I have worked metals for many a year. I am the smith, and I have made many artifacts, forged in iron or copper, or bronze, for that is my skill, my art, handed down from smiths past, from generation to generation. This is our gift, to take fire and weave it with air and earth to bring a form from molten metals.
The metal comes out, molten from the crucible, and it takes many forms. The horned helmets, swords and arrow heads for the warrior, harps and lyres for the bards, iron nails for the shipwright, statuettes for the temple, jewelry for the women, pans for food, coins for exchange, and amulets for protection.
For I am not only the smith, I am also the patterner, shaping the ways of our tribes, as I take the metal, and cast it in many forms.
And now the time of fire has come upon us, and I must forge a sacred pattern.
The charcoal fire is burning brightly, and upon it rests a crucible of gold. It is a shining fiery liquid, almost ready to pour into the clay moulds.
It is time to blow upon the hot metal, and cast the charm. And I intone the sacred words, and make the spell:
Here is gold, fire from the sun, and may the wearer bring a burning passion for justice among our tribe.
As the gold melts, so let the fairness of righteousness and harmony flow across our tribe in the coming years. This is the fire of binding and friendship.
Here is gold, refined from base ore, and may the wearer bring a burning passion for purity and wisdom to speak to our tribe.
As the gold shines, and reflects the brightness of the sun, so may our tribe be guided in the paths of light. This is the fire of holiness and glory.
Here is gold hardening, as the fire cools, and may the wearer take us along the paths of the dead.
As the charcoal turns to ash, so let ashes from the funeral pyre be cast into the wind, blown across through thin places into the summer lands. This is the fire of hope and ending.
And I draw in the air, the rune of closing, and the pattern is made and complete. For I am not only the smith, I am also the patterner, shaping the sacred ways.
Now I pour the gold into the clay mould.
When the mould is broken, the charm will be complete, and there will be an armband of finely twisted gold, and I will take this golden torque and hand it to the druid. And he will place it upon the arm of the priestess, and the time of fire will be fulfilled.
And when I am dust, and all my tribe are dust, blowing in that other wind, another people, a far distant tribe, may yet come across this sacred torque, buried beneath the soil of ages past, and wonder again at the mysteries of our past.
André Maurois knew the problem - Maurois was a quotable French author of the early 20th century. One quote of his that came very much to mind on a couple of occassions last week is (in...
1 day ago