Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The Song of Amergin

For there are many sacred songs, but one above all, the first one to be sing on the Emerald Island.

Years after the Tuatha Dé Danann establish their kingdom in Éire, a new invasion takes place. The elders talk about the Milesians, the first Gaelic people who put a foot in that island.

Amergin was his leader; he was the dreamer, the wisdom one, a Bard, a Druid, a man of the forest and knowledge.

When this new invasion take place, The Dagda invokes his powers to repel the strangers, he sunk the ships, he pray to the winds to don’t let this people in.

So, within the waves, within the ocean and the mists, Amergin sail, sail to the new lands, he departures from the coast of Hispania, where the time for his people had passed. Amergin invokes the elements and the words mark the start of the battle over sovereignty of the Land.

The magic of the Druids take its most powerful form when came in the form of a song, a song who invokes the forest, the sea, the sky. The words of wisdom, the words of power, the cutting word, the cold word.

Am gaeth i m-muir
Am tond trethan
Am fuaim mara
Am dam secht ndirend
Am séig i n-aill
Am dér gréne
Am cain lubai
Am torc ar gail
Am he i l-lind
Am loch i m-maig
Am brí a ndai
Am bri i fodb fras feochtu
Am dé delbas do chind codnu
Coiche nod gleith clochur slébe
Cia on co tagair aesa éscai
Cia du i l-laig fuiniud gréne
Cia beir buar o thig tethrach
Cia buar tethrach tibi
Cia dám, cia dé delbas faebru a ndind ailsiu
Cáinte im gai, cainte gaithe

I am the wind on the sea
I am the stormy wave
I am the sound of the ocean
I am the bull with seven horns
I am the hawk on the cliff face
I am the sun's tear
I am the beautiful flower
I am the boar on the rampage
I am the salmon in the pool
I am the lake on the plain
I am the defiant word
I am the spear charging into battle
I am the god who put fire in your head
Who made the trails through stone mountains
Who knows the age of the moon
Who knows where the setting sun rests
Who took the cattle from the house of the warcrow
Who pleases the warcrow's cattle
What bull, what god created the mountain skyline
The cutting word, the cold word

So he sung, so he prayed, so he believed, so he dreamt.

And his strength came with his knowledge, with the truth, with the heart of his people, and the Tuatha were defeated.

With truth in their hearts, with strength in their arms, and fulfillment in their tongues, they arrive, and the new era begun, the era of the man.

And from that day on, the men, the wise men will sing in that form, ‘cause all invocations has to be made starting with I am, since every man is the sacred connection with the spirits, the ancestors, and the One.

After the war was finished, the Tuatha and the Gaelic people made an agreement. Most of the Tuatha will be retreat to the Tir na nOg, the land of the eternal youth, the happy otherworld, and only the wiser, the purest, the bravest of man could access to that kingdom, from where the Thuatha will take care of their former land, Manannán Mc Lir rules. Every time that the men need their help they will be back, if they are invoked for truth. They will be worship as the first true rulers of the land, the ancestors, the spirits of the three realms.

Listen now to the song of Amergin in the voice of Lisa Gerrard

Sunday, 25 November 2007

The Triad

Let me sing about the Celtic wisdom, let me sing about the Three lore

Since Three are the realms of the world, Earth, Sea and Sky

Since Three are the realms of our world, Mind, body and Spirit

I am the son of poetry,

Poetry, son of reflection

Reflection, son of Meditation

Meditation, son of Lore

Lore, son of Research

Research, son of the Great knowledge

Great knowledge, son of Intelligence

Intelligence, son of Comprehension

Comprehension, son of Wisdom,

Wisdom, son of the three gods of Danna

And in the sacred well grows three times three hazels, from which the salmon of knowledge will feed, and bring us the wisdom to all mankind.

Along Celtic people there are many references that involve "three", since their philosophy was based on Triads.

Is difficult to a modern people to understand the concept of all the world connected to three aspects since, the western and even the eastern thinking is based on a divided dual world.

Good and Evil, Ying and Yang, beginning and end

But the Celts believe that two things by themselves where nothing without a third.

A Triad is a small phrase, that has three elements, the first two always related to a third, that came as a result. From a Man and a Woman came a new human being, if two persons love each other, they become a new one, where love is the common part.

It’s easy to comprehend this if we think in terms of dialectic, from a thesis and an antithesis came a synthesis.

There are literally thousands of triads, each one from each topic in live.

I put just a few, Here you can find more

  • Three gains of those who need the advice of the Old ones: Illumination, wisdom and clarity.

  • Three followers of wisdom: imagination, purpose and endeavor.

  • Three things not loved without each one it's companion: day without night, our omens without the truth, and wisdom without reverence.

  • Three things never end: the flowering of charity, the soul, and perfect love.

  • Three initiations of wisdom: lawful teaching, effective customs, and instinctive love.

  • Three things of which everything is capable, and without which nothing can be: strength of body and mind, knowledge as strength of mind, and love of intuitive wisdom.

This philosophy also can be found in two of the most important Celtic symbols: The Triquetra and the Triskel

The Triquetra is also known as The Eternal Knot, it symbolizes the infinite, the equilibrium and eternal return. Within it we can see the three basic realms, and the harmony between them. After the arrival of Christianism to the Islands, it also take the meaning of the Holy Trinity, and actually there are some who think that the Christian interpretation of the Trinity came directly from the Celtic ways, since the Celtic Gods and Goddess always have three different aspects, three different forms, so, we can hear about the triple Goddess Danna, and the triple Goddess Mórrigú.

It’s also associated in a mix with the Vikings traditions as the Val knot, to represent the three virtues of Odin (or Val) wisdom, strength and courage.

The Triskel is directly associated with the Triple Goddess, and also, this triple spiral is in movement, and means eternal wisdom, the live, death and rebirth. It also represents the three great levels of being: the Overworld, the Middleworld and the Underworld. This represents the unification of balanced opposites to create directional force attuned to ones will, setting goals into motion, bringing them into being and empowering them in all realms.

For me, a man born in the third day of the third month of the calendar that we use in the western world, the meaning and relations of this number are fully integrated within myself, is it my soul, my words and my mind.

Imagination is the key to Wisdom. Wisdom maps the way to Spirit. Spirit reveals itself through Imagination.- That's a Celtic knot

Finally a Triad that was inspired to me:

Three gifts of the Supreme being to each one, Love for their hearts, knowledge for their minds and truth for their words.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Tuatha de Danna

Sing oh muse, of the story of the children of Danna

Long ago, in the Emerald Island live the Fomori, an ancestral race of giants demons that rule Éire, they were dark of skin, and savage of life. Their lieder, Balor, the one of the evil eye, ruled with iron fist.

But in the big lands live Danna, Mother goddess of Fertility, Abundance & Protection

A river she is, covering the earth with her arms
A river that flows, constantly changing, constantly growing
Trees feed from her tears, of joy and sadness
Stones give way to her strength and tenderness
Life comes from her, life ends at her,
she’s the water that came from the sky.
Because is the spirit of the planet, because is the spirit of the gods.
The river flows, the riv
er sings, and gives to the big Tree water to live.

This big tree was Bilé, the green man that is brother and husband of Danna, the god of summer life on which honor Beltaine is celebrate.

He is the flame of life; he is the life that flames
The sun and the earth, the living spirit that brings mater
In summer he lives, but never he dies
Trees know his name, stones scream his voice
Force, spirit and wisdom, power and light
That can only be calmed by the waters of Danna.

They came together and give birth to gods and mans alike. The truly ancestors, the ancient ones.
And that’s how the Tuatha De Danann (children of Danna) born, living in too many places, at too many times. But four cities of importance there were. Findias, Gorias, Murias and Falias, whose secrets and treasures the children of Danna reclaim from every city.

Nuada’s Sword, no one could escape of it’s deadly force.
Lugh’s spear, whom ever posses it never will lose a battle

Dadga’s cauldron, no army will ever have hungry if they feed on it, no matter how big
and Fal’s stone who will cry the name of every new king.

Dannan guide her children on their first journey, in the form of the great river, named after her Danube, near to the coast, and then sent them to this Islands, not only to claim of it’s treasures, but to learn from the ancient druids. Morfesa was in Falias, Esras was in Gorias, Uiscias was in Findias, and Semias was in Murias. They were the four druids from whom the Tuatha de learned occult lore and secret knowledge.

Once they were strong and wise enough, the assembly their army, an army of gods, heroes, druids, druidest and mans; and went to the emerald Island to conclude Balor’s reign.

Listen to me oh pilgrim, listen to the cry of the winds.

Because on Baltaine, the Emerald Islands were cover by dark clouds, from which the sons and daughters of Dannan arrive. On the summer solstice they fight the Fomori, a great battle on which only three times a hundred of Fomori manage to escape. On this fierce battle, Nuada, the leader of the Thuatha de Danna, lost his hand; and therefore has to leave his leadership since no king of them could be with any physical impediment.

The Thuatha as a gesture of peace, give the Fomori the chance to keep part of the island and even ask Bress, son of Elathan to be their king now that the chair was empty.

Bress Mc Elathan, son of a Fomori and a Thuatha, accept and married Brigith daughter of Dagda to seal the deal.

At the same time, Cian son of Diancecht, enters the tower where Eithne daughter of Balor, was kept, and the both fell in love.

From this love Eithne Ni Balor give birth to three child, but Balor, afraid of the omens that said that his grandson will kill him, contempt them to dead. Only one survive, since he fall to the river and land on the other side, where a Tuatha de Danna adopt him, she was Duach, the goddess of darkness, and his name was Lugh.

Oh light of the sun, Oh wisdom one
You who posses all the skills, you who brings life
The harvest is your will, the water is your tool.
Son of the darkness, father of the heroes
Master of all arts, master of all crafts
Who can be better of you in fighting?
Who can be better of you in magic?
Lugh the Long-handed, your destiny awaits
Lugh the wise man, whose light will guide our path.

Since Bress rule with tyrannical force, and humiliate even the great Thuatha as Dagda, they forced him to give away his throne. Bress went out to the sea, and return with his father. Elathan full of anger, decided to battle the Thuatha again. Meanwhile Nuada was cured by his Druids, and recover his hand.

When a big party were held on Nuada’s castle, someone knock the door and ask for entrance. The porter said that no one who has not a special ability could enter. The stranger was Lugh Samildánach, the one who posses all skills, in answer of the porters words, he say “I am a carpenter, ironsmith, champion, harper, bard, ovate and druid…ask your king if any of his men has as many skills as I am”

The king send his best fidhchell player to Lugh; he defeated the player in every game.

Nuada then admit Lugh to his court, and give him the post of wise man.

When the fomori attack, Nuada ask Lugh to command his army, seven years pass getting ready for the war, Lugh summon of the Thuatha of Danna that live to join him in this final battle.

Meanwhile, just one day before the battle, when Dagda was walking in the forest he find Morrigu, the war goddess, who promise him to win the battle if they slept togheter.

Near to the Samhain the two armies encounter, and during 13 moons they fought. On this great fight many gods die, even Nuada.

Lught challenge Balor of the evil eye, his grandfather, then, when Balor open his eye, Lugh use his spear to get the eye to the other side of Balor’s head who saw the fomori and kill them all.

The fomori who manage to escape went to the sea and never come back. Then, after Nuada’s death, The Dagda, the good god, take the role of their king and father.

I call upon the Dagda, the good god
Great among all
Great among few
You of the cauldron, who feed the hungry
You of the wisdom, who feed the souls
Cauldron of plenty, of love and magic
Cauldron of destiny, of days and nights
Sky and earth, beginning and end
Lord of Death, as the dark man
Lord of History of events past before your eyes
Lord of the Ancestors, who come on Samhain
Lord of life, as the green man
I call upon In Dagda, great among the gods.

The Tuatha De Dannan rule over Éire, the went to the Island of Man, to Scotland, to Britain and a great kingdom was made.

They rule for many years, until the Milesian arrive, but that is another story, and will be told at another time.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Remember, Remember the 5th of november

On ancient times, processions were made in the night, the begining of the celtic day, shall be iluminated with fire. To honor the new year, to honor the gods, to celebrate.

England can't denny it's celtic heritage.
On November 5th, there's a tradition to celebrate the Guy Fawkes festival. Back in 1605, after Elizabeth I dies, an attempt by the Catholics to kill James I was made. This group planned to blow the house of parliament with 36 barrels of gunfire.

They were not successful, the plot was discovered, and Guy Fawkes, their lieder captured, torturated and killed

England celebrates their independence of Rome, their freedom to choose their own path. And they celebrate as a big parade, with processions, fires and in the night.

The biggest festival is going in Lewes, where I went.

A big parade, fancy dresses, beers, fires, a very good experience to live.

A small video with some of the party

The irish and scotish spirit

Then, the night was lighted up, a big fire was made.

And fireworks to close this fun and amazing festival.

Ancient Ones

Listen to the elders of the world, listen to the ancient ones, because their voice is wisdom, because their voice is real

Now, in this world where everything seems to be "relative" is dificult to express something and that your listeners understand the same.

How ever, There are a few times when you can use the word magic.

You certanly can feel the magic of the ancient ones, when visiting some places like Stonehenge and the old forest of yews. These are sacred places, with so much history and some stories behind.

I visit stonehenge and stay there until the sunset, then walk back to Salisbury. Those three ours of walking in the night (10.7 miles), after been in such magical place, help me to connect with this land a little more

It's difficult to get appart of the old celtics ways, this old religion that honors the land, the stones, the trees, when you walk and feel the land.

Another place that is most impressive to see, is the old yew forest, at Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve. Here are the oldest trees of Britain, and maybe of western europe. Trees with more than 2000 years.

How many stories the wind had share with theme?
How many lifes they witnessed from the begining to the end?

The word Druid originally means, "The wise how can speak with the trees" and trees were the begining of their wisdom.

Druids and Ovates alike, use the nature to understand the life. The Ogham alphabet is based on the trees.

Beith, Luis, Fern, Sail, Nion, Uath, Dair, Tinne, Coll, Ceirt, Muin, Gort, nGéadal ,Straif ,Ruis, Ailm, Onn, Úr, Eadhadh, Iodhadh

birch, rowan, alder, willow, ash, hawthorn, oak, holly, hazel, apple, vine, ivy, reed, blackthorn, elder, white fir, gorse, heather, poplar, yew.

Every one of these words were put with a ritual meaning, teachings, stories, were mouth to mouth, but omens, spells and the word in form of wisdom or a song, were put in writing.

Tree lore, Stone lore, you just have to listen.


Listen to the trees, listen to the memory of trees (music by Enya)

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Samhaim Shona Duit

Samhain shona duit, pronounced Sow-in (like cow) Howna Gwitch, means Happy Samhain to you, in Irish Gaelic, one of the few Celtic languages still on use today.

What is Samhain? Why do I celebrate it?

November 1st, as two days before and two days after, are one of the more important holidays of both pagan and Christian world.

Pagan is everything that isn't Christian, Jewish or Muslim. But that definition includes a big number of religions and points of view, to big to say that something or someone is pagan, so, in this case, to which we are referring to?

Samhain is two holidays in one. Is the most important celebration for the Celtic pagan society.

On 1 of November begins the All souls night, that night when the spirits and souls enter this world without restrictions; so the ancient Celts prepared themselves to receive their ancestors.

They put offerings of meals and drinks, something that their ancestors like when alive, so they can feed themselves after the long journey back home.

They light up their houses with candles and fires, to guide the souls on this dark night.

That day, no doors or windows shall be closed, to welcome the departured ones.

At the same time it was Celtic New Year, The Celts believe that the beginning of all was the darkness, and just after that came the light, that's why day began at the sunset, not at the sunrise, as we believe now. Same as this, the year begins at the end of autumn, and the dawn, at may 1st, was the midpart of the year, on a celebration called Beltaine "fire of Belos" .

The other two main festivals are Imbolg at February 1st, the beginning of the spring time and Lughnassa, night of Lugh, at August 1st, when the funeral rituals of the god Lugh take place. This festival has a close relation with Samhain, 'cause they believe that Lugh stay on earth after dead until the Samhain, when he leaves to the Tír na nÓg, the other world, and leaves a false sun instead, a sun that doesn't give warm to the earth inhabitants.

There were these big fires rituals that take place until the middle of the night, when all the lights were turn off. The Elders make reflexions about the past year, and children play and put fancy dresses, so the bad spirits don't hurt them.

Also there is the tradition of children to collect food from door to door, asking to "Help the Samhain party", given all the things collected for the offerings and celebrations.

Druids make reflexions on the past years and predictions on the new one.

Now, dear reader, let's travel thousands of kilometers, to another pagan centre. To the ancient America

The old inhabitants of what is now Mexico, Aztecs, Mayans and others, believe in life after dead, and that the souls depart to the Mictlan, the underworld, where it's master, the god Mictlantecuhtli, rules over the nine rivers that the souls navigated, depending of their live and how they die.

To get there, the dead people needed provisions, for the days to come, so they where buried with, food, drinks and personal items.

Every year, after the harvest, there was this big festival to honor Mictlantecuhtli, and all the departured souls, winter was near, and they need to ensure that the following season were great. So big altars, with flowers, food, lights, were put on their cities, as well as figures of Mictlantecuhtili, skulls, and skelletons.

Ancient indigenous people in Mexico do not fear dead, instead, they waited for it anxious, since have a dead with honors, was the best way to transcend.

This vision pass trough the actual Mexicans, and as Octavio Paz says: "For the inhabitants of New York, Paris or London, dead is a word that is never pronounced, because it burns. Mexican, instead, frequents her, make jokes on her, touch her lightly, sleep with her, celebrates her, is one of his favorite toys and his most permanent love. It's true that in this attitude there's as much fear as with the others, but at least, is not hidden, he faced her with patience, disdain and irony"

Finally it comes the join between this two pagan traditions, Christianity. As many, if not all, the Christian holidays, there's a pagan element behind. The Catholic Church celebrates the All souls night on may 13, at the beginning, but Pope Gregor III, move it to November 1st, in an attempt to eliminate the pagan Celtic traditions.

When the Spanish people arrive to America and conquer the different inhabitants and Mexico born, that land of syncretism, that doesn't make sense if not look with a mixture point of view, and even that way is to surrealist for the foreign, there, this two tradition come together, with the Commemoratio omnium Fidelium Defunctorum. (latin for Conmemoration of the all faithful departed) making as result, the Day of the Dead, the All souls night.

What does this festival means to me?

Is a celebration that joins these origins that emerged as the result of this Celtic journey of mine, two separate cultures as the Celts and the Aztecs, but at same time, so united in the old ways. This all take a different meaning than the usual one, a more intimate one, with rituals, which are of my own, and at the same time are the ones from those ancestors. .

This is a special night, and as H.P. Lovecraft says, "We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos".

This post was originally published in the Spanish language blog Alter Orbi.


The song to be invocated for this tale is:

All souls Night, by Loreena Mckennitt

Bonfire dot the rolling hillsides
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the pagan sound.

Somewhere in a hidden memory
Images float before my eyes
Of fragrant nights of straw and of bonfires
And dancing till the next sunrise.

I can see the lights in the distance
Trembling in the dark cloak of night
Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing
A waltz on All Souls Night.

Figures of cornstalks bend in the shadows
Held up tall as the flames leap high
The green knight holds the holly bush
To mark where the old year passes by.


Bonfires dot the rolling hillsides
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the pagan sound.

Standing on the bridge that crosses
The river that goes out to the sea
The wind is full of a thousand voices
They pass by the bridge and me.

Chorus - 2x

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