On the table beside me the mobile phone starts to buzz, shaking itself with silent vibrations. I glance down and see its the Goddess Morrigan calling. I stare at it for a what feels like a minute but is really only a few seconds before making a decision.
I let it go to voicemail.
So, here's the story. I replied to a post in my social media circles recently and a group moderator approached me to make a post out it because they felt there was value to my perspective. The initial post dealt with a persons concern about engaging with the Irish Goddess of Battle, Poetry, Prophesy and oh so much more. The Morrigan is a powerful figure in the lore of our land and the existing living pagan beliefs of today. This is the Goddess who gives the Dagda a foretelling of the imminent Fomorian invasion, and then promises to take the valour from the kidneys of its leaders. The Goddess who later turns up with two fistfuls of blood having done exactly as she swore to. The Goddess who caused the sky to rain fire upon the Fomorian armies, observed the entire war, and brought it to a close by composing her poetry over the battle field. This is only the smallest example of the Morrigan's influence on Ireland's past and nothing compared to her influence in the world around us today.
This is my story of meeting the Morrigan and of personal sovereignty.
Being anywhere in the world I believe we are surrounded by spiritual influences. Many folk breeze on through life without engaging with spirituality in any significant way, and there is nothing wrong with that, but for some there is no true life unless in involves a healthy spiritual aspect. Of course this can be a bother as much as a blessing. One of the things I always personally hold to is that this is my life, my story, and therefore my will is the dominant drive. Six years ago in 2013 my spiritual growth got the attention of the Morrigan, or 'Lady M' as I lovingly, playfully and irreverently call Herself. Well now, thanks to my O'Connor blood, she placed a 'come hither' on me, a spiritual compulsion to come where she called. Of course as I have mentioned, this is my story and I work hard to ensure that its my will that drives the narrative. I informed her priest (Lora), in May I think it was, that I would visit before the end of the year, thinking to myself, sure December was a long way off.
August rolled around that year and the compulsion of the 'come hither got stronger. When I stopped playing at obliviousness and paid attention I was 'informed' that 'my year' ends in August...with my birthday. So it was that on the day before my birthday, literally the last day of 'my year'...because I also play belligerent as much as oblivious... I found myself traveling across Ireland to meet her priest in Roscommon.
I went to Lady M's fit abode, down into the darkness of the Cave of Cats and there she ‘offered me a job’. It was an interesting experience let me tell you. Standing in that darkness upon her door step, feeling her direct gaze upon the very soul of me, contract in hand ready for some agreement to happen. This is a deity who deals very directly. There is no ambiguity when it comes to the work. She offered me a contract and all I had to do was tell her what I wanted in exchange. At that time I wanted nothing I couldn't get for myself, so told her as much and said 'thanks, but no thanks'.
I remember very clearly the shift. Lady M, it seemed to me, thought I was a bit slow on the up take, and patiently tried to explain it to me again. Fair exchange of labour, for her assistance meeting whatever needs I specify, all I needed to do was just 'say my Right words'.
I count myself uniquely fortunate to have survived my next statement. In that darkness, with no need I could not meet myself, I said 'words are just wind'. Again I felt the shift in Lady M's demeanor, this time part confusion, part frustration, with a dash of 'who do you think you are?' thrown in for good measure. Maybe it was something else, some as of then unknown influence in my life, or maybe it was my next words that were the saving of me...."You have my love and my respect, but not my service."
That was both the first and last time I set foot down into her Cave in Rathcroghan. I have been back many times over the years, supporting others doing their work, but for me, my words stand, love, respect, but not service. True, I have since come into service of the Dagda, Ireland's ancient good of druidry, hospitality, healthy masculinity and oh so much more...who may have been said 'unkown influence'..., and Lady M of course shows up in many of the stories I write in his honour, but again that was by my specific choice with very clear expectations in exchange for my labours. I choose to do this work. I choose to be a Dagda Bard/Priest.
So, we have reached the end of the story, but like any good tale, it has to have a lesson, a moral, or a teaching opportunity. That's the old Irish way after all. So whats the lesson here?
It is this, I state that my will is dominant, that it is by my choice, by my conscious and informed agreement that I work with deity or spiritual entities. This is a mechanism of self empowerment and self protection...but I also make myself personally responsible for my choice and it’s consequences. At no point will I ever say 'I was made to...' or 'I had to...' I will say I chose to, even if that's something as dumb as jumping in the Irish sea in the cold of winter because a deity asked me to. The reason that this is the lesson should hopefully be obvious but in the interest of avoiding ambiguity or misinterpretation of my meaning I would like to be clear.
Consent is important. Always. I firmly believe the Lady M is very much in agreement with that statement.
I choose to follow a spiritual aspect to my existence. I choose to follow the teachings of a God, not because I must...but because it helps me strive to be a better version of myself. I choose to do it for me, and to honour my agreement. This is my life, my story and no one can over rule me. I can choose to do anything as long as I am willing to accept the consequences. We are all that architects of our own lives, no matter the influences around or upon us. We can all Choose. I choose to live a spiritual existence.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a voicemail to check...
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An Scéalaí Beag
We all have thoughts and perspectives and opinions. Its simply part of the human condition as a socialized species. So In the interest of insight, this is where I will share my perspective and opinions.