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Balance Dark with Light

Samhain is past and in the North, frost blankets the fields. The veils are thin and we enter the dark quarter of the year. We have an opportunity to bring light to the darkness by engaging in an old Celtic tradition: The Wild Hunt.

The story begins back in ancient Ireland where the old Irish Gods, the Fomorians, were subdued by the Tuatha Dé Danann or the Shining Ones. The Fomorians are often described as misshapen or grotesque and represent powers of violence, destruction, and chaos. While the Tuatha Dé Danann banished them from the mainland of Ireland at the battle of Mag Tuired, they were never totally destroyed. In fact we may see some of their influence in the division and divisiveness of our time.

The Wild Hunt is a ceremony that is traditionally performed in November that has multiple elements, one of which is to balance the dark forces with light. This tradition is not confined to Ireland, with versions practiced in Europe from Nordic lands to Ireland with records of practice in Italy at the time of the inquisition. While the ceremony is traditionally focused on beating back the powers of darkness and the hunger of Winter, even in our modern agriculturally stable society, there are forces of division and disease rising that are creating mischief and pain across the world.

While we need many points of view and active discourse in modern society, when division becomes entrenched and intolerant of differences, there is a threat to having a peaceful community at large. This strident division is one artifact that can be addressed in the Wild Hunt ritual. The current Covid-19 challenge is another sign of Fomorian presence. This fits in with the definition of the Fomorians that Tom Cowan (1999 "The Evil Fomorians" Gnosis Magazine) has proposed:

But let us return to the Fomorians. I suggest that we think of them as the Anglo-Saxons thought of Grendel: "unholy" because they are "unhealthy." They threaten the natural rhythms of life with unexpected violence and chaos. And yet these bringers of destruction are creatures of the same Creator. They too share in the divine nature, their essence is also goodness, and the harm they do is part of some larger good, known perhaps only to the Creator.

In the Celtic Wild Hunt, there are many roles for participation:

  • Dancing with the Faery folk as they move from their summer to winter homes

  • Helping the Dead through the practice of shamanic psychopomp, moving lost souls from the middle world to the light (and with Covid, we have many dead to move on this year)

  • Balancing the World, a warriors' action--encountering forces of darkness, like the divisiveness rising in our society, and infusing it with light

  • Bringing Light to the world by extending Divine power into the world

There is an opportunity coming up to participate in a Celtic version of the Wild Hunt, you can check it out here:

As we move into the dark time of the year, let us raise up the light to help our community and move us toward more cooperation and positive energy.

Blessings for the winter,

Reid Hart

2020 November


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