In the old faery lore of Wessex, Brigid is the beautiful woman sleeping and dreaming under the green mantle of the Hollow Hills where she is protected by a briar rose thorn thicket, and she will only awaken when the Three Utterances — man, animal and faery — come together in Harmony and Love to create the Fourth Utterance.
I love the use of the word ‘utterance’ – bringing to mind the Word of the gospel of St John or Aum, the primordial vibration of the Vedas and the God Particle as it’s known to physicists – in other words, the sound resonating at the heart of every atom born from the Vesica Piscis. When you understand this concept, you realise that to insist upon a division between material nature and spirituality is to create a false dichotomy. That our ancient forefathers knew this is clear from the fact they put so much into effort into creating such extraordinary sacred sites. To me, the three utterances are the three worlds of the shaman.
We first hear about Brigid in the faerytale of the Sleeping Beauty, albeit that the Walt Disney version harks back to the ancient Greeks by naming her Aurora, after their goddess of the dawn. She is helped by the three good fairies who are found in the Old Norse oral tradition in which we meet the three Norns of the spinning wheel of destiny. When the young princess pricks her finger on the spinning wheel, it is a metaphor for menstruation or coming of age in a rite of passage story which is rare in that the hero is a heroine.
One of the things I love to teach is the shamanic journey into the Underworld, the purpose of which is to gain guidance, information and healing. Make no mistake, the spirits that live there are real creatures and, even though we have been taught to forget their existence, the inhabitants of the Underworld have never forgotten ours. Continue reading