Ahh, Merlin. A man, a mage, a shaman of many talents and many guises. I had met Merlin before the pilgrimage to Wales, in my teenage years, in my prior trip to Wales and in many journeys. Of all my experiences with him, one of my favorites is with Merlin as a wild man of the forest. But the thing I love the best? Well, besides how accessible he is as a guide to many? It is that he is both shaman and mage, as am I.
So many times on this path we try to label things and each other, the idea that we can’t be both things at once. The mystery is so often found in the paradox, and I find much power in the between, in the merging of the shaman and the mage within.
And so, Merlin speaks to me, to that part of myself that is between, that walks in all worlds. Perhaps he does, or will, to you too.
My experience with him later in the pilgrimage on Dinas Emrys was quite powerful, as was the entire week, and there is so much more I want to share about him, but for now, join me as we turn the page and look at what is next from when I took part in the Temple of Witchcraft pilgrimage to Wales last August…
The Wild Magick of Wales Pilgrimage, Day 2, Sunday, August 18, 2013…
We spent a beautiful day in Port Merion. Port Merion is a fanciful city created as one man’s dream. Ice cream, don’t mind if I do. Mint chip, please and thank you! Lovely shops, beautiful scenery, the sea, Crows.
Then we returned to our retreat house, to our meeting room, where I received my author’s copy of The Waters & Fire of Avalon, which contains several of my essays from the pilgrimage to Glastonbury two years before. I’ll share more about my experiences in Glastonbury once we complete the tale of Wales, though you can read one tale here – A Journey Through Dion Fortune’s Grave to the Spirit of Spider.
We talked of Merlin and the tales of initiation, of soul crafting, of Faery marriage and of Fetch Beasts (you might have an interest in a blog I wrote A Journey Through The Eyes Of Animals).
We prepared for our working that evening. Into the chalice went rose hip wine, Chalice Well apple juice, Chalice Well water and nine drops of colloidal silver. We then held our chalices for our portion.
As I held my chalice, I saw many images … Pegasus, Phoenix, Wings, Flames, and Merlin with a flame in the room near me. Then I saw Merlin looking out over the water at the Full Moon – the moon under which we were later to do our ritual. We drew in the Moon’s power through our breath and into our chalice.
One of the connections as we communed with Merlin that resonated with me was the apple trees and pigs with which he had a bond. It was Merlin as shaman. The tale is that under the apple tree he awakens his prophecy and gift of sight. And the idea in his story of a triple death as an initiatory story. Those who know me know that I have a strong affinity for the Apple Tree and for Avalon, and I wrote of the Apple Tree’s story for the book The Green Lover.
We anointed our wands with Sandalwood and Cinnamon and we began our journey.
I carried my Oak wand. As I entered my journey and walked up to the Great World Tree, I touched my Oak wand to that great Oak tree. As that is how the World Tree appears to me most often, as a giant and beautiful Oak.
I found Merlin right away. Or rather, he let me find him. He was waiting.
It was in a dark woods outside of a cave, next to a fire with a cauldron. He was darker, wild and his robe was wild as well, made up of the woods and his surroundings.
Merlin did not speak at first or really much at least with his voice. He cut my right hand, cut his and put my hand to his. Then he took my hand and held it over the cauldron and dropped in our commingled blood.
He took my wand and stirred the cauldron with it. He scooped some up of the magickal brew into a chalice and he bade me drink of it.
He wanted me to make an offering in a river for him, and to teach of him. Later that week I did make that offering, on more than one occasion, and since I have been home. This blog post series on Wales is the first step to honor the second part of his request and my promise to him.
He took my wand and his wand. He pulled power from all the trees in the circle around with his wand, as they were his allies, his friends and comrades. He then projected that power from his wand into my wand, and filled it … and filled me. His work was deep and intense, and I was deep into that journey, fully present with Merlin.
Merlin projected teachings into my right hand, where he had cut my hand just a short time before. He projected information into me through my hand. All I had to say when I wrote of my experience was … wow. Just that. Wow.
On the way out of the journey when he showed me the path out, I saw White Stag for the first time. I also had the feeling that Merlin liked the apple that I had placed on the altar before our journey together.
Merlin told me the reason why he went mad. The words do not come easy as he showed me more in pictures than in words, but it was like a circuit overload of information and all of the constant inflow of information that he received continuously through his sight. It was easier for him to separate, in order to hold the space and bring the information through by escaping to the forest and to the cave.
I came out of the journey, and I held my Oak wand vertically against my body as I projected the Merlin energy into it. One of those in our group received words of power from Merlin to share with our group, and which we used later that week – U ma gwen ta.
And so it was.
Merlin is there for you, if you have a thought to seek.
He’ll be there for you, whether you’re strong, or if you’re meek.
Call on him as mage, as shaman or wild man of the forest.
If you do then he’ll impart his wisdom and insight of the highest.
Enter the woods quietly, and find a branch on which to sit.
Merlin will be by your side before your fire is lit.
Have no forest? No woods? No problem, for he travels wide.
Seek within and there you shall find that Merlin doth reside.
…so says Merlin in this moment as I write this when he just sent through the above message to share with you all.
One journey. One night. From one pilgrimage. It continues.
So that is the story for now. Until we turn the page to see what comes next …
Read Prior Installments in this tale here …