Gwenifer – The Story of a Goddess
There was a time when women and men lived in harmony with the other beings and other kin in all realms. Ancestors were remembered, tales of the deeds of the Shining Ones, the Otherkin and those who maintained the web of the Cosmos were told; a time when a journey between the worlds was as easy as the blinking of an eye.
The wind whispered truths; the land brought forth its fruits and the cauldron of the sea churned with chaotic potential.
In the ancient land of Cornwall it was a time when the stones spoke to the people, the sky spoke to the stones and the sea brought forth life from the sky.
Lands End marked the boundary between land and sea and the Isle of Lyonesse stood as a midway point between these worlds.
In what is now known as Mounts Bay a forest grew and rocky tower which stood above that forest was called Karrek Loos y’n Koos – “the grey rock in the wood”.
Within that wood land the Goddess Derowen roamed freely (her name means Oak) and upon Lyonesse the sea goddesses Morgelyn (Sea-Holly), Morvoren (Mermaid) and FeyMor kept safe the passage between the worlds.
Bel and Silyen of the sky shone down upon all and everything was as it could be.
Magick was a way of being and not something that had to be worked at; Healing was not a gift but a right and Wisdom was in the truth of sharing – the power of saying.
But it is the shame of Men that they forget and whilst the cunning women and some cunning men continued to tell the tales of magick and wisdom, many did not. The words of a One God made selfish in the hearts, minds and deeds of people, moved like a shadow over the land. The spirits of the stones, of the well and of the sky grew silent.
Whilst the sky railed in initial anger and the thunder God Taranis spoke forth in despair, the sea rose and took back the magical hinterlands – the forest of Kerrk Loos y’n Koos and the Isle of Lyonesse.
Men lost their way and Women sensed what was lost – but the new ways silenced the words of the ancients.
Feymor alone kept a watch on the affairs of humans.
At times she would ask her sister Morvoren to visit the land to test the hearts of men and was always disappointed.
At times Morgelyn would return, but the indiscriminate slash and burn of the land by humans would again drive her back to the sea.
The tears of Feymor boiled in the sea and the Sky Gods cried in the rain.
|From time to time Feymor herself would roam across the land and despair in not finding women and men taking care of her wells, springs and pools.|
The Sky Gods were moved by her dedication and disappointments and slowly Taranis whose anger grew towards humankind was transformed into love for the forlorn Feymor.
He would watch her from afar and when the moonlight filled the skies would shine in the sparkle of fireflies and the willow-the-whisp.
Feymor looked to the stars and called to the Shining Ones asking how she could offer guidance to the people of the land; despite her despair she still held hope that in the hearts of humankind still lived the seeds of the ancients.
Taranis could bear her tears no more and descended from the heavens.
Her love was as deep as the ocean, his was a passionate as fire and from their union Gwenifer was conceived.
The seasons passed and as her time approached Feymor stole away to Dozmary Pool to give birth to her daughter. At that time the pool was bottomless and connected to the sea, it was one of the few places where magic was still recognised by humans and even today the memory of this time echoes in the stories of the Lady of the Lake.
Gwenifer myrg FeyMor (Gwenifer means White Cheeks) was born at twilight on Beltane Eve.
At the moment of her birth the spirits of the land sang in praise, the ancient circles rang out and the stone pipers played.
At the moment of her birth the ancestors stirred and blessed her soul.
At the moment of her birth the Shining Ones sparkled and an aurora the like of which has never been seen since danced across the heavens.
The three worlds sighed together and determined that she would become their messenger, a point of reconnection between humankind and the rest of the Cosmos.
Her skin was pale a gift from her mother
Her hair was firey red a gift from her father.
As was the tradition of the ancients each of the worlds and the Kindred were required to give a child of the Gods a specific gift.
|From the Shining Ones she was given the gift of Wisdom; from the Spirits of the Land she was given the gift of Healing and from the Sea she was given the gift of Memory.|
Each of these gifts would help her weave stories of light and dark; bring balance to the worlds and connect with humankind offering them a path back to the old ways whilst recognising the need for balanced evolution and progress.
Where she walked life returned, the stones glowed with a gentle fire and the veil between the worlds thinned.
Where she walked music and poetry created the song lines the Cunning Folk could rediscover.
Where she walked the land was healed and the ebb and flow and weft and weave of the web connected.
Where she walked the lines of the circle dance would be revived and wait for humankind to find them.
FetMor returned to the Sea trusting that her daughter would inspire humankind and help them find themselves within themselves once again. Gwinifer was entrusted to the Cunning Woman of Rough Tor who was to raise her as a human child.
The Hurlers became her playground and the nearby Barrow’s and Quoits the passageways to the other worlds.
The Pipers were again to play the songs and rhymes of the ancient storytellers.
Over time more and more of those seeking the old ways and recreating the traditions of the ancients found the song lines, heard the sounds of the pipers and walked the spiral dances inspired by Gwenifer’s passing.
Gwenifer myrg FeyMor grew to be enchantress, healer and storyteller but although she lived with humankind she was not human.
Gwenifer myrg FeyMor grew to be a traveller between worlds, a friend and advocate of all but although she was born from their world she was not part of it.
In many ways her gifts were her wounds.
She longed for the embrace of the sea and the warmth of the clouds, but could not remain in either for long.
Derowen, the Goddess of the Oaks, became her comfort and the Grey Rock in the Woods became a refuge. It was through Derowen that a deeper connection to the otherworld of sky and sea could be found. The Oaks roots grew deep into the underworld and the branches touched the sky.
|Derowen has always had secret followers, the men and women of the Oak, the Druids, who welcomed the re-newed stories, poems and dances of Gwenifer but even though she welcomed their kinship, her heart was empty for she missed her mother and she longed for her father.|
So it was that in order to continue her work with humankind Gwenifer sought to retreat from the land and return to the Sea, The Underworld, on Samhain each year.
In the Dark of the Year she would take rest and recovery with FeyMor in the undersea world of Lyonesse.
At Imbolc, when the spark of life returns to the Earth she readies herself for her return.
At Beltane she comes again to the Land when the fires of her father would burn to welcome in the Light Half of the Year.
It is the followers of Derowen, the Cunning Folk and those re-creating the path of the evolving web whose celebrations and stories celebrate the opening of the gates at her passing and her return.
The more her story is told, the more we remember those of the other worlds, our kin and ancestors, the greater the connection we have with the Cosmos for it is known that these other worlds are mirrors of our own and our own the mirrors of them.
Druid Clan of Celliwig
Gwenifer — (GWEN-i-fer) Cornish form of Welsh name Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere). May have meant “white-cheeked”.
Derowen — (der-OH-wen) from Celtic derw “oak”.
Elowen — (el-OH-wan) from elew Cornish word for “elm”.
Morgelyn — (mohr-GEL-in) Cornish word for “sea holly”.
Morvoren — (mohr-VOHR-en) Cornish word for “mermaid”.
Silyen — (SIL-yen) from British sul “sun” + genos “born”.
Faymor Myrgh – daughter of
(c) Alan Moonbear & Druid Clan of Celliwig 2014