Through corridors and chambers you descend into the tumulus vaults. Descending deeper into
gloom along passages supported by stone trilithons ornately carved with spirals, circles and
cups, even your night vision is on the brink of failing in the darkness, when you notice a soft
glow. Turning to follow the twisting passage, the light gets brighter and brighter, casting a golden
glow upon the earth and stones. Finally you enter the end chamber and behold a brilliant light
hovering before you in the air. The golden aura projects around you. A soft but clear female
voice speaks to you, asking you:

Q. Whence didst though proceed?

Is this a question from Barddas? You answer according to the wisdom of the Bards:

A. I came from the Great World having my beginning in Annwn (annoon).

Q. Where art thou now, and how camest thou to what thou art?
A. I am in the Little World, whither I came having traversed the circle of Abred, and now I am a
Man, at its termination and extreme limits.

Q. What were though before thou didst become a Man, in the circle of Abred?
A. I was in Annwn the least possible that was capable of life and the nearest possible to absolute
death; and I came in every form and through every form capable of a body and life to the state of
Man along the circle of Abred, where my condition was severe and grievous during the Age of
Ages, ever since I was parted in Annwn from the dead, by the gift of God, and His great
generosity, and His unlimited and endless love.

Q. Through how many different forms didst though come, and what happened unto thee?
A. Through every form capable of life, in water, in earth, in air. And there happened unto me
every severity, every hardship, every evil, and every suffering, and but little was the goodness or
Gwynfyd before I became a Man ... Gwynfyd cannot be obtained without seeing and knowing
everything, but it is not possible to see or to know everything without suffering everything ... And
there can be no full and perfect love that does not produce those things which are necessary to
lead to the knowledge that causes Gwynfyd.

Suddenly the light transmutes and in its place is an image of the sky reflected in the sea,
travelling toward you between these two endless planes as you stand suspended in the air is a
cup, a chalice of lustrous electrum girdled with the most splendid rubies and diamonds you have
ever seen. Inside the chalice, shimmering with radiance, is a deep crimson liquid - the Elixir of
Life-giving blood from the Spring of Life itself! Never, in all your journeys have you seen such a
wonder before!
A man's voice resounds across the waters like the gentle rumbling of distant thunder:

"What is the secret that I have forgotten? Who am I?"

Why do you hesitate? Perhaps you do not know the answer, or perhaps you think that you know
the answer but that you know not what it means?

The Secret is within your grasp and yet you cannot grasp it. The Grail remains intangible. The
image fades and you find yourself standing alone in a dark chamber far beneath the ground.
Whatever once filled this burial chamber centuries ago has long since been taken either by
thieves or by archaeologists. You have failed. Groping around in the dark you follow the faint light
back to the surface. You can hear that a wind has picked up outside, howling stronger through
these ancient Chambers of the Dead, or is it the mourning of the Women of the Sidhe?

Returning to the fresh air, you smell the freshness of the sea being carried on the cool breeze.
You had a chance to end this unending winter and restore bud, leaf, flower and life to the land.
You look up to see the Druidess waiting outside for you. 'You must try again,' she says, as you
gaze into her sad but reassuring eyes.

Recall the words of Bardass, for the bards believed that the Light, the principle of energy tending
towards life was set to struggle against Cythrawl, which is the principle of destruction tending
toward oblivion. In the Beginning, God spoke his ineffable name as he moved across the Waters
of Darkness and the Manreth came into being. The Manreth was the primal substance from which
the Cosmos formed. It was a multitude of minute indivisible 'atoms' or fundamental particles, each
being a Microcosm for God is complete in each of them, and yet each is a part of God, the Whole.

A storm is coming in from the sea, but you may shelter here for a while, near to the Edge of the
World amongst the hills, barrow mounds and sacred oaks. Sleep for now, wait for the storm to
pass, and dream...
Manreth
Ancient Oak
The hollows of an ancient oak, or is at an ash tree? By the Pool of Frozen Dreams.