October, the Tenth Month of the year of our Goddess, 2014

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“Corn and grain, corn and grain,
All that falls shall rise again.”
–  Wiccan Harvest Chant

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October – BLOOD MOON

October is the tenth month of the year, its name derived from the Latin word meaning “eight,” as it was the eighth month of the Roman calendar. Its astrological sign is Libra, The Scales (September 23 – October 23), a cardinal air sign ruled by Venus. In October we enter the glorious late afternoon of the year. Bittersweet berries turn brilliant orange, and the seed land blazes with vibrant color reminiscent of a Persian carpet. As October passes, the door to the underworld open wider. We become more receptive to spiritual energies and feel drawn to bond with our ancestors. The main holiday of October and one of the most magickal night of the year, is Samhain or Halloween. This is a traditional time to honor our ancestors. Many seasonal decorations can help do this. The jack-o’lanterns illuminates a path so the spirits of our ancestors can find their way. Apples are used to feel the dead, so leave an apple near your door or on a plate at your table the name of October’s Full Moon, the Blood Moon, comes from the urge to connect with ancestors. When the Blood Moon rises, it smolders like an ember in the autumn sky. She is a beacon for spiritual energy. Thank her by leaving an apple beneath a tree or by burning some dried wormwood in a dish and meditating on your deceased loved ones

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OCTOBER CORRESPONDENCES

NATURE SPIRITS : Frost and plant faeries

HERBS: Pennyroyal, thyme, catnip, uva ursi, angelica, burdock

COLORS: Deep Blue Green

FLOWERS: calendula, marigold, cosmos

SCENTS: strawberry, apple blossom, and cherry

STONES: Opal, tourmaline, beryl, turquoise

TREES: Yew, cypress, acacia

ANIMALS: stag, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion

BIRDS: heron, crow and robin

DEITIES: Ishtar, Astarte, Demeter, Kore, Lakshmi, The Horned God, Belili, Hathor

POWERS/ADVICE: A time to work on inner cleansing, letting go, karma, reincarnation, justice and balance.

Magickal Themes for October

Resting, reevaluating, protecting

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Symbols for the Month of October

October’s Sign of the Zodiac
Libra – September 24 – October 23

October Birthstone
The Opal

October Birth Flower
The October Birth Flower is the Calendula (Marigold)

Characteristics of Libra
Charming, Perceptive, Diplomatic, Pleasant & Refined

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October Monthly Observances

Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month
American Cheese Month
National Animal Safety and Protection Month
National Apple Month
National Arts and Humanities Month
National Audiology Awareness Month
National Bake and Decorate Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month
Car Care Month
National Clock Month
Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month
National Diabetes Month
Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Church Library Month
Computer Learning Month
National Cookie Month
Co-op Awareness Month
National Crime Prevention Month
Cut Out Dissection Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Dental Hygiene Month
National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
International Drum Month
Dyslexia Awareness Month
Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month
National Field Trip Month
German-American Heritage Month
Global Diversity Awareness Month
Health Literacy Month
Home Eye Safety Month
Intergeneration Month
National Liver Awareness Month
National Medical Librarians Month
Organize Your Medical Information Month
Photographer Appreciation Month
National Physical Therapy Month
National Pizza Month
Polish-American Heritage Month
National Popcorn Poppin’ Month
Positive Attitude Month
National Reading Group Month
Right-Brainers Rule Month
National Roller Skating Month
International School Library Month
Spinach Lovers Month
Squirrel Awareness Month
National Stamp Collecting Month
Vegetarian Month
National Work and Family Month

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The Wheel Once Again Turns…

Samhain Is Upon Us

 

Samhain (pronounced sow-in) marks the end of the agricultural season and the beginning of Winter. For the Celts, who inhabited the British Isles more than 1,000 years ago, Samhain was the beginning of the year and the cycle of seasons. It was a time when they turned to their Gods, seeking to understand the turning of the cycle of life and death. For the Celtic people, Samhain was a time when the gates between this world and the next were open. It was a time of communion with the spirits who were believed to roam free on this night. It was a time of divination, when the ancestors were contacted for warnings and guidance through the dark Winter months.

In medieval Ireland, Samhain was the major festival that marked the opening of Winter; it was sometimes spelled Samain or Samuin, although still pronounced the same. It was believed that Samhain was a time of unusual supernatural power, when all manner of fairies, goblins, and monsters roamed the earth. It was unfavorable to walk about on this night, lest one might stumble onto an open fairy mound and fall victim to the fairy’s enchantment.

Samhain was also a time of truce with no fighting, violence, or divorce allowed. Hence, it was a time of marriage. Accounts were closed, debts collected, contracts made, and servants hired. Magickally, Samhain is a time of reflection, ending things that are not producing results and releasing negative thoughts. Samhain is the perfect time to make a talisman for self control and protection of the family and home.

Celebrating Wiccan Spirituality: Spells, Sacred Rites, and Folklore for Each Day of the Year
Lady Sabrina

Samhain Oil

3 drops Rosemary oil
3 drops Pine oil
3 drops Bay oil
3 drops Apple oil
2 drops Patchouli oil
Use almond oil as the base

Samhain Incense

1 tsp. crushed Mugwort Leaves
1 tsp. Frankincense Tears (small resin chunks)
1 tsp. Myrrh Resin (small chunks)
2 tsp. crushed Rosemary Leaves

Samhain Incense 2

3 tsp. frankincense
2 tsp. sandalwood
2 tsp. mugwort
1 tsp. sage
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. lavender

Samhain Incense 3

3 tsp. Rosemary
3 tsp. Pine
3 tsp. Bay
3 tsp. Apple
2 drops Patchouli Oil

Samhain Soap

1 cup grated unscented soap
1/4 cup hot water
1 tbsp. apricot oil
1 tbsp. mugwort
1/2 tbsp. nutmeg
6 drops frankincense oil
6 drops sandalwood oil
3 drops lavender

Place grated soap in a heat-proof non-metallic container and add the hot water and apricot oil. Leave until it is cool enough to handle, and then mix together with your hands. If the soap is floating on the water, add more soap. Leave to sit for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the soap is soft and mushy. Once the soap, water, and oil are blended completely, add the dry ingredients. Once the mixture is cool, then add the essential oils (essential oils evaporate quickly in heat). Enough essential oils should be added to overcome the original scent of the soap. Blend thoroughly and then divide the soap mixture into four to six pieces. Squeeze the soaps, removing as much excess water as possible into the shape you desire, and tie in a cheesecloth. Hang in a warm, dry place until the soap is completely hard and dry.

Recipe adapted from Kate West’s The Real Witches’ Kitchen Sabbat Soap recipe.

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GENERAL ACTIVITIES FOR SAMHAIN

Bob for Apples Drink apple cider warmed and spiced with cinnamon to honor the dead. Bury an apple or pomegranate in the garden as food for spirits passing by on their way to be reborn.

Carve a Jack-o-Lantern.

Pick a spirit candle.
This is a white candle anointed with patchouli oil.  Say:
“With this candle and by its light,
welcome you spirits this Samhain night.”

Place it inside the jack-o’-lantern.

Set out a Mute Supper.

Have a New Years party to celebrate the turning of the wheel!

Make a mask of your shadow self.

Make a besom, or witches broom.

Make a witches cord as an expression of what you hope to manifest in the year ahead.  Enjoy the trick or treating of the season.

Wear costumes that reflect what we hope or wish for in the upcoming year.

Make resolutions, write them on a small piece of parchment, and burn in a candle flame, preferably a black votive candle within a cauldron on the altar. This is like New Year’s resolutions; as for many Samhain is the New Year.

DIVINATION

Samhain is the beginning of the pagan year; divination were done to see the future of the coming year. It is said that this is the time of the Crone and it is incumbent upon us to see whatever wisdom she is willing to part with on our behalf. Many types of divination are practiced for Samhain. Dark Mirrors – Fire or Water Scrying – Tarot cards – and of course the Crystal Ball.

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 The Dove Of Peace

dove

This little dove represents peace throughout the world.

No matter what religion or nationality, he brings peace.

Copy and paste him in your blog and let peace start

Here with each of us!

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 Banner Exchange

If you would like to exchange banners, you can either drop us off a link in the comment section or email us at:
thewotcstrustfund@yahoo.com
Thank You!
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Categories: Articles, Esbats, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Just Wanted To Offer An Apology & Explanation for the Day (As Usual, lol)

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Good afternoon, my dears! I have to apologize to you for today. As you know yesterday, I explained about having to take one of our laptops back. After I said that, I was informed that another one of computers was acting up also. I said screw it, I couldn’t carry all this stuff back by myself. So we waited till today to take the computers back. We spent half the morning at the store. We stood and waited and waited. Then the man asked me, if we had an appointment. WHAT? I called before taking the computers back “again.” I was told, “no problem, just come on in!” Then we get there and we have to have an appointment. I told them we are fifty miles away from this place and I wasn’t driving back. He said he would check the appointments and see if he could work us in. He came back and told us, we were lucky because someone had just canceled their 11:00 appointment. I told him, “no, he was the lucky one!” He looked at me. I told him to check our account and see how much money we had spent at that store. No, he was lucky that we decided to stay.

Well, we waited ten minutes and looked around the store. Would you believe when he got around to look at the computers neither one of them acted up. They were both having battery issues and they were FINE! I couldn’t believe it. If I didn’t have so much information on those computers, I would have threw them both. He told me, next time take a picture with my camera and bring it with me. That way, he could see what was going on. And to think, I had pointed out the battery symbol when they both first loaded, hmm? But we need a picture, yeah right! I decided today I have no business in public. There was one lady there, that the clerk was purely fed up with. She knew nothing about computers and when I found out I needed the appointment, she had a comment to make. “Oh, this is the modern age, woman. You have to have an appointment for everything now. Come to reality!” Needless to say, she rubbed me the wrong way. First off, she had no business sticking her nose in our business to start with. But I must admit, I stayed nice, calm and collected. She heard me and tech talking about IE and Foxfire. Then we got off on WordPress and he found out I ran a blog. So we both really got nerdy. The nosey woman was still there. She heard us and again made another comment. “You know about computers? I don’t know anything,” she said. My comment was short and simple, “I can tell!” Alright, maybe I shouldn’t have said it but I figured she sort of had it coming. Seriously, he was showing her how to operate the mouse pad, what the left bar was for, what the right bar was, I mean really. She didn’t know anything about computer and he was giving her a crash course. She needed computer 101. She made another comment as we were leaving and I heard it but Mystie drug me out of the store. Her last comment was, “I didn’t know women know so much about computers.” Mystie told me it was a compliment. I told her that woman was very sexist even against her own sex. I just don’t understand it, why do people stereotype? They can understand that each person has their own potential whether you are a man or woman. It is up to the individual if they want to broaden their horizons and learn.

I remember growing up around here. All I heard from the men was, “a woman’s place in the kitchen, barefooted and knocked-up.” Needless to say, those comments grew old very quickly. I decided that wasn’t for me. I don’t know how many times I got out and worked and brought home the bacon. Hubby was there to fry it up, too! My daddy would raise hell. He would call and tell my hubby that I was suppose to be at home and he was suppose to be working. This would immediately start an argument between my father and myself. He was very old-fashioned. That is what my momma did, I was suppose to do it. I told him that times had changed and I was going to live my life the way I wanted too. I also added I didn’t want to hear another word out of him. There was a huge age difference between my sister and myself (22 years). She always kidded me, I was the change of life baby. I figure my father saw how she turned out and he wasn’t too happy. So he figured he would get it right with me, ha! I am sure I was a total disappointment to him to say the least. I didn’t take up his religious path nor did I stay knocked-up and in the kitchen. Oh, and not to mention, I married the wrong man. See I just couldn’t get anything right with him. He finally told me before he died though something very important and meaningful. He told me I was just like my mother. As long as I was alive, she would never be dead. He didn’t come right out and say it but he did tell me, he deeply loved and respected my mother. She was an amazing woman and very independent and walked her own path. I took that as his way of giving me a compliment. He was a proud man and would never actually come out and tell you something like that. But telling me, I was just like my mother and what he had to say about her. I sort of figured that was my compliment.

Now I am wondering how on earth, I got off on that subject. Hell, if I know. My mother, I think about quite often. In case you don’t know, she passed on when I was 12 years old. So I practically raised myself. My father was a good man till he remarried my “dearly-beloved” stepmother. I should say the stepmother from hell but it isn’t nice to talk ill about the dead. But that woman tried to erase everything my mother had instilled in me. She tried to cut off my relationship with all my mother’s people. If the woman had known how strongly my roots were into my mother’s path, perhaps she would have given up. I know I have been fortunate or perhaps unfortunate (who knows) but I was brought up a half and half home like you all know. Wednesdays and Sundays were Baptist church day, the rest of the time, look out…..Well in fact, those other days were my favorite. The Elders having a cauldron hanging over an open hearth, they would mix their potions and brews. Of course, I would always sneak in and watch them. I got caught watching and instead of throwing me out on my ear, they embraced me. So my teachings in the Craft started very early. I knew my mother believed in it and I guess, perhaps, I thought after she passed this was my way of staying connected with her. But the more I learned and studied about the Craft. The more I grew to love it. I can say personally, I went to a many Baptist church and I never saw and experienced what I have with the Craft. I believe to this day, I am still amazed at working a spell and seeing the end results to it. In fact, I am amazed at the great gift the Goddess has given us every day. And you know She had never asked anything from me except for two things. The first one is for my love and the next always trust and believe in myself. I know I grew up half and half. I always heard from the other side, “all things are possible with God.” I believe that except I have rephrased it, “All things are possible with the Goddess.” That I truly believe.

Now I am totally amazed how on earth did I link all this conversation together? Well the event in the store this morning, is just an example of the Goddess working through me. I use to have a very fiery, temper. I have prayed and petitioned for patience when dealing with others (no matter the situation). When we left the store, I had a smile on my face. Mystie, of course, wanted to know what I was smiling about. I said nothing. But I did say a very warm hearted “thank you” under my breathe to our Divine Mother.

You see I can start out talking about one thing but I always try a way to bring the Goddess into that conversation. Sometimes it makes sense and all connects, sometimes it doesn’t. I know most of you reading this believe the same way I do. But we have visitors from all over. I want those visitors who have ever doubted the Craft as being a real religion to realize it is very real. I want those who don’t believe we have a higher power we believe, that we do. I want them to know a lot of things about us and our Religion. But to do that, we have to knock down a few barriers still. So this as in every article I write, I try with all my might to bring our Divine Mother and Religion into the conversation. I don’t know if it is smart or dumb on my part. Start out with one topic, grab their attention then before they know it they are reading a little bit about us and our religion. I sincerely hope it is working. And now you know why some of the conversations with you, end up the way they do.

Well it has been a long time since we had a heart to heart. And I guarantee you, it will be a long time before it happens again, lol! I know you are hoping for your sake anyway. I just wanted to apologize for missing today. Our computers are all up and running. We will definitely see each and everyone of our dear family & friends tomorrow.

Till then…

Love ya,

Lady A

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Relax & Enjoy The Rest of Your Sunday! Goddess Bless, Till Tomorrow….

Good Afternoon Images
I hope everyone has a very relaxing Sunday, what’s left of it anyway! I don’t know if you noticed today or not, but the postings took way to long. I managed to grab the wrong laptop this morning. This is one I got in June when the updates crashed all of our computers. This one has already had the battery go bad on it. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either. Four months old and the battery goes bad. Its having a bad battery screws up everything. I was about ready to throw it out of the window. I had to stop and restart it three times. Then the posts would go huge, then small (and here it goes again). Anyway, I called the store that it came from and they told me to bring it back they would replace it. So that is what I am going to do before everything closes around here.

 

Gee, just talking about this thing and it screws up. Anyway, before I throw it out the window, I am running. I hope you have a very care-free day and a relaxing evening. We will see you tomorrow. Till then….

 

Love ya,

Lady A

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Incense of the Day for October 19th – “For Emergenies Only” Incense

Incense of the Day

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“FOR EMERGENCIES” ONLY

inspired by Jim Alan’s song “Talkin’ Wicca Blues”

3 Parts Frankincense
2 parts Dragon’s Blood
2 parts Myrrh 1 Part Rosemary
1 Part Asafoetida *
1 Part Cayenne *
1 part Grains of paradise
1 Part Rue*
1 Part Garlic *

Burn to be rid of foul demons, wrathful spirits, tax collectors, drunks and other noisome creatures. Stand back and hold your nose or better still, leave the room while this incense is smoldering. Those herbs marked * aren’t necessarily dangerous or baneful, but they emit a powerful smoke that is irriating to the eyes, nose and lungs.

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Gemstone of the Day for October 19th – Tiger’s Eye

Gemstone of the Day

Tiger’s Eye

                                                                   

Hardness: 7                    
Specific Gravity: 2.6                      
Chemistry: SiO2
Class: Quartz                     
Crystallography: Trigonal                         
Cleavage: none
Fracture: Splintery to conchoidal                      
Streak: yellow – brown                        
Luster: vitreous


Healing: Tiger’s Eye relieves high blood pressure. Tiger’s Eye is also used to treat bronchial issues, asthma, kidney, rheumatic and heart disease issues.

Magical Workings: Roman soldiers once wore Tiger’s Eye for protection in battle. Tiger’s Eye is used for focusing the mind, it is thought to be all seeing due to its unique appearance.. It is said that Tiger’s Eye offers protection during travel, strengthens convictions and confidence. A personal symbol carved in Tiger’s Eye is excellent for use in meditation. It is used to enhance one’s psychic abilities.
Tiger’s Eye is associated with the astrological sign of Capricorn and vibrates to the number 4.

Chakra Applications: Tiger’s Eye is used to attune the Third Eye chakra. It is also used to energize the Base chakra and to open the Solar Plexus chakra.

Foot Notes: Tiger’s eye is quartz that contains oriented fibres of crocidolite that have been replaced by silica. During volcanic events, the fibrous asbestos is replaced by iron-bearing quartz called limonite.  Quartz is the most common mineral on earth and makes up to 12% of the earth’s crust.
Tiger’s Eye is the anniversary gemstone for the 9th year of marriage.
Protect tiger eye from scratches and sharp blows. Also avoid large temperature changes.
Source:
Author: Crick
Categories: Articles, Crystals/Gems, Daily Posts | Leave a comment

Herb of the Day for October 19th – Cloves

Herb of the Day

Cloves



Medicinal Uses: Clove oil will stop a toothache when it is applied directly to the cavity. It is very warm and stimulating to the system, and is very useful with people who have cold extremities. Cloves will promote sweating with fevers, colds, and flu. It is often used in remedies for whooping cough. Cloves are also safe and effective for relieving vomiting during pregnancy. Cloves are also well known for their antispasmodic and stimulative properties. The oil contains eugenol, a strong anesthetic and antiseptic substance. Add clove oil to neutral oils for topical pain relief of arthritis. Small amounts of clove in a tea for nausea. 3 cloves in two cups of boiled water, steeped for 20 minutes, as an antiseptic and mouthwash. Former alcoholics can suck on one or two cloves when the craving strikes to curb the desire. Clove kills intestinal parasites and exhibits broad antimicrobial properties against fungi and bacteria supporting its traditional use as a treatment for diarrhea, intestinal worms, and other digestive ailments.

Magickal uses:  Cloves worn in an amulet will drive away negativity and hostility, and stop gossip. It is often carried to stimulate the memory, and can be added to attraction sachets. Clove oil is also worn as an aphrodisiac, and the buds when eaten are said to stir up bodily lusts. It is placed in sachets with mint and rose to chase away melancholy and to help one sleep soundly. Carried, it can also bring comfort to the bereaved and mourning. Carry in a pouch or amulet to attract love. Clove is masculine and associated with the element of Fire. It is ruled by the planet Jupiter.

Properties: Antiseptic, mind and body stimulant, analgesic, antibacterial, carminative. Clove oil is 60 to 90 percent eugenol, which is the source of its anesthetic and antiseptic properties.

Growth: Clove trees are originally from Indonesia. The dried flower buds, clove, are extensively used as spice.

Infusion: Use 1 teaspoon of powdered herb per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 to 20 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups a day.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Deity of the Day for October 19th – Taliesin

Deity of the Day

Taliesin

The Tale of Taliesin
Once there was a witch named Ceridwen, and she had two children. The one, her daughter, was as beautiful a child as you could ever hope to see; the other, her son Morfran, was so ugly, ill-favored and stupid that he sickened everyone who saw him.Ceridwen was grieved that Morfran was so horrible, and resolved by her magic arts to make him into such a great bard that no-one would mind his ugliness. She began to cast a great spell. Many were the plants that she cast into her cauldron, many the incantations said over it. An old blind man named Morda was set to keep the fires burning beneath it, assisted by a young boy, Gwion.The Cauldron of Wisdom and Inspiration must be kept boiling for a year and a day, and then the first three drops from it would impart ultimate knowledge to the one who drank them. But the rest of the liquid would be deadly poison.

Long labored Ceridwen, roaming far to find the rare and exotic herbs she required, and so it chanced that she fell asleep on the last day of the spell. The boy Gwion was stirring the brew when three drops flew out onto his thumb, and they were scalding hot, so that he thrust it into his mouth to stop the burning. Instantly, he had the wisdom and inspiration of ages, and the first thing that occurred to him was that Ceridwen would be very angry.

He ran away from the house of Ceridwen, but all too soon he heard the fury of her pursuit. Using his new magical powers, he turned himself into a hare. She turned into a greyhound bitch, and gained ever more on him. He came to a river, and quick as thinking became a fish. She became an otter. He leapt from the water, and in the middle of his leap became a bird of the air. The witch Ceridwen became a hawk. In desperation, he looked down and saw a pile of wheat. He dived, landed, and as it scattered he turned into a single grain. Then she landed and became a hen, and pecked at the grain until she had swallowed Gwion.

Soon after, Ceridwen found herself with child, though she had lain with no man. When she realized that the baby was Gwion, she resolved to kill it, and Morfran wanted her to also, in revenge for his not becoming a bard. In due course, the babe was born, and Morfran would have slaughtered him on the spot, but the mother said no, because it was the most beautiful child ever seen. But she took him and, sewing him in a bag, set him adrift on the ocean.

Now there was at that time in Gwynedd, a lord named Gwyddno Garanhir, who had a son, Elphin, that was reckoned the most unlucky man alive. There was a weir on Gwyddno’s land that had always had a huge catch of salmon in it on May Eve, so Gwyddno resolved to let Elphin have it to help turn his luck.

So it was that on May Eve, Elphin and two of his father’s men went to the weir. Net after net he pulled, but there were no fish.

“Why, you’ve turned the luck of the weir,” they growled.
“Just wait,” said Elphin, “I haven’t finished yet. There might still be something…”
There were no fish. But just as they were about to go, Elphin noticed something caught on a pole of the weir. He waded out and brought it back.
“More bad luck,” grumbled the men.
“There may be a treasure inside,” Elphin replied as he carefully slit open the greased leather bag he held.
To his very great astonishment, he saw the forehead of a baby, so white and beautiful that it seemed to shine.
“A radiant brow!” he exclaimed. (tal iesin in Welsh.)
“Yes, Taliesin, that will do well enough,” said the baby.
Elphin was so surprised he nearly dropped it. The men muttered and made the sign against evil.

He put the child in front of him on the horse and they rode for home. While they rode, Elphin’s thoughts were gloomy, as he realized they still had no salmon. But the babe in front of him spoke, saying

“Fair Elphin, cease your lament!
Swearing profits no-one.
It is not evil to hope
Nor does any man see what supports him,
Not an empty treasure is the prayer of Cynllo,
Nor does God break his promise.
No catch in Gwyddno’s weir
Was ever as good as tonight’s.

“Fair Elphin, dry your cheeks!
Such sorrow does not become you,
Although you consider yourself cheated
Excessive sorrow gains nothing,
Nor will doubting God’s miracles.
Although I am small, I am skilful.
From the sea and the mountain,
From the river’s depth
God gives His gifts to the blessed.

“Elphin of the generous spirit,
Cowardly is your purpose,
You must not grieve so heavily.
Better are good than evil omens.
though I am weak and small,
Spumed with Dylan’s wave,
I shall be better for you
Than three hundred shares of salmon.

“Elphin of noble generosity,
Do not sorrow at your catch.
Though I am weak on the floor of my basket,
There are wonders on my tongue.
“While I am watching over you,
no great need will overcome you.
be mindful of the name of the Trinity
And none shall overcome you.”

“How can this be, that you, a babe, can talk?” marveled Elphin.
Again Taliesin replied with a poem.

“Firstly I was formed in the shape of a handsome man,
in the hall of Ceridwen in order to be refined.
Although small and modest in my behavior,
I was great in her lofty sanctuary.

“While I was held prisoner, sweet inspiration educated me
and laws were imparted to me in a speech which had no words;
but I had to flee from the angry, terrible hag
whose outcry was terrifying.

“Since then I have fled in the shape of a crow,
since then I have fled as a speedy frog,
since then I have fled with rage in my chains,
– a roe-buck in a dense thicket.

“I have fled in the shape of a raven of prophetic speech,
in the shape of a satirizing fox,
in the shape of a sure swift,
in the shape of a squirrel vainly hiding.

“I have fled in the shape of a red deer,
in the shape of iron in a fierce fire,
in the shape of a sword sowing death and disaster,
in the shape of a bull, relentlessly struggling.

“I have fled in the shape of a bristly boar in a ravine,
in the shape of a grain of wheat.
I have been taken by the talons of a bird of prey
which increased until it took the size of a foal.

“Floating like a boat in its waters,
I was thrown into a dark bag,
and on an endless sea, I was set adrift.

“Just as I was suffocating, I had a happy omen,
and the master of the Heavens brought me to liberty.”

By the time he finished, they had arrived at the court of Gwyddno.
Everyone crowded round to see how big the catch was. Elphin held up Taliesin for them all to see.
“What is that? Where is the catch?” asked Gwyddno.
“Here is the catch, father, see, I have caught a bard.”
“Well, what use is that? Don’t you have a good wife, who can bear you many strong sons of your own?”
“He will get more profit from me than the weir ever gave you,” said Taliesin.
“Can you speak, and you so small?” asked Gwyddno.
“Indeed, I am better able to answer than you are to question me.” claimed the baby.
Then Gwyddno asked him what else he had to say, and Taliesin replied with another poem. So Elphin rejoiced, that his luck had turned, and gave Taliesin to his wife to care for. She loved the baby very much, and time passed and he grew up.

The king of the land at that time was Maelgwn, a somewhat vain man who surrounded himself with toadies and fawning sycophants. The year that Taliesin turned thirteen, Elphin received a summons from the king, demanding his presence at the Christ Mass feast at midwinter. Elphin would much rather have stayed home with his wife and foster son, but as a dutiful subject (and a relative of the king besides) he went.

As they all sat around the high table, the other men vied with one another to see who could praise Maelgwn the most. Elphin was an honest man, and he couldn’t honestly say that the king’s bards were better or the queen a fairer woman, than those waiting at his home.
“What, so silent, Elphin? Can our loyal subject then find nothing to praise his king for?” said Maelgwn.
“Well, my lord,” said Elphin, “I would say that though I am not a king, yet my wife is as fair and as virtuous as any woman in the kingdom – and my bard the best in Gwynedd.”
“Insolence!” roared Maelgwn. “Throw him in our deepest dungeon! Let him be chained there until the falsity of his monstrous claim can be shown once and for all! And we think we know just how to do that…”

Taliesin was out skating. As he bent down to take the skates off, he glanced at a patch of ice, and fell into a trance, where he saw all that had befallen Elphin. When he woke, he rushed home to tell Elphin’s wife.

Maelgwn had a son named Rhun, a lecher so revolting that to be seen with him would tarnish a woman’s reputation beyond repair. This son he sent to Elphin’s home, to seduce his wife and show the falsity of his claim. When Rhun came to the gate, he was welcomed, if not warmly, then civilly, by young Taliesin. He showed the prince into the hall, where sat a woman dressed in finery, with rings upon her fingers and a golden torque.

“How delicious!” thought Rhun. “I’ll enjoy this, I can tell.”

She made him welcome and they supped together. Rhun poured cup after cup of wine for her, and foolishly she drank it all. Soon she was giggly and silly, and she assented to his request to withdraw with him to some place more private. Rhun waited until she fell asleep in a drunken stupor, then tried to remove the ring from her plump hand. It would not come off, so quick as lightning he cut the finger off, ring and all.

Laughing, he rode back to his father’s house. Maelgwn was delighted with his son’s performance. He called for Elphin to be brought forth.
“Well, cousin, how say you now? The prince Rhun has had your wife with her willing cooperation. Do you persist in your stupid claim that she is so very fair and virtuous?”
Elphin paled, and feared for his wife, for he did not really believe that any woman, let alone she, would lie with Rhun by choice.
“How do you know this, my king?” he asked.
“My son’s word is good enough for me – and should be for you, too.”
“I’m sorry, my king, but even the money-lenders ask for solid proof where the prince Rhun is concerned.”
The king growled, but the courtiers were, this once, murmuring in agreement with Elphin.
“Since that’s not enough for you, see here is her finger. Do you deny that this is her ring?”
Elphin looked closely at the severed digit.
“Indeed, my lord, it is her ring, but I do deny that it’s on her finger.”
“How so, knave?” roared the enraged monarch.
“For three reasons, my king. First, my wife is a small woman, and this ring sits loosely on her thumb, but it’s jammed so tightly on this finger that it won’t come off. Second, ever since I’ve known her, my wife has trimmed her nails every Sabbath Eve, and this nail hasn’t been trimmed this month, I’d say. Third, we keep servants for kneading bread dough – I certainly don’t require my lady wife to do it. And yet you see under this nail and in the creases of the finger, traces of the rye dough this hand was lately kneading. I fear that the prince has despoiled some innocent kitchen wench, but whoever it was, it wasn’t my wife.”

The court cowered before Maelgwn’s fury.
“You won’t get away from it that easily!” Maelgwn declared. “If your bard is so great, let him come and compete with ours. Now take him away, before we get tired of him.”
Hurriedly, the guards took Elphin back to the cell.

Taliesin was already seeing about provisions for the journey, while Elphin’s wife looked after the poor nine-fingered maidservant. He arrived at the court two days later, and slipped through the gates. He made his way to the throne room and sat in the corner. When the king’s bards filed in, he pouted his lips at them and played blerwm, blerwm on them, and the bards stood still and played blerwm, blerwm on their lips instead of praising Maelgwn. Maelgwn finally ordered a guard to strike Heinnin Fardd, his chief bard. This broke their trance enough that Heinnin Fardd could explain to Maelgwn that there was a devil in the form of a child who had cast a spell on them.

Then Maelgwn had Taliesin brought out, and questioned him.

“I have come to salvage Elphin’s honor and his freedom. Taliesin am I, primary chief bard to Elphin.

“Primary chief poet
Am I to Elphin.
And my native country
Is the place of the Summer Stars.
“John the Divine
Called me Merlin,
But all future kings
Shall call me Taliesin.

“I was nine full months
In the womb of Ceridwen.
Before that I was Gwion,
But now I am Taliesin.

“I was with my king
In the heavens
When Lucifer fell
Into the deepest hell.

“I carried the banner
Before Alexander.
I know the names of the stars
From the North to the South.

“I was in Caer Bedion
Tetragrammaton.
I accompanied Heon
To the vale of Hebron.

“I was in the canon
When Absalom was slain.
I was in Llys Don
Before the birth of Gwydion.

“I was patriarch
To Elijah and Enoch.
I was there at the crucifixion
Of the merciful Mabon.

“I was the foreman
At the construction of Nimrod’s Tower.
I was three times
In the prison of Arianrhod.

“I was in the ark
With Noah and Alpha
I witnessed the destruction
Of Sodom and Gomorrah.

“I was in Africa
Before the building of Rome.
I came here
To the remnant of Troy

“I was with the Lord
In the manger of the ass.
I upheld Moses
Through the water of Jordan.

“I was at the Cross
With Mary Magdalene.
I received the muse
From Ceridwen’s cauldron.

“I was a harping bard
To Deon of Lochlin.
I have gone hungry
For the Righteous One.

“I was at the White Mount
in the court of Cynfelyn.
In stocks and in fetters
For a year and a day.

“I was in the larder
In the land of the Trinity.
And no-one knows whether my body
Is flesh or fish.

“I was instructor
To the whole universe.
I shall be until the judgement
On the face of the Earth.

“I have sat in the perilous seat
Above Caer Sidi.
I shall continue to revolve
Between the three elements.

“There is a marvel in the world
Which I cannot reveal.”
“And all this makes you think you’re better than my bards,” sneered Maelgwn, “My bards, who have trained for twenty years.”
“They are as nothing beside me,” declared Taliesin.
“Well then, my lord,” said Heinnin Fardd, so as not to be left entirely out of the proceedings, “certainly a contest will decide the matter.”
“Why not? Me against all the king’s bards. The contest – to compose a poem on the wind.” Taliesin was serenely confident.
“Of course the king must judge,” fawned Heinnin Fardd. “Who better?”
“And this contest will take place in twenty minutes,” Maelgwn announced. (He was getting bored.)
“Twenty… my lord, I entreat you, I implore you, how can an epic be composed in -” Heinnin Fardd was desperate.
“Just do it, get on with it, I’m getting sick of this.”

Heinnin Fardd and the king’s bards huddled in the corner, consulting scrolls of rhymes and metaphors. Every so often, one let out a yelp of frustration. Taliesin lounged on the floor, laughing at their discomfiture.

When the time was up, the king’s bards stood in a line before the throne and bowed.
“O greatest of kings, hear our song.

Blerwm, blerwm,
blerwm, blerwm,
blerwm, blerwm,
blerwm, blerwm.”

“Knaves! Fools! Miserable swine! Was it for this that I paid you in gold and precious gems?” The court had never seen Maelgwn so angry. The bards groveled in the rushes. “Mighty king, it was not our fault! It’s that demon child.”

Taliesin, admittedly, was smirking in a most irritating fashion.
“So it’s my turn?” he asked. He stood up straight and began. While he sang, a great wind arose and buffeted the castle, shaking it to its foundations. Maelgwn was afraid, and he called for Elphin to be brought out.

As soon as Elphin was brought out, Taliesin stopped the wind, and sang a new song that caused Elphin’s chains to fall away from his ankles and wrists. Then he cried out to Elphin’s wife to enter the hall, and she held her hands up so that everyone could see that she had ten fingers. Maelgwn was angrier than ever.

“You think you’re so great. You’re nothing! I bet my horses are better than yours, anyway.”
Taliesin smiled and whispered to Elphin, “Take him up on it – I know how to make us win.”
“I accept, my king.”
“Then let there be a horse race.”

Elphin led the other two home. On the appointed day, they returned, leading a lame old horse. Maelgwn rubbed his hands in glee.

The horses started – Taliesin riding old Dobbin. As each horse of the king’s overtook him, he struck it on the rump with a holly twig, then let it fall. As the king’s horses got further and further ahead, no-one could understand why Taliesin was still smiling. He slowed down and dropped his cap – again, no-one knew why.

Old Dobbin reached half-way, and Taliesin stopped him for a rest. The king’s horses had long since passed them on the way back. Dobbin started back. As the king’s horses passed the discarded holly twigs that Taliesin had struck them with, they stopped, reared up on their hind legs, and began to dance. The whole court was in fits of ill-concealed laughter, except Maelgwn and Rhun.

Taliesin and Dobbin wandered past them to the finish line. Maelgwn saw no alternative to letting them go. On the way home, Taliesin bid Elphin stop where he had dropped his cap. He had some men dig a hole at the spot, and they dug up a great chest full of treasure.

“Truly, Taliesin, never could I regret the day I pulled you out from the weir,” said Elphin as they rode away.

FINIS

(It is said that afterwards, Taliesin went to the court of Arthur, where he was chief harper and adviser to the king.)

Taliesin is also the name of a town in the U.S.A., named after the bard by Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

by Jennifer Cochrane

Website: Encyclopedia Mythica

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Deities, The Gods | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

A Little Thought From Me to You….

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WOTC Cartoon of the Day – “When You Shave A Cat, Poor Thing, lol!”

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