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The Cauldron of Annwfn

The following is Preiddeu Annwyn, the Raid of Annwyn, the Raid of the Otherworld, part XXX (30) of the Book of Taliesin, as related by William F. Skene in 1868 in his The Four Ancient Books of Wales. In it is related the Caer Sidi, Caer Pedrycan, Caer Vedwyd, Caer Rigor, Caer Wydyr, Caer Golud, Caer Vandwy, and Caer Ochren, familiar to readers of the White Goddess by Robert Graves, and the Cauldron of Annwyn, referenced by Robert Cochrane when we asked Taliesin’s question, what two words are not spoken from the Cauldron.

Note that it is nine maidens whose breath it was warmed by. Those who know Norse myth might get a parallel. Those who know Greek myth might get another. Not the question, “what is its intention”. Those that know Arthurian legend, specifically of the Graal, might get a parallel. Also note the Cauldron is lined with Pearl. Some might get where I’m leading there.

FFF,
~Lorekeeper, Muninn’s Kiss

I WILL praise the sovereign, supreme king of the land,
Who hath extended his dominion over the shore of the world.
Complete was the prison of Gweir in Caer Sidi,
Through the spite of Pwyll and Pryderi.
No one before him went into it.
The heavy blue chain held the faithful youth,
And before the spoils of Annwvn woefully he sings,
And till doom shall continue a bard of prayer.
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen, we went into it;
Except seven, none returned from Caer Sidi

Am I not a candidate for fame, if a song is heard?
In Caer Pedryvan, four its revolutions;
In the first word from the cauldron when spoken,
From the breath of nine maidens it was gently warmed.
Is it not the cauldron of the chief of Annwvn? What is its intention?
A ridge about its edge and pearls.
It will not boil the food of a coward, that has not been sworn,
A sword bright gleaming to him was raised,
And in the hand of Lleminawg it was left.
And before the door of the gate of Uffern [hell] the lamp was burning.
And when we went with Arthur; a splendid labour,
Except seven, none returned from Caer Vedwyd.

Am I not a candidate for fame with the listened song
In Caer Pedryvan, in the isle of the strong door?
The twilight and pitchy darkness were mixed together.
Bright wine their liquor before their retinue.
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen we went on the sea,
Except seven, none returned from Caer Rigor.

I shall not deserve much from the ruler of literature,
Beyond Caer Wydyr they saw not the prowess of Arthur.
Three score Canhwr stood on the wall,
Difficult was a conversation with its sentinel.
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen there went with Arthur,
Except seven, none returned from Caer Golud.

I shall not deserve much from those with long shields.
They know not what day, who the causer,
What hour in the serene day Cwy was born.
Who caused that he should not go to the dales of Devwy.
They know not the brindled ox, thick his head-band.
Seven score knobs in his collar.
And when we went with Arthur of anxious memory,
Except seven, none returned from Caer Vandwy.

I shall not deserve much from those of loose bias,
They know not what day the chief was caused.
What hour in the serene day the owner was born.
What animal they keep, silver its head.
When we went with Arthur of anxious contention,
Except seven, none returned from Caer Ochren.

Monks congregate like dogs in a kennel,
From contact with their superiors they acquire knowledge,
Is one the course of the wind, is one the water of the sea?
Is one the spark of the fire, of unrestrainable tumult?
Monks congregate like wolves,
From contact with their superiors they acquire knowledge.
They know not when the deep night and dawn divide.
Nor what is the course of the wind, or who agitates it,
In what place it dies away, on what land it roars.
The grave of the saint is vanishing from the altar-tomb.
I will pray to the Lord, the great supreme,
That I be not wretched. Christ be my portion.

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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in muninnskiss

 

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Taboos and Geases: Before you can advance, you must first withdraw…

Learning T’ai Chi Chuan, I learned a valuable lesson about the often misunderstood Yin and Yang.

I understood them on an intellectual level, from my study of Taoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  I knew not to think of Western dualism, the product of Zoroastrian influence.  I’ve talked before of the descriptions in The Web That Has No Weaver by Ted J. Kaptchuk.  His five descriptions greatly helped me understand Yin and Yang:

  • All things have two facets: a Yin aspect and a Yang aspect.
  • Any Yin or Yang aspect can be further divided into Yin and Yang.
  • Yin and Yang mutually create each other.
  • Yin and Yang control each other.
  • Yin and Yang transform into each other.

These principles describe a concept foreign to most Westerners.  The poetic understanding of the two is a hill on a sunny day, with no other hills or trees or mountains to cast shadows.  Before Dawn, the hill is all in darkness, is all shadow, is all Yin.  As the sun rises in the morning, it hits the Eastern side of the hill.  This is Yang.  The Western side is still in shadow, still Yin.  As the sun rises, the Yang part grows and the Yin shrinks.  Yin transforms into Yang.  by noon, the entire hill is sunny, all Yang, no shadow, no Yin.  But this doesn’t last long.  As the sun moves West, the Eastern edge darkens, shadow forms at the base, Yin, then grows as the sunny section shrinks.  Yang transforms into Yin.  As Dusk fades, it is all Yin again.  Yet it’s all one hill.  The hill doesn’t change, only the ever changing light.  It is Yin changing to Yang, changing to Yin again.  But it’s all one, the Tao.

Easy to understand intellectually and to observe, but what does it mean personally, how does it effect me and you specifically, beyond the intellect?  This is what T’ai Chi Chuang taught me.

T’ai Chi is the tent with a ridgepole, with form.  It is always moving, constant movement, constant change.  What changes, though, from what to what?  The forms change, our body, constantly in motion, moving, moving Chi, energy.  It changes, like the light, from Yin to Yang, to Yin, to Yang, and so on.  But what does this mean?  Have you ever tried to move without preparation?  Can you hit without pulling back your fist and have any force?  Can you step without first lifting your foot?  In T’ai Chi Chuan, Yin is pulling inward toward your centre, toward your lower Don Tian, preparation.  Yang is moving outward, away from your centre.  You learn quickly that before you can advance, you must first withdraw, and advancing puts you in the right position to be able to withdraw again to prepare for the next advance.  Yin transforms into Yang then back to Yin again.

That idea of advancing and withdrawing is visible in the Sepheroth of the Tree of Life in Kabbalah.  The two outer Pillars, the Pillar of Mercy and the Pillar of Severity, are named for the middle Sepherah of each side.  The Pillar of Mercy is the Pillar of Chesed, of mercy and loving kindness and forgiveness.  The Pillar of Severity is the Pillar of Geburah, of severity and justice and judgment.  Ultimately, in a base and stripped to the core manner, Chewed is infinite, unlimited expansion.  Geburah is infinite, unlimited restriction.  Geburah is Law, Chesed is Liberty.  Geburah is Yin, withdrawing, pulling inward; Chesed is Yang, advancement, moving outward.

Ultimately, Law (Geburah/Yin) takes one of two forms: a taboo or a gease.  A negative law or a positive law.  A taboo is negative in the sense that it says no, “thou shalt not”, it’s restrictive.  A gease is positive in the sense that it says yes, “Thou shalt”, it’s proscriptive.  But both are Law, and both are Yin, bring withdrawal.

At the scale of a large society like most modern societies, and the scale of large organized, taboos and geases are used to control and to prevent people from finding the power and strength and mystic connection that might make them a challenge to that established structure.  This is an extreme use of Law, of Geburah.  This is the legalism so common in organized religion, and the totalitarian tendencies of most government.  The more anarchic elements of society tend toward the other side.  The complete ignoring and breaking of taboos and geases just out of principle.  The “don’t tell *me* what to do!” attitude.  They assume all rules are wrong and made to be broken.  Of course, only a few take this to it’s complete extreme and break all rules including murder of random people and suicide.  The elimination of all rules, of all Law, is what Chesed as government would be, all is forgiven, all is allowed.

On a smaller scale, the extremes fall away.  Or do in the right context.  A tradition or teacher that operates fully in Chesed tends to become too “fluffy”.  The lack of Law tends to lead to a lack of structure and boundaries.  This can make learning from the tradition or teacher very difficult.  On the other extreme, a tradition or teacher that operates fully in Geburah, all Law with no Liberty, where everything that is not forbidden by taboo is dictated by gease.  The lack of Liberty tends to keep all students following the same path, which makes it easier to make sure the right things are learner, but it also stifles creativity and self discovery.

I think the best approach is a balance, more Tipherah, Beauty, than Chesed or Geburah.  The balance between Law and Liberty, Love, leads to Knowledge and Wisdom.  That balance leads to Da’ath, Knowing, to Binah, Understanding, to Chokmah, Wisdom, and on the Divine in Kether,  the Crown.

In this balanced approach, taboos and geases serve three important functions and should not be lightly broken:

  1. They serve as a guideline to keep the group or student all pointed in the same direction. Taboos serve as a map as it were for the path the group is walking or the teacher is leading the student.  This is similar to the use in the Law approach, but less firm, allowing flexibility, a map instead of a wall.
  2. They can serve to protect the student or person new to the tradition. There are very real dangers in any path worth taking, and if you are not prepared, those dangers may cause damage that cannot be undone, physical, emotional, mental damage, or create a road block that prevents them from going forward.  This gives a safety net and buffer as the student moves forward and develops the tools, the skills, the defenses, the weapons to face those dangers and truly to be tried by them.
  3. They create a contrast for later transgression. You need to sometimes learn the rule and learn to follow it before you learn when to break it. And there lies Wisdom and when you’ve moved past basics, when you can recognize when to break the taboos, and why.  This is ultimately the process of learning when to ask questions and learning to ask the right question.  And finally, to actually ask that question.

This can be seen in Conte del Graal by Chrétien de Troyes, the oldest Graal story we have.  Percival, found wandering in the woods by the woman who chose then to raise him, is enamoured with the knights of King Arthur he sees.  He sets off to become a knight.  Lord Gornemant meets him and looking kindly on him, trains him in the basics, knights him, and sends him on the way, on his own path.  This teacher, this mentor, as he was leaving, made a final statement, a taboo in some ways, a gease in others.  “Qui trop parole, pechié fait.”  “Who talks too much, commits a sin.”  This statement, though not phrased as either, implies both a taboo and a gease.  The taboo, of course, is, “avoid excessive speech.”  The guessed is, “be silent unless it is necessary to do otherwise.”

Necessity.  Learning that is Wisdom.  As Robert Cochrane said, “Do not do what you desire, do what is necessary.”  Following the taboos and geases is learning the first half, “do not do what you desire”.  But that is only half the lesson.  Learning when to break those taboos and geases is learning the second half, “do what is necessary”.

Percival learned the first lessen well we see as the story progresses.  There’s a set of principles that many trad craft witches I know tote as almost a central Law of Magic.  It is called the Four Powers of the Sphinx.  “To Know, to Will, to Dare, to Keep Silent.”  These Powers are found primarily in the writings of Eliphas Lévi and Aleister Crowley, with no real mention before them.  Most people I see quoting them focus on the last, “to be Silent”, the very command Gornemant gave Percival.  The context is often either oaths made in relation to initiations (it should be noted that being knighted, as Gornemant did to Percival, is initiation), or in discussions of speaking of your magical practice being giving your power away, that speaking of it is sharing power and therefore diminishing that power.  There is truth in this, but I think we should look more at Lévi’s discussion as it is the foundation of later discussion.  He says several things in the Great Secret and Transcendental Magick that should enter the discussion.

“To attain such an achievement it is necessary to KNOW what has to be done, to WILL what is required, to DARE what must be attempted and to KEEP SILENT with discernment.”  “When one does not know, one should will to learn.  To the extent that one does not know it is foolhardy to dare, but it is always well to keep silent.”  “In order to DARE we must KNOW; in order to WILL, we must DARE; we must WILL to possess empire and to reign we must BE SILENT.”

There’s a lot in those quotes demanding discussion, but we’ll focus on what’s relevant to this discussion of taboos and geases.  In the first quote, the phrase “with discernment” sticks out.  Lévi isn’t talking about blindly being silent, he’s talking about having discernment about when to speak.  As Cochrane said, “I was taught by an old woman who remembered the great meetings – and she took no terrible oath from me, but just an understanding that I would be discreet. She did not require silence, only a description of what I had seen and what I had heard and said when I was admitted. The Gods are truly wise – they know the future as well as the past and they admit not those who would abuse knowledge or wisdom.”  This is what Percival needed to learn, as do we.

In the second quote, Lévi is discussing when you’re working from a point of partial knowledge.  When you don’t know, no matter where you are in the path, you become a beginner again.  In this situation, of course silence is best.  You learn more at that stage from listening than from talking, and until you know enough to ask the right question, to know and dare to speak, you might prevent yourself from learning what you need to know to be able to dare.  Leaving Gornemant, this was where Percival was at.  He didn’t know enough to ask yet, so the gease of silence was best.

The last quote gives an order.  First you must know, then you can dare, then you can will.  Will gives you dominion, but silence keeps it.  We’re seeing a cycle here.  In the beginning, you are silent until you know enough to ask the right question.  Then you ask and learn more.  But when your knowledge is complete, when you have fully dared and fully willed, you return to silence.  This is discernment, knowing when to ask and when to be silent.  When to keep the taboo against speaking and the gease to be silent, and when to break them and ask.

So, back to Percival.  Percival eventually came upon the Fisher King in his boat on the river, then to the Graal Castle.  There he feasted with the Fisher King.  While he was there, he received a sword, he saw the Graal carried through by a maiden, with two pages with candelabras ahead and a second maiden with a carving dish behind, and he saw a lance that bled.  He kept silent, remembering Gornemant’s gease and taboo, and didn’t ask about these things.  He stayed the night, and the castle was empty in the morning, so he left, hoping to find the servants of the castle.

Instead, he finds his cousin.  She asked him what he saw in the castle and he describes it, answering each of her questions until she asks if he asked the meaning.  The conversation shows he knew enough to ask but kept silent.  She tells him his question could have healed to King and his silence brought desolation the land.

He proceeds to King Arthur’s court.  A horribly ugly maiden came and chewed him out:

“Ah, Perceval, Fortune is bald behind, but has a forelock in front. A curse on him who greets or wishes you well, for you did not seize Fortune when you met her. You entered the dwelling of the Fisher King; you saw the lance which bleeds. Was it so painful to open your mouth that you could not ask why the drop of blood sprang from the whim point of the lance? When you saw the grail, you did not inquire who was the rich man whom one served with it. Most unfortunate is he who when the weather is fairer than usual waits fir even fairer to come. It was you, unfortunate man, who saw that the time and the place were right for speech, and yet remained mute. You had ample opportunity, but in an evil hour you kept silent. If you had asked, the rich King, who is now sore troubled, would have been wholly cured of his wound and would have held his land in peace–land which he will never hold again. Do you know what will happen if the King does not hold his land and is not healed of his wound? Ladies will lose their husbands, lands will be laid waste, maidens, helpless, will remain orphans, and many knights will die. All these calamities will befall because of you!” ~The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol, Roger Sherman Loomis, Pg, 40

“…for you did not seize Fortune when you met her.”  This brings to mind something else Cochrane said, “In fate, and the overcoming of fate is the true Graal, for from this inspiration comes, and death is defeated.”  “Overcoming of fate” would appear to be the same statement, “seize Fortune”, as Dame Fortune was the guise Fate took in the Middle Ages, when Comte del Graal was written.  Percival failed to “seize Fortune”, failed to “overcome Fate” when he failed to ask about the things he saw, in effect failed to ask about the Graal.  Cochrane said the true Graal was fate and the overcoming of fate, and the maiden says failing to ask the question was failing to grasp Fortune.  It follows that Fortune, which is Fate, and therefore the true Graal, is obtained by asking the right question, asking the meaning of the Graal.  You obtain the Graal by asking its meaning and whom it serves.

Percival failed to ask.  He kept the gease and the taboo, and therefore failed to ask the question, failed to grasp Fortune, failed to overcome fate, failed to obtain the Graal.  The secret lies in learning when to break the gease and taboo.  And in general, the secret to Mystery, to Knowing, Understanding, and Wisdom.  To Kether and the Divine.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in muninnskiss

 

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Grasping Fate: The Graal Question

Ha! Percevax, Fortune est chauve
derriers et devant chevelue.
Et dahez ait qui te salue
et qui nul bien t’ore et te prie,
que tu ne la retenis mie,
Fortune, quant tu la trovas!
Chiés le Roi Pescheor alas,
si veïs la lance qui sainne,
et si te fu lors si grant painne
d’ovrir ta boche et de parler
que tu ne poïs demander
por coi cele gote de sanc
saut par la pointe del fer blanc!
Et le graal que tu veïs,
ne demandas ne anqueïs
quel riche home l’an an servoit.
Mout est maleüreus qui voit
si bel tans que plus ne covaigne,
si atant tant que plus biax vaigne.
Ce es tu, li maleüreus,
qui veïs qu’il fu tans et leus
de parler a lui, te taüs!
En mal eür fol san eüs!
En mal eür tant te teüsses,
que, se tu demandé eüsses,
li riches rois qui si s’esmaie
fust ores gariz de sa plaie
et si tenist sa terre an pes,
dom il ne tanra point jamés.
Et sez tu qu’il an avandra
del roi qui terre ne tandra,
qui n’est de ses plaies gariz?
Dames an perdront lor mariz,
terres an seront essilliees
et puceles desconselliees,
qui orfelines remandront,
et maint chevalier an morront,
et tuit avront le mal par toi.
~Le Conte du Graal, La cour du roi Arthur, Chrétien de Troyes

Ah, Perceval, Fortune is bald behind, but has a forelock in front.  A curse on him who greets or wishes you well, for you did not seize Fortune when you met her.  You entered the dwelling of the Fisher King; you saw the lance which bleeds.  Was it so painful to open your mouth that you could not ask why the drop of blood sprang from the whim point of the lance? When you saw the grail, you did not inquire who was the rich man whom one served with it.  Most unfortunate is he who when the weather is fairer than usual waits fir even fairer to come.  It was you, unfortunate man, who saw that the time and the place were right for speech, and yet remained mute.  You had ample opportunity, but in an evil hour you kept silent.  If you had asked, the rich King, who is now sore troubled, would have been wholly cured of his wound and would have held his land in peace–land which he will never hold again.  Do you know what will happen if the King does not hold his land and is not healed of his wound?  Ladies will lose their husbands, lands will be laid waste, maidens, helpless, will remain orphans, and many knights will die.  All these calamities will befall because of you!
~The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol, Roger Sherman Loomis, Pg, 40

“Opportunity has hair in front, behind she is bald; if you seize her by the forelock, you may hold her; but, if she once escapes, not Jupiter himself can catch her again.”
~”Dictionary of Latin Quotations, Proverbs, Maxims and Mottos,” H.T. Riley, London, 1866

Some groups seek fulfillment in mystic experience – this is correct if one does not forget the duty of ‘involvement’ – the prime duty of the wise. It is not enough to see The Lady, it is better to serve Her and Her will by being involved in humanity, and the process of Fate (The single name of all God’s is ‘Fate’). In fate, and the overcoming of fate is the true Graal, for from this inspiration comes, and death is defeated. There is no fate so terrible that it cannot be overcome – whether by a literal victory gained by action and in time, or the deeper victory of spirit in the lonely battle of the self, Fate is the trial, the Castle Perilous in which we all meet to win or to die – Therefore, the People are concerned with Fate –for humanity is greater than the Gods’, although not as great as the Goddess. When Man triumphs, fate stops and the Gods are defeated – so you understand the meaning of magic now. Magic and religion are aids to overcome Fate, and Fate is a cradle that rocks the infant spirit.
~Robert Cochrane’s Second Letter to Joe Wilson, Twelfth Night, 1966

Who is this flower above me?
What is the work of this god?
I would know myself in all my parts.
~Feri Flower Prayer

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in muninnskiss

 

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Innocence: the King and the Land are one!

“How beautiful is the black, lascivious purity of small children and wild animals.” ~An African proverb as told by Victor Anderson

“The Black Heart
of Feri”
by Storm
Faerwolf from
his website.

The other day, I came upon a couple blog posts about the Black Heart of Innocence in Feri.  Just wanted to add my thoughts to the mix.

http://heartssdesire.livejournal.com/168563.html
http://miniver.blogspot.com/2006/08/blackest-hearts-in-all-of-christendom.html

In her post, [info]heartssdesire says the following:

Rather, I began to think, the Black Heart is the state of awakening fully to one’s authentic self – it means one steps up to take the helm of one’s own ship. It means being ruled by no one other than one’s authentic self, being self-mastered. It means throwing off the masks and shackles of coercion, manipulation, or deceit so that one can by guided by the deep wisdom of innocence.

This makes me think of a Feri proverb that I’m told comes from Victor Anderson:

“Never submit your life force to anything or anyone for any reason.”

This very much is taking the helm of our own ship, being “self-mastered”.

It’s what T. Thorn Coyle calls being “self-possessed”.

Image from gothamist blog.

When a spirit or god possesses you, that being controls you.  It’s very intimate.  Possession is practiced in many traditions, including Voudou and some branches of Feri.  It can also be seen in Charismatic Christian churches with the Holy Spirit, though most wouldn’t use the term “possession”.

This is different from what most of the West thinks of as possession, the idea of a demon forcefully taking control of someone, where the person has no choice or control, and the possession is basically permanent.  This version is basically spiritual rape.  It does happen, though what’s a demon, and what’s a spirit is another question.  Even in occult and witchcraft circles, not just Christian circles, there are exorcisms performed because of this type of possession.  Though this is the type of possession most people in the “Christian world” (the Western, developed world) think of, this isn’t the only type, and not the type I’m talking about.

The type I’m talking about is voluntary and usually temporary.  The priest, the person being possessed, has a measure of control, choices to be possessed, and regains control at the end.  It is a form of worship, and is a great source of power and magic.

Thorn’s term “self-possession” builds on this idea.  But instead of surrender to a spirit, to something external, you surrender to your own will, your own soul.  It’s about taking full control of your own life, owning your actions, being conscious of your actions.  It’s about living consciously, being present in the moment instead of being on auto-pilot.  It is knowing yourself in all your parts.  In Kissing the Limitless, Thorn says the following about self-possession:

When we see a person who seems collected, confident, and stable, we may say that he or she is “self-possessed.” That meaning reflects some internal mastery cultivated by the individual. This mastery is a large part of what I mean by self-possessed. I am speaking of an individual who has done the work to know himself, and who has faced himself unflinchingly and learned to love what he sees. This person has integrated many of her parts, and remains essentially the same in any situation or in the midst of any emotion. By self-possession I mean all of this and something more as well.

and:

Feri Tradition artist Anaar, says simply that our goal is becoming self-possessed.[6] Not initiated. Not holding power over other people. Not commanding forces outside of ourselves. Our goal is to possess ourselves, fully, in every moment.

Self-possession is the quality of being fully in touch with all of one’s parts and aware of the relationship those parts have to our own divinity, known as our God Soul or our Sacred Dove. Since the God Soul is connected to all things, establishing a constant link to this places us into concert with the All-encompassing. Self-possessed, we open fully to an awareness of ourselves as a point of matter anchoring the endless flow of spirit and energy. In this stage we not only have knowledge of our divine natures, we have active conversation with it.

Image from Heather Louise
Photography on Flickr
.

To do that, we need to know ourself as we truly are.  We use masks and walls to hide our true selves.  Some masks we create ourselves.  Others are created and placed on us by our childhood, our parents, our peers, our bosses and coworkers, our family, our friends, our enemies, society, culture, religion, and many other things.  We need to strip these masks away and see what’s underneath.  Masks can be very useful, but only as a tool.  We need to use our masks, not let them use us.  Masks are for a task, to do something in our lives or practices, not define us, not to control us, not to be what we see.  To be self-possessed, to be “self-mastered”, we need to take off the masks when we look in the mirror and truly see the “us” that is underneath all the masks.

Our culture thinks of Innocence, or rather innocence, as a state of ignorance and naivety.  We think you preserve innocence by protecting a child, isolating them from the world.  The innocent don’t know good or evil, don’t know about death or sex, about pain, suffering, sorrow, loss.  We think of the new born infant.  We think of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, naked, chaste, ignorant, powerless.  To know is to lose innocence.  To remain innocent is to never know.

Pandora by blackeri
on DeviantArt.

When you view innocence this way, innocence is lost and can never be regained.  I’ve seen Christians who come to Christ later in life, “washed in the blood of the Lamb”, try to ignore the world, pretend that there isn’t hurt or pain, suffering or violence.  But once you know these things, there’s no going back.  It’s like Pandora, opening the box and releasing these things into the world.  Once it’s opened, it’s opened.

But still in the box was one last thing: hope.  Innocence isn’t lost, we just forget how to be innocent.  Innocence isn’t about ignoring the pain in the world.  It’s found in accepting that it’s there and moving on.  It’s kind of like the Buddhist concept of Enlightenment through detachment.  To the Buddhist, suffering is caused by attachment to the things of the world.  Only by getting rid of attachment do you bring an end to suffering.  Except detachment is a lack of emotions and desire, and Innocence is full of emotion, pure desire.  Innocence is the way Fetch looks at the world, and Fetch is filled with emotions and instincts, like the wild animals in the African proverb at the top.  In Fetch, we find Innocence.  Talker will always dwell on what she sees in the world, all those “negative” things I listed, the things that make us forget Innocence.  So we must turn to Fetch and see the world through her eyes.

A song by Jewel comes to mind, Innocence Maintained.  The chorus says:

We’ve made houses for hatred
It’s time we made a place 
Where people’s souls may be seen and made safe
Be careful with each other
These fragile flames
For innocence can’t be lost
It just needs to be maintained

Innocence, like Fetch, is concerned with connectedness.  When Fetch touches something, she leaves a connection to it, an aka thread.  Part of its substance flows into her and part of her substance flows into it.  Fetch is part of everything around her.  Part of Innocence is seeing the divinity in other and respecting them because of it.

Back to self-possession, [info]heartssdesire goes on to say:

Then, I realized, I couldn’t come up with a proper name for this condition. It isn’t anarchy, rule by no one. If there were a name it might be something more like autarchy: self-rule, mastery of the self. That word, I discover, already exists, but its meaning in usage is more like autocracy – rule by one person over others. Or perhaps autonomy will serve; it is closest in meaning to what I’m looking for, but interestingly its literal significance is self-naming. Knowing one’s own name. In legend it is often seen that to name something is to own it, to master it. Perhaps that is it.

Baal Shev Tov
from Judaica Art.

Knowing one’s own name is very much important here.  In the White Goddess, Robert Graves talks about the Battle of the Trees, about the riddle.  The man could not be overcome unless his true name was known.  Gwydion guessed his name, Bran, and hence could overcome him.  It is said the Baal Shev Tov (Master of the Good Name), a famous Kabbalist, knew and had mastery over the true name of G-d.  He could work all types of miracles because of it, for to have power over G-d is to have power over His creation.  Unless we know our own true name, we can never hope to be our own masters.  We let others name us, to define who we are, and so, they are masters over us.  Only by knowing our selves can we give ourselves our own name, and be masters over our own destinies.  It is in knowing, fully knowing, ourselves in all our parts that we overcome Fate and become masters of our own destiny.

[info]heartssdesire goes on to say:

That is the Black Heart’s gift. When we have stripped away the layers of false selves we were wearing, torn away the habits of thought and feeling that do not belong to us, liberated ourselves from self-coercion, self-deceit, and we step into the Black Heart state, its gift is a radiant, black light that makes all things transparent to the gaze of innocence. That black light illuminates the chambers of the soul and shows us our true name. To speak a name is to invoke that being. The Black Heart lets us invoke our most true being to step forward and claim self-guidance of our lives, take the helm of our own ship, be master of ourselves. The Black Heart’s gift is sovereignty.

When I think of sovereignty, I think of Kether, the Crown, in Kabbalah, and of Malkuth, Kingdom.  The Crown has sovereignty over the Kingdom.  Kether is the King, the Throne, Kingship.  But what is a King without a Kingdom?  What is the King without the Land?

Image from Mythic Meditations blog.

This is shown in the story of the Fisher King that became part of the Arthurian Legends.  The Fisher King is a Graal story.  The basic story is that the Fisher King is ill, both physically and of heart.  Because of this, so is the Land.  There is drought, there is sickness.  For the Land to be healed, the Fisher King must be healed.  So he sends out his men in search of the Holy Graal which can heal anyone who drinks from it.  There’s three parts here:  the King, the Land, and the Graal.  Without the Graal, the King will die, and with the King, the Land.

In his second letter to Joe Wilson, Robert Cochrane said:

Some groups seek fulfillment in mystic experience – this is correct if one does not forget the duty of ‘involvement’ – the prime duty of the wise. It is not enough to see The Lady, it is better to serve Her and Her will by being involved in humanity, and the process of Fate (The single name of all God’s is ‘Fate’). In fate, and the overcoming of fate is the true Graal, for from this inspiration comes, and death is defeated. There is no fate so terrible that it cannot be overcome – whether by a literal victory gained by action and in time, or the deeper victory of spirit in the lonely battle of the self, Fate is the trial, the Castle Perilous in which we all meet to win or to die – Therefore, the People are concerned with Fate –for humanity is greater than the Gods’, although not as great as the Goddess. When Man triumphs, fate stops and the Gods are defeated – so you understand the meaning of magic now. Magic and religion are aids to overcome Fate, and Fate is a cradle that rocks the infant spirit.

So, “In fate, and the overcoming of fate is the true Graal, for from this inspiration comes, and death is defeated.”  I alluded to this above to overcoming Fate.  Our sickness, that which hides Innocence from us, is only healed with the Graal, with overcoming Fate.  Because we are sick, so is the Land.  In this case, the Land being the things in our lives, our relationships, our jobs, our spiritual practices.  Kether, the Crown, the King, is our divine nature, and Malkuth, Kingdom, the Land, is our human nature.  In the Graal, our divine nature, Kether, and our human nature, Mulkuth, become one.  The King and the Land are one.

Innocence is the Graal, and we must drink from her to be healed, to gain sovereignty, for the King and the Land to be one.  The Graal, Innocence, is Fetch.  The Land is Talker.  The King is Godself.

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them
by  Charles Christian Nahl.
Image from 1st-Art-Gallery.
Black Heart
By Muninn’s Kiss

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling a together;
and a little child will lead them.
~Isaiah 11:6 NIV

Black Heart,
Shining in the darkness.
Blackheart?
Black Heart.
Black Heart of Innocence.

The wolf stalks her prey,
Slowly walking,
Slowly slaking,
Careful,
Patient,
Silent,
Beautiful,
Closing in,
Almost,
Almost,
Pounce.
Down in comes.
Black Heart.

The mouse trembles,
Staying still,
Invisible.
Don’t see me,
Walk on by.
It’s slowing,
The mouse tenses.
It turns,
Run!
Black Heart.

Little child sits,
Crayon in hand,
Paper before him.
He pauses,
Thinking,
Picturing,
Imagining,
He smiles,
He begins.
Crayon on paper,
Bright colours,
Swirling,
Red,
Yellow,
Blue,
Black.
He draws the truth,
Truer than what he sees with his eyes.
The world within.
Black Heart.

Nimue stands,
Watching over them all.
She smiles,
They are hers,
Her people,
Her children.
Their innocence in hers,
Death and life,
Imagination.
Black Heart.

Black Heart,
Shining in the darkness.
Blackheart?
Black Heart.
Black Heart of Innocence.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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Three Figures Stand in Silence

Image by FroweMinahild
on DeviantArt

Three Figures Stand in Silence
By Muninn’s Kiss

Three figures stand in silence,
Looking out to space.
Their hoods hide them from me,
But I’m naked before their eyes.

The Moirae in their white robes,
Cold and uncaring.
They stand and speak the future,
And I am bound by them.

Erinyes draped in serpents,
Blood dripping from their eyes.
Their fury flows out toward me,
I bow before their wrath.

The three Laimas stand before me,
My life is in their hands.
They speak what will happen,
And I listen to their will.

The Norns draw forth water,
And pour it on the roots.
They weave the weird around me,
They pull me where I go.

Fate she stands before me,
She holds me in her hands,
I move to overcome her,
And find the one true Graal.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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