RETURN OF THE HEALING MAIDEN Merlin's Prophecy
For twenty years I’ve been proclaiming what I call ‘Merlin’s Prophecy’. It started in the nineties when I scripted an Irish-American TV programme on ‘Merlin, the Last of the Druids’. Soon after round the Millennium I made a storytelling show on Merlin. To prepare I combed Geoffrey of Monmouth’s ‘Prophecies of Merlin’ (from ‘The History of the Kings of Britain’, 1136AD) as well as R.J. Stewart’s book, which explores their meaning. Much of Geoffrey’s version is obscure. It’s likely he embellished what was left of the original with detail from his own monkish mind. But some of his lines jump out. It’s these I’ve woven into the prophetic poem I speak.
Merlin uttered this prophecy, it’s said, after releasing dragons from their nest in an extinct volcano in Eryri, Snowdonia. This spot, once regarded as the strongest place in the land, was called the Fort of Fiery Higher Powers. As the dragons erupted into the air the young Merlin stood firm, absorbing their power and inhaling the breath of prophecy. The words he spoke have echoed down the centuries.
The red and white dragons, he said, represented the indigenes and the invaders. There’s long been conflict in these islands between ‘the ancient ones, bearers of tradition, those who have been here since the beginning’, and ‘the greedy, grasping newcomers’, the Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans or English. Such conflict will continue, said Merlin, until ‘arises the Boar of Cornwall who will bring peace and harmony to this land. He will be the noblest king and tales of his exploits will be as meat and drink to storytellers who relate them in ages to come.’ This is a reference to Arthur, the crowning king of British legend, whose stories are indeed told to this day.
Then Merlin’s Prophecy seems to reach far forward into ‘our time’.
‘Though the Goddess be forgotten,’ he said, ‘the soil will become fruitful beyond Man’s need’. Fertiliser, surplus, excess… ‘The Fatted Boar will proffer food and drink’. I think of supermarkets. ‘The Hedgehog will hide its Apples in London’. ‘Apples’ symbolise wealth and London is the centre of money. ‘Underground passages will be built beneath the city’. That’s even got the name in it! ‘Stones will speak, the sea to France will shrink and the secrets of the deep will be revealed.’ Mobile phones, Channel Tunnel, Hubble Telescope?
But then Merlin says: ‘Beware the Ass of Complacency, swift against goldsmiths, slow against ravenous wolves’. Complacency is an Ass!!! It destroys beauty and value and leads into the jaws of destruction. ‘Oak trees shall burn and acorns grow on lime trees’. Wildfires and genetic engineering? ‘Fish will die in the heat and from them serpents will be born’. The warming seas causing ecological collapse…
If storytellers are to be believed, Merlin predicted all this sixteen hundred years ago.
Then everything changes.
‘Root and branch will change places and the newness of the thing shall seem a miracle’. The world is turned upside down overnight. What was impossible is suddenly possible. Like a miracle.
‘The Healing Maiden will return, her footsteps bursting into flame’. This is the long-forgotten Goddess…
‘She will weep tears of compassion for the people and the land.’ Her grief and her care.
‘Dry up polluted rivers with her breath’. ‘Her breath’ is speech, song, story, chant, spell, poem, prayer, conversation… healing the polluted rivers of the soul.
‘She will carry the City in her Right Hand, the Forest in her Left’. A perfect symbol of Nature and Culture in balance.
‘And nourish the creatures of the deep’. Give succour to the invisible ones, hidden, far away, long ago.
Now I must confess my own act of embellishment. I have Merlin quoting from the Egyptian Book of the Dead! I like to think he may have known it.
‘With her blessing Man will become like God, waking as if from a dream.
Radiant face, glowing like the rising sun. Shining eyes, like twin silver moons.
Radiant ears, shimmering with song. Shining lips that dance over words,
words of magic that burst into the air becoming swallows.
The Soul shall Walk Out. The Mind of Fire shall burn.
And, in the Twinkling of an Eye…’ Back to Merlin now…
The Dust of the Ancients Shall Be Restored.’
The ‘dust of the ancients’ suggests the knowing of long ago. Riding the chariot of the Healing Maidens this age-old wisdom will return, fresh, urgent, alive…
So, praise the Healing Maidens, the women who are in their power and doing strong, transformative, magical work. Support them. Acknowledge them. Step up beside them. Be inspired by them. There are many. Find them. Be one of them. We can all use the qualities of compassion, healing, balance and nourishment to drive the change. Be the Soul Walking Out!
Women at the forefront of change..