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Old Irish poem…part of it anyway2019-01-24T14:00:14-08:00

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    Another figure in Celtic mythology whose powers reveal Druidic and Shamanic status is Amairgen, Druid and Poet of the first Celtic tribes to arrive in Ireland, according to the mythico-historical tales called “Leabhar Gabhála”, known as The Book of Invasions. When the Gaels arrive in Ireland, they encounter the ancient Gods and Goddesses, the “Tuatha de Danaan”. The Gods themselves had druids, who used their magickal powers to cause the land to “disappear” so that the invaders could not land. The Gaels circle Ireland three times (a common Celtic ritual device), and finally are permitted to land on the eve of the First of May, or Beltaine, according to ancient Celtic reckoning (time measured by nights, not days).

    After three days, they met Banba, and then Fodla, two of the three Goddesses of the Sovereignty and Land of Ireland. They both request to have the land named after them. Finally they encounter the third goddess, E´ire, at Usna of Mide. Meeting with her at this sacred cosmic center of the land, they are welcomed and told that their coming has long been prophesied, and that their people will inhabit the island forever. Amairgen promises her that her name shall remain on the island, and indeed, it is from the name of this goddess that “Ireland” is derived.

    In order to determine who should rule the land, the Gaels and the Tuatha de Danaan engage in a Druidic contest or battle. The druids of the Tuatha create a magical wind to prevent the Gaels from landing. Amairgen speaks a great invocation, after which a calm came immediately over the sea. Then, setting his right foot on the shore, Amairgen spoke this rhapsody:

    “I am a wind upon the sea
    I am a wave of the ocean
    I am the roar of the sea
    I am a stag of seven tines
    I am a bull of seven fights
    I am a hawk upon a cliff
    I am a dewdrop in the sun
    I am the fairest of blossoms
    I am a boar of valor
    I am a salmon in a pool
    I am a lake in a plain
    I am a mound of poetry
    I am a word of skill
    I am a battle-waging spear of spoil
    I am one who shapes fire in the mind.”

    “Who save I knows the secrets of the stone door?

    Who save I knows the time of the setting of the sun?

    Who has seven times sought the Place of Peace without fear?

    Who names the waterfalls?

    Who, but the poet, chants a petition, divides the Ogham letters, approaches the Sidhe mound?

    Who but a poet, one of wisdom.”

    This sacred verse is replete with Celtic religious, magickal and mythological elements, as well as Shamanic (and we now see, Druidic) shape-shifting and transformation. Someone who can shape-shift, someone who knows the mysteries of nature, and has experienced so many aspects of the Sacred in both Worlds, is indeed both Shaman and Druid.

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