Celtic poetry. In search of the Salmon of Wisdom

January 11, 2012 9:51

To understand the meaning of Celtic spirals and weaves art takes shape in an energetic, organic swirl, you first need to understand the way in which the ancient Celts wove a web of life. Surprising patterns on a page of parchment or stone cross, reflect a world filled with endless delight of movement, perfection, the balance between limited and unlimited. Celtic patterns speak to us through the dark thickets deep forests that once covered Britain and Ireland. Here and there suddenly appears a braided knots animal or bird, as if out of the shadows of trees. Human forms are intertwined with animals, and of their union, and curled or twisted lines, weaving a tapestry. Sometimes the form, which begins as a human, can result in an animal or bird.

This rhythmic, deep penetration forms reflects the experience of the world as a living being early Celts. Their world was populated by a pantheon of gods and goddesses who lived in different neighborhoods or personalize them. Ireland itself was found in the myths of the image of the great goddess, one of the names of MDM — Eriu — gave the name the country we know as Eire (Ireland). Her body was the land itself: two hills in County Kerry, resembling women's breasts are named Breast Anu (Paps of Anu), on the other's behalf. Coronation rite of the Irish kings meant a ritual marriage with the land, appears in the form of the goddess, known as the Supreme Power (Sovereignty). These caves earthen dwellings, such as New Grenzh in the valley of the River Boyne, built earlier inhabitants, regarded as the entrance to her womb, where the spirits of their ancestors lived (and seeds, and in general such "grave transition" described in mythology as the passage in the "Other World» (Otherworld). lakes, wells and springs were dedicated to the goddess (cf. eg. Brigid well), they were given water healing and support. Sea is the kingdom of Manannan mac Lir, King of the Land-under-Waves.

Trees also were seen as beings with their own personal qualities and characteristics: bright rowan berries were given protection from evil, the fruit of hazel were the source of wisdom. Sacred tree stood in the center of the village, every family, while the druids worshiped in sacred oak groves.

Animals were considered as powerful spiritual beings that could link the man with the invisible realm, Celtic other world. White deer hunter lures, released on the hunt, not for fresh meat, and hog leads him into the dark … seers recognized by future observations of the flight of birds and interpret their cries. Tuatha De Danann, the representatives of supernatural race that lived in the hollow hills, often a death in the form of birds or animals.

After the arrival of the holy places of Christianity still remained sacred, but their names have changed. Live, speaking to mankind universe, now celebrated as God's creation. Mary or Cvyataya Brigitte now kept holy wells and even Jesus himself became pagan features:

"Son of the Dawn
Son of the clouds
Son stars
Son of the elements … "

Gaelic prayers and hymns collected in Scotland as early as the 19th century, calling to help animal power, as, for example, is a blessing:

"The wisdom of the snake be upon you,
Crow wisdom be upon you,
Wisdom brave eagle .. "etc.

And for the pagan, Celtic and Christian, the world is a bridge that came on and joined the realm of Earth and Spirit.

Better than making out this link, you can see three different levels of knowledge of the universe, each of which implies a rapprochement with the world as long as the boundary between the object and purpose will not disappear. The first — a fairly common way a person relates to nature, just as an observer refers to the unit of observation, the two are separate, discrete objects. Since in these respects the importance of nature comparable to the most important person, I call this type of relationship is the principle of "I-Thou". The second level of perception of the world, which occurs a little less, I call the "common ratio", where the observer begins to merge with the object of observation, and the boundaries between them blur. The third level is a kind of symbiotic relationship in which the man and other sentient forms are interchangeable. This occurs through a process of transformation, metamorphosis, and I call this level "changing" relationship.

The principle of "I-Thou" is the most famous way for us to know the world, where nature is seen as a matter of human experience, and is the subject of many poems written by people leading ascetic existence in the wild. Some of them were pagan seers and soothsayers, others — the early Christian hermits.

These forest dwellers live in huts made of woven twigs, or even in caves or trees, the walls that surround the life of modern man, and separate us from the experience of intimate knowledge of nature, at that time were fragile or non-existent. To live like this is to see yourself in the future, a small particle in a huge, bustling world. In one poem, a hermit of the 7th century describes your home:

"I have a cabin in the woods,
No one knows what lives in it my God:
Ash is on the near side, outside bush hazel
Huge oak wraps it in yourself.
Two heather-covered door jamb support,
And jumpers made of honeysuckle:
The forest around has no boundaries
And it feeds the fat pigs … "

The clarity and detail of these descriptions are characteristic of the Celtic "natural" poetry. The important thing is that all of these stem from the allegory of the real life experiences. In contrast to the late medieval court poetry, where the nature of a pale allegory abstract qualities, these verses have a new perception of everyday life. A huge variety of natural phenomena in each poem is for us, opening a window to the world, full of a variety of forms of life:

"The narrow river valley
Where does a lot haired, brown, round-faced otters
With so rapidly and fiercely fish;
Dall many majestic swans
And salmon, which breeds along the rocky shores … "

Celtic poets urge to merge with the nature of this life, which involves all available senses. We who drove themselves to themselves rich banquet of the natural world, preferring empty calories "virtual" facts and commodities, can feel like the world was perceived by our ancestors, who were quite satisfied with the natural abundance of things:

"El with herbs, a dish of strawberries
Tasty and colorful,
Blackthorn berries, nuts.
When the beautiful summer season will spread their colorful robes,
Flows around a sweet fragrance!
Pignut, wild marjoram, chives, leeks,
Green purity.
Bees and chafers, the little musicians of the world,
Gentle chorus:
Wild geese and ducks, not long before the end of summer
Your music sounds dark flow. '

Vivacity of these images reminiscent of Blake's famous phrase, "If the doors of perception were cleaned, the world would appear to man the infinite. "Indeed, in the pagan Celtic tradition of wisdom, poetry was regarded as the basic skills of the seer and mystic. According to old legends, the poet-seer received divine inspiration, eating the sacred essence, appeared out of the body of the Earth, most often it is Salmon of Wisdom, who comes from a well located in the center of the Otherworld. When Finn Kumall poppy, the famous warrior-prophet, eating salmon on the River Boyne and become enlightened, the first words he utters — praise month May, as if a magic fish flesh opened his eyes to the wonderful world:

"There is no better month of May, his lovely face,
Thrushes sing day and night, the forest green … "

In each poem, the poet's relationship with the natural world is very warm and close. In the 20th century, we are exposed to trends talk about trees, instead of talking to them, or expand our consciousness enough to "hug a tree."

In the following poem, the author refers to the individual animals, plants and trees, featuring authentic relationships "I-Thou" with each of them:

"The little fawn, thy melodious moo,
your voice is sweet, resounding in the valley …
Thorns, thorny, small black bush;
Green duckweed on the edge of the well blackbird ….
Apple, small apple, everyone shakes violently you;
flowering ash, perfect your fruit … "

Personal life of the poet barely mentioned in these verses. Only occasionally we see a light reflection of some details, describing daily life, and then only in the poems about winter, when the poet is contained within the house:

"Cosy our pot on the hook …", so it sounds the first line of the poem known as the "Cold Winter» («Winter Cold»), but it is placed here only in order to contrast with the plight of wild animals:

"Wolves of the forest Kuan
There is no sleep, no rest in their dens,
Wren finds
Protection in the slot on the side of the womb. '

The lack of detail personal life highlights its relative insignificance in comparison to the drama played out in the world. The poet makes himself transparent so that he was able to reach the deeper levels of nature. German poet Novalis called a dimension where he transferred during the writing of poems "sanctuary of the soul," which he described as follows:

"Where is the inner world meets with the external,
and where they merge, and you are at any point of the merger. "

Live in the woods between the worlds was to live and to learn how to cross the uncharted paths and dangerous paths of the Otherworld. For this it was necessary to begin to merge directly with wildlife. Suibhne other gelty are considered, grew their feathers on the body, like birds. With typical ambiguity of Celtic literature, some of the texts tell us that they could fly like birds and some argue that the feathers have grown only in order to protect them from the severe cold and cold, but that they were "running around in the trees almost as rapidly as monkey or a squirrel. " Are they grew their feathers or were simply wrapped in cloaks of feathers, which made them look like a country of huge birds, gliding between the branches dark evenings? If it was a cloak, he served as a protection from the elements or used for the flight of the soul to the Otherworld?

Suibhne Gelt is said to run with the herds of wild deer, riding on top of them, just like a deer eating wild plants and water. Merlin is also described living with a herd of deer "like a wild animal." I remember the original image on the famous pot, found in a peat bog in Gundestrup, Denmark, where the horned man sits in an ecstatic trance, surrounded by forest animals. These "community relations" with wild animals were pulling people over the edge of the Otherworld: Suibhne and Merlin and develop supernatural powers of divination and change shape (shape-shifting).

The "community relations" boundary between humans and wild animals is blurred, with the practice of lycanthropy, it completely disappears. Here — the realm of the great bards and seers who were masters of walking between the worlds. Daring to deliberately expose one's self to death, they were able to expand individual consciousness, to combine it with the experience of a non-human form and lived many lives in other realities in the images of the elements or wild creatures. Through the experience of living in the shoes of a "non-human" they achieved personal wisdom that allowed them to see themselves Consciousness, not form, soul and not the body, fluid consciousness, which could become a universal, occurring in numerous aspects of the natural world. This was the highest level of dedication to the Celtic mysteries, which are opened only for the most daring of the poets, prophets and heroes.

Greatest bard and seer Wales — Taliesin, was initiated into the mysteries of the goddess Ceridwen through a sequence of changes in the shape, becoming, respectively, in the first rabbit, then fish, poultry, and finally into the grain of wheat. Each of these forms is one of the three elements that make up life: the hare — the land, the fish — sea bird — the sky, and wheat as the potential of the Initiate, absorbed the force of the Three Kingdoms.

Poet-seer often describes his incarnation in spells that are filled with supernatural authenticity:

"I've been a blue salmon,
I was a dog, deer,
Roebuck on the mountain … "

"I — sea breeze;
I — the wave of the depths;
I — the bull of seven battles;
I — the eagle on the rock;
I — Tears of the Sun; "

Another "changing shape" and time-traveler was Tuan O'Karell, another ancient seer, mention of which were discovered monk Finnianom of Moville, and which he says in the description of transformations. He describes the heavy burden of old age in the form of an exhausted old man, and the joy of rebirth, when it turns into a deer, during the first of many metamorphoses:

"Finally, old age caught up with me, and I was on the rocks and wastes, and could not go with them … hairy, clawed, withered, naked and gray, miserable outcast. Once when I went to sleep at night, I saw myself become a deer. In the form I was young and there was joy in my heart …

Then rose on my head
Two horns with three spikes
So that I was rude and gray in the form of
After my age has changed, rejecting weakness. "

Tuan like Suibhne and Merlin becomes the leader of deer herds Ireland, before taking final shape, it becomes alternately a boar, a hawk and a salmon and finally again takes the image of man. Every time he gets tired, he returns to a certain cave, where fasting for three days, the period used by Celtic seers for a magical journey. Like Fintanu, he is exposed to many difficulties that are open to him all the wealth of experience

"I became a salmon river …., was energetic and well-fed, and my movements were lovely, and I avoided every danger and every trap — trick rescued from the hands of fishermen, from the claws of hawks, and from fishing copies — so that the scars that they gave, still on me. '

Tuan's life as salmon over, when the fishermen leader Kayrella catch it and fry for his wife, who eats the fish whole. After a while it turns out that she is pregnant Tuan, who is aware of himself being in her womb, remembering who he actually is, and knowing all that is happening in Ireland.

Thus in a mysterious transformation, which serves to highlight the magical interaction of human and non-human forms in the Celtic tradition, the person who eats the salmon to be a visionary, he turns into a salmon, which is eaten by man, was born to a different person.

Translation — Alexander McGregor, 2005

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