Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Forever Entwined–A Love Story

imagesCADKH1AKOnce a bard by the name of Phelim was blessed with the birth of a daughter. Her name was Deidre.  At the time of her birth, a wise druid foretold that the child would grow to be beautiful beyond compare.  Her beauty would be such, that wars would eventually be fought over her and death would come to many.
When hearing the words that were said by the druid, many in the surrounding area began to believe that death to the child soon and quickly would be the best resort.  Then there would be no way that the future could come to pass.  Yet Conor MacNess, King of Ulster, would not hear of such a happening.  He took the child and swore to marry her when she became of age.  She would be forever hidden from the world to avoid the prophecy coming to pass.
King Ulster bid the care of young Deidre to Lavercham, an old nurse that was in the kingdom.  He would visit Deidre from time to time.  As she grew it was quite obvious that she was indeed beautiful.  As time came near for her to wed King Ulster, she confided in her nurse that she longed for a younger man, as King Ulster was much her senior.
deidre and naoiseThus Lavercham became her link to the outside world and soon her link to Naoise.  Naoise was one of the three sons of Usna and himself was quite handsome.  Their love grew strong and quickly.  Because young love is forever spontaneous, they fled to Scotland where they were to be protected by Naoise other two brothers.  They lived in peace there for many years.  But all good things do end and there was a prophecy to fulfil.
King Conoro was by no means happy when Deidre had fled in the night.  For although he was acting out of the kindness of his heart in the beginning when he saved the young child, he had grown to desire Deidre more and more as she grew.  Her beauty had surely captivated him and he could not stand to have her as his wife.  Through cunning ways he managed to entice them to return to Ireland.
As foretold war began and blood was spilt.  The three sons of Usna were slain.  This in turn left Deidre at the mercy of King Conoro, which was exactly as he had planned.  For a year and one day Deidre lived with King Conoro.  Yet in this time she never spoke one word nor did she ever smile. 
imagesCAHXCM6TAt the end of a year and one day, she committed suicide.  From her place of burial, a Yew tree sprouted growing to the heavens, its branches hanging low to the ground as if to weep.  The branches were said to have twined and spread across the country side eventually finding what they sought, the grave of her beloved Naoise.  Twining themselves together as one they remained through time.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Old Yew, which graspest at the stones
That name the under-lying dead,
Thy fibres net the dreamless head,
Thy roots are wrapt about the bones.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Yew and Fairy Realm

imagesCABMGA34A tradition is current in Mathavarn, in the parish of Llanwrin, and the Cantref  of Cyfeillioc, concerning a certain wood called Ffridd yr Ywen or the Forest of the Yew.  It is so called on account of the so called magical yew tree that grows exactly in the middle of the forest.  Under the tree there is a fairy circle called The Dancing Place of the Goblin.  There are several fairy circles in the Forest of the Yew, but the one under the yew tree in the middle has the legend connected with it. 

Many years ago two farm hands with the names of Twm and Iago journeyed to do a days work in the Forest of the Yew.  It was early in the afternoon when the forest began to fill with a thick mist.  The mist was so thick and blocked the sun to the point the young men thought that the sun was beginning to set, thus they prepared to journey home.  When they came to yew tree in the center of the forest, the mist was no longer there and the light of the sun had once again returned. 
fairy realmBelieving it was now too early too venture home they decided to lie beneath the great Yew tree and take a nap.  In time, Twm woke to find that Iago was no longer slumbering with him beneath the great yew.  Concluding that Iago had probably awaken before him and started his way home, Twm did likewise, having no reason to think different. 
As morning came and Twm went to fetch Iago for the next days work, he was perplexed to find that he was not there.  In fact he had not been seen since the previous day.  Being asked by several on the whereabouts of Iago, Twm finally admitted to their adventure the day before and how they had fallen asleep inside the fairy circle which lie beneath the great yew in the center of the forest.  They searched for days throughout the forest and the country side yet no sign of Iago could be found. 
Still wondering on the whereabouts of his friend as well as the stories that circled about the odd happenings in the forest, Twm decided to seek the advice of gwr cyfarwydd (a conjuror).  The man gave to Twm this advice and stressed that he follow it exactly.
Go to the same place where you and Iago had napped.  Return exactly one year from the time that he was last seen.  Make sure that it is the same day of the year and the same time of the day, yet do not step foot inside the fairy ring.  Stand on the border of the fairy ring and he will return with the fae to dance around the circle.  When he is close enough, grab hold of his hand and snatch him from the circle.
Twm did just this and rightfully so, Iago and the fairies came out and began to dance around the fairy ring.  As he circled near Twm, his hand was grabbed and Twm pulled him out. When questioned about his whereabouts and his slimmer look, Iago gave no information.  He only remembered his nap beneath the tree the year before.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ancestral Connections–The Yew Fairy

yew fairy
As with the ancient Yew, the Yew fairy is likewise one of great wisdom.  She is the oldest of all tree spirits and thus her powers are the same.  Because she is said to carry such ancient wisdom, her message is often difficult to pass simply as mere words.  It is in the form of visions that she communicates with whom she chooses. 
In this manner she conveys a connection with the eternal as well as revealing an ancestral knowledge that may very well be long lost.  In doing so she often connects those of todays with those of years passed.  By being the conduit between two times,  something that may have been lost over the years can once again be regained in the child of today.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Yew–Tree of Eternity

Planet – Saturn and Pluto
Element – Earth and Water
Symbolism – Tree of Life, Immortality, Rebirth, Change, Reincarnation, Longevity
Metal  - Lead
Birds – Eagle and Hummingbird
Colors – Black and Dark Green
Fifth vowel and last letter of the Ogham Alphabet Idho
Represents  the Winter Solstice- December 21st – Yule

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

With Age Comes Wisdom

words of wisdomI often think back during situations of my lifetime to words of wisdom that were spoke to me.  I will admit that I do it much more often now that I have aged somewhat myself then I did when I was of a younger age.  I think that could be true for many of us.  At a young age we tend to turn our ears away from words spoken to us as a means to help guide us a bit more straight in life.  But then when one is young we are ready to conquer the world and we wish to do it in our own manner, learning our own lessons… right or wrong.  It is human nature I guess.
Yet through time we store those morsels of truth and guidance back in a corner of our minds.  As time progresses we are more apt to rummage through the old boxes and take them out again.  Many times we will even mount them and admire and live by them.  After of course we have learned from them.
It is usually the aged that silently sit back and watch the young do their thing.  A smile crosses over their face when no one is looking as they think back to a time they themselves were the same.  Some are graced with the ability to translate their message so that it may be listened to and possibly even acted upon.  Yet many know better than to speak up and offer a piece of their wisdom learned through the years. It is usually not until such relics have passed on that we realize the wonderful treasures that were hidden in their words.  Sadly too often it is not until then that we realize the worth of what they gave us and the loss of what we did not take.
yew tree at graveyardIt is believed that the Yew may very well be the oldest living tree.  Much of this belief is attributed to the manner in which it grows.  It can grow to great size.  Eventually through time it will begin to decay and start to hollow out.  Still determined and resilient a  new sprout will come forth from the soft compost of the decay allowing it to continue its existence. 
It is not just in this manner that it continues it life span.  Its branches also re root  and eventually will grow into trunks of new trees.  Because of this small new trees can be found around the area of the yew. If transplanted these trees will grow easily into new Yews themselves.  The prolific nature of the Yew can be found in many forms. Its continual manner of rebirthing itself makes it easy to see how it is associated with transformation and regeneration. 
phoenixI liken it to the phoenix.  Who through its fiery death will always come forth from the ashes and once again thrive.  Each time being more adept and capable to adapt to its surroundings and circumstances.  The yew allows nothing, save mere destruction, to end its cycle.  In truth even that may not be able to annihilate it.  It has survived for millions of years with evidence pointing it back to the Triassic era.  Translated to something most would understand, that is 200,000,000 years
Imagine the wisdom that such a life  could tell.  Living such a span of time and silently watching all that transpired around it.  The changes that came and went.  The secrets that were whispered beneath it as it stood and listened. The wonderful stories it could weave for us. The wonderful lessons it could teach.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Journey With the Yew

yew branch and berryI find it odd that in all my writings in regard to Celtic Tree Lore that I never dove deeper in to the incredible Yew.  Coming into my life last fall with such vigor, it made a point of gaining my attention.  Not in a quick manner, yet one which developed over time. Much like the Yew itself.

Morsel by morsel I learned of its beauty and wisdom.  Each time a piece was found I was eager to start searching for the next.  I eventually reached a point of almost craving its nourishment. Likewise a feeling of hunger would come if I waited too long to satisfy my cravings.  

ben and jettysDespite its warnings of toxicity in almost every manner, save its berry, I still could not keep myself from it.  It called me like that pint of Ben and Jerry's I keep hidden in the back of my freezer.  Knowing I should eat sparingly, yet finding it hard to control myself.
I promised to share some of my treats with friends and followers, thus here I am. I warn you though, a taste of such delicacies may capture your curious palate as well.  In the days to follow a morsel will be laid out for you.  Will you come casually at first, out of curiosity.  Only to find yourself waiting for the next plate to be set on the blogging table?  We will see.. My hope? You will do just that and when this series is complete you may find yourself missing your daily treat and even then yourself go and forage for your own tender morsels. 

Bon Appetit…..

Wednesday, May 1, 2013