Update – Come see the Shrines at White Mountain Druid Sanctuary
Are you interested in visiting a place created to honor the deities of the ancient Indo-European past? Do you wish to deepen your connection to the Land Spirits or your Ancestors? Does attending high rites around a fire in a grand stone circle call to you? Then check out the White Mountain Druid Sanctuary in Trout Lake, WA.
The latest addition is a statue honoring Lleu Llaw Gyffes
Just before Yule, the statue of Lleu Llaw Gyffes arrived at White Mountain Druid Sanctuary. The statue is about two thirds the size of a “real” person. It is carved from limestone which doesn’t hold up entirely well in adverse weather so Kirk will be building a Shrine around it in the near future, in conjunction with the Shrine to honor Brigid.
It was particularly appropriate that Kirk got the statue in place just before Yule because we were able make an offering in front of it during the High Day ritual. Lleu Llaw Gyffes and his Uncle Gwydion were the Deities of the Occasion during the Yule ritual. Like many heroic myths, Lleu and his uncle endeavor on various challenges and adversities.
Their relationship is one of surprising endurance and loyalty for two men. In particular, we focused on the part of their story in which Lleu is betrayed by those closest to him. At his most vulnerable moment, he is stabbed, transforms himself into an eagle and flies to safety high in a tree. Upon hearing this, his uncle goes in search of him, eventually finding him and coaxing him down out of the tree. Lleu is gravely wounded but his uncle was able to nurse him back to health. The statue is an image of Lleu right as he transforms into the eagle before escaping his attacker.
Their story is fitting for Yule because Lleu nearly dies but is brought back to life. The idea of death and rebirth at Yule has been prevalent across cultures throughout history. The sun is furthest from the earth (depending on the hemisphere) and then it starts to get closer again. Life dwindles, daylight shortens, and then life returns and the days get longer. The moment in time of the turning is the moment celebrated by Yule. The moment of the injured Lleu falling into his uncle’s arms and starting the process of healing, is the moment of the sun’s “return” to the earth.