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  • Writer's pictureFay Semple

Grand Designs – part 2

In part 2 of this three-part series, we continue the journey into my first attempt at creating 'miniliths' for use around homes, gardens and horticultural properties. Part 1 can be found here.

I once read somewhere that 'starting out in earth energy dowsing is a bit like entering a tropical rain forest', which I thought was a remarkably astute observation made by an obviously brilliant mind. To find safe passage through unknown territory we inevitably rely on guides. One of the experts I have followed in an effort to find a comprehensible path is Billy Gawn. If I was the type to go in for hero worship I would no doubt have a poster of his likeness on my bedroom wall together with a tattoo of his name secreted somewhere far too intimately about my person. I am equally certain that Billy, like most of you, will be much relieved to hear that I am not inclined to such behaviour. I have never felt the need to wear black eyeliner to highlight how pale and interesting I am, whilst hiding in my room listening to The Cure because the world can't possibly understand my inner angst.


I was once privileged enough to attend a course led by Billy, which covered his work on megalithic structures, culminating in some wonderful deviceless dowsing work. It was one of those experiences that you are always glad you did and would have cursed yourself if you had missed. One of those 'I was there when...' moments in life. Billy's book 'Megalithic Structures; Why?' formed the basis for my cairn building. I used the book as a kind of building manual. That said it is not 'Cairns for Idiots': each site and energies are unique, I did have to do the dowsing for myself, and work out what materials to use, where and how. As this was my first attempt I was not expecting to get everything perfect the first time around. Just as we know that many ancient sites were altered and amended over time, I was sure adjustments would no doubt have to be made to the cairn. Whether through incorrect building or to enhance or adapt to changing energies to meet a need or seasonal fluctuations.

So back to the story so far, cairn in position, allotment cultivated. Let the sowing begin. Germination seemed to happen a little more quickly, all the seedlings were very healthy and rapidly grew into healthy young plants. We even planted some very old packets of seeds that had been knocking about for a good few years. Any gardener will tell you, that although they all have the potential to grow, it is unusual for all old seeds to germinate. Ours did. The greenhouses lived up to their names, they were veritable hothouses of production. We did not, unfortunately, plot germination times and growth rates in any log due to unfortunate family circumstances which put severe constraints on the amount of time we were able to devote to the allotment. But we have been gardening for years in our family, and to use Sig Longren's phrase, 'gnow' how things grow, neither are we taken to flights of fancy. There was a definite difference in the vitality of the seedlings, and comments from other allotment holders about the health of the seedlings backed this up, though they were not aware of the function, and in most cases the presence of the cairn itself.

As part of the experiment we planted the legumes in the same spot as the previous year. They had not done too well being over the water course that had been causing some geopathic stress. However remedial work was done and now the cairn was positioned over this water. The potatoes had to go on the spot designated from the previous year. Peas, sweetcorn, onions, carrots etc., all the usual suspects were planted. The fruit bushes and canes are obviously permanent fixtures, and the greenhouses are the tomato kingdoms.

When planting out we did not dowse for the perfect orientation of each seedling, which no doubt would have made things even more interesting, but we just did not have the time to go to those lengths. But we did, as always, put our best intentions into each planting, asking for good growth, health and cropping. And that is exactly what happened, my word did things grow! Our sweetcorn can be compared to that of our neighbour. Our plants were taller, stronger, and yet planted at the same sowing period and in the right soil type. Our potatoes grew well over waist high. Our runner beans were greatly improved upon the previous year, despite being planted a little late. The tomatoes flourished in the greenhouses. And yes, I know none of this was done in a faraday cage style environment, without comprehensive measurements. But this experiment was about dowsing, was about using earth energies and levels of consciousness around us, engaging with the earth and filling our needs with creating harm, about trusting ourselves to notice subtle differences and 'gnow' they are real. That said next year I will hopefully log germination, growth and cropping figures and compare this to a non-cairned site. For the more sceptical it always useful to have a few facts and figures to bandy about.

However, there was no doubt about it, as you entered the allotment site gate, Mum's allotment was on the corner of the first avenue, and it stood out like a punnet of cress in the Gobi desert. Plants towered up and over hung the rabbit netting. Every inch was covered in greenery, not only had all our intentional sewing gone well, we were also over run with weeds, hoeing could not keep on top of it in the limited time we had. It looked like a size 18 woman in a size 10 dress, bits of it could not be confined to the available space.

So all was going well, all we could hope for now was that we got a high yield, I did not want it to be all growth and no production. And yet pleased though we were, there were a couple of things that bothered me. If the detrimental energy had been removed, and the beneficial energies enhanced, surely the results should be uniformly observed, slight differences in gardening practises apart, not just on our plot but also on those around us. Whilst this was the case for some plant species, this was not true of others. Dowsing revealed that it was our intent that was making the difference in these areas. For instance, on many plots onions were growing in a deformed and twisted manner due to a pest problem. Ours displayed a little of this but quickly recovered, whilst on neighbouring plots they rotted. So was our intent making up for some problem with the cairn? Dowsing revealed the answer to be 'yes', yet dowsing also revealed that whilst growth may differ between plots, cropping may be less affected. So we decided not to make any amendments to the cairn until after we and our neighbours had gathered the years bounty, and then we may be able to judge to what degree our intent had affected things, and to what degree eat cairn had enhanced production. It had been an incredibly dry year, would the cairn have made a difference to those plants that needed a lot of water? By now of course we had an indication of likely cropping levels, with young beans forming, fruit-covered bushes and burgeoning sweetcorn kernels. It looked like being a bumper year.

Through dowsing I needed to ascertain what needed changing about the cairn. The range of influence of the cairn seemed to alter, as did the degree to which energies were enhanced. It was as if sometimes the cairn worked well, and at others it did not. As energies fluctuate with lunar and other influences, I dowsed that the cairn was only fully on at high tide so to speak, at other times it was only partly on. Had I made a mistake, did I need to start again and find another triple spiral with an east/west orientation? Or did I simply need to make some adjustments to the existing structure? Either way it was all good dowsing practise, and advice was to come from a most gratifying source....

Part three coming next week.

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