Who has not had to go to "war" in their life, handling a challenging situation at work, with family, or just in the normal run of life?
In November, we completed the Wild Hunt in the Celtic tradition. This happens in the dark of the year, before the solstice. The goal is re-balancing the dark and light powers. This is a warrior's journey, and in the process, we call on blessings from the otherworld powers:
The mothers of War (Morrigan, Macha, Mave), Odin, the norse god of mystic truth, and Brigid (Bridé; Bridget). For each of these blessings, a string is handed to the assembled Wild Hunt warriors. These warriors often tie this string around their wrists.
The red string represents the Mothers of War; important for those in the thick of the fight (for truth, strength and right):
In the name of the Morrigan, Badb, Nemhain, Macha, and Queen Medb, we ask blessing for your assembled servants.
We honor the Mothers of War
We ask to receive the blessing of
retaining good sense in battle
knowing friend from foe, and
returning safely and peaceably home
Let it be so
Odin brings the truth from the well of mystery, represented by the purple string, yet protects those going forth in his name:
I know this, the eleventh
If I must lead
Old friends to battle,
I chant under their shields,
And they go with power,
Safe to war,
Safe from war,
Safe wherever they are!
Brigid brings forth the blessing of the white string. From the east, in her warrior form, she brings a strong blessing:
I am under Brigid’s Shield each day and night
I shall not be slain nor imprisoned
Safe from burning by fire or sun
Safe from drowning by lake, river or sea
Safe from mischievous faeries
Safe from both the living and the dead
I am under Brigid’s Shield!
These blessings may seem antiquated to our modern view; yet who has not gone to "war" in their life, handling a challenging situation at work, with family, or in the normal run of life?
So, a week after our Wild Hunt, I find myself involved in a dance with the powers that be. Fighting the bureaucracy, I am frozen; stuck in a dance between "the rules," and what I know to be right.
And as I feel myself failing; bowing down to the powers that be; giving in to judgement. Then I remember I have that little string set I tied around my wrist.
Putting that string back around my wrist brings a wave of relief. Suddenly the powers of the universe are with me, and I am strong. Who knew what a little piece of string could effect. It brings me peace; it brings me strength, it brings me joy!
The string allows me to focus on what is true and right in my universe. Like a link to Arianrhod or Ariadne, the string connects us to the power of the wise ones. It allows us to emerge from the dark maze and see a brighter road ahead.
So, when you call on the wise ones from ancient shores; call them earnestly and well. Call them into your own true heart. For they will bear you through the most challenging day. And the hardest night.
Know that they come to support you wherever you are.
To sing the song of truth--when you hear only lies.
To sing the song of triumph--when you feel defeated.
To sing a song to your heart--when you have had too much--and only need some small encouragement to go on.
May the strings of our time connect to the true spirits who uphold us.
May the strings of our time seek truth and justice.
May the strings of our time . . .
May the strings of our time be with us truly.
In spirit and with blessings,