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Mystery Is No Obstacle to Knowing

© Croeso Cymru / Visit Wales

The bubbling sounds of the Afon Braint herald the journey toward the magnificent ritual complex of Bryn Celli Ddu. The tutelary Goddess of the river is Braint, the ancient Celtic Goddess of healing, poetry and smith craft. Her nourishing waters caress the landscape like lovers' fingers, and her voice, deep with ancient wisdom whispers secrets to those willing to listen.

Crossing the bridge to reach the complex causes one to feel that the ordinary is being left behind and that we tread the path of the ancients. Suddenly the mound of Bryn Celli Ddu comes swiftly into sight; it is majestic, magnificent and steeped in unfathomable power. To step over the ditch and into the centre of the monument is another leap through liminality and into sacred space. There is silence here, too much silence for it not to have been filled but moments before.

The epitome of mystery

The heart cannot help but beat a little quicker when confronted with this place, and this is the key to connecting to this monument, by opening both spirit and heart to the mystery that hides here. This place is the epitome of mystery: We may never know the reasons our ancestors built this temple, and the names of their Gods may have fallen from memory. But the sun still rises and shines its life-giving rays into the centre of darkness, proclaiming the arrival of summer and the growing time.

Interior, Bryn Celli Ddu; © Cadw, Welsh Government (Crown Copyright)Thousands of ancient feet have walked the passageway into the chamber's core; have stood in praise of their Gods next to the pillar that commands centre stage. And yet, we are still those people, we are the sum totality of all that has been before, and nowhere is this more apparent than here - in the heart of Bryn Celli Ddu. To reach down and feel the damp compacted earth is to touch the bodies of our forefathers. To sing songs of heritage and blood and mud is to connect to the dead that continue to sing from this place.

Storehouse of ancient wisdom

Mystery is no obstacle to knowing and time only clouds memory, it does not cause us to forget, nothing in actuality is truly forgotten. Bryn Celli Ddu is a key to remembering, it is a doorway by which we access the storehouse of ancient wisdom and memory that continuously whisper from the soil and waters of this sacred island.

Take yourself to Bryn Celli Ddu when the moon shines bright upon it, its silver beams glistening on the surface of the monuments stones, calling forth its secrets. There is such beauty here when the sun hides his face and the moon takes pride of the sky. To sit atop the mound is to sit in the presence of mystery, to touch it and feel it, and we do this with heart and sprit. Bryn Celli Ddu is a place that wefeel, not simply touch or see; it is a place steeped in feeling.

It is easy to see and appreciate the monumental efforts of our ancestors' abilities to construct such a temple and to align it to the passing of the sun. The carving upon the replica standing stone that stands proudly at the edge of the offering pit is truly incredible to behold. The
aesthetic beauty of the place is tremendous, and yet there is so much more.

© Cadw, Welsh Government (Crown Copyright)We are still those people

We live in an instant world, where everything is wanted and needed yesterday, our lives are busy and all too often we lose ourselves in the humdrum of everyday life. And yet, there are places like this that stand testament to the connection of an ancient people, in love with the land and their traditions. We are still those people, and in these places we can discover a blissful stillness, a silence that sings volumes to the tendrils of our spirits.

Our heads are forced to bow as we enter the passageway as if in reverence and honour of that which dwells within. From the darkness of its inner chamber fingertips reach from the past, from the other-worlds of our ancestors, and we can feel them and hold those hands in deep honour and gratitude. All we need do is stop a while and listen to the history of the heart. That history is alive and well, and waiting for you to sit with it and know that you are and always have been a part of this sacred landscape. 

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