Claiming Our Power/ The Song of Amergin ~ Beltane 2019

Am gaeth i m-muir
Am tond trethan
Am fuaim mara
Am dam secht ndirend
Am séig i n-aill
Am dér gréne
Am cain lubai
Am torc ar gail
Am he i l-lind
Am loch i m-maig
Am brí a ndai
Am bri i fodb fras feochtu
Am dé delbas do chind codnu
Coiche nod gleith clochur slébe
Cia on co tagair aesa éscai
Cia du i l-laig fuiniud gréne
Cia beir buar o thig tethrach
Cia buar tethrach tibi
Cia dám, cia dé delbas faebru a ndind ailsiu
Cáinte im gai, cainte gaithe

Beltane feels different this year. Usually, this is my happy, fully indulgent, and expressive sabbat packed with great rituals and silly innuendoes. We have done some amazing Beltane’s in the past! This Beltane for me felt different. This year is serious. I understood that when I wrote our Beltane ritual. I even felt the need to do a class for our tradition, to help them tap into this as well. It never really sank in that perhaps it was something the community needed as well.

I read through a great article this afternoon on Patheos, by a fellow Pagan who cited much the same feeling. They had expressed, that our world was on fire, and being torn into pieces. They are right, from the devastating effects we are having on the earth herself, and her children to our own species and the coming of something far darker, Yeah, it’s hard to get up the desire to sing and dance ribbons around a pole with that is going on in our world today.  WE are Witches, men, and women of Power. I feel that it is our duty and obligation to recognize this and channel this Power in a direction that best benefits our world. Perhaps what is lacking for us, is connection and empowerment.

A few weeks ago, Shani Oates of Clan Tubal Caine had reposted The Song of Amergin, it is truly one of my favorites. Her gentle reminder was the inspiration I needed for what became our Beltane 2019.

First, if you will bear with me, I should explain what The Song of Amergin is, then how it truly relates to our Beltane observance, and how to work with it.

Amergin & The Incantation

Amergin Glúingel was a bard, druid and judge for the Milesians in the Irish Mythological Cycle. His two brothers, who became the Kings of Ireland appointed him Chief Ollam of Ireland. He was appointed Chief Ollam of Ireland by his two brothers the kings of Ireland.

There are several variations to the story of Amergin’s arrival in Ireland and to the incantation of The Song of Amergin.

Amergin is said to have been one of the seven sons of Míl Espáine, taking part in the Milesian conquest of Ireland from the Tuatha Dé Danann, in revenge for the death of their great-uncle Íth at the hands of the three kings of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Upon Landing at the estuary of Inber Scéne, which Amerign named for his wife Scéne, who had died at sea. Amergin and The Milesians sought permission to settle Ireland from the three queens of the Tuatha Dé Danann, (Banba, Ériu, and Fódla). Each sister, in turn, agreed yet required Amergin to name the island after each of them.  Ériu is the origin of the modern name Éire, while Banba and Fódla are used as poetic names *

To win the island, The Milesians had to engage the Three Kings in battle, along with their druids and warriors. Amergin acted as one of the impartial judges for the parties, setting the rules of engagement. As part of the rules, The Milesians agreed to leave the island and retreat a short distance back into the ocean beyond the ninth wave, which is a magical boundary. At the agreed-upon signal, they moved toward the beach, however, the druids of the Tuatha Dé Danann raised a magical storm to keep them reaching the shore. Amergin sang an invocation which called upon the spirit of Ireland. That invocation that come to be known as The Song of Amergin. He was able to part the storm and bring the ship safely to land. There were heavy losses on all sides, over several engagements, the Milesians eventually won the Island. The three kings of the Tuatha Dé Danann were killed in single combat by three of the surviving sons of Míl Espáine *

In a similar variation of this story,

Amergin and The Milesians fought the Tuatha Dé Danann, led by The Dagda. Who together with the druids cast spells to keep the Milesians from the shores of Ireland.

In this version when Amergin reaches the shore, the invokes the Spirit of Ireland, the very elements themselves; through a song of wisdom and power. By establishing this connection with the land, with their own Power and sovereignty, the Milesians were able to emerge victorious over the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Later when peace was established between these two peoples, Ireland was divided in half. The Milesians taking the upper half of Ireland and the Tuatha Dé Danann retreating to its lower portion, beneath the land itself. ** 

What is the Song of Amergin

So, what is The Song of Amergin? An incantation? An invocation of the spirit of the land? A song of Power? An evocation of your personal sovereignty? A claiming and consecration of land? An acknowledgment of the Divine power within you?   Yes!

What do you mean Yes?

There are several scholars who have posited that the poem has actual spiritual and cosmological meaning. They feel it connects the nature of the world with the nature of the soul. A wonderful blog post by Brian, in An Introduction to The Song of Amergin, discusses the works of Alwyn and Brinley Rees who are well versed in Indo European Religion. He feels they offer a far deeper explanation, citing that we are reading the medieval text as opposed to unadulterated myth.  (This posting in itself is excellent; I will include large portions of it)

“The Celtic substratum of our story is particularly evident in the obscure poem which Amairgen utters as he first sets his right foot upon Ireland, a poem which gives the coming of the Sons of Míl a significance beyond that of a mere historical invasion…..Potentially, the whole creation is bound up in Amairgen, and Indian parallels preclude the dismissal of his speech as simply an expression of ‘the pride of the sorcerer’. Thus Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita declares himself to be the divine seed without which nothing animate or inanimate exists. He is the Atman, he is Vishnu, Shiva, Brahman, and all the gods, the beginning, the life-span, and the end: ‘I am the radiant sun among the light-givers… among the stars of night, I am the moon … I am Meru among mountain peaks … I am the ocean among waters … Of water-beings I am Varuna: Aryaman among the Fathers: I am Death … I am the Wind…’ He is pre-eminent among hymns, poetic metres, the letters of the alphabet, the months and the seasons: ‘I am the dice-play of the cunning, I am the strength of the strong …I am the silence of things secret: I am the knowledge of the knower … What I have described to you are only a few of my countless forms.’ Vishnu, dormant during the interval of non-manifestation between the dissolution and recreation of the universe delivers himself of a similar series of ‘I am’ utterances. … Similarly Amairgen on the ocean of non-existence embodies the primeval unity of all things.  As such he has the power to bring a new world into being, and his poems are in the nature of creation incantations.” (Rees)

“In addition to connecting the Song and its utterance to, not only the whole of existence, but the act of creation, as a corollary to that, Rees and Rees connect it to transmigration of the soul:” ( Brian)

“Amairgen…is everything, and it is a fair inference that among the Celts, as in India and other lands, there existed alongside the belief in individual reincarnation a doctrine that there is essentially only One Transmigrant. As Ovid expressed it: ‘The spirit wanders, comes now here, now there, and occupies whatever frame it pleases. From beasts it passes into human bodies, and from our bodies into beasts, but never perishes.’” (Rees)

“The Rees brothers draw this conclusion, not from the Song of Amairgen alone, but from a look at the tradition as whole, through the material we have left.  The book, Celtic Heritage, practically culminates with the notion that Celtic religion depicts, “in the concepts of the boundary, the centre, intercalary time, ‘to-day’, betwixts-and-betweens…multiple names, multiple skills, puns and, we may add, metaphors, an ambiguity, or a multiplication or concentration of meaning which makes them fitting symbols of the unmanifest, which is itself the world of chaos and at the same time the ground of all being.” (Brian/ Rees)

“This would later be reflected in the words of Alexei Kondratiev, in The Apple Branch (1998), saying that in “Celtic religion… everything interpenetrates everything else, and nothing is only itself”

“In this light, the Song of Amairgen is not unique, but simply one beautiful instantiation of the Celtic understanding of the interplay between self and totality, and between unity and multiplicity.  In this sense, any such hard distinctions are dependent more on how one approaches existence and at what resolution, than any absolute privileging of one paradigm over the other.”*****

How do we work with The Song of Amergin

We can do this in several ways,

  1. It gives us a look into the mindsets of our forebearers. How they saw the nature of the world and the nature of the soul. Understanding this is key to connecting to how they understood The Divine, worked their own versions of inner alchemy (The Song of Amergin is decidedly inner alchemy), how they related it to personal power and sovereignty.   Even though we as witches & magicians continue to develop our own connections to nature around us, the divine and ourselves, deepening our practice and giving it wings. It begins here with our forebearers.
  2. Invoking the Spirit of the Land. As witches, we call to the land itself. Not just to some far-off land, but this one, we are standing upon. This land which gives us birth and sustenance. It allows us to reconnect, acknowledging that we do not exist on the land, but we are part of it. We are part of this beautiful eco- system, as such have a responsibility to her, as much as she supports us. In invoking the land, we renew that connection, even as it fills and aids us, we must likewise work to protect and sustain her. It is not a one-way street!
  3. Even as we invoke the spirit and renew our connection, we can and should claim and consecrate the land. As we name our father and mother who bore us, we are of her as well. The ancients also understood this connection to the land very well and the claiming of her.

In those periods of history Priestesses were representatives of the Goddesses, who in turn also represented the land. With the ascension to Kingship, Kings would marry these women who were representatives of The Goddess, of the land.   This was, in essence, the King marrying the land. Sacred vows are given to protect, provide, and sustain the land, even as she sustained them. As the King was strong and successful, so the land was strong as successful if his power waned, so did that of the land, the two were one. A reflection of our connection to the land.

In claiming and consecrating the land, we acknowledge her as mother and lover. We share responsibility for her benefit, as she ours. While in the modern day we need no King to be a reflection of this understanding, we can and should make these connections ourselves. This land is ours and we are hers, it is a sacred place, to be revered, respected and protected.

  1. As an evocation of your personal sovereignty, The Song of Amergin is a Song of Power, your Power. Author Morgan Damiler sees it as a declaration of connection to empower oneself.   In fact, if you look at the notes of Author Robert Graves, in his first literal translation, it is precisely that! He translates each stance with a meaning I am depth, I am weight, strength, deftness. I have valour, clarity, knowledge etc. Even as I call to the Land, I call forth my connection to it, and to myself, I call forth my power and declare my sovereignty! Morgan went further to devise her own “Song of Amergin” and I would challenge you to do the same. ******
  2. As an acknowledgment of the Divine and the Divine Power that resides within you. Just as Sri Krishna declares himself to be the divine seed, so are we and so do we. We are of the earth and stardust; our spirits are the same and the spark of the divine resides within all of us. Working with The Song of Amergin we call this forth and merge fully with our own divinity and that of all of nature and her denizens.

 

Wow this is a lot to read through, what on earth does this have to do with Beltane?

As I said, I felt this Beltane was far more serious, then others we have celebrated in the past. For some odd reason, I have the line from Chris Issacs’s Wicked Games in my head. “The World is on Fire, no one can save me but you.”

So, this Beltane, we enacted the sacred marriage.   We stood and claimed our sovereignty as the Magician- Warrior Kings of Old. We acknowledged our Divinity and the Divine Power which resides within all of us. As witches, we called upon the land itself. Not Ireland, but this land! This land upon which we stand, this land which gave birth to us, and sustains us. This land which is our mother & our lover at the same time. This land which we are not apart from but A PART of. We gave of our own sacred vows to protect, respect, and revere her. To stand for our Lady against those who would abuse her or her denizens. The Soul of Man married to the Soul of Nature, our connections created and renewed perpetually. United.

As I have said previously, I very rarely post the inner workings of our rituals. However, this is one of the few, that I feel would benefit others, I will include portions of the main working here. We invoked both The Dagda & Macha (Aspect of The Morrigan) for this ritual. The Dagda honored us, as offering a challenge.

I encourage you, to look deep inside this Beltane. Create your Song of Amergin, Claim your Sovereignty, Your Divinity, Your Divine Power and your Bride.

Blessings!

Nyt


Claiming Our Power / The Song of Amergin

Beltane 2019

 

Main Working

(A light Trance state is induced for the circle)

In your mind’s eye, visualize this place.   You are alone, among the quiet of the forest, in the cool of the night. Before the roaring of a balefire, and the quiet of ancient stones of our forebearers. 

The breeze flutters through you, as you drink deeply of the fresh air. Your feet upon solidly upon the earth. As you open yourself, you feel the slow heartbeat of the land. Quiet yet strong. You feel the speaking of the trees. You hear the songs of the birds. Time slows, and as you take a breath, there is no time. You are beyond it.   Connected to the land, as her heartbeats, so do yours. Sinking your roots down into her, you draw her strength into you.

Before you, a figure enters your circle. A God, Great and powerful who offers to you challenge

 With a voice that echo’s of the aeons of the God-Kings, powerful warrior wizards you sing with them, the song of Power.

Invoke, People of the Land, Invoke the poet that he may compose a spell for you. For I, The Witch, who bring forth these words, I who part combatants. I will approach the wrath of the Sidhe , a cunning poet. That together we may concoct incantations

Am gaeth i m-muir
Am tond trethan
Am fuaim mara
Am dam secht ndirend
Am séig i n-aill
Am dér gréne
Am cain lubai
Am torc ar gail
Am he i l-lind
Am loch i m-maig
Am brí a ndai
Am bri i fodb fras feochtu
Am dé delbas do chind codnu
Coiche nod gleith clochur slébe
Cia on co tagair aesa éscai
Cia du i l-laig fuiniud gréne
Cia beir buar o thig tethrach
Cia buar tethrach tibi
Cia dám, cia dé delbas faebru a ndind ailsiu
Cáinte im gai, cainte gaithe

 

I am the wind on the sea
I am the stormy wave
I am the sound of the ocean
I am the bull with seven horns
I am the hawk on the cliff face
I am the sun’s tear
I am the beautiful flower
I am the boar on the rampage
I am the salmon in the pool
I am the lake on the plain
I am the defiant word
I am the spear charging into battle
I am the god who put fire in your head
Who made the trails through stone mountains
Who knows the age of the moon
Who knows where the setting sun rests
Who took the cattle from the house of the warcrow
Who pleases the warcrow’s cattle
What bull, what god created the mountain skyline
The cutting word, the cold word

 

The Land rises to meet your call, you feel the swell within her power as it becomes your power.

You kneel and touch your hand to the earth. The flow of power from her to you in a perfect circuit.

As the Warrior Kings & Queens of Old, you join with this your Bride, your Groom. This land which nourishes and sustains you. This land which gave birth to you and the countless generations before and after you. Here you make your vows one to another, whispered in love and devotion.

Vows to Honor one another, Vows to Empower one another, Vows to Sustain one another, Vows to Protect one another, Vows to Love one another

 You no longer reside on this land, you are united as one. You are this land and she is you. As you prosper so will she, and as you stumble so will she. As she grows through her cycles, so will you, As she suffers from abuse and misuse, you will strive to protect and defend her.  So mote it be.

 United, you meet the Challenge of the Dagda!

 Here now his words.    (Dagda speaks with you)

 

This Divine marriage, the nature of the land, and the nature of the human soul, will be sung through the generations. It will be danced among the maypoles and consummated in the Greenwoods. Here in this time that is not a time, in a place that resides in a plane apart. You build your home upon this foundation together. Your Castle upon this mountain.

 

 

 

 


 

References:

* Wikipedia: The Song of Amergin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amergin_Glúingel

** Tir na nOg, the Land of Eternal Youth,;The Song of Amergin Blog: Nov. 28, 2007  https://al-tirnanog.blogspot.com/2007/11/song-of-amergin.html

***Stradling, Walter, Ancient Celtic Lore, The Song of Amergin; The White Goddess, https://www.scribd.com/document/311514577/The-Song-of-Amergin-The-White-Goddess

**** Grave, Robert; The White Goddess, 1948

*****An Introduction to The Song of Amergin, Jun 2012; Brian: https://songofamergin.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/an-introduction-to-the-song-of-amergin/

****** Damiler, Morgan, Living Liminally ( Blog) The Power Song, Jan 28, 2014 https://songofamergin.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/an-introduction-to-the-song-of-amergin/