This Was Once Forest, And Everything Was Free

rainier view

Last day to get free mail shipping for Your Face is a Forest (use code APR15), and three more days of the heavy discount/no profit. That means you pay $6.78.

A lot of people have gotten it this month, and I’m very happy about this.

I’ll be continuing to offer a few free copies (I’ll pay for shipping) every month, and I encourage other writers to consider the same. Many people can’t afford to buy books or have access to spiritual services, because Capitalism fucks us all over.

Behind the world we see is the ancient and eternal world of The Commons, the abundance of Nature themselves and the fierce beauty of unwaged time. And Beltaine’s also May Day for a reason, the workers’ struggles against the Enclosure of our lives the same day we celebrate the opened-gate of the summerlands.

5 thoughts on “This Was Once Forest, And Everything Was Free

  1. A wacky thought…

    You know how Kalan Mai is the bigger and more important holy day for Wales than Samain is for the Irish, yeah? And one of the things that happened on it–in addition to dragons fighting in Cyfranc Lludd a Llewellys, and Gwyn and Gwythyr fighting in Culhwch ac Olwen–is that Pryderi was stolen from Pwyll and Rhiannon on that night, and likewise every Kalan Mai Teyrnon had one of his newborn foals stolen from him, etc.

    I wonder if there isn’t something in that, at least metaphorically, for us in our modern position (and which I’d put no credence in whatsoever for the ancient Britons nor the medieval Welsh, though the latter may have had a sense of it). Teyrnon’s name means “Lord (God),” as in “divine ruler,” and if his horses kept getting taken away, that has all sorts of implications, amongst them that both war and work can’t be done as easily. I wonder if there isn’t a critique of the increasingly militaristic and work-for-profit motive on the part of the rulers in medieval society implicit in that, and that the forces of Annwfyn itself massed against the representative of the paradigmatic divine ruler to suggest “No, don’t put your wealth in horses,” so to speak. In other words, though we often want to interpret that part of the story as “Teyrnon GOOD, child-stealing giants from the Otherworld BAD,” perhaps there’s something in thinking of it from the reverse position. Maybe the reason Gwri/Pryderi was stolen by the forces of Annwfyn was not out of malice, but instead to protect or shield him (and all of the other children stolen, perhaps?!?) from the increasingly profit-driven society on its way, which is then illustrated grandly in the Third Branch, when Manawydan takes over the seven cantreds of Dyfed from Pryderi, marries Rhiannon, has to go get a job in Logres/England, and then ends up losing both of them anyway.

    Well, it’s a bit of a broomstick ride, but there you go. 😉 Thought you might appreciate that in the run-up to Kalan Mai itself, as a topical reflection and potential mythological paradigm of much of what you’ve been discussing of late!

    1. That’s a novel interpretation I will grant you. It certainly ‘works’.

      It’s also the time when Riannon first appears out of the Otherworld, so significant in that respect. The main reason given for the horse theft and Pryderi theft by the Otherworld monster is a remnant of the original Horse Goddess and Divine Twins myths, with Teyrnon originally being the partner of Riannon.

      The wasteland which forced them to head to England comes about when Riannon (Sovereignty) is lost to Annwn.

      Not sure how profit-driven 12thC Wales was at this point of course.

      1. Whenever a myth is written, re-written, or simply transmitted anew, it is always under the circumstances and historical contexts of its own period; thus, whatever the origins of the myth happened to be (and I’ve never been that convinced on the “Teyrnon is the original partner of Rhiannon” idea…it’s easy to theorize about these things along structuralist and mythic archetypal lines, but the hard proof is lacking in this case, I think, as well as so many others), the people writing it in the 12th and 13th centuries in Wales probably had other ideas in mind. They certainly didn’t have the ideas in mind I suggested above, but there was definitely a sense of the change in society afoot at the time, which is mostly exemplified by the Third Branch.

    2. I think there’s definitely something in this in terms of a reminder of reciprocity with Annwn and its spirits. Creiddylad was stole from Gwythyr, ar ruler of this-world by by Gwyn on their wedding night (a form of classic fairy abduction)? Then also the theft of Pryderi (the fairies / spirits of Annwn abducting again?) and also Teryon’s foals…

      Another way to see it as that perhaps an abduction / journey to Annwn is part of the process of reaching maturity. An understanding of the hidden lore of Annwn must be learnt before sovereignty is gained?

      Thus a good sovereign knows we owe as much to nature and the deities of the underworld as we do to the socio-political systems of this-world and must hold these in balance?

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