Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nimue, Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake by Emily Balivet

Nimue, better known as the Lady of the Lake, is the High Priestess of Avalon in the Arthurian tales. Nimue (pronounced NIM-OO-WAY) has also been called Vivienne in certain myths. She ruled over Avalon which was called Ynes Affalon or Land of Apples and as such Nimue is associated with apples, especially the golden apple. She was known as a Faery Queen who gave birth to Lancelot, the famous knight of Camelot, and conjured Excalibur, the magical sword, for King Arthur. Morgan le Fay, who was also a priestess of Avalon and half sister to King Arthur, tutored under Nimue at Avalon.

There are many different versions of the myths surrounding Avalon and King Arthur. Nimue was a pupil of Merlin, Arthur's powerful wizard, and he taught her all of his magickal knowledge. Some say that Nimue seduced Merlin in order to learn all of his magickal tricks. Clearly this is a patriarchal view point of this story. Others describe Nimue as a healer and compassionate goddess. Nimue gifted Excalibur to King Arthur which she conjured from the depths of the lake in Avalon. It is said that Excalibur was so powerful that Arthur's sister Morgan le Fay wanted it for herself. She stole the sword from him, took it back to the lake and threw it in with the hope that Arthur would be killed. Of course in other stories Morgan le Fay is also said to be a kind and caring sorceress who loves her brother Arthur.

When Arthur was mortally wounded in battle, Nimue is said to have helped him get to Avalon to be healed. Nimue stands in her magical boat which sails the waters of Avalon and grants passage to her enchanted world. She parts the mists, or the veils between worlds, to allow others to enter. She breaks down the barriers of illusion allowing you to actually see reality. Nimue can be called on for emotional healing. She helps us get to the depths of our wounds and helps us to heal. She can also be called on for matters involving your intuition. She helps us to trust our gut and harness our own inner magical power.

Picture courtesy of Emily Balivet


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