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A Visit From Gwynn ap Nudd
Or
‘Twas the Night Before Solstice

by Natalie Reed

Upon the sacred Tor I sit
A fire of Oak, Ash, Thorn is lit
I close my eyes, ask what I seek
Wisdom is not for the meek

Tales of mystic hero lore
Memories from the days of yore
Look to the sky, what do I see?
A spectre looking back at me

Wild dark hair and eyes of fire
A countenance meant to inspire
Antlers crowned His noble head
‘Twas Gwynn ap Nudd, Lord of the Dead!

Upon a huge black horse He rode
The stallions’ eyes a ghastly glow
A pack of hounds surrounded Him
Their Otherworldly baying, grim

The Moon’s aglow with ghostly light
Gwynn ap Nudd rides high tonight!

He beckoned me to join His ride
A look of fright I could not hide
“Fear not” He said, “I’ll do no harm”
And offered out his ample arm

I climbed upon his awesome steed
Who galloped off with lightening speed
And so we flew into the sky
The mighty Gwynn ap Nudd and I

He said one question I could ask
And I replied “What be your task?”
“To gather souls out on the run
Before the rise of new-born Sun”

“I set them free for Samhain Eve
But many overtook their leave
Now is the time of gathering
The souls still out there wandering”

“Soon enough they’ll have their way
Be born anew another day
Until that time they’re mine to rule
From haughty high-born king to fool”

The Moon’s aglow with ghostly light
Gwynn ap Nudd rides high tonight!

And so we flew o’er all the land
O’er mountain, hillside, sea, and sand
O’er city, village, countryside
O’er all the world on our night ride

Every now and then we’d see
A spirit wandering aimlessly
Off the haunted hounds would go
And bring the spirit back in tow

This we did all through the night
Till there were no lost souls in sight
Just ‘fore the sun began to rise
A wondrous vision filled my eyes

A vast expanse of naked land
I saw the Holy Temple stand
Great monoliths of stone so high
Reaching toward us in the sky

The Moon’s aglow with ghostly light
Gwynn ap Nudd rides high tonight!

At Giant’s Dance He set me down
The Druids chanting all around
And with a wink He said goodbye
And galloped off into the sky

The crack of whip and bay of hounds
I’ll not forget those haunting sounds
Nor all the sights I saw the night
That I joined Gwynn ap Nudd’s dark flight!

Image: Impression of a wild hunt: Asgårdsreien (1872) by Peter Nicolai Arbo
Categories: Featured Articles, Poetry

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    TriskeleThe Sisterhood of Avalon (SOA) was founded in 1995 to serve as a receptacle of lore and wisdom for all aspects of the study of Avalon, as well as to act as a medium for community building for all who are beckoned to Her shores. Over time, the SOA has evolved to become a Sisterhood in truth, united in disciplined work and dedication, and committed to re-establishing women's connections to a strong Celtic-based Western tradition. Through study, research, and personal workings we are once again recalling our heritage.
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