Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Celtic Tradition Gives Us A Model Of Underworld Religion And Magic

Celtic Tradition Gives Us A Model Of Underworld Religion And Magic Cover Celtic tradition gives us a fine model of UnderWorld sacro-magical understanding and practices . It is not a coherent model or a “complete system”, as this notion of completeness is entirely modern; instead it is diffuse, organic, prolific, protean. The Celtic model serves as an example to demonstrate traditions which are found world wide; all spiritual and magical traditions begin with the UnderWorld. All entrances to, and passages within, the earth were sacred: caves, wells, springs, gorges, chasms, volcanic craters. Each had its story, myth, or spiritual presence. (Classic reference sources are Dr Ann Ross: pagan Celtic Britain ; Alwyn and Brinley Ress: Celtic Heritage) We find such traditions worldwide, at the root of every religion, dating from older times before that religion was founded and formalized. Often they are disguised, as in the typical examples of local saints at ancient sacred sites, who were once gods and goddesses of the shrines. Ireland, most of all, still lives and breathes her own version of this ancient wisdom.

The legends that have been handed down in ancient texts, and in oral traditions, all relate to themes of transformation and growth through the powers of the UnderWorld, and not through the influence of the sun and sky. Sometimes such themes are on a large scale, the appearances of races, orders of life, mountains, rivers, oceans and so forth. Sometimes they are embodied in the life story of one individual…or of a group of people on a journey. After certain mythic characters have traveled through the UnderWorld, they often find a resting place among the stars: but the UnderWorld of Earth comes first. (Many examples are found in Robert Graves, Greek Myths)

The Cauldron of Regeneration, so central to Irish and Celtic legends is nothing less than the regenerative power of the Land, of the Planet Earth herself. Nothing could be more important for us today than a sense that the Earth is sacred, and a source of spiritual power. Indeed, we must return to this: it is our greatest and most redemptive truth. The time for either materialist indifference or ethereal escapism is over and the time for realization is upon us. Kill the earth, and we kill ourselves.

So what about the Light ? In the pagan myths and legends, and in folk tales that persisted well into historical times, the UnderWorld which includes but is not limited to the Faery Realm, is a Place of Light. To reach this Light, we pass first through essential nourishing darkness, sacred to the Dark Goddess who is known by many names. As the Qabalistic writer Dion Fortune said : we can only come to the White Isis by way of the Black Isis.

This process of finding light within the Earth, after passing through darkness, is also one of inner regeneration for the individual. When the spiritual consciousness is told that divinity, that the Source, is “up there” and a long way away, we become closed to the nearest source of light, grace, healing, regeneration, which is just beneath our feet. This source of Earth light rises through the body, and energizes our inner meditations, our vitality, our own individual UnderWorld of consciousness, imagination, spirit. If only we pay attention to it.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Michael Ford - Luciferian Sorcery Luciferian And Sethanic Magick
Solomonic Grimoires - The Greater Key Of Solomon Part 3
Robert Ellwood - The Encyclopedia Of World Religions
Eliphas Levi - The Ritual Of Transcendental Magic
Parker Torrence - The Craft Grimoire Of Eclectic Magic