Posts Tagged With: Celtic

Hawthorn Tree

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Over a century ago, the musical play H.M.S. Pinafore debuted on the London stage. On of the songs from the score insisted that “Things are seldom what they seem.” These words personify the hawthorn–a tree that in folklore, is much more than what it seems. Even in modern Ireland you’d be hard pressed to find someone willing to move or harm one for fear of upsetting the capricious fairy sprites who call it home.

When you need to know what is what, call upon the spirit of the hawthorn to assist you:

Fairies of the hawthorn I ask,

A favor and simple task;

Show me what is false and true,

And I will give a gift to you.

When you’ve received a vision of your answer, tie a pretty ribbon on the bush or plant a coin near its base in thanks.

Copyright Edian McCOy Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2004 Page 67

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Flashback 2009 Samhain

SAMHAIN 2009

An example of a Samhain altar.

This is Hecate’s holiday, a celebration of the Crone and the powers of the dark feminine principle. This is the Celtic day of the dead, and a power day in the wheeled calendar. The Celts traditionally wore white to welcome the first day of winter and the increasing darkness. By now the garden should be cleared; tools cleaned, oiled, and out away. The house gets its own cleaning, windows polished to a sparkle, freshly laundered curtains re-hung. Scour the front step to remove bad luck and rinse with sage tea to protect all who dwell within. Toss the old broom and use a new one to sweep away misfortune. The ash from old fires should be removed from the hearth and the stones scrubbed; lay a new fire to light the way for the ancestors.

The descent into darkness from which all new life and ideas come is a potent time for prophecy and omens. Astrological Samhain (November 7) has powerful Crone Moon that lends veracity to her predictions just at dawn. Give honor to the Triple Goddess with offerings of roasted apple and hot cider. Bob for apples to commemorate the trip by water to Avalon. The magical power hour for the gibbous Halloween Moon is ten or so.

Copyright K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2009

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Celtic Dragon Taqrot for Monday 3/30/2015

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8 of Wands

Eight Dragons fly across the deep, mysterious void of cosmic sky, each one holding a crystal-topped wand. Starlight flashes off the crystal tips of the wands. The stars are spiritual beacons that guide those who journey through life. Oftentimes, those on a life journey feel as if they are in a bottomless void, with no direction, and use your willpower (wand) to find your way to your goal.

Divinatory Meaning

Barriers fall and events move quickly. Urgent messages of a positive nature come your way. You may take a journey, possibly by air.

Copyright 199 A guide to the Celtic Dragon Tarot D. J. Conway Copyright 1999 Illustrations Lisa Hunt

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Let’s Talk Witch – What is Celtic?

Celtic & British Isles Graphics
What is Celtic?

 

Definition:

For many people, the term “Celtic” is a homogenized one, popularly used to apply to cultural groups located in the British Isles and Ireland. However, from an anthropological standpoint, the term “Celtic” is actually fairly complex. Rather than meaning just people of Irish or English background, Celtic is used by scholars to define a specific set of language groups, originating both in the British Isles and in the mainland of Europe.

Celtic studies scholar Lisa Spangenberg says, “The Celts are an Indo-European people who spread from central Europe across the European continent to Western Europe, the British Isles, and southeast to Galatia (in Asia Minor) during the time before the Roman Empire. The Celtic family of languages is divided into two branches, the Insular Celtic languages, and the Continental Celtic languages.”

Today, the remains of early Celtic culture can be found in England and Scotland, Wales, Ireland, some areas of France and Germany, and even parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Prior to the advancement of the Roman Empire, much of Europe spoke languages that fell under the umbrella term of Celtic.

Sixteenth-century linguist and scholar Edward Lhuyd determined that the Celtic languages in Britain fell into two general categories. In Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland, the language was classified as “Q-Celtic,” or “Goidelic.” Meanwhile, Lhuyd classified the language of Brittany, Cornwall and Wales as “P-Celtic,” or “Brythonic.” While there were similarities between the two language groups, there were distinct differences in pronunciations and terminology. For specific explanations on this fairly complex system, read Barry Cunliffe’s book, The Celts – A Very Short Introduction.

Because of Lhuyd’s definitions, everyone began considering the people who spoke these languages “Celts,” despite the fact that his classifications had somewhat overlooked the Continental dialects. This was partly because, by the time Lhuyd began examining and tracing the existing Celtic languages, the Continental variations had all died out. Continental Celtic languages were also divided into two groups, the Celt-Iberian and Gaulish (or Gallic), according to Carlos Jordán Cólera of the University of Zaragoza, Spain.

As if the language issue wasn’t confusing enough, continental European Celtic culture is divided into two time periods, Hallstatt and La Tene. The Hallstatt culture began at the onset of the Bronze Age, around 1200 b.c.e., and ran up until around 475 b.c.e. This area included much of central Europe, and was focused around Austria but included what are now Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, northern Italy, Eastern France, and even parts of Switzerland.

About a generation before the end of Hallstatt culture, the La Tene cultural era emerged, running from 500 b.c.e. to 15 b.c.e. This culture spread west from the center of Hallstatt, and moved into Spain and northern Italy, and even occupied Rome for a time. The Romans called the La Tene Celts Gauls. It is unclear whether La Tene culture ever crossed into Britain, however, there have been some commonalities between mainland La Tene and the insular culture of the British Isles.

In modern Pagan religions, the term “Celtic” is generally used to apply to the mythology and legends found in the British Isles. When we discuss Celtic gods and goddesses here at About Pagan/Wiccan, we’re referring to the deities found in the pantheons of what are now Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland. Likewise, modern Celtic Reconstructionist paths, including but not limited to Druid groups, honor the deities of the British Isles.

Author: Patti Wigington, Pagan/Wicca Expert

Article found on & owned by About.com

 

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To Gain Money

Fill the cauldron half-full of water (I use a shallow clear bowl) and drop a sliver coin into it (I use a nickel I have found somewhere if I have one). Position the cauldron so that light from the Moon shines into the water. Gently sweep your hands just above the surface, symbolically gathering the Moon’s sliver.

While doing this, say:

Lovely Lady of the Moon, bring to me your wealth right soon. Fill my hands with sliver and gold. All you give my purse can hold.

Repeat three times. When finished, pour the water upon the Earth (and keep the coin in your wallet or pocket). This is best done at the Full Moon.

Celtic Magic by D. J. Conway; page 146 Copyright 1990

Categories: Celtic Magick, Charms/Talismans, Coven Life, Daily Posts, Magickal Boosters, The Sun, The Moon, etc., Money Spells, Spellcrafting | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – The Eight Keys to Celtic Magic

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Let’s Talk Witch – The Eight Keys to Celtic Magic

Every folk group has special traditions with regard to magical practice. To the contrary of trends in modern occultism these traditions are not merely windaw dressing on a universal pattern- the differences reflect real and often profound variations between and among traditions. In studying the Celtic traditions of magic certain unique themes occur which are worth pointing out. These themes help distinguish the Celtic traditions from others. If these themes are found inspiring, then the Celtic tradition is a place to explore them further in the environment of ideas which will lead the seeker to deeper findings along the same path.
1. Magic of the Head
NO other tradition, with the possible exception of the Slavic, is more focused on the human head (and brain) as the seat of magical powers. When one reads the ancient Irish tales one becomes aware of the degree to which the Celts were head hunters. The reason for this is that their magical physiology holds that the head is the seat of power- an honour. This a warrior attempts to steal from an enemy, and assume himself. Hence the ancient Irish were known to eat a portion of a slain enemy’s brain. The head-hunting practices of Irish fighters continued until the mid-19th century, when early Irish immigrants to North America fighting for the Confederacy were known to have hunted the heads of Union soldiers. (See Professor Grady McWhiney’s book Attack and Die.) Also, however, the heads of one’s own ancestors were to be preserved- and displayed at certain holy times. This “cult of the head” is conspicuous at the Celtic temple at Roquepertuse, which contains stone pillars with niches into which the heads of ancestral heroes were placed. This is without doubt also the ultimate origin of the “jack-o-lantern”the carved cephalomorphic gourd familiar in Halloween customs. It is thought by many that the myth of the head of Mimir, which informs the God Odin, is ultimately a Celtic influence.
2. Memory
Mimir means memory- and the exercise of memory in and of itself seems to have a magical importance for the Celts. This is a trait they share with the Aryans of the east. The Druidic training program is said to have consisted of twenty years of learning lore by memory. The exercise of this faculty for its own sake, beyond the ready access to information it provides to the subject is something the Celts seem to have especially appreciated. the ogham system was most certainly one of the practical tools used in this exercise. Poems and stories were among the things memorized.
3. Story-Telling
The stories recited by Celtic tellers of tales were not merely for entertainment- they were also not merely mythic tales in which the traditions of the people were encoded. Stories are actually said to have operative magical effects. It might be said that the hearing of a certain story would bring a number of years of good fortune, but the telling of a story would bring even more. (See Rees and Rees, The Celtic Heritage.)
4. Language and Music
No people seem more Iyrical than the Celts. The linkage between music (harmonics) and language (meaning) is strong. In the lore of magic this reaches its apex in operative techniques by which changes in the environment, or in the human mind, can actually be effected by means of musical strains alone. This is a theory explored by the Pythagoreans, but in the lore of the Celts it appears to have been an ancient traditional operative technique.
5. Inter-Dimensionality
No other traditional lore seems to have a better or more realistic understanding of the magical experience of inter-dimensionality. The regular interaction with the “otherworld” or the “underworld” is a common feature of Irish and Welsh mythic tales as well as folktales from the Celtic cultures. It is from these that the Arthurian legends inherit their “inter-dimensional” features- such as the Grail Castle appearing and disappearing from various “places” at various “times.” This mutual effect of one “world” upon another is reflected in the very grammar of the Celtic languages wherein one word, when juxtaposed to another for a specific grarnrnatical, syntactic and semantic purpose, will cause the latter word to change its shape (sound). For example the Irish word for “cow” is bo, and the word for “white” is ban, but to say “a white cow,” one must say, or write, bo bhan [pron. boh-vawn].
6. “Satirizing”
By the use of words – of poetry – the fili(“master poets”) were able to cause physical changes in the bodies of other individuals. This was done with “satire.” The fact that satirical verse has a patently humorous aspect is the essentially Celtic dimension here. Because Celtic kings could not rule if they suffered any physical defect or blemish, all the satirists had to do in order to depose a king was to, by means of a satirical verse, raise boils on his face. All would see the blemish, and his rule would be at an end.
7. Operative Fasting
Fasting for “spiritual” reasons is familiar throughout the world. To fast-really to starve the body – in order to make subjective changes is obvious. Celtic magicians could, however, “fast on” their enemies as an operative curse formula. By starving himself to near death the sorcerer can actually cause the death of his enemy. This technique is something entirely different from, though apparently related to, the use of fasting as a way to “protest” supposed injustices. This latter technique works only through the medium of information in the context of public morality, whereas the operative fasting of the ancient Celtic magicians worked in a mysterious way.
8. Magical Taboos
Again “taboos” – negative prohibitions against certain behaviours– and other behavioural sanctions are familiar in most religious traditions. The Irish gess [pron. gaysh] (plural gessa) is most often translated something like “taboo.” It is, however, something quite different from what is usually meant by this word. A gess, although usually a prohibition against behaviour, actually provides power to the individual. The more gessa that have been “put on” a person (usually by a sorcerer) the more danger recipients live with- but also the more power recipients have at their disposal. To have a gess is both a curse and a boon simultaneously.
These eight distinctive points of Celtic magic, being aspects which distinguish that tradition from others, should be focal points of research and practice in any program to develop a true magical renaissance of the Celtic tradition.

 

Author:

by Edred Thorsson

An Assue Wytch’s Book of Correspondences

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February 18 – March 17: Celtic Tree Month of the Ash Tree

 February 18 – March 17

Celtic Tree Month of the Ash Tree

Those born under the Celtic tree astrology sign of the Ash are free thinkers. Imaginative, intuitive, and naturally artistic, you see the world in water-color purity. You have a tendency to moody and withdrawn at times, but that’s only because your inner landscape is in constant motion. You are in touch with your muse, and you are easily inspired by nature. Likewise, you inspire all that you associate with and people seek you out for your enchanting personality. Art, writing (especially poetry), science, and theology (spiritual matters) are areas that strongly interest you. Others may think you are reclusive, but in all honesty, you are simply immersed in your own world of fantastic vision and design. You are in a constant state of self-renewal and you rarely place a value on what others think about you. Ash signs partner well with Willow and Reed signs.

WHATS-YOUR-SIGN.COM

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About Those Born Under the Sign of the Ash Tree (Feb. 18 – Mar. 17)

About Those Born Under the Sign of the Ash Tree – The Enchanter

February 18 – March 17

Those born under the Celtic tree astrology sign of the Ash are free thinkers. Imaginative intuitive, and naturally artistic, you see the world in water-color purity. You have a tendency to moody and withdrawn at times, but that’s only because your inner landscape is in constant motion. You are in touch with your muse, and you are easily inspired by nature. Likewise, you inspire all that you associates with and people see out for your enchanting personality. Art, writing (especially poetry), science and theology (spiritual matters) are areas that strongly interest you. Others may think you are reclusive, but in all honesty, you are simply immersed in your own world of fantastic vision and desire. You are in a constant state of self-renewal and you rarely place a value on what others think about you. Ash signs partners well with Willow and Reed.

Source
Whats-Your.Sign.Com
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