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~ The Well of Solace ~
(On Regeneration and Awareness)
The day was progressing, and his pace was steady, bringing him upon a large grove of Oaks, and in the center, was a Well of immense proportions, with a sculpture of both the God and Goddess set in the middle on a granite dais, embracing, hair whipping in an unseen wind, and through the imagined chaos and storm, a sense of serenity and love surrounded them.
At the Well, were men and women, children and animals, all resting and sleeping under the shade of the mighty trees. Horses were tied, and dogs lounged at the foot of their masters, while the Ravens, sent by the One-Eyed god, maintained a magical presence over all.
Salutations and smiles greeted Him, as he came upon the water, cool and deep, perhaps thirty feet or so, he marveled at the splendor of the stonework; griffins and eagles, herons and hawks adorned the circular face of the Well and inscribed, throughout, were scripts of ancient origin, and as best he could decipher, were enchantments of strength to the weary, blessings to new mothers, and sharing the fullness of nature with the people of the valley.
As he circled the Well, taking it all in, the pair of gods seemed to watch his full stride around the Well of Solace (for that is exactly what it offered to all), and on the completion of his circuit, a group of Wise Men, gathered together, waved Him over, as if in unison. He moved quickly, as to be summoned was a great honour.
He approached with alacrity, and gave his salutations.
All remained seated, save one, and as the man rose, his beard fell to the earth, his deep grey eyes, boring into Him, and quickly withdrawing their power, receded back into the unknown. He started to come closer, but was stopped by the outstretched hand of the Dyrwdd, palm out, not in anger, but as a sign of friendship and respect – He remained where he was – and the Dyrwdd began to intone:
God speaks and says:
I am the stag of seven tines.
Over the flooded world
I am borne by the wind.
I descend in tears like dew, I lie glittering,
I fly aloft like a griffon to my nest on the cliff,
I bloom among the loveliest flowers,
I am both the oak and the lightning that blasts it.
I embolden the spearman,
I teach the councillors their wisdom,
I inspire the poets,
I rove the hills like a ravening boar,
I roar like the winter sea,
I return again like the receding wave.
Who but I can unfold the secrets of the unhewn dolmen?
A cold shiver ran through the entire length of His body, and he well knew that, when a ‘speaker of the words’ entertained such rhetoric, that a special meeting this was, and He was bound to listen and learn – something that was new to his spirit, as his fire often ran hot, his mind quick – too quick, perhaps – and He squatted and sat where he had stood. He remained there, and the elder came to him, stroked his hair, and laid a feather upon him, and He felt the soft breathing of the man over his body, and a feeling of lightness, of spiritual traveling began to come over him.
He felt Her presence then, deep, close to Him, and yet not; it was the power of love and inspiration that was coming over him, and he embraced it. He felt the feather pass over his head, his face, then his chest, stopping at the heart, then quickly to his back, resting between his shoulder blades and, once again, he felt Her hands upon him, the power taking hold of him, that essence of peace and strength moving like undulating serpents, and he began to tremble. He tried to speak, but only turgid and remote sounds came from his throat:
Though I am Man – a god abides
My spear a token of my pride
My laughter and tears – like mortal men
Shall in my soul abide.
To the poet shall I return
In tears shall I embrace
For love and splendor – that rite of passage
Shall forever teach the wisdom of life and death.
To councilors, I bring knowledge
And their ears shall ring
With the wings of griffons
And on the cliffs shall I and fire be bound.
I search for wisdom in the daylight
From age to infant – into the light
At night I call Her name
The goddess of renown and fame
The White Goddess
Her arms outstretched
Pulls me closer to her breast – and whispers
All is well, be at peace and rest.
I bring chaos and change
She brings the calming of the sea
A change She brings to me
Wisdom and power to share with thee.