Biking the Dragon’s Dance part 2

by Richard Summers

Richard Summers now continues the second and final part of his article about his recent pilgrimage by motorbike along the Apollo / Athena line through France and Italy.  The first part, which appeared in the last issue of the EEG Newsletter, described his journey through France into northern Italy.


I found an excellent small hotel in Assisi with the  help of the local Tourism Office and soon set off with  my rods into the streets.  If the energy lines at Pisa  were complex, the assorted energy lines at Assisi  were a tangled puzzle!  I concluded that the recent  earthquake had probably disturbed the simpler  pattern that Hamish & Co had found.  Hamish  commented later that I had probably not attuned  completely to the various primary and secondary  energy lines.  In fact, I discovered later at Spello that  there is an “other Athena” as well as an “other female” line (and the same for Apollo and the “other male”) in my results.

First, I went to the great Basilica di San Francesci (Saint Francis of Assisi no less).  Apollo ran straight along the nave of the huge cathedral from the outlying countryside and thence into the town.  I found Athena arriving from the countryside, crossing Apollo at right‑angles part‑way along the nave and then sweeping round by the Porta San Petro to run alongside Apollo into the heart of the city.  In fact, this line may perhaps have been an “other Athena”.  It was in the Basilica that I first found I could hand dowse directionally (as with rods) perhaps because I was becoming increasingly attuned to the earth energies.  I found both Apollo and “Athena” on the upper level of the Basilica, on the lower level and in the crypt beneath where Saint Francis is buried in a huge stone tomb.  The altars above stand right over the tomb.

I then found Apollo and “Athena” (or the “other Athena”) running in parallel in an ever‑tightening snake‑like pattern along the axis of the Via San Francesca to the Piazza del Commune in the centre of Assisi.  Here, Athena swung into the front of the Temple of Minerva while Apollo turned sharply to the north to enter from the back.  They ran in parallel overlapping each other through the temple, as Hamish & Co had found them, and I counted six alternating tram‑lines of each energy by hand dowsing inside.

Apollo swept up the Piazza del Commune in Assisi to the splendid church of San Rafino just as Hamish & Co had found him.  From there, he headed off to the east though I didn’t have time to follow him through the rest of the walled city.  Athena by contrast left the back of the Temple of Minerva and “snaked” her way to the north up the hillside and then to the west up the further hill to the amazing hilltop fortress at Rocca Maggiore.  From there she set off through the great fortress into the countryside to the north west.  Later checking showed she did leave the Rocca Maggiore but via the Rocca Minore and not via the Cathedrale San Raffino where Hamish & Co had found her – all very confusing.

Assisi – view from Rocca Maggiore

I left Assisi by motorbike again and climbed the heights of Monte Subasio to the east.  I stopped instinctively at a particular place at the top and immediately found Athena strong, gentle and 40 paces wide!  I meditated in the refreshing energy and was later “awoken” by the soft ding‑ding‑ding of a sheep’s bell.  The whole flock was idling casually past me followed by a lively shepherd.  We chatted in very pidgin Italian and he introduced me to his dog “Luna”.  I then descended via some very scary hairpin bends to the small walled town of Spello on the plain.  I found Athena entering the locked church near one of the gateways and later elsewhere in the town.  I also found Apollo and, puzzled, I followed him up the hill to the doors of another locked church at the summit.  After checking several times, I found he was an “other Apollo”.  Maybe “Athena main line” needs an “other Apollo” to keep her company and vice versa!


Then it was time to blast off down the Autostrada and into the mountains to Norcia.  Apart from some appallingly bad signposting, the journey was a delight, weaving between steeply wooded mountains.  Norcia was pleasantly peaceful and straightforward rather like the monastic simplicity of Durham.  I found Apollo straight away running from the axis of St Benedict’s church, through his statue in the piazza and then through an old Roman building opposite now being converted into a local history museum.

I set off the next day through the spectacular mountains of the Grand Sasso d’Italia for Promontaro Gargano, the third and final main sanctuary of my pilgrimage (the others being Mont St Michel in northern France and Sacre di San Michele in northern Italy).  I was surprised at the very long descent from the mountains to Pescara on the eastern coast of Italy because I hadn’t realised how high I had got in the Grand Sasso (1,500 meters / 4,500 feet).  Then I had a lovely motorbike ride down the coast with glorious views of the translucent aquamarine Adriatic Sea along the way.

Promontaro Gargano

The approach to Promontaro Gargano is at first depressing through dreary port installations and associated industries along the coast.  But then it becomes exhilarating as the road zigzags up for 10 miles to the top of the massive rocky core of the peninsular to Monte Sant’ Angelo.  I felt a growing wonder and apprehension about what might await me next day at the Santuario San Michele Arcangelo.  It began with an unexpected tour of the castle which stands above the shrine where I found a powerful node of Apollo and Athena (both confirmed as “main line”) in the central courtyard.  This was the first chance I’d had to dowse the imprint of the node with rods without upsetting priests and worshippers in a church or cathedral.  I found three concentric auras at 4 pace intervals around the node, each with the characteristic 4 petal pattern that Hamish & Co had often found.  The clefts between the petals aligned with the four arms of the energy lines but the outer edges of the petals were plain (not serrated as Hamish had found).

I then walked down the hill to the shrine of San Michele and found it distractingly presented by rather gaudy Roman Catholic paraphernalia (not unlike Hindu temples).  Nonetheless, Apollo and Athena ran very strongly through the cavern “grotto” as Hamish & Co had found them (although Apollo and Athena were curiously transposed again as they had been at Bourges).  I meditated at length at the Apollo / Athena node in the shrine of San Michele where I had taken part in a Roman Catholic Mass that morning.  I felt the energy of Apollo and Athena strongly in the head, heart and sacrum and perceptibly in the other four chakras too.  I distinctly felt my heart chakra open for the first time. I hand dowsed the energy currents through the various chambers of the shrine but was not allowed to follow Apollo through into the “Crypt” because it had just “closed” for lunch.  I was told I could return in the afternoon for “confession”.

Monte St. Angelo: Santurario San Michele Arcangelo

I was welcomed at the Confessional by a Priest of Middle Eastern origin who I had already found out could speak “Inglese”.  I told him of my pilgrimage and ecumenical faith and then asked for his guidance in my search for Truth, Consciousness and Bliss (Sat Chit Ananda in Sanskrit).  We talked about my travels in France, Italy, India and Nepal and my interest in earth energies.  Then he said of the Truth, “you have found it, search no more”.  He then suggested I should now consider how I could help others to find faith through brotherhood (his word) and through unity (Advaita in Sanskrit).

I emerged from the Sanctuary of San Michele profoundly at peace and exhilarated by the events of the day. I had discussed the unity of the earth and the cosmos within an acceptance of an ecumenical approach to spirituality with a representative of the Roman Catholic Church – a “gatekeeper” of the sanctuary.  I reflected on the significance of the Archangel Michael.  Firstly, he represents the replacement of the pagan sacrifice of “bulls blood” and secondly the Christian triumph of good over evil.  But thirdly, he represents the unity of the earth and the cosmos where he rejoices in the creative play between the power of the sun and the serpent energy of Mother Earth.

Eastern Italy and Rome

I left the Gargano peninsular with a deep sense of fulfilment at the amazing culmination of the main section of my pilgrimage.  I travelled along the coastal plain through Foggia and Barletta to Brindisi.  That evening my watch strap broke and the next morning my alarm clock didn’t sound the alarm, perhaps symbolising the terminus of my pilgrimage.  I had a long ride from Brindisi to Rome via Salerno and saw Mount Vesuvius on the near horizon along the way.  I found a very good hotel in a National Park south of Rome and visited the city by train the next day.  I walked through more blazing heat to the Vatican and morning Mass in St Peters.  There were three very powerful female lines running in parallel along the nave of St Peters but they were definitely not Athena!  Then I walked back through the capital of the Roman Empire to the Forum and the Coliseum.  The  remains of this great civilisation were remarkable by any measure but sadly they have been heavily popularised for the mass tourist industry.  My journey home was swiftly delivered by motor-rail to Ghent and the Channel Tunnel to England.


I started on my pilgrimage as a novice dowser and picked up a lot of experience and confidence along the way.  I skipped a few places along my original route where time was too short.  I then arrived in Rome spiritually refreshed and physically energised ‑ not knackered as some people had expected !  I think the main differences that helped to strengthen me and conserve my energy through the journey were my meditation and the benefits of all the preparatory work which Hamish & Co had done in researching and writing “The Dance of the Dragon”.  However, the last word must go to my daughter’s boyfriend who comment dryly on hearing all about this : “you must have had the time of your life” – yes!!!

© 2002 Richard Summers & BSD EEG