Today is a day with mixed emotions. I’m glad Marriage Equality has now been assured in all 50 states and DC. I wish my brother and his husband could have seen this day. It would have meant a lot to him and made his cancer treatment and hospitalizations so much easier than it was. There will always be grieving over that.
I posted the warrior meme this morning since that has always been a big part of my character. And being a warrior has nothing to do with being a soldier or following orders. Being a warrior is about knowing when to fight and how to fight and if it is something or someone you need to fight for at all.
I protected my little brother when my dad needed to hit someone. I always made sure it was me he hit and not my mom or my little brother.
I fought when people bullied me for being blind before my surgery or for being different. and I was the dumb one who would step in when someone else was getting picked on.
I listened and protected the kids from real dangers at camp like snakes and critters and even the year we had Peter Pervert at camp and I listened when they told stories about being abused at home and we did what we could for them, it was never enough and it broke your heart.
I’ve been an out and proud fighter for gay rights since I came out at the end of 1979. I’ve been in pro-choice protests. I’ve fought for the rights of women when I was in college when I was supposed to be a figurehead President of Women Students (oops, not good at being a figurehead) and my best friend was the ASB president and oh man, did the dean of students hate me for that, to the point of spreading rumours I was pregnant so when I was nominated for outstanding woman on campus in 1975 I didn’t get it since I wasn’t going to stand in the quad naked to prove I was a virgin. I was part of United We Circle which started about the time of the Lady Liberty League to stop the defamation of pagans. Our first protest the first Hocus Pocus movie. We burned out because it was just too much on top of everything else we were doing at the time but we tried.
I now get to find out if I am a cancer warrior like my little brother. I had to wait 90 days to take a second blood test because the first one was positive but there can be false positives. I’ve already had a massive amount of testing over the last 5 months and only the one positive for anything.
Yesterday morning, 8 vials of blood were taken for testing. Now I have to wait until next week to see if it was positive again and I’m admitting I’m scared. It takes a lot to scare me. Cancer scares me.
I’d rather face 6 rattlesnakes with just a sharpened shovel than have cancer. I’ve done the snake thing, I know what that takes but I’ve already had symptoms for almost a year. I need to know what is causing me to be sick all the time. I need to know and when I find out I suppose I will pull up my big girl panties and start to fight that monster too.
But sometimes there comes a time where you just want to lay down your armour and lance and lay in the grass and breathe under some trees. Today, I’m tired.
So how do we use the “Celtic Triads”?
I use them as a thinking tool or to put it in a better way, I use them for contemplation. There are many sources of triads so it isn’t hard to find books of them from the Carminia Gadelica, to sources in Gaelic. Studying Gaelic is a big help in understanding the mindset of the people who created them. For instance, Scots Gaelic has no present tense but Irish Gaelic does. One of my Gaelic teachers said this was because to state something in the present you had to state it in future tense because what you are doing now you would be doing a minute later. The other way to state doing something in the present is to use the active participle. I am reading, I am running. One must be in the moment actively heading some where other than the state you were in the past. You must use the verb “to be” to be doing something in the present if you don’t use the future tense.
I don’t believe in the whole mind-wiping stillness kind of meditation. I do however believe in contemplation which is a much more active thing. The triads are perfect for this. To stop and slow to take apart an idea does me much more good and gives me more rest than the Eastern form of meditation. R.J Stewart teaches a form of walking meditation in his classes that I like a great deal.
I do not believe people were put her to suffer but to learn, grow and become who we were meant to be. I do not think we are nothing but part of a great whole that needs every part to work well, therefore, cogito ergo sum.
I think therefore I learn, I create, I become.
So take any triad: At the heart of every injustice there are three: Lies, Rage and Greed.
And take it apart How unjust is a lie? What is the nature of the lie? What is a lie? Et cetera.
And continue to take it apart and then put it back together to see if you find it to be true.
What are called the “Celtic Triads” are the basis for most Druidic thought according to what historical documents we have and yet very little is said about them in modern Druidry. They can be difficult to find which considering that every Druid had to memorize them, you would think more of them would have survived whole but they haven’t unless you go looking for them. Most that I have found are still in Gaelic.
The main thing about them is that all three pieces of the triad are equal. They never appear to be weighted in any way which makes the combinations interesting to study and a big window into the thought processes of the Druids.
Here are a few:
Three things that make a fool wise: Learning, application and patience. We in the West tend to emphasize Learning and not pay attention to the other two. How often is patience stressed in this age of fast food information and when you are teaching to a test, how do you learn to apply what you have learned to the real world?
Three paths to downfall: To allow one’s passions to rule, to be self indulgent and to refuse to learn by example. Having grown up in a house with people whose ancestry was primarily Scottish and my mom was half Swedish, we were always taught that our passions and our emotions should never be what rules us. Passions should be hidden from the world. It’s something I got in trouble for over and over again. It was just considered bad manners to emote all over because everyone had things to be passionate or emotional about but you shouldn’t impinge on another’s personal space. But it was equally important to not indulge yourself because someone might not have as much as you and you might make them feel less than and that was not okay. The hardest for me was to learn by example. I tend to like going my own way and making my own mistakes but I have learned a lot from watching and deciding what I didn’t want to be and the main thing I didn’t want to be was my mother.
There are three things from which one should never stray: Belief in one’s self, Belief in a higher self and belief in the truth. I find it interesting that truth and one’s self are not the same thing but they are equal in importance.
Know that there are three things that illumine every darkness: Truth, Nature and Knowledge. Too many times in today’s world everything is about pursuing “the truth” (“The Truth is out there”) or knowledge, and nature is something to ignore, drive past or exploit but to be a well-rounded interesting person one does have to be grounded in the natural world and I know I have to be to even be a little sane.
There are three things that are better than riches: Health, Freedom and Honour. Sometimes I think we forget that any of these three are important. We do damage to our health by polluting and using chemicals the companies that make them say are safe and then 20 years of use or more later it’s, “my bad, oops that stuff can kill your but oh well we’re filing for bankruptcy so you can’t hold us accountable, we made our money.”
We get less free every day with every piece of date we give up about ourselves and every time different governments tell us we can’t speak our truth or assemble with people who think like us. And who talks about their honour anymore. It’s gotten me called a nutjob at work more than once when I have failed to comply with an unethical request or demand.
So, if everything in a triad is of equal importance than other triads are also equal, goddesses like Brighid or the Morrigan or the Tres Madres that have three parts and all of those parts are equal so for Brighid, inspiration, healing and artisanship are equal faces of who she is and of equal importance.
Day and night and the liminal spaces in between are of equal importance as is being awake, sleeping and the times in between something a lot of us who short our sleep time should remember more often.
The Gaelic* peoples saw all life as a triad and all of it holy, something maybe we should remember more often in this modern world.
*I say Gaelic because the culture of the Celts was very far spread and not necessarily the same but the Gaels, and in particular the Scots and Irish and Welsh had very well defined cultures that still exist in their people today.