Category Archives: Wiccan

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

 

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.

Ostara

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!