Part 2 – About Them
I found a Book Proposal from 13 years ago, that I had agreed to write before life took a different turn for me – a ‘Who’s Who of Irish Mythology & How to Work with Them’.
I may or may not turn it into a book at some stage…?! But for now it may as well be out in world as sitting on my computer.
WARNING: It’s an unedited old photo of my thoughts and practice 13 years ago. So, be aware.
This is essentially a book about the characters of Irish myth and legend.
I have looked for relationships with these beings; the characters, the entities, the Gods and Goddesses, the heroes, the warriors, the maidens, the kings, the queens and all the rest.
Throughout, I will refer to these beings generally and collectively as ‘the Powers’, for simplicity’s sake. Continually talking about ‘the Beings, the characters, the entities, the Gods and Goddesses, the heroes, the warriors, the maidens, the kings, and the queens’ would get pretty tedious for you, and give me writer’s cramp in no time.
I don’t want to go down on my knees and worship these Powers; I want to stand and face them, utilising and revelling in all of my natural strengths and in theirs. I don’t want to simply categorise the Powers into neat little boxes, mark down what they are said to be useful for and leave it at that, ‘correctly’ correspond them to other pantheons, other deities, other cultures. I recognise and respect them for the unique beings that they are, and the unique skills that they wield, each unto themselves.
The book I needed wasn’t to be found – one which could give me real information and facilitate me in my search for connection. So I’m writing it. Because I am very certain I am not the only one who wants this connection.
I am not the only one who wants to form relationships with these very real Powers. And I am not the only one who wants to see real information which will redress the balance, and, I hope, help to wake up the Ireland which has been sleeping.
There is debate as to whether the myths and legends were originally based on historically real people and events, or on archetypal symbols which were given form to represent the needs, desires, fears, strength and weakness of a people.
It has been my experience that however you choose to perceive them or believe in them, they are entities which are undoubtedly satisfied to be worked with and related to from our modern magical perspective.
Whether you regard them from the perspective of religious devotion, or as practical/symbolic tools that can be utilised to achieve a particular end, their power is potent. Whether you are Irish, American, or Tanzanian, their strengths and energies are available to you.
In the modern New Age spiritual movement, the Irish Powers are often vastly misrepresented and misunderstood. From what I have seen and felt, they don’t seem to be too pleased about that.
In talks and workshops on working with Irish Deity or magical Powers, I usually advise that the first thing to do is familiarise yourself with them. Read their stories, visit their sacred sites, learn the mythology, examine the original source material that is still available, and research what scholars have extrapolated from these sources.
These are all essential steps when forming relationships with them. Although the Powers have evolved and grown through the ages, knowing where they have come from gives us a good grounding in their fundamental characteristics, interests and natures. Starting at the beginning in any endeavour is always a good plan.
Oh and, speaking of “forming relationships”, that’s another thing I’d like to be clear on from the start.
Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of the practice so often seen today; where a person decides that a particular God or Goddess is suitable for a one off ritual or occasion, calls them up, expects them to grant boons and favours and help out in whatever situation is being worked for, and then is never heard from again.
If a complete stranger walked into your house and asked for a favour, however politely – would you be inclined to help? Possibly you would, and sometimes the Powers do too, if there is sufficient offering or perhaps bribery involved. They are not above being bought off.
However, most people would be far more inclined to help out when a friend asks a favour, and this follows through with the Powers, in my experience. A give and take relationship is the most effective and respectful way I have found of working with them.
But I digress.
Those first steps in researching and getting to know the Powers are essential. Once you’ve done your homework though, where do you go with that?