#druidanimaloracle #Creatures #Animals #BillWorthington #Oracle #Cardmeanings #Druidry
- ☽ ✧ - Δ - ✧ ☾ - A closer look at the Dog card in the Druid Animal Oracle deck with...
... drawing card meanings. Although there is a lot of good things in the book, half of it is christianized propaganda but the deck itself is stunning. The art is by Bill Worthington and I have taken close up snaps for viewing. I have also extracted the good bits of the book but when it comes to interpretation, I also recommend looking at the critter as a spirit guide and studying it for a better card reading. Eventually I will write posts on the animal guide and will link them in the correspondences of the pagans magi site. The sight link is towards the right of this blog site. The Dog is Cu in Old Gaelic (Pronounced Coo) and the overall tone of this card is Guidance, Protection, and Loyalty. From the chapter 'the druid animal'
The card shows a deerhound (Irish Wolfhound) similar to the hound portrayed in the bronze figure found at the third-century shrine of the healer-god Nodens at Lydney, Gloucestershire. Another healing sanctuary at Nettleton Shrub in Wiltshire was dedicated to Apollo Cunomaglus - the Celtic 'Hound-lord' - showing that the dog was strongly associated with healing. It is a bright summer's day, with the dog-rose, dog-daisy, dog-violet and dog-periwinkle all in flower. The hot days in the Northern hemisphere throughout July and August are called the dog-days because at this period the Dogstar Sirius rises and sets with the sun. The dog-days are respectively January and February in the Southern hemisphere. There is a pool beside the dog, for there is a deep symbolic connection between the dog and water.
'Fierce, with their bristles up, my gallant dogs!
That in their speed outstripped the howling storm' From the Ossianic poem 'Manos'
The dog is a powerful guardian: Celtic ambassadors were accompanied by dogs which acted as bodyguards, and in recognition of their role as protectors, the term 'dog' became a title of honor given to the chiefs and warriors, heroes and champions, whose names were prefixed by 'dog' - such as Cu-Uladh and Cu-Chulainn. Even certain British kings Cunoglasus (Tawny Dog) and Cunobelinn (Dog of the god Beli).
In Ireland there are tales of dog-tribes 'men with the heads of hounds' - and the inhabitants of Connaught are said to be descended from them. The Concheannaich (Dog-heads) were a similar tribe who lived at Moygonihy in Kerry.
Many heroes were accompanied by a dog, the Irish god-hero Lugh had a magical hound who was unconquerable in combat. The life of the great Ulster hero Cu-Chulainn is intimately bound up with the dog as a totem animal. As a boy, arriving late at a celebration held by Chulainn the Smith, he found the gates of the enclosure guarded by the Smith's savage hound. The dog sprang at him, but he grabbed it by the throat and smashed it against a pillar. Chulainn was deeply upset by the loss of his dog, but the boy promised to rear a puppy for him, and to act himself as a guardian of the household until the dog was full-grown. During his life he became a mighty warrior, and he was named the 'Hound of lainn by Cathbad the Druid. He was also known as the 'Hound of the bright deeds', the 'Hound of the sweet discipline' and the 'Hound of Ulster'. His downfall occurred when he was persuaded to eat some dog meat. Once He had broken his obligation never to eat the meat of his totem animal, his power rapidly declined and he was soon overcome by Lugaid, the son of Cu Roi mac Daire.
Another great hero, Fionn mac Cumhaill, was surrounded by dogs who had been humans - his aunt Turen was turned into a dog by a fairy and his own two dogs, Bran and Sceolang, were once his nephews. Bran's legendary exploits, recounted in the Irish Fionn cycle and the Scottish tales of Fingal, have made him a dog-hero.
The connection between dogs and water is ancient. Many Goddesses of the Celts and Druids were depicted with dogs as companions. Lakes, pools and the seas were all seen as gateways to the Otherworld, and as guardians and guides of this realm dogs were often depicted as going into the sea. By entering the sea or lake in legend, the dog is seen as entering the magical Otherworld of the unconscious, of dreams, of life-after-death in which all things are renewed and healed and in which we find immortality.
Guardian of the Mysteries
The dog as guardian guards more than lives. He is the guardian of roads and trackways, of crossroads and gateways, guardian of the mysteries, the Underworld. English folklore is replete of tales of the Black dog - a phantom dog that presages death or patrols the networks of ancient trackways and roads, other places of transit. Death represents a moment of transit from one place to another, and the dog stands at these threshold places as guardian and protector. Just as a dog would guard its master from harm in the physical world, so in the Otherworld, the dog would protect and guide the soul of the dead. For this reason figurines of dogs often accompanied Celts in their graves, and favorite dogs were buried with their keepers. Later, dogs came to be depicted on gravestones for the same reason. Just as a faithful and loyal dog can guide a blind man through the obstacles and dangers of the physical world, so can the dog as a spirit-ally guide as safely through the Otherworld.
The loyalty and faithfulness of the dog provides a model of devotion and service which is free of the complexity and ambivalence that characterize many human relationships. The contrast of the innocence and selflessness of a dog's loyalty and the burden of guilt some of us carry as a result of our human intelligence and feelings is powerfully conveyed in the Welsh story of Prince Llywelyn and his dog Gelert.
Llywelyn and his dog Gelert
One day, the prince had to lead a raiding party, he left his dog Gelert to guard his baby son who lay asleep in his tent. When he returned, he found the tent collapsed, with Gelert seated beside it, covered in blood. In despair and fury he ran his sword through the dog, only to hear a cry, and to find his son alive and well, with the carcase of a huge wolf slain by the faithful Gelert lying nearby.
Thank-you for sharing and saving,
By Druid and Witch of the old ways,
And Priestess of the Morrigan,
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February 21st 2019-02-21
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