Category Archives: Celtic Path

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.