Impressions on coming of Age * Rite of Passage * Merlin´s Prophecy * The Star Sirius and the Dogon – in Wales
Impressions on coming of Age.O
ur journey to Wales took us to the heartland of the mountains in the North of the country. This was a reunion for our family, my two daughters and son, the girl´s two partners and I. We were returning to Cae Mabon, an eco-retreat centre visited some years before with fond memories of the magical environment where mountains meet ancient oak forest, rushing white waters flow into the lake beneath the foothills that lead to Mount Snowdon, “Yr Wyddfa”, one meaning of which is ‘The Knowing One’. This peak is the highest mountain of the land and as in many nations, the highest is said to be sacred. With white cap beneath misty cloud and blue sky, it is easy to know why.
“Cae” means “fields” and “Mabon” refers to the “fields of the Great Son of the Great Mother”, the translation of Mabon son of Modron from the old book of the Mabinogion, can also mean “Divine Youth” which hints at the Ancient Sun God that inspired the esoteric landscape of Britain and Europe – otherwise known as Herakles or Hercules.
Cae Mabon provides a focal point for a flowering of living green spirituality rooted in practical human values and sustainable activities. One is almost overwhelmed by the intensity of elemental energies that soar through the senses here. In this setting there are beautiful traditional buildings including an original Celtic Hogan, a thatched and carved Round-house where gatherings take place around the central fire.
Our visit coincided with a Spring Working Party week. In exchange for food and accommodation, we would join with up to 40 people including children from all over as an extended family and indeed be working quite hard on building, renovating, and preparing the centre for the seasonal activities to come. A great sense of community amidst purposeful creativity, deeply inspired by the living nature all around that evokes legends and fires the imagination.
My son is a bright, soft hearted lad of 18 years. Typical of his generation growing up on an island society, a microcosm of the UK, a society that seems to have lost its culture and human roots in an intensity of material preoccupation. In this society the lure of drugs and street fighting easily takes over with no creative outlets out of which young minds are damaged and by which one observes a distressing disturbance in the psychology of our kind. It is playing out in the national psyche and media, with daily horror stories destroying the people´s faith in such provisions of essential services and eroding the moral sense that makes us human at all. When the integrity of the home is eroded and the last resort of law falls to the police, the Establishment becomes the parent of the people. There is a vacuum in our society that must be filled, a prelude perhaps of a sea change to come?
As an adult I often felt like a child in an adult´s body. Surprisingly when others of my generation are invited to share about this, it is a common feeling; children bringing up children. The wonderful extended family at Cae Mabon could see this and respond. Before long the idea of a “rite of passage” took shape. An Elder took my son and I aside and spoke a great deal of practical sense and wisdom to us. The boy would become a man, responsible for his own life and by his own means. The father would become a parent and guide. It was decided that we would jump into the Llyn Padern Lake fed by the waters of Elidir Fawr, the Northern most peak. Once father and son had agreed to this, a few other boys and apprentice dads joined the small precession where we would catch our breath down there in that breath taking lake.
“instant hyperthermia”! Sunny, my son cried out. More than cold and refreshing! Upon our return and to further mark the moment, the women cheered our return. We all felt the significance, a beginning for further changes to come.
Gathered around the fire in the centre of the Round House, we were invited to share our visions and experiences. Many of those present are involved in significant projects and brought together a group´s view of some of the challenges and changes happening on Earth. Eric Madden is a story teller in the Bardic tradition and the owner/founder of Cae Mabon. Unusually he chose to finish the round by sharing the following, a prophecy from a legendary master whose imprint on the culture of these islands rings like a bell ´till this day from beyond where common senses reach. The words he spoke came alive in a startling way.
“The story about Dinas Emrys (name means ‘City of the Immortal’) tells of a fugitive king trying to build a tower that kept collapsing. A fatherless boy was sought for sacrifice to make the walls stand firm. Such a one was found in Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen) and brought north. But this lad was none other than the young Merlin (Myrddin) and he had ‘the sight’. He could see that dragons, symbolic of power in the land, were causing the disturbance. After the dragons – one red (symbolising the indigenous people), one white (symbolising the Saxon invader) – were released from their captivity inside the hill, the young Merlin made his first great prophecy, a prophecy that still, to this day, seems to be coming true …
“Though the Goddess be forgotten
There will come a time of plenty
When the soil will be fruitful beyond man’s need.
The Fatted Boar will proffer food and drink.
The Hedgehog will hide his apples in London.
Underground passages will be made beneath the city.
Stones will speak; the sea to France will shrink
And the secrets of the deep will be revealed.
But, beware the Ass of Complacency,
Swift against goldsmiths, slow against ravenous wolves.
Oak trees shall burn and acorns grow on lime trees.
The Severn River will flow out through seven mouths.
Fish will die in the heat and from them serpents will be born.
And the health giving waters at Bath shall breed death
Then root and branch shall change place,
And the newness of the thing shall seem a miracle.
At last the healing maiden will return, her footsteps bursting into flame.
She will weep tears of compassion for the people of the land,
Dry up polluted rivers with her breath,
Carry the forest in her right hand, the city in her left,
And nourish the creatures of the deep.
With her blessing
Man will become like God
Waking as if from a dream:
Heart open and filled with light,
Radiant face, glowing like the rising sun,
Shining eyes, like twin silver moons,
Radiant ears, shimmering with song,
Shining lips, that dance over words,
Words of magic that burst into the air becoming swallows.
The soul shall walk out; the mind of fire shall burn.
And in the twinkling of an eye The dust of the ancients shall be restored.”
Naba Iritah is a young teacher, lecturer, spiritual activist, priest and healer of the Dogon bloodline.
During our stay at Cae Mabon, Naba and his group of 12, shared a spiritual ceremony from their tribal tradition. In such moments it was difficult to know if one is in Africa or in Britain. Naba is one of the new tribal teachers who have chosen to come forth to share a glimpse into original knowledge given to the humans by the gods of the ancient world. His was also an extended family group. The two young boys who were already initiated into Naba´s teaching, gave us stunning break dance demonstrations as well as extraordinary words of practical wisdom in their turn of the sharings.
During their stay I learned that their hieroglyphic language is still spoken, the language of ancient Egypt is still alive. The Dogon speak “Medu Myeet”, whereas “Medu Netter” is a language spoken only by the gods. The Dogon maintain their culture through adherence to a Sidereal Calendar, principally a Solar rhythm aligned with the Star Sirius.
The ceremony they shared was literally out of this world and consisted of invoking the powers of the Netters, the gods, through mantras, mudras and chants. Here we were, in Wales, behind the mountains that protected this land from the islands of Britain as a whole, connecting to Sirius, that has linked to our planetary heart so long ago.
For the people of the Cymry, North Wales forms a chalice. Somehow one senses it links through to London and to the Four Nations (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales) via lines of clear sight. We know that Britain is further linked with Russia and the USA, and via USA, all humanity is linked to the Stars.
During the night a black dog appeared in the doorway. I felt it was no common dog, was it Anubis perhaps, a guardian to the under world?
In touching the land and original teachings through a reunion of family one is left with the impression of witnessing greater powers at work, endeavouring to interpret through human senses some part of a greater change and transition. A Rite of Passage marks a moment for boys and girls to become empowered men and women. Ceremony, teaching and heart sharings between people are modes of communication that can empower our communities and nations. This transition is one of internalising wholeness, the power to be human at ever progressing stages of our life´s journey as a people. As a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis there is a moment when it is neither one or the other, and then who knows what it will become but change it must.
Sundancer dancing to the light
You give your whole being
To open up our sight
So we can see the visionary landscape unfold
And we can dance through the gap between the worlds
One of the beautiful morning songs we sang, written and played for us by Eric Maddern.
(click on images to enlarge)