The Weaving Goddess Meditation
In the Celtic tradition creation has no beginning or end it is constantly weaving its web for eternity.
The Weaving Goddess appears in sorrowful and terrible forms as we see her in nature, however this shadow side is always in balance and as the invocation below states she weaves life upward through the green grass as well as death downward through the mold.
When we meditate with the land and especially with its energies, we may find a deep pain and sorrow which William Butler Yeats says is the mood of all ancient peoples for we are incomplete and out of harmony in our human lives. In the Celtic tradition we seek that completion through connecting with all of life and its web. The sense of non-duality and acceptance of life creates a sublime feeling in the depths of our soul. However, it also carries a responsibility for this type of meditation isn’t about creating a personal nirvana but more about a profound awakening to being in harmony with all of life. To understand these deep concepts, we meditate on the Weaving Goddess.
The invocation below calls to the Weaving Goddess and accepts her role in the tradition:
Chorus: I dreamed of Ochil the dim goddess, who through all, through all,
Orchil weaves the weft, Orchil weaves the weft of eternal beauty.
I dreamed of Orchil the dim Goddess who is under the brown earth in a vast cavern where she weaves at two looms, with one hand she weaves life upward through the green grass and with the other she weaves death downward through the mold.
She has her feet far down among the roots and trees, and stars thickening in her hair as they gather in the vastness and blackness of the sky on a night of frost. Her form fills all the world where wisdom dwells. But she is sorrowful and terrible for the hearts of men know her no more in her ancient loveliness.
She is the washer at the ford, a tall gaunt woman, chanting the death dirge as she washes the shroud of he that sees her. She may grow great and terrible and inhabit darkness.
She loveth loneliness, solitude is her breath. She is Queen of all things on the earth and in the sea and in the white palaces of the stars built on the dark walls of time above the abyss.
Once you have read the invocation imagine yourself at Connla's Well as described in the previous meditation on the hazel- CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
Meditate on the rippling shapes of the water and the moon rising and shining upon its moving surface, which will take you deep within or just know it is happening. Then move away from the Well or pool of water and enter a stone circle. Before you is a stone bed and upon it a sleeping women of power.
Meditate on the feel of the circle and the women as she rises and fills the space with her presence, connect with her and the energies of the earth with the help of the following chant:
Chorus: Twilight envelop me, Twilight embolden me, Twilight awaken the Sidhe.
Forth from his breast the old man drew
A lute that once on a rowan-tree grew:
And, speaking no words, began to play
Over the hills and far away.
An' the moon came up, and the stars grew white,
An' the hills grew black in the bloom o' the night,
An' I watched till the death-star sank in the moon
And the moonmaid fled with her flittermice shoon,
Then the Shadow that lay on the moorside there
Rose up and shook its wildmoss hair,
Over the hills and far away --
That is the tune I heard one day.
O that I too might hear the cruel
Honey-sweet folk of the Hills of Ruel.
When you feel ready, ask to hear her voice which may come in vision, thought or feeling and ask her how you can connect with the song of the Earth.
This written meditation cannot replace the experience of the live meditation and community support of our Woodland Bard Evenings. If you wish join us on Sunday 11th October at 6pm please click on the link below.
May you feel the support of nature in your life as you take part in its Wellbeing.
Left to Right- Hazel the tree of Wisdom - Moonlit sky - Rowan tree of Meditation
Woodland Bard Meditation.
Our meditation starts with honouring the land. The land is the mother, the provider of everything we need and it is she who is honoured first in Celtic lore. The land is often personified as a Goddess and was seen in the landscape as the undulating hills or the life-giving waters. The three names below represent the three Queens of Ireland, the sovereignty of its land. However, these ancient Gaelic names can connect us to which ever land we live upon at this time, for they call to the deities of all Celtic lands which once stretched all across Europe and beyond. The main verses are adapted from the beautiful words of Eleanor Merry, an English poet with a deep connection with the Celtic twilight.
Eriu, Banba, Fodhla, I seek the land of Erin,
Fruitful be her seas, perpetually green her forest,
I feel her in my bones, I feel her in my blood.
Danu, soul of the ancient mysteries,
Wanders forever under the canopy of heaven,
Wrapped in her mantle of bluest aether,
And the vision of her calls every human heart.
Her shadow is the forgotten mysteries
And lives in the sadness of Celtic Twilight tales,
When hearts wake again to the longing for forbidden lands,
Or for the shining hosts of the Sidhe,
Or for the caves of the hoary sleepers.
The Celtic folk soul is the soul of a spiritual awakening,
The touch of a Woman of Beauty who will
Come into the hearts of men and women
Like a flame upon dry grass,
Like a flame of wind in a great wood.
After this blessing we make an offering of hazelnuts to the Sidhe, the ancestors of this land saying the words:
How beautiful they are, the lordly ones who dwell in the hills, in the hollow hills.
They have faces like flowers and their breath is a wind that blows amid grasses filled with white clover.
Their limbs are more white than shafts of moonshine, They are more fleet than the March wind, they laugh and are glad and are terrible when their lances shake and glitter every green reed quivers.
How beautiful they are, how beautiful, the lordly ones in the hollow hills.
Wisdom of Hazel Meditation
Now it is time to enter the Celtic Twilight in meditation with all of Nature. The following prose is designed to take you into meditation.
Where the water whispers mid
the shadowy rowan trees
I have heard the Hidden People like
the hum of swarming bees:
And when the moon has risen and the brown
burn glisters grey
I have seen the Green Host marching
in laughing disarray.
Connla’s well lies at the foot of a mountain ash, those who gaze within may if they can find a guide be lead to the fountain of perpetual youth. The ash berries fall into the waters and turn then to fire. Connla the druid is the guardian of the well.
Among the nuts in the hazel tree, I sing to the salmon in the faerie pool,
What is the dream the salmon dreams in the well of Connla beneath the hazel?
Visualise a pool of water and notice the patterns of light upon its rippling surface, allowing the vision to take you within or if you cannot visualise just know it is happening.
Enter the stone circle, experience the moon rising and slowly a soul awakening that is connected to all of the web of life.
Before you is a doorway or just know it is there. Enter the doorway and descend into your soul landscape.
As you descend get a sense of the hazel tree (pictured above) and what it has to tell you. Take whatever images, thoughts and feelings that come to you. Slowly in stillness approach the hazel tree whether you can see it or have a feeling of its presence, sit with it in stillness and peace.
In your own time be aware once more of the hazel and the exchange you have had with it. Notice an offering it may be a nut, leaf, stone or twig. Treasure it and allow it to be absorbed into your heart and as it melts into your being ask-
What can I do to help the web of life? - PAUSE
Accept whatever answer comes to you whether it be a thought, feeling or vision and slowly in stillness make your way back to the doorway and arrive back in your outer surroundings with a feeling of incredible support and purpose.
This written meditation cannot replace the experience of the live meditation and community support of our Woodland Bard Evenings. If you wish join us on Wednesday 30th September at 8.15pm please click on the link below.
May you feel the support of nature in your life as you take part in its Wellbeing.
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.