In the Welsh Triads, the first name that this Island bore, before it was taken or settled, was Merlin's Precinct. Clearly there was a time when Merlin was regarded as embodying in some respects the Isle of Britain.
Another tradition tells how Merlin acquired the Thirteen Treasure of
the Isle of Britain - various objects possessing miraculous powers - and
went with them to the Glass House, and there they remain forever. The
Glass House is the Otherworld, and may be alluded to in the Welsh name
Myrddin meaning 'fortress of the sea' - the island fortress of Britain
herself - hemmed in by the transparent walls of the ocean.
herself was identified at times with the Otherworld. As early as the
sixth century there existed a belief in Brittany that the souls of the
dead were wafted across the English Channel in unmanned boats. On the
British shore they saw no-one but heard a voice name them all, one by
Like Shakespeare's John of Gaunt, it seems
that the Britons of old may have regarded their Island as as 'this
little world, this precious stone, set in the silver sea, which serves
it the office of a wall'; in which case Myrddin was simply a homonym for
It is likely that the coastal
perimeter of Britain was regarded as a magic defence, marking out the
middle of a chaotic space, peopled with demons and phantoms; an
enclosure, a place that was organised.
In the case of Britain, 'the fairest island in the world', it may be
that it was looked upon as a particularly sacred place, a microcosm of
the larger world.
In Merlin's day the Island of Britain was regarded as lying in a direct path of the axis mundi
which linked the Nail of the Heavens (the Pole Star) to Earth and the
Underworld beneath. Gildas, writing in the middle of the sixth century,
opens his history by stating that Britain is 'poised in the divine
balance which sustains the whole earth'.
Edited and paraphrased from pages 117-119 of The Quest for Merlin by Count Nikolai Tolstoy, 1985.
From various mixed causes, the inhabitants of Britain have allowed themselves to be duped into an habitual assumption that this miraculous isle is a dreary place characterised by bad weather and a depressing climate; and to be looking always 'abroad' (almost anywhere will serve) in their escapist daydreams.
If Britons find Albion a place of escalating misery and desperation, then this is not the fault of the landscape or weather but of what generations of Britons have made of it; and have failed to imagine for it.
Modern Britons - especially the Europhile ruling and intellectual classes - find that they despise their modern life and culture so deeply that - far from defending it and building upon it creatively; far from recognising Albion as the 'demi-paradise' it was known to be for so many people in the history of the world -- they instead actively subvert, mock and despise; work and plan for the uglification and destruction of the land and the replacement of its people, extinction.
In so far as this is so, this it is due to the God-denying, materialistic, self-blinded, selfish, sensation-seeking corruption and perversity of the mass of the people - but not the place.
Albion is the Britain of our best imagination - blended of water, landscape and sky; history, legend and myth; of Joseph of Arimathea and the youth Jesus, Taliessin, Arthur, Merlin, Robin Hood, Thomas the Rhymer, Tam Lin, Shakespeare's Forest of Arden, The Shire, Narnia, The Raven King...
All these imaginations need to be understood as true, our consciousness expanded and refined such that this truth is agent, and that truth made the basis of our future.
The English need to live-up-to the true-myth of Albion.