Walking the Paths to Faery

Llyn y Fan Fach

A �walking moot� had been announced, but only two of us assembled to walk out on the hills of the Brecon Beacons passing two lakes and a circle of stones. The lakes were Llyn y Fan Fawr and Llyn y Fan Fach, the latter the location of the most famous of the many �Lady of the Lake� legends in which a faërie lady marries a human but eventually (for reasons which vary in different versions) returns to the lake.

The text of the re-telling of this story by John Rhŷs is posted on
The Fern Law of Faery.

The lake sits atmospherically in a bowl of the mountains, a typical glacial formation. It�s easy to imagine the waters below the cliffs on three sides as an entrance to the Otherworld. Sitting at lake level and looking across at the towering face of the Fan below the glittering waters, Faery seemed close, though tantalisingly out of reach. If the time there was not long, neither was it too short, for it was enough to create the extended time of Faery which makes the experience live in the re-reading of the story in which the place lives.

From the lake we walked around and up onto the ridge above, following this back to the other lake, a place itself of some charm if less mystery. Descending to it down the rocky path, we made our way across the peaty ground through cotton grass back towards the stream that is the upper reach of the River Tawe. Here, on a small plateau of flat ground above the river, is the stone circle called Cerrig Duon. Just to the north of the circle is a large standing stone known as Maen Mawr. Starting from this I walked towards, then around, the circle before entering it. Although in a wide open space, only the large standing stone is visible from a short distance away and the place has a hidden quality about it. It has been dated to the Bronze Age. Who, I wondered, would have worshipped here and what rituals did they perform? We cannot know. It belongs now with that faërie lady beneath the lake: Submerged in Time whose waters flow on, taking the experience of the day with them though it lives yet in the lake of memory.

Maen Mawr


Magaly Guerrero said...

What a gorgeous place! I bet it was an amazing experience, filled with the spiritual presence of all of those who where there before.

nefaeria said...

A beautiful place and a lovely idea! Thank you for sharing the experience. :)