From the journal of Sir Thomas “Rymour Oisin” Leaf:
The 10th of Quintilis (Julius Caesar’s “July”) in the good year 2009 of the Common Era:
“You may or may not have been following the LoTR (Lady of the Rhine) Quests of mine to Europe. These fantastical tales of breaking the curse on the enchanted ring and finding the key of youthful life have been the inspirations for these journeys and tales of mine to continue on my own exploits away from the Old country and the lovely Lady of the Rhine. I shall call these my “Chronicles” as I explore the New World and set forth on exploring myths, legends, folklore, fables, and premonitions that haunt and enchant these lands of the Americas. For those that want some background, please visit my page at http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=539 for an index for the Old World adventures in Rhineland.
I strongly believe that each and every human life in this world is inspired by a myth, fable, legend, or folk story that indeed “shapes” their journey from birth to death. Sometimes there are many of these tales that shapes one’s life. I believe part of the puzzle of life is to find your living myth and purpose in life. I think these myths, stories, fables, and legends can give us guidance, inspiration, energy, ethics, and values to become successful with finding our dream, seizing it, and living it. I also believe that once we find our ‘living myth’ we are that much closer to finding out our purpose in this life, as I believe we all have one. I don’t believe in chance, I do believe in fate and destiny. I believe you can control, change, and manipulate your fate as you wish. I believe there are messages in our dreams. I believe in visions. I believe in premonitions. I believe in Omens, Oracles, and divination – all of which are tools to help you gain insight, clarity, and a future view of what lies ahead or understanding what has happened. I believe these messages are puzzles and riddles that are not always easy to decipher, but once solved, will give you a world of guidance to find and achieve your purpose, dreams, and desires. With that said, let me tell you a bit about myself and the myths that ‘shape’ who I am, and how they inspire my journeys as a Techno-Gypsy.
My name is “Sir Thomas ‘Rymour Oisin’ Leaf McGowan”. Yes, that is quite a long name. But there is power in a name. There is meaning in each and every one of those names. Of course this is not my ‘real’ or ‘given’ name. Only those close to me know that side of me. This is my artist name. I am a cartographer, curator, and archaeologist by day; and a bodypainter, diviner, and craftsman by night. Those would be my trades and professions that currently title me in this world. This is where the “Sir” comes from. As I ventured forth to Rhineland under servitude of the Lady Vanessa of the Rhine, it was only appropriate to pre-label myself with this classic label as her ‘cartographer / knight / and guide’ for the most excellent adventures we have had. “Thomas” is actually my birth first name. Named after “St. Thomas” the doubter, to which I do live up to, as I question just about everything. I also identify with the myth/tale of “Thomas the Rymour” and that is where the middle name “Rymour” comes in. Since “Thomas” also means “Twin”, I obvious have a twin-side, that being the myth/fable of “Oisin”. I’ll explain both ‘Thomas Rymour’ and ‘Oisin’ in this foreword. So where does “Leaf” come from? It was a name given to me by my friends in the great country of Canada who nicknamed me “Leaf” because I once had several companies with “Leaf” in its name and I was always researching and learning about botany as well as being an avid tree hugger. My roots are that of Irish and German descent. I have a bit of Irish Tinker in me. On the “McGowan” name front, it was given to me because (a) Rose McGowan is one of my favorite actresses of which some of my friends think I share ‘oddness’ with, and because my Canadian friends believe I must somehow be related to (b) Joe McGowan, an Irish Historian and folklorist; and (c) Richard McGowan the American Explorer, Mountaineer, and Entrepreneur. As far as I know, I have no biological connections to any of the McGowans. My real surname actually means “Farmer in a Field” or “peasant” which I suppose explains my deep connection with plants and botany.
It was a series of haunting childhood dreams with puzzle pieces reminescent of the Fable of “Oisin” that led me to investigate his mythos. As I pieced together these dreams, much of the story of Oisin started to be told without having read his tale in the beginning. As I seem to ‘relive’ his ‘living myth’ that serves to inspire, guide, and add adventure to my life; each day I feel a deeper connection to his story which seems to reveal some visions of what lies ahead for me in my future yet to come. ”
The Tale of Oisin
Oisín (Old Irish, pronounced [ˈɔʃiːnʲ], roughly uh-SHEEN; often anglicized to Ossian), was the son of Fionn mac Cumhail and of Sadb (daughter of Bodb Dearg). He was regarded in legend as the greatest poet of Ireland, and a warrior of the Fianna in the Ossianic or Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. and is the narrator of much of this cycle. [wikipedia] “Oisin” means “Young Deer or Fawn”. Apparently, Oisin’s mother Sadbh was turned into a deer by the Druid “Fear Doirche” who was angered with her because she refused him. When the great hunter Fionn was out on a hunt, he caught her and she returned to human form. He was amazed by her beauty and spirit that he retired from hunting and decided to settle down with her. They became pregnant with a son. When “Fear Doirche” discovered this, he turned her back into a deer, and she ran off into the woods never to be seen again. Seven years later, Fionn found her child lying naked on the Benbulbin. He raised Oisin to be a great poet, hunter, and warrior. In the “Oisín in Tir na nÓg” adventure tale, we are told that Oisin is visited by a Faerie woman named “Níamh Chinn Óir – Niamh of the Golden Hair or Head”. Niamh was one of Manannán Mac Lir’s daughters. Manannan was an Irish God of the Sea. Niamh announced to Oisin that she was his true love and soul mate and that he must come with her to the “Tir na nÓg” (“the land of the young”, or “the land of promise”). Niamh and Oisin gave birth to a son and daughter. Oisin’s son is “Oscar” and his daughter was “Plor na mBan” the “Flower of Women”. They were all quite happy. However, after what seemed like three years in Faerieland, Oisin grew weary to see his family in Ireland and persistently requested Niamh’s permission to return for a visit. Little did Oisin know that those three years in Faerie were in actuality 300 human years that had passed. So Niamh gives him “Embarr”, her white faerie steed, with specific instructions that he shall not dismount for any reason for if his feet touch the ground those 300 years would immediately turn him into an ancient withered old man. Oisin returns to find his home on the hill of Almu abandoned and in disrepair. As he tries to find his father he encounters some men trying to lift a great stone onto their wagon. As he tries to help, his girth breaks and he falls to the ground, becoming a blind old man just as Niamh warned. Embarr returns back to the Tir na nÓg without him. Oisin is then left to wander the countryside of the human realms as a wise old blind man. He teams up with Caílte mac Rónáin and takes on the bardic path sharing folklore, faerie tales, and stories of the Fianna. He becomes the Epitome of the term “Wanderlust”. He is also rumored to be a staunch advocate of the Pagan faiths. He becomes quite bothered by the fact all his comrades, family, and friends are gone as is the Pagan faiths of Ireland. He encounters the Irish Catholic Saint Patrick who was responsible for destroying the Pagan faiths of Ireland. Oisin tries to teach Saint Patrick about the glories of Ancient Ireland and the land of the Faerie. This is the source of William Butler Yeat’s poem on the “Wanderings of Oisin”. Further mythology tells of Niamh coming to the shores of Ireland in search of her long lost love to find him and bring him back to Faerie. Story has it she does not ever find him and Oisin dies of old age. Oisin’s grave is believed to be located close to the foot of the Glenann in the Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland. Yeats, James Macpherson, Goethe, and Walter Scott all wrote about Oisin and were obsessed with translating his poems. Books have been written about him. Films have been made about his story.
[More stories of Oisin: Oisin and Niamh; The Youths of Oisin; The Wanderings of Oisin; and Oisin and Patrick.]
To be continued …. Foreword – Thomas the Rymour.