Tag Archives: Human Mythology

Artemis

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.

Owl Medicine

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.

Symbolism
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.

Clap hands

Clap hands
Take a stance
As does a bird
Darting earthward from on high
Spiraling
Until it is once again lost
In the obscurity of the ordinary

Candles blaze white
In the darkness of the solstice
At a celebration of warmth
In the silence of the darkest night

Lucent flame
In a cave of total darkness
Exposes emergent spirits hiding
Just past the periphery
Of the ball of light
And the sea of Dark

Introspection cocoons me
In the cave of rebirth
Autonomy in this womb
My palace
Informs my definitions
Comforts my frightened child

This is my life
This is my season
This is my light
This is my dark

© 2014 Martin H. Wilde

Myrddin Wyllt

Myrddin Wyllt (Welsh: [ˈmərðɪn ˈwɨɬt]), Myrddin Emrys, Merlinus Caledonensis, or Merlin Sylvestris[1] (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.[1] He fled into the forest and lived with the animals. There he is said to have found his gift of prophecy.[citation needed]

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.[1] 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 ‘altarstone’ in Stobo Kirk on which Merlin was converted to Christianity.[1]

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,[2] and name Gwenddoleu’s adversaries as the sons of Eliffer, presumably Gwrgi and Peredur.[3]

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.

Clas Myrddin, or Merlin’s Enclosure, is an early name for Great Britain stated in the Third Series of Welsh Triads.[4]

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.

References

Notes

  1. Seymour, Page 9
  2. Arthurian Period Sources, Page 45
  3. Phillimore, Page 175
  4. Rhys: Hibbert Lectures, p. 168.

Sources

  • 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.

External links

To whip Love’s heart

Lovers take back power
Going off with another

Vicious cuts
The desperate make
To set fire to worlds
Not going their way

Persist in flesh
And aren’t erased
By changes in mood
And sentimental plays

Eroticism of darkness
Fucking in anger
Wrestling like beggars
Over a bent copper coin
And a single tear

To whip Love’s heart
In spite
Is to sell your soul
And end your life

© 2014 Martin H. Wilde

THE SON OF LIGHT

I slipped back to the dark side
But did not see
I could sense the wrongness
But clung tightly
I became possessive and protective
Defensive and suspicious

There came a day
When my code of rigorous honestly was betrayed
And Intimacy was forsaken

An Owl flew from across my path
From a nearby perch
As I stood up to the betrayer
and sent this object of desire away
An chose the purification of the Dark

Months past in dark despair
I thought of nothing but the object
I had no reason to keep living
All joy for all time
Had ended
There was no hope

There came a day of relief
And I felt excellence in all
For no reason
Followed by a night of no sleep
The darkness came back deeply
I asked for protection and care
With complete abandon

Suddenly I saw clearly
That I had gone to the dark side
I had not seen it
Now I saw it
I said Thanks over and over
I saw Lilith smile

I thought I could manage
I thought I could go there
I forgot who I am
The son of light
Bourne of the dark.
Myrddyn come!

© 2014 Martin H. Wilde
(Myrddin Wyllt)

CAMP ROBBER

Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal this diamond ring
Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal a diamond ring
Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal your diamond ring
Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal this diamond ring

Layin’ on floor, in the rose colored glass
Over by the door, where the bubble smashed
Threads on the latch, where the coat sleeve was torn
What’s left of my manhood, by the blood on the door

Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal this diamond ring
Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal a diamond ring
Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal your diamond ring
Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal this diamond ring

Walking downtown, to take in some air
Talking to a man at the bus stop there
“What you waitin’ on brother?”
I said to the street
“A camp-robber, I’m hoping to meet”

Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal this diamond ring
Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal a diamond ring
Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal your diamond ring
Hey Camp-robber
Baby steal this diamond ring

© 2014 Martin H. Wilde

Minnesota Men’s Conference The Gift of Grandiosity | Robert Bly

Robert Bly explores the virtue of exalted energy in a wide-ranging talk that touches upon William Blake, Hafez, and readings and discussion of his own poems. Recorded at the 2002 Minnesota Men’s Conference.

via Minnesota Men’s Conference The Gift of Grandiosity | Robert Bly.