|Meditation Archive - MABON'S DANCE by Caitlín Matthews
|The mysteries of the Celtic God, Mabon relate how he was lost from the beginning of time. In this meditation, we track the steps of his mother and look into the heart of the land.
It is night and your ship rides out at sea. Above you are the stars; you are approaching the island known as Albion. The coastland rises before you as you make landfall. In the shimmering of the moonlight upon the sea there are large footprints upon the sand - follow these footprints up the shore and let them lead you to your own locality.
As you follow the shining path of footprints to the very heart of the island to a high place: here, cut into the living rock is a great chair from which you may look out upon the island of Albion. A raven perches on the rock above you, warning that those who sit within this chair will see wondrous sights but will also have to abide the consequences of sitting herein. (What are you aware of?) As soon as you sit within the chair of rock, there is the sound of baying hounds and a path opens beneath your feet, leading down into the heart of the earth. But you do not fear, as a blackbird wings ahead of you into the depths, leading the way.
The way goes down deeper and deeper, spiralling downwards. There is a rushing sound like an underground tumult of waters and a steady beating like the sound of a great heart. The blackbird leads you into cavern wherein is a cauldron hanging from great chains that go up into the heights above. A humming surrounds the cauldron as of countless bees bringing nectar. It is a place of power and you leave this place, following the blackbird.
You come to a great hewn chamber in the heart of the earth. Within this place is a great bed with a beautiful youth lying upon it, turning in uneasy sleep. Beside him is a great loom on which complex patterns are woven. We may look within the weaving to understand something of this place.... (what images are upon the tapestry?)
Become aware of the sound of waters very near to you: just beyond the bed-chamber through an arch is a garden. It is green with May-time freshness and in the centre of it is a fountain with a well. Within it swims a salmon. The blackbird flies into the garden and begins its song. There is a silver bowl upon the step of the well and you can fill it at the fountain, taking some to the Sleeping Youth. The trickle of the water into the silver bowl is like the laughter of children on sunny afternoons. Returning to the bed-chamber, set the bowl to the lips of the Sleeping Youth, who begins to stir in his sleep.
The blackbird returns and indicates that it is time to go above once again. And you make your way up the winding spiral to the earth above. As you emerge you find once more the footprints and the one who has made them, the Lady of the Ways, she who is the Mistress of the paths of memory, dream, vision. The Lady of the Ways leads you to one of the central plains of Albion where stand the Hanging Stones of the Giant's Dance. We have arrived on the evening of the new moon that dawns once every nineteen years, when the Son of Mother comes to the stones to make his dance. We recognize the youth that we last saw sleeping in the underworld. In his hand is a lyre. When he strikes it, the stones begin to quiver and sing.
And as the stones sing, become aware of the stars dancing. It seems as though men and maidens were dancing and singing: stone and star meet and touch together. You are called to that dancing to receive the gift that is born of the starlight and singing. For the gift of Mabon's dancing is to connect everything to its vital centre: that truth, innocence and wonder may thread the land from shore to shore. (What happens in your dancing?)
And you see into the heart of the land, as it is illuminated by the mystery. The land lights up with beauty, rivers of starlight irrigate the dark land: each hill and stone a terminus of power, a beacon that sends its light onto the next part of the network until the land is fully illuminated and you see the body of the sacred land laid out below until every part of it is dancing. It is by our glad dancing that we restore the earth.
And the starlit lines that vein the land are like the strings of Mabon's lyre and the tunes that come from those strings are the voices of the land itself and all who live within and upon it. The lines of light lead to the place that you love best within the island, the place where your heart is gladdened. The places that you know as desacralized and wounded are also touched: the places where you work, the place where you live, the homes of those you love.
And in the silence, listen for the song that is singing: and, when we have found it, we utter the note of it, letting rise and swell, that the desacralized places may receive healing. (What do you hear?)
The sound of the singing is a tapestry of red, black and silver threads which is the abiding mantle of the land: it is woven into a pattern by She who has led you here, whose footprints you have followed. And as long as the perpetual choirs of song echo in the island, the Goddess of Land will wear the mantle that we each help weave. And for this time, the Son of the Mother is liberated and sings the song of the mystery with Modron, his mother:
How lies the land on every hand?
How lies the land with thee?
For I have watched and waited long
How lies the land, how lies the land?
I wove it once with colours white,
With black I wound it through
Then I did dye it with the red
That binds the life in you.
I wove with black the ancient rock
That from all times does stand
And I have threaded it with care
Throughout this might land.
Then I did thread it with a weave
Wrought of the seas so deep.
And every vein that tracks the web
Flows salt from eyes that weep.
I wove with white the virgin land
From out the earth’s own heart.
And its corners strong I fixed
The winds of every airt
The fields I sowed with brightest gold
From out the deepest rock.
Then I did take the silver seas
That did the lands enlock.
Then I did set the sun to shine,
The silver moon to glow,
And, bright or dark, the shimmering stars
To light lands below.
Then I did name it for the men
Who dyed it with their blood,
And it is called for all of them
That struggled in the wood.
I call upon the lands so dead
To answer me with speed.
They mistress-maker, mother own
Would know thy pressing need.
To read more about Mabon, see Mabon and Guardians of Celtic Britain and King Arthur’s Raid on the Underworld by Caitlín Matthews. See > Arthurian, Grail, Merlin & Taliesin
Sovereignty’s Song from this meditation by Caitlín Matthews, can be heard on her new CD Earth’s Own Heart, coming in 2009.
In the meantime hear Mabon’s Journey on her CD, Deep Well in the Wild Wood.