Father's Day is coming. June 19, 2016 the third Sunday in the month is the time to honor and appreciate the father figure in your life. Give your time to your Father figure. If you don't have funds to buy a gift, stop by for a visit on Father's Day!
This is a light, pleasant essay on Merlin and his connection to King Arthur. Enjoy the read.
The sky’s canvas changed color as the sun slowly rose in the east. In splendor, the light woke the world. The sweet songs of the morning greeted a welcome to the days. Avril took a path less traveled. She walked over bumps and ruts in the earth and admired the beautiful scenery. Birch, maple, spruce, elm and pine trees stretched upward to the clear, blue sky. Saplings grew out from the rich dirt floor. The early breeze in the forest was consumed in green wood. A huge birch tree decayed upon Mother Earth. On either side of the dead tree trillium colonies bloomed. Worker bees buzzed as they collected the pollen from the yellow center of the three white-petaled flowers to take back to their hives. Although tempted to pick a few trillium's, Avril knew that by doing so the remaining root-stick would surely die. So she left them be.
Kay desperately tried to compose herself in Avril’s presence, but couldn’t. The sadness on her face was a reflection of the depression within the very core of her being. Tears fell from the young girl’s bloodshot eyes, as she poured her heart out. Between sniffles, she explained, “Today is a time to honor the male parent, the older male protective figure in the family unit, who holds a title of respect, the person who was the intellectual authority in the parental guidance partnership,” Kay eyes dropped to the ground, “I am heartsick because my male originator did not ascribe to me as his offspring. I miss a man I have never met, and the ache won’t go away. I have tried not to dwell on his disappearance, but today being Fathers’ Day, I guess I am experiencing an emotional overload.”
Her father’s name was unknown to her when Avril asked. Kay knew very little about him at all. Her grandmother had said her mother and father were raised in different faiths. Her father had no use for wise women. Her parents had spent three years cohabiting but when he lost his job, her father quickly packed and left town.
Kay blew her nose dry, and continued. “My mother refuses to speak of him. The wound she bears still runs very deep. When I tried to talk to my mother, she made every attempt to hide the uncomfortable presence of sorrow.” Kay could not comprehend how a human who created half her being made a decision to leave the family unit and go through life without a visit or call.
Kay had been told this morning that she was at an age where she should accept that her father was gone and quit asking questions about his whereabouts. Avril held the young child in her arms to comfort when she broke down. Tears poured as she sadly whimpered. Avril’s mind raced for answers for she did not struggle with the dilemma as Kay did. Avril wanted to have a positive impact. She hoped the knowledge given would have a lasting effect on her life. The wisdom entered her mind, and then floated from her lips, “People often disappoint us. It is one of life’s most cruel realities. Forgive the failures for he knows not what he does.”
Kay angrily interrupted, “I feel betrayed! The love and care I desperately needed wasn’t there.” The young girl summoned the courage to compose herself and said, “Wishing for his return is just hope against hope. It is a dream not worth fantasizing about because I truly believed, by his actions, it would never be.”
“Kay, there are others who share your grief, Avril said. “Thirty percent of the population does not know who their fathers are. Your chosen expression of emotion is a natural response to the sense of loss.” Avril attempted to help her understand that parents were people with their own thoughts, emotions, dreams, and problems. "When the realities of parenthood are actually placed on them, the male, female, or both may become overwhelmed by the responsibilities and run,” she explained.
Agitated, Kay kicked her heels against the aged bark on the stump. Avril placed the palm of her hand on the back of Kay’s. With a warm tone, she told her to pray for her father’s safety while he is away and she should never give up hope in her heart that he would return. She would find that life had a way of working itself out. Avril was sure at some time Kay would receive word on his whereabouts. There was an unknown factor played out by fate. When Kay least anticipated, the unexpected would happen and she would know her answers to her questions. Avril stood and invited Kay to rest in the sun with her. It truly was a gorgeous day. The elements combined their power to bring the weather to a perfect balance for their enjoyment. Avril stretched her frame out upon the warm green grass and closed her eyes to protect them from the extreme light. Kay sat cross-legged close by.
Avril watched Kay extend her tiny body out on the green grass. She raised her arms, bent her elbows, and then rested the back of her head upon her palms. With her eyes closed she seemed to contemplate on what Avril had said.
In Britain, around the fifth century, a vicious king names Vortigern ruled. To protect himself from his enemies the king decided to construct a mighty tower. Every attempt to build the stronghold fell short. King Vortigern called his court magicians to counsel for a solution to the problem. The King was told the blood sprinkled from a boy who had no father would keep the mortar and stones in place. Vortigern commanded his messengers to scour the country and find him such a child. In Carmarthen, in South Wales, the King’s men found Merlin. Even then Merlin had the power to predict future events. Merlin’s life was spared when he told of a vision he had. Beneath the site the king wanted to build on slept two dragons in a pool of water. If awakened the two would engage in a bitter fight.
Doing as he pleased, the King excavated the spot. Just as Merlin had predicted, a great war broke out. Merlin then told Vortigern his demise was close. Either the unruly Saxons or Aurelius and Uther would slay the King and command the land. The waters would run red with the blood from the dead and wounded. Merlin included in his prophecy that the Boar of Cornwall would be the man to bring peace to the country.
Kay interjected. I’ve never heard of the Boar of Cornwall.”
At the time of Arthur’s birth, Britain was consumed in a heartless war. His father, King Uther, was gone for long periods fighting armies that raided his people and land. Igraine, who was a seer, the Queen and Arthur’s mother, had been told her son’s fate long ago by Merlin. She knew a day would come when her child would leave to be protected and schooled in Merlin’s ways. For fifteen years Merlin offered Arthur friendship from a nonjudgmental mind and heart. Arthur’s mystical powers were nurtured in the Druidic system of apprenticeship. He lived between the two worlds and earned his birthright by his accomplishments and initiations in the natural, civil and individual truths. When Arthur returned to Tintagel he took his rightful role in the mortal world. Late in the Middle Ages the son of a noble served as a page and as a squire before being knighted. A tap on the neck or shoulder, usually with the flat of a sword by a hierarchy, changed the person’s status. A knight was a noble second who, in military service, furnished his own mount and equipment. He would personally serve the King and Queen. For civil or military achievements the title “Sir” was awarded and, if the knight was a female, “Dame.”
Knighthood and chivalry in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were the highest expressions of ethical ideals. A knight’s character consisted of:
PIETY - duty toward parents
- the quality of being pious
BRAVERY - courageous, heroism
LOYALTY - faithful
HONOR - to show concern
- to show respect
VIRTUE - moral excellence
Avril turned her head slightly to look at Kay. “Knighthood, she said, “was earned in tournaments and battles and never inherited. It was said that to be loved by a knight would glorify a woman’s virtues.”
Kay released a delightful giggle.
Avril gave her a quick smile. “Arthur was proud of his accomplishments in battles. One day his ego got the better of him. Without thought, Arthur challenged a King named Pellinore to one-on-one challenge. Pellinore was greedy and petty. He was known to be too hasty in his actions. The two dressed in battle gear upon their horses jousted with lances. When Arthur was tossed to the hard earth, the pair fought on foot with heavy, solid swords. King Pellinore was the champion of the first and second match. Pellinore demanded Arthur surrender his knightly honor. Arthur refused. Pellinore raised his sword to cast the death blow into his opponent when Merlin appeared out of nowhere. With his hand stretched out in a commanding fashion he demanded that Pellinore stop. Merlin’s eyes were stern. His voice thundered when he spoke. He said, “The hope of Britain lives in the King known as Arthur and will die with him.” King Pellinore lowered his large blade and offered Arthur a hand to stand. Merlin predicted that Pellinore’s heirs would become Arthur’s faithful servants and what was to come would be done for the highest good. What Merlin had foretold happened years later.”
“Merlin,” Avril said, “stayed close by throughout Arthur’s lifetime. It is stated in a legend that the two were together when the Lady of the Lake offered Arthur the sword of the Sacred Regalia of the Druids, a token from the land of Avalon, forged from metal that had fallen from the heavens. The young Arthur was presented the sword when he pledged to deal fairly with the people who practiced the Nature Faith and for those who followed the Christian belief. Arthur promised to be impartial, unbiased and lawful to all people and all Gods and Goddesses. The Lady of the Lake told Arthur that when he held the sword in his hand no harm could be cast upon him. In battles, no enemy would stand in his way for he’d have the strength of God, Goddess, and the people he ruled behind him. When Arthur accepted the sword, he swore his allegiance to the Land of Avalon and promised to bear the sword for justice."
Morgan le Fay by Frederick Sandys (1864)
Kay’s eyes met Avril‘s. She looked puzzled, “I remember hearing somewhere,” she said, “the Lady of the Lake gave the sword, Excalibur, to Arthur. It was a weapon made from meteorite iron which was rare and precious. I am sure Excalibur meant to cut steel.” Kay took a swig of lemonade from the mason jar then constructed the tale she knew. Merlin and a young Arthur rode to a still mountain lake. A soft, gray mist floated over the water. The two boarded a rickety boat then drifted out toward the center. A woman’s delicate hand penetrated from beneath the surface. It held in its grip the sword, Excalibur, and it had been sheathed in a jeweled scabbard. She thought it was Merlin who had said the sword would become Arthur’s strength, a talisman to protect against injury when lifted to defend.
Arthur’s father lay in state at a Catholic church with his armor and battle sword on an altar when the Saxons attacked. The men who were mourning ran out of the building and grabbed their armor and weapons. Arthur, a squire at this time in history, had no more than a dagger to protect himself. Cai, Arthur’s foster brother, had forgotten his sword. He commanded Arthur to fetch it. Arthur wanted to defend with the others. In haste, without thought, he pulled the King’s sword from a stone bier and quickly returned to Cai. When the nobleman saw the sword that Arthur held was none other than Excalibur they knelt down and agreed that Arthur should be their King. His foster brother picked up the spear and Arthur hung on to the sword. With an army of men they battled the Saxons.
“It was fate,” Avril said, “that had made Arthur pull the sword from the stone. It was an unexpected turn of events. His conscious choice led Arthur to his destiny. The King of Britain beheld all things and people as sacred entities and treated all in the highest regard.”
Merlin had the skill to extract juices from plants for medicinal uses. He was a seer who viewed the past, present and future for the higher good. Merlin is one who was wise; he knew the true power of words and incantations. He practiced and mastered the magical arts. A mysterious man, far ahead of the rest of the magical workers, he understood nature and universal law. Merlin obeyed and respected the interconnectedness everything had. He comprehended the patterns and network of correspondence that bound the universe into a single entity. He mapped the stars and planets to study individual birth charts, forecasting future trends to study and compare the data to the activity of their mundane life or national affairs.
Through the great cosmic order, the path that the planets moved, the sun, he applied the knowledge he found to medical astrology. He could predict concerns with the health of a person’s physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional state throughout their lifetime. It took years of study for Merlin to learn astrological alignment between heaven and earth. Experience and insight allowed Merlin’s acts to always be performed for the best of all concerned.”
“Merlin was a master over self,’” Avril clearly stated to her new friend. “He cooperated with elements to achieve his goals. He was a wizard who could decipher the secret language spoken by the unseen spirits. Even though Merlin had no guidance from a father figure, he grew in greatness to mentor the male species. The energy between male and female differ. The brains also function differently. A female can simultaneously use both sides of the brain hemisphere while males use one side or the other. When the thought and energy are the same, natural power can be raised then directed to a point of focus. A male needs to follow the sun’s cycles to find his truth. He needs to see and hear from another male who has lived life in a noble way to mature and grow. It must be someone who know where he comes from, understands the in-between time and where he is going in the future. Just as females are taught to respect the male energy, boys need to be taught to respect the female energy.
Merlin’s teachings allow a male to open his mind and heart by experiencing the mysteries of the universe. The male becomes aware of nature’s cycles; death, rebirth, the seasons’ rotation, the movement of the sun, moon, and stars, the constellations, the flow of oceans and tides, as well as the ways of the birds and beasts. Boys grow and define themselves by their abilities, success, and accomplishments,. Goals set help them feel good about themselves when the tasks are accomplished. The males become aware that individual truth varies from person to person and to listen to their own inner voice instead of the opinions of others. Merlin, a scholar of nature and a man, through his lessons and goddess and gods, will teach boys how to become noblemen by applying the value of communication, love, and a committed friendship. Merlin had earned wisdom through life’s experiences to function in a positive way. He applied spiritual guidance to his work and relationships. He is one that a person could get good advice from, that could be trusted.”
print & pictures 2016 copyright A. Skelhorn