There is a reason to my madness… later you will understand!

“…The Lady of the Lake was the foster-mother of Sir Lancelot and it was she who raised him beneath the murky waters of her Lake. She is, however, best known for presenting the wondrous sword Excalibur to King Arthur, at the behest of Merlin or Myrddin who knew that the young king would need such powers as the sword would give him if he were to prevail in his mission.

But before King Arthur was born, Merlin had met the Lady at the Fountain of Barenton or Brittany and fallen so deeply in love with her that he agreed to teach her all his mystical powers.

The lady became Merlin’s scribe, who recorded his prophecies, and finally she beguiled him and he became her lover. But, with time, the Lady’s magical skills grew ever more powerful till she outshone even her teacher, so and she imprisoned him in Glass Tower or dungeon.

At King Arthur’s Court, she came to take Merlin’s position. And yet it soon became clear that Merlin’s absence contributed considerably to the great king’s loss of good fortune. The Lady of the Lake was eventually obliged to received her sword back when King Arthur was fatally wounded at the Battle of Camlann. Excalibur was hurled back to misty waters by Sir Bedivere. She was later one of the three Queens who escorted the King to Avalon.

The three Queens who arrived with Morgan Le Fay were the Queen of Northgales, the Queen of the Waste Land, and Nimue or Niniane the Lady of the Lake. They took King Arthur to the Isle of Avalon where Morgan Le Fay healed his wounds.

The Lady of the Lake is usually referred to by various spellings of the names Nimue, Niniane or Vivienne. Nimue may be related to Mneme, the shortened form of Mnemosyne, one of the nine water-nymph Muses of Roman and Greek Mythology who gave weapons, not unlike King Arthur’s sword, to the heroic Perseus.

The name Vivienne suggests that the Celtic word for the Lady’s name would have been Vi-Vianna. This might suggest a derivation from Co-Vianna, which is a variant of the widespread Celtic water-goddess, Coventina.

Thus the Romans may well have identified the Celtic water goddess with their own Mnemosyne. She was celebrated for her impressive shrine at Brocolitia or Carrawburgh on Habrian’s Wall. Here a square temple surrounded a central pool fed by a spring. Jewellery, coins and small bronze figurine offerings have been excavated. Her name may also relate to Merlin’s original partner in early poetry, his wife Gwendoloena.

Since the Lady of the Lake’s place as Merlin’s student and lover was largely overtaken by Morgan Le Fay, a lady whose very name in Breton indicates a water-nymph, it seems that two may have been aspects of the same character or different names for the same character. Indeed, as both appear among the three queens who escort King Arthur to the Isle of Avalon, she may have had a third aspect making up the well-known recently popular theme of a Celtic triple-goddess.

Water deities were ever present amongst the ancient British for it was they who controlled life itself, and were living as they moved. The moving water of springs, rivers and lakes showed that the supernatural powers of the goddesses who lived within. Offerings of weapons and other valuables were commonly made into such watery places. Rivers and waters may have also held a symbolic position as a threshold between the living and the dead.

Casting swords into the water was a gift to the Otherworld. The practice continues today when people throw coins into wishing wells and into rivers waters under bridges, as an invocation of good luck or when they make a wish…”

History repeats itself. There is a reason to my madness… later you will understand!

I wish, I wish …

I wish that I could tell you more, but I can’t!

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