I am a Roebuck in a thicket
I am the pursued Messenger of Life...
Five days at Year's End I run,
Five days the Thicket Door stands open.
Five days the Hounds of Annwn upon my heels!
Hasten ready! The Sun awaits us,
Quicken, race! A son is born,
Burning Yule with Bells at Dawn...
Fly windsong-cross the Sunrise!
Past a Winter Sea we sail, far behend us
weep the Birches, bent with ice and branches fail.
Past the cottage bright with candle,
Yellow flame against the night.
Matron Mother, Mabon cradling,
Willow guard by pale moonlight.
Faster Onward, New Year beckons!
Brave Ch Chulainn bests of Spring
Flocks of Raven circle over,
Blooming boughs of Hawthorn bring!
Hounds, a streak of pink and white,
Follow like a tempest, baying...
Fires of Bel on every hillside,
Math, the Flower-Maiden making.
King of Oak and Summer Lord,
glimpsed along the tables feasting...
Arthur, shining 'mid the hoard
of Dragon Red, and mirth unceasing!
Onward! Faster! Lest they falter
by the side of Lug the Long
Arm and Eagle, Vine ensnaring...
Prowess sung in August Song!
'Round the ivy, the Autumn
turns the trees aflame with color.
Taliesin, wise man fleeing
from the wrath of Cauldron Mother.
Final stretch! Hasten, race!
The head of Bran, a shinning face...
Passage through the Blackthorn night,
Chase ahead! Our ending flight!
Looms the Thicket, Mystic Doorway
Forest Elder guards the way...
'Till the next Midwinter's Day.
And there it stands...a poetic key to the entire Zodiac system. There truly was a story cycle behind it all! But for those readers yet unfamiliar with the great Celtic Sagas, let us condense the above Bardic prose into simple terms-here is the story:
Then he leaped a mighty jump-made it through the thicket-doorway safely, just in time. Just at the moment of Winter Solstice. The bright sun, the Holy Sun is born! But the chase was not over by far... For forty-five days they ran, forty-five suns crossed the cold sky, as birch trees bent heavy with ice all around. But where is they baby?
Safe behind fire and hearth. Mabon, the most beautiful spirit of youth, rested quietly in a Mother's arms. And then he was gone.
Onward the chase...forty-five more moons before resting again.
How the Son had grown! Then, alive with the spirit of adventure, Cu Chulainn waited as a solitary Raven circled down to perch upon his sword arm. The Raven bore a message. Life rushes on!
Arthur? Lord of Summer, King of Oak and Dragon, is it you feasting there? Yet, there at golden Midsummer, they could not stay. Already there were forty-five more days to catch, driving through fires.
Days and night meet in his eyes-equally, for the Fall Equinox lay upon them.
Day to night, summer to winter...the final season lay all around. Phantoms shiver and turn away as fresh cut eyes glare out, orange and warm, from cold, hallow shells of turnip and gourd. Samhain! Halloween has come!
And then the finish-the Thicket, Otherworld entry looms Elder-red like a line ahead, Birth to boy to prime to sage. Old Year to the Fountain of Youth must return, upon the Roebuck's back...be sure to come, renewed again, with the first rays of New Midwinter.
Read more -Druid Magic From The Age Of Arthur - the Lost Books of Merlyn Llewellyn Publications, Author Douglas Monroe