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Visitation - Spring 1997


The last time that we had visited England was in 1982. Now it was fifteen years later and for reasons, some known and some unknown, we had a need to return to the British Isles. Over the years we had focused on journeying to Japan, Hawaii, Mexico and Peru. It seemed that I was being drawn back to England because of its connection with the Holy Grail and other legends and mysteries such as the one surrounding Joseph of Arimathea.

The last time that we were in England, we had not ventured to Cornwall and its many mystical sites. Since we were last here, my many visionary and Otherworldly experiences of the past fifteen years led me to research the legends and lore of this part of Britain. As in times past I stumbled on information and knowledge that tugged at the inner recesses of my heart and mind.

Doing research I knew that Tintagel and St. Nectan’s Glen were two sites that we needed to visit. And there was something more. Our first time visiting England, we had spent time in Glastonbury and on the Tor with its tower dedicated to the Celtic goddess Bride and the Archangel Michael. We had also visited Avebury, a supposed serpent temple and as well connected with the archangel. Could it be that the archangel and his[i] connection to Cornwall was pulling me back to England. If it was, it was not the only reason. There was another purpose to our return that only my wife and I knew.

I determined that we would bring a group here at the end of May but first, we needed to check out the sacred sites and lodging in Cornwall. In mid-April we arrived in England and headed for Cornwall and the small town of Tintagel—the magical birth place of King Arthur. In addition, this was the land of Merlin and the Archangel Michael, the ancient patron saint of Cornwall and its hills and high places.

Michael, who I call Mikael, is known as the dragon-slayer. The archangel is also known as “the spirit of revelation, giving inspiration and visionary glimpses of divinity, the great initiator into the hidden mysteries. In the esoteric tradition, he is the one that transmutes lower, base energies into those of a more refined, spiritual type…. This would seem to be the real meaning behind the glyph of the slain dragon—the archangel transfixes the raw dragon energy of the Earth with the Will (of which the sword is the traditional symbol), and transmutes it to a higher rate of vibration.”[ii]

Tintagel was everything that we expected and even more. Situated on the cliffs over-looking the sea, I immediately felt at home feeling the breeze and the sun shining on my face and seeing the sparkling blue ocean before me. Tintagel was more of a village than a town with few options for lodging within the town itself; except for one inn that we fell in love with—the Wootons Country Hotel. The inn was situated right next to the cliffs and overlooked Tintagel Island and the mythological ruins of Arthur’s castle. And located below the castle ruins of Tintagel Island was an ocean cave known as Merlin’s cave—the supposed part-time sanctuary of the legendary wizard. Since we conduct many experiences at dawn or after dusk, staying at the inn would allow us easier access to the cave than lodging outside of town.

Even if Merlin never set foot in this cave, it was still reputedly a place of power. Partially, this was due to the geomancy of the area—the meeting place of land and sea. But there was more to it than just this aspect. Tintagel Island’s origins were volcanic with an ample supple of quartz crystals deep within the interior of the island. It seemed that the odds of it being a place of power and an energetic vortex were great.

From a shamanic point of view, caves are considered repositories of power and the birth place of legendary people. Caves since earliest times have been places of enchantment, invocation and initiation. Being in the ‘womb’ of Mother Earth generates magical power as one experiences a symbolic death in the dark only to be reborn in the light as one emerges from the cave. 

To enter Merlin’s Cave required knowing the schedule of the ocean tides. During high tide the cave was partially under water, which would cause an unaware person to be trapped within the cave until the tide receded. In addition, it was a tourist and New Age site. Planning a visit to do spiritual work required the proper timing of the tides—of the ocean and of the people.

I believe it was late afternoon as we made our way down the partial stairs on the side of the cliffs and reached the beach that fronted Merlin’s Cave. It was a ways away over the stony landscape, but we could still sense the power emanating from it. As with all places of power care and respect were essential. We needed to do the proper prayers and ask the land, the sea and the spirits of this area permission to enter into the cave. We did this as well as a simple purification of ourselves using what was naturally available to us.

As we silently entered, I noticed that Sherry was looking down at the floor of the cave as she was walking. There was little light within the cave giving it a further mystical feeling. Interestingly enough, there was light at the symbolic ‘end-of-the-tunnel,’ which happened to be the opening to the sea at the other end of the cave. Time seemed to be frozen in a vortex of sounds—the ocean and the wind and every so often a subtle thump as if a dragon’s heart was beating.

With a look of amazement etched on her face, Sherry asked, “Did you see what I just saw?”

“No,” I replied wondering what she was talking about.

“After we passed the entrance, I saw purple lights arranged in a serpentine form almost like a purple serpent moving across the floor of the cave. My first thought was, oh they have lights in the floor of the cave to help visitors see. And then I realized this wasn’t Disneyland and with that thought, they disappeared….”


[i] I use the male identity for literary reasons even though angels and archangels are neuter and neither male or female.

[ii] Hamish Miller & Paul Broadhurst, The Sun and the Serpent, p. 32

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