Song Magic – Mistress of MacLyr

Storm at Sea, captured by Seraphina at Mister Jones

A much more tame and not even remotely adequate approximation of the storm I am about to tell you about.

Hi everyone!

Some of you have told me you’d like more song lyrics in my newsletter and on my blog, and also that you’d like to know how the music connects to my spirituality. So I  figured I’d explore both those topics here, in a series of posts I’ll call Song Magic.  I’ll share the lyrics, what inspired them, and ask you to participate with some questions about your own story at the end.

We’ll start with a newer one, Mistress of MacLyr:

Tempestuous twilight, bring my love to me 
Whose froth-white horses come sweeping in from sea 
And carry my heart away from me 

Melancholy eyes, deep with dreams of starfish 
Eerie moonglow hair, soothing sand into surrender 
And operas of Seraphim singing of your splendor 

Oh the roiling churning sea 
He will come for me 
I will wait by my crystal palace and 
He will come for me 

Your salty kiss is on my tongue and tangled in my hair 
With shells between my toes, and yearning for more 
I dance the dance of wild night and conjure you to shore 

Your beauty pierces through me, Master of the Sea 
Courtship fierce and stormy, you made your claim on me 
Your foamy tendrils gripped my hair, and ravished me away 

Oh the roiling churning sea 
He will come for me 
I will wait by my crystal palace and 
He will come for me 

Carry me away to your jeweled and dewey deep 
Never will a mortal’s kiss stir my soul from sleep 
I am ravished utterly away 
Oh I am ravished utterly away 

Oh the roiling churning sea 
He will come for me 
I will wait by my crystal palace and 
He will come for me

This song comes from a mighty storm I witnessed at 4am while staying in Jenner, which is a small coastal community in Sonoma county where the Russian River flows into the sea, and also my favorite place on Earth. I was staying in the last house before the river meets the sea, so I was as close as I could get and still be by a warm fire. My companion stood out on the deck while I wrote by the fire, and eventually asked “It is supposed to be like this?” I went outside to see that the sea had completely engulfed the strand between it and the river, and was now crashing up on the riverbank not 20 feet from our back door. I had never seen it do that, and I had lived here for 2 years. It was breathtaking, and a little scary. The next morning, in town, we read the headlines “Record waves crest at 50 feet”.

The moon was full, and the clouds were billowing and fearsome, sometimes hiding and sometimes revealing her. Light prismed out from the moon the way the sunlight often does, creating an otherworldly array of pearlescent moonbeams that lit the sea. And there was lightning, great forks of it striking and clashing as if some epic battle waged amongst the Gods.

To this day, I think it was the single most beautiful and awe-inspiring display of nature I have ever seen. If I were to choose one example of why I am Pagan, this would be it. These are the things that compel me to worship – the majesty of nature brings me to my knees in utter astonishment.

As many of you know, Manannan MacLyr is God of the Sea in Irish myth. And I adore the sea beyond words. In this song I attempt to give voice to my love of the sea in all it’s beauty and power.

When has nature brought you to your knees?  What experience in your life has compelled you to worship, has shown you a glimpse of the Divine? Will you share an event in your life that has cracked you open, that has broken through cynicism and sorrow and brought you to a place of wonder and openness?

Please share your story in the comments if you are so moved. :+)

(Mistress of MacLyr is from the album Neofolk Romantique and can be listened to here)

(You can get the song for free by signing Sharon’s mailing list. You also get monthly free improvised song snippets called Mermaid Kisses).

8 thoughts on “Song Magic – Mistress of MacLyr

  1. This is poem I wrote about a time when when my life had been cracked open, and it was nature, the quiet, beautiful, uplifting sort, that pulled me through. Not sure if it is quite what you wanted, but it is what came to mind for me.

    Secret Waters

    Sit leaning on a log
    Watch the still water
    Reflect the grey sky, the trees

    Two weeks from explosive change
    One day of panicked packing
    My life in friends’ and strangers’ cars
    Afraid that he’ll come home too soon
    Can’t bear to look at him

    Blackdog trots down the bank
    Plunges in
    Ripples slowly widen to distort the reflection
    As she swims across

    She climbs out
    Shakes
    Head first back to tail last
    Dark splash of movement in stillness

    How quiet it is here

    That mutual friend on the phone;
    “Come back,
    Things will be just the same”

    “I can’t!”

    How quiet it is here
    Only birds and the honky nut
    Which falls

    Plunk

    Into the water
    And startles me and the golden mare
    Who stares, ears touching
    Eyes intent
    Into the distance

    “Come back,
    We can all be friends again”

    “I can’t!”

    I sigh
    Wish I could ride on from here
    Forever, but the sun is low

    Blackdog, wet and silly
    Invites Black and tan to play
    But she’s been silent at my side
    Ever since
    Not understanding

    “Come back,
    He still loves you”

    “I won’t,” I say
    “He hit me”

    A pause

    “So?” he says

    Blackdog runs past
    Kicks leaves over us as she plays her solitary game

    I laugh then sigh again
    Go to saddle the golden horse

    When I talk
    To the dogs, the mare, myself really
    My voice is loud
    Disturbs the peace
    No-one has spoken since we came

    Mount up
    Turn to look back and the sun has escaped the clouds at last

    A circle of bright blue centres the lake’s reflection
    Bright

    Head on for the new house
    Splash through the creek on that glowing mare
    Through golden precious winter sunlight

    Wonder what time it is
    And is there another way home?

  2. What a beautiful post, Sharon. Your description of the magical night that inspired the equally magical song is so vivid. I am there!

    I have been meaning to write you for some time to say I’ve been unable to download the songs you so generously share. Don’t know why. I should be able to play Mp3s. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate the way you communicate with your fans. Wishing you all the best! Blessed Bees and Happy Beltane Season!

  3. I had awoke at 3 in the morning, to a Down Burst, aka a Tornadic Thunderstorm. I crawled from my bed, a very “old” ten year old and stood before my bedroom 2nd floor window. I was frozen in awe and fear. Blonde tussled bed head, eyes wide open taking in the sheer force of it all. My hand raced towards my desk and I found my handy dandy notebook. (yes it’s true) lol. My very first poem, was about the lightning of that storm. It awoke in me so early another level of consciousness that I cannot explain in word. The poem remains ever “cheesey” in my opinion but I won’t ever part with that notebook. It is a part of me. I smile at sharing this, as I never have before now. I thank you for the opportunity dear one. )o(

  4. Thanks Elizabeth!

    Great to hear from you! Would love to come to your place again, it is so beautiful there! I just sent you an email to see if we can get the download situation sorted out. It is a sad thing not to get kissed by mermaids, after all!

  5. Dear Sharon ~ I’ve only just discovered your music and now I am wondering how I ever lived without it. You sound like coming home. Thank you!

    I have a memory that did not so much bring me to my knees as to my feet. I was perhaps 14 and home alone over summer vacation. I had been to the library for more books on mythology, ever my favorites, and I had been reading about Norse deities – Freyr and Freya. Suddenly, in that strange way that happens in the summer in the plains, I realized that although it was brilliantly sunny, it was pouring rain. Without even really thinking about it, I jumped up, ran out the back door, and began dancing in circles in the pouring rain while the sun shone on my upturned face. I still mark that as the day I first learned what real magick was.

  6. Thank you Rebecca, for sharing your story, and for visiting my site! I love how frequently rain is mentioned as part of what moves people about nature. And I am so glad you like the music. Music is one of the most connecting things for me, so making connections via music is making a new friend in my eyes.

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