Danu's Cauldron: Wisewoman's Ways, and Wild Fey Magic

Living in a sacred landscape, walking between the worlds in the veil of Avalon Glastonbury. Where the old gods roam the hills, and the sidhe dance beneath the moon...wander into the mists with me and let us see what we may find...

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Danu Forest

Danu Forest

Danu Forest wisewoman, witch, seer, walker between the worlds, healer, druid, priestess, teacher, writer, gardener, herbwife, stargazer, faery friend, tree planter, poet, and wild woman lives in a cottage near Glastonbury Tor in the midst of the Avalon lakes, in the southwest of England. Exploring the Celtic mysteries for over 25 years, and noted for her quality research, practical experience, as well as her deep love of the land, Danu writes for numerous national and international magazines and is the author of three books: Nature Spirits, The Druid Shaman, and (coming soon) Celtic Tree Magic.


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In this the second final part of my blog on working with ancient sacred sites, I look at offerings and how to approach the powers of place with the right attitude...

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  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    that sounds great Natalie- i often leave hair too, its quite literally a gift of myself, and green too! I know modrons well i visi
  • Natalie Reed
    Natalie Reed says #
    In the mid-90's I was fortunate to visit the southwest of England on a tour of sacred sites. One of those sites was Modron's Well
A guide to working with Sacred Sites and the Powers of Place- part 1

I spend a lot of time in 'sacred spaces', especially ancient sacred sites.  To be able to visit somewhere sacred that is thousands of years old is such a privilege in the modern world. To be able to spend time somewhere set aside from the everyday world, a place for sacred activities and communion with spirit is a wonderful thing. Yet we often we know little about what protocols were used there in the past, especially when it comes to the ancient Celtic, Bronze age and Neolithic sites so common across the British Isles. We can know a lot about the archaeology of a site but spiritually, psychically, energetically it's a different matter. These places can be so evocative, yet somehow remote from our lives today. So in this first of a small series of blogs on working with sacred sites I thought I'd start at the very beginning, and discuss a little about how to approach these sacred places, to get off to the best start with the 'powers of place'. I work with ancient places in Britain and Ireland primarily, but in my experience the same goes wherever you are.    

I've seen people relate to ancient sacred sites in a variety of ways, and its always interesting. Sometime's the genius loci, otherwise known as the local residing gods or 'powers of  place' work their magic on us even when we don't realise it, and sacred dramas, lessons and healings  play out without any conscious awareness- people lose things, cars don't start, cameras and phones run out of batteries, people feel weepy or angry, push their own agendas too heavily, or feel so intimidated by the idea of unseen presences that they lose all ability to 'act natural'-and either assume the mantle of ego driven spiritual expert or spiritual supplicant,  consumed by self doubt or even fear just by being there. Our model about how to be in a sacred space, is for many of us at least, guided by experiences of being in churches, where the spiritual hierarchy and etiquette is clear. But it's not the same in ancient sacred sites, there is rarely a human priestess or shaman for example residing there to oversee or guide what we do.

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Ancestral hearths- A wisewomans Cornish Retreat.


This winter has been a season of wind and rain, and I've been lucky enough to spend some well needed time really seizing this opportunity to look within, to seek vision in the deep silence of the fireside at night, and take some time out to go on retreat on the wild Cornish coast, a place of pixies, ancient tin mines that stretch for miles filled with the ghosts of times past, and tales of pirates and shipwrecks.

Cornwall is an ancient land, where Celtic villages like Carn Euny and Chysauster can still be found. Their stones walls breaking through the hummocks of turf, it's possible to stand by their hearths and look out to sea, as they did long ago. Traders with the Romans, Greeks  and those who came before, these were a proud and clever people. They mined their land for tin,  copper and even gold and lead, and were skilled metal workers with trading links all across Europe. Sitting sheltered from the harsh February winds against their strong walls there is a still and steady presence, as if the passage of time can be cast away and it is possible to sense their lives all around.

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Solstice at the stones and sacred wells- two ceremonies upon our ancient sacred land.

Solstice Blessings everyone! On the 21st, in the northern hemisphere, we celebrate the winter solstice, the shortest day when the Sun appears to 'stand still' while at its lowest  point in its yearly cycle. From then until the summer solstice in June the sun will shine for a little longer each day, in time bringing back the light and warmth.

In Britain this sacred time is said to be overseen by an ancient figure known as the Holly King- a counterpart to the Oak King who rules over the summer, both perhaps aspects of the Green Man, that mysterious divine figure which features in so many ancient Celtic tales. These beings have most evidence in the Middle Ages, but hark back to far older pagan traditions, reflecting both the importance of the oak to the druids, and the evergreen holly as its protective 'other face' during the winter months. The holly is said to have many magical powers, protecting from storms and ill wishes hence is presence as a decoration in the home over the darkest time of the year. It is also helpful as a Celtic 'power plant' in overcoming our own darker issues; pain, anger, jealousy, fear, grief, the darkness of the underworld within our own spirits. It achieves this by raising our life force, our kundalini, to give us the strength to overcome adversity within. The Holly King is a guide and guardian of this inner and underworld, known as Annwn in Celtic lore, which aligns energetically as well as psychologically with the mortal realm over the winter months, calling to us to seek stillness and sink into the cave, the great cauldron of the earth, to look within and seek rest and renewal...

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  • Jeremy Lopez
    Jeremy Lopez says #
    I have been trying to reach you by e-mail and gotten no response. Not sure if you are not receiving the e-mails.
Celtic Tree Magic- ogham lore and druid mysteries

This month has seen the culmination of many years work for me, with the release of my latest book 'Celtic Tree Magic- ogham lore and druid mysteries.' ( Published by Llewellyn worldwide).

My spiritual journey began well over 20 years ago now, with the trees. The trees were where I felt my connection to the divine, where I felt a connection to spirit the most strongly.  It's still true for me today. My magical training began with herbs and tree lore, and I quickly understood that the trees were powerful, graceful spirits, which a host of healing qualities, magical attributes as well as tales and lore that preserves the Celtic druidry and wisdom of my ancestors. In the Celtic lands, they are some of our most potent 'power plants' our most trusted spiritual allies.

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  • Tiffany Lazic
    Tiffany Lazic says #
    Hi, Danu ~ That is my next project - collecting woods to make such a set :-) It may take quite awhile to create (I'm thinking year
  • Tiffany Lazic
    Tiffany Lazic says #
    Dear Danu ~ I love working with the Ogham. I have some handmade sets. The Pracownik deck, of course - which is beautiful. And I ju
  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    Hi Tiffany- oh yes handmade sets are the best- especially when each one is the right wood...i love going out with my son and colle

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A Blessing to you an and all your line this Samhain / Calan Gaeaf...

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The Apples of the Avalon...  a search for the soul.

I love the autumn in Avalon. Today I spent a wonderful golden afternoon walking amongst the apple orchards. The last of the summer sun warmed my skin, and turned the lingering dew on the grass into a million diamonds...the air was rich with the heady scent of ripe apples, a hint of wood smoke and cider as the fallen fruit burst with juices and fermented upon the soil. The apples on the bough, still firm and full of life, russet and gold, hung like garlands of jewels amongst the turning leaves. Damsel and dragonflies flitted around in clouds of azure blue and metallic green, alighting on the rich blackberries and the scarlet rosehips. The air was still, the silence broken only by the cawing of the crows, the distant cries of the buzzard circling over Glastonbury Tor. All around was natures abundance, overflowing and decadent, lingering still before the coming winter, lazy and full bellied.   

The apples of Avalon are highly sacred. The mythical Isle of Avalon, the Isle of Apples traditionally held to be here, in Glastonbury in the south west of England, is a place of rest and wholeness, a place of healing. An Otherworldly Isle, positioned on the veil between the worlds, it is the first stop for travellers passing in either direction- a place of immortals and faery spirits, as well as wandering mystics, prophets, and lost souls seeking redemption. Modern day Glastonbury is much the same, a meeting place of spirits seeking something more...to cross the veil, or get a glimpse of the divine that here can feel so tantalisingly close. And always, the answer, the goal, the grail that is sought is summed up by the simple apple, the fruit of the gods.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Once again you soothe and inspire us with your evocative descriptions, your poetry and the sharing of your inner peace. Blessed Be

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