Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Ent

Ents, also known as talking trees, are rarely encountered and its a great privilege to actually see or talk with one.
Oracular Trees are attributed with the ability to speak to individuals, especially those gifted in divination. In particular, Druids were said to be able to consult Oak trees for divinatory purposes, as were the Streghe with Rowan trees.

The word "Ent" was taken from the Anglo-Saxon (Old English) word ent, meaning "giant". Ents are probably the most ubiquitous of all creatures in fantasy and folklore, perhaps second only to dragons, most famously known now as the Ents in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth stories.

Perhaps not quite Ents, but the Cad Goddeu (The Battle of the Trees) medieval Welsh poem preserved in the 14th-century manuscript known as the Book of Taliesin refers to a traditional story in which the legendary enchanter Gwydion animates the trees of the forest to fight as his army. The poem is especially notable for its striking and enigmatic symbolism and the wide variety of interpretations this has occasioned particulalry by Robert Graves in his book The White Goddess.

I made a short animation based on the Cad Goddeu - 
Taliesins Battle Of The Trees;

In Ireland a tree may help a person look for a leprechaun's gold, although it normally does not know where the gold is.

According to Greek mythology, all the trees in the Dodona (northwestern Greece, Epirus) grove (the forest beside the sanctuary of Zeus) became endowed with the gift of prophecy, and the oaks not only spoke and delivered oracles while in a living state, when built into the ship Argo the wood spoke and warned of approaching calamities.
The rustling of the leaves on an Oak tree was regarded as the voice of Zeus.

The Greek Talking Elm: Philostratus spoke about two philosophers arguing beneath an elm tree in Ethiopia which spoke up to add to the conversation.

The Indian Tree of the Sun and the Moon: Told the future. Two parts of the tree trunk spoke depending on the time of day; in the daytime the tree spoke as a male and at night it spoke as a female. Alexander the Great and Marco Polo are said to have visited this tree.

In Hugh Lofting's 1928 novel Doctor Dolittle in the Moon, the lunar flowers and trees are intelligent and capable of communication by using scents, the sounds of wind through branches, etc.

Imbued with Earth wisdom gathered over their very long life spans, the Ent is a friend to consult on all serious matters, but dont expect a hasty answer for as J.R.R.Tolkien explains of the Ent “My name is growing all the time, and I’ve lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story. Real names tell you the story of the things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time to say anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.”

Blessed Be the Ent and Ent Friends xx ~

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Environmental Serenity Prayer

As a species we are creating destruction of our planet, its delicately balanced ecospheres and fragile biodiversities around the world. Our addiction to Oil and to consumption of world resources and rapidly declining creatures presents the behaviour of a species wildly out of control. 
To remedy this we need to change our ways and to help others do the same, to protect and nurture the nature that supports us. To consume less, with greater enironmental and ethical awareness, to pollute less, to conserve and protect the world as a prerequisite for living upon and within it.
Here is my Environmental version of The Serenity Prayer to hopefully inspire others to walk the path with a heart and to help heal the Earth.

Gaia grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The brevity of a beautiful day and my time upon the earth,
The harshness of the seasons and futility of a world without mirth.
Of people who are foolish, the heartless and the cruel,
The death of all our loved ones - natures immutable rule.

Gaia grant me the courage to change the things that I can;
Such as impatience with ignorance in all its forms -
Consciousness raising to basic humanitarian norms,
Respect for our ancestors bones and sacred circles of stones -
Spiritual diversity imbues this life with mysterious meanings unknown,
Saving ancient forests and trees who make the air that we breathe -
Our narrow parameters of existence enabled by evironments we need,
Getting rid of greenhouse gassess and anthropogenic emissions -
By curbing industrial air pollution and such short sighted commissions,
Offsetting offsetting because lifes microhabitats are rare -
And cannot be replaced at goblin markets of biochemical fare,
Forgoing fracking - both public and secret -
That earth be safe without carcinogenic chemical seepage,
Dropping dioxin toxins and plant pesticide armagedon -
By fostering farming that is safe to the seventh generation,
Barring gene splicings and science fiction mutations -
By supporting a sustainable world built on ecological foundations,
Rescinding radiation, nuclear-atomic aberration -
For sunlight and windpower and possibly clean fusion salvation,
Ommitting oil spills from oceans by choosing -
Other forms of energy and greater care using,
Abandoning xenoestrogens in birth control pills -
And countless strange medecines that do not cure our ills,
Ending genocide and ecocide in all of its forms -
By supporting green business that all survive lifes storms,
Not a call for new luddites and progress avoiders,
But rather for compassion, so please come and join us.

Gaia grant me the wisdom to know the difference today,
To take personal action in every small way -

Choices I make to give and to take,
To understand the consequences and blessings,

c. Titus.L 2014

Sunday, 5 January 2014

A Russian Fairytale

Let me tell you a tale without a story today,
In a land both ancient and very far away.
It is not a history nor a mystery play,
But simply a celebration of things such as they may.
In an old world where the imagination may play,
If you have an imagination then welcome I pray -
If you do not...well, what can I say....
Be that as it may, and it may be, as I say,
Nevertheless I invite you today.
Step inside a new fairytale wide,
And discover for yourself if you can step inside,
The meaning of the story without words as it ran.
Herewith and without much further ado,
Allow me to now introduce to you,
A Russian Fairytale - do not misconstrue.
This magical tale is a gift for you.

Slavic Fairytales
Slavic fairy tales overflow with fantastical creatures such as Alkonost, Baba Yaga, Koschei the Deathless, Firebird, Zmey, also with songs and tales of legendary heroes such as Russian bogatyrs, and superstitions about various nature spirits such as the Domovoi- the home spirit and Leshky or Forest spirit.
Folk celebrations of various Christian festivals are also very popular with beliefs in various saints replacing earlier myths and legends, for instance St Elijah the Thunderer, is a replacement of old thunder-god Perun. Likewise, traces of ancient deities can also be found in cults of many other saints, such as St Mary, St Vitus, St George, St Blaise and St Nicholas, and it is also obvious that various folk celebrations, such as the spring feast of Jare or Jurjevo and the summer feast of Ivanje or Ivan Kupala, both very loosely associated with Christian holidays, are abundant with pre-Christian elements. These beliefs have considerable religious and sacral significance to the people still performing them. More information on Slavic Mythology here.
In this context, my amalgamation of two differing traditions is a heartfelt attempt to portray that all the spirit denizens coexist with the many faiths and respect each other in the same spiritual universe.

Orthodox Christmas Day - Russia (Jan 7)
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks banned Christmas celebrations. Many Christmas traditions, such as decorating a fir tree and giving presents, turned into New Year's traditions. Christmas became an official holiday and a non-labor day in Russia in 1991. It began regaining popularity only recently, partially because Russian leaders, starting with Vladimir Putin, annually attend a Christmas liturgy. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates religious holidays according to the Julian calendar. Russia uses the Gregorian calendar for secular purposes since 1918.

Ghenghis Khan - Tengriism
Ghenghis Khan although a follower of Tengri, was religiously tolerant and very interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. He frequently consulted Buddhist monks, Muslims, Christian missionaries, and the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji. In Tengriism, the meaning of life is seen as living in harmony with the surrounding world. Tengriist believers view their existence as sustained by the eternal blue Sky, Tengri, the fertile Mother-Earth, spirit Eje, and a ruler who is regarded as the holy spirit of the Sky. Heaven, Earth, the spirits of nature and the ancestors provide every need and protect all humans. By living an upright and respectful life, a human being will keep his world in balance and maximize his personal power Wind Horse.

Wind Horse - Prayers In Tibet
A Wind Horse, or Tibetan Lung-Ta is a prayer flag which like a horse carries the vibration of the colours  prayers, and auspicious symbols written or painted on them across the countryside, up the mountains, and into the clouds bringing happiness, long life and prosperity to the flag planter and to all those in the vicinity. Tibetan Bhuddists, Shaman and many others realise that color has energy and that written prayers and blessings travel in time and space. Tibetan traditions connected blue with sky or space, white with air or clouds, red with fire, green with water, and yellow with earth.

Year of the Horse - China
In Chinese astrology, Horse year is considered a fortunate year that brings luck and good things as Horse has supernatural powers, is heroic, strong, and can fly. A white Celestial Cloud Horse is sacred to the Chinese Goddess Kwan Yin. Her white Horse flies through the heavens, bringing peace and blessings.  January 30, 2014 at 11:20 pm PST begins the year of the Wood Horse. Horse has supernatural powers, is heroic, strong, and can fly. Wood is the cosmic element associated with growth, spring, something new coming out or breaking through, and with creativity. The 2014 Wood element has a positive polarity. This means that a seed will be planted, something new will be created. It will be a year for cooperation and helping each other, towards a higher purpose.
The 'Longma' or horse-dragon is a sign of connection with the manifestation of one of the legendary sage-rulers of legend, particularly one of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors. The Chinese monk Xuanzang, was legendarily held to have retrieved Buddhist scriptures from India with the help of a famous Bailongma, or 'White Dragon-Horse'.
In Russia they refer to the year of the Blue Horse, while in Chinese tradition the Horse is Green. In fact both blue and green are possible, as are emerald and turquoise. Green is the color associated with wood, nature and harmony. Blue is the color for Water, the element that nourishes the Wood.

The horse plays a significant part in native shamanism of Asiatic peoples.  Here the white horse is used to transport the shaman to mediate with souls of the dead and to return messages from the other world to the living.  The shaman’s drum, used to assist attainment of the altered state of consciousness, is often referred to as 'the horse'.

Celtic Myth
Celtic peoples developed a horse-based society, and as such were dependent upon the horse for their success through Europe.  In Celtic mythology the goddess Epona was the protectress of the horse and horse keepers, she is also attributed with concern for guidance of the soul to the afterlife. Tacitus noted in the 1st century that Germanic Celtic priests considered horses to understand the will of the gods more clearly than man and so could reveal divine secrets.  The legendary horse was available for travel to other realms and could travel over land and water and between realms with equal ease.

Norse Myth

Scandinavian culture likewise attached great importance to the horse as a means of transport and warfare.  Bronze Age Scandinavians associated the horse with the journeying sun, as clearly indicated by the model of a bronze horse drawing a gold plated sun disc found at Trundholm in Denmark.  Solar and lunar significance prevailed, with Skinfaxi and Hrimfaxi drawing the sun and moon across the sky respectively and so being responsible for the continuity of solar and lunar cycles.  Sleipnir, the 8-legged mount of Odin was considered to be the universal traveller, able to carry his rider over land and water, and to Hel and back.

May the Blessing of the Wind Horse find you ever Healthy, Happy and Free.
Celestial Elf  ~