Artemis, also known as Diana, is a Greek Goddess of the Moon whose roots extend back to Her time as a many-breasted mother goddess. We know her better as the maiden Huntress who lives in the forest with her band of young girls (the Arktoi) and her totem animals of Deer and Dog. As a virgin goddess, she is whole unto herself and teaches us to live our wild, instinctive nature, and at the same time, honor our sisterhood.
Owls – Symbology and Mythology.
(Cailleach, Oidhche, Comachag)
The word “cailleach” in the Scottish-Gaelic means old woman!, “coileach-oidhche” is the word for owl, believe it or not it means “night-cockerel”! These birds were most often associated with the Crone aspect of the Goddess. The owl is often a guide to and through the Underworld, a creature of keen sight in darkness, and a silent and swift hunter. It can help unmask those who would deceive you or take advantage of you.
Owls are believed to have played a more prominent role in early Celtic cults, and could perhaps have derived from a more broadly based deity of a common European descent. Predating the Greek cult of Athene, for whom the owl was an animal attribute, were images of these mysterious birds in Celtic lands.
Owls are believed to be a sacred animal to the famed Cult of the Head. They often appear with human heads and with bovines, such as rams and bulls, all of which have been determined by scholars to be objects of this strange cult. In modern Scottish and Welsh languages, the owl, by the etymology of the word alone carries negative connotations of death and darkness. Then, in later Gallo-Roman times the Owl lost its cult significance, but has been linked to a Celtic goddess associated with fertility.
The most famous myth dealing with the owl is in the story of Bloudeuwedd, contained in the Mabinogi. Lleu, one of the central characters of the story has a wife created for him by the magician Gwydion, because his mother forbade by her own word that he would never marry any ordinary woman. Bloudeuwedd is her name, and as the tale goes she tricks Lleu into divulging the secret to his own mortality, convincing him to even demonstrate how.
In the process, Bloudeuwedd then kills Lleu, who avenges his death by turning her in and owl, from which she receives her namesake in Gaelic.
A prime example of owl imagery are the handle fittings found with a famous cauldron found in Bra, Jutland that dates to the 3rd century B. C.. The cauldron was found in a bog in Bra, and was believed to have been a votive offering that was broken into pieces before it was deposited. When put together, the cauldron spanned over a meter in diameter and was adorned by several owls and bulls heads.
In the Celtic style, the fitting bears the face of an owl through an arrangement of shapes that terminate at the end of some columnar tendril designs. This owl is typical of La Tène work and is defined by the large eyes and sharp, curved beak that stand forth from background of intertwining designs.
In Ancient Greek mythology the Owl was a creature sacred to Athena, Goddess of the night who represented wisdom. Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom had a companion Owl on her shoulder, which revealed unseen truths to her. Owl had the ability to light up Athena’s blind side, enabling her to speak the whole truth, as opposed to only a half truth. The Ainu in Japan trust the Owl because it gives them notice of evil approaching. They revere the Owl, and believe it mediates between the Gods and men. The bird features prominently Celtic folklore where it is considered both to be sacred and to have magical powers, again because of its abilities in the dark. Zulus and other West African nations consider the bird a powerful influence in casting spells, and think that using parts of the owl gives great strength to a person involved with magical incantations.
To the Welsh, the Owl is a night predator — the only bird capable of defeating the swift falcon and then only at dusk, its time of power. The Owl symbolizes death and renewal, wisdom, moon magick, and initiations. Their Goddess Arianrhod shapeshifts into a large Owl, and through the great Owl-eyes, sees even into the darkness of the human subconscious and soul. She is said to move with strength and purpose through the night, her wings of comfort and healing spread to give solace to those who seek her. A star and moon Goddess, Arianrhod was also called the Silver Wheel because the dead were carried on her Oar Wheel to Emania (the Moon-land or land of death), which belonged to her as a deity of reincarnation and karma. The Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess in Wales, her palace was Caer Arianrhod (Aurora Borealis), or the secret center of each initiate’s spiritual being.
However, many cultures have focused on the dark side of the Owl’s symbolism. People have always been suspicious of the Owl because of man’s fear of the dark, or night, and those things that might dwell there. In general, the hooting of an Owl is considered a portent of death or bad luck, and it may even prophesize death, as the death of Dido was foretold. It is a medical fact that most people die at night, and for that reason also the Owl has been seen as the messenger of death.
In the Middle East, China, and Japan, the Owl is considered as both a bad omen and an evil spirit. For Christians the Owl traditionally signifies the Devil, powers of evil, bad news, and destruction. Similarly, in the Old Testament the Owl is an unclean creature that stands alone as a figure of desolation. In an Australian Aboriginal myth the Owl is the messenger of bad news. Yama, the Verdic God of death, sometimes sent out the Owl as his emissary.
Indigenous peoples of the Americas consider the Owl to be the Night Eagle because it is silent and deadly in flight, and is a solitary bird with all-seeing eyes. The Owl is generally regarded as a bird of sorcerers because of its association with–and abilities in–the dark. It symbolizes deception and silent observation because it flies noiselessly. The Owl is feared by peoples who believe that the death warning is in its hoot.
In the Navajo belief system, the Owl is the envoy of the supernatural world and earth-bound spirits. The Pawnee understand the Owl as the Chief of the Night and believe that it affords protection. The Cherokee honor the bird as sacred because of its night-time vision, and wish to draw that power to themselves to see in the dark.
Perception, Silent Observation, Wisdom, Deception
The Owl has a dual symbolism of wisdom and darkness, the latter meaning evil and death. They are symbolically associated with clairvoyance, astral projection and magick, and is oftentimes the medicine of sorcerers and witches, you are drawn to magickal practices. Those who have owl medicine will find that these night birds will tend to collect around you, even in daytime, because they recognise a kinship with you.
The two main symbolic characteristics of the Owl, its wisdom and its nocturnal activity– have made it represent perception. Considering perception in a spiritual context, Owl medicine is related to psychism, occult matters, instincts, and clairvoyance– the true ability to see what is happening around you.
The owl can see that which others cannot, which is the essence of true wisdom. Where others are deceived, Owl sees and knows what is there.
Use your power of keen, silent observation to intuit some life situation, Owl is befriending you and aiding you in seeing the whole truth. The Owl also brings its messages in the night through dreams or meditation. Pay attention to the signals and omens. The truth always brings further enlightenment.
The Owl, symbol of the Goddess, represents perfect wisdom. Owls have the ability to see in the dark and fly noiselessly through the skies. They bring messages through dreams. The Owl is the bird of mystical wisdom and ancient knowledge of the powers of the moon. With wide-open, all-seeing eyes, Owl looks upon reality without distortion and acknowledges it, yet is aware that with ancient magickal and spiritual knowledge, he or she can make changes.
Subjective reality is largely based on fear and desire, objective reality is an expanding awareness revealed through actions of faith, open-minded exploration and the ensuing experiences.
I have sat in a cell that has an open door, in a penitentiary that has been closed down and is no longer manned by any guards, all because of my fear of walking out into the undefined, uncontrollable and unknown.
The Dark forest
As a pilot, one is trained to to respond to an engine failure by first establishing the most efficient glide slope. This is so that the plane stays up in the air the longest time allowing the longest opportunity to examine options.
This is how I view life – the glide slope established once one outlives the hubris of youth, in which all is up ahead and all is wishes and dreams.
Enlightenment occurs only after the makeup has been removed and all is dirt, air and life.
© 2015 Martin H Wilde
To consistently stand up to another persons untrue behavior with truth is noble and potentially helpful to a person who seeks change.
But for those who allow fear to take them back from their path, you are doing that persons’ work for them and they do not develop. You become the focus of their dysfunctional behavior and are often punished for your kindnesses.
Today, I release others to the dark and light powers so they may be molded as the universe sees fit. I will feel my way through the pain of letting go, until I reach the other side.
In a blanket
A light cave
Of heart warmth
And soul awareness
On this eve of Solstice
And this time of reversal
Cut the chains
From this soul
To the earth
And prevent the rise
And the death
© 2014 Martin H. Wilde
Myrddin Wyllt (Welsh: [ˈmərðɪn ˈwɨɬt]), Myrddin Emrys, Merlinus Caledonensis, or Merlin Sylvestris (a legendary figure associated in some sources with events in the sixth century), is a figure in medieval Welsh legend, known as a prophet and a madman. He is the most important prototype for the modern composite image of Merlin, the wizard from Arthurian legend.
Texts about Myrddin Wyllt have similarities to an account of a north-British figure called Lailoken. He was probably born sometime around or in AD 540, and is said to have had a twin sister called Gwendydd or Gwenddydd or Languoreth. Myrddin Wyllt is said to have gone mad after the Battle of Arfderydd at Arthuret, which was waged between the victor Rhydderch Hael or Riderch I of Alt Clut and Gwenddoleu in AD 573. He fled into the forest and lived with the animals. There he is said to have found his gift of prophecy.
Myrddin reportedly prophesied his own death, which would happen by falling, stabbing, and drowning. This was fulfilled when a gang of jeering shepherds drove him off a cliff, where he was impaled on a stake left by fishermen, and died with his head below water. His grave is reputed to lie near the River Tweed in the village of Drumelzier near Peebles, although nothing remains above ground level at the site. This strange threefold death is a theme common to many Indo-European mythologies, and according to Georges Dumezil suggests a strong threefold division in Proto-Indo-European religion.
In Welsh literature
The earliest (pre-12th century) Welsh poems that concern the Myrddin legend present him as a madman living an existence in the Caledonian Forest but said to be born in Carmarthen South Wales. Carmarthen in the Welsh language is Caerfyrddin; caer translates into English as “fort”. When Britannia was a Roman province, Carmarthen was the civitas capital of the Demetae tribe, known as Moridunum (from Brittonic *mori-dunon meaning “sea fort”). Legend has it that second part of the towns name fyrddin was representative as Myrddin and of his place of birth, Caer-fyrddin (Fort-Merlin). There he ruminates on his former existence and the disaster that brought him low: the death of his lord Gwenddoleu, whom he served as bard. The allusions in these poems serve to sketch out the events of the Battle of Arfderydd, where Riderch Hael, King of Alt Clut (Strathclyde) slaughtered the forces of Gwenddoleu, and Myrddin went mad watching this defeat. The Annales Cambriae date this battle to AD 573, and name Gwenddoleu’s adversaries as the sons of Eliffer, presumably Gwrgi and Peredur.
A version of this legend is preserved in a late fifteenth-century manuscript in a story called Lailoken and Kentigern, which probably happened in August 584, after Myrddin, also known as Lailoken, had finished writing his prophecies in July of that year. In this narrative, St. Kentigern meets in a deserted place with a naked, hairy madman who is called Lailoken, although said by some to be called Merlynum or Merlin, who declares that he has been condemned for his sins to wander in the company of beasts. He adds that he had been the cause for the deaths of all of the persons killed in the battle fought on the plain between Liddel and Carwannok. Having told his story, the madman leaps up and flees from the presence of the saint back into the wilderness. He appears several times more in the narrative until at last asking St. Kentigern for the Sacrament, prophesying that he was about to die a triple death. After some hesitation, the saint grants the madman’s wish, and later that day the shepherds of King Meldred capture him, beat him with clubs, then cast him into the river Tweed where his body is pierced by a stake, thus fulfilling his prophecy.
Welsh literature has examples of a prophetic literature, predicting the military victory of all of the Celtic peoples of Great Britain who will join together and drive the English – and later the Normans – back into the sea. Some of these works were presented as prophecies of Myrddin; while others such as the Armes Prydein were not.
Geoffrey of Monmouth
The modern depiction of Merlin began with Geoffrey of Monmouth. His book Prophetiae Merlini was intended to be a collection of the prophecies of the Welsh figure of Myrddin, whom he called Merlin. He included the Prophetiae in his more famous second work, the Historia Regum Britanniae. In this work, however, he constructed an account of Merlin’s life that placed him in the time of Aurelius Ambrosius and King Arthur, decades before the lifetime of Myrddin Wyllt. He also attached to him an episode originally ascribed to Ambrosius, and others that appear to be of his own invention. Geoffrey later wrote the Vita Merlini, an account based more closely on the earlier Welsh stories about Myrddin and his experiences at Arfderyd, and explained that the action was taking place long after Merlin’s involvement with Arthur. However, the Vita Merlini did not prove popular enough to counter the version of Merlin in the Historia, which went on to influence most later accounts of the character. One exception to this is the work of Count Nikolai Tolstoy titled The Coming of the King.
- Seymour, Page 9
- Arthurian Period Sources, Page 45
- Phillimore, Page 175
- Rhys: Hibbert Lectures, p. 168.
- Seymour, Camilla & Randall, John (2007) Stobo Kirk: a guide to the building and its history. Peebles: John Randall
- Tolstoy, Nikolai (1985) The Quest for Merlin. ISBN 0-241-11356-3
- Morris, John (gen. ed.) (1980) Arthurian Period Sources volume 8, Phillimore & Co, Chichester (includes full text of The Annales Cambriae & Nennius)
- Phillimore, Egerton (1888), “The Annales Cambriae and Old Welsh Genealogies, from Harleian MS. 3859”, in Phillimore, Egerton, Y Cymmrodor, IX, Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, pp. 141 – 183.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Myrddin Wyllt|
- The Vita Merlini; translated by John Jay Parry
- Welsh poem: Dialogue between Myrddin and his sister Gwendydd
An addict values substances and acting-out an addictive behavior, more than he/she values you or your love.
This is a devastating and horrific truth to come to accept.
During the period of coming to accept this truth, there will be a tremendous amount of denial and wishing for a different outcome, followed always by the devastation of low self-worth. Recovery from this state will occur when you finally value your own self more that the addict values you.
You will continue to seek the Devil’s approval until you leave the Darkness. This requires taking pain.
“Easy woman, you are speaking to the man I love” (Thomas Jackson)
Concern that one would betray the truth is the essence of self-doubt.
Under all my fear is the soul-destroying concern that in a pinch I might choose dishonorably. I may back down from a role that is mine to carry, I might succumb to a relationship that does not honor what I am or treat me with value.
The betrayal of ones own code is far worse than being betrayed by a beloved.
Truth is the will and purpose of god in man (Khalil Gibran)
Spiritual seeking or seeking God is a quest into the unknown; that which is beyond your current understanding. It is about expanding.
It is important that God is unknown. The more we try to pretend we “know” God, the less honest the quest becomes.
We are not supposed to feel safe and secure – life is insecure. Instead we put insecurity aside and honestly seek.
This is the day of the expanding man
I take one last drag as I approach the stand