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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Spring is here, but for so many in the world right now, the great greening of nature is overshadowed by our need to guard our health and bring healing to ourselves and our communities. Herbal medicine has been used throughout the world for millennia, and there are a great many herbal home remedies that can be used at this time to ease the symptoms of the dreadful pandemic we are now facing- none of these can be used to completely defeat the virus, or are substitutes for medical assistance when necessary- but they can help ease the symptoms. Simple herbs like thyme for tea to ease coughs, garlic nettle and licorice to support our health and healing, etc, are all useful and safe…with a host of advice to be found online for their uses- but a little extra magic can go a long way to supporting our healing, and  our states of mind when tackling illness in the home, and I’d like to share with you a little Irish lore which I apply when making my home remedies. I invoke the goddess Airmed, mistress of the healing herbs at times like this, to guide me and bless my work.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Seeing spirits is a common thing in the Celtic traditions. A glimpse out of the corner of your eye, a shimmer in the air, or a full film-like vision- the second sight, or more accurately, the two sights- an da shealladh- as it is known can take on all sorts of forms. It often seems to run in families, and it runs in mine to varying degrees. It is both a blessing and a curse, sometimes, and requires a very flexible yet strong sense of reality to stay grounded in the face of such experiences. Traditionally tales tell us that it is especially useful to foretell a death, but it is seldom so dramatic, or so straightforward in real life. Because the thing is, seeing spirits, just like seeing anything else in this life, isn’t necessarily all that directly useful all the time. It would be wonderful to say that everything I’ve ever seen has been clearly meaningful, and relating to my life and those around me, but like seeing anything corporeal in this world, its foolish to presume it’s all about you, and there are a great many things about the workings of the spirits that we just don’t know, and will never know when we walk the mortal path. Some things just are just getting on with what they do, and aren’t there to instruct or warn or do anything useful for you at all. In a way that can be much scarier than seeing ghosts or the trapped, caught- on- a- loop type energy recordings that are so often what people experience when they are somewhere haunted. There is no narrative for us, necessarily, any more than there is in seeing a stranger cross the road- it’s not a message for you- other than to say the Otherworlds are far vaster and more varied than we’ll ever know. 

That said, there are also friends out there, allies, and kin, regular welcome visitors…and those that walk with you sometimes. It’s traditional to make these offerings, and I reserve a special dish on my hearth and in my garden to leave them gifts of cream, honey and mead, as well as the best portion of every cake I ever bake. One such visited me a few weeks ago, busting into the room behind me in such a rush that at first I thought it was my son. A few moments later I experienced the first proper earthquake I’d ever felt, measured 4.4 on the Richter scale. A very rare thing for the UK. Was their visit a warning? Could I have stopped the earthquake? Of course not, and there was no danger for me and those I loved…no, it was not a warning. But it was lovely they came to tell me all the same. An da shealladh doesn’t always have a use, it’s not like in the movies, but it’s still a gift, in the long term, if you are strong enough…to see a wider reality, and feel a wider, greater sense of kin. I still think a greater sense of scale, in the heart and in the mind- is a good thing.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    Thanks Ted! i like to think the hill just shrugged off what it didnt want!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is delightful, Danu. Thank you for the timely reminder that it's foolish to presume it's all about you! You're right: a gre
Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, April 27

More thoughts share on the connection between politics and religion in Paganism. Avens O'Brien speaks about being raised within Paganism. And Heathens take a look at the history of Vikings in the Americas. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, January 20

Some of the most memorable parts of 2015 in the Pagan community are celebrated. The historical occultist and court mage John Dee is remembered. And the syncretic nature of Celtic reconstructionist polytheism is examined. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, November 18

This week for Watery Wednesday we take a look at Japanese Halloween, Wiccan "churches," and beginner Pagan's book lists.

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Beltane: The Cailleach’s Story (and Cailleach Film)

Some days when I look out my window from the Appalachians, I magically see the landscape of home, Scotland. The great mountain of Ben Lomond­ drawing in clouds of rain off the Atlantic. I can even hear the call of seagulls. No matter where I am in the world, I always feel that deep connection of a place called home.

That land, of which I am an integral part, is still connected to me, and still feeds me stories even though we are an ocean apart. One familiar character is the Cailleach, so old that even she doesn’t realize her own age. If you were to ask her how old age she was, she would reply:

'When the ocean was a forest, I was just a young girl'

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thanks you - lovely to read and wise and wonderful words for my soul.
  • Jude Lally
    Jude Lally says #
    Many thanks Lizann x

 

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