by Richard Summers
Following the Apollo/Athena Line through France and Italy, June/July 2001
Richard Summers is a fairly new member of the BSD Earth Energies Group and began to develop his dowsing interests along the Michael / Mary line through South West England into East Anglia. Now, in the first part of a two part article, he describes his recent pilgrimage by motorbike along the Apollo / Athena line through France and Italy. The map shows the main route by road, ferry, train and tunnel.
My summer holiday in June / July 2001 was a pilgrimage by motorbike along the Apollo / Athena line described by Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst in their recent book, ‘The Dance of the Dragon’. My spiritual journey was built around a mixture of dowsing, a mantra driven meditation and my Ducati M600 so I travelled light in all senses (3,500 miles in 3 weeks). I had a good trip from Poole to St Malo with an excellent sea crossing by high speed catamaran. It was a bit of a struggle to switch into speaking French and following the French road system but I soon got the hang of it again en route to Mont St Michel.
Mont St Michel
I was up at dawn to see the Midsummer Solstice sunrise at Mont St Michel.
There was a red bud on the horizon but unfortunately the sky clouded over before the sun actually came up. Undeterred I found my way into the island fortress and wandered round at leisure and then dowsed for Apollo and Athena in the precincts of the Abbey. I had to seek out Le Directeur to get access to Notre Dames Sous Terre on the promise that I would be ‘cinque minutes seulement’. The sanctuary was stunning and there was just enough time to dowse and meditate briefly at each of the two shrines. The Apollo and Athena lines were clear enough where Hamish & Co had described them in the nave and then I found the lines again all over the place on thevarious levels of the Abbey. No wonder Hamish called it a “dowser’s nightmare”.
I zoomed briefly into Le Mans to look round the cathedral on my way from Mont St Michel to Chartres. The cathedral at Chartres is magnificent and stands within an attractive old city amongst an industrial and suburban necklace that lets it all down. Inside the cathedral, I found the famous labyrinth with only a couple of people going round ‑ one poor woman in tears obviously deeply affected by the experience. The next morning I made an early start and returned to the Cathedral to meditate, dowse and walk the labyrinth again. This time it was crowded with perhaps 30 pilgrims ‑ all kinds of folk. The procession was moving slowly. Several people were taking two or three paces and then pausing to rock backwards and forwards before moving on again. Most people knelt when they reached the centre to embrace Mother Earth and then stood on one of the adjoining pods to “cool off”.
Leaving Chartres, I came off the ‘péage‘ at Tours and took the lovely road from there, past Chenonceaux to Bourges. It was a delightful ride in blazing sunshine through the fragrant summer countryside ‑ typical of many miles across the northern plains of France. The Tourist Information Centre quickly directed me to a charming ‘chambres d’hôtes’ (French for bed and breakfast). Nathalie and her little daughter Chloe showed me to a delightful room in part of their beautifully restored homestead within the old city. Nathalie said I should “go now” if I wanted to see the Cathedral before it closed.
The cathedral was full of light and space and a pervading silence except for the quiet prayers and hymns in the chancel. I dowsed round the outside of the cathedral and found 6 male and 6 female lines approaching it from all quarters. Next morning I decided to dowse by hand inside the cathedral and found I was getting a burning on the back of my hands at the male energy points I had dowsed the night before and a strong tingling in the palms when I crossed the female lines. I confirmed the position of the Apollo and Athena lines towards the western end of the nave where Hamish & Co had found them but Apollo and Athena were reversed from what is shown in The Dance of the Dragon (Hamish later explained this was probably a matter of attunement). When I stood at the node of Apollo and Athena I began to get a tingling on both sides of my hands that then spread throughout my body and left me visibly shaking ‑ very powerful.
I biked through Nevers on the upstream Loire and began to climb into steeply cut valleys on my way to Cluny. The town proved to be another very powerful node on the Apollo / Athena line. Its lovely old medieval centre is set in a great sweeping valley in the heights of the Monts du Lyonnais. I could immediately see the surviving great tower of the former cathedral as I approached. It was surrounded by another delightful maze of medieval streets. Next morning I was up early and soon found Apollo and then Athena as I dowsed round outside the remains of the old cathedral. They crossed at a fairly quiet node in the small square in front of the entrance to the cathedral buildings but soon I found them in close proximity to one another running along the narrow high street and around the Notre Dame church.
It all began to come a bit clearer when the cathedral opened and I was able to dowse around inside the remains of the beautiful old building. I found another stronger node where Apollo and Athena crossed on one side of the cloistered quadrangle. I was getting confirmation from my hands as the rods delineated the cross‑over. When I got out into the park behind the cathedral remains I found Apollo again and then a thumping Athena current coming up the main axis heading straight for the centre of the facade of the more recent school next to the cathedral – it was 40 paces wide!
I thought this revelation was the summit of the day but was taken aback in the old grain store and water mill. On the upper floor, there was a simple shrine where I found that Apollo and Athena crossed for a third time. I moved in amongst the modernistic stone and wooden elements of the shrine and stood right behind the central feature. Then my hands jumped and I felt a whoosh of energy rushing up from my feet, past and through my body towards the heavens. It was like a shower up‑side‑down but the energy was translucent and had bright silver streaks of light in it. It was a very strong but gently energising current – I relaxed in it for a few minutes and then emerged refreshed and strengthened.
I left Cluny about midday and headed up into the Monts du Lyonnais again, climbing and climbing until I reached a rapid descent into the Rhone ‑ Saône Valley. A lad on a big Honda offered to lead me to Karma Ling and said at once, “you must be going to see the Buddhists”. We roared off up the splendidly winding roads through the gently wooded foothills of the French Alps. He then said “au revoir” indicating the final road and I soon found the familiar Buddhist welcome. They were having a summer open day but quickly introduced me to the leader of the Monastery, Lama Seunam. While he was getting some tea, I quickly dowsed round the Buddhist ‘stupa’ behind the original Christian monastery. Athena ran strongly through the centre of the old monastery building and straight through the centre of the stupa. There was a strong male current running at right‑angles to Athena along the other axis of the stupa.
I set off from Karma Ling in the late afternoon sun and picked up the autoroute to cross the border into Italy. The Ducati was yearning to get home and pulled willingly as the way rose steadily up into the Alps from the turbulent rivers that were still bubbling with snow melt. Then I saw snow‑capped mountains. Up and up, through tunnels and over bridges and then at last I arrived at the French border post to take me through the great Fréjus Tunnel. It was dim and very chilly inside compared with the still blazing heat outside. Eventually, I emerged blinking in the sun on the Italian side of the mountains.
Sacra di San Michele
I stayed in Susa and then set off for the Sacra di San Michele ‑ probably one of the three most important sacred sites along the Apollo / Athena line in France and Italy (the others being Mont St Michel and Promontaro Gargano). I asked some bikers at the lights for directions and then chugged up the winding wooded roads to the huge rocky outcrop on one side of the main valley from the Alps down to Turin. It was my first experience of being on the outside of a bend with nothing between me and a precipitous drop but a row of dodgy concrete blocks. It’s un‑nerving in a car but terrifying on a bike !
I had to walk the last 1,300 metres to the Sacra di San Michele and dowsed Athena alternating across the path with Apollo eight or nine times until I reached the doorway into the ancient abbey fortress. They were spiralling around the rocky outcrop rather like Michael and Mary at Glastonbury Tor. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the abbey was closed that day (Monday). I was disappointed not to see the interior but meditated instead where each energy line entered the building. I quickly got a “thick head” meditating at the Athena entry but I got a gentle and refined energy at Apollo’s entry. The character of each line was quite different here and quite different to what I had found at Mont San Michel, Bourges and Cluny.
I continued down the valley from Susa and the Sacra di San Michele into Turin. The Baroque cathedral is very dignified and its energies are clear and sharply defined. A copy of the Turin Shroud is kept in a high security glass case in a recess near the main altar but my hands quickly showed doubts about the claims that it is the burial swathe of Jesus Christ.
I stayed in a delightful bed and breakfast at Cortazzone, inland from Turin and Genoa. Next morning the father of the house provided breakfast and then took me in his pick‑up truck to see the lovely old church. The earth energies were strong and ran just as Hamish & Co had found them. I later asked the son, Mario, about the explicit carvings of “the lovers” under the eaves of the church but he was reluctant to discuss such things in his father’s hearing except to say local people thought they were “satanic”.
I arrived in Genoa amidst the frantic traffic in the ‘centro de la cittá’. Two lads at the lights on scooters immediately volunteered to guide me and ‘subito’ we were belting through the traffic and ignoring red lights to arrive soon afterwards in a parking lot under an elevated autostrada. No sooner had I left the bike, than my palms started buzzing, telling me I must be close to Athena. I soon found the Basilica di San Siro and managed to hand dowse around inside just before they closed for the lunch break. Athena ran along the nave and Apollo crossed at the altar.
I found a good hotel in the old city of Pisa not far from the Duomo, Baptistry and Leaning Towner. Despite some strange looks from the amassed tourists as I dowsed around, I found Athena running through the base of the Leaning Tower, straight on through the nave of the Duomo and then half left across the lawns avoiding the Baptistry. I found Apollo approaching the Duomo on the diagonal, running up one side and then swinging sharply to the right to cross Athena on the centre line of the nave. He then swung round beyond the other side of the nave and then back to run in parallel with Athena on the other diagonal across the lawns, also missing the Baptistry. Both currents were at least 20 paces wide here.
After a pleasant detour to Venice, I diverted to Florence, one of Italy’s loveliest cities. I quickly found the centro and walked around the Cathedrale and the Palazza Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria. I queued for an hour and a half (not too bad apparently) to go into the Uffizi Gallery and marvelled at the Boticellis, Van Dycks, classical statuary and all the rest. If I had been in cultural overload after Venice, now I was in cultural transcendence ‑ I wouldn’t have missed it for anything !
I then stayed for a couple of days with my friends Tim and Katie at Citta di Castello (north of Perugia) and visited various points along the Apollo / Athena line from there. They have borrowed an apartment for a couple of months as they start a new life in Italy ‑ very brave and exciting.
Siena and Perugia
I rode across the wooded mountains from Citta di Castello through Cortona ‑ a biker’s dream ‑ to Siena. If I had to choose one town thus far to visit again it would be Siena. It is a lovely unspoiled medieval town on a hilltop with a great defensive wall. I sweltered up through the winding streets to the cathedral and found Athena running strongly straight down the nave. Apollo crossed this axis part‑way down the nave rather than at the altar as I had found in most churches and cathedrals so far in my pilgrimage.
Hamish & Co thought Perugia was a bit of a dump but I must have arrived by another route for I found it a hive of economic activity surrounding a magnificent walled city. The bike pulled vigorously up the winding streets to the Cathedrale and the two central Piazzas. I found the sixteen‑sided Church of San Angelo on the western side of the walled city bathed in the evening sunlight. Apollo ran straight through the main door and out the other side while another female line crossed it at the altar at right‑angles. The interior of the church was simply beautiful. The setting sun shone through the upper windows across the altar and onto the columns and stone flagged floor opposite.
The second part of this article follows in the September 2002 issue of the EEG Newsletter. Ed.
© 2002 Richard Summers & BSD EEG