Sunday, August 20, 2017

August Challenge: Dark Moon (Day 20)

The deck I've chosen to use for this challenge is based on Welsh mythology, and ultimately I think I chose it as my first deck because Ceridwen appears as The Priestess. Today's challenge was especially meaningful for me because it asks that rather than pulling a card, we contemplate The Priestess.

For those not familiar with Ceridwen, in Welsh mythology, she appears as both a goddess and a powerful sorceress. In fact, there's some dispute as to if she's even supposed to be a goddess. For someone so central to the Celtic/Welsh mythos, I've always found it odd that there is really only one story about her and her sole purpose is giving birth to Taliesin.

For the Welsh incarnation of the triple goddess, she is the crone. An honor shared by Morgan in Arthurian legend. According to Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway:
The Crone, or Dark Mother, sometimes called the Hag, has black as her color, the color of darkness where all life rests before rebirth. This aspect of the Goddess is Winter, night, wisdom, counsel, the gateway to death and reincarnation, the waning Moon.
For me, she's always been a part of my life. The first place I can remember encountering her name was in Lost Magic by Berthe Amoss. The internet then isn't what it is these days, and I had no idea the author was writing of this name that would become so important to me from only a couple major cities away. In fact, I've been desperately searching for the name of this book off and on for years... it was today that my searches finally yielded a result! Her name appeared in other stories I held dear as a child, but unfortunately that's the only one I remember distinctly.

However, what I viewed as a concept of her, appeared over and over. Maybe she's even the reason I've spent most of my life as a red-head because that's how I always envisioned her. To me, she's passion, insightfulness, and empathy. She's a woman wise beyond her years, capable and independent. How disappointing to me when I learn her story, known for being the mother of a famous bard. Her symbol a white sow and referred to as a hag. I ultimately rejected her and all my youthful fantasies as misplaced. She's not the powerful figure I thought her to be.

But, I was so wrong. I just didn't understand. It's unfortunate that more stories of her do not exist. I believe there is so much more to learn and know of her, but her figure as Dark Mother and appearance as the Priestess lends much to understanding her. She is everything I instinctively believed her to be and more. Her lesson is to look inward, deep into the dark crevices of yourself to find your inner power to bring to the surface. Don't shy away from the things inside you, embrace them--the ugly and the beautiful.

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