All posts by Gwenyfur

Gwenyfur is a Celtic Witch living in the USA. She performs all types of services in the community, from readings to healing rituals, rites of passage, marriage, wiccanings, funerals, and counseling. She is dedicated to sharing her knowledge of magics, the Goddesses and Gods of the Celts, and currently online classes for those who are finding their feet on the path to wisdom. She has been a Celtic Witch for 30+ years and in that time has studied under and then served as High Priestess and Mantle Bearer for the Celtic Tree Tradition and served on the local leadership counsel of pagan affairs. She currently works within her community to bring healing and harmony as well as leading public rituals. She is a public speaker and teacher at many festivals around the country. If you'd like to have her visit and teach on Old World Witchcraft, please email

Energy Working

I’ve come across so many questions around energy and working spells, readings, healing, and other magickal works that I feel it’s time to share some tips and tricks so you aren’t completely exhausted for days afterward.

During the old days a Priestess would be given 3 days of rest following a Sabbat ritual, healers often were able to take time to rest and be taken care of by their apprentices after a difficult healing, and what we coin as “Self Care” was part of the daily routine then. Not so today. So how do we avoid that exhaustion from the continuing Workings that modern Priestesses and Clergy are constantly performing?

Easy! Connect with an energy source that’s not your own personal well! When you set out for the day, whether a psychic fair with back to back readings, healing spells and rituals for those that work in Chaplaincy, or massage therapists, or just your average everyday Workings for yourself, friends, and family; connect with the energy of the Universe instead of relying on your own personal well of energy.

The Universe has plenty of energy for every magick worker out there, no matter the type of magicks they are performing, that energy is limitless and infinite. This is how some practitioners can be out and about doing all kinds of magicks all day long and still have the energy to have dinner, take care of family, and all of those other magickally mundane tasks we all have in our modern world. So connect to that instead of relying all on your own. No magickal practitioner is an island – shatter that illusion of separation, connect with the infinite, and find out exactly how powerful you truly can be!

Clergy Killers

In our walks on the twisted paths we have all come across what are somewhat less than affectionately known as pagans of convenience. These less than original or real people who leave the faith of their upbringing, call themselves pagan, pick a Goddess or God based on what they feel would be most impressive and set about making everything about themselves magical. These “pagans” may go to classes, and get readings, and dip their toes into this pond or that pond or where ever until the moment someone says “time to initiate”  or “time to dedicate” or even “let’s do some work to broaden our understanding” or anything else to do with growing your self knowledge, your power, and your abilities. All of a sudden the excuses start to flow on why they can’t do this activity, or how that activity is stressful for them, or painful, or any myriad of a thousand other excuses. They aren’t really part of the group to learn, to stretch their boundaries. They aren’t there to Dare to be the Witch they claim they are, they are only there for the party. While these types often present themselves as useful, helpful, and eager to learn, be careful as they can also hold your circle, siphon off the focus of your intent for ritual, rabbit trail your circle classes, and even put monkey wrenches in the flow and meter of your rituals, spells, and workings. In dealing with these types I find that challenging them with tasks and homework push them to excel while challenging them to actually work toward becoming a truly magickal creature. These tasks can range in methodology but the challenge of the tasks usually get them to remove themselves from classes, and eventually they pull away from rituals as they subconsciously come to a realization that causes them to leave the circle. Though usually that subconscious pulling away usually finds a way to blame the leaders of the circle, the classes as being too difficult, or other members for being “cliquish”. Do not let these types rattle you or their angst threaten your own peace of mind. In the Christian world these types are known as “Clergy Killers” for good reason, do not let them have that power over you as a leader.

Yeah, about that…

There is a stunningly beautiful place here in Nevada called Pyramid Lake. It is on the Washoe Paiute reservation and is a naturally Brine lake and the only home to the cuhcui fish as well as the Washoe Pauite tribe. This is a large lake and is open to recreational use for a moderate fee, with one exception – The Pyramid Island itself. You must be a member of the Washoe Paiute Tribe to visit this space as it is believed to be the source of the lake and is the most sacred of  places for the People. There are rock formations there that are believed to be the Mother of The Paiute tribe and her handmaiden,

Evenings on the beach can be spent doing numerous things that are typical of evenings camping, open fire, making s’mores, listening to music, sharing space with friends, playing corn hole, or if you’re of a mind, watch the Spirits dancing by the water, listening to the cries of the coyotes, owls, and other nocturnal creatures of the desert, even swim in the brine waters of the Mother’s tears.  From personal experience – sitting in the shallows in the moonlight and listening to the world breathe as the moon’s light reflects off the waves and currents is an unbelievably mind expanding, experience.

As Witches we are sensitive to sacred spaces no matter the source of Spiritual belief that created them, we sense them, feel them, acknowledge the Divine Wisdom within  them and we honor them.  When we are approached by spirits in pain or in need we usually respond in a way that returns balance.

With all of this in mind, imagine my surprise that a fellow Witch would brightly and happily say that she’d made arrangements with another to go visit the Pyramid Island. When I brought up that it was forbidden for people who are not Washoe Paiute to visit, they shrugged and stated it was enough that they wanted to see it.  When I tried to explain how offensive it would be to the People for them to violate their Sacred Space in such a way as intruding uninvited, they once again stated their intent to visit and in the interest of peace I spoke no more and remained silent. My silences can be *very* loud and say more than any number of words from my lips.

As I’ve reflected on the conversation, my outrage, and their seeming entitled attitude about a Sacred Space that is not theirs, they’ve not been invited to, and intend to intrude upon even knowing they aren’t welcome reminds me that in our rush to be seen and accepted as Witches, some of us have indeed forgotten or ignored what it truly means to be a Sacred Being, to walk in balance between light and dark, and to honor the Divine that we find in our travels.

Magickal people, with our additional senses should be held to a higher ethical standard when it comes to that honoring of Sacred and Divine spaces in order to more protect and heal our Mother Earth. If we as Witches become just as guilty as those who have no care for her by desecrating, disrespecting, and dishonoring these spaces of Betwixt & Between by any means,  then we are as guilty of the destruction and desecration of our Mother as any who deliberately pollute her lands, rivers, and oceans.  By doing so a Witch breaks their oath to the Mother, the Goddess, and all creatures will mourn the loss of that source of light.

Black Moon

Moon lore for a Black Moon ranges from the silly to the incredibly powerful magic that can be employed.

A Black  moon in its simplest terms is the 2nd New Moon to fall within a calendar month.  This Friday is such an auspicious date.

This ultimate Crone’s Moon, the Black Moon.

This moon can be used for many types of magic:
Deep Oracle Trancing
Crowning of a new Crone or Sage
Divination into the darkness where there is trouble to be resolved
The strongest of bindings can be performed under the Black Moon
The letting go of bad habits
The beginning of a new stage of life

Many things can be applied to the powerful energies of the Black Moon,

My favorite part of Black Moon lore is that it leads to portals to the Otherworlds, The Upper, the Under, to the Sidhe, to the Ancestors, each one being a singular shift in consciousness that takes you deeper than you’ve imagined possible. This is the night to travel, to rejoice, to spend time with those who’ve gone before you, to explore with your Guardians, and to revel with the Cousins.

This year, this is the night of my Croning…I procrastinated when I relocated to Reno, and have procrastinated since…but now is the time I claim the power that’s been gifted, use the experiences of life to help others, and to continue teaching the next generation to be one with the Universe, One with the worlds.


Food for a Celt’s Soul

The importance of food in Celtic Ritual and Magic

In Celtic ritual practices there are several times that food is ingested as part of ritual. At the end of every full and new moon ritual we take part in cakes and ale. Every Equinox and Solstice we honor the ancestors with a feast. During Samhain we also have a Dumb Feast where we commune with our ancestors as we feast, not a work is spoken aloud.

The significance of Cakes and Ale as part of ritual is a sign of service – just as Orthodox and Catholic priests serve the Host so too does the Priestess bless both the Cake and the Receiver and again she will serve the circle, blessing both the ale (which could be ale, wine, mead, or fruit juice) and the receiver again. In return each member blesses the Priestess for her service to them as a group. This not only reconnects each member of the circle as friends, confidantes, and companions, sometimes even family of choice. The service itself also serves to remind the Priestess as the Priests that they are companions of the Divine called to serve the needs their community and not just their own wants and desires.

The significance of the Ancestor feasts are to remind us from whence we came, that we are made up not only of flesh and blood, but the hard work and sometimes love of the generations before us. We honor our ancestors who changed the world, made history, sacrificed daily, and struggled to live and maintain our beliefs in the face of persecution and death. We honor the Ancestors for the gifts we have in our lives today, and even now science has shown that trauma from previous generations’ leaves a mark in our genetic material as published in Discover Magazine  With that said, as we feast and share foods, we also share the stories of those we knew well, the legends of those who are well known, and the family myths and stories of generations past.

For Celts, the hearth, and the comfort, nourishment, and nurturing it represents is sacred, as is the food we eat, and liquids we drink. We came from the earth and in time will return to the earth to replenish the soil with nutrients again.

Bright Blessings be with you always,

Gwenyfur Draigtanllwyth
Founder and High Priestess
Gathering WIND
May 2016


The Wheel has Turned

Hard to believe the Wheel has fully turned since my last posting. I keep telling myself to sit down and write and keep getting distracted.

So, I was fortunate enough to travel to Dublin, Ireland a few months ago. The processing of events is still ongoing but has reached a point that I can now make sense of what happened, how my previous life intersected with my current life, and how I can apply the new knowledge gleaned from the ancestor there to my current physical experience.

So on with the story. ..

January 23rd this year was a full moon, and in my exuberance to experience as much as I could while I was there I booked a tour to see NewGrange and Tara and the Village Slaine. I met the coach at AIB, and quickly paid and got my seat early that Saturday morning. I settled in for the drive and eagerly listened to the Mary as she shared her knowledge of the surrounding areas of our drive, battle sites, birth sites, historical data that can only be shared in the fine Irish tradition of Story Telling. I was in heaven on earth the depth of her knowledge and how she shared it was truly enchanting.

We arrived at the Newgrange museum site where I was surprised to learn that this passage mound predated even the great pyramids of the Giza plateau, by nearly a millennium, and continued the tour through the displays they’d created after the excavation of the mound on the times, tools, shelters, and lifestyle of the indigenous people of the time. Their lifestyle quite resembling the Native Americans of the southwest at the time the Europeans discovered them a few hundred years ago.

The Neolithic art of the site is amazing, the way it has survived nearly 7 thousand years makes it all the more mysterious and magical. There are literally thousands of theories on what the different pictographs and symbols may mean, but no one truly knows for sure – that being the case – I went to my default and felt with Spirit instead of Intellect.

We left the museum on small shuttles and were driven up to the actual Newgrange mound, which I found thoroughly energized with ancestral energies, and a familiarity (though I’d never been there before in this physical experience) that was almost cozy and warming.

Our group was then separated into 2 groups, I went with the first group into the mound, the passageway is very narrow, and the entrance so low that even at my 5’3″ I had to duck to avoid a concussion from neolithic stone. An echoing voice in my head chimed in at that point “I didn’t have to do this before!”  I’ve had random voices chime in before so I wasn’t off balance yet, and continued up the passageway until I reached a small room with 3 alcoves each felt of a different energy, each contained a large stone bowl, and each in a different direction. The passageway itself is East, the 3 alcoves are South, West, and North.

The alcoves are covered in carved grafiti from 4 hundred years of unguarded tours, scribbled names and dates all the way back to the late 1600’s, which just goes to prove mankind has always been afflicted with the jerk gene. But, beneath that horrid graffiti looking through it, past it, beneath it is some of the most amazing, beautiful and pure neolithic art you will ever find. Enough so that they set the tone for the alcoves.

I studied the South and the energy coming from there was masculine, warrior, the guardian of the people, the strength of conviction and provision a masculine energy of fixing, treating, and commitment.

I then turned to the West alcove, where the art was still as stunning, and found an energy of life there. Life being lived, loves being together, pride in children, the gathering of crops, the grinding of wheat to bread, birth, rebirth, just that lovely passion filled energy that we call living.

I then turned to the South, and again the voice chimed in “My bones are gone!” I silently answered that it was the year 2016 of course they’re dust by now! And went on to study the alcove itself, the art was swirls and spirals, stars and the sky, including recognizable astrological signs, and the energy was mystical, magical, definitely the energy of Other, be it Witch or Fae, a mixture of the two perhaps, when people and the Sidhe lived and communed together perhaps? But Magical is the only sense of energy you can pull from that alcove – it vibrated with it, to the point of thrumming, and I was enthralled, at this point hearing the tour guide as if from a great distance as the ancestral energy began to rise and drown out nearly every other sense.

It was then our turn to leave the mound and I did so already half entranced. With the full moon that day the House of Brigh had decided to gather at our different places and points in time and create a healing chamber for our Founder, Teacher, and Mentor. And there’s a convenient circle just outside of the mound off to the southeast just a tad.

It’s there that I walked until I heard the voice chime in again “This is my spot” I slipped out of my shoes and put my bare feet to the green grass of the land and began the exercise to call the ancestors and the Sidhe to help with my work.

What happened next was life altering and I admit I will not share all of the details, as there were personal messages shared, ancestral knowledge passed on that I’m still digesting, and those neural changes that working with the Fae always brings that take time yet give so much in return.

Although it’s there that Thorin, my friend and guardian through many magical adventures, misadventures, and mundane antics in my life revealed himself to actually be Fae, Some people say they have Guardian Angels…I have a Guardian Fae whose voice I’ve known since infancy, whose voice I’ve argued with or ignored as I tread where angels feared to go, whose sarcasm I’ve growled about, but whose presence is as familiar to me as my own face, and now I know who and what he is, how he’s appeared to me in the past is nothing to how I saw him on that hillside in that circle.

There is a truth to the Fae being called the Shining Ones, and in their true form they are truly Fearfully Glorious.

Family Trials

My dreams have been full of travel of late. With the discovery that the Witch spirit is drawn where needed by those who are in need it’s been an interesting week of spirituality, exhaustion, and challenge.

I work full time in the software industry in a long hours high stress position, as well as VA chaplain, as well as teaching and conducting rituals at our local community temple, so I’m no slouch when it comes to keeping busy. The Spirit wills – or as a new acquaintance and fellow Witch would say – The Witch Blood knows!

I’ve had 2 losses in the past year that hit me hard – one I helped to cross over when I arrived – as he was lingering in some confusion near his coffin at the funeral home and watching us with fear and an almost desperation since he didn’t feel his work was done as yet.

The other, ran from her fate in the otherworld and is fast turning to poltergeist with the animosity, angst, and vitriol of the spirit that comes when you’re faced with the hypocrisy of your lifetime coming along to bite you in the ass.

Both of these people were christians in their lifetime, and while the former went peacefully across – not quite happy to leave his family to their respective fates, but accepting that he no longer belonged in this world at this time gave a sad smile and went into the arms of his Savior.

The latter – lived a life of false faith, her words and professions of faith being in direct opposition to her actions and deeds. She lived an embittered life, always blaming something other than herself for whatever situation she found herself in, always ascribing it to a twist of fortune, the backstabbing of another, and never gave so much as a penny to help another without attaching a string to call in that “favor” later if she thought she needed.

The latter lingered near her body – was angered by the Pastor’s words of “comfort” to the family, as I was by his rose colored description of this embittered, angry, and cruel woman I’d known all my life. She had already seen where her afterlife was leading according to her faith and her spirit already embittered and angry became malevolent.

She’s been haunting my mother ever since the rest of the family left a week after the funeral – last October. Time and again my mother has spoken of not sleeping – of grandmother calling her name long into the wee hours of the morning, of the toilet flushing by itself, of the sink turning itself on, of the coffee pot appearing on the counter again (mother doesn’t drink coffee) and many other oddities that are exacerbating her bipolar depression.

Mother is also a Christian and isn’t comfortable asking for me, as a Witch, to deal with the situation as I know I should, but in her dreams and her sleeping times, her need pulls the Spirit of Witch, and the Blood knows where it is needed, and off traveling in my sleep I go.

While I stand guard – mother sleeps soundly – while my spirit talks with the malevolent angry thing that was once my grandmother, it gives my mother peace enough to sleep – and she is improving. Though the past couple of weeks – I’m fast reaching exhaustion.

The malevolence has lessened and may in time accept the fate her faith has planned for her – or may in time simply fade as many of the once born do…but in the meantime – these nocturnal travels will continue – and the conversations will continue until I convince my grandmother to accept or fade.

I sometime wonder if I shouldn’t just banish this spirit and be done – even with the rancor and hatred I had from her in life – I cannot find it within myself to force her to the nothingness of the once born or to the fated “hell” of her faith. I am saddened she didn’t make her peace and faith real prior to her death, and continues to be so angry and bitter…I know that even now – by her faith – she would be welcomed in a much nicer place if she could let go of the baggage and just for a moment – purely believe – and in that pure moment of faith – she could finally find peace.


The Wheel is ever turning!

With the beauty of the world coming to life surrounding us I am again in awe of the cycle of nature, the world, the universe.  As I was surveying the winter damage to the gardens I came across the crocus poking through the ground and in bloom, so excited I had to snap a picture, then stood mesmerized by their purple beauty, their strength to bloom in the frosty temperatures, and the promise the first flowers of Spring always seems to hold.

As I continue surveying the gardens and beginning the yearly clean up of the detritus and leavings of Winter, I found Iris already beginning to poke their blades through the earth, daffodil greens beginning their yearly climb to the surface, and miracle of miracles, the honeysuckle beginning to bud leaves.

The old saying of “Hope springs eternal” comes to mind as I continued surveying the rest of the gardens, roses, backyard that is already turning green, and I found myself by the Beauty Tree anticipating the glory that it will become in late Spring. The hope brought with signs of returning life, the earth waking from slumber, and the new adventures that await in the mountains during the warm season.

With the long winter of near fatal illness, slow healing recovery, the frustration of missed goals and deadlines, I find my spirit again coming to life with the promise of hope. Hope that life indeed continues, hope that projects can be begun, restarted, and that health and prosperity have returned with the waking of the world.

May this same hope infuse your spirit with the new life of Spring and give you the motivation to see your goals accomplished.

Blessed Be!


New Beginnings

In this equidistant time between Imbolc and Ostara we are in the middle of our New Beginnings. The time of year when we put into motion all of those plans, intents, ideas, and wild hair inspirations that have come to us through the quiet resting season of Winter.

Spring is coming! As we begin to see the crocus poking through the frozen earth – the very first flowers of the coming Spring remind us that now is the time, now is the day, this is the season to begin. We begin to look forward to the sun in our eyes driving home as we relish the longer days appearing. We’ve begun to plan our flower beds for this year, our vegetable gardens, and have begun looking at our herbs to see if they’ve survived the winter or will need replanting this year.

We’ve started to walk away from the Darkness of Winter and into the Light of Spring. The temperatures remain chilled and in some places downright cold, but we move forward knowing the Light is here and the promise of Spring draws nigh.

This is the time to put your prosperity magic for the year into place, so that it grows with the light. This is the time to put action to plans for projects, tasks, and purpose to the goals you intend to reach. Time put into action all of those steps, plans, goalposts, mile markers and other action points to accomplish all that you’ve planned for the year.

This is a good time of year to visit with the Goddess and prioritize your plans and goals. The wisdom of the ages is simply moments away as we meditate and commune with the Divine, the Universe. With this wisdom we can often wind up not chasing our tails in fruitless wastes of energy, but move forward with confidence – putting our Will into place and Creating the results we wish to see in and around us.

Meditative journeys such as Cerridwen’s Cauldron, The White Goddess, or Animal Guide meditations are good to keep us going as we implement our plans.

In the spirit of this season of beginnings:

Let’s be about it!

Blessed Be!

The Ever Turning Wheel

I was reminded tonight of the ever turning wheel, not by our seasonal changes, our sabbats and esbats, but by a shining beacon of bravery, light, and sweetness that is facing her wheel turning with the end of this time and crossing over to the summerlands.

She is quiet, unassuming, caring, and vulnerable to people who have derided her beliefs as a Witch. She spent her life sacrificing and caring for others asking little for herself, and as we talked about her final arrangements, and perused the stories, prayers and rituals I had thought to bring along with me, she smiled, chatted, and became animated; openly shining with an inner light of strength and peace.

As I gave her a blessing of the Goddess’ and Gods’ tears welled in her eyes, though not tears of sorrow and fear, but tears of joy and peace. Her heart was overwhelmed with the good things she had surrounding her, the strangers who had become friends, and we shared a brief moment of harmony as sister witches at peace with the world around us and the friendship we formed in those moments.

I am reminded that we are all here until the wheel turns in our time and that each of us will face our crossing over in our own way. We each have our tasks to accomplish, our lessons to learn, and our paths to walk to completion. I can only hope to face the time of my turning with the grace, serenity, courage, and peace that she is facing hers.

Blessed Be!