Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Celtic Knotwork

   I discovered this page while looking for instructions on Celtic Crocheting. They're very informative on how to draw your own Celtic Knotwork with digrams, pictures and even animations on how to create your own designs and to do so easily. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Divine Friday


               Pronounced Air-oo, Eiru is another example of an Irish triple goddess with sisters Banba and Fotla. She is the daughter of Ernmas of the Tuatha De Danaan. The fertility of the three extends past sustenance and into the granting of kingship upon husbands and worthy warriors, giving them a large role in the shaping of the land of Ireland and its future.
                Eiru exhibits this ability to grant sovereignty in The Second Bttle of Mag Tuired where, young in spirit and untouched by man, she lays with a man, who appears on a shimmering boat, for one hour. When he goes to leave she begins to cry, one, because he is leaving and, two, because she gave her virginity away. He then gives her a ring and says to never give it away unless to a person whose finger it fits. He tells her he is Elatha mac Delbaith, King of the Fomorians and that she will bear a son from their meeting and should name him Eochu Bres, Eochu the Beautiful. This son becomes king in place of Nuada some years down the line but is then ousted due to his stingy ways. This shows an example of Eiru granting sovereignty to her son as the land itself.
                As the years go on, she marries another Irish king, Cethor, son of Cermait, who has two brothers Sethor and Tethor who also serve as kings of Ireland by marrying Banba and Fotla, respectively. These three are also known as “son of” the individual gods they worship: “Mac Cuill – Sethor, the hazel his god; Mac Cecht – Tethor, the ploughshare his god; Mac Greine – Cethor, the sun his god. As the land of Ireland it’s interesting Eiru’s connection with the sun through Mac Greine. The land and sun work together to sustain crops and vegetation; both are needed to create life. Since the sun and the earth are sometimes married in mythology, they are symbiotic entities that need each other in order to create bounty and abundance. Her marriage to Cethor and her encounter with Elatha shows not only a goddess who is flexible and has an ability to work with others but also, as a fertility goddess, she is comfortable with the power that comes from losing oneself in the merging of another to create something that is greater than either.
                Call upon her at harvest time or for help with earth magic.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Coming of Autumn

   There is something about the autumn air that brings me a sense of peace, tranquility and motivation.

   I'm not sure if it's the cool air, the traditional start of a new school year or the promise of dreams to come in the upcoming year but as soon as the first crisp, cool breeze of fall begins to sweep in, I can feel my energy pick back up after being drained in the harsh summer heat and my creativity bubble.

   This year my hopes lie in the promise of a new start in a different home, but with familar faces. A promise of a home, a place to settle down, a stable job and life, and my daughter being raised with parents not constantly worrying about how much money we'll have to put food on the table or keep rent paid for the month.

   I want my creativity to flow over into my creations for both my Etsy shop and any festivals I can find locally. I want confidence in my work and pride in what I do create, whether I am able to sell anything or not.

   I want more understanding of the gods and their purpose for me. I need direction and clarity.

   May they bless both you and I this season. :)

Central NC Pagan Pride Days

   As I mentioned last week, this past weekend I had the privelege of being a vendor at the Central North Carolina Pagan Pride Days Festival in Raleigh, NC.

   It was WONDERFUL! It ran both Saturday and Sunday but I was unable to attend Saturday due to the rain and having my daughter with me (didn't want her getting sick) so we went back Sunday. Had a little slow start, the group to the right of us was a well established store called Compass Rose, and to the left was a singing bowl and massage (maybe Reiki?) demonstration so my little handmade pagan craft area was passed over quite a few times!  lol But once the day finally set in and the crowds showed, things started to pick up!

   I believe I got the most compliments on my poppets and goddess dolls. It is a great feeling to make something and spend all your time and energy pouring yourself into it and then have someone either buy it or at the very least compliment on how much they like it!

   Alas, I don't have any pictures. My battery died in my camera and we were unable to get a new one beforehand.

   I wish we could return next year but we're moving in just a few weeks so this my only showing. However, that doesn't mean I can't find one near where we're moving to and attend that one now does it?!

   If you've never attended a Pagan Pride Days Celebration (or a pagan festival in general) I highly encourage you to do so! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Luibh & Seoid

   (Luibh & Seoid means Herb and Stone in Irish.)

    This post is a little late seeing as how the full moon as on the 12th, however my computer was battling some viruses at the time making getting on the internet very difficult. But as promised, here are the first herb and stone pages going into my new grimoire. Look for the next two on the full moon in October. Also tomorrow's Divine Friday will be missing as I am preparing for our local Pagan Pride Day this weekend. Happy Thursday!


 Varying in colors from almost colorless, pale-violet or bluish violet up to purple or dark violet due to its iron content, amethyst is a stone of peace. It was used as a gemstone by ancient Egyptians while medieval European soldiers wore it as amulets for protection in battle. Hindus believed it could induce dreams and vision and Greeks thought it could prevent drunkenness. In fact, the name descends from Greek “amethystos” which means “free from drunkenness”.

          It is said that amethyst aids in the development of psychic awareness and keeping one with your divinatory tools will not only increase their powers but enable you to interpret messages with greater understanding and wisdom. It can be used as a crystal point, ball or pyramid in the room to make use of its healing properties or kept in a pouch or pocket.

          It is a stone that inspires healing of all organs and brings about mental peace and a state of relaxation. Held in the receptive hand (left if right-handed, or right if left-handed) or worn next to the skin, it’s vibrations aid in soothing, distressing and calming in stressful situations.

          Place beneath your pillow to ward off nightmares and insomnia.

          If the stone unexpectedly changes color, it may forecast frost, rain, a storm or a hurricane. It does not only predict natural disasters, but also guards it’s owners from them.


    Associated most often with love spells, the dried stalks of
lavender can also be used in spells aimed at attracting money, protection, success and to bring peace and calmness. Place in a satchet and carry on your person for good health.
  For peaceful sleep, use a few drops of essential oil on the sheets
or pillows. Apply undiluted to an area affected by a burn or scald and it will take away the pain quickly, allowing the skin to heal with almost no sign of damage. Can also be applied to a pimple as soon as you feel it forming, making it come to a head faster and helps with the swelling.

          It can be used internally for indigestion, anxiety, exhaustion, tension headaches and
migraines. Externally, lavender treats most types of burns, is used as an antiseptic and for anti-dandruff. It can also tone and revitalize the skin.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pagan Pride Days

   With Fall soon approaching, this season, especially the months of September and October, is popular for Pagan Pride Day celebrations. Take a look at their website to find one near you - Pagan Pride Day

   Also don't forget to check out Witchvox's website for any local events near you as well!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Divine Friday


Pronounced, Mah-ka, this particular goddess shifts characteristics and professions throughout Irish mythology; a deathly crow, a battle queen, and a winsome sidhe.  She is one of 3 daughters Macha, Badb, and Morrigan, collectively known as the Morrigan, and are the daughters of Ernmas, an Irish mother Goddess, and Delbaeth, High King of Ireland. They are also the sisters of another triplicity of Goddesses: Banba, Eriu, and Fodla, Goddesses of Irish sovereignty. Where the latter three Goddesses embodied the sovereignty of Ireland, the former three protected it, through war but also through life. There are actually three Irish mythological figures named Macha, and only one is warlike: Macha Mong Ruadh (Macha of the red hair), who fought to become queen after her father the king had died. Another Macha, the wife of Nemed, who led the Nemedians into Ireland, died shortly after their arrival, but not before prophesying the arrival of the third Macha. This third Macha appeared one day at the home of a widowed farmer and became his wife, and he soon became very prosperous. When he wanted to attend the Assembly of Ulster, Macha did not want him to go, but relented on the condition that he not mention her name. Unfortunately, the farmer boasted to the King of Ulster that his wife was faster than the king’s horses, and she was dragged to Ulster to race against the horses. Macha was heavily pregnant with twins at the time, but she still managed to beat the horses. After crossing the finish line, she went into labor, delivered the twins, and then died. As her dying words, she cursed the men of Ulster, saying that in the time of their greatest difficulty, they too would suffer the pains of labor and childbirth.
Macha’s name, which means “plain” (as in flat land), resounds throughout Irish mythology and history. The first Macha, wife of Nemed, was buried at Ard Macha (hill of Macha), now known as Armagh. The place where the third Macha gave birth became the capital of Ulster, Emain Macha (Macha’s twins). The hero Cuchulainn is given a horse by Anu named Liath Macha (gray of Macha).
In more detail, the tale of Macha the Red tells of Macha who was the daughter of Aed, one of three kings who took turns ruling.  When Aed died Macha rose to take his place on the throne.  Dithorba and Cimbieth objected to this so Macha challenged them to battle.  Macha defeated the other two kings and thus came to rule by not only inheritance, but by conquest.
At this point the tale differs, which I believe is dependent on how the word ‘cailleach’ is defined.  Gods & Heros of the Celts by Marie-Louise Sjoestedt tells us that Macha came upon the men as a beautiful woman, as cailleach is translated here as ‘the local Goddess’.  Other versions of the tale list that She came upon them as a hag or leper which could be resulting from a derogatory association of a crone, which cailleach is also translated as, perhaps a more modern definition to discredit the original. The tale continues that in this guise She used Her sexual wiles to lure the men, in order from the youngest to oldest, away from the others and into the forest where She bound them by Her magick.  It is thus said that She bound them by Her magick and then taught them by Her magick.  Afterwards the sons of Dithorba built the fort temple at Emain Macha where they remained in the service of “the Mighty Goddess” for the rest of their lives. 
Emain Macha is not the only location in Ireland bearing the name and a tale of Macha.  There is also the “Plain of Macha” and the “Hill of Macha”.  Perhaps it is from this that the idea of Macha as a group of Goddesses arises.  In “Gods and Heros of the Celts”, Marie-Louise Sjoestedt lists Macha as a group of seasonal Goddesses that were matronesses of the great feasts and the sacred sites they were held upon.

There is also a tale of Macha working with the land when the people first arrived to Ireland.  It is said that the land was so densely forested that the people could not grow food and their animals could not graze.  Macha came with Her Great Axe and cleared the land for the people.  This further ties Macha to the forests as it was also in the forests that She bound the sons of Dithorba. 

This tale and all of these land areas bearing the name of Macha and the seasonal indications bring us to Macha as land Goddess and Goddess of Sovereignty.  These aspects can also been seen in the outlay of Emain Macha being based upon Macha’s cloak pin.  Nicholas R. Mann furthers this association in Druid Magic where he describes a dream that leads him to the knowledge that if the sacred center of Pagan Ulster, Emain Macha, is based upon Macha’s brooch pin then the trees and landscape of Ireland would serve as Her cloak.  To me, this further reinforces Emain Macha as spiritual and political center of Pagan Ulster.  The sacred land would be Her mantle of sovereignty from which the chosen ruler would lead the peoples.  Being that leaders previously held their role in strong connection to the land and its sovereignty, this would seem to make Macha an integral part of the landscape, the rulers and the people as well as making connections to the fertility of the land.  These ideas also lead us back to her association as a Horse Goddess as the horse carries a strong tie to sovereignty for the Celtic peoples. 

Perhaps the most well known attribute of Macha is as a part of the Morrighan.  It is within this group that Macha is known as one of the Battle Goddesses of the Tuatha De Danann.  It is interesting to note that in this group the magical abilities of Macha come to the forefront again.  It is said that as part of the Morrighan Macha used no weapon, only her magic.

                Her stories indicate that she is the initiator of new phases in life and also in death, which to the ancient Celts was just an extension of this life. She runs fast, acts decisively and kills without compassion. She is a goddess of far reaching power and should be honored with respect and deference, but not fear. She gives us a place to find our own strength and courage to achieve our own goals and dreams.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Celtic Zodiac"

   When I first began researching and studying Celtic Paganism, one of the many things I came across was something called the Celtic Tree calendar, or Celtic Zodiac. According to Jones Celtic Encyclopedia:

Modern pagans are wont to promote a certain "Celtic Tree Calendar" which has thirteen months, named for trees, based upon the ogham alphabet. Some of them assert that the Celts followed this calendar, and that proof of this can be found in the existence of ogham, and in the works of Robert Graves. Unfortunately, this is as false as the assertion that the druids built Stonehenge.
First, it should be stated that like most (if not all) human civilizations, the Celts had a calendar--one which existed before the Romans, or at least independent of the Romans. It is known from Irish literature that there were four important holidays in the year--Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnassadh--and from archaeological findings (namely stone chambers, circles, etc.) it is possible they adopted the solstices and equinoxes, though these were not as important, but considered "mid" days (hense "midwinter," "midsummer").

   And I admit, I copied all this down and made a pretty table in my BoS that had all the months with their corresponding trees listed beside them all while having no idea that this was based off a book a man had written 50-some years ago with no proof behind it.

  I am part of a Celtic Paganism group on facebook and one of the members shared the article below which explains a little more on why it's false. While it doesn't attack Robert Graves like one would expect, it does clarify things.

   As a side note, there WILL be a divine Friday tomorrow. It's been missing because of Hurricane Irene blowing through here but that's over and done with now.  :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Irish Lullaby

  In an Irish mood today and thought I'd share this lullaby I found. I'm trying to find a sound clip of it so I know how to sing it, so if anyone knows where to find one, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Too Ra Loo Ra Loo RalThat's an Irish lullaby
Children's Song

Over in Killarney,
Many years ago,
Me mither sang a song to me
In tones so sweet and low.
Just a simple little ditty,
In her good ould Irish way,
And I'd give the world if she could sing
That song to me this day.

Hush, now don't you cry!
That's an Irish lullaby.

Oft, in dreams I wander
To that cot again,
I feel her arms a huggin' me
As when she held me then.
And I hear her voice a hummin'
To me as in days of yore,
When she used to rock me fast asleep
Outside the cabin door.

Hush, now don't you cry!
That's an Irish lullaby.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

House Blessings

   Happy September!

   We're one month closer to my favorite seasn and time of the year. I love Autumn and with it brings the Holidays! Not only the Celtic New Year, Samhain, but also Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as both my husband and my daughter's birthdays and this year she turns the big 1!

   We're also looking forward to moving out of our current housing situation and in with my family for a bit to get stable and back on our feet. Once that happens we're going to be looking at finally buying our own home and what better way to get started then with some house blessings along with a trusty smudging of the house.

   In our current home, I placed Brigid's crosses over both our front and back doors as well as in the kitchen over my stove to go along with the small kitchen altar I have set up as well. Naturall, two of the blessings I have found below inlude her in them! I hope they are useful to all of you as well!

Candle Blessing

  ~Light a candle and bring it to the doorways, hearth and corners of each room while reciting this blessing~

May Brigid give blessing and the Dagda give protection
to the house that is here -
both crest and frame, both stone and beam
both clay and wattle, both summit and foundation
both window and timber, both foot and head
both woman and man, both young and old
May this house and family be under protection of the gods and goddesses
Banished are all malevolent spiris and disruptive forces

                                                                      Brigid's Crosses

Art by Mickie Mueller

~Place Brigid's crosses above all entrances to the home while reciting this Celtic House Blessing~

May this house be founded
on the goodness of Mother Earth
May the walls of this house be blessed
By the four winds of the heavens
May the roof of this house be guarded
By the height of the stars above
So that all who live in this house, all who seek shelter in this house,
all who strive, protected by this house, find hope and strength to live
Find love and joy to give, find faith and meaning in their destiny.

Irish House Blessing (*I modified this one to read "Gods" instead of a singular "God")

Gods bless the corners of this house
and be the lintel blessed
and bless the hearth
and bless the board
and bless each place of rest
bless each door that opens wide to strangers and to kin
and bless each crystal window pane
that lets the sunshine in
and bless the rooftree overhead
and every sturdy wall
The peace of man
The peace of the Gods
The peace of love to all