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The Tradition of the Blackbird (Druid Dhubh)

         One of the Gaelic names for the blackbird, Druid Dhubh, means the Black Druid. Druid Dhubh is a bird which sings beautifully and melodiously at twilight, and even later. Twilight is the shimmering time-a time of transition between one reality and the next. Such in-between times are considered especially significant in the Druid tradition. The blackbird sings to us as the world changes around us-as the time of daylight and consciousness and the concrete world gives way to the moon-time of the Unconscious, of the Otherworld. His song reminds us that these gateway-times are ones of great beauty and potential. 

          If we are able to follow Druid Dhubh's song we will be led to a place of depth and enchantment from which we may uncover secrets about ourselves and the world. There is an old take in the French tradition which explains how the blackbird became black, and why it has a golden beak. Following a magpie's advice, a white bird entered an enchanted cavern to discover the priceless treasures of the Prince of Riches. Reaching a second, inner cavern the bird discovered a pile of gold dust. Plunging his beak into this dust, he was surprised by a demon guarding the treasure, who, belching fire and smoke, rushed headlong at him. As he flew out of the cavern, only just managing to escape the demon's clutches, he discovered that he was no longer white, but black, and that his beak was now a radiant golden color. 

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