Category Archives: Mythology

“O’ Coyote…

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We welcome you to our sacred space…

…We seek your help,

in bringing balance and harmony into the world of our younger cousins.

With your permission we will work with your spirit,

to enlighten and initiate our younger brethren into the deep mysteries of your tales.

We ask your blessing, guidance and participation in this endeavour…”

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‘An Imperious Impulse: Coyote Tales’, Stuart France and Sue Vincent

One of our mounds is missing!…

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‘…Keep to the road, and beware the Full Moon…’
– An American Werewolf in London.

The plan was to base our inaugural public ‘solstice’ event at Avebury and thus it seemed natural to book a room at the Public House situated in the centre of the Stone Circle…
Only, The Red Lion no longer provides B&B so we ended up instead at a hotel some ten miles away in Ogbourne St. George.
Now, Ogbourne St George is a curious name and one redolent of both mystery and intrigue and given our literary proclivities we thought it might be possible to find something of interest in the village to occupy our Companions for at least one of our allotted slots over the weekend.
We had stayed in Ogbourne St. George before and had a visual memory of a strange mound like structure in one of the fields lying adjacent to the hotel and had pinned to it an accompanying mental note which ran, ‘…must have a closer look at some point.’
A little research in the form of flick through the ley-line dowsers’ classic, The Sun and the Serpent by Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst, confirmed both the visual memory and our hunch that the structure would hold some interest for us.
It was not a prehistoric construction at all but a ‘folly’ built sometime during the Second World War by a local farmer but somewhat amazingly it had, according to our venerable authors, been constructed over a node which marked the crossing of the Michael and Mary currents.
This it seemed to us was very curious…
Of course the mound now looked like nothing so much as an overgrown hillock with its spiral causeway, rising twenty-feet in height, all but obliterated by trees, bushes and shrubs and there was a picture of it in the aforementioned tome which approximated with the mental image which had been stored in my mind for future reference all those years ago.
It was in this respect reminiscent of another of the mounds we planned to visit over the weekend.
The now slightly more famous, but equally tree infested Merlin’s Mound stands in the middle of the private grounds of Marlborough College beset by houses of learning and no doubt deliberately dwarfed by both the sheer bulk and the lofty spires of the College Chapel.
This mound is a prehistoric structure and has recently been given a date of construction commensurate with Silbury.
As we had been unsuccessful in our request to the authorities concerned to climb the mound and as the third of our mounds the aforementioned and world famous Silbury Hill is now fenced off and no longer accessible to the public we were hoping that our unobtrusive poor relation in Ogbourne St. George would afford our Companions the chance to scale its relatively modest sides and experience the dual currents of the Michael and Mary ley.
In this though we were destined to be disappointed…

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How to be King…

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The title is a phonetic rendering of the spiritual classic, ‘Tao Te Ching’.

A more literal rendering would be, ‘How of the King’

All of which is widely known.

A little less known, perhaps, is that the text is an alchemical treatise.

Therefore, the king that it treats of in such fine detail is not necessarily an outer monarch of earthly empire.

The same can be said of many of the world’s spiritual teachings.

The compilers of these classic texts seem more than well acqainted with the maxim, ‘to transform the outer, change the inner.’

As, presumably, were the transcribers of the following Vedic tradition:

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‘…The Demon Lord Bali had overcome Indra, Lord of the Gods and was enjoying the Empire of the Three Worlds.

The assembly of the Gods, distressed with fear, went to the Hermitage of the Perfect where Vishnu was engaged in contemplation:

‘Bali, the son of Virocana,’ they said, ‘is performing a sacrifice, what benefit for the gods is there in this?’

Thus petitioned, Vishnu adopted a Dwarvish form approached the Demon Lord and begged from him the boon of three small paces which were granted him.

With the first step Vishnu re-assumed his normal aspect and occupied the Whole Earth, with the second step he broached the Eternal Atmosphere, and with the third, the Everlasting Sky…

He made Bali, the son of Virocana, a Dweller in the Underworld and gave the Empire of the Three Worlds back to Indra…’

Vishnu is a fish avatar.

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Are we there yet? II…

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“Who are you to say these things to me?” said Judas Thomas.

Joshua said,

“you do not know who I am from what I say to you?

Then you have disregarded the living one who is in your presence.

You are like a fruit picker who loves the fruit but hates the tree.

I am the light that is over all things, I am all:

from me all has come forth, and to me all has reached.

Split a piece of wood, and I am there.

Lift up a block of stone… I am there also.”

 – The Living One

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Literati…

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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.
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.
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.
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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Fate of the Lir-Brood VII…

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No high-born heroes

No hounds in chase

No shields arrayed…

No walls.

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No silvered soft goblets

No light cavalcades

No youthful assemblies

No beetle-browed maids…

To brighten our desolate halls.

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…When their three hundred years were ended the swans left the Sea of Moyle and flew westward until they reached Erris Domnan and the sea around the Isle of Glora.

Here they remained, suffering much from storm and cold.

One night a frost so hard came that the whole of the sea was frozen into a thick floor of ice and the snow was driven by a north-west wind.

It seemed to the three swan brothers then that they could bear their suffering no longer and they began to utter loud and pitiful complaints.

Unable to console them, Finnola herself lamented with her brothers but at the end of the cold snap the swans flew to a small lake where they alighted and there began to sing so sweetly that all the birds of the district gathered in flocks around them on the lake and its shore.

The area became famous, now being known, as the Lake of Bird-Flocks.

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During the day the swans flew to points on the coast to feed…

To Inis Kea with its lonely crane, to Achill, and on, to the The Houses of Donn and the many islets along the headlands which look out over the shore of the western sea and beyond.

But at night they always made a dismal return to Glora.

So it happened that the swans came to the attention of a man named Elric who owned a tract of land which lay along the western shore.

Elric took great delight in listening to the plaintive singing of the swans and often walked down to the shore to see them and eventually came to converse with them.

He told his neighbours about the talking swans and their existence became mooted abroad.

He it was who took down their story and arranged its present form…

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to be continued…

Fate of the Lir-Brood…

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Finnola, once my pride and joy

Dark Aedh, of adventures bold

Bright Fiachra, gentle, playful boy

Little Conn, with curls of gold.

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The Crafty-Ones met to choose their Chieftain.

Five there were in the running…

Red-Bove, Angus-Ever-Young, Ilbrec of Assaroe, Lir of Finnaha and Midyir Bright-Mane.

Red-Bove won it at Lir’s displeasure.

Lir left the meet in anger without acknowledgment.

The Crafty-Folk swore retribution on him for this insult but Red-Bove would have none of it saying, “I am yet your king whether or not Lir chooses to recognise it.”

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So things stood for a long while until Lir’s wife died after a  three day travail.

Heart-rent was Lir, with the loss, and the ill-news spread across Erin like wild-fire with many-a-soul suspecting witchery.

Red-Bove called the Crafty-Folk to meet.

“In the wake of this passing my friendship to Lir would be of service for I foster in my house-hold Aillel-of-Aran’s three daughters. Eve, Eva and Alva are the cleverest and prettiest maidens in Erin.”

The Crafty-Ones agreed the wisdom of this saying.

Messengers were sent to Lir at Finnaha…

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to be continued…

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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