The tale of Oisín

A Druid morality tale for wise adults and curious children

Guest article by Seán Mac Gréine

Introduction by Occult Mysteries

We are delighted to publish another short story by Seán Mac Gréine; a moving tale inspired by the moral teachings the Druids imparted to their pupils. We have often been asked if such allegorical stories are suitable for children. Our invariable answer is that it depends on the child! Frankly, most adults are a good deal less receptive to morality tales than many children, as they lack the simplicity, innocence, and curiosity which characterises the mind of a child. We speak—of course—of what we might call natural children. Nowadays, the minds of many children have been warped by their exposure to adult cynicism, political rectitude and scientific materialism. Such unnatural beings are pitied by the wise but eulogized by the fools who teach children what to think but never how to think.

The modern child knows all about transgenderism, diversity and pornography by the age of ten but nothing at all about morality, wisdom and spirituality. The natural child, on the other hand, remembers—albeit subconsciously—the bliss of the Heavenly Realms they have so recently quitted to incarnate on this benighted planet. Perhaps this is what motivated Seán Mac Gréine to write his tale? Or perhaps he was himself remembering better times when teachers taught children the Eternal Truths, Virtue and Goodness—subjects which find no place in any contemporary school curriculum! Can you imagine the howls of indignant protest the mere mention of such topics would wring from the throats of the 'woke' and 'politically correct' guardians of our children's education? You can read more about the Druids in our customary afterword in which we analyse a metaphysical prose poem by the Welsh Bard Taliesin.

Druid catechism

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HE CHILDREN WALKED THROUGH THE OLD FOREST on their way to school. All around, towering sycamores and spreading horse chestnuts stretched forth their overhanging boughs, seeming to caress the head of each passing child with the life-giving dew of the morning sun that glistened upon each shimmering leaf. "O thank, you wise ones," murmured a smiling girl, and dashed on her way with all the freedom and energy of youth. Each morning she and those of her fellows training to be Druids would make their way to a small, circular stone cell crowned with a corbelled, mossy roof. This was the school house. Inside, several small, wooden benches were arranged in a circle around a raised platform in the centre. The floor was paved with dressed stones fitted together so closely you could barely see the joins between them. There was a wooden door in the north-eastern wall, and directly opposite, a small window through which the rays of the setting sun shone at the Winter Solstice. This small building was surrounded on all sides by many larger, wooden structures, housing the workshops, dwellings and higher academies of the Druids.

Each morning the children cleaned the classroom. Some would sweep the floor; others would wipe down the benches if dew had gathered upon them during the night. But the most coveted job was collecting cobwebs. This was done by gently inserting a thin stick into the centre of a web and carefully spinning the delicate spider's thread around it. Their teacher was a young Druid called Alpin. He was dressed in a long, white robe fastened at the waist with a golden clasp. His curling hair fell comely upon his shoulders, seeming to merge with his scanty beard. Kindness shone from his deep blue eyes and there was an appealing magnetism and cheerfulness about him that endeared him to the children. Glancing quickly around the eager faces before him, he stepped nimbly onto the platform.

"Welcome," he beamed. "I am happy to see you all gathered here on this beautiful morning. Let us give thanks to Hu the Mighty and his Holy Spouse, the Blessed Kêd, the Guardian of the Good, who watch over us. Now, who can tell me the three words of Wisdom I taught you yesterday?" At once, a young girl of about fourteen years, the same who had thanked the trees on her way to school, thrust out her whole arm eagerly. "Yes, Oithona?" asked Alpin. She stood up, and in a sing-song voice declaimed: "The three Words of Wisdom of the Druids are, firstly, to obey God's observances. Secondly to attempt and benefit Mankind. And thirdly, to suffer well all Life's happenings."

"You have remembered perfectly," said Alpin. "Most people think of suffering as bad luck or the fruit of evil of some kind. This is true to a degree. But we must remember that suffering can sometimes be a test or a trial to gain experience which will be deeply beneficial for our own, or another's evolution. Everything in life evolves, from the smallest atom to the largest Kosmos, as it is above, so it is below."
"We suffer here below so our Soul may learn the wisdom to serve above."
"Well spoken, Oithona," said Alpin.
"What is wisdom?" asked a younger, red-headed boy from the other side of the room.
The Druid smiled and answered: "Wisdom, Comhal, as Oithona has just explained, is the fruit of experience. Suffering, bravely born, brings Truth and Wisdom which cannot be gained in any other way."
"What if we're not brave?" asked a fair-faced girl on the bench next to the door. "What happens then?"

Comhal looked pointedly at Darthula. "You will stay a fool," he muttered.
"Darthula is not a fool," said Alpin, stepping off the platform and advancing on his pupil with flashing eyes. "We can lack courage but still have faith in God, can we not? And He will aid us if we remain faithful and true. Darthula asked a good question. It is difficult not to be afraid when Fate strikes us with a heavy blow. Anyone who claims never to have been afraid is either a liar or a fool, or both." He looked hard at Comhal as he said this and the boy hung his head in shame. "But I want you all to remember well what Oithona told us. The mind that has learned to suffer well all Life's happenings may still suffer, but it will not suffer long for it knows that all that happens is ultimately for our good and the good of our Souls."

"Why do misfortunes come upon us?" asked Darthula shyly.
"Oftentimes we lead ourselves into misfortune," replied Alpin. "Or others may bring misfortune upon us. In either case the remedy is to be sought in ourselves by turning to God for guidance."
"Isn't that like cheating?" asked a tall boy on the threshold of manhood. "Like asking God to help us rather than helping ourselves?"
"I said 'guidance' not help, Truthil," replied the young Druid.
"How do you mean?" asked Oithona.
"When we are in dire distress, and when mental and physical energy avail nothing, then only should we ask for help from Hu the Mighty. But if we appeal to Him before we have tried every way to help ourselves, he will not answer us and we will sink under our own burdens."

"Why is that?" asked Darthula.
Alpin smiled upon the upturned faces of his pupils and pointed to the ground at his feet. "Hu has placed us here, and the Sun (here he pointed to the window) which measures our time on Earth, must do the rest. There is a remedy for every misfortune under Heaven and counsel against any evil that may assail us, but God wills that we should discover it for ourselves, in order that we may become strong and wise. If we will not do that, he leaves us to our own devices, in order that we may experience the results of wise or foolish conduct."
Oithona clapped her hands and exclaimed: "this is the best teaching yet!"
Comhal frowned and muttered: "I would give in and have the suffering over all the sooner."
"Then you would be like yonder beasts," replied Alpin, pointing to the window through which a flock of sheep could be seen grazing contentedly. "Waiting to be shorn of their wool like a fool is stripped of his scanty wits. This is not what a true Druid desires. He desires that we should help one another and that all should be free to follow the path of Wisdom." Alpin turned to an older boy sitting on his right and added: "is this not so, Luath?"

"Yes," the boy replied. "Otherwise we shall be overcome by the stratagems of Gwarthawn and lose our soul in darkness."
"Well said," replied Alpin.
"Who is Gwarthawn?" asked Darthula.
"That you are about to learn," replied Alpin.
"What is a stratagem?" asked Comhal.
"That you will also learn from the tale I am about to tell you."
The children clapped their hands for they loved nothing better than a good story.


The desire of Oisín

Oisín was no ordinary child. He was born on the top of the Mountain of the Moon, so-called as it was taller than any other mountain in the land. His mother was as wise as she was beautiful; a veritable Queen of the Heavenly Spirits, but when she reached out to clasp her new-born son to her bosom, his body vanished like snow in the summer sunshine. And lo! the next morning a human babe lay still and silent upon the violet heather that grew upon the lower slopes of the mountain. There, he would surely have perished of cold and hunger had not a passing eagle seized him in its mighty talons and deposited him, safe and sound, at the foot of the mountain. A short time later an astonished shepherd searching for a lost sheep, found him. When he saw the babe his heart leapt within him, for he and his wife had no children of their own. 'Hail to Hu the Mighty and Magnanimous,' he cried in the exultation of his spirit, 'this is the lamb I have been searching for!' So he took Oisín to his dwelling and there he and his overjoyed wife raised him as their own.

Oisín lived humbly among the shepherds of the hills. He loved his parents deeply and he did everything in his power to help them thrive. They were a very happy family and led a quiet life filled with the beauty of nature. Every evening, Oisín walked to the foot of the Mountain of the Moon and gazed long and thoughtfully at the lofty peak as the Sun set behind it, seeming to rest upon it like a golden crown beset with shining gems. 'Can a man jump onto the Sun?' he asked his father when he returned home. 'Why would he want to?' answered the shepherd bemusedly, for such a notion seemed incredible to him. 'Why should he need to?' added his mother. 'Do we not have all we can desire here on Earth?' Their answers satisfied Oisín for a time, but as the years passed his discontent grew and however hard he tried he could not shake off the desire to climb the Mountain of the Moon and jump onto the Sun as it rested on the summit.

One summer evening as was keeping his father's sheep on the slope of the mountain he met a stranger resting beneath the shade of a spreading oak. Oisín, always happy to meet someone new, greeted him warmly whereupon the stranger smiled a strange smile and stroked his bushy, grey beard meditatively. 'If you could ask me one question, what would it be?'
Oisín stared at him in surprise. 'Well there is only one question that I cannot shake off. I think of it morning and night, and it gives me no rest.'
'And what is that?' asked the stranger with a twinkle in his eye.
Oisín pointed at the distant mountain. 'Can a man jump onto the Sun as it passes by climbing yonder peak?'

'The stranger smiled earnestly and replied, 'A man cannot jump onto the Sun but he can find the Fire of the Sun that dwells within his heart. And that will lead him to the Sun if he is faithful and true.'
'I have never heard of such a fire,' said Oisín. 'Why have I never seen it?"
'Every man and woman has this fire inside them, but in most people it is no more than a tiny spark which would not warm a moth, so they do not know they even have it. But if a man manages to climb to the very top of the Mountain of the Moon and bathes in the loving light of the Sun as it passes the peak, the Fire of the Sun in his heart will burst into flame. Then a ray of light will suddenly flash out, forming a golden bridge between his heart and the Sun by means of which he may pass safely to the heart of that luminary.'
'Tell me more," asked Oisín.
'The path to the mountain top is long and arduous with many dangers along the way. Moreover, it leads inwards not outwards, and some parts are very dark. Do you truly wish to undertake such a perilous journey?'

Oisín trembled in spite of his desire and nodded his acquiescence.
'If this is your true will, I can show you the way—but,' he murmured, lowering his voice, 'there is a wicked beast that dwells within the mountain in the City of Night men call Gwarthawn. He has one eye in the middle of his forehead, vivid as the blue ice, and two curved horns crown his massive brow. His cavernous mouth is as wide as the mountain of Snowdon and filled with thirty enormous, blackened fangs, each as sharp as a razor. Nothing can vanquish him, not strong hands, nor spears or swords, not even death, save only a pure heart filled with the Peace of God. Gwarthawn haunts the dreams of the wicked, emboldens the cruel and whispers evil counsel into the ears of the foolish, yet,' added the stranger, rising and laying his hands upon Oisín's shoulders, 'The pure, the just and the magnanimous are safe from his cunning stratagems, for Hu the Mighty, the Sovereign of the Skies and his Holy Spouse, Kêd, the Guardian of the Good, watch over them.'
'You have opened a door into my spirit,' answered Oisín bravely. 'Now that I feel the presence of the Fire of the Sun within my heart I must try to reach the summit of the mountain or perish in the attempt.'
'Whatever should befall you on your journey, I want you to remember one thing,' said the stranger.
'What is that?'
'Perfect Faith conquers all fears.'

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The Mountain of the Moon

And so it was that the stranger led Oisín to the foot of the Mountain of the Moon. There, he uncovered a secret passage whose entrance was concealed by a heavy rock. Bravely did Oisín proceed with no light but the Fire of the Sun in his heart to guide him. To his surprise this emitted a soft, blue radiance which illuminated the path before him yet seemed to come out of nowhere. Soon he came upon a natural stairway cut out of the living rock that descended in rough, slippery steps deeper into the mountain. In the far distance there shone a silvery light like the moon. As he looked into it fear gripped his heart for it seemed as if he could see down into the very roots of the mountain. What he saw appeared to be a hellish reflection of his own earthly world, and the deeper he descended the more horrifying and terrifying the views became, until his eyes lit upon a dense, impenetrable darkness which seemed to swirl and writhe in sinuous folds, like a living creature, right at the bottom of the cavern. Was this Gwarthawn—the monster the stranger had warned him about? Oisín trembled as the darkness parted like a shroud and he beheld a host of fiends driving the frightened souls of human beings before them with whips and goads. Thunder roared in his ears and violent, fiery flashes tormented each poor soul that found themselves in that dread place. Oisín looked on aghast, and sensing the omnipresent evil which held all that region in its iron grip, quickly retraced his steps until he stood once more within the upper passage.

He could see no more than a few feet in any direction. He began to feel very afraid, and wondered if he would ever get out of the mountain. 'What have I got myself into?' he asked himself. 'Who was that stranger? Was he in league with Gwarthawn? I cannot go on....I am alone and utterly lost. Eternal death shall surely be the reward of my rashness and my folly.' Such were Oisín's thoughts as he lay down on the cold, hard rock and cried. He imagined he saw Gwarthawn's ice-cold eye upon him and being enveloped by its foetid breath as the monster seized him in its cavernous maws. In this and similar ways did he frighten himself until he remembered the Fire of the Sun within his heart. At once the light around him increased, revealing the entrance to a narrow, ascending passage he had passed unnoticed before. He remembered his purpose and with renewed faith and courage thanked God for helping him to conquer his fear and so defeat the first of the many stratagems of Gwarthawn.

Entering the passage, Oisín followed a winding path which rose steadily upwards. As he ascended, he heard the distant sound of weeping further ahead. The lamentations grew louder and now he could hear groans and moaning that tore at his heart and chilled the marrow of his bones. Without warning the passage widened out into a vast cavern lit by a lurid, rust-coloured light that dimly illuminated the shadowy forms of many men and women. Some few looked out at him beseechingly from faces disfigured by shame and sorrow while many more shrieked and gibbered in anger and spite. It came to him—he knew not how—that the cramped cells within which each wretched soul was imprisoned were made by their own hands. Her gazed at them in mingled pity, hatred and disgust. 'Who are you?' he asked.

'We are those who lost our way on the path to the Light and allowed the Fire of the Sun to wither in our hearts,' said one sad-eyed old man.
'He lies!' snarled a thickset ruffian. 'There is no such path. We were duped by pious fools like him and you! I spit on your filthy Sun!'
Oisín stepped back aghast. He was horrified by this confession. Pity and remorse left him as a wave of righteous indignation and contempt surged through his veins.
'You are foul, dark creatures all!' he shouted. 'How could you lose your way and turn your back on the One True Light of God? You deserve your imprisonment and misery ten times over.' Without a backward glance for fear they would infect him with their weakness and betrayal, Oisín hurried from that dreadful place. From far below there came the harsh sound of the triumphant laughter of Gwarthawn.


"Now why do you think Gwarthawn laughed, children?" asked Alpin.
"Because Oisín was very unkind to the lost souls," said Darthula hesitantly.
"And refused to help them," added Truthil.
"That's true," replied Alpin. "What else did he do wrong?"
"He was afraid to catch their weakness," said Comhal.
"He was judging them and found them wanting?" suggested Oithona.
"Excellent!" exclaimed Alpin. "Those who judge others while they themselves are full of faults are overcome by another of the stratagems of Gwarthawn. Condemning the faults—as we think we see them—of others, is the prerogative of Hu the Mighty and not of mere mortals. Gwarthawn could sense the condemnation of Oisín for those who had lost their way, just as he could sense the hatred and pride that made him abandon them. Oisín succumbed to three stratagems all at once—false judgement, hatred and pride—and this is why Gwarthawn laughed so loud. He thought he had overcome Oisín."
"Had he?" asked Oithona breathlessly.
"That we shall see," said Alpin.

The souls of the lost

As Oisín made his way slowly upwards once again, his thoughts were filled with the sight and sound of the lost souls he had left behind. But had he? Was he not lost himself in this maze of twisting passages with no one and nothing to guide him but the light that emanated from the Fire of the Sun in his heart? Was it his imagination or did the light seem dimmer after his encounter in that awful cavern? Surely the devilish laughter he had heard was the sound of Gwarthawn stirring within his pit of iniquity? Soon, soon now, it would leave its noisome lair and come after him. He was not the first to have essayed this journey. Thousands, perhaps millions, had walked these twisting paths before him and all, all had ended their journey in that dreadful cavern, imprisoned for all eternity. Was he so much braver than they? Was he wiser? Stronger? Better? Was this not the very path they had walked, only to fall prey to the guile of Gwarthawn? No sooner had this thought entered his tormented mind than he heard the laughter of that hellish monster. It seemed much louder now. 'Yes,' he thought, 'it was my own weakness I saw in their frightened faces. My own hatred and pride is my undoing, just as it was for them. Soon, soon now, I will join them in their cells. As Oisín sank to his knees in shame and remorse, the words of the stranger came back to him. 'Perfect Faith conquers all fears.'

'I am a fool,' he said to himself. 'A brave man does not despair when the time for action has come. A pure man does not fear impurity. A faithful man is not discouraged by failure. The wise accept their mistakes with humility and gratitude and resolve to correct them.' With each positive thought the light grew brighter around him until he was able to see his way clearly again. The feelings of sorrow and shame that had tormented him moments before evaporated like mist before the rising Sun, and he turned around, and retraced his steps to the cavern. Far beneath him he heard the faint sound of the gnashing of many sharp teeth and a snarl of rage.

When he reached the cells that imprisoned the souls of the lost, a few stretched out their arms to him in supplication while the rest glared at him with sullen resentment. Tears sprang from his eyes and a lump gathered in his throat as he beheld these failures whose only crime was to succumb to the stratagems of Gwarthawn. Their fate could so easily have been his. No, he corrected himself, could still be his if he did nothing to help them. The rest were beyond his aid—any aid. They had long since sold their souls to their dark master who would come and claim them when it suited him. They railed and roared at their fellows who dared to reach out to Oisín. Like the snarling beasts they had become, they rattled the bars of their cages and spat their hatred at Oisín who stood unmoved before them, his head bowed in silent prayer to Hu and Kêd. Hope, so long extinguished, grew slowly but palpably in the faces of the few remorseful ones who continued to look longingly at Oisín while their fellow prisoners hurled foul curses at them. 'Save us!' they cried, 'we who bitterly regret our past weakness and failure, and long for the One Light of God!'

As Oisín prayed, the Fire of the Sun blazed up in his breast, bathing the whole cavern in its radiance. Still brighter grew the light until a luminescent and fiery being descended amidst the dense and stifling air of that hellish prison. It was an angel of unimaginable glory. Its face was that of a woman in its first youth, but solemn, as with the awareness of eternity and the peace of wisdom; light, like the rays of the Sun, flowed through her body and undulated, in restless sparkles, through the waves of her dazzling hair. The souls of the wicked recoiled in abject terror, but the few who had reached out in hope to Oisín would have fallen to their knees if their cramped cells had permitted it.
'Arise,' murmured the angel gently, 'and come with me.'
With a wave of her radiant arms the bars of their cells vanished. Together she and the redeemed souls soared heavenwards until they were lost to Oisín's amazed sight. 'Glory be to Hu the Mighty and the Blessed Kêd!' he cried out as his heart overflowed with joy and gratitude.

The rage of Gwarthawn

Gwarthawn, on the other hand, who had witnessed the rescue of his prisoners with mounting rage and disbelief, was filled with impotent wrath. He had sensed an intruder the moment Oisín set foot in his dread domain. With every passing step his hatred of the presumptuous interloper had increased until, as always happened, the foolish adventurer succumbed to his stratagems and fell into his grasping paws like a delicious, rotten apple. But this knavish dolt had escaped him! What was worse, he had invoked a heavenly visitor with his nefarious arts and set free a very promising number of demons-in-the-making. It was an unheard of interference in his affairs! A monstrous imposition of gargantuan magnitude. It would not do. No, it would not do at all! Gwarthawn's rage took shape and reverberated in violent flashes of horrible reds, browns and greys around his grim abode. His sinuous tail lashed the ground, scattering terrified demons in all directions, while spittle drooled from his hideous fangs. His one blue eye roved restlessly around his palace until it fixed upon a group of winged imps. 'You!' he roared. 'Fetch that intruder here or it'll be you filling the cages he has emptied!'

Oisín continued his ascent unaware of the dangerous foe whose minions stalked him, his thoughts wholly absorbed in contemplation of the beautiful angel of Light that had descended into these hellish regions in response to his prayer. He wondered at the great power of such beings, the mighty deeds which lay within their compass, and the glorious places they inhabited. How could he, a mere foundling, brought up by an ignorant shepherd hope to ever reach those climes and become an angel like the dazzling being who he beheld in the cavern of the lost souls? Once more, doubt assailed him, and he questioned his ability to reach the mountain top. He thought of how little he could do to help those poor wretches trapped in their cells. Who are they that have their being in the realms of Light and possess such wisdom and power? He began to grow irritated and frustrated with his own weakness and lack of power. So, once more Oisín became lost in his own illusions, the debilitating illusions of the lower self that knows nothing and sees nothing but the vanities of its own dreams, never knowing there is a higher self to turn to for strength, guidance and true vision. He felt dizzy and stopped climbing, and once again he heard the words of the stranger, like a soft but insistent bell, calling to his better nature. 'Perfect Faith conquers all fears.' He laughed out loud at his own blindness. 'How can I be weak? Was it not my prayer that summoned the angel to come to my aid? What a fool I've been.' With this realization Peace returned to him and he continued his journey with redoubled courage.

Oisín climbed steadily for some time until, without warning, the passage ended in an opening through which a pale light came. Cautiously he approached it and what he saw rooted him to the spot in terror. The doorway, if such it could be called, opened into empty space, so vast it was impossible to guess the height or breadth of it. Beneath him, the whole of the interior of the mountain lay exposed to his astonished gaze, illuminated by a sickly, yellowish moon that hung high above him. The very lowest layer of all was shrouded in a dark mist, like smoke, shot through with flashes of red that seemed to writhe like hideous snakes through the gloom. He looked with despair at the precipitous path he must now travel. Beginning just inside the doorway, it wound upwards, clinging to the sides of the mountain and becoming narrower as it rose, until it was no more than a narrow ledge lost in the dizzying heights far above him. But what he saw below turned his blood to ice.

From out of the smoke and lightnings, Gwarthawn emerged from his lair and sent forth a stentorian roar which shook the mountain to its foundations. Oisín stepped back from the doorway as the monster's livid blue eye swept his vast domain in search of the impertinent intruder who had dared to liberate his prisoners—his prisoners! The dreadful effrontery of the act consumed Gwarthawn with a rage that terrified the demons who clustered around him. Never had they seen him in such a delirium of fury. At last his roving eye found the shivering pilgrim crouched on the topmost path leading out of his domain, and he commanded his minions to seize him. Oisín saw a squadron of demons unfurl their leathery wings, as with harsh cries, they launched themselves towards him. He ran as fast as he could along the narrow path, almost losing his foothold in several places where it narrowed to the merest sliver of rock. But however fast and high he climbed the winged demons climbed faster and higher. Three of the largest swooped down upon the path, blocking any further progress. Soon he was surrounded by the ferocious creatures, who took it in turns to dive straight at him, their long, sharp talons outstretched, trying to drive him into the abyss that yawned at his feet. Gwarthawn increased in stature until his monstrous head seemed to reach to the very roof of the interior of the mountain.

The triumph of Oisín

Oisín picked up a pointed shard of rock and managed to wound one of the demons, who sheered away from the attack, shrieking with pain. His success spurred him on to lash out at his other tormentors with mounting anger, but the creatures were too cunning to be caught again, and hovered just out of his reach. Sensing victory, Gwarthawn reared up from the abyss and fixed his baleful eye upon his small adversary. Oisín fell silent and motionless and let the rock drop from his nerveless fingers. He had almost forgotten the Fire of the Sun in his fear and anger, but now as he stood, defenceless and alone upon the narrow ledge, and looked into the hideous face of Gwarthawn, he recalled all that the stranger had told him about his implacable foe. 'Nothing can vanquish him, not strong hands, nor spears or swords, not even death, save only a pure heart filled with the Peace of God.' He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and concentrated on the Fire of the Sun with all his mind. At once it blazed up in fiery splendour and a beam of dazzling whiteness leaped forth like an arrow straight at Gwarthawn. Screaming in pain and frustration, the monster recoiled from the Light of Oisín's peace, for Light to the evil ones, is as great a torment as fire is to mortal man, when, like a tongue of Holy Flame, the purifying Fire of the Sun went forth from Oisín's heart. The whole of the mountain shook as Gwarthawn's legions melted away into the darkness.

Without knowing how, Oisín soared upwards, as if borne aloft on invisible wings, and rushed forth, triumphant, to find himself upon the peak of the mountain just as the Sun crowned it with its shining rays. He had completed his journey and overcome the stratagems of Gwarthawn. Just as the stranger had predicted, a ray of light suddenly flashed out from his heart, forming a golden bridge between him and the Sun, by means of which he passed safely to the heart of that luminary. Then, to his everlasting amazement, he found himself in the Fields of the Blessed among whom he had earned his residence. There he was reunited with his Mother, and all the heroes who had preceded him to that Heavenly Home.


"That is the end of the tale of Oisín, dear children," said Alpin. "Now go with Peace and my blessing and remember always our three Words of Wisdom.
To obey God's observances.
To attempt and benefit Mankind,
and to suffer well all Life's happenings.
It is this wisdom that enabled Oisín to overcome the stratagems of Gwarthawn."

Story © Seán Mac Gréine. Introduction & Afterword © Copyright
All worldwide rights reserved. Published 3 March 2021. Updated 5 September 2021.

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