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Silver Wind
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PostSubject: The Three Realms   Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:25 pm

A Cosmological Map of the Irish - The ancient peoples known as the Indo-Europeans developed a system of belief that held that everything in existence is composed of three distinct, yet also interconnected parts. The later progeny of the Indo-Europeans, the Celts, maintained and further refined this threefold philosophy. The Celts saw everything in existence as being composed of three aspects or states. These three states were and are necessary for something to exist within the universe. Everything, from the brightest star to the smallest creature, was composed of the three vital states of being: mental, spiritual, and physical.

Celtic cosmology also divided the universe into these three same parts, though it approached them from a little different perspective. There are three worlds or realms that overlap and interact with each other in spectacular ways. The cosmological map of the ancient Irish peoples, which consisted of these same three spheres or realms, they called Magh Mor (MOY-mor), Mide (Meath), and Tir Andomain (Cheer ANDO-vain). To clarify, they believed in the “Great Plain” of the upper realm of Sky, “Middleland” for the Earth (Land), and “Land-under-wave” for the lower realm of the Sea.

The Irish saw their world as existing of these three distinct places, which combined to make up the whole of their reality. There are no easily definable boundaries separating these planes of existence, the three worlds overlap and flow into one another. The boundaries are not static, always changing and shifting within reality and time. As Druids we search out the boundaries, holding these thresholds of place and time as sacred and powerful. The realms of Sea and Sky each have influence in our realm of Land, for the cycle of the seasons is the direct effect of the cycles of the Sun and Moon. Also, the life and death cycle as influenced by the realm of Sea manifests in our realm of Land. Many of the Gods and Goddesses have influence in all three realms. Even our realm of Land has its influence on the other two realms, for caves, burial mounds, and the depths of lakes and rivers are portals to the underworld.

The Realm of Sea (Underworld)
The Realm of Sea represents the past and the mental and emotional aspects of existence. This is the dwelling place of our Ancestors, whom we wish to know and honor.

The Realm of Land (Middleworld)
The Realm of the Land represents the present and the physical. We are beings of this realm that we share with the animals and the nature spirits.

The Realm of Sky (Otherworld)
The Realm of the Sky represents the future and the spiritual. Many of the Gods and Goddesses reign over this realm, though it should be understood they transcend all three realms.

The Three Realms and Their Correspondences:

Sea: Past, Ancestors, Underworld, Mental/Emotional

Land: Present, Nature, Spirits, Our World-Physical

Sky: Gods/Goddesses, Other World, Spiritual
Through our ritual we seek to bridge the thresholds, which separate the three realms. We believe that we can walk among the Ancestors and converse with the Gods. Druids may choose natural thresholds of time or place to hold their rituals. These thresholds are where the veil of Manannan Mac Lir’s cloak may be thinner, where the realms overlap with one another.

In pursing the threefold Druid path, we are intent on setting our focus upon a whole rather than a portion; one way to accomplish this is to honor these the Three Realms in our rituals and maintain a conscious link with the realms throughout our daily lives.

http://www.irishdruidry.org/

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