Rules … Lessons … Revelations

Devotional Diary : SHRINE  ~>

{My Devotional Diary is not quite an open blog, but nor is it a private Book of Shadows. For anyone who may come across it, there are not arguments designed to convince or define a form a worship beyond my own devotional practice. What is there is rather public witness to that practice which is informed by historical research, shared insights and such revelations as are provided for me. If you  find your way there perhaps it might be a revelation for you too?}

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Vigil for the Dark Moon after Samhain

Words spoken as part of my Dark Moon devotion to mark the passing of Rhiannon:

By Orion’s light
At the dark of the Moon
Now the hawthorn tree is bare

As the Hunter’s spoor is laid tonight
A shadow passes through the veil
Of Annwfn on a Grey Mare.

Rigantona, roses wither on your altar;
As winter falls across the land
I’ll keep your vigil here.

More detail in my Devotional Diary~>

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Elder Mother

 

{a continuation of Rhiannon’s Apples}

 

Elder Tree

Dark elderberries hang on twisted boughs
Unpicked and shrivelled,
Bare twigs twist to point the way
That turns upon itself a shadow veil
Shielding the world she is leaving behind
As she rides the grey mare
Fading to grey mist for a season
Seeking her fair form far away
Where he expects her, her shadow lord
Conjuring the woven ways
Through mists of his own making
Shaping a path through shapeless drifts
Each one receding through layers of world
Intricately dispersing
Wider to bring her to world’s end:
To not-world’s becoming.

…*…

Another watches her go as strewn leaves lie
On sodden forest floors
Bereft of shelter, mysteries
Of dappled green depth emptying.

Samahin Cover
Samhain Scene : from a cover for The Waxing Moon by Pat Blackmore


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Devotional Diary

I will be posting here a lot less often in the immediate future.

I have decided to switch my main  focus to an informal devotional diary rather than researched articles or discursive pieces, though these might still appear here occasionally.

Posts in my devotional diary will appear on The Horse Goddess site : http://rigantona.net

The first of them is about the annual brightening of the horse in my shrine for Rhiannon (as discussed in a recent post on this blog) and it can be found HERE=>

horse
Newly Painted Horse

For Rhiannon in February

altar with rose petals
Altar with Rose Petals

 

Bright days, cold streams, sun glittering on water
So I think of you far away in the Otherworld
Yet here too in our hearts.

Cloudy days, rain glistening on your altar
– the pale horse I have placed there for you –
So I think of you riding out of the mist:

Here ….. Not here
There ….. Not there
Seen ….. Not seen

But never forgotten.

Devotions

MERERID

Water seeps up through Earth,
Pools into a well or
Streams away from the source.

Here is the Chalice of Rosmerta
Never empty as you cup the flow
With generous hands.

It is sweet water
It is fragrant mead
It is all the world’s treasure

For us to taste
But not to hoard
For only in your cup is it held.

~*~

RIGANTONA

A horse glides like cloud
across the land, no sound
but an intake of breath

 

Held in suspense\par
of your coming, expectant
for the gift of Summer

Promised on each blossoming bough\par
of blackthorn … apple … hawthorn:
the scents of your coming, gathering

Strength each week, each day
of the springing year until
the splendid opening of the Rose.

 

Sacred Waters

IMG_0437

Mererid’s Well – her spring of waters
Remembered here to recall her story
Bearing the cup of the land’s memory.
 

Here too a stone from another spring:
Coventina’s Well, long lost and forgotten
Called back from the deep pool of oblivion.
 

Now two more stones for Belisama
From where the Ribble ripples over her bed,
To add to this altar to sacred waters.

IMG_0428

Notes:

  1. Mererid’s story is remembered HERE
  2. My visit to Coventina’s Well is described HERE
  3. The stones for Belisama were collected by Lorna Smithers and shared with myself and Lee Davies as part of a meeting to discuss the BRYTHON project. A BRYTHON  blog will ensue at Calan Mai.

 

 

 

 

Rhiannon

Rhiannon_aur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though you are absent, I feel your presence,
A space in the landscape where you would be,
An echo returning from this very place
In the Otherworld where you followed Pryderi.

Did he go there to claim his birthright
In the country you left to be with us here?
Did you follow to give him your blessing
Leaving only the wraith of a riderless mare

To haunt the borders between us and Annwn?
For now we live with your memories lingering
Like elusive  scents  from a summer that’s gone
Or the sounds of your birds so sweetly singing.

In the unwoven woods Manawydan awaits you
Keeping the keys for the expected day
To open the gates when you will come riding
On a shining white horse in bright array.

In the Third Branch of the Mabinogi tales Rhiannon follows Pryderi into an enchanted fort and they are carried off to the Otherworld. Manawydan eventually manages to bring them back. According to the plot of the medieval tale an enchantment has been cast over their land by an otherworld sorcerer and Manawydan also breaks that spell. But I have interpreted these plot mechanisms as a means to explain the comings and goings of Rhiannon – here and in an earlier tale – from the Otherworld, thereby emphasising the mythological aspects of the tales with devotional intent.

To leave a devotional message for Rhiannon visit her shrine HERE