Archive | June 10, 2013

The Littlest Druid and the Swan

The Littlest Druid was sitting on the stone step outside her stone cottage in the village nursing her wounded finger. It was tightly wrapped in linen and herbs. The healer had bound it up while it was still bleeding and told her to sit with it higher than her heart. So she sat there looking at the spot where it was staining the bandage and trying not to cry because it hurt so much.


All she had been doing was going to feed the ducks. Nothing dangerous or dumb just something she did every morning when she had time. She took her trencher of brown bread and fed the ducks in the duck pond. (In olden times most people didn’t use plates they used pieces of bread for plates and then ate their plates or trenchers.) She loved the ducks and she thought they loved her but maybe they just loved the bread but they always got excited and ran to greet her when she came. She liked that someone liked to see her coming and most of her animal friends always did.


The geese didn’t but then they didn’t really like anyone not even the goose girl that minded them. They had their own pond and area near the entrance to the village because they also were the guards of the village. They were louder and meaner than any dog. Aisling didn’t like them and they didn’t like her. They always came running and hissing at her. She decided she’d stick to the ducks with their soft quacks and their softer feathers.


As she got to the pond she noticed some huge white birds that had no business being in the duck pond. They were a swan and her two almost grown cygnets. The cygnets weren’t very beautiful yet like their mother. They were still covered in a haze of dark grey as well as the white feathers they would have in a few weeks. They just looked dirty.


The mother was so beautiful Aisling decided they must be as nice as the ducks and when the mother came up for some bread with the rest of the ducks, she bit Aisling. She ripped open Aisling’s hand for no reason at all! She had the bread so it wasn’t greed. Aisling was now bleeding heavily from two of her fingers. How mean! And it hurt so much.


Aisling raced to the healer to get her hand bound up. She hadn’t meant any harm. She was just doing what she loved to do and she’d gotten bit! That was just wrong and she started to be afraid. What if those nasty birds stayed? Those were her duck friends and she couldn’t visit them if those scary big swans were there. They were almost as big as she was! They may have been pretty but they were mean.


Aisling sat nursing her hand and scowling and still crying a little. They had been working on animal symbols for weeks now and she decided that the symbolism for swans was all wrong. Whoever thought swan symbolism had never, ever, ever met a swan when they thought that up. Swans were supposed to be symbols of beauty and inspiration for poets and they were supposed to have lovely singing voices. They weren’t supposed to be mean, nasty, scary birds!


She felt someone sit down beside her and looked up. It was the Chief Druid settling his robe around himself.

“What happened?” He asked taking Aisling’s bandaged hand in his lap, somehow it felt better just because he held it gently.


“There are some nasty, mean, ugly, big swans down in the duck pond. I went to feed my friends, the ducks, and the mama swan bit me and I wasn’t even doing anything. ” Aisling started to cry harder. It was so unfair. She wanted to do a nice thing and that big bird had spoiled it. “They tell us swans are meant to symbolize beauty and grace and inspiration but they are all wrong!”


“Funny thing about symbols. You have to make some meanings up for yourself. Sometimes they come with a meaning that is only a meaning for you and no one else. That’s so when you see it again you get reminded to do something.”


“oh,” Aisling said. “Symbols can have other symbols.” She stopped crying and started to think. Something the Chief Druid knew she would do.


“So, what do you think swans will mean to you?”


Aisling thought a while, “Fear and maybe pain?” She looked up at the Chief Druid.


“And what have you learned about fear and pain?”


“That it’s best to face them or things get bigger and scarier.” Aisling said looking thoughtful.


The Chief Druid stood up and took her good hand. “So what do we need to do?”


“Go back down and feed my friends, the ducks and maybe the swans?”


“I think it’s enough to feed your friends at the moment.”


They got some more bread from the kitchens and went back down to the duck pond. This time the ducks came running first and the swans stayed at the far side of the pond. The Chief Druid and Aisling fed the ducks and Aisling let out the breath she had been holding in fear of getting bit again. She didn’t notice the mama swan heading for her until it was too late and she froze in terror.


“Aisling,” The Chief Druid said sternly. “Breathe deeply and look at her. Hold your hand flat this time. Don’t curl your fingers up at all and stay still.”


The swan came slower this time and Aisling put her hand out even more slowly and made sure it was as flat as she could make it. The swan grabbed the bread and headed off back off to the water gulping the bread.


“Oh! She didn’t hurt me!”


“I think she mistook your fingers for fat, pink worms last time.” The Chief Druid laughed. “What did you learn?” He asked.


“That maybe sometimes things seem scarier than they really are. And that if you have help it’s not as scary?”


The Chief Druid nodded, “Very good, anything else?”


“Now the swan means something only to me and that next time I see a swan I should ask myself if I’m afraid of anything I need to face. And that it’s okay to have help?”


“I think that’s pretty good for today.”


And the two friends fed the ducks until all the bread was gone and walked back into the village

Today’s reading – same card I received in the workshop

The Seer

The time has come to focus your power and let it flow through you. Many dreams or desires related to the creative emotional process are ready to be applied in your day-to-day life and you must now give vent to those hidden or suppressed desires. This may also relate to healing, sexual relationships or partnerships. 

Now the manifestation of inner spiritual or esoteric insights into your practical and physical daily life will bring profound rewards and results. It is a sign of maturity. 

The Seer may also relate to creative impulses related to art, skills and crafts, and the joy of bringing pleasure and teaching to others. 

The Seer acts upon her visions, she is not a passive day dreamer. She can be prophetic, aware of much that others miss. (The mediator between The Seer and the community is The Shaman).

Lovely day for a workshop with friends – Elen of the Ways

I had a perfectly lovely day yesterday mentally and spiritualy, physically not so much but sometimes you can’t have everything. One of our Iseums, the Anniitra’s Iseum of the Nubian Moon had CarolineWise and LindaIles put on a workshop on Caroline’s 30 years of work on a Goddess she has been putting information togetheron. Someone lately took her work and published as their own and that is a shame and Caroline’s book on Elen of the Ways, (the name Caroline came up with and now mystifying has a Wikipedia page that Caroline did not do.) I hope the person that stole her work is properly ashamed of themselves and Caroline’s book will be out later in the year. She started this work with Chesca Potter who did the Greenwood deck that I do the daily readings from and now Chesca can not be found, So if you know where Chesca is let Caroline or someone in FOI know, not even her own brother can find her.


Anyway, I had a wonderful time and learned a lot and have some work to do now on my own for Elen of the Ways her in the US, Linda has been doing work here on ley lines and ways in the US and I think I know a lot about some of them from the work I have done here and the results I’ve had.


Laura, our Heiromum introduced us the Elen of the Ways many years ago and she has always been in the back of my mind since then. And Caroline was telling us of her association with swans. This made my little ears perk up because swans are sort of a backwards totem for me. Swans show up when there is something I need to pay particular attention to or to be specific a fear that needs to be faced.


When I was very small my dad took me over to Forest Lawn to feed the swans and visit his aunt’s grave. I got very badly bit and awfully bloody and dad had to use his handkerchief to stop the bleeding. I still remember how much it hurt and thinking how could a beautiful bird like that hurt me when I was trying to help it and they used to terrify me but ever since then swans have been a sort of guide. People would give a swan figurine or a toy or they would just show up. When I had my eye surgery most people sent stuffed animals or the flowers were in little girl appropriate vases except for one and I have no idea who sent it but it was a white glittery swan, my biggest fear? That the surgery wouldn’t work and I’d be totally blind, a reasonable fear when you 7 and just had experimental surgery. They have shown up when I had to go to a new school or a new work situation or just when some of those secret fears we all have are rearing their ugly heads so I pay attention.


Yesterday another piece of the puzzle dropped into place, my name. In Gaelic my name is MairiEalasaid and it may have no relation but the word for swan in Gaelic is Eala. I don’t believe in coincidences. Eala is also the word for altar stone or sanctuary. Curious.


We also did an oracle with Linda which made my hair stand on end and drew a card from Chesca’s deck, mine was the Seer which just happens to have the cailleach oidche on it, the snowy owl, owls are also totems to me and that card shows up a lot for me. It was an interesting day.


So who is Elen? Caroline says there are lines with her from ancient times but that she is modern goddess for modern times. There is absolutely no evidence of a Celtic goddess as some are claiming in ancient times. Are only evidence is in the reindeer and the tribes that depended on them that are not Celtic, they are tribes like the Sammi.


If you have a chance to go to one of Caroline’s or Linda’s workshops I recommend it. Caroline gives regular workshops near her home at Treadwells Bookstore in London.

Lets have some common sense – Shall we?

I have been watching the whole pop culture debate while I have had more important things like my Hierophant dying and having my job end but it has gotten so silly I have to say something. Does any one in the pagan community, as such have any common sense?


There have always been pop culture elements in pagan practices from ancient times. Homer was the pop culture of his day and he had super heroes like Achilles and Ajax. There was also Hercules. Those were the super heroes of their day and people did pay homage to them.


The Scandinavians have the Eddas or sagas and they are filled with the deeds of super heroes of their times.


The Gaels have CuChulainn and Fionn Mac Cumhaill for their super heroes.


In more modern times, the Church of All Worlds was founded on a Heinlein book and many Dianics found the Goddess in the pages of the Mists of Avalon. Some pagans came from D&D. There has been Klingon Wicca for over 20 years and Jedi since the Star Wars movies came out. Stargate got a lot of people energized over the Ancient Egyptians. Zhann could be the Green Lady even though she is blue from Farscape.


So getting your panties in a bunch over of Marvel comic super heroes is stupid and  just another step or pathway on someone else’s journey and who are you to judge? A lot of people in this world worship a 2000 year old zombie and they judge us? So why are you denying a path from your oh so superior view point when some one can easily deny yours for the same reasons?