Tag Archives: Druidry

Chasing the Mabon

Big thanks to Teller who asked me ‘So, when are you putting up the blog?’ And a huge thanks to Cthulhudruid who managed to find my original post after it had been accidentally deleted!

Maponus image from Gettyimages

Ah, yes. Autumn! The season of falling leaves, bounties of fruit and vegetation, bird migration and garden spiders coming out to capture unsuspecting prey (shudder). This season also sees the Equinox as the dramatic increase of the dark overtakes the long summer nights. The balance is struck and the wheel turns once again….

Within the usual modern Pagan circles, the Autumnal Equinox has been given a name…. Mabon. Whom or what does this name come from? What the hell is a Mabon anyway?

The short story is that in the 1970’s Aiden Kelly, Wiccan High Priest, came up with the name for the simple fact that he didn’t like that the Autumnal Equinox celebrations didn’t have a grander name. In his own words, please read this.

The long story…..

Mabon is a now shadowy figure, one who once had a cult all of his own stretching from Wales to Lancashire, Northumberland, Cumbria and Scotland. Mabon means ‘Son’ in Welsh and the most familiar version of this is the character of Mabon ap Modron (Son of Mother), from the tale ‘How Culhwch Won Olwen‘.

In the story, the hero Culhwch falls in love with the beautiful Olwen. Which is great, because she loves him too and it turns out that marrying her will lift the curse that was put on him by his jealous step-mother. Problem solved. However, her Dad is Yspaddaden Bencawr, chief giant and realm owning badass. He is so against the idea of the marriage, he sets Culhwch 40 impossible tasks which must be completed. No victory from the young upstart, then no nuptials. Amongst these tasks was one where Culhwch must obtain the comb and shears from behind the ears of the dreaded supernatural boar, Twrch Trwryth. But this could not be done unless he somehow obtained the mardiest dog in the world, Drudwyn. And even then Drudwyn had to be controlled by Mabon ap Modron, a huntsman who must ride the steed Gwyn Dunmane…. and the snag was: “Mabon ap Modron who had been stolen from his home when he was three nights old, and his whereabouts not known…..

Luckily for Culhwch, his uncle Arthur (yes, THAT Arthur) had given him some of his knights as companions who helped accomplish most of the impossible tasks like some adrenaline charged-Redbull fuelled group from Dungeons & Dragons…. but they could not find Mabon ap Modron.

Anywhere.

Like, nowhere.

It was only after Arthur discovering hint about asking the Oldest Animals in the World the heroes stood a chance. So Culhwch’s band sought out the Blackbird of Cilgwri, the Stag of Rhendynfre, the Owl of Cam Cwlwyd, the Eagle of Gwernabwy and the Salmon of Llyn Lliw, to find Mabon’s location: the fortress of Caerloyw. Even then they have to break him out by force. Skipping to the end; Mabon and another hunter, some wild dude called Cynedyr Wyllt manage to corner Twrch Trwryth and grab the comb (Mabon) and shears (Cynedyr) before the Chief of Otherworldly Boars escapes and runs into the sea, prophesying he and Arthur shall fight at the end of the world…… well, a big rumble between them in the far future anyway.

In one version of the ‘Dream of Rhonabwy‘, Mabon is one of the advisors of Arthur, although this could be a confusion with another, Mabon ap Mellt (Son of Lightening) is described as a huntsman also….. This version hints at either this Mabon was as quick as lightening or was descended from some cthonic sky-god.

Interestingly, the character of Mabon was taken up by Roman occupiers in Britannia. Or perhaps, was taken up by Romanised Celts in the form of Maponus ‘Divine Youth’. Coins and inscriptions show Maponus with his dog (Drudwyn?). It appears that Maponus was equated with Apollo, the god of healing and poetry….. and linked with the bow and arrow, tools of the hunt?

What of Modron? Does the mother give any indication as to who Mabon is? She is of the ‘Washer at the ford’ variety of supernatural women, and is daughter to Afallach, one of the lords of Annwn (Welsh Otherworld), specifically, the ruler of Avalon. If true, then she was a magical being and therefore a woman of Sovereignty (The right to choose and the right to rule) and supposedly bore two sons to Urien Rheged, king of Rheged (supposedly a kingdom in Northern England and Southern Scotland). One of these sons, Owein, plays chess with Arthur in the ‘Dream of Rhonabwy‘…. see how these things always go in cycles?

Bizarrely enough, one of the stanzas of the Graves reads: “The grave in the upland of Nanllau; his story no one knows. Mabon the son of Modron the sincere.” So which is it? Is this the grave of Mabon who was in the quest for Olwen’s hand in marriage? Or was he always a mystery and none knew his details? If so, then why was he so popular? Could it be that Mabon ap Modron was in fact the figure of a mystery tradition? Like a Brythonic version Mythras?

The fact that there are remnants and inscriptions to Mabon/Maponus means there was some kind of reverence to him. What this originally was is sadly lost to time, but things have a very strange way of returning. In Modern Druidry, especially in OBOD, where the role of Mabon is given to the youngest member in the ceremony. When Aiden Kelly chose that name, did he do it because it fitted his aesthetic or was there a whisper from a long forgotten heroic huntsman? Also, how the hell did a babe taken away from his mother’s breast of only three nights old learn to become a hunter in the prison of a fort!? Perhaps….. and this is my interpretation…. perhaps Mabon in the story is meant as a metaphor for the adventurous spirit. He is the youthful part of us that dares to do the impossible once he has broken free of the dark prison of our minds. The Mabon hones it’s skills and when is broken free by bravery and need it can go forward and seize the fierce dog of anger to accomplish great things. For when the sun goes down at the Autumnal Equinox does the night get stronger. And as the nights draw in, it is the perfect time to develop our own skills and look inward until we need to release the adventurous spirit within.

Sources:

The Isles of the Many Gods, David Rankine & Sorita D’Este. Avalonia, London, 2007.

The Mabinogion, a new translation by Sioned Davies, Oxford World’s Classics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007.

The Keys to Avalon, the True Location of Arthur’s Kingdom Revealed, Steve Blake & Scott Lloyd, Element Books Limited, Dorset, 2000.

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Owl-right, my son? 

This would have been written New Years Day were it not for the extreme hangover I had suffered.  Regardless, I consulted the Druid Animal Oracle for my yearly focus.

Of dragons and potential

Last year’s card signified 2016 as being a year for discovering my inner potential power, it was not wrong!  Last year I had: 

  • Successfully auditioned for the part of Watson in a comedy version of Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles. 
  • Performed two theatre plays back to back.
  • Provided the voice for the ‘Where Witchcraft Lives’ exhibit in Brighton.
  • Learned a great deal of my strengths and weaknesses.
  • Found my place in my day-job and I’m fine with it! 
  • Became a member of a brand new theatrical events group.
  • Completed my Bardic course and review. 
  • Completed my Ovate initiation just in time for Yuletide. 
  • Learned what my acting type is.
  • Discovered where I went wrong in my marriage.  
  • Cut my long hair off in the name of charity.

So yes, quite a lot, really! 

Eyes in the night

And where does my focus lie for 2017?  The card drawn for this year is Owl, or Cailleach Oidhche . The card for detachment, wisdom and change.  It speaks of turning a disadvantage into an advantage, also it signifies a call to explain the Otherworld with studying esoteric lore and clairvoyancy.  Not sure about speaking with the dead, but seeming as I will be beginning my journey into the world of the Ovate (mystic, seer, healer) this is apt indeed.

I am aware of the Owl being named as one of the oldest creatures of the Earth, according to one of the tales of the Mabinogion.  In another tale, it is the final form inflicted upon Blodeuedd by the sorcerer Gwydion.  Owl is also associated with the Cailleach, although which specific one, I am not sure.  Either way, both Owl, the Cailleach and studying esoteric lore are to be treated with respect. 

Art by Bill Worthington.

Realignment

June.  That was the last month I wrote something in depth. I have managed to write something every month or so, albeit in the form of a poem, a saying, or even a prayer. 

Actually, I don’t feel the need to write anything in depth.  No examinations of what those legends may actually mean, no breaking down of Pagan concepts (Classical or Modern), no questioning of the values or ethics around us.  In fact there are so many people reeling from the political victory of Brexit and Donald Trump, there are plenty already questioning the world around them…. 

 Whereas my investigative flair has faded to nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Diddley-Squat.  

During August, I feared I might have severed the link between myself and my spirituality.  Since the end of June, I dedicated myself to learning my lines for a theatrical performance.  In August, I did the same with another, both of them are now finished and performed.  Having embraced my acting self as my Bardic self, I have sought to regain and discover new skills for being the actor I want to be.  As well as discovering the actor I am turning into.  

It would be wrong of me to say I ‘put my life on hold’ because of the two plays.  Sure, I became less socially active and my days off were dedicated to line learning as were my evenings after work and then there were rehearsals.  

Performance is a discipline. It is hours of line learning, practicing the mannerisms of another person, working with the energy levels of your colleagues so the show does not lag.  Remembering where to be in the right place at the right time, thinking within a split second of a replacement word if you end up forgetting the correct one and doing all of this with a huge adrenaline rush once you are doing it.  To do that and more requires focus and discipline in yourself. 

And so, I threw myself into this creative path.  To me, it feels so right to do so.  It has stoked my inner fires and is my main focus. Where I may not be performing my Bardic Rituals everyday (the last was before I moved house in June) I have come to understand this, at the moment, is not what I need in my life right now.  

I still light my candles to my deities, ancestors and the spirits around me.  I still honour the seasons that pass and celebrate them; I still give offerings and have even done a little research into Japanese Fox spirits.  I have discovered my spirituality is in who I am, not just what I do.  This has also allowed me to view my spirituality, my beliefs and my self objectively.  And in this I have learned much, including belief in myself. 

But for the time being, I will post when I can with what I can give.  

After all, if one’s spirituality is only defined by one’s work with ritual, then what is ritual if not a performance? 

Photo by Locksley2010

Accepting the Inner Flame.

image
Fire-pit at Thorsson's house 2015

I’m an impatient being.  Always have been and always will be.  I was even born a month premature, yet I survived, when time was that I wouldn’t have.

I have always been close to my emotions, especially the fire inside. 

That’s not to say I’m a violent or an angry person, I am the most laid back and chilled out guy you can ever hope to meet.  Unless you are technology, then the spark within becomes a full blown meltdown where my blood boils and I might as well grow claws and shred every piece of wiring and circuitry apart.  Many is the time I wanted to smash my mobile phone against the nearest wall and destroy this tool for not being quick enough, or autocorrecting the wrong words.  If I could just give in to my beast, it would be sooooooo easy.

Of course, the fault is actually mine.  Just because my aptitude for any device isn’t the sharpest, it isn’t the machine I’m angry with.  I’m projecting the anger with myself onto whatever I’m using when I should know better.  But when I press something and all I get is the Whirlygig of Doom, out comes my battle-cry: “Oh, Come ON!!!”

On those days where the computers at work, my mobile phone on the bus ride home and my home PC are being slow and I see more than my fair share of the Whirlygig of Doom all on the same day, I stop. Turn everything off and leave them well alone.

When I was younger, this anger was taken out with my fists hitting the kitchen sides or the nearest wall.

For a time, I doused the flames.  I simply walked through life, nothing much phased me and even those times of intense emotion were so…… Wet.  I look back at the very first blog I wrote and read it with disdain.  What a fucking pussy I was back then!  My inner fire, for several years was merely a glowing ember almost reduced to blackened ash.  Yet we must know the dark before we can know the light.  And when I wrote that first blog post, I was lost and confused.  And I got over it.  See? It was there! Right then.  I looked back at my past self and rebuked him, I can’t deny the person I was as that was a part of me.  And still is.  The past can show us who we don’t want to be.

Of all the things in the world to breathe air into that dying ember, it was Druidry that blew into that spark, only for it to catch on and to flare up,  and ignite once again.  Let me make it clear that I am in no way saying that Druidry “Saved me”.  When I began this blog back in 2012, I was already studying and learning Druidry.  I had hit a low point was all and it wasn’t until I was working with the element of fire things in motion began to change things.

  I began my Bardic course with having to use a candle instead of a “Piss poor fire”.  It was working with the element of fire in my Fire-Weaving ritual that gave me signs of dragons and unexpectedly changed something within me (that’s when the ember was blown on and then caught fire once more….), the end of my Bardic course saw me burn my thumb on a flame and as I sucked it, the metaphor of wisdom was not lost on me.  Reconnecting with my inner fire brought back my passion (acting) and returned my enthusiasm.  It is a fire with caution, as it also brought back my impatience and spiky nature.  This has cost me my resolve at work as I have damaged property more than once in the past few weeks! 
At my day job, Del-boy, the Asst. Manager has warned me I need to calm down and not get so wound up.  And he’s right, I’m better than this.

Used correctly, I can create new material under pressure, make decisions to ‘get it done’ or even clean shit up.  That’s the thing with anger, for the most part, in our society it is destructive.  But it can keep you going.

The inner fire isn’t always a bad thing, it’s what keeps me creative, whether with my acting or playing with character nuances during line-learning, devising a talk (or an all-consuming blog post I just have to share with the world) or even plotting the next chapter to inflict upon my players in my Vampire: The Masquerade RPG Chronicle.  Once inspired by something, the spark of Awen will catch my flame and then I have to act on it, be it research of a deity or an old story or look into the facts of something people take for granted as true just because we thought it was (The Oak King, Holly King model was made up by Robert Graves, but people take it as gospel- Discuss). It also gives me that urge to question everything.

When there’s passion, energy and conviction, the flames are burning brightly indeed.

Romantically speaking, I can be warm, comforting and entirely devoted.  Presently, my fires of the heart are whimsical.  I seem to develop crushes on women, but then these flames of fancy fade out.  I may love my friends, but I am not in love with anyone. For now, in my life, that’s ok. 

Once upon a time, I called myself the ‘Impulsive Flame’ I am not being egotistical when I say I radiate a warmness, because I do.  And people are attracted to the light and warmth, but getting too close can result in burning.  I can be prickly with even those I allow to come close,   I endeavour to control my fire, but like the actual alchemical element itelf, sometimes it simply ignites.  And fire can also be cleansing, sometimes you just need to let things out, I just don’t ever want to take it out on anyone.

Its not that I don’t need to learn to control it, I already know how.  I just need to master when to reign the flames in and know when to let them flare up. But I can never quench them again, to do so is to deny myself when fire is a great teacher in responsibility and will.

Accepting the Inner Flame.

image
Fire-pit at Thorsson's house 2015

I’m an impatient being.  Always have been and ways will be.  I was even born a month premature, yet I survived, when time was that I wouldn’t have.

I have always been close to my emotions, especially the fire inside. 

That’s not to say I’m a violent or an angry person, I am the most laid back and chilled out guy you can ever hope to meet.  Unless you are technology, then the spark within becomes a full blown meltdown where my blood boils and I might as well grow claws and shred every piece of wiring and circuitry apart.  Many is the time I wanted to smash my mobile phone against the nearest wall and destroy this tool for not being quick enough, or autocorrecting the wrong words.  If I could just give in to my beast, it would be sooooooo easy.

Of course, the fault is actually mine.  Just because my aptitude for any device isn’t the sharpest, it isn’t the machine I’m angry with.  I’m projecting the anger with myself onto whatever I’m using when I should know better.  But when I press something and all I get is the Whirlygig of Doom, out comes my battle-cry: “Oh, Come ON!!!”

On those days where the computers at work, my mobile phone on the bus ride home and my home PC are being slow and I see more than my fair share of the Whirlygig of Doom all on the same day, I stop. Turn everything off and leave them well alone.

When I was younger, this anger was taken out with my fists hitting the kitchen sides or the nearest wall.

For a time, I doused the flames.  I simply walked through life, nothing much phased me and even those times of intense emotion were so…… Wet.  I look back at the very first blog I wrote and read it with disdain.  What a fucking pussy I was back then!  My inner fire, for several years was merely a glowing ember almost reduced to blackened ash.  Yet we must know the dark before we can know the light.  And when I wrote that first blog post, I was lost and confused.  And I got over it.  See? It was there! Right then.  I looked back at my past self and rebuked him, I can’t deny the person I was as that was a part of me.  And still is.  The past can show us who we don’t want to be.

Of all the things in the world to breathe air into that dying ember, it was Druidry that blew into that spark, only for it to catch on and to flare up,  and ignite once again.  Let me make it clear that I am in no way saying that Druidry “Saved me”.  When I began this blog back in 2012, I was already studying and learning Druidry.  I had hit a low point was all and it wasn’t until I was working with the element of fire things in motion began to change things.

  I began my Bardic course with having to use a candle instead of a “Piss poor fire”.  It was working with the element of fire in my Fire-Weaving ritual that gave me signs of dragons and unexpectedly changed something within me (that’s when the ember was blown on and then caught fire once more….), the end of my Bardic course saw me burn my thumb on a flame and as I sucked it, the metaphor of wisdom was not lost on me.  Reconnecting with my inner fire brought back my passion (acting) and returned my enthusiasm.  It is a fire with caution, as it also brought back my impatience and spiky nature.  This has cost me my resolve at work as I have damaged property more than once in the past few weeks! 
At my day job, Del-boy, the Asst. Manager has warned me I need to calm down and not get so wound up.  And he’s right, I’m better than this.

Used correctly, I can create new material under pressure, make decisions to ‘get it done’ or even clean shit up.  That’s the thing with anger, for the most part, in our society it is destructive.  But it can keep you going.

The inner fire isn’t always a bad thing, it’s what keeps me creative, whether with my acting or playing with character nuances during line-learning, devising a talk (or an all-consuming blog post I just have to share with the world) or even plotting the next chapter to inflict upon my players in my Vampire: The Masquerade RPG Chronicle.  Once inspired by something, the spark of Awen will catch my flame and then I have to act on it, be it research of a deity or an old story or look into the facts of something people take for granted as true just because we thought it was (The Oak King, Holly King model was made up by Robert Graves, but people take it as gospel- Discuss). It also gives me that urge to question everything.

When there’s passion, energy and conviction, the flames are burning brightly indeed.

Romantically speaking, I can be warm, comforting and entirely devoted.  Presently, my fires of the heart are whimsical.  I seem to develop crushes on women, but then these flames of fancy fade out.  I may love my friends, but I am not in love with anyone. For now, in my life, that’s ok. 

Once upon a time, I called myself the ‘Impulsive Flame’ I am not being egotistical when I say I radiate a warmness, because I do.  And people are attracted to the light and warmth, but getting too close can result in burning.  I can be prickly with even those I allow to come close,   I endeavour to control my fire, but like the actual alchemical element itelf, sometimes it simply ignites.  And fire can also be cleansing, sometimes you just need to let things out, I just don’t ever want to take it out on anyone.

Its not that I don’t need to learn to control it, I already know how.  I just need to master when to reign the flames in and know when to let them flare up. But I can never quench them again, to do so is to deny myself when fire is a great teacher in responsibility and will.

Deep Questions pt. 2: Do you worship Gods?

 

Image from NASA
Image from NASA

Okay, this is going to be a big one.  We’re going to go nice and deep.  So go and put your kettle on and make your self a tea, coffee or hot chocolate and get yourself ready.

This is the second installment of what was supposed to be a three part series which was taken from a conversation between me and my Pagan friends from Newark, Heidi, Helen and The Nathans.
You can read part one here.  This entire post explores some of the themes we discussed.  The question of deity came up in the Grove I belong to, which you can find here.

The title question didn’t come up exactly like that, but the conversation went in the direction of talking about the gods and were Druids priests?
As for the priest thing, I think that’s debatable as the accounts we draw on for classical Druidry were written by Greek and Roman writers going on third hand information in trying to explain a totally different culture by their own standards.

Do I worship gods? Yes. I regularly give offerings and light a candle when I feel the desire to do so.  There’s no point in doing ritual if it feels like a chore now, is here?

And it all depends on what you mean by god.

Still got that hot drink? You might want to consider something stronger, beer or whisky helps….

I don’t believe the gods are cloud dwelling, toga wearing bearded individuals who play games of fate with our lives for sport.
Neither do I believe that the gods are space aliens from another world/dimension and that magic was only a science our ancients didn’t understand…. although I do find the case of the Dogon tribe in Africa very interesting indeed.

I have written before of my fascination with the Tuatha De Danaan and I am inclined to believe they were once real people who either were one of the most famous Celtic tribes of all time, or they were exceptional in their own individual spheres.  Are they creator gods? No.  Although in their pantheon, they brought light to the Isle of Destiny and the world was here before they were.

I have discovered that my form of belief falls within what is called Animism, where you believe all things have a spirit.  An essence, spark of the divine: Prana, chi, numina, nwyfre, soul whatever you want to call it.  And it is this essence that is eternal.  I have a hypothesis that goes:

Every thing has a spark of creation in it. Whether it be animal, vegetable, mineral, water or a star.  Just because we see the world differently from a tree, or a dolphin or a mouse, it doesn’t mean they don’t have their own ways of life and form of consciousness.  This spark/divine essence/thing is what remains when our physical body dies.  Now, say that someone dies and they were exceptional in some way.  The rest of the community that individual served need help with something our dead person was very, very good at.  So they call upon the essence of that individual to help them… and it works.  It works so well that for generations that particular spirit becomes regarded as an ancestor.  Further generations down the line and that ancestor becomes deified.  They become a god.
Say, for some reason, other people now call upon this deity, and it catches on.  Then for other reasons, the practice stops and the deity becomes forgotten… What happens here? Does it die? Does it go around inspiring people? Or does it roam existence until someone some when finds information about that deity and wants to begin practice all over again?  And should there be someone to give it reverence or worship, does that mean the person or persons giving to it add something of themselves to it?
We see this happen with the Saints, it happens in Native American cultures when they revere a household totem, of which there are two types.  One is a personal totem which acts as a sort of good luck charm, the other is a family totem that cannot be bartered or lent or sold.  But it can become adopted by the whole tribe as a Godhead as it is added to the rote of ancestors.  In short, gods can be made.

When most people say ‘god’ they mean a creatrix being that creates all things and knows everything about everyone in all space and time.  When they say ‘gods’ they mean beings who are beyond mortal.  I classify gods, ghosts, spirits, otherworldly beings, elementals, demons, dervishes, spirits of place, etc as Non Physical Beings, NPB’s for short.
This is because I believe that if you go with the above as a form of consciousness, then that means they are not limited to any one particular physical form or shape.  They can choose a myriad of forms with which to approach us, or in some cases (if not all), it depends on our own perception filters on how we see them.  I also believe that there are NPBs that have been around for a very long time and occasionally helped our ancestors in some way, whether through inspiration, advice or intervention.  I believe that some of these beings even became the Godhead for certain peoples and societies.

Do gods control us?  On the contrary, my own personal take is that fate is pretty much a sealed deal: you’re born and you die.  Destiny, however is what happens in the middle and it is up to us to make it work.  Its like we have a certain line we follow in life that, if we do follow it, can result in our highest potential being fulfilled (which goes onto our spirit being given the chance to grow).  I believe the gods, or at least other NPB’s who give a shit about us want to help us keep on this course, whatever it is, and in helping us achieve this, help themselves.

So, this brings me on to the models I discussed with the Newark gang…

1:  All Gods are real-
Yep, all gods, deities, spirits, anything out there that is an NPB is in fact real.
Brighid is a conscious entity that is fully aware of who and what she is, and even helps us out.  She inspires us with poetry, creative endeavour, prophecy and helps midwives make the right choices.  Odin disguises himself as many different people to interact with our world (Midgard).  There are land spirits wrecking strange havoc in your house, we call them poltergeists now, just say you’re really sorry and offer them milk.  Jehova/Yahweh is simply the God of Israel, not of everything and his word has been rewritten that many times, no one remembers what he was really on about.  Spirits of the wind actually do dance, creating wind eddies,Fire is alive and well and watches you! Its ALL true.

2: Spirit is all-
Similar to above, but everything is simply spirit in other forms.  Spirit is the underlying thing that binds all living (and dead) beings.  Think of the Force from ‘Star Wars’. It flows through us and around us as well as beyond us.  It is by tapping into spirit that NPBs have knowledge of past, present and future as well as having some telepathic knowledge about us.  Nothing dies, it only transforms.  There are spirits of all kinds, spirits of people, animals, plants, the planet, the winds, water.  Even ‘gods’ are spirits.

3: We ARE The Gods-
A very interesting idea coming from books on Chaos Magic.  This goes on the premise that we are in fact our own gods.  All that magic you’ve cast, spells been made, those signs of synchronicity that lead you to things are all your own doing.  Any NPB that is personal to us is a manifestation of our own self made into an interactive form.  So yes, Anubis IS probably talking to you because YOU created him!
The NPB is a sort of avatar if you will.  In short, we are more awesome than we dare to imagine!

4: It’s all crap-
There does remain the possibility that everything I’ve described above is totally, utterly, absolutely rubbish.  There are no gods, there are no spirits or magic, things don’t happen for our benefit and it is all just coincidence coupled with a desire to believe.
We are born, we die and that’s it.  The universe is not a self-exploring entity and we are a nanosecond blip in the infinite cosmos.  How gloomy and boring is that?

I’m sure there are more models and possibilities, but if I wanted to examine this subject in more detail, that would mean turning this essay into a book.

My belief is a mixture of models 2 and 3.  I believe that everything has a spirit or essence, that spirits don’t all have physical forms and that there are conscious entities alive and active in our world apart from us and other creatures of the world. I believe that we can create our own interface entities that have the potential to become NPB’s of their own consciousness and become individual beings.
I believe that there are independent NPB’s that actually want to help us.  But why?  Is it because they feed on our belief and off us? Or is it because, like us, they were once actual people who became deified and evolved in someway. And through helping us by showing us how to access our own potential and increasing the potency of our own spirit we can become like they are… our spirits evolve? (Y’know… like pokemon!)

I’m nearly finished, I promise! So, as you sit there with the last mouthful in your drinking vessel waiting for you, I’ll finish on this note:

Last Monday I received a message from my friend, Dianara.  She is a Priestess of Diana and she had a message from the Morrigan for me: ‘Everything is for your own good, stop complaining and get out of there…
Okay…. I get that this whole year has been about change.  And yes I agree that whatever I have or am still going through is indeed for my benefit.  Complaining? I probably was and didn’t realise it.  As for getting out of there, me and Dianara talked and she felt that it was more of a bad place I was in, a sadness or bad mental state.  This is where the message hit home.  For a couple of weeks I was indeed sad.  Things had made me question my actions and second guess myself.  I hadn’t told Dianara what had been bothering me before the message and I hadn’t given any sign of Les Booky Farce of my sadness, so how did Dianara know? Because the Morrigan, my Great Queen, my assigned deity from the Tuatha De Danaan whether she be a deity, an ancestor, a construct or whatever she is told my friend a message for me.  Which is exactly what I think the Morrigan would say: ‘Quit yer bitchin’ and chin up, it’ll be worth it!
And so to my sadness I say two words: No More.
Thanks for the message, Dianara and thanks Morrigan for the kick up the ass.

This is why I believe. How about you?

The Morrigan’s Mask…

I was inspired by this piece written on The Morrigan in Danu Forest’s article on ‘The Gods are not for sale!’ which you can read for yourself here.

So, I have to thank Leithin Cluan, really because she posted it to our Grove.  My particularly favorite bit is:

No the Morriigan is not an easy goddess- disrespect her land and she will want blood. Literally. She is sexual, primal, gutsy, scary- she will do the hard, horrible work, embrace her fury so a clean start is possible- but no she she’s not interested in comforting you because you don’t want to be as tough as your life requires right now, don’t want to wade into difficult moral or emotional terrain. She won’t hold your hand if you are scared of the dark, but she might smile if you pick yourself up, get fed up with your cowardice and do what needs to done. Read the old tales, research the folklore- visit the places on the land that honour her, in the real world. It’s all there. Get out of your own head, your own story- she’s waiting outside.   

Indeed!

Not a simpering maid, this Goddess.  This portrayal is one that evokes primal strength, a bolshy nature of “Well, do it then!“.  It also brings, at least to my mind, the now stereotypical image of the Morrigan: A flame haired beauty screaming across the battlefield with a bloody sword and gore splattered shield.  Heralding the death of her foes as she unleashes a furious murder of crows on those whose souls she has come to claim.  She is the black of night, the crimson fountain, the pale moon all in one and death is her punishment to the weak.  She mesmerizes with her blatant sexuality, oozing appeal with every curve and her eyes dare you to take her… if you can.

This imagery and the above quote, reflect only part of her being.  The Morrigan, believe it or not was only classed as a ‘Goddess of Battle’ only recently.

Everyone who has heard of her is familiar with the iconic raven and crow association, they are carrion birds after all, and eating the slain on the battlefield is a pretty sure way of a having them represent death.

Her powers influence battle to be sure, The Daghda, after seeing her washing in the river convinces her to ensure victory against the Fomorians by having sex with her.  At the end of the battle of Moytura, she sings a song of victory and also prophecies of the end of the world.

In the Cuchulainn saga, she tries to seduce Cuchulainn, only for him to refuse her (something she really doesn’t like).  In that story she shows her shape-shifting abilites: as a maiden, an eel, a wolf, a crone.  The Crone guise is used when Cuchulainn meets a crone with a cow, and is tricked into blessing the crone and thereby healing all the wounds he had inflicted on her.

So yes, she does have an association with death, with transformation and with prophecy.  More than that she is also a Goddess of Sovereignty (this is where the cow comes in, it represent the land, generosity and a number of Goddesses).  Where she is death, she also represents life: fertility and bounty,  both of which make way for the future- something she appears to know of before others do.

I am very aware this is merely an introduction into The Morrigan and will give more of my findings when I have them.  The way I see Her is like the bright full moon behind a cover of cloud: You know she is there and every now and then, she’ll be visible, but only for a moment and even then, was it the full picture?

Like her guises, The Morrigan has many masks.  The mask I see her with isn’t of the screaming warrior, or of the regal queen.  To me, at least, right now, she is mysterious woman showing me I must pay attention.  The choice she brings is to pick myself up or lie where I am and wonder where I went wrong.  Thankfully, I chose the former… after all, in front of such a pretty lady, it simply wouldn’t do to wallow.

I remember meeting the Morrigan in a dream in early 2013, the most distinctive feature I remember is the red make up around her eyes… the below image reminds me of her.  Taking hint of Cuchulainn, offering her a blessing, I have trialled giving offerings of milk.  So far, she likes anything I can give in Her name, but mainly milk, beer, whisky, tobacco, food (Not beef) and chocolate cake.

Image from Old Camarilla Wiki  – artist and details unknown, but would love to give credit to whoever did this.