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The Testament of Merlin - by Théophile Briant
translated by Gareth Knight
The one-eyed story teller began, while polishing his sword:
“In olden days things were not like they are now. Men and the gods knew each other. Men spoke with the gods, and knew their language. Animals also spoke, even the fish. I’m telling you the honest truth.”
“In olden days objects chose their owner. They were good servants to him, but not for others. One day, during the famous battle of Mag Tured, Ogma found the sword of Tethra, king of the Fomorians. Ogma drew the sword and cleaned it. Then the sword told her all that she had done since her birth. That was what swords did, when someone took it from its scabbard.”
The blacksmith showed the sword, whose steel shone in the night.
Today this sword is dumb. But I know its history.”
“How can you know it?” asked Ronan, the Seneschal’s squire.
“It speaks to me when I’m sleeping. It’s a very old sword that I keep in reserve on the orders of Merlin, the bard with the golden neck torque.”
“Keep it for who?”
“That’s a secret.”
This evocative story follows the life and work of Merlin as founder of the Round Table Fellowship, the return of Excalibur to the Lake, the safe conduct of Arthur to Avalon, the liaison with Viviane and the Faery powers in the Forest of Broceliande, the resuscitation of the disciple Adragante in the Cauldron of Keridwen, the remarkable sequence of initiations for the young knight, the tradition of the ‘threefold death’ of Merlin at the hands of some shepherds at Drumelzier on the Scottish borders and his subsequent apotheosis.
Much of this is of great contemporary relevance in the current confrontation of Christian and Neo-Pagan dynamics – the religion of Divine Love and the religion of Ancestral Wisdom. The question being – are they so irreconcilable as is sometimes thought?
Told by Théophile Briant , editor for twenty years of the remarkable journal Le Goëland (The Seagull),and a great enthusiast and patron of all things Breton, Celtic and esoteric . Recently discovered by Gareth Knight, translated from the French, and published by Skylight Press.
ISBN 978-1-910098-02-8 £11.99 $18.99 Skylight Press 2017