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Magic and the old Gods
Damh the Bard singing "Taliesin"
More music by Damh the Bard
THE RETURN OF THE OLD GODS
The people came to the Earth weak and frail, naked to the elements. The Elves looked on, for the people resembled the Fair Folk in outward appearance while the spirits of Tree and Stone watched and waited.
The people struggled to survive. It was not the will of the Gods that they perish, Mother Earth had brought them forth for purposes yet unclear so the Elves gently guided them and the people learned to survive. They learned when to plant and when to harvest. They learned the movement of animals, those they could eat and those that would prey on them.
In this learning they drew close to the Earth and to Nature. What was done to survive, in time, brought to them the greatest of all treasures. Their eyes and hearts were opened. They touched the AWEN the source of all inspiration and that which had inspired the creation of the Universe. They touched the NWYFRE, the life force of the Earth and the power to create and sustain all life. They saw the hidden world of the Fae. They spoke freely with the Elves and learned and did commerce with them. In those days the Gods walked the Earth and were known to the people.
The people were blessed and prospered and spread throughout the Earth.
As they lived separately they began to perceive the Gods in different ways. The people of the desert viewed the same God differently to the people of the mountains and the forest dwellers perceived other Gods. Then languages changed, words were expressed differently from one family to another and the people forgot that they spoke to the same Gods.
The people went to war. They fought for sport and food and greed. This was a time of heroes and legend. Of great deeds of darkness and of light. Some went to Elvenhome and returned with magical weapons. Some walked with the Gods and became mighty from their favor. This was the undoing of Gods and Men.
All the tribes of the people called on the Gods to protect them but what were the Gods to do? The people invoked the same God to aid each side and unknowingly set God against God and even invoked a God to war against Himself. After a time it was seen that this could no longer be or the striving of the Gods would tear apart the fabric of time and space. So the Fair Folk hid their world and the Gods withdrew from the cares of the people. Magic was fading from the Earth, weapons of steel replaced prayer and incantation. Anger and fear replaced the sacred circles of love and fellowship. Winter darkness covered the Earth.
Still, the Gods knew that, in time, an awakening would occur, light would once more fill the Earth and the joy of life would once more fill the hearts of the people. So the old ways were preserved by an ever diminishing few.
They were hidden, those who knew the ancient secrets. In cave and forest they hid from persecution and unbelief. They were hunted and those who had sworn to do no harm were burned or worse. Even when the killing ended, those who dared show themselves were called "Workers of Wickedness." Those who love life were called "Friends of Evil". So they hid and the Magic hid with them and was gone from the land.
Through all this age of darkness a glimmer of hope found its way into the hearts and minds of the people. A story appeared here. A myth appeared there. There were legends and stories of heroes from bygone days. The tales remained, often-times changed so that the darkness would not perceive the light but the deep meanings were untouched. The hidden ones had sown the seeds of a new Magic.
There came a time when hearts and minds began to open. Some began to look at the old tales again and take a somewhat sideways glance. Some, with subtle mind and sensitive spirit, saw meanings and a glimpse of other worlds in those old tales. They went, as instructed, to the sacred mound and the standing stone. There they looked with fresh eyes and listened with new ears and, from the depths of the Earth and the wide expanse of the Sky, from the cold of the Ocean to the heat of the Sun, They said:
"YES! IT IS SO!"
And magic began to return to the land.