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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Celtic
Eriu, returning to the great cauldron.

 

Arthurian tales tell us of the Holy Grail, not the cup of Christ, but a sacred vessel, a symbol of the goddess at the heart of the land, the sacred womb which sits in the centre of Annwfn- ‘the deep place’ of Welsh myth.  In earlier tales it was a cauldron as mentioned in Preiddeu Annwn ‘The spoils of Annwn’, a poem by Taliesin as a great vessel at the heart of the land which was ’kindled’ by the breath of nine maidens, or priestesses. Here we find the sacred source, the well of Segais in Irish myth, the place where life and wisdom spring eternal and renewed. A sacred place at the centre of things.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Imbolc and Brighid's blessing

 

Imbolc blessings to you! 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Faerie Enchantments

Magic is the science and art of causing effect to occur in conformity with our will. This will has to be focused and expressed creatively, through images, symbols, ritual, art or music - anything that connects us to the flow of Awen. The Faerie Enchantment cards are designed with these ideas in mind. -- Ian Daniels

I love it when I find beautiful, useful oracles on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. It seems that this is the golden age of publishing for the bold, the innovative, the avant garde--especially for those who create and produce independently (i.e. without the strictures and interference of traditional publishers). 

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In the Celtic tradition, the Sun is female, a divine light and life bringer, so the Summer Solstice honours this season as a time of great fruitful goddess energy, but also a time of great power. In Celtic times summer solstice fires would be lit on beacon hills and high places to honour the sun and ward away evil, as this is a time when the veil between the worlds is said to be thin, encouraging interchange between the world and the spirit realm.

Sacred hills such as Cnoc Áine in Limerick, Ireland, named after the sun goddess Áine, were places of great ceremony in Celtic times, with fires lit there until at least 1879. Áine was also known as a Queen of the Faeries, the Sidhe, and one tale tells of how she emerged from the hill to ask the revellers to head home early so her people could come out for their own celebrations.  Her sister is the Goddess Griéne, meaning 'Sun' is associated with Cnoc Griéne , also in Limerick. It's likely that both these hills were once beacons hills with Fires lit to honour the solstice since ancient times. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tony Lima
    Tony Lima says #
    This day I wonder if she really cares about being honored. Keeping her secrets in knowledge of time and place, yes - a vital esse
  • Tony Lima
    Tony Lima says #
    This day I wonder if she really cares about being honored. Keeping her secrets in knowledge of time and place, yes - a vital esse


This May I was blessed to be asked to teach at a wonderful event at Dunderry Park in County Meath in Ireland. 'Animystics' was a two day event that wove together various Celtic traditions and earth based practices to really deepen our connection to the earth and our own souls. My session was all about connecting with tree spirits, and the tradition of the Bile, or sacred tree, clan totem and representative of the world tree in the Celtic Traditions. Standing there, in a field on a beautiful May morning, I was struck again by how such simple acts as breathing and being present to nature can restore our balance, and by extension our connection to our own sovereignty, our own souls, and the soul of the earth Herself. Dunderry is just a few miles from the hill of Tara, said to be the ancient seat of the semi- mythical high kings of Ireland, and I felt the ancient ancestors, with their passionate love of the land reach out to us, to remember, and honour Her again as a way to restore ourselves in these often troubled times.

Tara is such a special place, a wide green hill that overlooks a vast and verdant landscape. On a clear day it is said you can see all of Ireland from it's summit. Once an Iron Age hill fort, it is also home to a Neolithic burial mound, 'the mound of the hostages', granting access to the womb of the earth, the realm of the sidhe, and the Lia Fáil, or Stone of Destiny, said to have been brought from the otherworldly city of Falias by the Tuatha de Danann, the Irish gods. The Lia Fáil is said to cry out when the rightful king stands upon it. Once it stood beside the mound, but now it stands sentry a little further off, overlooking the wide plains below. Whether this solitary monolith was truly the ancient mythical stone will always be up for debate, but standing there touching its weathered grey sides, sensing the endless generations that have come here, and used this as the touchstone, the still and central point to anchor their spiritual and earthly selves together, to find that link to sovereignty in a world that tries to take so much soul and so much power from us, is always a healing and humbling moment.

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On Wings of Song - The Many Faces of Rhiannon

On Wings of Song

The many faces of Rhiannon

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • katherine manaan
    katherine manaan says #
    This was absolutely fascinating and I truly appreciate the scholarship. I'm going to go read the rest of your posts after I digest
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    O this is lovely! When you spoke of Rhiannon in one of your talks, you hinted at so much more. This is richly done--thank you.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The equinoxes have been marked across the British Isles since the earliest times as agricultural markers, revealing the times of seed sowing and crop reaping as well as honouring the patterns of growth and decrease in our lives. In Ireland the Neolithic burial complex at Loughcrew known as Sliabh na Callighe of  'the hills of the veiled one' contains many astronomical alignments, and the interior of one of its structures, known as Cairn T is illuminated by the equinox sunrise, revealing spectacular designs carved into the rock over five thousand of years ago.  Archaeology reveals that Loughcrew has been a place of ritual and ceremony at the equinoxes for much of that time, a tradition that has been revived enthusiastically in the modern era, the footsteps of the pilgrims today walking the same paths as the ancestors thousands of years ago.

Another lesser known ancient place aligned to the equinoxes is West Kennet Longbarrow, part of the Avebury sacred complex, now a UNESCO world heritage site. I've spent many a night here, in communion with the ancestors, and to me this is a place where the barrow forms a recumbent goddess, receiving the spirits of the dead to return their spirits to life in the spring. 

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