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Taliesin, the Hero Who
Walked Between Worlds

In the old days, the world of humanity and the world of the Fair Folk were closer, and people traveled from one to the other. Sometimes it was by accident - people stumbled across a place where the worlds were in harmony. But more often, on special days people called on the Fair Folk, for travel advice or just for favors.

One young man wanted to be a hero, and he found out from an old, wise woman where and when to go to meet the Fair Folk. He called out to the gods, to Lugh of many skills, and asked how he might become strong and courageous. He was handsome but not strong enough to fight the heavily muscled warriors of his land.

Lugh came down, in a burst of gold, red, and yellow colors for gods have different lights that they prefer. Lugh said that Taliesin must first prove himself among the Fair Folk, and if he won weapons, he could take them back to his land.

Taliesin agreed, and came over the bridge into the other world. There the women were delicate and beautiful and dressed in robes of bright colors, and horses had ribbons and bright pendants. His guide told him that first he must work, and he came to a noble's castle taking the role of a serf and sweeper. He was determined and did the tasks assigned, and eventually became a page to a noble of the Fair Folk. He was taught how to keep weapons clean, and store them, and later how to use them. He practiced with sword and spear and shield, and learned to ride. His background was that of a starving farmer, but he was bright and determined to learn.

He was taken into battle first to tend to the horses when the warriors dismounted but later to fight. He was no great hero but he could defend himself, and on the battlefield showed himself willing to also defend others. He grew stronger and heavier and ate the food of the Fair Folk. As he grew strong, it seemed as if he radiated light. When he saved the life of his lord, at risk to his own life, he was called before the council of mages. He was told that he had proved himself, and that he had a choice. He could quest after a strong sword which would call out battle challenges in his hand, and help him in battle, or he could seek a vial of healing water, which could save the life of those near to death.

He started to speak but hesitated, and asked if he might have an hour to think. It was granted. He thought of those in his village who had died, and of his relatives who he had seen in pain. He thought of fighting injustice, versus fighting death. He chose to heal.

The mages told him of mold and bark in his own world, which could save those who suffered from certain illnesses. He could learn in his dreams as well as from healers in his own world.

This is one of the lives of Taliesin, a life that is not normally mentioned in stories about him. But it is a true story, and a major source of his knowledge. He did not stop healing.

Taliesin was an interesting figure because he spanned two worlds. Though he ate the food of the Fair Folk and should have been bound to their world, he was given a special dispensation. He could walk between the worlds and live in both. He chose an existence of repeated conscious reincarnation, which was the basis of the story of his birth through the Dark Mother. In each life, he could learn and teach new things.

As a sage and seer, he became the inspiration for poetry, art, theatre, architecture, and magic. The poor weak child who hoped to be a hero, and instead became a mage, brought new ideas and creativity to many people.

He is a companion figure to Merlin, as the other great sage figure. Much fantasy has been woven around Merlin's origins but he is also a sage-hero bringing inspiration to mankind.

Introduction | History | Manannan Mac Lir | Merlin | Taliesin | Building the Realms of the Fair Folk | Lir and Danu | Lugh and the Morrigan | Anya, Daughter of Manannan | Manannan's Ocean Kingdom | Aengus, The Poet God of Love and Romance | The Ancient Roads to the Fair Folk | Manannan's Horses | The Society of the Fair Folk | The Place of Transformation | Traveling Between the Worlds | Research Methodology | Conclusion


Copyright © 2005,   J. Denosky,   All Rights Reserved