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/

 

The Elements and Experimentation

 

For many witches and Wiccans, the elements and their associated directions and correspondences are integral parts of their ritual practice as well as personal transformative work.  I would like to take a little time to devote to understanding the elements, how our use of and work with them should reflect what resonates deeply within us, and how to adjust our work with them accordingly. I do this with a bit of a story of my own development.

My own official training in the “craft” began in the early nineties.  During that era most of the publications were very basic and foundational in their teachings, the “net” or “web” was in its infancy.  The information, regarding the elements,  readily available to me at that time, as a practicing baby witch in North America, was what I playfully refer to as “pagan generic”;  meaning  that directionally; Air was associated with the East, Fire with the South, Water with the West and Earth with the North.  I faithfully learned all of the correspondences and began establishing my relationships with this as a foundation.  I was part of an established coven that worked with this system in this way for many years.   Our original coven, was an amalgam of Gardnarian, Irish/Welsh Celtic Eclectic, 1734 and Faerie.  I mention this only because the placement of our guardians at that time, (which are derived straight from 1734) did not resonate, for me, with the ascribed placement in our circle, at the time I had no idea why.   During those days, there was little enough information available, and of 1734, published, there was nothing.  So I simply went on and worked with element placement and our guardians as was handed down to me, without a great deal of questioning at the time.  I give you this of story at the moment, as it will make a great deal more sense later.

To keep, us all on the same page with elements/ directions and correspondences, simplified “pagan generic”.

Element Direction Color Time Elemental
Air East Yellow Dawn Sylphs
Fire South Red Noon Salamanders
Water West Blue Dusk Undines
Earth Earth Green Midnight Gnomes

My original High Priestess became very ill, and eventually slipped past the veil.  She had been a strong Priestess and had been the glue which held us together.  Even though I was years now, into my path, I was not ready to lead or even to teach, there was still much for me to learn.  Our small coven fell apart and I eventually found a new teacher, from who I also learned a great deal.

As part of our tradition, the elements as we worked with them had more of an alchemical placement.  Meaning, there were situated in circle opposed to their alchemical opposite; fire opposite water, air opposite earth. There was also a bit of a trick to fire and water.  Fire follows the Sun across the sky, much like the chariot of Helios, from midnight to noon, Fire was placed in the eastern quarter of the circle, representational of its rising and path; from noon to midnight, it resides in the western quarter, with its path representational of the setting sun.  Water of course is where ever fire is not.   This change in the placement of the elements, resonated with me quite a bit more, from my original teachings.  Symbolism, for myself is incredibly important, it easily helps my conscious mind, reach into my deep conscious and effect change through the pathworkings.  I found that my own magick, took quite the leap forward, things clicked more into place and the resonance I found with the change acted as an amplifier for my work.  For myself, I was finding the tune of the energies and fitting into the flow.  Magick works along the path of least resistance, much like electricity.  I was coming much closer to that path, for my own energy tunes, and it was working!

Draconian Elemental Table:

Element Direction Color Time Elemental
Air South Yellow Sylphs
Fire East                (midnight-noon)

West          (noon-midnight)

Red Salamnders
Water West         (midnight-noon)

East           (noon-midnight)

Blue Undines
Earth North Green Gnomes

Our paths are am amalgam of our sum total of experiences, so after many years, of following the workings of my second tradition, growing and developing as a Priestess, I felt a draw back to my original teachings, there were still things there I needed to explore. In truth, there was also a path I wished to restore.  I dusted off, my old books, and began reworking the original tradition, infusing it with teaching I had acquired along the way, along with some of the working from my most recent work.  Bringing it back and creating a coven with which to work with it, I went back to the original template “pagan generic” to start.  For myself, though I ran back into the same issue with the original element placement.  With the workings we were going into and our Guardian placement, it just didn’t flow, as the previous traditions had. It wasn’t until, one of my students ran across “The Forge of Tubal Caine” by Ann Finnian and a Gods touched meeting with a wonderful individual named Pagan that many things began to come into focus.   Our original coven, had a base in 1734, it was where our Guardians (Gods) were derived from,  however, as I was learning, my original High Priestess in her own pursuit for tuning to elemental energies that flowed with her, had shifted placement and our Guardians placement from 1734’s original placement.   Now, my disruptions in flow began to make sense.  So I shifted them back.

In 1734, Air is in the North, Fire/ East, Earth/South and Water in the West.   This resonated with me far more than the previous “pagan generic” practices I had followed.  My friend “Pagan” was from Wales.  For them, he said, Air was seen in the North (different from both my previous traditions).  This association, came from the height of the mountains to the North.  Air is seen as up among the clouds, the cold North winds, that would blow through you, blasting the dust and cobwebs from our brains, and instilling knowledge and clear thinking in its place.  Earth, on the other hand was seen in the south.  The beauty if the ripe and fertile land, bursting forth with all measure of life. Additionally placement of the elements, were again alchemically opposed, which worked very well.

In shifting the elements into the 1734 view, aligned them with the Gaelic Airts.  To the Celts, the directions were seen as Airts.  Airts are Scottish Gaelic for Winds, or the four winds, or cardinal compass points. For the Celts they were Tuath (North),  Deas (South),  Aes (East) & Iar (West). The associated colors were also slightly different from the Greek systems which many Neo-Pagans works with today.  Tuath is midnight and the color association is black.  Deas is noon and the color is white.  Iar is associated with Dusk and the color is gray, Aes is the breaking day and associated with the color red.

1734/ Gaelic Airt  Element Table

Element Airt Direction Color Time Elemental
Air Tuath North Black Midnight Sylphs
Fire Aes East Red Dawn Salamnders
Earth Deas South White Noon Gnomes
Water Iar West Gray Dusk Undines

While enjoying and working, exploring within this framework of elemental correspondence, I still felt a bit of tugging back to the system of my second tradition.  For me what was missing, was the trek of Fire across the sky. Again, as I said, for myself, symbolism is very important and increases my resonance with energy flows and workings.  So I made this small adjustment to the Gaelic Airts and I find I am very happy, in the flow of the energies with which I work best!

Many individual systems for working with the elements are based on geographical location.  Obviously our brothers and sisters south of the equator experience the elements and directions in an entirely different manner than ourselves.  In fact, their “pagan generic” places earth in the south and fire in the north.  Working with your planetary geography as well as the flow of the elemental energy the way that you feel it, is working towards developing a system that resonates with you.  These ways of working with energy need not be static, but living, breathing adaptive and growing!  I am sure a visit to our Aussie families and a little down under magick would involve me, readjusting my elemental workings to fit my location.

The point of this little story, is not to convince you that my way of working is the best.  It may not be.  However it works best for me.  The point I want you to take away, is that experimentation is an important part of developing YOUR path!  It has to be what works and resonates for you!  Each person tunes and feels the flows of nature and energy in unique and individual ways, they also project them differently.  No one cookie cutter method will work for everyone.  The method that works, is the one that you work out for yourself!

I hope, this had made you think, and possibly evaluate the way you work with the elemental energies and how they, in turn work with you. May it inspire you to experiment!

Many Blessings, Good Luck & Have Fun!

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What’s the Password; Beyond Perfect Love and Perfect Trust

 

Many times I have stood awaiting entrance to a circle either in a private esbats and sabbat observances or even at a large festival gathering.  As I stood watching others ahead of me I pondered the playing out of the beginnings of the ritual before my eyes.  Many rites would include an individual smudging or a challenge by the circle guardian.  Invariably all asking the same question of each participant. “How do you enter the circle?” our password spills forth, “In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust”.

 

Even if we do not ascribe to Wiccan theology, we have heard this ubiquitous password over and over, and most likely used it ourselves. My question to you; Do we really understand what we are saying, when we repeat these words?

Many authors, Priests and Priestess, will tell you that Perfect Love refers to unconditional love.  Many pagans would agree it is generally their assessment of that statement as well.  Is that something we really do?  Do you walk into a circle of strangers,  a delineated sacred space of any variety,  with unconditional love for everyone there?  I can tell you,  I don’t.  Unconditional love means just that,  to love freely without any condition whatsoever. While there is some innate truth that the ability to love without condition, we are finite, flawed beings in our present incarnation.  We are here to work through our lessons, via the flaws which exist, and to work to creating the perfection within ourselves that we seek.  Our existence is the testing and proving grounds for our divine spirits.

 

All of our love has conditions.  We ask that you do not hurt us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  We ask, hopefully, you help us grow and develop in the direction we choose.  We ask you are true to your words with us, and you allow a foundation to be built for trust.   We might not realize this consciously, but this is the criteria for every person we meet- and yes, even flesh and blood, even children. Does that mean you can not love them, if they don’t meet all of our criteria?  No it doesn’t.  When you look to parents of children whom have committed horrific crimes, you find that in spite of the crime, there is love.   However is it complete and perfect?  Is it wholly without condition, no matter how destructive their behavior is to you?  Can you walk into a sacred space with this intention and remain true to it?  Only you can truly answer for yourself.   Personally, while I “might” be able to have unconditional love for my child, extending that without reservation to all comers is something a bit different.  We are all a bit pragmatic, are we not?

So where does the word “perfect” really come from?  As children we are taught that perfect or perfection as a concept is something unattainable. The highest, most correct or beautiful state.

Perfect as defined by Miriam Webster is “to be perfectly without fault or defect; flawless; corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept; expert, proficient; pure or total.”

There are some big scary words there, when we look at doing something in perfect love and trust. Flawless comes to mind first.  Thinking on perfection and periods of perfection in our lives, do they exist? A point at which everything falls into place and fits, resulting in a STATE of perfection!  Perfection comes in bursts, more like an “AH HA!” moment, the epiphany. It is transient and in its transience it motivates us to work towards achieving that state again and again.  So by its very nature perfection, propagates itself by motivation, through desire.

So yes perfection is attainable and by its nature, it seeks to attain itself.  So when we apply this concept to Love what are we really saying?  Let me step back for a moment to my roots in philosophy.  Erich Fromm, a psychologist and social philosopher, in his 1956 book, The Art  of Loving, observes that real love “is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone, regardless of the level of maturity reached by him.  All his attempts for love are bound to fail, unless he tries most actively to develop his total personality, so as to achieve a productive orientation; that satisfaction in individual love cannot be attained without the capacity to love one’s neighbor, with true humility, courage, faith and discipline. In a culture in which these qualities are rare, the attainment of the capacity to love must remain a rare achievement. Or – anyone can ask himself how many truly loving persons he has known.” Fromm goes on to state that the “active character of true love involves four basic elements; care, responsibility, respect and knowledge.”  This is exceedingly interesting from a pagan perspective!  Fromm’s basic elements correlates to our own elements; care (water), responsibility (earth), respect (fire), knowledge (air).  For any whom have worked to balance their total personality from an elemental point of view, you will know each of this varies markedly from person to person, based on the people involved and the circumstance within their lives at any given time.   Working towards developing the total personality with true humility (earth), courage (fire), faith (water) and discipline (air), is no small working, but rather a lifetime of effort. Seen this way we find love is hard work, however it is the most rewarding type of work.  What is perhaps even more powerful with this type of creative work, toward true or Perfect Love, is it resonates from us, touching all others around us.  You need never say a word.  It moves energetically through you.

Fromm also addresses self love.  To love one’s self, applies the same elements; caring about oneself, taking responsibility, respecting and knowing oneself.  For example, be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses.  Know when and where to push yourself emotionally and when perhaps it is time to heal so that you may work your boundaries and limits even further.  To every truly have the capacity to love another, first one needs to be able to love one’s self in this way.

   

 ”Love is an active power in man, a power which breaks through the walls which separate man from fellow man, which unites him with others, love makes him overcome the sense of isolation and separateness, yet permits him to be himself, to retain integrity.” Fromm

So this is all fine philosophy, and it sounds like a great deal of work, but what does this have to do with stepping into a circle with Perfect Love?  One of Fromm’s points is that modern humans are alienated from each other and from nature, I will go on to conjecture, from the Gods.   We as humans today tend to seek refuge from our aloneness in romantic love and marriage.  We are disappointed and frustrated when it does not fill the need we have.  In truth romantic love could never totally fill it.  Our aloneness spans more than one type of love, it encompasses ALL love.  From the point of view of a Priestess, when we enter circle, most of us will go through the motions of Perfect Love, it is truly something for which we long, that drive for unification, with others, nature, the elements, The Gods; to have our sense of aloneness drop away and feel the magick and power of union.  Perfect Love is the active power of love!  It is each one of us stepping into sacred space with care, respect, responsibility and knowledge of our circle mates, the elements, the Gods and most importantly with ourselves!

So we have developed an understanding of Perfect Love, what about Perfect Trust?  Mirram-Webster defines trust as an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength and truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed, as well as responsible charge or office, and care or custody.  Any of this sound familiar yet?

For myself, I would have thought Perfect Trust would have been the easier of the two concepts to work through.  I am a relatively well balanced Libra, with very few relationship emotional scars, and a fairly decent childhood.  I do have a degree of trust for everything and everyone with whom I come into contact.  For the most part, throughout my life I would have answered trust, although earned to some extent, was easy for me.  I learned otherwise.  Part of that alienation we refer to comes from our inability to truly open ourselves up to love and trust, and this is generally derived from the trust portion. We allow connection to a point, yet there is always that part of ourselves, we hold separate and closed to the rest of the world.  Perhaps it was because; at an early age the world (our environment) damaged it in some way, through neglect, abuse, ignorance, or its own self absorption.  Perhaps because we hold within it our most treasured dreams, hopes, ambitions, those things we are loathe to open to that same world, for fear they would be damaged.  So our block truly appears.  It is fear.  It is fear of being open and hopeful, fear of loss, disappointment, destruction.  Fear paralyzes us, and strips away the assured reliance.

Where does Perfect Trust come from, how do we obtain it?  Perfect trust “blossoms” from love.  Through our active power of love, the ability to trust springs forth.  In fact it is not just an ability to trust, but a longing within.

 

Whom do we trust when we are working towards Perfect Trust.  Like love, trust requires foremost we trust ourselves.   That sounds easy, right?  Not really we usually have quite the track record of mistakes with ourselves. In fact we usually have let ourselves down, more than any other person or entity in our existence.  Equally we are harder on our own mistakes than on anyone or anything else.   Where fear is our block, many times that fear is a result of our own mistakes, as much as anything else.  So if fear is our block to opening ourselves to trust, how do we find our way past?  Working through fears individually is always positive, difficult and rewarding, most often necessary for your growth.  The key is Forgiveness. Who we need most to forgive is ourselves.

 

Forgiveness frees you from your fears.  It clears blockages to love and opens the ability of trust to return or blossom forth.  While it is important work to forgive others their ‘trespasses” and it enables us to move forward.  The movement forward is then to forgive ourselves.  Perhaps our personal forgiveness maybe for getting involved with someone, or a group, it could be for the individual mistakes we made in a relations with others, our own inability to stay true to our thoughts, words or deeds, no matter the reason.  Whatever the reason it must be dealt with and let go.

 

“In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” It is funny how six simple words actually speak volumes of our ability to free ourselves and connect with the universe around us. How they attempt to describe a type of loving, openness and resonance which can and should exude from each of us.

 

We are able to step confidently into our circles and sacred space, knowing  our ability to love frees us to unite with nature, our circle mates, the elements, the Gods and most importantly ourselves.  Through our power to love and unite we are assured through strength and truth that we act for our highest good.  We are assured we work in harmony with nature and The Gods, and those individuals that are contained within our sacred space are working towards the same perfection, and if not, that our resonance inspires them to do so.  Because of our care, responsibility, knowledge and respect, we have the foundation upon which to lay our trust as we come together to work in the most intimate way, to touch each other with power and magick, to join and become one.

So the next time you stand outside awaiting to enter sacred space, and you are asked for your “password”  remember all of this and know as you actively work toward both Perfect Love and Trust,  you are able to truly step into space with them and they are not just empty words.

 

How do you enter the circle?

 

 

 
References:

Fromm, Erich, The Art of Loving, circa 1956

Miriam Webster Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Sutphen, Dick; Lighting the Light Within May 1997, Valley of the Sun Pub. Co