NEMETON

MidWinter Vigils

Rigantona rides through winding paths in forests of Annwn
far away, yet Rhiannon’s shadow haunts the empty woodlands here;

Epona retreats to the deeps of the worlds as the Sun sinks low in her arms;

There is mystery in identity and these are propositions that shift
in the darkness of Midwinter;

Here, in the Nemeton, the meaning is clear
as questions dissolve in her presence:

The image of her riding,
The sense of her dwelling,
The gathering dark as a candle flame flickers,
The hope that is held in the glimmering light,
that it will be re-born;


Brigid guards the hearth-fire
to release the ice-locks
from her silver streams
on a bright day
beyond this silent night.

Questions in the Nemeton

DulasFalls
FFYNNONE : In Cwm Cuch, in local legend the portal to and from Annwn

Who watches the Portal?
“I and Not-I”, answered Manawydan
“We guard the way,
The comings and goings
Through the Limina”.

Who keeps the Nemeton?
“I am the Guardian”, whispered Mererid
“She is the Spring,
The rising and falling
Of otherworld waters”.

Who holds the Cup?
“My hands contain it”, confided Rosmerta
“The Mead of Blessing
For all who pass, gifted
With the sovereignty of vision”.

Who rides through the gates?
“I am here and not-here”, declared Rhiannon
“Like the song of my birds on the air
Are my horse’s hoof-beats
Making Time out of Not-Time”.

Who plays the Harp?
“My skilful fingers”, chanted Mabon
“They pluck the strings
Shaping the Music of Being,
Enchanting the worlds with song”.


If you seek further counsel there might be a hint towards understanding HERE~>

In the Nemeton with Manawydan

Detail from Manawydan’s Glass Door by David Jones

I’ll draw a ship to take me
To the Otherworld, its sails
And ropes of gossamer shining
As we go through the far waves
Where Rhiannon’s birds call voyagers
To a distant island, near as a heartbeat.
Away in clear view as vision shifts landward
In the blink of an eye over the shifting sea.

It is Manawydan who watches the plough
Of the prow from flickering candlelight
In the shadows of the portal he guards,
Watching the coming and going through
The Limina, waiting for time’s flow to ebb
When he will open the door of return.


For more detail on Manawydan as a Gatekeeper see this post on AWENYDD~>

Temenos/Nemeton

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TEMENOS & Temple area of Caerwent Roman Town

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It is a place set aside, made over,
where two worlds touch
as one acknowledges the other.

  To go there is to dwell
for a moment that never passes
but contains time out of time.

It is a locus of worship
in visionary space
built and enclosed,

In a room, in a garden,
or in the mind
where Rhiannon lifts her veil.

There is revelation, enchantment
when she rides through forests fair
and so here where the song

Of her birds is clear far out
over a singing sea, yet close:
encompassed in liminal space.

Water Avens

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Geum rivale

I grew this, in dedication
by my garden altar,
sewing the seed
by the welling water
of Mererid’s spring
keeping the pot wetter
than I would
for any other.

The first year
there was no flower
but I tended the leaves
on into the winter
and now, with the spring
the petals of liminal colour
bide their time to open
but are suddenly here, brighter

In the mind than it would seem
from their contained power.
So I wait upon them,
each new flower
as it comes, finding a way
to be itself far from any lake or river:
A testament to a sacred space
where things are placed to be made over.

Bride’s Well

(Coed Tan yr Allt – a hidden place)

In these woods there is a place where water
Wells to a still pool in a cleft of rock
Like crystal, in which a sibyl might augur.

To enter is to inhabit a stillness as complete
And consistent as the cool water that ponds there
Beyond the ferns that arch from the steep

Rock face of the entrance to the cave.
Looking intensely at the face of the waters
No prophecy came but that I would engrave

This image on the stone of memory
And it would remain with me always
Welling in the mind’s pool, constantly

Bringing a blessing of Bride’s healing springs
And the tranquility such remembrance brings.

Mari Lwyd

To celebrate Old New Year (13 January) the Mari Lwyd came to the Prom in Aberystwyth.

Sang the songs in the traditional dialect versions:

Wel dyma ni’n dwad

Gyfeillion diniwad

I ofyn cawn gennad i ganu …

(Here we come, innocent friends, to ask if we can sing …)

Then watched the starlings settling under the pier at sunset,

Before a disorderly parade through the town

Culminating at the Clock Tower for more music and song

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

YULETIDE

epona-beasts

Eponalia: 18 Dec. in the Roman  Calendar
Epona on the shadow paths as dwindling daylight
fades to longest nights before and after Solstice.
These are the paths of transformation, of renewal
Solstice =
‘Still Sun’

as light shifts slowly from the stillness;
Epona opens the way along the paths
to another cycle of time, another year
Day length hardly moves at solstices, for light to grow, for green leaves to burst
from buds on every bough, from seeds
yet to break through sodden soil and spring

but changes quickly at equinoxes. brightly into life again –
Bidden out of the dark below
by the light of the risen sun.