Sunday, November 29, 2015

Wheel of Wonder November 29, 2015


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 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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wheel of Wonder November 15, 2015

Today we continue our three part Shamanic Journey.  Our first part was through the middle world of Land, today, the second part through the lower world of Sea.  In many cultures it is the crossing of a body of water that leads the Shaman, Shamanic Poet, or Shamanic Hero to the land of the ancestors, to the land of the dead.  The hero Vainamoinen from the Kalevala (runos 1-10) crosses the water to reach Tuonola, the land of the dead, in order to glean wisdom from their teachings.  I read of a story from the Iglulik of Greenland in which a Shaman has to journey to the bottom of the sea and show respect to the Spirit of the Sea there, inside of her lair, guarded by a strong and vicious dog, like Cerberus, guard dog of Hades.  The Shaman has to show this respect to the Spirit of the Sea as she had become angered by the men of the land not living as they aught to, without that respect, and without the wisdom to live as they should, they would face storms and bad hunting and lack of fish for the catching.
  Sometimes the Celtic Sea God Llyr is said to represent deep wisdom, deep emotion and oneness with the earth and universe, singularity as it were.  These various tales easily correspond to journeys to the underworld for wisdom, knowledge and healing.  Deep Magic Deep Wisdom, the depths of knowledge represented by the ocean.  The upper world, or the Sky will be the subject of the next part of the journey.

The picture above is entitled "Nereid" and is by an artist named Sussi.  I found it on this blog

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wheel of Wonder November 8, 2015

Leaves painted in the hues of Autumn complete their wild, windy dance, rain weeps at their passing, but the ground softens to catch them as they fall, making use of their nutrients to feed the Crows, crawlers and seeds.  The cycle continues without harm or hindrance, and we Humans begin the Celtic year anew.

Happily I've been accepted into a fine circle of spirit, and Druidry is strongly on my mind.  As the seasons change so do we.  That journey of life is the very simple, but meaningful subject of reflection today.  Many people, at all times of the year will face their anxieties overcome them, or deal with them and thus redefine the point of reverence, wisdom and relevance they've come to in their life.  The darker half of the year seems uniquely magical in helping this process.  It's no coincidence that All Hallows Eve sounds so much like The Hallowing.  The Hallowing of course, is that unique and inner journey that brings us face to face with our shadowselves, our anxieties and fears, and these allies bring us wisdom that can be transformative in understanding ourselves and the challenges we need to overcome in order to live our lives to the fullest.  These experiences are often described through the metaphor of finding the treasures of the underworld and bringing them back to the middle world we live on.  May this reflective time of the year be beneficial to you as you learn and grow. (which can happen at any age we are living through, even after our pedigrees are processed and our biological growth completed.)
Its like our own Shamanic Journey through the roots and branches of The World Tree.  Today on Wheel of Wonder we started a musical representation of this triskelion journey through Land, Sky and Sea.  We journeyed across the land through metaphor and music and next we will cross the harmonic metaphor of the sea.  I hope you can join me on the journey....

The beautiful picture above the Triskelion is artist unknown to me.  If you know, please send a link.