Category Archives: Books

Isle of Emain…

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A far distant isle

lies in leagues fifty-thrice

over the ocean to the west

larger than Erin, twice.

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Many faceted Emain

encircled by sea

rising from tide into sky

an ever wondrous beauty.

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On the fair isle of Emain

a hoary tree grows

its silver-laced branches

blossom like no-one yet knows.

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Multi-hued birds

sing within the tree tops

on a white-silver plain

do dragon-stones drop.

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Unheard is wailing

as sweet-music strikes ear

it issues through Emain

banishing all fear.

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A band of nine women

come down from a height

over variegate plains

to the seaside, pure-white.

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 Onward they run

to a stone shining-bright

for about it to dance

raising songs in the night.

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The pure man arrives there

 rowing in on the flood

stirring the ocean

as sun turns to blood.

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At dawn he arises

a delight to sore eyes

his coracle of bronze

illumining blue skies.

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 A splendour of colour

glistens in the land

spreads its glorious range

over sea-washed sand.

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The host he brings with him

for long ages stay

their beauty in freshness

knows not death nor decay.

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In happiness and health now

their laughter peals loud

on Emain in each season

reigns joyousness proud.

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My song to you all then

still in strife and in pain

you must voyage on the ocean

to the fair isle of Emain.

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Egg of the Id…

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When Fionn was a boy he was fostered on the hermit, Finaghast, who was to be his instructor.
The old hermit had been living by the river Boyne with the aim of catching the Salmon of Knowledge.
Tradition had it that the first person to taste the flesh of that salmon would receive
the gift of past and future sight and would become the wisest man in all Erin.
Finaghast had spent many years fishing in the river, hoping that
one day the Salmon of Knowledge would swim by.
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One day, as Finaghast was pitching Fionn his, Auraicept, by the river, there were unusual stirrings in the water of the Boyne.
Old man and boy peered into the river and saw a beautiful, speckled salmon swimming swiftly towards them.
“The Salmon of Knowledge!” cried Finaghast running for his fish-net.
As he returned to the river-bank with the fish-net to hand, the Salmon of Knowledge leapt out of the water and gazed into his eyes.
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Finaghast-the-Hermit, immediately collapsed to the ground in a deep sleep, for it was an ability of the Salmon that whosoever its gaze first fell upon when breaching the water course would always be put into such a condition.
Fionn ran to Finaghast and attempted to shake him awake, but to no avail.
With his instructor lost to the world it was left to the pupil to land the fish, which Fionn did, eventually, after an almighty tussle.
Still unable to wake his instructor, Fionn, set about cooking the salmon in the hope that the aroma of the broiling fish would bring old Finaghast round.
It nearly worked too, but just as the fish was softening nicely, and Finaghast began to stir, a drop from the boiling pot fizzed out and caught Fionn plumb on his thumb, so scalding him.
Fionn instinctively stuck his thumb into his mouth to cool it.
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When Finaghast woke from his sleep he noticed a great change in his young pupil.
There was a light behind his eyes, like that of a flame, and his cheeks were glowing brightly.
“Fionn, did you eat of the salmon?” asked Finaghast.
“I did not eat of the salmon,” said Fionn.
“Fionn did you taste any of the salmon at all?” asked Finaghast.
Fionn then explained all that had happened and the old hermit realised that the grace of wisdom had been granted, not to him, but to his foster son…
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Craft of the White-Crow…

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Whiter than the swan on a lake

Whiter than the gull of the stream

Whiter than snow on the high-peak.

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Like a wave of the sea from ebb to flood

Slender as the tall-birch, blowing…

Of a shape-sweet as full bodied clover, bobbing…

Of a colour-fair as summer’s bright morn, glowing…

Your presence, the dawning glory of the land.

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Lovely the sun’s smile, rising…

Lovely the moon’s sheen, climbing…

 Lovely the stars gleam, shining…

 More lovely, the blush of your cheek.

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Vegetative Soul? …

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The Ancients it seems

Conceived a three-fold

Analogy which linked

Agriculture, Generation and Re-generation.

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These systems were regulated

By the sun, the earth and the moon

Which moved together in cyclical process…

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It was, perhaps, not such

A bad conception, after all.

Magical Elements…

Air

Earth

Water

Fire

From such simple devices the ancients sought to traverse the stars

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Most people, if asked, would claim to be familiar with these elements largely because in the physical world they can recognise substances which, today, go by that name.

“I know what earth, air, fire and water are,” they might haughtily declare before moving on to something infinitely more befitting their lofty opinion of themselves.

But they would be wrong.

Nobody knows what the elements are.

We may be able to recognise them and in some instances we may also be able to predict what they will do, how they will operate, what results will follow from their mutual interactions, but we do not know what they are, anymore than we can ever claim to know what electricity is, except, perhaps, in very vague terms…

Electricity is a force of nature which can be harnassed…

The elements are forces of nature which can be harnassed…

So mysterious are these forces that some mystical schools refuse to call them elements at all, referring to them, instead, as principles.

For modern man this mystery is a failing, so it is not accepted and certainly not talked about…

For ancient man this mystery was a joy, embraced with open arms, and became something of a raison d’etre.

The ancients never tired of observing the kaleidoscopic interplay of these forces constantly taking place around them.

Consequently, they discovered some pretty amazing things about them.

They called this study, Alchemy…

A Wild Mother…

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Mother-Wild has not only the experience

of her forebears and the accepted rules

of the clan to guide her,

she seeks to learn also from

ants, bees, spiders and badgers.

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She studies the family life of the birds.

To her and her child the birds are real people,

who live close to the mysterium.

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The murmuring trees breathe its presence.

The falling waters chant its praise.

– Ohiyesa

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