To the King of Spirits and his queen: Gwynn ap Nuud, you who are yonder in the forest
for the love of your mate, permit me to enter your dwelling
(Lindahl et al., Medieval Folklore, 190 re-quoted from the book of Celtic Magic, by Kristoffer Hughes)
Of late I've been experiencing dreams rife with the imagery of death, but not terror. I attribute it to "living in the season" as I've mentioned in posts before. Just the other day I was out at a wonderful grove I visit. I was sitting there, surrounded by the presence of Cedars, near a cold, and fast running stream. Some of the Salmon are returning to the place of their birth, to lay the eggs that carry their wisdom on through the young. Its in their natural life cycle to die after fighting their way upstream for sometimes hundreds of miles just to spawn the young. From November to February many dead fish lie along the shoreline of the stream as their bodies leave, then the dirt, water and sand bury their bones. The alder and the maple lose their leaves at this time too, skeletons standing erect over the skeletons lying below. The ground seems frozen and cold, so thoughts of death and life are easily conveyed across the moistened landscape. I accept it as a scene of rest before life springs up anew in the spring. I wonder what is to be learned there...so my dreams reflect this yearning and from time to time a tall, strong, and dark haired facilitator to this learning meets me in that dreamscape of death, and I ask him questions and take in the sights. All of these nocturnal wanderings lead me to consideration of the welsh diety Gwynn ap Nuud, King of the Faeries, dwelling beneath the Glastonbury Tor, as the shamans, historians and occasional bards relate.
This version of herne the Hunter was created by A.L Paciorek
Gwynn ap Nuud is variuosly described as the welsh god of the forests, the wild hunt or death. Today on wheel of wonder we visited these stories as well as stories of other forest god figures like Tam Lin, Herne, The Satyrs, and the Holly king, rulers of the dark part of the year in the myths of the oak and holly kings. Death is another beginning, a rebirth, and though most all people will agree that taking another's life in not right, as do I. Fear of death maybe one of the aspects of being human that Gwynn ap Nuud may be able to help us overcome. Perhaps there is some learning to be gleaned through understanding the darkness of the unknown that he so comfortably dwells within.
Holly King by RavenWillowHawk