The End is the Beginning is the End

In Druidry, you come to appreciate the cyclical nature of all existence. Upon close inspection, all life is in movement. Everything in nature exists in cycles of birth, life, death, and rebirth. Once you have grasped that, you begin to see that those cycles can be applied to almost anything in life. Out in the world, nature begins anew with the beginning of Spring. Within my spiritual growth, I also began a new cycle at the Equinox.

As of Alban Eiler (Ostara or the Spring Equinox), I am the Archdruid of Air in the Ancient Order of Druids in America. For anyone unfamiliar with the AODA, we have four Archdruids: Air, Fire, Water, and Earth (The Grand Archdruid). The progression through those positions, in many ways, can mirror the progression of a person through the Order, as a whole.

I came into the AODA as a Candidate. As a Candidate, I wore the yellow cord of Air and entered the grove through the East. Then, I began my progression in that cycle. I moved to the red cord of the Apprentice, and then the blue cord of the Companion, and finally the green cord of the Adept.

This progression around the grove is symbolic of the passing time. Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter can be seen within the quarters. Inspiration, passion, knowledge, and manifestation can be found there. For those who practice the enchantment system from The Druid Magic Handbook, that progression is the key to the enchantment of talismans, tools, and anything else really. I will probably write more about that in the future.

The progression of initiations in AODA is essentially an enchantment of the druid themselves. Now, I begin a new work of self-enchantment, that of an Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America. What happens from here is anyone’s guess, just like the beginning of any journey through the cycle.

In the meantime, I rejoice in the opportunity to begin once again, to experience the rush that comes with new things.

A Blessing for Beginnings

May you always love the beginning,

The fresh air of Spring,

The spark that turns to fire,

The look that leads to love.

May you look ahead with joy

To the many possibilities

To the endless opportunities

To every offering of the unknown.

May you love the journey,

Going around once again.

May you always love the beginning

As you learned to love the end.

The Blessings of Alban Eiler

As I write this, the sun is rising in the East, the birds are singing in my backyard, and my dog is snoring at my feet. Perhaps the last one isn’t as pleasant as the first two, but as Meatloaf sang, two out of three ain’t bad.

Today, is Alban Eiler, the Spring Equinox. The phrase Alban Eiler is “Light of the Earth” in the Welsh Druid Revival Tradition that supports the Ancient Order of Druids in America, the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, as well as a number of other druid orders.

The season has been called Ostara, or simply the Spring Equinox. It’s a time of great fertility, as all life begins to find abundance. But today, I want to focus upon the light.

This winter was a relatively rough one. Here, we had more snow than I think we have had in years. We suffered through a more transmissible strain of COVID. We watched unrest throughout the world. For some, it was a very dark winter.

Alban Arthan promises light at the darkest time of year, but Alban Eiler truly brings the light back to the Earth. We can once again sit outside (in my climate), and listen to the birds, despite the snoring dog. We can watch the animals go about their work. We can see the green returning to the plants around us as the daffodils begin to peek through the soil.

Alban Eiler is a time of balance, and in that balance we find hope for the season (and seasons) ahead. If Alban Arthan is the promise of the return of light, then Alban Eiler is the return itself. Spring is here and we can rejoice in the life of the Earth and how it speaks to the life within our spirits.

May your spirit feel the light upon it and come out of the shadows of the long winter.

Life is bursting forth all around you. Listen to its song, if you can hear it over the dog’s snoring.

A Spontaneous Poem for Alban Eiler

The world warms, and I warm with it

Slowly, uncertainly, lest the cold return

The birds know no such reserve

The squirrels have not a doubt

The geese fly, flee to the North

Freed from their time in the South

The plants begin to green

The trees begin to bud

Yet the winter’s cold still within me

Makes me wonder if I should

Tentatively, like a newborn deer

I take my first steps into Spring

Welcoming the light to the Earth

Wondering what this season will bring.

Theological Uncertainty in Druidry and The Gnostic Celtic Church

In one of my roles at the Ancient Order of Druids in America, I am the Preceptor of the Gnostic Celtic Church. Part of that calling is to work with new clergy who are interested in nature-based spirituality expressed as a religion. During a couple of recent calls, I was asked what to do if you aren’t certain on your personal theology. I offered advice in the calls, but I want to share some here, as well.

For anyone unfamiliar, the Gnostic Celtic Church (GCC) is the religious arm of AODA. Our priests and bishops hold succession through the independent sacrament movement and are essentially an interfaith church. Theology is a personal matter in GCC, and we encourage membership from various religions.

There are a few shared pieces of philosophy, but for the most part, these are also open to personal interpretation. The big one, the “rule” around which we organize, is the Rule of Awen. You can spend a lifetime exploring the Rule of Awen, and I certainly plan to. Some of that will likely end up as blogs here.

The basic thought is that we all have to find and follow our own Awen, that piece that drives us and calls to us, our higher purpose, no matter what you call it within your own belief system. Additionally, we are not to interfere in others following their own Awen.

Revival Druids, by their nature, tend to be seekers. We are all searching for something that we were previously missing. We are chasing knowledge, connection, and meaning. In that pursuit, we may end up anywhere. Philip Carr-Gomm’s book Seek Teachings Everywhere expresses this type of druidic search. That search is encouraged by the Rule of Awen, at least for those whose own Awen directs it.

When you enter into GCC as a Novitiate, you begin a process of self-reflection. You look deeply at your spiritual and religious life and begin to drill down to what really connects with you. Throughout the Diaconate, you study and begin a process of discernment to determine what path your Awen is leading you upon and whether or not GCC is the best tool to take you there. This very process, by its nature, is one of openness, as is the GCC. All we require is that a person believe that there is some sort of power greater than humanity and that we can have some sort of relationship with it. That, in my mind, doesn’t require that you possess the same certainty about how to define that power or that relationship.

When I first came to GCC as a Deacon, early on in my path, I was a practicing Wiccan of the duotheistic type. I had the belief that all gods and goddesses were the God and Goddess. By the type I was ordained and consecrated, I had become a hard polytheist, believing that all gods and goddesses were individuals. This was a gradual shift caused by a lot of study and discernment, the very thing that GCC encourages. Ultimately, I found where I fit. I wish that same success for others.

Some people will come to GCC with a concrete theological foundation. And that is okay. We have clergy from various religions who are solid in their faiths. But it’s also okay to come to us still working things out, particularly in a spirituality as diverse as Druidry. Could you do that in a church devoted to any specific religion? Maybe not. I am no means an expert on all churches. However, I do know that the search, the pursuit of divine purpose, is a defining characteristic of this one.

Don’t feel that you need to know everything already in order to chase your own Awen. Just feel the need to know more.

If you are interested in knowing more about GCC or AODA, you can find us at AODA’s official website.

A Blessing for the Path Ahead

May the light of Awen

Grace your path ahead

Illuminating the forks,

The fords, the brambles,

Twists and straightaways.

May Awen lead you

Yearning, searching

Learning, living

Always forward,

Whether fast or slow.

May your days and nights

Weeks and years be blessed

Until the day you achieve Gwynfdd.

Embracing the Light of Spring in a World of Darkness

We are coming up on the Spring Equinox, when light and dark are at a balance. There are times in your life when even the balance of the two is a welcome reprieve from the darkness. We’ve seen a lot of dark, as of late. Pandemic, politics, war…there are times when it seems like the darkness surrounds you. Just when we need it, the Earth comes through with Spring.

Druids, historically according to the Romans, knew a thing or two about illness, political strife, and war. They were reportedly tasked with the ending of all three. They knew healing, so they healed. They knew peace, so they pacified. Druidry is an art of balance, and this, the Equinox, is a time of balance.

We may no longer have the influence to physically step between Russia and Ukraine and bring a stop to the invasion. We may no longer have the political pull to bring an end to bickering and spite in our capitol buildings. But we do have the promise of Spring. That can be enough to keep us moving, chasing the light into the height of summer.

We still have influence over our own lives and those around us. We can work for health and peace on the small scale. We can foster it in our families and our neighborhoods, but most importantly, we can foster it in ourselves.

The first work of a modern druid is to find the peace and balance within. Then, you can reflect that peace out into the world around you. Finding that peace can seem difficult in the modern world, when so many negative things assault us without mercy.

Yet, as we approach the Equinox, the days are getting longer. The light is a little clearer, and the ice of winter has no choice but to melt away. Now is the time to look to the light, to take a moment and breathe the promise of Spring, and allow ourselves to find that peace and balance within as we prepare for the work ahead.

Do what you can externally, but never forget the internal, small work that we learn from the light of Spring. Even in the cold and dark, a little bit of light and warm day can go a long way.

A (Winter)’s Snow, and A New Purpose for My Poor, Neglected Blog

Large white flakes fall heavily outside my sliding glass door as I write this. Classes are cancelled. Businesses are closed. We are locked in a very Midwestern sequence, the advance and retreat of Spring. It’s only grown worse with climate change, as seventy degree spring days are immediately followed by sub-zero, dead-of-winter storms. Perhaps this is the last snow of the season. Perhaps not.

Life is often like that, as well. Our progression, spiritual or otherwise, doesn’t come smoothy. It starts. It stops. It retreats. It starts again. Similar to the life of this blog, thus far.

This blog began as an experiment. I was early upon a pagan path, exploring witchcraft and druidry. I was Wiccan, and then I was a polytheist. I considered myself a witch, then a druid. So much has happened since then. Storms. Fair days. Days that could only be described as “meh.”

I completed the ADF Dedicant Path and entered the Initiate and Clergy Training Programs. I became Druid Adept of the Ancient Order of Druids in America and a member of the Grand Grove. I became a Bishop in the Gnostic Celtic Church. Slowly, a path that began as an inward search for my spiritual home became a path devoted to others who are seeking their own.

I took on the role of Candidate Curriculum Coordinator for AODA, working with all new members of their personalized curriculum. I became the Preceptor of the Gnostic Celtic Church, working with all new clergy as they progress through their times as Novitiates and Deacons.

Now, I find that I need this blog to become something else, another resource for those who need guidance, whether they have ever spoken to me or not. Perhaps they are members of the orders I serve. Perhaps they wander upon this blog just as I wandered upon so many in the beginning.

Either way, I hope that they find what they are seeking, here or elsewhere. I plan on blogging much more often going forward, sharing what I have learned, what I am studying, or just what I have created. Let’s start with a quick poem.

Snow drifts down

Piling premature daffodils

With stubborn winter flakes.

Does The Cailleach not know

That Bride’s time has come?

Does she stoke the fires, in vein,

Out of spite or out of the hope

That one good, final snow

Will carry Her memory

On its floating flakes

Across the final thaw of Spring

To the first frost of another Fall?

Thank you for being with me. May Awen light your path and may your lands be blessed.

Lessons from An Morrígan 1-10

WARNING: The following contains massive amount of UPG (Unverified Personal Gnosis).

Since I first began journeying to contact An Morrígan, I have have been somewhat frustrated with a lack of specificity in Herself’s requests. First, there was “learn.” That was the state for months. Then, there was “listen.” Again, months with no real explanation, other than I wasn’t ready for what was next and that I needed to learn and listen.

So, finally, I showed frustration, and She answered, rather irritably, “Why don’t you try listening to me.” So, we made a deal. I would pray and give offerings. I would also draw Ogham in which she would teach me lessons through divination.

I’ve decided to list them here, just for fun.

1 – Growth relies upon death. That is the great flow of life, the mystery that is also the cycle. All life exists in the liminal space between birth and death. You must grow. That is the path. And someday, you will die. But even your death will bring growth.

2 – The Morrígan’s path is an invitation to the Otherworld, but the path is not easy and is full of challenges. But for those who persevere, communication and inspiration from the divine can be achieved.

3 – The guidance and protection of the divine doesn’t mean a lack of struggles, nor a lack of pain. It means learning the secrets contained within pain, within strife. In those times, you will be close to the divine. When you come through the struggles with the sweetness of the pain it brings, you will know the lessons it teaches.

4 – Strength and knowledge grant the perspective needed to see far ahead, but to be wise is know that the destination cannot be reached through simple stubbornness, but through flowing with what comes to stay within the boundaries of the stream. Then, you can reach the goal you see in the distance.

5 – See what restricts you. Only by acknowledging that which impedes us can we break past it. See the restriction. See where you want to be. Have the wisdom to break free from your bindings and don’t allow yourself to be your own restriction.

6 – All things must be reborn in the fires of passion. Passion purifies life for new beginnings. Your ancestors knew this well, as they burned the grass each year to grow anew. You must burn away your dead grass with the fires of your passion. Let it burn you to ash so that you may grow and begin the next phase in your journey.

7 – Do not be afraid to move quickly, to embrace quick change. Delight in the change. Delight in the trouble that change brings, for that trouble will be a greater teacher than all the preparation you can muster. Learn by failing, by doing, by living.

8 – The key to magic is in your tools, but those tools are simply a way to connect, to bring the world together for desired effects. How are your tools? Do you keep them sharp? A dull blade will not cut no matter how you force it.

9 – Sometimes, the tools to see the path ahead are found on the path behind. Look to the lore for insight and perspective. The lore of the past is a tool for the future.

10 – To find strong magic, you must go to the Otherworld and face the things you fear. The greatest magical act is the transformation of fear and grief into gifts.

A Solitary ADF-Style Spring Ritual to Olwen

Olwen is a Welsh goddess whose footsteps give rise to Spring flowers, best-known for the myth of Olwen and Culhwch. It is the sort of cyclical captive myth that is fairly common throughout the world around this time of year. Olwen is imprisoned by her father Ysbaddaden, who it is said will die should Olwen marries. Culhwch comes to court her and is send on a number of nearly-impossible errands, which he completes with the help of Arthur. Olwen is freed, and so is Spring.

This is the ritual I wrote for the 2021 Spring Equinox using the Core Order of Ritual from ADF. There is a bit of Welsh in there, but pronunciation for Welsh is pretty easy to find. Credit to the Tylwyth Y Ddraig Goch kin of ADF for the Welsh phrases.

Initiating the Rite

Spring is here, and it is time to celebrate the mysteries of life’s rejuvenation. Ring the bell nine times in three sets of three.

Honoring the Earth Mother

Earth Mother, as the world begins to warm and bloom around us, I honor your fertility and love. From you, I was born, just as so much new life soon will be. Earth mother, in this time of Spring, I honor you and ask you to support me through this rite. Earth Mother, accept my offering! Offer water to the Earth Mother.

Statement of Purpose

On this day, we emerge from the dark and cold. While glimpses of light have kept us going since Imbolc, we emerge more fully into the sun to embrace the warmth and growth that will soon unfold around us. On this day, I offer hospitality to the Holy Kindred, my Ancestors who eagerly awaited this time, the Nature Spirits who thrive in the green of life, and the Shining Ones who watch this rebirth with a smile. I celebrate Olwen, Welsh goddess of Spring and offer my prayers and sacrifices to those who walk the green path with me.

Outdwellers

Though the sun warms my face, there are those in the cold and dark who would hold the light back, who would steal the warmth and prevent Olwen from walking her spring path. I tell them now to take this and go. Do not bother me during my work on this day. Offer beer to Outdwellers.

Recreating the Cosmos

Sacred fire, you are the fire that is all fires. You who inspire and transform, whose flames roll over the Kansas hills even now to clear the way for new growth, I pray that you will once more purify and transform, that you will take my offerings to the Shining Ones and light my way during this rite. Offer incense to the fire. May the sacred fire flow within me.

Sacred well, you are the water that is al waters. You flow in the springs and rivers. You flow with the ocean tide. You are the memories of our people and the potential for our growth. May you connect me to those memories once gain and carry my offerings to the Ancestors upon your waves. Silver the well. May the sacred well flow within me.

Sacred tree, you are the tree that is all trees, connecting the ways and holding apart the heavens and the Earth. Your branches reach the heavens, your roots reach the underworld, and yet you are our companion and teacher here in the middle realm. May you connect me to the worlds once again. Asperge and cense the tree. May the sacred tree grow within me.

Purification

I purify and bless this space with smoke from the sacred fire. Circle the space with incense smoke.

I purify and bless this place with water from the sacred well. Sprinkle the space with water.

I purify and bless myself with smoke from the sacred fire. Cense self with smoke.

I purify and bless myself with water from the sacred well. Touch water to forehead, heart, and hands.

I, as well as this place, are now made whole and holy and fit to welcome to the Holy Kindred.

Gatekeeper

I call now to Arawn, ruler of Annwn, king of the Otherworld. Arawn, you hunt within the mists of this realm, crossing the skies with your great dogs. You lead Pwyll to the Otherworld where he received the experience that made him a great King. May you lead me on this day, directing me through the mists as I seek to converse with the Holy Kindred Arawn, accept my offering. Offer food for Arawn’s hunting dogs. Now, combine your magic with mine, and let the fire open as a gate. Draw an outward spiral over the fire. Let the well open as a gate. Draw an outward spiral over the well. Let the tree open as a gate. Draw an outward spiral over the tree. Let the gates be open! Agorer y Pyrth!

Calling the Holy Kindred

Ancestors, whether you are of my blood, of my spirit, or of this place, you know the joys of the Spring. You danced and sang, and walked with the sun on your face. Come, celebrate with me on this day. Ancestors, accept my offering! Offer cornmeal to the Ancestors.

Nature Spirits, creatures both hidden and seen, this is a time of joy as the world greens and the creatures within it play and explore. Come, celebrate with me on this day. Nature Spirits, accept my offering! Offer seed to the Nature Spirits.

Goddess of the Kansas River. Your blood is my blood. Your breath is my breath. Come, celebrate with me on this day as life returns to your banks. Goddess of the Kansas River, accept my offering. Offer clean water to the Kansas River goddess.

Shining Ones, gods, goddesses, and godden of many cultures and many peoples. Shining Ones of Spring reaching the height of their power, we welcome you. Shining Ones of Winter, you who have held us through the cold, we honor you. All you who would accept my offerings and grant me your favor, come, celebrate with me on this day. Shining Ones, accept my offering! Offer oil to the Shining Ones.

Key Offering

Olwen, goddess of Spring, long through the winter, you’ve been imprisoned by your father Yysbaddaden, and long has been his winter life. Yet, winter must always pass, and I have eagerly awaited your emergence. Come, your father has passed and you are free. Walk the Spring path, leaving flowers in your footsteps. Come, celebrate with me on his day. Olwen, accept my offering. Olwyn, derbyn ein hoffrwm! Give Olwen an offering of flower scented oil.

Prayer of Sacrifice

Olwen, Shining Ones, Nature Spirits, and Ancestors, I welcome you to this rite in honor of Spring. May my prayers and devotion fuel your magic. May we share this greening space within between worlds, our relationship growing like the Spring flowers. Holy Kindred, accept my offering! Offer oil to the fire.

Omen

Gifts I have given, and now blessings I ask in return. May the Holy Kindred guide my hand as I take this omen.

Draw the omen and interpret it.

Blessings

Holy Kindred, I have come to the center of worlds, before fire, well, and tree to offer you gifts and sing your praises. The old ways say that a gift calls for a gift, and blessings you have offered in return.

Hold up the chalice. Bless these waters with your magic that I might receive your blessings. Olwen, hallow these waters. Shining Ones, hallow these waters. Nature Spirits, hallow these waters. Ancestors, hallow these waters.

Behold! The waters of life! Wele Ddŵr Bywyd! Drink the waters.

Today, I have received the blessings of the Holy Kindred once again. Each time I make offerings to the Holy Kindred, our relationship grows. Each time I receive their blessings, I take their magic into the world. As I leave this grove today, let me take the light of Spring with me.

Thanking the Beings

Olwen, Shining Ones, Nature Spirits, Ancestors, I thank you for joining me at this rite in your honor. As you go, know that you are always welcome at my altar. 

Closing the Gates

Arawn, king of Annwn, I thank you for joining me at this rite and leading me through the mists. Before you go, I ask you to combine your magic with mine once again. Let the fire become just a flame. Draw an inward spiral over the fire. Let the well become just a cup of water. Draw an inward spiral over the well. Let the tree become just a plaque on my wall. Draw an inward spiral over the tree. Let the gates be closed! Caeed y Pyrth!

Thanking the Earth Mother

Earth mother, from you I was born. To you, I will return when I die. All things begin and end with you. As such, my rite begins and ends with you. Take all that remains that you might continue to support and sustain me throughout my life.

Closing the Rite

I came to this place to celebrate the Spring. I communed with the Holy Kindred and gave them my offerings. Now, as I go out into the world, may their blessings follow my path as the flowers follow in the light steps of Olwen.

Rhiannon’s Forgiveness, the Law of Attraction, and Initiation, Part 4

And so, Badger in the Bag was played by the warriors until Gwawl begged for mercy. At this moment, Pywll is left with the choice between granting mercy and extracting revenge. It is Rhiannon, goddess of sovereignty, that advises Pywll to offer mercy in exchange for fealty.

That, in itself, is an amazing thing. Consider Rhiannon, who has been pursued in the past by Gwawl, who desired her before Pywll caught up with her, who has stolen her on her wedding day to be married against her will, who a year later still has her captured in that place.

If any had a reason for revenge upon Gwawl, it was Rhiannon. Yet, she stays Pywll’s hand. This time, wisely, he listens to her and forgoes his own revenge, as well. Doing this, he solidifies power, improves his reputation before the people and the bards, and receives assurances that Gwawl will never again be a problem.

Many people are aware of the concept of the Law of Attraction. Positives acts attract positive acts. Negative acts attract negative acts. Taking this into the myth offers some insights. Deception invites deception, as we have seen with Gwawl’s actions at Pwyll’s wedding feast followed by Pwyll’s actions at Gwawl’s wedding feast. Similarly, forgiveness attracts forgiveness, compassion attracts compassion, and love attracts love.

An initiate is aware of how these things manifest. An initiate is aware of their own mind. In that awareness is the power to choose a reaction, to master the moment rather than be mastered by it. Between action and reaction is a small gap, and if we have mental awareness and clarity, we can make a choice within that gap.

We will attract what we choose. You have likely seen this in the world around you as some people always seem embroiled in another catastrophe while others seem to land on their feet every time. We can become programmed like Facebook’s algorithm, our brain only acknowledging the things that fit that which it has become convinced we are looking for.

Place hate and love on a spectrum. Search for hate, and you will find it. Search for love, and you will find it. Approach life from a calm, centered perspective, and you will have access to the spectrum itself.

Guided by Rhiannon, Pwyll chooses to forgive rather than have to deal with Gwawl, or his like, again in the future. By showing compassion and love, he will receive that from his people and solidify that influence he already has. And having dealt with Gwawl, Pwyll now knows the importance of that space between action, reaction, and how one can master control of it.

Of course, that is not the last trial of Pwyll and his line, and no matter how far along the initiatory path Pwyll believes himself to be he still has further to go. But that is for another time.

Pwyll’s Mistake, Rhiannon’s Plan, Part 3 (Dolmen Arch)

Oh, how confident newfound power can make us. Drunk, even. That is the state of Pwyll, having returned from The Otherworld, having caught Sovereignty Herself in Rhiannon. Now, feeling his own authority, he offers to give his guests anything and everything he desires.

Sure, this is a admirable thing. Charity and hospitality are important, particularly for a Welsh chieftain. In terms of initiation, one of the duties of the initiate is often to use that power and influence in order to assist others. Still, in this moment comes a warning, and because of Pwyll’s lack of foresight and reason, he unwittingly gives Rhiannon over to Gwawl.

In some ways, Gwawl is a dark mirror of Pwyll: ambitious, but venomous; powerful, but selfish. In that moment, he attempts to obtain the blessing of sovereignty, of initiation, without going through the necessary trials to earn it.

Rhiannon’s plan to overcome this is a simple one, but requires something particular from Pwyll. He will wait another year, just as he did in Annwn, and he will go before his dark mirror Gwawl stripped of his royal image, hiding his true form and thus his true power.

This idea of image is quite important in this one, because it is a love of self-image that gets Gwawl into the endless bag, convinced that only a great man can fill it. In the desire to fulfill that self-image, he is trapped.

Pwyll’s intentions in this section of the story were good, but there is a reason that initiations are processes and that their sources of power are often secrets given only to the initiate. There are those who would take advantage of others, who would seek power for power’s sake. That should be guarded against, and the blessings of initiation should go to those who have shown the maturity and strength to obtain them on their own.

So, we hide ourselves in less haughty forms, not flaunting what we have discovered, not offering it freely without work. We are careful who we invite in to our circles, lest the value of the initiation be lost entirely, like Rhiannon almost was to Pwyll.

Sovereignty over our own lives does not require flaunting of it, but awareness of the responsibilities that come with that sovereignty.

Pwyll, Rhiannon, and Initiation Part 2

Having received the support of his people by following Arawn’s rule, Pwyll is prepared for his next adventure, going to the top of a mound from which every person who comes there either receives a grievous blow or sees a wonder. There, he sees Rhiannon, goddess of sovereignty, the most enchanting woman he can imagine. He sends his man running after her, but he cannot be caught, not by his fastest runner nor his fastest horse, nor himself beating his horse as hard as it can go. It is only upon surrendering himself, realizing he cannot catch her on his own, no matter how hard he pursues her that Pwyll finally gets her to stop.

On the path, we often feel like we can push ourselves and rush through the process and get to the end faster, in some way. Obviously, we need to work hard. We need to push ourselves, but like Pwyll, we cannot do it on our own. All who ascend the mound witness a wonder or receive a blow. Pwyll has received both. He has seen Rhiannon, the goddess who will solidify is kingdom and his legacy. He has seen the rewards of his next level of development, but he’s not ready, no matter how great he thinks he is. His ego must be destroyed. The illusion of his power must be broken down. Only then, can he prepare for the next stage.

Even then, he must wait. Rhiannon tells him that a year from then, there will be a feast, and at that time, she will marry him. So, he goes forth, with patience, refusing to talk about this woman who he has obtained, for in reality, he has obtained nothing but an opportunity. That dedicated and love must be sustained.

Anyone can have passion for a moment. Their fire can blaze hot and burning. The path is about sustaining the fires of dedication and devotion. We open ourselves up to a better self, the warm fire of hospitality tended, and in that, patient work, we ready ourselves to receive the true light the fire has to offer.

Patience, persistence, acceptance. Those are necessary ingredients to get where we are going. So open yourself up, accept that you aren’t as far along as you think, and keep doing the work to get yourself there at the steady pace of Rhiannon. You aren’t there yet, but you will be someday.

Magic. Meditation. Study. Repeat.