In a series of dreams and meditations over the past year-plus, I have been slowly nudged towards Celtic mythology. About four months ago, I finally relented to all the little pushes and shoves, starting my journey by reading the four branches of the Mabinogi.
My initial reading of the four branches left me more confused than before. I was unfamiliar with the names or the information contained within – and I eventually set the book down, and wondered what the Nine Hells I was doing. Perhaps, it’s best to explain why…
When I first started down my Path within Paganism, I leaned towards the Gods that matched my Germanic heritage – and the Nordic pantheon was where I landed. In so many ways, all of this “clicked” in my thinking, and I definitely could relate to the legends and stories within the Edda. The problem wasn’t with the intellectual connection; it came from a Spiritual connection. For a long time, I felt that having a close relationship with any of the Gods was impossibility, and that worship of the Gods was done as a manner of mouthing honor to them. A form of lip service, if you will. It didn’t change my perspective that the Gods existed – for me that was a definite given – it was more a matter that I felt I wasn’t an individual that they may care to commune or interact with. In early 2007, it all changed for me.
I had taken up reading as a manner of education myself. My particular focus at that time, was studying on the local Native American culture of the Texas plains. On a trip to Colorado, I was staying at a cabin in a remote area just south of Divide, and decided to take a walk along the dirt road. Now, walking is a meditation form for me – it’s the way I work things out in my mind, and the way I clear my mind of all the daily clutter that appends itself there. To the side of the road, I saw a large out-cropping of rock, which hung out over the asphalt road below, and decided this would be a nice place to stop for a while. Sitting on that rock, I started thinking about the Sioux legend of how the Crow’s feathers came to be black – a legend that I had just read about the night before. As I let the sun warm my skin, I closed my eyes and relaxed – finding my way to my own Inner Grove…and found a small group of crows, I do recall that it was either six or seven of them. One by one, they all came up to where I was standing and dropped small objects at my feet. Blue buttons, silver hat-pins, a yellow piece of yarn. And when the last one dropped its item, they all flew into the branches of the three Oak trees there and cawed at me. In a way, I felt it was a moment of greeting, so I raised my hand and waved – and opened my eyes. On that rock out-cropping, just a few feet away, was a single crow. He stared at me with his little dark eyes, cocked his head to one side and cawed twice. I must have moved slightly, because he instantly took flight, cawing at me the entire time.
It took several more times of having crows crossing my path in meditation, in everyday life, and even in material that I would be reading, before I realized there was a message in all of that. This would start me down a Path of exploring Native American perspectives within my own Spirituality, and finding ways to commune with Crow, as well as Coyote over a longer period of time.
So what brought me to starting down my Path of exploring Celtic Mythology and Spirituality? Over the past year, I have continually seen a few figures from Celtic mythology pop up in various readings, and have even found myself wondering what I needed to know about them during some of my meditations. Lugh, Brigid, and Taliesin have been the most notable that have been poking me in the chest – particularly the last few months. I can take a hint, but sometimes that hint has to be accompanied by a two-by-four upside the head. ::grins:: So far, the largest obstacle for me has been unfamiliarity with the subject material. A first reading of the Mabinogion has left me scratching my head, wondering what I was thinking about when I decided to tread along this Path. So it’s apparent that I need to do a lot more research on the who/what/where/when/how/why aspect than I had originally thought. Remembering back to my first steps on the Native American part of my Path…I did the same thing, but it was that research that brought me to that Path. This is ever so slightly different.
As with any personal search, this is all a process for me. And I know somewhere along this, I will trip over a root, or a rock that is in the Path – which I didn’t see because I was looking to the left or the right of the Path to see the trees, bushes, grass, and rock formations there. And when it happens, I will have to pick myself back up, knock the dirt of my clothes, chide myself for not being careful, and start moving forward again. I learned that from spending time with two Trickster Gods…