In this meditation we shall explore the power of creation through the four women of power
Banba, Domnu, Dalny, Macha.
We shall begin with an invocation to the trees:
The Dagdha caresses the seasons into being by the music that he plays on his harp made of oak. He has a huge pronged club which can both take and give life. He has many titles including the Father of Many and the Good God. The word 'good' relating to his skills rather than his character. He has a huge presence with a large red beard and an ability to build raths (circular earthen walls forming an enclosure for the tribal chief) in a single day. This means he not only maintains the farming lands but builds the dwellings for the Sidhe chieftains. As the father of Brigit and lover of the Morrigawn he is connected to the most potent and powerful forms of the Earth Mother.
Here is an invocation to the Dagdha with a focus on the trees:
Good God Dagdha, Father of Many, Parentage of the Sidhe, All-knowing Noble,
Spirit of the Green Wood shelter us; Power of the soft brown earth comfort us.
May the strength rising from the roots of the trees transport us to the bright realms acting as pillars of hope.
May the roots of trees ground us in one reality,
taking us into the depths of our being, the womb of the earth.
Inspiring us to be caretakers of all Nature.
Alder, ash, aspen, black popular, bird, wild cherry and beech
Common and sessile oak, box, crab apple, silver, downy birch and maple
Small, large leaved lime, midland and common thorn, whitebeam, wild service and rowan,
Pine, strawberry tree, holly, hornbeam, hazel, juniper and elm.
Crack, white, bay, goat willow, plymouth, wild pear and yew.
Good God Daghdha, May we be as steady as a tree,
serving all beings and taken only that which we need to sustain our lives.
Good God Daghdha, Envelop us in the knowledge of the Green Wood.
Teach us to have a compassionate heart and truly love all souls equally as one.
Beithe, Luis, Fearn, Sail, Nion, Huath, Duir, Tinne, Coll, Quert, Muin,Gort, Ngetal, Straiph, Ruis, Ailm, Onn, Ur- Heather, Eadhadh, Idhadh. (Tree Ogham names)
(Birch, Rowan, Alder, Willow, Ash, Hawthorn, Oak, Holly, Hazel, Apple, Vine, Broom, Blackthorn, Elder, Pine, Gorse, Heather, Aspen, Yew)
We enter the wild ancient woodlands....
Now imagine going deeper into the memories of the land, to a time when the land was only just forming.
The first woman Banbha steps upon the land and it greets her with delight, the land folds, mountains form, rivers burst forth and a green carpet covers the landscape.
The water’s rise and Banbha is taken down into the depths of salty water to rise again as Domnu giving birth to the giants who represent the early people and the elemental powers of the Earth.
Dalny comes from the south west and her gentle strength creates more lochs and rivers to burst forth but then plague takes her back into the depths to resurface as Macha, the mother of races who comes forth from the North challenging the giants on a golden chariot with a raven upon her shoulder and the confidence of a warrior. She gives birth to the races of the Fir bolg, Tuatha de Dannaan and the Britons before going back into the depths of the Earth as the Earth Mother of all.
Meditate on this early stirring of creation and the early races subdued by nature’s forces. Meditate on our origins as a shared ancestry and how the land feels as she responds to our actions.
May we respect, love and honour all the places we visit and walk upon.
We will continue to honour the land and waterways in our next Woodland Bard Session as we explore the willow and the Morrigina, the dark goddess who is known as Neamhain, Badbha and Macha and calls us all to be caretakers of the countryside. Click below if you wish to join us.
Visualise a well or body of water and place it in the centre of a landscape you are familiar with. In the Woodland Bard meditations this is your personal representative of Connla's well (please see sacred well ritual blog here).
The landscape can be a park or even a verge as well as an expanse of wilderness. The key to this meditation is it is somewhere you can visit easily in order to have an ongoing physical connection. If for any reason you are housebound then your immediate surroundings or a memory of your nearest area will also work.
As with all visualisation it is best to not force imagery that is not there so if you have a patch of land without a well or body of water you can always go to the well as your entry point separately but please do not over think it, allow it to simply happen.
Once you have settled in visualising your sacred spot or just know it is there you may wish to chant:
Ancient Mother, connect us to the plants,
Connect to the Soil, Sea and Sky,
Banba, Domnu, Dealgnaid, Macha
Nettle and dock give true nutrition,
Avens, alehoof soothe our constitution,
Plantain, self-heal, yarrow . Herb robert,
Heal our wounds make us whole.
Agrimony, speedwell, willowherb, clover,
Clear our lungs, cough no longer,
Dandelion, Burdock, purify our blood,
Wood sage for our appetite, foxglove for the heart,
Archangel for stress, it gives a good rest.
Herbs are our healers, plants are our friends,
You may call them weeds but they help us mend.
Now bring to mind your spot of land. What plants grow under foot? What trees grow above you? Do you know its geology and how it was formed? Focus upon the land giving it your clear attention and sending it healing love.
All the land is alive and has an indwelling spirit.
When you are ready bring your attention to your entry point whether it be a well or another body of water. You may decide to just simply enter the landscape that is before you through a doorway.
Arrive in your inner landscape and focus on it's inner beauty contemplating all that the plants give to us :
The elements formed the land then dressed her with plants.
The plants made oxygen accessible creating the perfect conditions for all life.
They then harvested the energy of the sun and made it also available to us thus meaning every movement that we make is only possible due to plants.
The plants absorb water so there are no floods and release water to avoid deserts.
They store carbon deep in the earth to make the atmosphere safe for us then reach down to obtain iron and transport it to the seas to feed the underwater forests.
Finally when they die they create soil and give everything back.
A billion years it took for them to create these perfect conditions, a billion years to balance soil, sky and earth.
Where would be without plants?
As you contemplate an especial plant may come to mind, hold this plant in your heart and see it as an ally for your meditation bringing it into to focus whenever you need to relax or meditate.
March is a time when the Green world awakens let us celebrate and honour the joy of plants.
This is a spring board to continue our studies into the Alder tree which we shall meditate more deeply on at our next Woodland Bard evening on the 21st March 2021@6pm
Poetry of flowers
Join me to explore the flora of the British Isles on this blog. My intention is to attempt to capture the unique quality and beauty of each species of flower, tree or shrub. For every species featured I will be growing many more wildflowers to celebrate the joy of their existence, their intrinsic conservation value and bewildering array of uses. For nearly 30 years I have noted, studied and explored wildflowers in the field much to the patience of the walker beside me. To share this passion is a heartfelt plea to respect, preserve and care for all British Wildflowers no matter how common they seem.