Monday, May 23, 2016

Thought him to be a devil

As a young teen witch in the 90's, I was determined to find my "magickal" name. You had to have one, the books said. The name would reveal your life's purpose, it would guide you on your path and it might even have ties to a former life when you were an Atlantean Crystal Priestess devoted to the Great Goddess.

I did a petition spell to ask the Gods to reveal my name to me in a dream. I wrote a list of my "best qualities" on a piece of parchment paper from Wal-Mart and slept with it under my pillow that night. I don't remember where the idea for this spell came from, but it seemed the thing to do at the time.

I went to sleep and the Gods did not reveal a damn thing to me in my dreams. "What a crock" I thought, as I lay in bed with my eyes shut, wishing school would cease to exist.

When I opened my eyes, a name came to me out of nowhere, popping into my thoughts as these things did when you were a teenage witch in the 90's.

Morfran

It sounded like a villain from Power Rangers or something. I went to school and mostly forgot all about it. Then a family friend happened to drop off a box of unwanted books, in which was a copy of The Aquarian Guide to British and Irish Mythology by John and Caitlin Matthews. I hadn't yet been exposed to the All Things Celtic aspect of witchcraft, so this book wasn't of any immediate interest.

When I finally did get around to reading through it, there was that name.....Morfran.

"The son of Cerridwen and Tegid Foel. His name means 'great crow." He was also called Afagddu or 'Utter Darkness'. He was so ugly that his mother sought to compensate this by the acquisition of great wisdom. It was for him that she prepared her cauldron of inspiration, but it was Gwion/Taliesin who drank it." - John and Caitlin Matthews, The Aquarian Guide to British and Irish Mythology

They go on to write:

"Morfran was so ugly that...he was not slain at the Battle of Camlan because his enemy thought him to be a devil." 

I never did take Morfran as a magical name, nor Afagddu either, but I did begin a relationship with the Goddess Cerridwen that would wax, wane and then become very important through the years. The interesting part of this story is that Morfran/Afagddu's story reflects so many of my own struggles with family, self-confidence and acceptance.

I was abandoned by my birth parents, for whom I was a dreadful mistake. My paternal family, all dark featured Slavic people, looked at my pink skin and reddish hair with disgust and still do. I think there was some Irish among my birth family, and my adopted family is full of old world ethnic prejudices. My mother has been more hung up on my weight and appearance than I ever have, putting me on one fad diet after another until I went to college. The one saving grace is that I was smart, did well in school, and had no end of scholastic achievements they could brag about to friends and family.

I don't think I was given a magical name then, more that I was shown a theme I was living on an archetypal level - the sad, ugly boy in black trying to win his mother's approval. I had no context for any of this at the age of sixteen, but I can't help but be amused and a little amazed by it now.

Or I could be completely full of shit, using old myths for therapy and blog fodder.

Pick your own adventure.

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