Isle of The Mages(Tir na Asarlai)
Also commonly known as the Isle of Wizards, and along with Hy-Brasyl, a possible forerunner of the Isle of Avalon of the Aurthurian legends, the Isle of Mages is concerned with practical "male" magic; especially ritual, weather magic, and ceremony. It is a spiritual representative of the ideal of Male wisdom, the male equivalent of the older wise woman or Crone, being the Mage. The mage also concerns to some degree, elements of foreign magic, traditionally being the place one goes for edvice when working with spirits or ingredients outside one's own locality, imported for their presiousness and rarity or to deal with a foreign power. In recent years it has become a great source of help and advice for those who are not Irish by birth who seek help in understanding and using irish Witchcraft.
Men, especially those who feel a little neglected by all the emhphasis placed on the Goddess, or the wise Woman, or the Grandmother, are often drawn to the isle of Mage and find it a comforting familiar place that helps foster male self esteem and pride. The Mages, erudite, logical and wise provide a great balance to the intuitive Feminine ideals.
The Isle of Mages is a rugged place from the sea, with an imposing and masculine landscape, a high sentral Tor, stong coastline, and a brreezy robust climate. As one approaches however, it becomes clear that the heart of the Island is a cultivated and well-planned garden, manicured lawns, symetrical and eye-pleasing walks, fountains and square pools, statues and well cut, flowering shrubs and bushes, speading out around a turreted white building, a castle in design but not meant for war, despites its imposing facade, but rather for decoration, and to impress. There are here and there teacher and pupil, strolling in earnest discussion throughout the grounds; the atmosphere is one of pleasant quiet, calm reflection and measured logical thought.
Underneath all this calm thought however there runs another strain of life, best described as the controlled chaos one might find in an eccentric inventor or academic, a seemingly disorganized but actually highly intelligent and shrewd way of operating.
It is important to recognise the imoprtance of the Isle of Mages in the scheme of things. While the wild, intuitive untamed power of nature is the backbone of the indigenous Irish Occultism, without the restaint and logical, cool, measured wisdom of the Isle of Mages, it is undisciplined and unexplored. Likewise the Isle of Mages would be a barren and sterile place without the wild power of Nature, nor would it be pleasant to live entirely in a world cultivated and manicured; tame and boring. Balance, as ever, is the way.
The male qualities celebrated in the Isle of Mages are to be sought, regardless of ones gender. Strength contained within discipline, Intellect fed by reading and studying, emotions controled by reason and will. These are good things to explore and to master, but not to be ruled by. Without the intellectual and well researched approach, occult arts are reduced to mere superstitions and folkcustoms. However the most erudite scholar in teh world will remain a cipher unless they feel and connect with the unexplained and inexplicable strength, power and mystery of Nature and the Cosmos.
The seas are choppy but not stormy, the wind is blowing a stiff breeze and the taste of salt is on your lips as you stand in the prow of the ship, and watch the aporoach of the Isle of Mages; your arrival is greeted by a chorus of goodnatured greetings from the fishermen on the beach. You wave at them as you walk across the golden sands, up the rough hewn steps carved into the side of the cliffs that lead up to the rolling grasslands that in turn you cross, entering a dark, green cool copse of trees, following the path on its journey through the trees, across a small plot of dark turned earth, and finally up to and alongside a high grey wall. you follow the path around the side of the wall for a few minutes. the only sounds, after the sreech og gulls from the beach has died down, is the sound of wind in the grass and your own footsteps. Suddenly you round a sharp corner, and find yourself standing before a large archway, leading into a huge garden, actually a series of gardens on different levels, each a masterpiece of symmetry and beauty, with hanging plants, statues, fountains, and a series of green arches leading one from garden to the next.
It dawns on you that in fact it is laid out like a gigantic maze...so larage you can only glimpse the symmetry and cunning employed in fashioning these amazing grounds, You look around you, enjoying the smell of the flowers and the sound of the fountains, and finally stand gazing for a while at the large white castle, an imposing and sternly beautiful building.
Next, you notice that here and there stroll what are obviously scholars, old and gentle-looking, with wise shrewd eyes and a humourous tolerant expression; they are walking and talking, each with a younger student in tow, and from their espressions some earnest and important discussions are taking place. You begin to strol in thoughtful reflection yourself, walking in measured paces, neither slow nor fast, enjoying the rythm and repose of this, and thinking to yourself, "how I would like to enter into discussion with one of those wise old men, how I would appreciate his input into my own situation, How I wish I could ask him "x" " and continuing with this rythmical strolling and thinking, until you hear a strong yet gentle voice, asking whether you would like to talk. You look up to see one of those wise scholarly Mages before you, his kindly eyes lloking at you with tolerance and humour. You fall into step with him and let him lead you still on a measured rythmic pace, around the grounds of the Mages' Castle. As you walk you find yourself telling him, openly, in great detail, without embarrassment or dissembling, about your problem, or your needs.....
Listen carefully to the advice he gives, especially question him on the best practical course to take and the best way for you to precedde, and/or implement his advice, as the Mages excell at practical solutions. Walk until you feel you have exhausted the subject; the Mages will not turn you away or cut you short. When you feel you have decided on a plan of actin, etc and have talked it over with the Mage, you should formally thank him, ask him if there is a thank-you present you can give (you may sometimes be asked for wither an offering of meat or of fruit)Thank him again, and withdraw, retracing your footsteps back to the archway, around the side of the wall, across the plot of dark, turned earth, into the copse, and back out again into the breezy sunlight. You can once again hear the sea-gull, the crash of waves, taste the salt air. You make you way back down the cliff face, using the hewn steps, and onto the golden sands of the beach. Your friends the fishermen are packing up now, as the sunlight begins to die, the setting sun lighting everything red and gold, and you wave to them as you reboard your ship, and they cheerily bid you farewell. You settle on the bench on teh deck of the ship and pleasantly tired, but feeling unburdened and full of positive ideas, you close your eyes, feel the swell and ebbof the sea beneath you and allow your crew to carry you gently and speedily home.
do you associate with strength in the Masculine?
What do you associate with weakness in the Masculine
Do you wish to be seen as a Mage, wise and learned?
Do you fear others being dependent on you?
Do you wish to take care of others?
Do you fear being leant upon?
Do you feel most comfortable when the Intellectual and the magical are seen as opposing?
Do you find it hard to study, preferring instead to recieve information predigested, from articles/websites?
If so, try researching one small thing; e.g. Sacred wells, or a Celtic God. Search websites, make a list of what is commonly said about thsi subject and what contradictions you find from site to site, of book to book. Write a short article, on your topic. This small concessioin alone will help balance this side of your nature, help to exercise it and feed it/
DO you find it hard to trust your instincts, preferring instead to study and recieve knowledge from books?
If so, try one complete spell without reference to your books and notes. Think of one small simple thing, e.g. a heaing spell, or a friendship spell, and try to construct it using just your instinct on which herbs, candles, etc feel right. Deliberately put away to teh back of your mind any preconceived ideas about the "right" answers, go only and honestly by what feels right. When you have completed your task, resist the urge to check yourself against your books!!
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