrigue me was that the huge earth energy spiral in front of the rood screen (which seems to have been restored to its lively pre-reformation colour scheme) has the usual seven-fold ‘male’ spiral flowing one way, but an anticlockwise nine-fold female spiral enclosing it. This caught me a bit off-guard, and naturally I went back to check my dowsing. However, as the experts will tell you, you can’t actually do this – the first dowsing response is always the right one, and you can’t play best of three with the universe! I was left wondering if I had discovered something new, or whether I was just a bit dowsed out of my comfort zone.
If anyone can add anything to this last point, please let me know.
However, I can thoroughly recommend briefly diverting off the M5 to visit the parish church of St Andrew (AKA Mary), for dowsers of all tendencies and all levels of experience.
Many thanks to Library/Centre Manager, Daryl, for inviting me to the Hayridge Centre – and especially to the Cullompton Fibromyalgia Group for being such a delightful audience.
Tamar Dowsers, June 2015