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Cymru - Wales Druidic Virtues Druidry Gwragedd Annwn Iolo Morganwg Knowledge Learning Ovates Three Branches

Iolo the Ovate 2: the fruits of the earth

 

It will come as a surprise to many people to learn that Iolo Morganwg was a farmer; and not just a farmer but a competent one.

The myth that has grown up around Iolo, slanted and misleading, reflects his poetic and antiquarian talents. It over-emphasises his literary forgeries, misunderstanding and misrepresenting what he was doing. It pays lip service to his career as a stonemason, while not recognising that this undermines the myth itself: as we saw in the last post, no drug-addled dreamer could have cut and carved stone as well as Iolo Morganwg.

But a farmer? Who knew about that? In fact, this is an important aspect of Iolo’s life, and one which would have informed his vision of the world.

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Gwragedd Annwn Gwyn ap Nudd Jinn Lludd and Llefelys Lludd Llaw Eraint The Mabinogion Tylwyth Teg

The Fair Folk and the Jinn

I recently subscribed to John Beckett‘s ‘Under the Ancient Oaks’ newsletter, and was very interested to see a link to a Spirit Box podcast by Darragh Mason Field. Darragh is an award-winning photographer, who has – amongst other things – taken a lot of photos of sites associated with Jinn.

In his podcast, Darragh discusses “Folklore, Magick and the Spirit World’; two of the episodes discuss the similarities between the Irish Sidhe and the Jinn of the Middle East.

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Barddas Gwragedd Annwn Iolo Morganwg Plant Plant Annwfn Pryderi Pwyll Rhiannon Tylwyth Teg

The Children of Annwn

As with many of the religions of Asia, Druidry – in the Welsh tradition, at least – is a karmic religion, believing in spiritual progress via reincarnation.

Going into the details of this is for another post, but I’ve excerpted some key concepts from Barddas here.

In brief: souls emerge from the cauldron of Annwn, the source of all things. Over countless reincarnations, the spirit experiences all things, learns all things, and eventually transcends the flesh that it no longer needs – not as the end of the journey, but as the beginning of a new stage.

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Annwn Coraniaid Dôn Gwragedd Annwn Gwyn ap Nudd Jinn Lludd and Llefelys Lludd Llaw Eraint Peredur ab Efrawg Plant Dôn The Mabinogion Tuatha Dé Danann Welsh Triads

Gwyn ap Nudd and the people of fire

“There are the angels, and there are men, who Allah made from mud, and then there are the people of the fire, the jinn”, said Salim.
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

I wrote in an earlier post about the significance of red and green when we consider Gwyn ap Nudd. The green element in the clothes worn by his courtiers represents one of his domains: the forest. The red represents the Tylwyth Teg: the Fair Folk. The red is referred to in the Mabinogi, when Peredur finds the same symbolism in the Burning Tree. Here, we see the fire of Annwn – the flame of Awen that lights up our creativity, the hearth-fire that brings the Cauldron of Inspiration to the boil.