An Elven Story- Chapter six- Transmigration of the Soul

You could say that an Edain De Kerri was my elven self, or it could have been a past life, or it could have been memories coming from my ancestor, or was she simply a name sake, to be perfectly honest I had no idea. All I knew at this point that I had announced myself to be a Edain De Kerri, I always thought it was a beautiful name , but I didn’t think to research anything about it on the Internet. It wasn’t until a whole year later from my first experience with the Queen in the woods that I thought to do some research. So I began my research simply with looking for the meaning of the name Edain. I had the feeling that this was the correct spelling, however I also knew that it was pronounced in a different way. The correct pronunciation was “Ay Deen ”.

It turns out there were two ways to spell her name, often a D and T were interchangeable. Edain or Etan is an Irish Goddess. Étaín or Édaín was a figure of Irish mythology, best known as the heroine of Tochmarc Étaíne (The Wooing of Étaín), one of the oldest and richest stories of the Mythological Cycle.

Etain, the Shining One – Celtic Sun Goddess/Goddess of Transformation by Judith Shaw. “Etain (pronounce Ay-deen), a Celtic Goddess called “Shining One”, was originally a Sun Goddess before becoming a Moon Goddess and one of the White Ladies of the Fae. Her story, which lasts over one thousand years, reveals Her place as a Goddess of Love, Transformation and Rebirth. Elements sacred to Etain are the sun, dawn, the sea, rain, water, butterflies, apple blossoms, and swans. She is associated with healing and the transmigration of souls. Etain shows us that we can overcome even life’s most difficult circumstances. She teaches us that though beauty, wealth and position might fade away we can regain our shining light. She lights our way on the path of transformation, guiding us toward balance, wholeness and rebirth. Etain, Celtic Goddess Etain is a daughter in the “Land of Youth,” the mystic country of the People of Dana, the Tuatha Dé Danann. She is beautiful beyond words, beyond compare. Midir, a Danaan prince, became enchanted by Her and took Her as wife. Unfortunately his first wife, Fuamnach was jealous and turned Etain into a pool of water, then a worm and finally into a butterfly. Midir, enchanted by the butterfly, still had no appetite for Fuamnach. Thus she raised a storm that drove Etain out to sea, over rocks, for seven years, buffeted about and throughout all of Erin (Ireland). Finally as a butterfly she found refuge in the fairy palace of Angus on the Boyne. He built a sunny sanctuary for Her where she fed on flower nectar and rested.

Until one day Fuamnach found her. Again she was buffeted about by the wind for another seven years. Finally she fell into the drinking cup of the wife of Etar, an Ulster chieftain. Etain was swallowed in the drink and passed into the womb of Etar’s wife as she became pregnant. And so Etain was born again, one thousand and twelve years after Her first birth, as Etain, mortal child, and daughter of Etar. She grew to be a beautiful woman. The High King of Ireland, Eochaid, wooed Her and made Her his wife. Together they returned to Tara. Now, Queen in Tara, her next fate was near. Ailill, Eochaid’s brother, was wasting away with love sickness for Etain. He revealed his hopeless passion for Her. She, taking pity on him and not wanting him to die, agreed to become his lover. They arranged a time and place to consummate their union

At this point Midir, Her husband from Her first life a thousand years before, once again entered Her story. He put Ailill into an enchanted sleep and appeared to Etain in the form of Ailill. But he did not take Her into his arms. Instead he spoke coldly of his love-sickness and then departed. Days later when She met Ailill his disturbing passion for Her had passed away. Etain knew that something mysterious, something beyond Her mortal comprehension had happened. Midir then appeared to Etain as himself, beautiful and well dressed. He begged Her to return with him to Her true home, the Land of Youth, a land of music, beauty, and wonder. She hesitated until learning of Her true past life with him. Finally She agreed to return with Midir, but on the condition that the King, Eochaid, would agree to Her departure.

Upon which Midir appeared to Eochaid with an offer to play chess on his board of silver with gold, jewel-studded pieces. They played game after game, which Midir allowed Eochaid to win. In payment for his losses and true to the conception of the Tuatha Dé Danann as earth deities, Midir performed much magic to benefit the Land of Tara, reclaiming land, clearing forests and building causeways across bogs. Ultimately, having fooled Eochaid into believing that he was the better player, Midir proposed a final game, the prize to be declared upon victory. Now Midir used his true skills and Eochaid was defeated. Midir claimed his prize – an embrace and a kiss from Etain.

Eochaid was silent, knowing that he was trapped. He finally agreed saying that Midir should return in one month’s time. When the appointed date arrived Eochaid tried to keep Midir out by force. But Midir’s magic was too strong for Eochaid to resist. Suddenly, he materialized within the castle walls, standing before the court. With his spear in his left hand, he put his right arm around Etain. The couple rose lightly in the air, turned into white swans and then flew away toward the Fairy Mountains of the Land of Youth. And thus Etain returned to Her original home in the Land of Fae where she rested for a while with Her people until the next leg of Her journey began.

Like the pull of nature in the stages of a butterfly’s life – from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis and finally to its transformation into the beautiful butterfly, Etain leads the way for us through the various stages of our physical and spiritual lives. She shines Her light on our journeys of death and rebirth. As the swans She and Midir transformed themselves into, She reminds us to remain faithful to love, to our true selves and to the beauty that lies within.

Call on Etain, the Shining One, when your journey becomes difficult and She will guide you back to your own shining light. Call on Etain when the change you confront seems too much to bear and She will create a sunny sanctuary for you. Call on Etain when you forget your true beauty and She will surround you with Her golden light and carry you home to your true self again. Etain, with Her wisdom, beauty and power, steers us through transformation to balance and wholeness.”

There was so much information within this story it resonated deep inside a place I had forgotten. Edain was one of the “Shining Ones “. I had heard this as a reference to both Elven Fairy folk and the Annunaki, the Gods and Goddesses of Sumeria. What was so strange about this story, was the fact that it was mirrored into my life in the here and now. I could see how the mythical energies of this story had interwoven into my present life. I could name every one of the characters present in my life now, I could see how the story of Edain was playing out in my current incarnation.

Edain was re-born three times, first by falling into the cup of a mortal queen while she is bewitched in the form of a butterfly, and again as the daughter of Eochaid Airem “king of Ireland, while her mother is in the fairy-mound of Brí Leith, and finally as the daughter of this third Étaín. It was a thousand and twelve years from the time of her birth as daughter of the fairy Ailill to the time of her birth in the house of Étar.

In other stories, Eochaid and his men begin digging at the mound of Brí Léith where Midir lived. Midir appeared to them and told Eochaid his wife would be restored to him the following day. The next day fifty women who all look like Étain appear, and an old hag tells Eochaid to choose which one is his wife. He chooses one, but Midir later reveals that Étaín had been pregnant when he had taken her, and the girl he has chosen is her daughter. Eochaid is horrified, because he has slept with his own daughter, who became pregnant with a girl. When the girl is born she is exposed, but she is found and brought up by a herdsman and his wife. She later becomes the mother of the High King Conaire Mor.

Is this story of Edain the story of incarnating into the human story. Just like in the story of Taliesin.

Taliesin means “shining brow”, derived from Welsh tal “brow” and iesin “shining”. In the Welsh story of Taliesin, In his first form as Gwion Bach Ap Gwreang (a name likely derived from Gwyn, meaning fair/white/blessed boy, son of Gwreang), Taliesin is tasked with stirring the cauldron of transformation in order to make a potion for Cerridwen’s hideous son Morfran, in order to bring him wisdom to make up for his appearance. Morfran is a name that is derived from Mor (Sea) and fran/bran (raven). In the process of stirring the brew, Gwion’s hand is burned by the bubbling potion. As he places his fingers into his mouth to cool them the essence of wisdom is imparted to him. Cerridwen immediately becomes aware that Gwion has assimilated the wisdom meant for her son. A chase ensues. In the process of chasing Gwion, Cerridwen and subsequently Gwion himself transform into a series of animals. Cerridwen finally transforms into a hen after Gwion transforms into a grain of wheat. Subsequently while in the form of the Hen she eats Gwion. Nine months after this encounter Cerridwen gives birth to Gwion in a new form, as Taliesin.

The Gaelic transmigration of the soul is called tuirgin, “a birth that passes from every nature into another, a transitory birth which has traversed all nature from Adam and goes through every wonderful time down to the world’s doom.” These “transitory births” often traverse the realms of animals while the subjects retain their original memories and intelligence. But not only do they retain their original memories, they also retain the knowledge and experiences of their lives as animals. Taliesin used transformation as a means of survival and to bring about their eventual rebirth.

The druids believed in the idea of the transmigration of the soul. Diodorus Siculus stated that the soul “lives again after a certain number of years” in another form or body. The druid’s teachings adhered to the notion that souls went through a transmigration process. It was thought that the soul reincarnates into either human or animal bodies. This was known as metempsychosis.

Several times when I was in a trance in the woods, I would see a large white mare on the horizon, it would look my way and then toss its mane and gallop away and as it did, it turned to mist slowly and disappeared. When I was camping in the Dartmoor Forest it was just getting dusk and my friend and I were cooking food on a fire, when all of a sudden a white mare galloped through the middle of our camp. She was shimmering with moisture and the first stars that were just coming out, made her look like she was ethereal. My friend and I just looked at each other in astonishment, it seemed like something really magical had happened. I am a horse rider so dreaming about horses is nothing new for me, however after seeing this ghostly mare, I began to dream about riding a white spirit horse through the star lit sky.

Edain, she was a beautiful queen of the Tuatha De Danaan, and a superb horsewoman for which she earned the name “Edain the Horse Rider.” Her ‘Horse-Riding’ title suggests a possible connection not only with the Irish Goddesses Macha, Battle, and Aine, Queen, but also with the European Celtic horse Goddess Epona, Divine-Mare. The British worshipped Epona in the form of a cult, and they gave her the title “Rigantona” or “Rig Antonia,” which means “Great Queen.” Epona was also known by a variety of other names, which changed according to the various languages and myths that were indigenous to each particular region. She appeared as a woman with very long hair who was riding side saddle upon a white mare. When she appeared in the aspect of Epona, however, she was depicted as a woman with very long hair, lying half-naked on a white mare.

Horses and entities that take on their form are described in folklore throughout the Celtic nations. Some are creatures that are shape-shifters that can take the appearance of a horse. Lyonesse is an island off the coast of Cornwall that disappeared under the waves and whose sole survivor escaped to higher ground, on a horse that famously lost a shoe in the escape.

It is said that once there was a beautiful land stretching from the western tip of Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly some 30 miles away. This land was inhabited by a race of strong and handsome people who worked its fertile plains. Here they built many temples 140 in all, and the beautiful city of Lions. The crowning glory was a great cathedral, or some say a castle, set atop what is now the Seven Stones reef half way between Land’s End and the Scillies. The land was Lyonesse and legend states that it was all swallowed by the ocean in a single night. Many myths and stories surround this lost land and it is often said that on a calm day one can still hear the bells of the many temples softly ringing in the seas off the west Cornish coast.

Likened to Cornish Sodom and Gomorrah the dreadful crime Lyonesse ’s people committed is unknown but the vengeance was swift and terrible. In the dead of night there came a terrible storm followed by a huge wave which engulfed all before it. In that one night the Land of Lyonesse disappeared below the waves never to be seen again. Legend has it that a single man escaped from Lyonesse , furiously riding his white horse ahead of the gigantic wave. The rider had been out hunting in the day and had fallen asleep under a tree. Awoken by the terrible noise he raced across the land eastward and to the higher ground that is now Land’s End. During the flight his horse lost one of its shoes. The name of the man is thought to have been Trevelyan or Trevilian and the three horseshoe motif has been claimed as a crest by more than one local family. Another family, the Vyvyans have a white horse on their crest claiming they are descended from the sole survivor.

The origin of the legend of Lyonesse is uncertain. There are links to Arthurian legend with Lyonesse being the kingdom of Tristan’s father. Lyonesse also has analogues in Celtic mythology. A further possible source is the flooding of the Isles of Scilly and Mount’s Bay near Penzance as sea levels rose as long ago as the Bronze Age. There is certainly evidence for this. For example, the Cornish name for St Michael’s Mount (Karrek Loos y’n Koos) translates to ‘the grey rock in the wood’ suggesting the bay was once a forest. There are also many traces of Bronze Age settlements in the areas between the islands on Scilly which were once above sea level.

Mias Nieve

Edain De Kerri – Mias Nieve was the wife of the high king of Glouria, in her day. She was the goddess of the inner flame which dwelt in such a place. She stood in this high position for 600 years. She was married in union at the young age of 257 years old and waited upon the king before moving into her position of wife to the king and mother to her people. Nieve means the one that shines bright and she was the centre deity of the summer lands of Glouria in the realm of Kerri in the land of Erin. She was queen at a time of peace and no war waged on the land. Erin was in her glory in the height of Mias Nieve’s reign. She was bountiful in her energy emanations and all that sat within her field were caused to heal and to soothe even of the wounds of the soul. The land around her responded to her and plants and flowers grew in an abundance. Mias Nieve was a fairy queen, Fey born on a full moon night in June, for this is required or so they say. She had golden hair which hung down to her waist tied in many complex braids, her face was fair and her cheeks were pink and sweet. Her height was tall, her body lean but not without its strength. She was said to be a keen bowman in her time.

Glouria in Kerri is the home land of my kin. Glouria is called the summer lands because it was bathed in a golden light which was the magic of Glouria. My people built many complex magical grids spreading across the land forming a magical sigil in the land itself. Dragon lines crossed in several nodes and pools of magnetic power formed in several places, in all of which the Elves made their home, drawn to the magnetic power of the dragons, as it slithered across the land. The Elves of Glouria were originally Silvarin too, but they had since given up their wanderings and had settled in this fair land. Many of the Silvarin were no more, died in the battles long ago, but the elves of Glouria remained for several hundreds of years after the deluge. Schools of learning were set up in this place shortly after the waters had receded, teaching those of men who were not split in mind and soul. Elves worked alongside high men of learning and many elves began to marry and breed thinning the seed.

The High King of Glouria was a man from the sea. His people had also survived the flood and had taken to the seas looking for land in which to settle. They spied Erin’s bountiful land through a magic telescopic eye or so it is said. The High King of Glouria was one of these golden haired sailors which did land upon the shores and after many battles, a truce was formed. It was decided by my people that a fitting bride for such a man would be Mias Nieve. It was thought that a bonding would heal the rift between them and they could both inhabit the island of Erin in peace and harmony. It is said that Nieve was cursing all her way to the ceremony, angry was she but when she set her eyes upon him, her heart did melt and her cheeks did redden for he was handsome indeed. It is rare that love comes from these arrangements rarely is seen as a romantic affair, more of a business deal but love they did have for many a year.

Druids were originally elven born, it means man or woman of wisdom and reader of the trees. Many elves held this title and many of the men who married our kind also walked the way of the silver branch. High schools of learning were set up to read the messages of the stars then burnt into the rings of the trees. High was the culture of Glouria now forgotten in time, a shadow was cast upon it and for this the golden light shines no more. Now all that remains are the Ogham stones of County Kerry”

In Irish mythology, Niamh or Nieve, is the daughter of the god of the sea, Manannán mac Lir and one of the queens of Tír na nÓg, the land of eternal youth.

Niamh and Oisin

The leader of the Fianna was Finn Mac Cumhail, one day, while he was out hunting, his hounds caught a doe, this was not unusual, but strangely, as Finn approached, he saw that only two of his hounds had caught her and they had not harmed her in any way. It had been a strange hunt from the start, neither Finn nor any of his men had been able to catch up with the pack of hounds until they reached the bottom of the Hill of Allen, which was known to be a truly magical place. None of his men were able to approach the doe, but Finn walked towards her easily. As he did so the doe spoke to him and told him that she was named Sadb and was really a woman from Finns own tribe whom had been placed under an enchantment by the Druid Fer Doirich.

Finn told Sadb that he would protect her and sent away his men who had been waiting at the bottom of the hill unable to climb it. As soon as they had left, Sadb turned back into a woman and she and Finn spent the night together. They had fallen in love and in the morning Sadb was still in the form of a woman. Shortly after Finn and Sadb got married, but while she was expecting their child, Finn went back to riding out with the Fianna and Sadb turned back into a deer. When she was due to give birth, Sadb returned to Finn, still in the form of a doe, but gave birth to a human baby and left him under a rowan tree for Finn to find, having named him Oisin, which means little deer. Finn found him and knew that Oisin was his son and took him home to look after him.

When Oisín was seven years old, Finn sent him to live with foster parents and by the time he was in his early teens he joined the Fianna. He was able to run easily through the forest without any harm befalling him, avoiding all the spears that the rest threw at him as part of the challenges. Before long Oisin became the leader of one of the bands and he became famous for his good deeds. He loved his life with the Fianna and could not imagine any other, but fate had other plans for Oisin. As he sat by the shore one day he was noticed from across the sea by Niamh Chinn Óir, Niamh of the golden Hair, fairy queen of Tir na n’Og, She thought him to be the most handsome man she had ever seen and wanted him to be her lover. She rode across the sea on her white horse and stopped and spoke to Oisin. She told him of her wonderful land, where no one ages or is ill, there is no hunger or war, the weather is always warm, flowers always bloom and everyone is happy. Niamh asked him to go with her to Tir na n’Og and live with her. Undecided, Oisin asked Niamh to let him think it over for the night, he was very attracted to her, but reluctant to leave his friends and family.

By morning he had decided to go with Niamh and they rode off across the waves to Tir na n’Og. Life there was idyllic, just as Niamh had told him, they married and had two sons and a daughter. Three hundred mortal years had passed unbeknown to Oisin, to whom it seemed just a few in this enchanted land, but he yearned to see his old friends with the Fianna. He told Niamh and asked if it would be possible to return for a visit, She explained how the time was different there and that everyone he knew would be long gone, but Oisin was determined to see for himself and reluctantly Niamh sent him off on the white horse, with the instructions to stay on the horse no matter what, or he would be unable to return to Tir na n’Og. So, off he set across the waves and landed near the Hill of Allen, but nothing looked familiar, the forests were gone and the hill overgrown, he knew then that Niamh was right and sadly he turned to ride back to her.

On his way, he came across a group of men trying to raise a stone, he asked them where he could find Finn and the Fianna and they told him that these were just stories told by their grandfathers with no truth in them. This saddened Oisin but he was much stronger than the men and offered to help them lift the stone, as he reached down to do so, he fell from the horse and instantly all the lost years caught up with him and he aged instantly.

Nieve rode across the sea on her white horse, Enbarr of the Flowing Mane. In the ancient Rites of the Celts the king of chieftain automated richly with a selected Queen or priestess and occasionally with an animal such as a White Horse who symbolises sovereign goddess mother nature herself, this rite symbolised the sacred relationship of the male force, the sun lord of light with the female Force, the Earth Lady of nature and nurture.

Aonbhar of the Flowing Mane was a white horse belonging to the Sea-God Manannán. He was said to have been able to travel across water as if it were solid ground. Manannán mac Lir is a powerful sea deity with a magnificent, magical horse called Enbarr (also Aonbharr ) of the Flowing Mane. Enbarr, described sometimes as white, sometimes as grey, could gallop over the sea without touching the water, never getting wet. Enbarr couldn’t be killed by man or God, and was thought to be the mother of all of the horses of the Fianna. Enbarr was occasionally loaned to Lugh, Manannán’s foster son and to Niamh, Manannán’s daughter. In Welsh myth, he is a cognate of Manawydan fab Llŷr, a deity also associated with horses. Enbarr has also been translated as “Froth”, an apt name for the horse of a sea god.

 Chapter Seven

 NB * This is an ongoing project , these are the first chapters more to come

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