Into the Wild: Faëry Rapture in the Green Realm
By Lyle Almond
Since discovering (or possibly being discovered by) this path (or ancestral being), I'm still coming into full recognition of my role as awenydd as a shroud covering a yet-invisible chrysalis form, suggesting its metamorphosis in outline.
After a recent overwhelming 'suffering-death-resurrection' experience irrevocably split my heart, my spirit, even my soul, in two - a profane, pre-'choice' individual and a 'technician of the sacred (Eliade 1964) - the only way to walk between these worlds, to bridge this open wound that would not heal, revealed itself in a sudden fascination with ornately carved talismans, drums, and rattles, the relics of Pacific Northwest native shamans. A calling, that shamanism - however this was to come about - was a thing that one could do, that being a shaman was someone I had to become, in order to venerate the underworld initiation of symbolic death I knew I'd entered.
Aware, as Charlotte Hussey (2013) was, and through long prior experience working and living with Pacific Northwest coast native communities, that I could not assuage my calling in the Raven mask of a culture not my own, and having recently embraced paganism, I discovered a vibrant, living - and, by its very nature, hidden - faëry realm stretching both behind me to an ancestral Welsh blood line shrouded in mystery, seeking to be vindicated and set free, and before me to the portal of a faëry covenant mutually obligating and gratifying my life-long compulsion to be enveloped in the heart of the sacred grove, the Green Realm.
Five signatures reveal the hidden pathway of this human-faëry interface to me:
faëry ritual - the opening and entrance into the Underworld faëry realm
faëry blessings - the offering and exchange with the Underworld of those gifts from Nature that have been transformed by human and faëry magic
faëry lore - the rich treasure of Underworld legacy along which the faëry signal is carried through time
faëry divination - communication across the veil through the clairvoyance of Underworld prophesy
faëry journeying - Eliade's 'techniques of ecstasy', the Underworld voyage through trance, lucid dreaming, and guided meditation, and as surface walker, literally walking on, in, and as part of the land.
For me, this rapture - divine inspiration as wild thought - channeled as an awenydd seeks to exemplify the way of the swyngyfaredd, as practitioner of a folkloric magic rich in the cultural and blood ancestry of Wales, a land saturated in magical practice. As part of this, I recognize and honor my apprenticeship to the medium of water as well as my apprenticeship to plant essences as an interspecific sharing of magical - faëry - intelligence, wild thought.
I recognize and honor those Welsh deities and mythical beings as faëry blood ancestors immortalized in the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, and further invoked in the Welsh Triads, as well as The Book of Taliesin, the Beirdd y Tywysogion, various sources of Welsh fairy and folk lore, and other texts as an all-encompassing mythopoesis revealing the hidden paths that lead me to the Tylwyth Teg. As the faëry practitioner RJ Stewart (2016) recently acknowledged in a most profound and eloquent explanation for how it is we come to the faëry crossroads, there simply is nowhere else left for me to go.
Awen dwfn /|\
-Eliade, Mircea (1964). Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy.
-Hussey, Charlotte (2013). "Glossing Faery: Imagine If You Can't Remember";
in Productive Remembering and Social Agency, T. Strong-Wilson et al., (eds.).
-Stewart, RJ (2016). Personal communication.