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.
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
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 & Temple area of Caerwent Roman Town
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.
Mayday – the portals open –
Rhiannon rides across the land
Enchanting groves of birdsong
Where Mabon will play the Summer long.
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.
Palpitations at hoofbeats pounding - near or far? – at the limits of listening; Susurrations of birds singing;
A rider passing across borders of perception:
Close as the light of a distant star
(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.
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
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!