Bosiliack and Beyond
An outing with Palden Jenkins to West Penwith
Geomancer, landscape historian, peace activist and author – Palden Jenkins has many strands to his personal DNA. Here, following up his talk to the Tamar Dowsers in January, and previewing his similar presentation to the Devon Dowsers in September, he was in earth energy and spirit of place mode – and to great effect.
Having spent many an restorative break in the far west of Cornwall, we thought we had been to most of the more important sites at one time or another. Consequently, it was a great pleasure to be shown a few that were new to us and, from the general banter, new to many others in our 19-strong group of Tamar Dowsers, Devon Dowsers and interested members of the public.
Palden has devoted much effort to convincing reluctant archaeologists of the significance of some of his discoveries and, while he has made considerable progress with that project, he was still able to make our first stop a striking trackside upright, close to the iconic Ding Dong Mine, which clearly dowsed as being a bona fide menhir with associated alignments – but has yet to appear in the official register of sacred or significant stones to be protected.
Our next waystation was the well-preserved and/or re-erected chambered cairn of Bosiliack. In the high-summer drizzle, it seemed almost completely absorbed by the bracken, even from just a few metres away. This was a useful metaphor, as one of the important points Palden was keen to emphasise throughout our visit is the manner in which these ancient megaliths are integrated into the surrounding landscape. They are not so much interesting artefacts in a vast outdoor museum, as pivotal pieces of the physical and the not-so-physical environment, still vital and functioning after many millennia.
Palden pointed out some of the significant alignments from Bosiliack to Chun Castle, Carn Galva and the restored Lanyon Quoit, which we were able to verify for ourselves. We also had the opportunity to examine the energy of the cairn, with its ‘male’ and ‘female’ aspects, its astronomical alignment to the midwinter sunrise and its etheric ‘propeller’ still winding up the benign energy of the location in our current troubled times. No wonder Palden suggested that we return on a quieter and more clement day to meditate at this spot.
A little further along the path, beautifully framed for us in radiant purple heather and glowing yellow whin, we encountered the Nine Maidens stone circle. Palden had already mentioned to us that, in his extensive researches, he has typically found about 20% of dowsable alignments to contain earth energy. Here was a perfect place to examine his hypothesis, with three of the major currents crossing the circle dowsing as ‘Watkins’ type energy leys and six or seven other lines apparently formed through the consciousness of their instigators. Some of the stones had strong individual energy fields, almost personalities, which again we were encouraged to experience at more leisure on a subsequent occasion.
Palden’s view that the oldest alignments are both natural and engrained is born out by date-dowsing the origin of the lines from this circle to the surrounding hilltops. His contention is that it was only after the discovery of metals that subsequent megaliths were erected in a landscape cleared of its engulfing forest. A new society of less nomadic and more settled humans evolved to lay claim to the land they had cleared of trees by such great effort, and they gradually developed the science and the technology both to sense the power of benevolent and detrimental forces in the landscape, and to mitigate and manipulate them to some extent for their own purposes. Dating the long, straight lines that span the globe helps us to put both a chronological structure and a putative narrative to substantiate this suggestion.
Having decided to defer the proposed visit to Bosigran Cliff Castle on such a breezy day, our last port of call was the Boscawen-un stone circle a few miles west of Penzance. This hugely significant archaeological and spiritual site had been saved for us only at the very last minute from destruction by a local farmer in the 1860’s by Elizabeth Carne. It seemed destined to survive, and is one of very few such places to come down to our own space/time virtually intact.
With its tell-tale 19 stones and unique angled central menhir, Palden feels this is one of the places that pins the UK’s etheric ‘blanket’ into place. Although smaller in scale, it ranks in importance with Cumbria’s magnificent Castlerigg and Orkney’s legendary Ring of Brodgar in this respect. Even hosting a group of enthusiastic dowsers and various visitors, who took a keen interest in our activities, this stone ellipse does have a special sense of place. Several female members of our entourage tried out standing under the leaning central pillar, with the back of their head resting against it – and found themselves becoming light-headed to the point of otherworldliness.
As at Bosiliak, several alignments run through this site, linking it to points on the horizon. Throughout our field trip, Palden was keen to explain that interesting and important though the remaining sites are to our understanding of what the world was like four or five thousand years ago, these are just the remnants of an integrated and widespread network of such places, which took an enormous community effort to construct with great precision. The erection of the structures must have been considered to be crucial to the survival of the tribes that inhabited the area in those times – and they were evidently regarded as having a much greater magnitude of necessity when compared to the role of modern superstitions, and even to many formalised religious practices.
Our thanks to Palden Jenkins for taking us to places that are clearly of great personal significance to himself. His introductions to each were as informative as they were insightful, and it certainly enabled us to look at the remarkable countryside of Penwith in a brighter light and a sharper focus.
Nigel Twinn Tamar Dowsers and Devon Dowsers August 2016
Power Points in Time by Palden Jenkins – available from penwithpress.co.uk