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Samhain Essay: Paying Respects - page 18 / 22

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"So. The Celtic calendar-alphabet within which is contained the Name of the Creator. This is an incantation of great power. Apprentice, where dwells this man?"

I am a hawk: above the cliff

"In the Land of the Lightning Bolt, on the western shore of the Southern Sea."

I am a hill of poetry

"This Dylan is a simple man who finds joy in the experiences of the natural world, and who has had little formal training in poetry and myth."

I am a wave of the sea

"Think you that such a one would be suitable for our purpose, Apprentice?"

I am a tear : The sun lets fall

"Perhaps I do, Master, for it is plain that he feels the magic present in the verse that he reads, although he is ignorant as to its meaning."

I am a wizard: Who but I Sets the cool head Aflame with smoke?

"What text does this man recite from?" queried the Master. "`The White Goddess' by Robert Graves," came the reply.

I am a breaker: Threatening doom

"Ah!, Graves is it!" exclaimed the Master. "`The White Goddess' is his excellent history of poetic myth and a guide to the foundations of language. Its in luence should serve well to facilitate our work with this `man of the natural world'."

Invoke, People of the Sea, invoke the poet, That he may compose a spell for you.

For I, the Druid, who set out letters in Ogham form, I, who part combatants,

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I will approach the ring fort of the Sidhe to seek a cunning poet that together we may concoct incantations.

I am a wind of the sea

***

As he finished reading the last line of the three thousand year old poem, the hair rose on the back of Dylan's neck. A rush of energy coursed up his spine and he was flooded with an ecstatic feeling he had never before felt. "Wow! Incredible!" exclaimed Dylan to himself.

"This poem, what's it called? `The Song of Amergin.' Why is it affecting me this way? These ancient words mean little to me, but I can't stop the feeling that I've known them before in other times, other places."

Late into the moonlit night he read on in wonder, and finally, with the sea sounds outside the window lulling him, he slept.

When Dylan awoke the next morning, the sun had been up for an hour. Rubbing the sleep from his blue eyes, he went outside to look for his wife, Dana. He found her pruning plants among the array of green hues in the garden. After a morning kiss, Dylan took her hand and they sat down beneath an oak tree's gently bobbing branches, where he related to her his experience of the previous night. "The feeling that I've known that ancient poem before is accompanied by the equally unlikely notion that Robert Graves, in the year of my birth, wrote `The White Goddess' specifically for me to study," he said wonderingly.

"Maybe it does all have a meaning," replied Dana. "In my studies of the metaphysical, I've read that there are no coincidences or intuitions without some reason, and that it's wise to heed them when they occur."

"Honey, as you know," answered Dylan, "I've always been skeptical of accounts of magic and mysticism, but from the words of a long-dead bard, my imagination has been given a tremendous charge of energy, and I have to know what it's all about."

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