Seagulls & Sea Gods

by Harry Miller December 03, 2019

In the ancient collection of Welsh Mabinogian myths, you will find a Celtic story about a boy called Dylan, forsaken by his mother, but acknowledged by his great uncle, Math.  When the boy is baptised he literally takes to the baptismal waters like a fish, moving and swimming through the water as though he was sea born.  Dylan ail Don - son of the wave - was to be known as the sea god who lived under the stormy waters of Cardigan Bay.  

One day Dylan became very envious of a local father and his three daughters - possibly the family he could never have - and in a jealous rage he called forth a storm, and sent a gigantic wave to steal the girls from their life on land.  Naturally their father was distraught, and realising the error of his ways Dylan transforms the girls into seagulls, so that they would belong to the land as well as the sea.  

It is said that an old man would often be seen going down to the beach, where he would call out his girls names, and three beautiful seagulls would fly over to him from the sea.  To this day you can find ‘Dylan’s rock’ on the seashore of the North Welsh village, Clynnog Fawr - where Dylan is said to have met his watery end.   

Over the Irish Sea in Celtic Ireland, they had their very own sea god who would actually take on the form of a seagull himself.  His name was Manannan Mac Air, ‘Lord of the sea’.  When he wasn’t in the guise of a gull he was known to ride his magical steed, Enbarr, who could gallop across both land and sea.  The throne of Manannan was known to be on the Isle of Man - named after the sea deity himself - with his stronghold being on the peek of Barrule.  He is said to be buried in the Tonn Banks, off the coast of Donegall, now Northern Ireland, after meeting his end in battle.

From mythical godly seagulls, to another who exists in popular literature: in the book titled ‘Johnathan Livingston Seagull’.  This famous short story is about a common seagull who leaves the screeching life of the flock and evolves towards seagull godliness.  Being such a poignant book for so many people, I thought it would be nice to leave you with a few words from this inspirational story:    

“To begin with,” he said heavily, “ you’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body from wing tip to wingtip, is nothing more that thought itself.”  




Harry Miller
Harry Miller

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News / Work in progress / Mythology

Pelican in Progress

by Ariella Medeiros January 16, 2020

Strange looking birds pelicans!  I wanted to simplify the shape and try and get some balance going on with the body and the bil

Read More

A Pelican in Her Piety

by Harry Miller January 15, 2020

To reach the afterlife in ancient Egypt you must first deal with the trappings of the underworld.  Here you will have to contend with various Gods, monsters, gatekeepers, and ultimately prove your worth to Osiris, the Lord of the underworld.

Read More

Top 10 Woodland Animals- Facts and Stories

by Daniel Mackie January 05, 2020

Here are ten interesting narratives about Woodland Animals with references to their place in our culture. Some are form ancient mythologies like the owls and their wisdom,  and others like the ‘The Fox and the Crow’. which tell us to be cautious of flattery!

Read More