WHERE THERE'S A WILL....THERE'S A RAVEN!

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I am an Ordained Minister, a Shaman, a Reiki Master Teacher, an Aromatherapist, a Massage Therapist, an Herbalist in training, & a Crystal Healer in training! I am also a Writer! I am one of the Neo- Celí Dé (a form of Celtic christian mysticism based on original early Christianity, & certain Celtic philosophies, perspectives, & certain Druidic elements). I am also a proud member of Clan MacKay. NO PARTIES, JUST PATRIOTISM!

These are a few of my favorite things!;

  • The Harry Potter series! both the movies and the books by J.K. Rowling!
  • Twilight book saga, and movie series by Stephanie Meyer's!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Celtic Cosmology of Spirit-Hand Volume 1, in 3 parts: Part 1





The Celtic Cosmology of Spirit-Hand Volume 1, in 3 parts;

The Celtic Cosmology part 1;
as interpreted by  Rev. Lucien  O'Corvi;

The Cletic Druidic Circles of Being:
also as interpreted by Rev. Lucien E. L. O'Corvi of The Clan MacKay;




There is much speculation on the circles of being, what they are, and what they mean. There is no way to know for certain how our Celtic ancestors felt and thought about the terms that I will present here. However it is possible we can make educated guesses. While I have respect for those practicing modern druidism I disagree with the way many of them have chosen to interpret certain words. I disagree because what we know historically doesn’t match up to modern interpretation and there is much mixing of very different cultures within the Celtic world, but also much mixing of eastern and western philosophies which sometimes are in reality the polar opposites of each other. So I see these things differently because of stories that have been passed down in the Celtic world. Most of the stories we have stem from two major sources Irish Mythology, and Welsh Mythology. It is through studying the mythos of a culture that one can begin to understand the prevailing underlying beliefs of that culture. I also recognize and admit this information for me is filtered through my own religious and cultural and historical beliefs as a human being. This can not really be helped with any human being. We see and understand things through the perspectives we see and understand and through our own world views.









With the Druids there are four essential terms that must be understood if one hopes to truly make a connection with the historical druid ancestors. These terms have been passed down from antiquity some of them perhaps having their linguistic origins there. As I said, I disagree with how many modern druids interpret these concepts. This is only to be expected for three reasons. The first is the one mentioned earlier, historical data, the second is because I am a Christian and that tends to color every aspect of my life as it should lol, and the third is because I what I have experienced and been taught of the spiritual realms personally. So I have redefined these terms to be more correct and in keeping with the realms of Spirit as I have encountered and interacted with them.


The first term is the term ANNWN pronounced AH-NOON. Despite modern popular belief Annwn in the stories is not the Celtic underworld, but rather the Celtic other world. We can from certain stories speculate very reasonably, that the druids of ancient times did believe in a type of dark underworld, however it is unclear if any name was given to this realm other than to call it an underworld or a dark world. There are historical sources that seem to suggest that one possible name for the underworld is antumnos or ande-dubnos which literally means underworld. In modern Neo-Druidic, thought these terms all become one in the same. I think this assumes a great deal we don’t have a right to assume and seems to mix too much of the Norse cultural outlook with the Irish, and Welsh cultures. Dark in this case doesn’t mean evil. It didn’t refer to spiritual darkness or evil, but rather literal darkness. It was a realm where both good and bad spirits dwelled. Some of the spirits were probably thought to be the gods of chaos and primality. They may have believed many of these spirits to in fact be bad nor negative in some way. However there were also primal ancient beings, who were powerful and wise teachers to be found in underworld journeys. It is possible that they believed a soul after dying would take a brief respite in the underworld before waiting to be reborn or reincarnated but this is unclear. They could have just as easily believed that the soul would transition from form to form immediately upon departing a body; this is anyone’s guess. We know from the myths, the druids believed that a soul might become anything and everything, some may have believed however that once it reached the state of being human it would never become anything less than, it would only stay the same until lessons were learned or it would go on to become more. This is how the Indo-European concept of reincarnation would differ from the eastern Hindu ideas. However it is also possible that some believed like the Hindu’s that immoral behavior in life would lead to punishment by reverting to a less evolved form of some sort. We have no real way of Knowing anything past that they did believe in reincarnation by all accounts and that a soul started out as some form of life that was less conscious that human beings. One historical song speaks of a soul starting out as a plant, then entering a series of transformations as animals of different kinds, until finally becoming a man. Having said all of this, Annwn was not this underworld but a parallel world that was an in-between realm; between the realm of spirit and the realm of the physical world. Today in many traditions Annwn has become synonymous with the concepts of Avalon, Tir Non Og, and in Christian terms The Veil; a wonderful mysterious place often seen as a holy island where fantastic things happened and where fairies dwelled; a realm of spiritual priests and priestesses. Avalon is what can be understood as the Holiest point in the veil between the worlds. This veil permeates through and is superimposed over all worlds. So Annwn becomes then, the bridge that travels through all places, realms, realities, and plains. In my tradition this is where Angels, Elementals (Fairies), and Totem animals live. It is also then the realm of The Guf or the hall of souls from the Hebrew tradition, where a soul waits to be born into the world, or reborn into the world as the case may be. It is here then that souls which leave this world (and go to the light of heaven briefly for a life review or judgment) goes before being reincarnated or allowed to stay permanently in Gwenfydd or Heaven.

Then we have the realm of ABRED pronounced AWE-BREAD. This is the realm of the physical world. Abred has within it both good and evil. Evil is called Cydtraul (Cythraul) in the welsh druid tradition. It is the principal of destruction; sin and death, which opposes God and all goodness. In modern times people have made this term synonymous with the devil, but this is as I said a modern notion rather than a historical precedent. The ancient celts obviously did not believe in a devil figure, or if they did gave him no credence as mattering all that much. Cydtraul is destined to be ripped out of Abred altogether in the end according to my belief system. Abred, Gwynfydd, and Annwn shall all merge and unify becoming one with the realm eternal from the Christian view point. In Judaeo-Christian terms this is what is called The New Jerusalem or Eternal Heaven (where heaven and earth and the veil join).

Then we have the GWYNFYDD pronounced GWIN-VUTH which is the realm of Spirit, or Heaven if you will. A place often referred to as the bright realm. In my tradition this is where the saints and ascended masters live. This is the place of light that humans try to reach in many traditions after death and life is seen as a purgatory to test us, refine us, and to teach us; in order that we may become worthy of attaining entrance into this place. This is the realm of the ancestors in many traditions, and souls that had found their way to the great light. This is often in the myths referred to as the summer lands.

Then we have the realm of CEUGANT pronounced KI-GANT or K-EYE-GAUNT. This is The Realm Eternal, or the realm of the utter Divine, or the realm of God. In Christian terms this would be both the throne room of heaven and the place beyond creation where there is nothing but pure God. It can be seen as an extension or the highest level of gwynfydd. It’s light feeds the light of Gwynfydd and the energy of Annwn. It’s life feeds the existence of Abred. This could, and has been called, the realm of God alone. In many traditions mine included, the entirety of the universe (The Nine dimensions) and all its parallel realities and plains of existence, all exist within The Divine. Nothing exists outside of God. We are all within God. It has been described thus; "the circle of the inclosing circumference, that is, the perfect rim that bounds the entire space of existence".


The last essential term that needs to be understood here is the word AWEN pronounced AWE-WIN. This is the divine flowing spirit which inspires all creation. It is an entire belief system in one word, much like the concept shown in the Hindu Om (aum). It is a force that can be utilized, tapped into, and wielded. It also also a gift that is given by The Divine to humanity. It can be likened to the Christian concept of Grace. It is an energy, that the race in mythology human beings call muses, use in order to spread inspiration. It is one in the same with the Irish IMBAS pronounced EM-US or EM-OSS though in some dialect cases I understand the b is pronounced and sometimes like a v, so it would be EM-BUS or EM-VUS. It has been called the divine spark or seed of inspiration, as well as being referred to in ancient Irish philosophy as “The Fire in the Head”. The word is said to be comprised of two parts AW meaning Fluid or Flowing, and EN meaning Spirit (in this case spirit as energy of and from Spirit). So the full true meaning as opposed to simple linguistic translation could be understood as “The Divine Flowing Spirit that Inspires all existence and brings The Fire in The Head”.

In my tradition Awen or Imbas can also be Arranged and moved in order to cause it to flow differently; like as can be seen in the healing practices of Reiki and also as in the Oriental Household traditions of Feng Shui with the idea of Chi. In my tradition we say Arranging the Awen or ag socrú an awen (Og-so-crew-awn-awe-win; though I guess if one wanted to use all Irish words it might be ag socrú an imbas (og-so-crew-an-em-oss) but I am not totally certain of this. When I asked to have some Irish translators on an online forum translate this phrase they had a hard time because of my use of the welsh word Awen with the Irish words ag socrú an. It is only natural that this was difficult to translate. First of all they were two separate celtic languages, and secondly there are really no modern Irish words equivalent to the ancient words Awen, and Imbas. Awen in modern welsh has been dumbed down to mean simply common inspiration without any spiritual meaning attached. Likewise in modern welsh the all too appropriate celtic term that can be used for shamans in the old welsh “Awenyddin” (pronounced Awe-win-ith-in) has been dumbed down from “Inspired Ones” with all the spiritual implications of those words to simply mean muses or ones who bring inspiration (the singular form would be Awenydd pronounced awe-win-ith). It would appear we have a lot to learn from our ancestors about the important essential power of words. I chose to use the Irish with the welsh for my tradition because the word Awen is much more common, and more widely known than the word Imbas. It also holds far more personal meaning for me. Also I try honor the Irish part of my heritage more than any other for personal reasons hence the rest of the phrase being in Irish. However either word is correct to use because they are in fact one in the same in meaning. Arranging The Awen is a similar practice to Feng Shui in my tradition. Much like the Hindu’s have their Vastu shastra. Almost every culture has these house hold traditions and it annoyed me that these house hold traditions in my culture didn’t have a categorizing name. So for my tradition I made one for them with the help of the afore mentioned translators lol.  
It is also interesting to note that the modern Irish word for Inspiration contains the word spirit; Inspioráide (inspiration), spioráid (Spirit). This fact at least says something good for modern language lol. It harkens back to the understanding of the ancient word Imbas. The modern word would suggest the meaning of inspiration means “In-Spirit” which is only right and correct.


 


This Diagram that I made using an art piece I found on-line long ago shows this model of the universe as I see it.
The black circle encompassing the picture represent the real of ceugant.
Everything that is white represent pure God.
The black around the edges represent my belief that there is nothing outside of God; beyond Ceugant nothing exists but God alone.
You will see a series of three concentric circles at the top of the image.
The Blue circle represents the realm of Annwn.
The Green circle represents the realm of Abred.
The Violet circle represents Gwynfydd.

The Three Rays coming down represent The Awen.

The three cauldrons represent three actual power points in the human body, slightly associated with the chakra system. The belief in these three energetic power points or Three Cauldrons as they are called is an ancient Celtic shamanic belief that is documented in historical poetry.

I don’t know how the artist of the original art piece intended the meaning of the animals on the cauldron, but to me the salmon represents wisdom making that vessel the cauldron of Knowledge or coire sois, The Stag can represent power combined with intellect and so that vessel is to me the cauldron of Vocation or coire ernmae, The Boar can represent Strength and Drive and so that vessel represents the cauldron of warming or coire goiriath.

The three small violet dots to me represent how The Awen fills each Cauldron with the Divine light of Gwynfydd that comes from Ceugant.

Often I visualize this as a single unified circle or source; 

(My Awen Symbol)



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This is the well known symbol for the Awen as used by most druids today;




To me this doesn’t represent the same thing as it does to most modern druids. Instead of seeing this as a model of the source of Awen with a cosmological chart; it instead represents to me, how a human being wields the Awen and projects it, flowing out from them and into the world. Modern Druids would say that the three dots represent the three circles of being, where as to me they represent the three cauldrons, and the outer circle represents God who is the source of The Awen.

                  

     


There are the three cauldrons of Celtic shamanism which work with and are apart of the chakra system. The three cauldrons are three energy points or small chakras. There is the point to where the crown chakra and the brow chakra intersect and actually become part of each-other forming the vesica Pisces (two intersecting circles which form the yoni or the icthus (Christian fish) in the middle). This point is a small chakra all its own! I call it after the first of the Celtic cauldrons. It is the coire sois or the cauldron of knowledge. These are not chakras in the traditional sense! They are not one of the spheres of energy! It is a point however where two chakras connect and there is an entire databank that can be taped here and may need healing attention! The point where you tap the coire sois is usually taped where some people have what is called a widows peak, usually about an inch and a half above the third eye! The cauldron of knowledge is the point where all of the information we receive from the higher realms is filtered down and interpreted in our consciousness.
Next there is the coire ernmae. This is the cauldron of vocation, sometimes called the cauldron of power. Here two major chakras intersect and within each of these spheres there are minor chakras. So, you have four chakras interconnecting. There is the heart chakra, the turquoise or aqua thymus chakra, the lime green diaphragm chakra, and the solar plexus chakra. Between the thymus and the diaphragm chakras is a point where the heart and solar plexus chakras interconnect and this is the coire ernmae! This is the point where the information about our deepest innermost desires and passion in life are filtered down from our mind and heart into the physical knowledge bank of the body, giving us the drive to fulfill them! This is also the point where they are stored and can be taped into.
Following this there is the coire goiriath, the cauldron of warming! This is located where the womb chakra and the root chakra intersect. This is the point where information regarding physical health, vitality, and certain aspects of creativity are stored. It is also the point to where information regarding our cultural upbringing is stored! All of those parts of culture, from the societal information located in the root chakra can be accessed here!
So we have spiritual and mental health with the first cauldron, mental and emotional health with the second cauldron, and emotional and physical health with the last cauldron!
  
Cauldron toning;
 a celtic shamanic technique like Chakra Toning which tones the three power points called the three cauldrons: a as in awe, I (ee) as in key, and o(h) as in home. A is the masculine energy, I is the unified balanced neutral energy, and o is the feminine energy, these sounds not only represent the three cauldrons, but also the three rays of God’s Awen. It is said no one without Awen from God can pronounce these three  vowles.   

Stones associated with the three cauldrons in my tradition;
1st cauldron of knowledge: iolite, blue moonstone 
2nd cauldron of vocation: fluorite 
3rd cauldron of warming: tigers eye

There is the Hara, and the kundalini which exists as a three in one chakra unit; in conjunction with the womb chakra. I call these the body’s circles of being.

………   






   This well Known symbol called the Triskili (or Triskele) or The TriDidon (Triple swirl) represents to me the Karmic journey or evolutionary journey of a soul. The different swirls represent the many different incarnations of the soul into abred, but also represents how a soul originates in Annwn, enters Abred for it evolutionary number of cycles, and then finally becoming evolved and entering into Gwynfydd to become reconciled with Ceugant and God (Or in the case of souls who refuse to evolve and want nothing to do with God…going to the realm of hell). It can also represent the three stages of life for a man or woman. In the man's case; Lad, Father, Magi. In the woman's case; Maiden, Mother, Crone. I once asked a priestess about people who never became parents and she told me that every person parents something in their life. Sometimes it is a pet or a plant. Sometimes it is a teacher with a student. Sometimes it is ones own life, or even a work of art in cases of artists. Every soul goes through all three stages in each life. She went on to further educate me that in the days when people lived in villages, that at a certain age whether or not one had physical offspring, one was considered a village mother or father.

The single spiral represents the feminine energies, the mysteries, entrance into the otherworld, and also the sun. So the triple spiral could be seen as a triple solar symbol which would sometimes but not always be viewed as a masculine symbol. However in my tradition the triskili is more in-tune with the feminine energies and mysteries while the Triscal is more in keeping with the masculine energies.









 



Single Spiral: The Didon or daidon, often representing the sun in Celtic history, and also the mysteries and the entrance to the other world. usually but not always this is seen as a feminine symbol unless being utilized as a solar symbol which could be either or neither feminine and or masculine:







…..







  This symbol called the Triscal represents to me all the triplicities of life;                 

Life, Healing, Protection / The Three Circles of being infused with the Awen as well as the three realms of Abred; Earth, Sea, and Sky (Fire, like spirit was considered the essence or substance that held all things together; in a way fire was seen as a manifestation of spirit) / Maiden, Mother, Crone / Lad, Father, Magi / God the Father, God Christ the Son, and God the Holy Spirit our Mother (The Holy Christian Trinity) / Life, Death, Rebirth / Body, Mind and Spirit which are bridged by the heart in the center / so on and so forth etc…






























…..   






 This symbol called the Triskilion or Triskelion;

The Triskelion is the Triscal and Triskili combined to form an entire cosmological depiction; of the flowing evolutionary cyclical process of everything previously written about. In a way all these symbols involving three could represent God and all life; Creator and creation in perfect ecstatic harmony in one way; or at least a harmony that allows creation suffering and hard lessons to evolve us. So this represents the full mysteries of Life, Spirit, and The Divine. This is a very auspicious symbol. The energy of this symbol is neither and both masculine and feminine, referred to as a unified neutral. This symbol is if you will, an entire cosmology or cosmological map of the universe (or all existence or creation), much like many of the mandalas of the east.



















   






.......      


There are other symbols containing three….the examples are numerous but here are two;

The Triquetra or Trinity Knot;






     This symbol speaks to the ancient belief that The Divine has a triplicty to its nature. It is one being with three aspects (In Christian terms The Holy Trinity, in pagan terms the three fold god's (or goddesses). It can also represent something in life that has three aspects conjoined in one thing; for example Mother, Father, Child makes a family, and so forth. It is a unified neutral.




Here we see the Trinity Knot and Triscal combined:


 


















this symbol implies an aggressive form of divine protection, and also other forms of fierce protection; as in a mother protecting her child, a bear protecting her cub, or a warrior protecting what he is fighting for. in my tradition it is called the Trin-Triscal. Commonly amongst Norse people especially those who are practicing Asatru this is called the triple horn, or Odin's horn.


The Triple Crescent;

    

 Unlike other triple moon symbols or full moon symbols, the triple crescent is to me a very masculine symbol. It represents the warrior or father aspect of a man. Sometimes it is seen with stag tines on top and then it becomes the crest of the white stag; a symbol for both royal and spiritual warriors. It is a great symbol for male “light-workers” to use. It represents the male mysteries.



This concludes Part 1.

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