Four Druids were slumbering in the dark woods when they were awakened by strains of the Oran Mór, the Great Melody. A Shining Woman arrived and transported them to Tír na nÓg, the paradisiacal Land of Eternal Youth beyond the setting sun, where they beheld the sacred Spirit Wheel of Éire.
When they returned to the human realm one Druid, having seen such amazing beauty, lost his mind and wandered senseless until the end of his days. The second Druid was cynical: “It was just a dream. Nothing really happened. I will wait for deeper meaning to be revealed to me.” She was still waiting when she died many years later. The third Druid became totally obsessed with what he had seen and spent the rest of his days talking and teaching about how the Wheel was constructed, its various components, and what it all meant. He became lost to any connection with the sacred.
The fourth Druid dedicated her life to writing poetry and song praising the rising sun, the trees of the forest, her daughter in the cradle, and all the stars in the sky. Her life became a great flowing harmony. It is her legacy we celebrate to this day.
If this seems familiar perhaps you would recognize it as The Four Rabbinim. Or The Four Who Entered Paradise which is the Talumdic version of this story in which the Four gaze upon the ancient female deity of Shekhinah. When I encountered this story in Women Who Run With The Wolves it resonated a universal cosmological truth and called for rendering in the myth and legend of ancient Ireland. Stories woven in a shared indigenous wisdom.