Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Cloak of Haws & The Keeper of The Cauldron

Samhain Blessings Everyone, seeing as I haven't wrote a blog for awhile I thought today would be a perfect time to tell you all about the story of how I met my patron Goddess and how she open my path to me.
Goddess Airmid
  I've always had a love of herbs & I decided that I wanted to pursue herbal medicine, I've always felt myself to be a healer & herbal medicine seem to resonate with me, so I started doing my research into herbal home remedies & came across and started watching their Youtube video, which lead to me to discover the wonderful Susun Weed who made me fall in love with herbs all over again, and my interested increased tenfold. It was as this point I decided to find a Goddess who would help me on my path of herbalism, I came across Airmid, The Irish Goddess of Wort Cunning (herbal knowledge) & Leechcraft (Herbal Medicine) I thought she was perfect! So I spoke to her in my prayers, dedicating any & all my herbal research to her & for the good of all, but no matter how many time I tried to speak to her or ask for guidance I felt nothing (being an Empath I've 'finally' figure out most of my messages & signs are felt) But I kept trying, at the time I didn't know what the presence of a deity 'felt' like.
My Sacred Centre
Goddess Cerridwen
   One night I was laying in bed listening to music; (I have a very active mind & some night it doesn't want to settle & music is one of the things that help me relax); So I'm finally beginning to relax when this song comes on. I begin to drift & a scene forms. I'm in my sacred centre, my little cabin in the woods by a stream (found that picture the other day, it's almost identical to my sacred centre) I decide to go gather some herbs from the surrounding forest, so I pick up my basket & boline and set off with my companion a white wolf called Airmid (she named after a character in a book of the same name as the Goddess, she's one of my Chakra Beasts which I will discuss in another blog) So we head off into the forest herb collecting as I go; what herbs I don't remember, mebbe vervain?; then I come across a cave, I've never seen this cave before, then again I don't tend to venture out when in my sacred space. I stand on the threshold & peer inside, there I find an old woman standing over a huge cauldron, she's dressed in purple robes the colour of violets & has long silver hair. She looks up & smiles at me, a welcoming smile like you'd get from a grandmother & she beckons me to come in. I step into the cave & look around, the walls are lined with animal skulls & bottles. Herbs are hung drying on the ceiling on the cave. She gestures for me to sit on a rocky out cove opposite the cauldron, I smiles sitting & Airmid the wolf sits on the ground beside me. I watch as this old woman add ingredients to the cauldron, she never speak only smiling at me every now & then. The it dawned on me that this woman is in fact the Goddess Cerridwen, Keeper of the Cauldron of Awen; her sacred white sow is laying on the floor beside her warming itself by the fire of the cauldron. After sometime Cerridwen gestures me to come over, so I rise and stand on the opposite side of the cauldron, she takes of my hands & holds them over the cauldron, I can feel the heat of the brew on my palms, it's warm & tickles;.I think a spell was spoken but I don't remember but when it was done she turned over my hands, on my left palm was a spiral & on the right a triquetra. I look up at her & she smiled warmly, I knew I had just been given a gift, I cannot tell how honoured I felt at that moment. I felt I had to give her something to thank her, so I gave her the herbs in my basket, I gave her my thanks & left the cave to return to my sacred centre.

Now Cerridwen isn't the kind of Goddess who just give you things easily, oh no, these symbols were a puzzle I had to figure out & it was from this point that my path began to open up to me. The first thing I really noticed after meeting Cerridwen was that everytime I did a meditation or visualisation I always saw myself in a red cloak, the red of hawthorn berries. This was strange to me, red is a colour I had never been drawn to but now I'm wearing this bright red hooded cloak and I have no idea why. I continued my researching in herbal medicine, learning some medical jargon, when & what time to harvest herbs, how to prepare them as medicines. You can imagine how please I was when I found out Susun Weed had wrote books, so I picked up her 'Wise Woman Herbal Healing Wise', I adore this book, in introduces you to common 'weeds' and tell you how you can use them as food & medicine. There is a section in the book that describes the three traditions of healing; Heroic, Scientific, and Wise Woman; This is what written on page 11..."The symbol of the Wise Woman tradition is a spiral.  A spiral is a cycle as it moves through time. A spiral is movement around and beyond a circle, always returning to itself, but never at exactly the same place. Spirals never repeat themselves. Spiral reminds us that life is movement, that each movement is unique, and that form is the essence of transformation"'s also mentions that the Wise Woman wear a cloak of red, who's thread bind us all...My jaw dropped & I was in awe, the spiral meant the Wise Woman Tradition, and it's such a beautiful tradition & I fell in love with it. 
Cloak of Haws
  Now the second symbol was tricky and I racked my brain for months trying to figure out the connection, I had gotten the spiral so quickly I eagerly wanted the know the second, I feverishly ask Cerridwen to give me hints & clues, but she wouldn't give anything away. The triquetra is a symbol I've loved for a long time, when I first saw it on Charmed I wanted it as a tattoo on the back of my neck (still do LoL), I am the oldest of my 3 sisters and thought this symbol perfect. When I got older the symbol, for some reason made me think of Druids, I've always loved Merlin (Sword in the Stone being my all time favourite Disney movie) It was actually Merlin & Druids that sparked my spirituality after reading Bernard Cornwall's Warlord Chronicles, and Manda Scott's Boudica Series both featuring druids. So along with herbal medicine I read alittle into Druidism, I was reading this book 'The Path of Druidry' it took me 2 years to finish as I kept picking it up & putting down as my interest waxed & waned, for some reason I found it hard work. Towards the end of the book is talks about the 3 grades of Druidism; Bards, Ovates, & Druids; straight away Ovates caught my interest, so I went over to OBOD and began to read up on Ovates, this made the penny drop...seering, healing, divination, communicating with the Greenworld (nature), Ogham, it as all there, everything I was studying was there. I cannot tell you how crazy happy I was in that moment. I began reflect on everything that bought me to this point, my favourite character in the Boudica series was a woman named Airmid, she was a dreamer, my mother told me she believed me to be like the dreamers, I have very vivid lucid dreams, I always have for as long as I can remember and often dream of the future. It dawned on me that a dreamer was another name for an Ovate. The first time I discovered Ogham was in a game my mother was playing, I help her translate ogham fews, and I was good at it, and it was from then on that I looked into Ogham & found out it was an oracular and that it resonated with me & of course the icing on the cake was that Ovate were the healers & they practised herbal medicine. I was beaming, I still am, this amazing Goddess gave me so much with only 2 little symbols, it was from then on that I named her as my patron Goddess & I love her dearly (I call her Grandmother Cerridwen), I feel her when I talk to her & she comforts me then I'm upset, I'm so grateful for her & will honour her for all of my days~

With Love & Light

Green Blessings 

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