Act of Faith - The Weaving of the Web - Dusti Rodes - Aspoet
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Dusti Rodes

2014-03-05 12:00 am
' Act of Faith '
 The Weaving of the Web

 The Poet's Perception

 Caladbolg

 One Sword.
 Taking two hands to wield.
 Rainbow ruler of all others.
 Smiter of mountains and of hills.
 Made with molten faerie gold.
 Fashioned on the forge
 Of Fir Bolg giant, Balor of the Evil Eye,
 Defeated at Moytura,
 By the wiles of Tuatha de Dannan
 Magical warriors.
 In reprisal for the death of
 Lu of the Longhand,
 Son of their King.

 ' By this Sign, so shall you know me! '

 "Remember this, Sire,
 And use the information well;
 For they plan to kill my Liege"

 So spoke the Lady of the Lake.

 " 'Twas the Vessel with the Pestle,
 That bore the potion that was Poison.
 And it was the Flagon emblazoned with his Dragon,
 They did fill with the brew that is True.

 But the serving-wench did slip,
 The platter fell to the floor
 And did crash on the flagstones there.
 The Vessel with the Pestle was smashed.
 Shattered into a thousand shards.

 Now the Flagon with the Dragon,
 Contains the potion that is Poison;
 And the Crystal Chalice,
 That was procured from the Palace
 Holds the brew that be True."

 Act of Faith

 I feel very vulnerable.
 I haven't put this much trust
 In Anyone or Anything,
 For longer than I can remember.
 Only time will tell
 If this act of faith is justified.

 The Artist's Explanation

 I have always been a fan of Arthurian legend, and in the end decided the ultimate act of faith, was the search for the grail.
 I have mixed up lots of ideas within my painting though, here is the official explanation.

 The hill on which she has reached the pinnacle, is Glastonbury Tor, but a thousand years ago the glow of what is now Glastonbury shines below her. In the sky there is the constellation Orion, this symbolises the king of the fairies, Gwyn ap Nudd, who legend has it lived on the Tor before being insulted by St Collumb, and in doing so left the Tor to forever hunt his hounds across the winter sky.

 Instead of the ruined church that is on the Tor now, I thought a small standing stone might suffice, and embedded within the stone in a similar way to the sword Excalibur was embedded in a rock, I have placed a wooden chalice, the moss on the rock and the shamrocks, also give the chalice a bed on which to lay.
 Shamrocks being symbolic not only of Ireland, but also the holy trinity. It is also a trefoil, which is the symbolic of Awen, which is the druid symbol for inspiration.

 On her wrist is a bracelet, which has fallen from the chalice and magically clings to her, the bracelet is silver like the moon with a fleur de lis (another symbol of the grail, and Mary mother of Jesus, coupled with the holy trinity). The lady is wearing nothing more than a simple white jacket and is naked below. She is also blindfolded, and therefore has to accept trust and her faith to protect her from this vulnerable position.
 She has come to the end of her quest and has found her grail, purely by way of faith, and is now tired and weary but still proud and undefeated , she is genuflecting to its wonder.

 The sword has two symbolisms, the first being that it was once broken and has been repaired. (This relates to the story of Galahad, repairing the magical broken sword, from the Fisher King stories, near the end of the grail quest) and the design of the sword I am using is unique in such that it is a copy of the original sword used by the genuine most famous knight in English History, Sir William Marshall.

 The long grass has various dandelion clocks settled within it, one has burst its seeds, sending them cascading across the painting, the dandelion means many things, including flirtatiousness ... 
 However it is also in gypsy lore the symbol of transition and ascendancy from physical to spiritual.

 One last thing is that I have signed the painting twice, once in my usual way in the bottom right hand corner, and the other being the symbol of Rowan cut in Ogham on the standing stone. (My name of Ro being short actually for Rowanswood which is my bardic name.) - John Ogden (August 2010)

 The Druid's Interpretation

 The story of Bride or Brigid is close to so many people and there is a longing, especially from women today, to return to the balance there once was between men and women. The main story in these parts, and sort of on Beara too, is that all life somehow came from a womb and this once upon a time brought about the reverence of the goddess.
 The first two trees of the Ogham alphabet seem to guide this with Beith the Birch being the first life on earth and eventually the protector of women, and Luis the Rowan being the dragon's fire in all men who would burn rowan to bring the spirit of the goddess into them. For guidance, confidence, passion,bravery and focus especially when in council for trade, treaties, and sometimes preparation for war.
 Bride's symbol was the sword, in the story of the creation of the four Celle's of instruction, the first symbol, the symbol of imbolc,the first fire festival of the year, first quadrant of the Chaldean astrology chart. A tree of life, as above, so below.

 The sword created from fire, extraction of metals from ore, fires that were fuelled by the labours of men.

 The sword created by virgins, virgins by not yet having child, and not through no having sex, that would once one day be given to their mate. A founding of the tradition of the dowry today.

 If the male mate was slain and together they had no sons as heirs, the woman would take back the sword to be head of the household until another mate was found.

 In comes Patrick, a name so close to Patriarch, the incoming of the domination of the male hierarchy. The call to revere the male deity.

 When the man of the family was slain and there were no heirs; the woman, and any daughters, were the property of the chieftain. To serve as slaves or be appointed new mates, often in treaty.The sword was thrown into the lake or river to be passed on no more.

 The tradition of Bride, or Brigid, was eventually slain, and the tradition of Patrick took over.

 It is said that the legendary race of Formori never had women. They were men of the sea who knew how to extract gold and make rings.They would lure the Dannan or other land caring women with rings but for the sole purpose of breeding, not relationships, and any sons born would join the Formori.
 The legend is that Bride married Bres to try to return to the balance, that may be an example to the Formori, but it was not to be.

 In your picture this comes across as a woman either by the Formori or the Patriach demands of the ruling male deities ... but nobody could take that sword of balance away from her. It was not going to the lake !!!

 The standing stone to me is symbolic of the 2nd Cille of Instruction, who Bride is said to have taught Cian, son of Anu. The origin of Salmaine, that became Beltaine.
 Beltaine, one of the two times of the year the salmon swim up river, the second quadrant of the astrological cycle, the partnership and mating. The finding of the new true mate to pass the sword to. .... and the choice of blessed water to bring back life and fertility to make that possible.

 Oh, the blindfold?

 Another legend is that before Beltaine, women would approach the pool of Lasir blindfolded. And then after a blessing with water from the pool, were allowed to take off their blindfolds to have a vision of the man that would be their mate on Beltaine day.

 Lasir's legends are like Bride, except where Bride and Brigid led a herd of cows; Lasir led a flock of sheep. So when sheep are sheared at Beltaine time, there is a honoury toast to Lasir to ensue another blessed year ahead.

 Interestingly today, by the pool / well of Lasir ,there is no longer a standing stone, but a tall stump of an Ash tree that was felled there.
 Also in Lake Meelagh nearby, Bronze and Iron-Age swords have been found, by folks who were looking for the legendary Dagda's cauldron which is said to be in there somewhere.

 Not legends that are well known away from Co. Silgo, yet have travelled to be made into other stories. Of course , people of Co.Silgo made their own stories from what travellers told them too.

 Another insight?

 Dusti Rodes (2010)

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