DREAM WEAVERS OF THE LIZARD
Robin Ellis is a shaman and practitioner of natural magic. He is a well-known authority on Earth Mysteries and has kindly given permission to post on Pagan Pathways website an article of his that first appeared in print during the 1980s. The views he expressed and his observations at the time remain of relevance and interest decades later.
If you go and stand on the cliffs near Lizard Point on some lazy summer's afternoon and look towards Kynance Cove, you are sometimes lucky enough to see a marvellous sight. When the sun is at a certain angle it strikes the cliffs, glancing off the green serpentine rock dazzling like clear quartz. Its appearance is like a gigantic multi-faceted snakeskin, stretched tight along the cliffs - and it seems to radiate an awesome power, ancient and strange: 'The Serpent of the Rocks'. That the green serpentine stone of the Lizard contains a mystery has always been known, and it gradually dawns on the sensitive visitor that this whole part of the Lizard is special in some way, dedicated to something set apart, even. Anyone who thinks this way is not alone in his or her fancies. History and legend show that they are in the company of a long line of ancestors. Even the name, Lizard, could derive from 'Lisarth', meaning 'Holy Place', or it could have an even stranger derivation!
Lady Clara Vyvyan knew the Lizard intimately, with perception and passion. In her excellent book 'My Cornwall' (Bossiney, 1973), she wrote of the Lizard as having a sense of 'something more', behind, or beyond, or beneath things visible or tangible. She felt that there was something uniquely magical in certain aspects and qualities of the Lizard, which was difficult to put into words - an atmosphere of enchantment, concerned with streams and their secret undergrowth, and the coastal track that leads along high cliffs and down into valleys, with birds and wild flowers and moor land space! Clara spent many days on glorious long-lost summers of the 1920s on the Lizard, and later in her book she tried to explain what the Lizard's atmosphere of magic meant to her. More recently, a modern mystic said something similar: 'It's like a living presence at a focus of Power! Its aura is all around us now, and yet what we feel is only a fraction of what it contains. Yet it is strong magic! People that stay here for too long go a bit fey, become a bit 'pixiefied', dreaming dreams and seeing visions. This Lizard place-magic is so potent!'
It may well be enough just to stay on the 'potent' parts of the Lizard in order to 'dream dreams and see visions'. But there are mantra invocations that can help - or so say the eerie, shamanic Lizard Cult, - The Kachinas: the 'Keepers of The Ancient Dream'. One such powerful 'Dragon spell' is an invocation to the dark Serpent Goddess, which the Kachinas believe to be the mistress of the hidden secrets of the Lizard. It requires a rock-pool, or 'rock-chalice', to carry it out properly. One within a sea cave inside the earth is best of all.If you find one with an 'S' mark on the rim, or overlooking the bowl, it will be especially powerful, as it is already dedicated to the Serpent Goddess! The intention is to communicate with this entity, either by seeing pictures in the pool, or in your mind. This can supposedly be achieved by intoning aloud the following invocation, which one can repeat as often as one may choose until contact has been established. The great secrecy with which the Lizard Pellar cult operates is understandable, as it wishes to carry on with its projects without outside interference. However, there is no reason why other people should not try its invocations when on the Lizard to see what results they get.
Unlike West Penwith, where there is a more open pagan movement, the Lizard is a remote, hidden place where individuals and small groups of two or three people gather in secret to study its mysteries - and there is plenty of mystery to explore! What are we to make of the claim, for example, that parts of the Lizard are honeycombed with secret tunnels? Certainly, there ARE tunnels on the Lizard, usually natural passages on the seashore, linking one bay to another. Often these tunnels are the only way into certain bays, thus giving uniquely private access to particular coves. Also, there are undoubtedly smugglers tunnels running inland from the coast, many of which are well known (such as the extensive network of tunnels around St. Keverne) while others wait to be discovered.
But what are we also to make of the claim that there are other tunnels, not generally known about, of great length and antiquity? Certainly, if the existence of a tunnel dating back to the Neolithic, or pre-Neolithic, were to be proved, it would be of enormous interest to archaeologists. But it would leave open a lot of vexing questions, such as who constructed them, for what purpose, and where do they finally lead. The Lizard is not unique in this regard as there are claims for another, more localised, tunnel system on the north coast.
Another mystery of the Lizard can be found in the various pathways radiating outwards from Lizard village. They follow curiously sinuous snake-like curves across the landscape, each one uncompromising in the direction it takes. One runs due south, wild between two fields towards the coast; a deep cut of primitive nature, with no interference from the tamed fields on either side. Eventually the path enters a sacred grove of trees, an unusual sight on the West Lizard coast, under which lies the bodies of a great number of people who perished during a particularly horrifying shipwreck. The path finally disappears into a hole in the ground - a hole, which on closer inspection reveals another path secretly and narrowly leading downwards at a steep angle and concealed within the cliff. Eventually this path reaches a series of stone steps leading down to yet another mysterious cove and cave!
Another path runs westwards towards Kynance Cove, and so uncompromising is its route that it runs part of the way ALONG a wall, rather than deviating only a foot or two to run alongside of it. This path takes you to a special place, sometimes known as The Warren. It is a strange location of wild undergrowth, which towers above your head blotting out the sun. It is a hidden place concealing many secrets - including a lovely little waterfall. It comes as no surprise, then, when certain geomancers claim that these pathways are following ancient serpentine energy lines across the landscape - an energy immensely older than the ley-line system, and therefore of greater antiquity.
It says something about the people of the Lizard that these paths have been preserved, in one form or another, for millennia. It is logical to assume that if these paths radiate from Lizard village, then a long time ago, where the village now is, there would have been a sacred shrine of some kind - a shrine of immense mystical significance and from which the village would derive its name: Lizard, or Lisarth, meaning Holy Place. Yet another mystery is the aforementioned Lizard Pellar cult itself. It seems to be a paradox wrapped up within an enigma. Even its name 'The Kachina', the Keepers of the Ancient Dream; is not something that people understand. Though only a small movement of around fifteen or so people, split into 'affinity groups' of about three individuals, its influence is immense and deeply relevant to the Lizard's energies.
That people see visions and have altered states of consciousness while on special parts of the Lizard cannot be seriously doubted; there is too much evidence. But why they should do so remains a great mystery. According to the Lizard Pellar, however, who have studied the matter deeply, it is some unknown force within the ground that is responsible. It emits an energy field, the 'Snake-Breath', through various openings in the earth and which can interact with humans and profoundly affect them. The more sensitive they are, the more they are affected. These energy-fields change frequency, vibration, and intensity, as they pulse through the ground. Our minds react to them as mystical experiences, which are created from our own understanding of mythology and spiritual divinities. These become impregnated within the aura, or energy-field, of the locality and trigger into being archetypes and icons, and to which those who are sympathetically disposed are responsive.
The Kachinas study this awesome power in an effort to understand its purpose, and are utilising the aura to heal and achieve high states of consciousness. They claim regular communication with dolphins and whales, and to be able to consciously create thought-forms within the Energy-Matrix. The aim of the Kachinas is to accelerate their evolution using the aura of the Lizard to stimulate parts of the mind at present unknown to us! One curious aspect of this power is its ability to apparently benignly possess people who have a growing obsession with the Snake-Breath. This suggests that it has the freedom to exist for a time on the surface of the earth and also to utilise the human mind to think with. It apparently also dislikes short-wave radiations and others of a similar nature, such as those emitted on the Lizard by radar towers and telecommunication equipment. By using humans as a focus, it is alleged to have the ability to disrupt the smooth functioning of these installations, as well as for other, more obscure, purposes!
As to what mysteries lie in the deep, dark places of the earth, who can say? But at least we can now say what these ancient tunnels are for. The Temple Caves of the Dark Mother lead the pilgrim to where the Earth-Spirit dwells. Whether on the Lizard, or on the north coast, these forces are still active!