Well, not unlike you, we suspect, we’ve been through interesting times since the Solstice and it’s been as though the books and articles in this magazine have floated towards us through a mist of illness. I’ve been feeling too unwell (am much better now though!) to do much more than welcome everything in, and see that, as always – however I feel – there is a divine power overlighting Cygnus that brings together just the information it wants you to know and be healed by.
Now I call this power the Mother. This dates back to my teens when I had my first ‘dark night of the soul’ and found that all my beliefs, which until then I had relied on and felt supported by, could be pulled off and jettisoned like the petals of a daisy. But right at the bottom of this void I found something solid, which seemed to call itself ‘the Mother’. And this, I found, could not be jettisoned. So I concluded it was real. I kept quiet about it for many years, until Claire Nahmad wrote The Coming of the Holy Grail (published by Cygnus), in which she puts into words an understanding of the Divine Mother as the first, rather than the second principle of creation (expressed so eloquently in ‘The Secret of 2‘ by Claire Nahmad). And it was very amazing for me to see in print in front of me ideas that I had kept in the deepest recesses of my being for so many years.
The Lady of the Lake
From early on in its preparation, this issue of Cygnus Review seemed to be wanting to dedicate itself to the Divine Mother, and we’re so grateful for this opportunity to strengthen your connection with Her. That’s why we asked Janet Baxter to take a photograph of Llyn y Fan Fach, a very special lake in Wales for the cover. Because this lake, too, is dedicated to the Goddess, and since childhood I have felt very connected with it. Like me you may have read the fairy story called: The Lady of Llyn y Fan Fach when you were a child. Well I loved that story and read it over and over again. It’s about Nellferch, a magical lady who emerges from the lake and falls in love with a local farmer. However, before agreeing to marry him she prophesies to him that if he strikes her three times needlessly, she will go back to the lake. Well the poor farmer, not understanding the higher perspective from which Nellferch saw everything, made the three prophesied blunders, and Nellferch went back to the lake, never to be seen again. Behind her though, she did leave children who, with the healing and herbal lore she had passed down to them, became the first in a long line of physicians, known to this day as the Physicians of Myddfai. This story came to my rescue in my early 20s, when it suddenly popped into my mind, delivering a flash of realisation that I was free to leave a disastrous relationship. (Why didn’t I work that out by myself? Because I believed that marriage is for life and I have a very strong sense of duty!). Later, when Geoff and I moved to Wales, not far from Myddfai, we discovered that the very stones from which our house was built, and even our drinking water, came from Llyn y Fan Fach, and we always find it incredibly comforting to feel ourselves sheltered by stones from that very magical lake. So it feels to me as though Nellferch, like many local Goddesses, is an aspect of Divine Mother.
Then William Bloom sent us a beautiful piece about Our Lady which illustrates the closeness and approachability of Divine Mother, no matter what our beliefs. I have experienced this too. Since I first got cancer 5 years ago I have had a lot of healing sessions with my dear friend Mary Wainwright, who is such a good healer. In almost every single one of them we have both spontaneously experienced Mother Mary spiralling down as a sort of gorgeous indigo blue light until we felt ourselves being enfolded in Her protecting veil and consoling, compassionate, non-judging presence.
A Mother’s Love, a Mother’s Grace
Then Ciara Longman, a Cygnus reader, shared with us her enthusiasm for Sondra Ray (one of the co-founders of the rebirthing movement) and Sondra’s latest book Rock Your World with the Divine Mother. We were bowled over by this book as well, which really is an induction into the Grace, so freely available to us all, of the Divine Mother, so you’ll see a feature from it on p. 10.
Tessa Strickland, owner of Barefoot Books told us about a gorgeous children’s book she has just published called The Gift (p.9). It tells the magical story of a little girl – out on a picnic in a beautiful woodland glade with her parents – who suddenly feels a deep wish to be buried in the wood where she is playing when she dies. An old lady appears and, in exchange for the daisy chain the little girl is making, she grants the wish. Many years later, the little girl becomes the old lady, and is buried in the woodland glade by her loving family. This story stirred us profoundly with its love for the Earth and portrayal of the natural cycles of life, and seemed deeply connected somehow with the emerging theme of the Divine Mother.
Compassion: the quintessential expression of the Divine Feminine
Many books in this magazine, and the articles by Louisa Mills (p. 8) and Louis Botlingk (p. 13) look at compassion from different angles, and what is compassion but the quintessential expression, welling up from within us, of the Divine Mother? Louis urges us to find ways in our working lives and dealings with money to put caring and compassion first, not money. This can sometimes take a lot of courage, especially if you happen to be in a social group in which you are under pressure to put money first. But someone has to make a start, and it could be us, couldn’t it?
All is well
Finally, I don’t want to end without mentioning the new book by Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz (p.3). It is wonderful! It opens with this beautiful affirmation which places us right in the midst the protecting, nurturing presence of the Divine Mother: Louise advises: whenever there is a problem, repeat over and over: All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe. This affirmation, says Louise, will work miracles in your life. And I can vouch for that, because I’m still here and still enjoying the precious gift of Life on Earth!
With all our love, Ann, Geoff and the Cygnus Team