Once upon a time was a beautiful Princess who wore her heart on her sleeve, which created a situation of her falling in and out love many times. Even though she had many very good qualities a wide open heart got her in and out trouble. But she was the type of person that followed her heart, so over the years she had six different lovers. Each lover taught her different lessons and also bestowed upon her their gifts.
The problem was, her situation that the princess was under an enchantment that had been passed down the matriarchal lineage from grandmother to mother to daughter and with each generation the enchantment grew stronger until someone in her lineage became wise enough to break the spell.
The enchantment was, when princess was in love with her beloved, everything seemed ok ,until the shadow of resentment, anger, and regret clouded her view. When the build up of layers of hurt entered her heart the beloved one would turn into a wild swan and flew away. After this happened several times to the Princess she decided something had to change. She needed to find away to break the spell.
One evening the Princess was quietly sitting next to a mountain lake right before sunset. Some of you might know that the crack between the worlds is at sunset and sunrise, a moment when the purest of magic can happen. The princess visited this lake many times because it was there the wild swans had made their home. She would go there and feed the flock of swans bread crumbs left from her morning meal. The Princess’s heart would feel heavy laden with regrets and disappointments.
But something was different tonight on the lake, there was such a silent moment that Princess gazed at the lake. She could see herself so clearly. It was like looking into a gazing mirror. All of a sudden in a blink and a wink a gentle wind blew rustling the leaves on a flowering tree. Ever so slowly, flower petals gently fell from the tree blessing the Princess. The Princess looked up from gazing at her true image and standing before her was her Fairy-Godmother. The Fairy-Godmother looked upon her with wise eyes of compassion.
The Fairy-Godmother was such a sight! She wore a bird nest in her snow-white hair and sparkles of fairy dust would fly each time she moved her head ever so slightly. Her dress was made of stars and her eyes sparkled like looking into a bonfire. But it was her voice that carried the truest magic because when she spoke it was the language of the soul. The sound of her voice stirred memories so deep that one felt that they had been awakened from a dream.
The Fairy-Godmother looked deeply into the Princess’s soul and in that same moment the six swans gathered around the Princess settling at her feet for they also wanted to hear what the Godmother had to say.
The Godmother began to speak. “It is time you awaken from the enchantment you have been carrying, for generations from your female ancestors. The women in your lineage have blamed their trials and tribulations on the men they have married, because they never found their true Beloved . They never truly connected to the Beloved one that lives within the soul. The Beloved one that may change forms from one lover to the next but is infinite and eternal. The Beloved is true love and always will be love. The Beloved is the very Essence of Love.
Layers upon layers of blame have been projected on the men in your ancestor’s lives without taking responsibility for their own thoughts or emotions. So with each generation the curse has been carried, but tonight as you gazed into the lake and saw your own true image it opened the door to new possibilities, the possibilities of breaking the enchantment.” “But it will take courage of heart and much dedication to do this task. Are you ready?” asked the Fairy-Godmother.
The Princess look at the six swans lovers around her and said, “Yes I do not want to hurt anyone anymore for loving me or for me loving them I am ready!” “Perfect” said the Fairy-Godmother. ” The first thing you will have to do is gather stinging nettles from the rich soil of the swamp, then remove their leaves. Once the leaves are removed you will need to smash the nettle stems with a rock and find the nettle fiber that is within the stem of the nettles. Then I want you to make a fine yarn of the nettle fiber. Once you have enough nettle yarn I want you to knit a shirt for each one of the six swan lovers and you have to do this within six moons. You cannot speak a word during the entire process. You must do this in silence. Do you agree to do such a task?” The Fairy Godmother asked. The Princess thought deeply about the difficult task this would be but as she looked at the swan lovers gathered around her she knew she had to break the spell and without a doubt in her mind she said , “Yes!” And as magically as the Fairy-Godmother appeared she disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Immediately the Princess began her task of gathering stinging nettles in the muddy swamp as she did this the nettles would sting her arms and her legs leaving a red rash. Something happened as she gathered the nettles the memory of hurt would arise in the layers of her heart. She would remember events and the circumstances that took place with one of her lovers. The only way she seem to get through the painful experience of nettle gathering and bad memories was to deeply breath and let go and forgive the images of bad circumstances. When she first started this project it was very difficult because her mind wanted to judge and hold on to each circumstance. She sometimes felt guilt, blame, or failure, but with her breath a spaciousness was created and openness of seeing the circumstances differently. She found in the silence she could listen to her soul and her difficult task began to change. When the Princess began to pound the nettle stems she began to have a breakthrough experience.
She began to see everyone she had ever loved were under the curse of genetical patterns from their parents and grandparents. These patterns were so embedded in everyone they actually got in the way of truly loving each other. When the Princess began to knit the shirt for the first swan lover she was ready to forgive him and herself for everything that ever took place. She remembered the love that brought them together and she let go and forgave. She began to knit love into every stitch of the nettle fiber shirt. It was not a love that wanted to turn back the clock but a love that was not judging or blaming or holding onto what had happened. It was an unconditional love that allowed a place for her Beloved to live in her heart again.
The moon waxed and waned with each cycle until the Princess came to sixth moon, by this time her soul silence had deepened and it became easier to find the thread of the original hurts. She had used all the nettles of the swamp and nothing was left. It became easier to forgive and not take what happened so personally . She was working at her task as the moon began to grow fuller and fuller as she knitted the last shirt she realized she had run out of nettle yarn. It was a full moon night and the Princess did not know what to do. All the six shirts were done except the last sleeve on the sixth shirt. The Princess was on the lake totally perplexed to how to finish her task. At that moment tears filled her eyes. She had come so far but her task was not complete all she could do was say a little prayer and surrender her work to the Great Unknown.
At the moment of total surrender, moonlight began to shine on the six shirts and the wind rustled the cattails growing on the lake. The Fairy-Godmother with the swan lovers magically appeared in moonlight. The Fairy-Godmother waved her wand and the nettle shirts rose in the air and were gently placed on the shoulders of each of the swan lovers. She waved her wand a second time and the swans lovers became men again. Each man thanked the Princess for breaking the enchantment and giving them back their original form. The last swan lover stood in front of the Princess. He had completely transformed except he still had one swan wing. He bowed his head to the Princess and thanked her for her dedication and her love towards him and put his wing around her. He drew her close to his body as his wing sheltered her. The Fairy Godmother looked at the couple and said…This lover has vowed to take the responsibility to also transform his family patterns into unconditional love and understanding and when this task is complete his arm will be restored. He now wants to take you under his wing to be your Beloved among Beloveds.
Note; From out of the Old French Crusade legends the tale of the Swan Knight Le Chevalier au Cigne, written around 1192, the legendary ancestor of Godfrey of Bouillon. Godfrey of Bouillon. a French Knight lead the First Crusade. He later became the first European ruler of Kingdom of Jerusalem. He would not take the title of King because he felt Christ was the true King of the Jerusalem.
Later the German Arthurian writer Wolfram von Eschenbach created a tale about the Swan Knight, Lohengrin who is the son of Parzival, Knight of the Holy Grail. He is sent in a swan-boat to rescue a maiden who can never ask his identity.