This is a Disabled Pagan Voices Project submission from Deenagh Jackson
When the battle born child was three days old, as with all newly born children, she was presented to their Earth Mother in front of the Wizened Hawthorn Tree, and a Naming Ceremony was performed by the Old Shaman of the village. The Spirits had communicated with the Old Shaman, and he was instructed that the child be named Deenagh, but this troubled him somewhat, because he knew only of one other named Deenagh and she was of the Valshee, the Avenging Spirits who were called upon to right the wrong doings, and their wrath was unmerciful. However, it was the wish of Maebh that her daughter be named such, and although the Old Shaman had his concerns, he knew he had to honour the brave warrior who had given birth to this battle born child. The Old Shaman’s main concern was for that of the child, who would be feared among the clans folk if she were to be named Deenagh, and he knew of Maebh’s desire to keep her daughter a secret so she could grow up choosing her own path. So he reached a compromise, for he decided that he would give the child an everyday name, and he would whisper her true name, Deenagh, in the Naming Ceremony.
The battle of Anoc-Par was still fresh in the minds of the clans folk, and they were mourning the loss of many of their warriors, in particular, Maebh, who was considered one of the greatest of their warriors, and would be for many generations to come. The Old Shaman had told only Duira and his
mate the truth of the child and her real birth Mother. Duira was surprised to learn that his sister had been bearing a child, because they were not only close as siblings but they were good friends, and he was disappointed that she could not confide in him, but he accepted that she would have her reasons. The Old Shaman was also the only other one who knew of Duira and his mate’s stillborn child, and this was to be kept a secret from the rest of the clans folk, because a stillborn child brought shame to a village, as it was considered to be an ill omen with hardship to befall a clan.
On the night of Deenagh’s Naming Ceremony, the Old Shaman wanted the clans folk to all gather together to celebrate the new life that had come into their village following the bloodshed of battle only days earlier, as he knew the people needed to focus on the future and not the past. So the three
day old child was taken to the centre of the village, where all ceremonies took place, with the entire clans folk in attendance on a clear night with a star filled sky. The Old Shaman held the child and lifted her to the skies, an offering to their Earth Mother, and to the Universe itself, and performed
the Naming Ceremony. Duira and his mate stood next to the Wizened Hawthorn Tree as they accepted the role that they would play in the child’s life, promising to nurture this new life, and to teach her the ways of the Pictish people. There was a great deal of energy that was raised at this particular ceremony, and the Old Shaman acknowledged this and decided to ponder on it later, for he had never known such a powerful energy and such a great many Spirits in attendance at any Naming Ceremony
before. The Old Shaman did as he had decided, for he gave the child an everyday name, but it was the name Deenagh which he whispered into her ear and quietly in his mind to the Spirits that had gathered.
The clans folk then approached the newly named child and offered their own blessings, on this new member of their village. Deenagh was given blessings from the hunters so she would be swift and sure in the ways of hunting; from the spear makers and metalworkers so she would be able to create what she needed from the gifts of the Earth; from the weavers so she would be creative in the ways of making clothing; from the warriors blessings of courage and strength in battle; from the Chief she was given the blessings of leadership and fairness; from the Old Shaman she was blessed with the ability of story telling so the legends of her people would continue, and of wisdom to always learn, develop and grow to be her full potential – physically, mentally, emotionally and Spiritually. On this special night, Deenagh could not realise how powerful these gifts were that she had received from those who considered her as part of their clan, and how these blessings would continue throughout her many incarnations. Deenagh was truly blessed and she was received by the Earth Mother as a
child of the Universe, with the potential to do great things to help her race of humankind in the years to come. The entire village then proceeded to celebrate and enjoy the night with much merriment and feasting, for they surely needed a cause to rejoice after the battle they had endured.
The Old Shaman was not the only one who felt the immense energy that had been raised at this ceremony, for Duira too was able to sense the Spirits that had gathered, and it helped strengthen his resolve to do the best by this child who had been gifted to him and his mate, at a time when they felt
the loss of their own stillborn. Duira and his mate took the child Deenagh into their home and family, and she was treated just as one of their own, cared for and nurtured to grow up healthy and happy in the village of Anoc-Par.
The Dryad of the Wizened Old Hawthorn Tree was also very aware of the powerful ceremony that had taken place, and she too felt that this child had a destiny to fulfil in the course of her Spirit’s existence.
My name is Deenagh Jackson and the process of my writing has helped me understand my own Pagan beliefs in this modern day, while also helping me to connect with my Ancestors of old.
The Deenagh series of books which I started writing almost 2 years ago are about the main character Deenagh who can remember her past lives and each book tells the story of the lifetimes she has lived and the lessons learned, with her Spiritual beliefs at the heart which are important to Deenagh.
This is the first time I have shared my stories outside my close circle of friends, but as a wise man once told me “a stranger is a friend yet to be”, so feel free to contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Brightest Blessings, Deenagh.