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What Merlin Says

Merlin’s Answers to a Knight

Noble Sage, I am humbled to appear before you. merlin

Stand up, Sir Knight, or sit there if you wish. Your questions were correct, your offerings were right, and I see you will need to know these things. You know the rules: I will tell nothing but what you ask. We will stop when you do not understand.

We have many gods, the Romans have The One God. Which is true?

Both are true, or both partly true and partly false. The Roman Church claims exclusive Truth because they have the One God, but He has three faces, a holy Mother, a hierarchy of angelic helpers, and legendary heroes who receive reverence. That is no different than the first blossoming of Beli, Bran and Dana and the successive flowering of each generation, every one of them changing shape from one to many and three to nine. Which is true? We know there are many truths.

How are they different from us then?

Many things. They have a book that records the unerring truth for them. We have no written records, but act in harmony with the ancient ways of our ancestors and our gods.

Our gods live in the world, theirs does not. We love it here, good and bad. They hate it--their world is evil, dedicated to destroy humans. Their priests condemn any worship of the living world around us. It is wasted, they say, on demons. They sacrifice only to their distant God and his Son, not to all that we interact with. Their heroes are buried in their churches too, while our temples never have dead men’s remains in them.

The Christos is a novel and unique manifestation among us. We and all ancient races know children of gods, manifestations of gods, and supernatural human beings. In the Christos, however, the Highest God, the Mystery of Mysteries, was born, lived and died as a human being, a person, just like you and him. He taught his Good News, much needed in the Empire and of value to us as well. Even Pagans can benefit from that lesson, as the British have.

Wait--what was that?

The mystery of the Christos sacrifice is the power of our time. It will not destroy your pagan spirit, no matter what the Roman Christians say.

That isn’t what they said. They said I must worship their god and only their god.

That’s what the Old Book of the Romans says. You can obey it if you wish. Knowing the secret of the Good News doesn’t require it, though; nor will it destroy your love for the world that you know. We acknowledge the world around us, and communicate with it. The message of Jesus was to love, and Nature is one of our neighbors. It is less revolutionary to us Pagans than to the slaves of the old Empire.

You keep saying “the Romans.” Are the British Christians different?

Yes. Our ancestors taught them that the world is sacred, a good place, and that mankind is not evil. The Pelagians do not use the Old Book, and do not worship its god.

Are you one of them?

No. I’m welcome among them, but they do not count me among themselves.

Who are you?

You look upon Myrthin Ambrosius, son of a devil and a holy woman, born on May Day and saved from Hell by baptism while half-thrust from my suffering mother’s womb, then given to the care of the three ladies that bless each of us at birth.

Who do I not see before me?

I am Math the Old, the Starry Cloak and father of seven sons and daughters. Around my throne every star in the sky rotates, each a soul on its journey, in gentle sleep and repose in my house. I know every degree, every rising, conjunction and eclipse yet to come. I am Three. The gods shine through all life.

I feel the light stir within me when you say that. I trust you. What is that light?

That’s your god, the bright warrior. He is strong in spring time, in the morning, on Sundays and when the May hawks fly. His shadow is the Raven Lord, keeper of shadows and lord of the west and the autumn and sunset on Wednesday.

Who am I?

A great warrior of the Cymru, a maker of destiny on the path of fighting until death

Why am I here? trismis

To do your duty. Each person is born with a duty, and also with a goal, and a shadow. For some those three work together, and life is fulfilled with ease and greatness.

What are my duty, goal and shadow?

You are born to be a knight: your duty is to serve your lord, and your shadow is to kill many, many men. You choose your own goal: King Arthur says that Chivalry is the best goal.

But what is the meaning of life.

Life is to be lived. Virtue is to live within your duty, and to enjoy everything that we can because we will not have it some day. No joy lasts forever—so love in the time of love—what does it mean? No suffering lasts forever—so suffer and live in that sacrifice—what does it mean?

What does it mean?

It means “Love and be loved—you are the sacrifice.” More, you cannot understand.

What does “venery is venison” mean?

Just asking a bard’s question won’t help you stay longer.

I wanted to ask about the sex.

Too late. Just sit still and be quiet, and I will ask that larch spirit in your forearm to stop making pus, and to take care of you. Give the man who showed you in two pennies and say, “Old Lady, there’s an iron burr in my saddle,” and do what he says. The All Blesses.

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