This article forms the beginning of a shamanic quest for my readers to help them understand and work with the imagery contained within my books that are based on Celtic magic. So if you’ve just stumbled into this Mystery Teachings class, you may want to go to the Introduction first, and then follow the links from there.
Before we start the shamanic or magical work for healing the Wounded Queens with the Thirteen Treasures of Britain, we need to get in touch with what needs healing within us because our power will come from what originally disempowered us.
So first, to get us started, I’m going to cite an example of a classical Wounded Queen from the Norman Arthurian mythos, because we can learn a lot about our own wounds from what happened to Igraine.
Queen Igraine is married to King Uther, but she is tricked by Merlin into having sex with Gorlois and it was the fruit of the seed of that rape that was born as Arthur, who went on to become a great hero.
So right there, in just that one sentence, we can understand how to leap from victimhood into self-empowerment. We just need to locate the pain and then zoom out in the light of further information (the Mysteries) to reframe what happened to us.
Merlin (Mercury) wanted to bring together two opposites (Igraine and Gorlois) to create the alchemy of the Marriage of the Sun and Moon which leads not to Oneness but to a third thing, that of the birth of Arthur who is a perfect example of the Radiant Child.
In other words, if we take a wider view, we can clearly see that if it wasn’t for the “bad thing”, the rape of Gorlois, the “good thing” could never have happened. It’s for that reason that I named my Wounded Queen, who has been reduced to prostitution in The Grail Mysteries, Igraine, and it’s a major theme of the book in which we follow how she overcomes her victimhood by engaging in the Mysteries.
Now it’s well worth pausing and taking time at this stage to discover our own pain, because contacting our inner woundedness is not only the first step to recovery but, as with Igraine and Gorlois, it’s also the seed that grows into the fruit of our own empowerment.
We’re all a little bit like icebergs; most of what we feel comes from long-lost emotions that are buried in our subconscious mind which makes up seven-eighths of our total cognitive world – with only one-eighth found in the surface conscious mind. So it takes some deep work – either through visualisation or shamanic journeying – to find our own buried woundedness.
It’s not about victimhood – in fact, wallowing helplessly in our pain is what disempowers us and make us dependent on others or, even worse, the State. When we’re dependent, we’re weak and disenfranchised and, if we don’t overcome it, we can end up in a slave mentality which is the antithesis of Sovereignty.
But at the same time, it’s not about getting our pain to dissolve or vanish into thin air as if it had never existed. That would be denial, which is a form of numbness. Just like the water frozen in the iceberg; nothing can flow from it and our life feels stuck in a rut. No, on the contrary, this magical work is about facing and feeling that open wound so that we can transmute the blood from it into faery gold and then forge that gold into Fragarach, the sword of truth.
I guess there will always be some that would prefer to make their pain dissolve away completely into a rainbow mist of unicorns and fairy dust. If that’s you, can I suggest that it’s probably because you have been a victim so long that you now have Stockholm Syndrome? Trust me, you’re going to need a sword to confront those who have used a Hall of Mirrors of mirages to turn you into a dependent slave and there’s no more powerful weapon for cutting through all that than the enchanted sword of truth Fragarach, which is one of my Thirteen Treasures of Britain.
Here’s what Manawyddan, the fairy sea pilot, has to say about Fragarach, in my book The Bright World of the Gods, which is the second book in The Glastonbury Chronicles series.
He gives it to Gwyn ap Nudd to help him rescue the Lost Children from the cave on the beach of the Ocean of Dreams.
“You can borrow this too,” Manawydan said.
Gwyn took the sword from him, very carefully.
“It’s a very special sword, forged by Govannon, the smith,” he told Gwyn. “You can command it just by calling its name and it will do your bidding. Its name is Fragarach.”
“But this is a famous magical sword,” he said, in hushed tones. “We’re told in all the old stories that no one can tell a lie, or even move, if Fragarach is poised at their throat.”
“Yes,” said Manawydan, as he tied a scabbard on to Gwyn’s belt and then slipped in the sword. “That’s one of its many qualities. You can also command it to change the direction of the winds and it can cut through any shield or wall like a knife through butter…”
Finding your wound
This inner work can be approached in two ways: meditation and visualisation, or shamanic journeying. Both are useful but are different tools and it’s important to understand that difference.
With visualisation, you are largely in the driving seat as you dive down into inner space, conjuring up images that make sense to you, although after a while, the subconscious mind usually wakes up and takes over. With shamanic journeying, your spirit guides are the drivers and they can also be the vehicles. I often jump on my power animal and just say: “Please take me wherever you think I need to go for guidance or healing.”
You need to find the sword where it is hidden in the frozen lake of the inner realms of your emotions. Just “heat up” the lake with your concentration and the waters will eventually melt, revealing the sword in the deeps. When the hot tears flow, you will know that the ice has melted and that you are close to striking gold!
Please spend some time thinking about the first keys that I’ve revealed here. Just sit quietly with them in your imagination, and see what they have to teach you. Don’t worry too much about getting instant results. Once you put your intention into this quest, your spirit guides will hear you and it will all start to unfold, over time.