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Friday, July 20, 2012

Born again, and again and again

Reincarnation can be a tricky subject for sure. I was recently involved in a Twitter discussion on the subject and I discovered that attempting to make a point in 140 characters or less is also tricky. The third tricky subject is definitions. So I thought I would spell out my views on my blog. It’s also worth mentioning that my views come from three sources: experiences, hearing and reading the old Welsh Myths and legends and from conversations with the wise.
To begin with definitions, the third bit of tricky. When I speak of reincarnation I’m referring to the basic “I” the part of me that really is me, eternal and developing, learning and growing but always me.
There are some who believe that when we die we return to the basic life force. That force may be referred to as the Goddess or something else. The analogy I have heard is of electricity, the life force is something like an electric current that lights up a string of light bulbs. When one goes out it is replaced but the current remains. I reject this view; this is a view that negates the person and the concept of eternal growth for us all.
Most of my views on life and death are based on the principle of the Triquetra and I set them out in an article I wrote for HubPages. Basically, I am convinced that we are eternal beings with an eternal essence. The universe is made up of matter and consciousness and just as matter cannot be destroyed only changed in form, so is consciousness. It may change from one life to another but it is never destroyed. We are on a great and eternal quest, an adventure beyond our imagining while in a mortal frame. You and I will always be you and I. We meet as we walk the long and winding road and we always aid and uplift each other even when it doesn’t seem that way.
Everyone is where they are supposed to be along the quest, some are in a tight, well organized religion, and some are free spirited and open to all views. Where you are is where you are, but one thing seems very real to me. When we do leave this mortal frame, when we cast off this suit of clothes we call a body, we will know for sure because in this question of what happens after death, there can only be one answer.
So if you hear that I’ve died, and then you meet a kid with dark hair, blue eyes and a Welsh way about him, keep your hand on your wallet. I’m back.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The return of Magic and the Old Gods

The people came to the Earth weak and frail, naked to the elements. The Elves looked on, for the people resembled the Fair Folk in outward appearance while the spirits of Tree and Stone watched and waited.

The people struggled to survive. It was not the will of the Gods that they perish, Mother Earth had brought them forth for purposes yet unclear so the Elves gently guided them and the people learned to survive. They learned when to plant and when to harvest. They learned the movement of animals, those they could eat and those that would prey on them.

In this learning they drew close to the Earth and to Nature. What was done to survive, in time, brought to them the greatest of all treasures. Their eyes and hearts were opened. They touched the AWEN the source of all inspiration and that which had inspired the creation of the Universe. They touched the NWYFRE, the life force of the Earth and the power to create and sustain all life. They saw the hidden world of the Fae. They spoke freely with the Elves and learned and did commerce with them. In those days the Gods walked the Earth and were known to the people.

The people were blessed and prospered and spread throughout the Earth.

As they lived separately they began to perceive the Gods in different ways. The people of the desert viewed the same God differently to the people of the mountains and the forest dwellers perceived other Gods. Then languages changed, words were expressed differently from one family to another and the people forgot that they spoke to the same Gods.

The people went to war. They fought for sport and food and greed. This was a time of heroes and legend. Of great deeds of darkness and of light. Some went to Elvenhome and returned with magical weapons. Some walked with the Gods and became mighty from their favor. This was the undoing of Gods and Men. 

All the tribes of the people called on the Gods to protect them but what were the Gods to do? The people invoked the same God to aid each side and unknowingly set God against God and even invoked a God to war against Himself. After a time it was seen that this could no longer be or the striving of the Gods would tear apart the fabric of time and space. So the Fair Folk hid their world and the Gods withdrew from the cares of the people. Magic was fading from the Earth, weapons of steel replaced prayer and incantation. Anger and fear replaced the sacred circles of love and fellowship.  Winter darkness covered the Earth. 

Still, the Gods knew that, in time, an awakening would occur, light would once more fill the Earth and the joy of life would once more fill the hearts of the people. So the old ways were preserved by an ever diminishing few. 

They were hidden, those who knew the ancient secrets. In cave and forest they hid from persecution and unbelief. They were hunted and those who had sworn to do no harm were burned or worse. Even when the killing ended, those who dared show themselves were called "Workers of Wickedness." Those who love life were called "Friends of Evil". So they hid and the Magic hid with them and was gone from the land. 

Through all this age of darkness a glimmer of hope found its way into the hearts and minds of the people. A story appeared here. A myth appeared there. There were legends and stories of heroes from bygone days. The tales remained, often-times changed so that the darkness would not perceive the light but the deep meanings were untouched. The hidden ones had sown the seeds of a new Magic. 

There came a time when hearts and minds began to open. Some began to look at the old tales again and take a somewhat sideways glance. Some, with subtle mind and sensitive spirit, saw meanings and a glimpse of other worlds in those old tales. They went, as instructed, to the sacred mound and the standing stone. There they looked with fresh eyes and listened with new ears and, from the depths of the Earth and the wide expanse of the Sky, from the cold of the Ocean to the heat of the Sun, They said:
                                                                      "YES! IT IS SO!" 

                                                And magic began to return to the land. 

Originally published on HubPages "The return of Magic and the Old Gods"

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Arianrhod, Goddess of the Silver Wheel

Arianrhod, the old tales tell us, lives in a castle of glass Caer Arianrhod it lies hidden deep within the mountains of Snowdonia. There she spins the web of life.
These old Welsh legends have meanings within secrets within mysteries. Arianrhod features prominently in the tale of Llew Llaw Gyffes,  (Lion with a sure hand) in the tale she lays on him three Tyngedau (fates or destinies.)  This gives us a very clear idea of what the web of life is and what is really happening.
The web of life is the firmament above us; the silver wheel are the stars. The stars move around in the sky and this is the web She weaves with the fate of us all entwined within the movements of the celestial web. When Arianrhod gave young Llew his fate She was foretelling what was woven in the silver wheel.
What Arianrhod tells Llew is that he must pass through the three manifestations of the God; Youth, warrior and sage. To be a youth he must have a name that only she can give. So his name is written in the stars. Secondly to be a man he must have weapons and armor, today we might say the “Tools of the trade” whether it be the physical tools of the Carpenter or the education of the Professor. These are the weapons and armor we need to survive. Thirdly he was fated to marry a woman not of the race who walk the Earth. In fact he was to be wedded to the Earth, to the spirit of the land. This is the mark of the sage, to be consort to the land.
These tales were written down after the conversion of the British Isles to Christianity. It was necessary to hide the true meanings so the story is told in such a way to disguise the divine nature of Arianrhod and of her role as the spinner of the web. She is the guardian and architect of the silver wheel that spins above us constantly announcing our Tynged.  
Just as Gwydion presented Llew to Arianrhod, we may go to someone like Gwydion. Someone who is close to the silver wheel, a person with real knowledge of the movement of the stars. Through a genuine and honest interpreter we can gain the knowledge of our fate and the wisdom to work with that fate. The story points out that there was acceptance of the fate but there was no surrendering, there was no giving in. What was done was the successful working within the challenges to bring about the desired result. There is a great lesson in this also.
We must face with courage the decrees of Arianrhod accepting our place within the great web of life, knowing that as one strand grows thin and breaks, another will be spun. So tonight, when you look up at the great silver wheel above your head, know that you and I are joined in the great web of life, eternally a part of the great mystery and wonder that is spun in the castle of glass on the silver spinning wheel of Arianrhod.