Land, Sky and Sea

photo200-stninianscave.jpgThe ancient Celtic peoples seemed to have revered three elements instead of the usual four found in the Western Magical tradition – these being Land, Sky and Sea. I’m sure that fire would have featured somewhere because we know that they also revered the Sun. But here’s a song that speaks of the Wild Places, and my connection to them.

The inspiration for this song came when me and my partner, Cerri, traveled to Dumfries and Galloway to do the Wickerman trail. We had a book that showed the locations used in the original film (not the remake!) and set off to find them. We found the Green Man pub where they filmed Gently Johnny and Willow’s Song, the ruined church, I almost cried when we found the remaining stumps of the burned Wickerman, still on that cliff edge over 30 years later! But is was the cave from which Rowan Morrison is revealed that was the real inspiration for this song.

It is called St Ninian’s Cave, and it’s a long walk from the car park. Through a beautiful Glen and down to the sea. It is said that St Ninian used to walk this very path down to the shore where he simply sat in this cave and listened to the sound of the sea. He said that here he felt closer to God, that he could hear his voice in the sounds of the waves. When we got to the beach I began to understand why.

There are certain places on this Earth where one can feel the presence of the Gods, and this is one of them. I thought about St Ninian, a simple man, searching for a spiritual connection, just like many Pagans. And I sat and listened for the voice, and it was there. It is said that all paths leads to the same Great Centre, and it mattered not to me that he heard this voice as his God, whilst to me it was the voice of the Spirit of Place, it in some way touched us both, and it was beautiful.

I have a great respect for some of those early Christians. The search for God/Great Spirit/Goddess in solitude and peace is something most Pagans can also relate to. I feel I am also on that quest.

Land, Sky and Sea
(Damh the Bard)

You are the rock, and you are the stone,
Rivers your blood, mountains your bone.
You are the Source, of all I’ll ever know,
Forever my Mother, forever my home.


(Chorus)
Oh this town is so cold,
Neon magicians they offer the fools their gold.
For there is somewhere I’d rather be,
In your wild places with the Land and the Sky and the Sea


Every step, follows those gone before,
Mystics and Saints, down to the shore,
Echoing waves, and the curlew’s cry,
I call out your name, I hear your reply.


Cynical thoughts, and lies that distort,
All that is true, all that is true,
They disappear, when I feel that you’re near,
When I’m with you, when I’m with you.

8 Comments

  1. Alison Cross March 3, 2008 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Glad that you had a good time in the land of the Wicker Man!

    Up here on the island of Bute, on Scotland’s West Coast, we have an ancient chapel called St Blane’s.

    I go there for the Winter Solstice with a like-minded girlfriend and we rededicate ourselves to our paths. You can’t get near it at dawn at Easter for all the Christians, bless ’em 🙂

    Although most of the stonework that you can see probably dates from about the 1500’s, it is built on an older Celtic Christian monastery.

    It’s a fantastic site – especially if you move towards the back of the little wooded area to The Cauldron, a low ridge of rock that horseshoes around the monastery area – you can make out the remnants of old monastic cells.

    Well worth a visit if you ever happen to be on the island.

    AX

    PS – looking forward to the arrival of my new CD 😀

  2. damhbard March 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    That sounds lovely. If we’re ever in the area, I’ll be sure to take a visit.
    In peace
    Damh

  3. Paul Milne March 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Hi damh. I really find the landscape of Dumfries and Galloway elemental and stirring – kind of spooky but in a good way, like the veil between the worlds runs thin there. I couldn’t put my finger on why, but it’s a feeling I get whenever I go.

    Nice lyrics, btw, I will have to get hold of the album for a listen.

  4. damhbard March 6, 2008 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Yes, that’s the feeling I got too – it was like being observed by something ‘other’, a wonderful place. If you can go to the cave.

  5. Eala Serenarian March 10, 2008 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful post Damh. It sounds like a fabulous place. The landscape of Cornwall does that to me, especially the cliffs adjacent to Tintagel Castle. Sitting on the cliff, looking out to sea and feeling the presence of the spirits around me was a fabulous experience.

  6. Kay May 26, 2008 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Damh,
    you know what this song means to me. It has unlocked my soul. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou !

  7. charly November 7, 2008 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    hi damh.

    your music is played at all of my pagan gatherings and partys.
    land sky and sea was played during my samhain ritual and helped us do it.

    BLESSED BE.

    charly.

  8. Chisel Druid February 25, 2010 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Very beautiful, Very peaceful, very calm, very Light and Very Natural. I admire your songs Damh. They Give me Ease and Smiles. Thank you for the music.

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