Day of The Druid


By Stephen Cheney

This elfin wind tarries here,
it carries the scent of summer
to enrich the oak grove’s proud
and long lost youth.

In a silent sky float clouds
as fresh fallen white flowers
that sail away —
leaves undulating on cold river water.

Alone, adorning the hill,
above the wild wood,
a stag silent stands,
its antlers spreading the sky.
There it soaks up sun and reigns,
majestic in both pride and life.

Vast is the Oak,
Cast of the Earth,
its arms are its antlers,
its leaves are sculptured flowers,
and where with its strength
it cannot reach …
still;
it is alive
with dreaming …

Even the mountain wind
cannot blow out
the candelabra of stars beyond stars.
Even the Infinite Hollow,
the Empty Void, is unable
to drawback the fairy in each soul
that wants to light a halo around every atom.

(Image: Celtic Druid[Ed] - Celtic Life International)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society. © 2007-2018 Author(s) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]

Comments

  1. Stephen, thank you for this sample of beauty. As I read the poem, three words came to my mind: Merlin, Cernunnos and Beltane. You, my friend, are a wordsmith.

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  2. As a Jew I believe in Angels. Are there any connection between Angels and Fairies?

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    1. An interesting question Carla.
      Angels are messengers from heaven and are intimately tied to their religion and their God. They are found in other religions and their mystic’s experiences. They also have names of their own, has separate characters and conduct powerful activities on behalf of God.
      According to an unknown mystic circa 450 A.D., quoting earlier unknown works, there were nine rankings of beings above man and before GOD: namely Man, Angels, Archangels, Principalities, Powers, Virtues, Dominations, Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, God. Heaven, it seems, is a complexity of entities. The term “Angels” may refer to any of them as a general term.

      Hebrew “seraph” means “to burn” and the bright light from angel-like entities is well known. Refer to Moses and the Burning Bush of the Bible, burning without consummation; and Ezekiel’s report of entities from the sky having boots that emitted light. Also it relates to fiery serpents or lightening; refer to the lightening storm that met Moses. Refer also to the flying serpent, that is, the Dragon of Asian experience, with light or flame coming forth. Cherubim are storm entities serving the purposes of God when God is experienced through the presence of storms. One could say that the angels are visual representations or interpretations of God when God is himself absolutely beyond the limited visible window of the seeing that man uses. When angels are reported to give messages to men/women it is apparently without the limitations of spoken language, but through the understanding of all languages by direct telepathy to the mind. Their sound and their light being intimate and even being “seen” Within rather than outside of the mind of the receiver or mystic. Refer to the angels found in the Persian religion of Zoroaster; and the angels and Jinn in Islam.

      While angels are spirits that dwell in heaven, fairies are spirits that dwell on Earth and their Fairyland is also here. A form of a spirit. Term used in general for any spirit even gnomes, goblins, sprites and Scandinavian elves. Normally small, sometimes appearing in human form (usually female), sometimes as a light, such as the Will-O-the-Wisps in swamps or the bright Pearl in the clutches of a Dragon, as depicted in Asian art. Fairies are said to like humans, can protect a child in the woods, but they are characterized as being mischievous.

      The English word derives from Old French faierie, from Latin fata; also faerie or faery. The land of fairies is Fae, in English Fay. In ancient France, land then of Druids, a woman of the woods skilled in magic was termed to be Fay. Her powers were found in her knowledge of herbology; in knowing or assigning meaning to the forces of nature; and a recognition of the power of words over the minds of men. Words command the populace of nations. Commonly, to know the intimate name of an entity or thing gave you some sway over it. Being of intimate knowledge and understanding of an entity of cause did give you some sway over it. I knew a woman who was Fay, and it was a remarkable experience and awakening of possibilities. The Christian church chose to destroy all women of intimate paranormal abilities; they were condemned as witches, being a dangerous competition to church loyalties and understandings.

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    2. Stephen, I agree the Church persecuted women with paranormal abilities for the simple fact that they represented not only competition but mainly a challenge. Humans like their idols and they like to deify humans too, so imagine if the Church would allow these women to exercise their paranormal activities? Instead of worshiping Jesus - which ironically can be seen as idolatry as well - humans would worship the Witch.
      The Bible also instructs the Jews to burn those who practice divination and sorcery, why when in most of the cases it is a gift from G-d Himself? To avoid deifying humans, I'd say.
      Regarding Angels: there are Angels among us, on earth too. And then we have the Nephilim, don't we? But it would be interesting to know the interaction between the Malachim (Angels) and the Fairies on earth.

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    3. Cristina,
      Divination is predicting the future, if you know the future (for real) you would be god-like. Thus it is condemned; especially if this world is a testing ground for us all. There is a great thirst for knowing the future, as seen in the popularity of Astrology. Many seek a comfort and fear the unknown.

      Chartists working for brokers in the Stock Exchange use stats and formula to divine the future trends of stocks and shares. Their remarkable successes though, it is not well known do not come from their calculations but from insider information. Private knowledge of companies is used to buy and sell shares for profit, an advantage the public does not normally have (and it is illegal). To mask their lucky choices, speculators employ chartists to come up with any mathematical excuse that justifies the choices made, but this is done during or after the actual transaction in order to avoid detection and criminal proceedings.

      Sorcery as a term in common use mainly focuses on the evil activities of magic use. The politician is a modern sorcerer: weaving spells on people with the promise of words, words that deliver no good. Many are swooned and will vote for them again and again. The modern businessman can be a sorcerer: Issuing cheap products and masking them with the spell of advertising; false razzle-dazzle. Many are swayed and will buy, and buy again.

      You can use fire to cook food, or use fire to burn people. All forms of power of any kind can be misused, and it is the wielder of any power who has the responsibility of consequences. A knife is a tool, it is not evil; but the wilder of the knife can be god or evil. Evil pertains to mankind, especially in the human species’ treatment of others of the same species. Magic is simply science where the mechanisms are unknown or unclear. When it is finally known how something works, then the wonder of magic becomes the wisdom of science.

      So the biblical criticisms and penalties against a theological and moral background can be understandable. You can love a child or hurt a child. The angel or demon is in the doer. You don’t need a heaven or a hell when you can create either one here.

      From the Depths of the Unknowing: I would impart that it may be that Angels and Fairies do have an intimate relationship. Fairies may be the scouts of the angels; unobtrusive and hidden agile wisps that keeping tabs on the affairs of humans. And for that, angels, having too overwhelming and frightening a presence on any human mind (one cannot look clearly on the face of an angel, who often hide in a human-like form), protect and relate to fairies; just as angels are the messengers of God, fairies are the messengers of angels. Everything has a purpose. The burning bush was not a bush, nor burning.

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    4. Stephen,

      I don't believe in Astrology - as it accurracy is debatable - but I understand what you mean. Being g-d-like is exactly what G-d wanted to prevent when He told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge - but their curiosity and greed for knowing got the best of them. And that is basically the problem with Humans.

      "Many seek a comfort and fear the unknown." - yes, but seeing the future doesn't always provide comfort, not when the seer is honest at least.

      "Evil pertains to mankind, especially in the human species’ treatment of others of the same species." - agreed.

      Excellent explanation on the relationship between Angels and Fairies. Thank you. And yes, everything has a purpose.

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    5. Thank you Stephen for explaining. So you think the Seraphim were involved in passing the Message to Moshe (Moses)? Seraph means burning entity and the bush burned without consuming, do you think there's a connection there as Hashem having sent them to pass on His message to His servant?

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  3. Liked the comparison between the stag and the oak; they are two symbols of virility and reproduction. The antlers are like arms reaching out to God! We missed your poems, Stephen. Welcome back!

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  4. Hi Cheney,

    White flowers? Could this be a hint to a location? By finding the types of trees and shrubs that have white flowers, that are near oaks and rivers, we could get there?
    Needless to say that I loved it. Your poems have the ability to open our mind and vision, while warning us that there is something more than meets the eye :). Help a sister here, and let me know if I'm in the right track.

    Cheers and it's great to have you back

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    1. Hi Max,
      Well, on the surface, I am comparing white clouds in the currents of air to white flowers in the currents of a river. Of course, poetry, especially my poetry, contains multiple meanings on purpose. Language is richer; words are richer than their defining definitions. All Art expands the mind. One need look at the broader picture, such as “what is the topic?” the topic is the world-view of Druids, which is a part of my heritage.

      Fairies and white flowers, well, fairies are often like small balls of white light and the "flower" is but the small round white berries in the green leaves of mistletoe.

      Mistletoe with its green leaves and white berries lives on the stems of trees. The Druids were intrigued that the Mistletoe never had its roots into the ground, thus it was considered to be heavenly based. The Druids worshiped the oak tree and mistletoe often grows on the tree. In the ideology, from the Earth a bridge soars upward in the form of trees (trees are ever worshipers of the heavens and life-giving sunlight). Mistletoe sort of floats downward from heaven, so all meet as one. A bridge between heaven and Earth. Yggdrasil (dragon egg), the world tree that bridges the nine worlds (including ours) known to the Aesir god-like beings.

      Pliny the Elder, a Roman scholar, advises that Druids clad themselves in white (angels often appear in bright white robes), climbed oak trees and cut down the mistletoe with a golden sickle (However the mistletoe was always kept off the ground to never taint it with a touching to the Earth). The plant was made into potions for healing, for fertility, and also bad potions. What was made of mistletoe depended on the maker (the Doer determines).

      In Viking lore, all creatures were asked to not harm the Aesir Baldur, son of Frigga. The mistletoe however was not deemed to be of the Earth and was not asked. Loki the god of mischievousness and evil, made a dart of mistletoe wood and killed Baldur. Mistletoe can kill. However Baldur later came to life again. Mistletoe can heal. On the healing Frigga in gratitude declared that mistletoe had a spirit of love. The Druid tradition continues in modern times in festivities a fertility rite is conducted where mistletoe or a copy of it is hung up and lovers kiss beneath it. It is a symbol of the arch of heaven and the bridge to it. The Doer determines.

      From plants and herbs many drugs are made, some warp the mind into another world, but the price is high in that we may be permanently changed for the worse and enter another world, not only through hallucinations but through death. And we do not belong as ourselves in another world. We are here is this one to weave our own magic, love and healing: which is the purpose of life. We make our own bridge towards God. You do not need drugs to obtain a spiritual uplift: life and insight and wonder produce a spiritual uplift.

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    2. Cheney,

      Well, healing and killing by one single plant obeys the duality law: war/peace; light/darkness, construction/destruction etc. The opposites keep the balance of things.

      I agree that we don't need drugs to be spiritually uplifted; the same way we don't need to take drugs to dance and have fun. Unfortunately, many don't understand the power of the mind.

      So, your comparison between the white flowers on the river and the white clouds can be related to the image of the law of Hermes Trismegistus "As above so below"?

      Cheers

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    3. Well, Hermetic philosophy includes personally ascending up from this physical world. Hermes Trismegistus was credited with 42 sacred writings in the training of priests. 42 is a number associated with Hermes and is the number of Ancient Egyptian nomes or states that made up all of Egypt, so in those senses it is sacred.

      In his book (and film) "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams had the supercomputer Deep Thought calculate for millions of years to come up with the answer to the ultimate universal question "What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?" The answer came out as "42". That was Adam's made-up number.

      If one wants to seek meaning in the number 42 then it has been pointed out that:

      42 in binary is 101010. “1’s” and “0’s” being the basis of modern computer language. The angle at which light reflects off water to create a rainbow is 42 degrees; In Kabbalistic tradition, 42 is the number with which God creates the Universe. Also, Adams was a computer enthusiast: In some early programming languages, “42” was the numeric representation of the asterisk (*) symbol. In programming, the asterisk was frequently used as a placeholder symbol, and so could mean anything depending on what the programmers choose to replace it with. This seems to be the most likely explanation for the Adam's answer.
      42 also happens to be the magic constant of the smallest magic cube (it’s composed of number from 1 to 27). Also it is a number found in the Catalan sequence (it is the 5th such number; 5 also being in the sequence and relating to the magical Pentagram, the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci sequence). The Catalan sequence relates to many mathematical combinatorial problems. Problems that perhaps the ancients, such as the mathematical loving Babylonian priests, delved into.

      Hermes Trismegistus was a presumed builder of the Pyramids of Egypt, a presumed contemporary of Abraham, or even Moses, and is revered in Islam. He is associated with the prophet Idris. His papyri contain spells such as using herbs to place souls of angels into stone statues so that the statues could speak. Relating, perhaps are the 20 meter high Colossi of Memnon of Amenhotep III which are giant singing statues of ancient Luxor, Egypt.

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    4. Cheney,

      Hermes Trismegistus is also conoted with Enoch.

      Cheers

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  5. Mr Cheney, you are back! Druids are like our witch doctors, working in the forests, knowing the plants and the magic practises to heal us all. I think there are similarities between the druids and our healers in Africa. Thank you for this beautiful imagery, very well described.

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    1. Leila,
      Many of our modern medical drugs come from plants (Aspirin for instance); those of the forest who knew plants intimately were revered and feared for their powers of using nature to heal. Powers from out of the unknown, as the populace had not the same curiosity as Druids, and similar wisdom-seekers, to investigate, study and learn from the world that they were blessed to be in. The unknown is always presumed to be evil. But God is the greatest unknown.

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  6. "The empty void" I like this! Druids believe in the Dual g-d, right? I'm not sure how that works out exactly, I mean do they really believe in a god and goddess or do they believe in the female and masculine emanations of G-d? We Jews believe in the female and masculine emanations of Hashem, being the feminine one the Shechinah.

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    1. Ana,
      Hashem signifies the extreme power of words in enchantment such that powerful words should not even be spoken, such as God’s personal name.

      The Druids like the ancient Hebrews and many others before writing, were the story-tellers and reciters into memory of all the lore of their people; they were a bridge from the people, across nature, to God. There are still reciters and memorizers of holy books. Aristotle knew of the Druids, other scholars mentioned he had recorded them in his now lost book on magic. Julius Caesar said that they had "a firm belief in the indestructibility of the human soul, which, according to their belief, merely passes at death from one tenement to another".
      As to the feminine aspect of holiness, women could become Druids and were called a bandruí ("woman-druid").
      Your Shechinah means dwelling. The Tabernacle, mishkan, comes from the same root for dwelling-place (Psalms 132:5 till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob). That also brings to mind Shechem, which, it may be, has some relationship to the word Shechinah. Shechem was the chosen dwelling place of Jacob (Genesis 33:18). It was a most sacred city; where Abraham built his alter to God (Genesis 12:6-7). Who is it that tends to the dwelling and makes it a home? Woman-kind.

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  7. Wow, a poem generates this much debate? I'm impressed.
    Stephen, I truly enjoyed your poem as always though I'm not very big on Druids even though I like stories about King Arthur. It's a contradiction, I know. Thanks for sharing the images in your mind with all of us.

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