Secondly we spoke about our present pleasures, this time sharing the bread. I discovered that autumn, with its colourful leaves, cool morning breezes, rich earthy smells and associations with the beginnings of the new term was the favourite season of many of the group.
To maintain the balance we moved on to present pains. Emptiness, fear, sorrow and anger were represented by an empty bowl, a stone, withered leaves and a chewed stick. Stepping forward when ready we took the items representing our emotions. As well as expressing personal pains people voiced their anger at the environmental damage caused by fracking and the badger hunts, the incompetence of the present government and manipulations of the mass media. This part was moving and helped break down boundaries between the group and unite us.
Once the cathartic part had taken place John encouraged us to look to the future. To remind us of the power of our intentions he read ‘The Song of Amergin.’* In Gaelic mythology Amergin prophesies the victory of the Milesians over the Tuatha de Danaan. He states his intent and it comes to be. In turn we spoke our intentions- before the group and in the eye of the gods and spirits, which was a powerful and empowering experience.
After we had thanked the gods in turn John closed the ritual, thanking and saying farewell to the ancestors and spirits. Finally he made the libations to the willow tree before we all stepped outside into a clear starlit night beneath a moon just beginning to wane from full.
“I am the wind that blows upon the sea,"
"I am the ocean wave;
I am the murmur of the surges;
I am seven battalions;
I am a strong bull;
I am an eagle on a rock;
I am a ray of the sun;
I am the most beautiful of herbs;
I am a courageous wild boar;
I am a Salmon in the water;
I am a lake upon a plain;
I am a cunning artist;
I am a gigantic, sword-wielding champion;
I can shift my shape like a god.
In what direction shall we go?
Shall we hold our council in the valley or on the mountain-top?
Where shall we make our home?
What land is better than this island of the setting sun?
Where shall we walk to and fro in peace and safety?
Who can find you clear springs of water as I can?
Who can tell you the age of the moon but I?
Who can call the fish from the depths of the sea as I can?
Who can cause them to come near the shore as I can?
Who can change the shapes of the hills and headlands as I can?
I am a bard who is called upon by seafarers to prophesy.
Javelins shall be wielded to avenge our wrongs.
I prophesy victory.
I end my song by prophesying all other good things.”
Blog post by Lorna Smithers