February 8, 2021
The Light Of Ancient Wisdom
I’ve called him storyteller. Which is wholly inadequate. I’ve called him wisdomkeeper which is only slightly better. For he doesn’t just collect and share mythological stories of Ireland’s ancient past, he embodies them. Myth talker. Myth walker.
There is no time spent with Marty Mulligan when he doesn’t launch into a myth or two. They just pour out of him. Our zoom chat yesterday was no exception. The purpose of our chat was to plan a series of Hearthside gatherings where he will share many of the myths and their relevance to what’s happening in our nation. Marty has long characterized this time as a battle between the forces of dark and light, of the Formorians and the Tuatha Dé. Indeed I’ve written about this myself in prior blog posts. The Fomorians are a supernatural race, hideous and monstrous beings, bent on destruction and subjugation. A very grim bunch. The Tuatha Dé are light beings, the shining ones, the people of peace, the magical crowd.
Simply stated, these two tribes battled and the light won. However Marty would suggest they are back with us wearing red hats and spouting conspiracy theories. I know, enemy consciousness. Not a great place to be, although tempting. It was in this part of our conversation on mythic relevance that a story slipped out.
Although resigned to the necessity of battle, the Tuatha Dé were more inclined to use weapons of magic and illusion than weapons of steel. In legends it is told that they created thick mists so the dark forces became confused and lost on the battlefield. They are also known to have shape shifted. In one of the battles a son of Balor, king of the Fomorians, was about to kill one of magical crowd when the latter shape shifted into a good intention and planted himself in the brain of Balor’s son. Much to Balor’s dismay and fury, his son no longer had the will to kill.
Shape shifting is part of ancient mystic wisdom traditions around the world. It is alchemy and craft long ago lost to us. Although there are still some who hold this magic, generally we don’t even believe in it any more. So no, we don’t know how to raise a thick mist or change from human to hawk or hare. But we do know how to shape ideas and intentions.
What if we could, like that being of light, shift ideas and intentions? What if we could slip into the minds of others and plant good intentions? What if? Why not? Because we can. It is the alchemy we hold to shift the shape of things in our people and our nation.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org