Posted in Celtic festival, Goddess, Mother Earth, mythology, nature

The Goddess and The Wheel

The Goddess is complex and has many faces.  The ones most talked about are Maiden, Mother and Crone.  Personally, I see the Goddess in the turning of the Wheel of the Year and assign three moons to each Goddess aspect on the cycle, making four.  Maiden, Mother, Crone and one more.  I call this fourth face Bride, sometimes, she is the Sorceress.  The energy feels like this:

The first face is the Maiden, the story of divine feminine starts with her. 
She is Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. 
She’s a Winter’s landscape, like the land beneath snow.
She is waiting to grow into her power.
The acorn waits in the dark earth for the Spring sun to kiss it awake.
The acorn grows into the oak just as the Maiden grows into Bride, Mother and Crone.
Her womb is waiting to bleed.
The Maiden sits in the season of Winter on the Wheel of the Year, for she is first.
 And the Celtic New Year begins at Samhain, last day of October.
Winter precedes all other seasons, just as the dark void gave birth to light.
Everything starts in the dark, as the baby is born from the dark womb.
The elemental energy of the Maiden is Air, for hers is the first breath.  
She is assigned the moons of November, December and January.

We are now at Imbolc, last day of January. 
The season when light returns and the earth wakes from slumber.
Powerful season of Fire and renewal.  
The sun has kissed the Maiden and she has woken up.
Everything is stirring in nature, in her season.
The birds and beasts are mating and trees and plants are thrusting out their leaves.
Here sits the Bride, assigned three moons of February, March and April. 
She is the May Queen whose potent, fiery blood brings transformation at Beltane.
Just as Spring transforms the land.
She is red and white, purity and blood, for her womb is fertile and not yet pierced.
She is the Enchantress.

The Goddess energy passes on at Beltane.
When the womb of the May Queen is pricked.
Life is growing within her dark womb.
The season of the Great Mother Goddess is here.
Divine Mother rules the moons of May, June and July. 
She reigns through Summer, season of abundance and blessings. 
She is the cornucopia of plenty. 
She births the land as the magical child, the seed of humanity.  
She reigns until July’s end, whence comes the festival of Lughnasadh.
Festival of the Child of Light, which is us, dear listener.
For we, and all beings upon the Earth are her children.
The earth is rich with flowers, corn and fruit during the season of the Great Mother.
The element of Earth is her gift to us.

At August’s start, power passes to the Crone.
Wise Woman, she is Elder. 
She, who is Keeper of the Wheel of the Year.
Turner of the wheel.
She oversees the process of change.
She sits at the spinning wheel with the silver thread in her fingers. 
Her element is Water, for water is a record keeper, as is the Crone. 
To her are assigned three moons of August, September and October. 
Her womb is not barren, it is the void.
Cave of inconceivable power.
It is the gaping gash of Sheela Na Gig.
She beckons us to enter.
To go inside ourselves and know who we are.
She sits in the season of the ancestors.
At Samhain, the ancestors are honoured. 
And the Crone passes her power back to the Maiden.
The wheel begins again, not a circle but a spiral.  

For this reason, as a woman in her Crone stage, it is mine to gift my power to the Maiden, imparting wisdom and teaching skills to one who is starting on the same journey I have travelled.  Already, the honour and opportunity has befallen me, more than once, in teaching my shamanic craft.  I hope that all women in their crone-years, the years we call peri-menopause, menopause and beyond, will gift some of their power to the Maiden, for she is a Bride-, a Mother-, a Crone-in-becoming. 

We Crones are the ones who have travelled the full stretch of the road and passed through all four stations.  We are in our full power.  And if we don’t value that, if we don’t honour ourselves for all we are, who will? 

The Wheel of the Year

    

Posted in mythology, Soul Integration, sovereignty, Storytelling

“I Am Sovereign”

“I am sovereign.” These are the words of one who is embracing the truth of their being and it is an empowering daily affirmation to repeat this short, powerful statement. To be sovereign is to be one who is the source of their own needs. This person can truly say “I unconditionally love myself” and feel no sense of guilt or selfishness, for they are aware that to do so is a huge part of what makes them healthy, healed and whole.

Sovereign is a word that has a great deal of power. It encapsulates our personal power, our liberation, self-worth, authenticity and our ability to see ourselves as divine expressions upon the Earth.

Sovereign means we answer to ourselves and nobody else. We need no permission from anybody for anything we feel, speak, do or are. No permission for the decisions we make, the creations and expressions we choose to bring forth. Nor do we need acceptance, approval or acknowledgment from anyone outside ourselves. We no longer seek to fix or heal the relationships with our parents when we didn’t get our needs met, we know that the only healing to be done is the wounds we carry within us. We are no longer trying to be responsible for anybody except ourselves.

Sovereign means we truly own ourselves, value ourselves, we own our inner power and have no fear to express it in every moment. We stand at our centre, speaking and acting from a state of centredness. To say “I am sovereign” is a powerful way to claim all of this and more.

Here’s a story about sovereignty, it was written down around 1388 by Geoffrey Chaucer, although it was probably already an old tale. It is from The Canterbury Tales.

The story is about a knight who raped one of Queen Guinevere’s maidens. The penalty is death but the queen decides to give the knight a year to find the answer to a question, if he tells her the correct answer within that time he will not die, otherwise, he’s toast. The question is “What do women want?”

This is a moral tale that’s all about the empowerment and sovereignty of women. The knight can only succeed if he learns a fundamental respect for women.

The knight sets off and everywhere he goes, he asks men and women the question. He gets a different answer from everyone but the knight doesn’t think any of the answers are the truth the queen is after.

It’s nearly the end of the year and the knight is returning to the castle to face his death. On his way, he sees a group of twenty-four maidens dancing and as he approaches they disappear, replaced by what the book calls “a lothly lady”, meaning she was old and very ugly upon the eye. She promises the knight she will tell him the answer if he agrees to give her what she asks of him.

At the castle, the knight tells the queen, as instructed by the lothly lady, that what women want is sovereignty. This is the correct answer and the queen spares the knight’s life. Then, the lothly lady tells the knight that what she wishes in return is to marry him. The knight is appalled at the prospect but has no option and they are married.

As they go to the marriage bed together, the knight is upset and reluctant. The old lady asks him if he would prefer an old and ugly wife who would be entirely faithful to him, or a young and beautiful wife who won’t be faithful. She tells him she will be whichever he chooses. The knight ponders this and says, “I will accept whatever you decide, my dear.” She declares that his wise answer has honoured her sovereignty, she therefore becomes a young, beautiful and faithful wife. He leans in to kiss her and as he does, he is looking at the most beautiful young woman he has ever seen. Lesson learned.

When we don’t learn our life lessons, sometimes, the lothly lady will come knocking on our door bringing us kick-ass challenges to face that turn our world upside down. Sometimes, it takes that for us to get it. She is the Goddess in her Crone aspect.

Posted in crystalline kingdom, dragons, elemental kingdom, Goddess, Mother Earth, mythology, Personal Story, Storytelling

My First Story

I am one who sees, hears and feels the magic of the land.  I grew up in the bosom of the land and heard the stories that the land spoke, that the land speaks to this day.  I know that when the mist descends and the hills disappear, they have gone beyond the veil, they have shifted into another realm, a magical realm, an earthy, dark realm where I belong, for my ancestors dwell there.

The land is my mother.  She was my loving mother in childhood, even when the love of a human mother seemed to elude me, so it was that the nurture I suckled as a child came from the earth, from stone and gorse and bracken and tall grasses, from the hedgerows and the woods, the beaches, the valleys, the streams. In short, my succour came from the land.

And now I find that the land is telling me of other lives I lived, in which I heard its stories.  It has awoken me to the truth that I am a storyteller, one who holds the stories for many, a carrier of the lore.

These stories belong to the land and they belong to me, a child of the land.  They belong to all of us, they always have and always will, they are the stories of us all, for us all.  For we have lived before and known each other in many ways, we are our ancestors and descendants and we all carry within us the jewels of wisdom and kernels of truth that are hidden in the stories of the land. 

I know that the stories I carry are waking up. They have a life of their own, it is as though they are living beings. They contain their own conscious awareness, they know when it is time to wake up and they know when it is time to speak. They have been sleeping, just as the maiden in the fairy tales sleeps, as though she will never wake up, but she is waking up. This is the time when all the heroes and heroines who sleep in the stories are waking up; Merlin, King Arthur, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, all waking up. The dragons are waking up and all of the magical beauty and truth that the land holds for us all is waking up. For they have only been asleep from our perspective, only been out of reach to those who cannot sense them. For some, they have remained awake and accessible. In truth, it’s not they who have been sleeping at all, it is us.

Whether you believe in magic now, you are going to believe in magic soon, when magic walks amongst us all in broad daylight, when all those myths and characters that we thought were only children’s stories turn out to be true, to be within our realm of experience, undeniable. Dwarves, goblins, trolls, faeries, giants, dragons. Like those people who refused to believe in ghosts until they had a particular experience, after which they could no longer say that they absolutely denied the existence of ghosts.

We are all magical but if we only see the reality of the physical world that is before our eyes, the world that the scientists tell us about, then, we are only scratching the surface of our own selves. We have not realised who we are, we have not looked in the mirror of truth and recognised ourselves yet.

There are those of us whose understanding of reality extends beyond the obvious, beyond the realm of the physical, extends into the dusty corners of our imaginations and to the heart of our intuition. We who have always believed in magic, even in the face of apparent evidence against. You will find that our innate inner sense of belief in the existence of this incredible realm of possibility is no longer possibility, but probability. And once it becomes a probability and we begin to have a relationship with it, then we bring it into ourselves, into our expressions of truth, into our core of being. And as we do that, what we meet there is us. Divine magic is within us, it is who we are, we are divine magic. What is outside of us is within us, what is within us is outside of us. And what we choose, becomes. And this, my friends, is my first story.

This story is accompanied with a painting I made as a commission for a poem. It’s called ‘Ancestral Blueprint’. Check out my gallery of paintings in the sidebar.

Posted in artistic, Celtic festival, mythology

Mabon

It is Autumn Equinox and the festival of Mabon, but do you know who Mabon is?

His full name is Mabon Ap Modron and he is the Welsh god of youth. His name means ‘Son, son of Mother’. The mother in question is the Great Mother Goddess. He is the archetypal magical child and represents the product of every creative process of birth and rebirth. He is magical because the creative process is magical. We are all creating magical outcomes because we have the divine gift of manifestation and creation within our grasp. We can produce another human being and how magical is that! We can produce amazing ideas and express them in the world.

Mabon was born of the Great Mother at the beginning of time, he mysteriously disappeared from between his mother and the wall on the third night from his birth. One day, a cousin of King Arthur appealed to the King for help because he had fallen in love with the beautiful daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden. The giant knew that the man who weds his daughter would take his life, so he set the young suitor a series of tasks, each seemingly as impossible as the next, which must be accomplished to win the bride. The young knight wisely seeks the help of his cousin, Arthur.

One of the tasks is to collect the comb, scissors and mirror from the brow of the great boar, Twrch Trwyth, and for that they need the greatest hunter of all, Mabon. But he has not been seen or heard of since his birth. The oldest creatures are consulted to find out if they have heard of Mabon’s whereabouts. They ask a thrush who had lived long enough to wear down a metal anvil to the size of a nut with its beak, but the thrush didn’t know. They ask a succession of increasingly older animals until they finally come to the oldest of all, the wise salmon. The salmon tells them of a place where he heard such great suffering that he had never in his long life heard the like before, there they found Mabon, imprisoned behind a wall. Arthur summoned all the fighters of Britain and a great war took place before Mabon could be freed.

Now, the boar Twrch Trwyth was the size of an elephant, his tusks as long as huge tree trunks. Nevertheless, Mabon thrust his spear into the boar’s heart and they gained the mirror, comb and scissors to prepare the giant’s hair for the wedding of his daughter and the young knight married the beautiful maiden.

What does all this signify? Mabon is us, each and every one of us, we are trapped behind a wall of our own making, the many limitations, boundaries and conditions we impose upon ourselves as we go through life. We are suffering as much as Mabon to be held prisoner by our thoughts and emotions which rule our actions and cause us to suffer. We are not free. But Mabon breaks free and so can we. The comb is for smoothing out the tangles in our life, the scissors are to cut away all that no longer serves us and the mirror is to see ourselves as we truly are.

Wishing you blessings and healing for the festival of Mabon!