wren

Where the wren warbles; while the dreaming man,
Half conscious of the soothing melody,
With sidelong eye looks out upon the scene,
By power of that impending covert thrown
To finer distance.
-Wordsworth

Today’s remembrance is traditionally celebrated in Ireland and Wales, England and Scotland, and in Scandinavia and Spain. It corresponds with both Boxing Day and St. Stephen’s Day. This tradition dates back to the Indo-Europeans; specifically, Hunting the Wren is symbolic of the Sun’s Death, the Sun’s Renewal, and the Sun’s Rebirth.

Known as the King’s Bird and Hedge King, the Wren represents both the Sun God and the King of the Land; ‘wren’ being a pun for ren/king. The celebration then was a way to both mark the Winter Solstice, and ‘weigh the king’s measure’ or see if he was doing a good job.

Wren Day is less political today than it once was, and though some may have forgotten the significance of the Sun King, they do maintain the custom of erecting wren houses in the hopes that the bird will nest nearby. Otherwise, Wren Day is marked by Mummer Parades, festivities, and, traditional foods.

From the Mabinogi, we learn of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, a Wren King – his birth, marriage, death, resurrection, and ascension to the throne of Gwynedd. Akin to Irish Lugh and Gaulish Lugus, he is a warrior transformed into a magician (a similar transition occurs in Odin/Wodan), so this day’s oldest meaning has initiatory overtones. In addition, the Wren, according to the Indo-Europeans, was the ‘bringer of fire’, so an emissary of the Above bringing a gift to the Below.

In short, the Wren is a symbol of Man Transformed into a Divine Being, so on this Seventh Night of Yule, let one look to their self for such transformation. Perhaps this ties-in with New Year Resolutions, which are but means of self-betterment, so as a personal endeavor, consider: Resolving, Retire/Retreat, Reform, Realign, and Return.  As the Wren, bring Light into your own being and to those you hold dear.

Would You Know More, And What?

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