Tir na Gaiscioch (Isle of Warriors)
Tir Na Gaiscioch
The Isle of Warriors
The Isle of Warriors is one of the largest of the isles, with high cliffs, lush forests, clear running springs, smooth sandy beaches; the air is filled with the sound of birds and game, the seas teeming with fish. It has a sunny aspect, and plenty of contrasting areas - a high foreland, slopping meadows, dense forests, sunlit clearings, gorse and fern covered scalps.
The Atmosphere of the Isle of Warriors is very physical and active, even in the quietest glade of the deepest forest, one feels as if at any moment a proud Stag or a charging Boar may erupt into the silence and serenity. This is Isle of Warriors (sometimes the isle of Men but usually Warrior because some great Warriors were female) where the Fianna and their ancient code still hold sway. The keywords associated with this place are Courage, Comradeship, Honour, Hunting, Friendship, The Kill, Adventure, Loyalty.
The Fianna are the Archetypes associated with this Isle; the legendary band of warriors who lived outside society, seeking fame for valour, loyalty, amazing feats and adventures and who exemplified many aspects of society at their best.
Friendship to one another, love for a fellow warrior, loyalty and respect for the leader and for the king; respect for and towards women; generosity and respect towards social inferiors, love of music and song; a desire to gain wisdom and experience.
The stories associated with the Fianna are two numerous to mention here; in many ways the story of the Fianna is the story of Ireland itself; they were effected by or pivotal to , every political and tribal event. The Fianna were ?voluntary outcasts? men who lived apart from society, outside of it, and in return won themselves fame and glory, renown as a band of great warriors and hunters, understanding of their natures and of the nature of their world, and through their battles and their hunts, understanding of the great secret of Death itself, and of the Bargain; that some must live and some must die and each path carries its own price. Indeed that there is a price for everything.
To journey on this Isle is to experience your physicality, to sense the freedom of a chase, the exhilarating clash and the adrenalin rush of a passage of arms; In your minds eye, run with the hares and chase with the hounds. Be one time hunter and another, hunted ? feel the give and take, the balance and exchange of nature; seek within your self the discipline of the Warrior; the stern code of Loyalty and Friendship, of the Fianna.
To balance this control and discipline the Fianna acknowledge another obligation ? that of the Geas. The Geas is a solemn binding duty, laid upon a Fenian by another, usually a woman, or someone in need of help; the Geas should only be laid when in grave circumstances, as once the words ?I lay a geas upon you? are spoken, the fenian
Has no choice but to oblige. This Geas overrides all other considerations ? loyalty to one?s chief; friendship; duty; self-preservation. Thus, to balance the discipline and duty that is the Fenian?s code, the Geas acknowledges the role of passion and chance and irrationality in life; conceding in the end to a higher power.
Meditate upon the Fianna
What does it mean to be a Warrior?
Is a Warrior the same thing as a Soldier?
What do you feel are the differences?
The love of one Fenian for another is the subject of great poetry and song-reawaken your ability to express affection, outside of and untrammeled by, sexuality.
Meditate upon these words ; LOYALTY FRIENDSHIP DUTY DISCIPLINE
Which should come first, be most important?
Which one would you make your motto?
Which trait above the others is best in a warrior?
Meditate upon the Hunt
Imagine the feelings of the Hunter
Imagine the feelings of the Hunted
Weigh up these two opposites- the right of the Hunter to live, by eating against the right of the Prey to life.
When you take a life even of the smallest animal, you effect Our Mother Earth. We live at the expense of others ? this is one of the hardest truths to learn. Acknowledge and be grateful to the lives that feed you, the trees that bear fruit, the corn bending in the field.
See yourself as part of a great circle, a chain of life.
Meditate upon the Isle of Warriors, Tir na Gaiscioch
This Isle brings us many things to explore, and ultimately brings us closer in understanding to one of the greaet mysteries and truths of life, The Bargain
Starting with the Fianna, think of the balance of the lives, of their code.
Consider the balance of discipline against caprice.
Consider the cost of glory, to be ever outsiders, voluntary outcasts
Consider the cost of immortality ? death in battle.
Now consider the Hunt, the balance that obtains there.
The Hunter must kill to live;
The Hunted dies to provide life,
The taking of anything, a life, the fruits of the trees, the fruits of the fields, obliges us to give in return.
Consider some of these ways of giving in return:
Be restocking, replanting, attending to the land, caring for the tree or bush.
Consider the ultimate obligation: to defend the land.
And you have begun to approach the Bargain; the mystical relationship between each thing in the universe;
the balance between our privileges and our obligations; our rights and others rights;
the need to give thanks for favours; to give back in offerings some part of that we receive.
Consider this; if you exercise your will and achieve the result you desired, how will you choose to acknowledge your obligations? Think of it as cause and effect.
Consider this: you decide how you will fulfill your obligations (e.g. an offering of some expensive or rare item ? food, wine etc) and then you consider what you hope to achieve, how you hope to change your reality.
With practice and meditation on these mysteries, it is possible to increase your power- to find the levers that operate the cosmos and apply pressure. This is not immediate, and meditation will throw up more and more insights into the Bargain, into the link between sacrifice and reward, but more than any other Journey, this goes directly to the issue of power and spell-casting. Explorations on the Isle of Warriors will bring, on conscious and unconscious levels, new and deeper abilities in the practice and practical application of your Art.
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