Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Again I find myself posting what other people are writing, in this case though it is important enough that it should be talked about.

Without getting into nonsense about ‘Celtic Shamans’ and other such things, the closest thing we had to an indigenous mystic in pre-Christian culture, and still have to an extent, are the awenydd. It isn't something I can see me doing, certainly not in the way Lorna is for instance; my journey is headed to a similar destination but a slightly different track.

So anyway, Lorna recently posted this piece, upon first glance it looked like a transcription into English of perhaps something from the conversation between Gwyn and Gwyddno. Then I noticed the text more closely and it became clear what it was.

As a broader community who don’t share a small space on the land as would have been the case X number of years ago, I think it is important that such matters as this get spread out and about and those of us who have some sort of relationship with the gods in question are obliged to pay attention. Were it the case that we lived in family or tribal groups still, these questions asked of us by one of our gods would have been unavoidable. Nowadays it isn't so much that we can’t avoid them, but more than it can be difficult to actually run into them.

Imagine the Old North. What can it be? Can you see it in this land, from your green hill across the marsh how the ordinary people saw it?
Can you see ravens in trees amongst the crows? Was it common enough for magpies?
Can you imagine the rumours of embittered warlords and honey-tongued bards who sung their praises? 
Can you taste weak beer or braggot? 
Do you feast on dog or wild boar?
Can you imagine living in a world where the animals speak? 
How will you learn their tongues? Will they lead you into their expanses?
Your books are filled with stories. Can you imagine the ones who got away? 
How their hearts beat on river-banks and they were pierced by spears as carrion birds circled? 
How the sleek otter swept into the depths and carried their death-cries to his young? 
Can you imagine what the ravens whispered in their thatched nest?
Can you imagine the chore of bringing peace to the battle-dead?
Where all the darkness of history wanders and I hold the spirits of Annwn back… can you imagine?

What can our poetry be? A sound, a scream, a panorama of the Old North in a beam of light?

The question that stands out to me is this; Do you feast on dog or wild boar? It is the question that asks about our place in society, where do we place ourself? Are we on the outside looking in, living in he wilder spaces and not conforming as we might be asked to. Are we living in the modern world? Are we living on the inside, looking out beyond the edge of our nice and tidy life and not really engaging with or fighting for that which is beyond the town limits.

Eating the dog is to be one of Gwyn's pack, one of the Wild hunt. Eating the boar; to be comfortable, part of the everyday. Living the comfortable modern life.

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