Monday, 28 January 2013

Spirits of the Land

On the latest OBOD PodCast  Kristoffer Hughes suggests that  honouring the British gods is essential to an animistic view of the world.  The myths and legends of this land tell us who to honour where.  It clarified something that I'd been doing but had been worried about - that when in Wales I honour Welsh gods.
But Kristoffer, in his inimitable engaging style, says that not only is this ok but is the right thing to do if you follow a path that honours the spirits of the land.
In Sussex, the land of the South Saxons, I work with the Anglo-Saxon spirits that I know and love.   In Wales I find out the local legends and honour those spirits when I am in that landscape, after all, it's only good manners to thank the hosts of the landscape you're in.  It does not mean you're untrue to your patron Gods but it's a Pagan thing to do this acknowledging other Gods and traditions whilst you are in their time and space.

Walking the land is essential to understand the spirits of the land and so in Wales knowledge of the local myths and legends is essential if you're travelling there.
Discovering new paths on the landscape is, for me, an essential Gewessi practice but also ties in with my Mountain Biking; I must write up the story of Afan Argoed, Gwynn ap Nudd and me.   Travelling the land invokes the Spirit of the Land who is the/a/one of the Goddess'.

The 3 Cauldrons are essential  to the practice of the Northern Tribes, as they belong to the Goddess' of the Land, and consist of :
Inspiration that nourishes and invigorates,   
Transformation that sustains our  energy, 
Examination or Testing that casts scorn upon our well laid plans.

The Cauldron of Inspiration is the knowledge seeking to find the myths & legends of the land.  The Cauldron of Transformation is invoked by physically going out and walking the land, it is the enquiry into the landscape.  Finally the landscape responds and often with a challenge; the Cauldron of Examination.  A great rainstorm, a heavy headwind or scorching heat have all been challenges the landscape has thrown me.  Often it means an initial attempt to travel to a particular place will fail.   I will return with my tail-between-my-legs, humbled by the landscape.
The benefits come when returning, wiser and more determined.  The spirits of the land then reward your efforts.

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