I have been using my pen name of Gwas Myrddyn since I started this blog in the middle of 2008. It has adopted a personality all of its own now, and it feels like a well-worn leather glove which slips comfortably over me, shielding me with its anonymity. However, last year I was guided to move further out from its penumbra and allow more of the light to fall upon me – I had to become more involved as myself, to begin to dissolve some of the artificial barriers that I had put up between my self and my adopted personality. I did so reluctantly, but in small ways I have begun to emerge from the shadow of this name.
What I wasn’t expecting was that on a seemingly innocuous visit to a sacred site that I would discover just how meaningless my druid name had become now! Let me explain how I lost one name and found another.
The evening featured unpleasant weather. It was still too cool to be refreshing rain, and too windy to ignore it. All the way through Buxton and Bakewell Kal and I chatted enthusiastically whilst trying to ignore the elements around us. Kal assured me that everything would be okay, and that he wouldn’t need any weather-defying clothing. The rain got worse, but then as we came up the Harthill Moor road to a pot-holed lay-by the rain faded out like a ghost at dawn. Kal smirked as I changed into my waterproof leggings.
As we approached the outcrop known as Robin Hood’s Stride I took the footpath right. This leads past a very interesting set of rock formations – a couple of shallow caves hidden within the trees atop a steep slope. We ventured into the woodland and wondered what we were doing here. We should have been heading for the stone circle nearby, but something “pulled” me towards this place. I was about to get my dowsing rods out to find the location when I spotted something…
Kal called it the face of a grumpy goblin, but I saw something more familiar –a hawk entity. It was the Spirit of Place for this area, and I decided to find out why it had called me here as I was passing. I touched the stone and settled into a quick routine of connection. Soon we were locked in empathic communion, and our thoughts were rendered into a conversation.
I introduced myself. When I said my druid name ‘Gwas Myrddyn’, the Hawk spirit refuted it! I was a bit astonished – I hadn’t been expecting that. I asked the spirit whether he could tell me what my new name was, but he couldn’t do that. It wasn’t his place to reveal that information, was the response I felt and interpreted into words. The Hawk told me that I would find my new name at Nine Stones Close – the stone circle nearby.
New Name, Old Circle
As we approached the circle, skipping over or circumventing the worst of the mud, there was a certain level of excitement in both of us. Kal was excited because the sun almost appeared to be coming out – it was certainly trying to shine on the small circle where we were standing. All around was thick grey rain cloud, but above us were thin white and blue patches with a hint of sunlight. Amazing, considering the biting wind and what we’d driven through only half an hour earlier.
Both Kal and I dowsed for a place where we should stand which would be most suitable to our respective work. Only seconds apart we arrived at the same place! We laughed, and began to get into a mental state of mind suitable for working with the subtle energies of this non-obviously spiritual place.
After a few minutes my gaze was directed upwards to look at the clouds which were moving across the sky and being stretched across it by the winds. I saw a face forming and it was one that I recognised. It was the face of a young Merlin. I had seen this face in visions – a young dark-haired head, but hairless face with keen eyes. I connected with him and asked him to show me that it was him. A keen gust brushed past me faster than the prevailing winds, and it captured my attention. I followed the gust as it swirled back on itself and upwards to rejoin the face in the sky. Yes, this was Merlin alright.
I asked him about the loss of my old name – was this correct? Yes, it was. I had outgrown the name, and it was no longer suitable. Another aspect of my druid self which I had outgrown through years of work. Was there going to be anything left of the old me as I began this year’s work?
I asked Merlin what my new name was, and he told me. It was an unusual name – one that I will not forget, but also one that I can’t divulge. That was the way it had to be. This was my secret personal name. It had power, and I needed to keep it to myself. I asked Merlin if it had a meaning, and he laughed. Oh yes, and such a meaning! He said that it meant “The Last of Them” or “The Last of Those Who Know“. It meant I was the last druid in my family line. This was true in the sense that I have no children, and so my line will end with me. I really was the last druid in my family! And ironically I will be the last of them to know this.
I asked for the reason why I had been given this new name. I was told that my pen name was not a ‘magickal’ name because it was known. My new name should remain hidden from public view, only to be used as a means of identifying myself at sacred sites. I had become even more anonymous, and in the process I had rediscovered a special relationship with spirit again.
Nevertheless, on this site and in other forums I will still be using the name Gwas Myrddyn. Can’t let that old friend go!