Aren

(pronounced AH-ren)

As the springtime festival of Beltinne approached, An Bruane began to explore the motif of the lover god as found in much Celtic mythology. The divine love "triangle" is a prevalent theme in the myths between a sovereignty goddess, an older husband who is often a king, and a young suitor. The attraction between this goddess and the young suitor is the source of much of the lusty and playful traditions of the festival of Beltinne.

To court the attention of this god, a special rite was held which incited love, lust and passion with no release until an intense trance was induced. Under the trance, people began receiving visions of a young, dark and handsome warrior. He has the appearance of a Native American and seems to have connections to Ana that predate our arrival in this place.

Aren is the god of youthful beauty and desire. He is very similar to the Irish god Angus mac Og. It is under his influence that lovers pursue their passions, often going against the pressures of society. He is the patron of free will, regardless of consequences, who has the ability to suspend rules and break bonds, both good and bad. Sacred to him is the boar, the swan and the hawthorn tree.

According to our mythological cycle Aren's time of greatest influence comes in the late spring when the reawakening earth stirs desire and passion. At the festival of Beltinne Aren and Ana exchange lusty glances as we revel in springtime joy. They ultimately run off together each year for a passionate tryst in the forest.

Since we are dependent upon the relationship of Ana and Lugh for our tribal well-being and our right to gather the harvest this love affair creates a conflict. In order to help restore the balance that we joyfully participate in disrupting each season we reenact the ceremony of sacred marriage between Ana and Lugh on each Summer Solstice.

Unfortunately our actions never seem to completely restore the balance which sets the stage for the annual struggle between Lugh and the land spirits over the harvest at Lughnasadh. Finally, just prior to Samhain, Lugh always manages to corner Aren who then escapes by transforming himself into a swan and flying away. At Samhain, Ana and Lugh reunite and settle in for the winter.

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