Lords of Green & Black

"Looks Like Rain" by Sean McGrath

The Lord of the Otherworld (sometimes called Lord of the Black) and Lord of the Green have been manifesting as the light and dark masculine aspects of my pantheon over the past several months. The Lord of the Otherworld, whom I interact with as Gwynn ap Nudd, rides from October 31st to April 30th, and has been a cyclical presence in my life for four years now. The Lord of the Green, however, has honestly been missing since 2005. But this past spring, I began to feel his influence as Gwydion again, something which I never imagined would happen, but which fills me with great joy.

These two gods are the root of my journeying practice, taking turns stamping my Otherworldly passport. I’ve travelled with Gwynn ap Nudd and the Wild Hunt for four years now, at Samhain, Yule, and Beltaine. This has been my first time with a summer “schedule,” and it ended up being much less defined, guided by the weather and the moon. Travelling under Gwydion’s auspices is somewhat more gentle, but no less profound.

The line between Lord of the Green/Black and the Shaman Father is a fine one for me, possibly because I relate to both through trance work. This is where the freedom of the Waincraft framework is so helpful. It’s not that all gods are one god, or that they’re completely separate: there are similar job descriptions, and if a particular deity fits more than one area, it’s ok. So, sometimes I find Gwydion in the role of initiator and shamanic guide, while at other times he embodies the lush foliage and animal sexuality of the Greenman. The same is true for Gwynn: he can be hunting souls through the sky or holding an audience amongst the Fey. Neither is absolute, and both natures are true.

The other aspect which links these two so closely is their profoundly sexual natures. The Lord of the Green is the verdant virility of the land during summer’s height. He is creation and procreation, the sweat and fire that comes with complete union. The Lord of the Black is the explosive finality of orgasm, la petite mort or little death as the French call it. He pushes surrender to its furthest point, letting you wonder in that moment of release whether or not you’re going to come back this time. Again, their flavors are different, their manifestations individual, but there is still an undeniable connection in my experience of them.

It’s taken a while, but I’m finally past the need to swear oaths and prove myself to these beings. They are not my patrons. If anything, they seem to encourage my status as a free agent, as it were. Yet, I work closely with both of them, and they in turn have guided me to greater and greater levels of understanding and growth. They inspire an ecstasy that I’d never experienced in my spirituality before, so closely intertwined with the pulse of the land and the spinning of the sky. My life is richer for their songs, both in pleasure and pain. And for that, I thank them.

—A.V.

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