The Cauldron Born

The Native Tradition of the British Isles

Cauldron Born: The Native Tradition of the Isles
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A Livejournal Community for Practitioners of the Native Spiritual Traditions of the British Isles

This Community is for people interested in Pre-Celtic Shamanism from Britain, and in the Inner Shamanic Paths of the Celtic peoples of Wales, England, and Ireland. This includes Celtic Polytheism (Ildiachas/amldduwiaeth) and Druidry.

This Community is a place for writer Robin Artisson to share his writings and exercises from his upcoming book "The Sacred Forest", and for everyone to discuss their own beliefs regarding the Native path of animistic and polytheistic religion and mysticism from the Pre-Celtic and Celtic eras of the British Isles.

For more Information, read the selection of poetry and the writing below, for a sample of what this community is about. If you want to be added to this community, join up and you will be considered, but brand new journals are not allowed without a good reason. It would help if someone here would vouch for you. This community is meant to be private and it is a fluff-free zone. Our practices and ideas are based on scholarship and personal inspiration, but not inspiration based on anything remotely resembling wicca, pentagrams, ceremonial magic, or the like. This is a forum for animists and true polytheists.

Image Copyright © 2006 by Madeline Renfrew
All Rights Reserved

"I am forgotten here : Unlike wild hills who remember me
Let our relationship blossom : You are never alone.

A blue place and mantles glorious, blow in stillness : My life wells up in the body
And it brings signs and sounds : Beauty and frustration
And what must be said, but cannot be : There are none older than me.

Inspiration comes and goes : Like the flow of the wind
Rising and falling, it burns bright in rising;
Hot and glowing, a coal in the autumn
Still fire without end : Always air, the flow of the wind.

Are there songs for this place?
Epics to go with the ceaseless wind?
Of young boys carrying the gift of fire
From dark land-border to another
To the hands of another waiting clan?

Down by my river, my spring : In the deepest place
It is dark and still : Every being has left its foot-sign
An imprint there : The most ancient forest is silent.
And what occurs round you now : Is what has always been
Like the blue sky and the luminous wind.

Blessed arms, the family of the Underworld : Continue ceaselessly in your heart.
The divine world is near, and the meaning : That will lift all into clearness;

There are roads that do not end : I am the mistress of those
As I desire it, so it grows : Do not fear, now or ever
Though I be fierce, I say forever : We are one.

And stranger glories follow me : And they will fill the darkened Earth."

From "The Verses of the Wooden Malkin" by Robin Artisson

* * *

Concerning the Underworld Initiation
Excerpt Copyright © 2005 by Robin Artisson

"...Eventually, you will find that the only place to "go" is down. The concealed reaches of the Underworld naturally call to all mystics, because a vital activity takes place there to which all mystical fate-threads beckon. As you chant sacred sounds and bend your will and your mind to the Divine Personhood of the Initiatrix, the Predatory Mother-Guardian of the Cauldron, you will find that a great "inner" reality will become more apparent to you, most often feeling like a great "cavern" or emptiness that is divided from you by only a thin sheet of earth under your feet, or a thin invisible "veil" that you cannot see, but you can sense.

The notion of the "thin sheet" between you and the immensities below or within is a good marker, an experience that I can back up with my own, and the experiences of others. To feel it is a sign that you have encountered hidden threads of power that let you experience the Underworld, on an inner level. It also has a folkloric usage, with the idea of certain sacred islands off the coast of England and Scotland (like Iona) being called "very thin"- in other words, to the Christian folk who use this term, there is not much between those places and God.

You want to pass across, and it is always a transformative experience if you can keep the receptive frame of mind that lets you "go into" it. The Veiled Queen of the Underworld, the "concealed" one, who is concealed by both the ground below us and the state of coarse
consciousness that veils our unconscious states, is the guardian of the "inner" experience. There is no "travel" or experience of "the within" without running into this Old One and those who serve her. They hold the keys, and they allow in and out who they will. In your initial experiences, visions will doubtless arise, of tests, ordeals, conversations and many things. Accept them as they come and remember them.

To feel the "thin" layer between your "self" and the immense, dark reaches "below" is good, profound, and within the stream of tradition. By doing so, you are encountering the first layer of the Underworld; you are finding the "entry level". It goes deeper, but you have to keep going back and down or within.

Soon, the images you experienced in the initial experiences will give way to something else. And from that, something else. It gets progressively more difficult because the states of awareness become progressively more subtle. A point comes when the experiences may be happening on such a subtle level that you cannot even consciously experience them as you did the first ones, but all the same, "things" still happen, and are happening.

You will see the "footprints" of these experiences in changes that occur in your life. What you should be aiming for and hoping for are the most deep-seated transformations possible, like Taliesin experienced when he submerged his consciousness into the womb-cauldron of Karidvana or Cerridwen.

THAT experience is the Great Metamorphosis, the final arrival at the most essential "level" of reality, though these words do not and cannot express it. Even the word "level" does not describe it. It's beyond those concepts.

Why go there? Because that is where the Truth of things is known, far beyond image and concept. The person who experiences that is no longer bound by the limitations of words, no longer bound by dualistic logic, nor the other pitfalls of the non-mystic. That person has a peace that derives from the greatest of mysteries. They also have an undefeatable Wisdom, which gives them the power to forever think "outside the box" of the minds of non-sorcerers. They are Cauldron Born; they have died before their bodily deaths, and they have come back to tell the tale.

The Underworld Initiation or Transformation comes in stages, as I said, and each stage is a destruction and re-structuring of your internal reality; it is an unbinding and re-tying of your Life and Fate Threads. Each time it happens, each a true death and rebirth initiation, you become more capable of comprehending subtle truths. Your own mystical abilities increase.

Since time immemorial, it has been important for human beings to do this, and since The Gods and ancient Heroes established this pattern for the wise to follow, it is all the more important.

Some humans have to make contact with these subtle realities, to mediate them to this world. Without those brave souls, there would be no conscious "bridge" for certain powers to emerge into the human world, and spirituality, you might say, for everyone, would be hampered, decreased, and possibly doomed. This function of "wisdom seeker" and "wisdom transmitter" is not just for you. It is for the world."