Posts Tagged With: White Goddess

Pagan Musings (A Wonderful Read for All Pagans)

Witchy Comments & Graphics
Pagan Musings

Tony Kelly of the Selene Community in Wales wrote these words in 1970. Modern Paganism still draws inspiration, unity, and peace from these words. Blessings upon you all…please read, and enjoy…

We’re of the old religion, sired of Time, and born of our beloved Earth Mother. For too long the people have trodden a stony path that goes only onward beneath a sky that goes only upwards. The Horned God plays in a lonely glade for the people are scattered in this barren age and the wind carries his plaintive notes over deserted heaths and reedy moors and into the lonely grasses. Who knows now the ancient tongue of the Moon? And who speaks still with the Goddess? The magic of the Land of Larine and the old Pagan God shave withered in the dragon’s breath; the old ways of magic have slipped into the wells of the past, and only the rocks now remember what the moon told us long ago, and what we learned from the trees, and the voices of grasses and the scents of flowers.

We’re Pagans and we worship the Pagan Gods, and among the people there are Witches yet who speak with the Moon and dance with the Horned One. But a Witch is a rare Pagan these days, deep and inscrutable, recognized only by her own kind, by the light in her eyes and the love in her breast, by the magic in her hands and the lilt of her tongue and by her knowledge of the real. But the Wiccan Way is one way. There are many; there are Pagans the world over who worship the Earth Mother and the Sky Father, the Rain God and the Rainbow Goddess, the Dark one and the Hag on the mountain, the Moon Goddess and the Little People in the mists on the other side of the veil. A Pagan is one who worships the Goddesses and Gods of Nature, whether by observation or study, whether by love or admiration, or whether in their sacred rites with the Moon, or the great festivals of the Sun.

Many suns ago, as the pale dawn of reason crept across the Pagan sky, man grew out of believing in the Gods. He has yet to grow out of disbelieving in them. He who splits the Goddess on an existence-nonexistence dichotomy will earn himself only paradoxes, for the Gods are not so divided and nor the magic lands of the Brother of Time. Does a mind exist? Ask her and she will tell you yes, but seek her out and she’ll elude you. She is in every place, and in no place, and you’ll see her works in all places, but herself in none. Existence was the second-born from the Mothers womb and contains neither the first-born or the unborn. Show us your mind and we’ll show you the Gods! No matter that you can’t for we can’t show you the Gods. But come with us and the Goddess herself will be our love and the God will call the tune. But a brass penny be your reason!, for logic is a closed ring, and the child doesn’t validate the Mother, nor the dream the dreamer. And what matter the wars of opposites to she who has fallen in love with a whirlwind or to the lover of the arching rainbow.

But tell us of your Goddess as you love her, and the Gods that guide your works, and we’ll listen with wonder, for to do less would be arrogant. But we’ll do more, for the heart of man is aching for memories only half forgotten, and the Old Ones only half unseen. We’ll write the old myths as they were always written and we’ll read them on the rocks and in the caves and in the deep of the greenwood’s shade, and we’ll hear them in the rippling mountain streams and in the rustling of the leaves, and we’ll see them in the storm clouds, and in the evening mists. We’ve no wish to create a new religion of our; religion is as old as the hills and older, and we’ve no wish to bring difference together. Differences are like different flowers in a meadow, and we are all one in the Mother.

What need is there for a Pagan movement since our religion has no teachings and we hear it in the wind and feel it in the stones and the Moon will dance with us as she will? There is a need. For long the Divider has been among our people and the tribes of man are no more. The sons of the Sky Father have all but conquered nature, but they have poisoned Her breast and the Mother is sad for the butterflies are dying and the night draws on. A curse on the conquerers! But not of us, for they curse themselves for they are nature too. They have stolen our magic and sold it to the mindbenders and the mindbenders tramp a maze that has no outlet for they fear the real for the One who guards the path.

Where are the Pagan shrines? And where do the people gather? Where is the magic made? And where is the Goddess and the Old Ones? Our shrines are in the fields and mountains, in the stars and in the wind, deep in the greenwood and on the algal rocks where two streams meet. But the shrines are deserted, and if we gathered in the arms of the moon for our ancient rites to be with our Gods as we were of old, we would be stopped by the dead who now rule the Mother’s land and claim rights of ownership on the Mother’s breast, and make laws of division and frustration for us. We can no longer gather with our gods in a public place and the old rites of communion have been driven from the towns and cities ever deeper into the heath where barely a handful of heathens have remained to guard the old secrets and enact the old rites. There is magic in the heath far from the cold grey society, and there are islands of magic hidden in the entrails of the metropolis behind closed doors, but the people are few, and the barriers between us are formidable. The old religion has become a dark way, obscure, and hidden in the protective bosom of the night. Thin fingers turn the pages of a Book Of Shadows while the Sunshine seeks in vain his worshippers in his leafy glades.

Here, then, is the basic reason for a Pagan Movement; we must create a Pagan society wherein everyone shall be free to worship the Goddesses and Gods of Nature, and the relationship between the worshipper and her Gods shall be sacred and inviolable, provided only that in her love of her own gods, she doesn’t curse the names of the gods of others.

It’s not yet our business to press the lawmakers with undivided endeavor to unmake the laws of repression and, with the Mother’s love, it may never become our business for the stifling tides of dogmatism are at last already in ebb. Our first work, and our greatest wish, is to come together, to be with each other in our tribes for we haven’t yet grown from our Mother’s breast to the stature of the Gods. We’re of the Earth, and sibs to all the children of wild nature, born long ago in the warm mud of the ocean floor; we were together then, and we were together in the rain forests long before that dark day when, beguiled by the pride of the Sky Father, and forgetful of the Mothers’ love, we killed her earlier-born children and impoverished the old genetic pool. The Red Child lives yet in America; the Black Child has not forsaken the Gods; the old Australians are still with their Nature Gods; the Old Ones still live deep in the heart of Mother India, and the White Child still has a foot in the old Wiccan Way, but Neanderthal is no more and Her magic faded as the Lilt and Archon burst their banks and the ocean flowed in to divide the land of Erin from the land of the White Goddess.

Man looked with one eye on a two-faced God when he reached for the heavens and scorned the Earth which alone is our life and our provider and the bosom to which we have ever returned since the dawn of Time. He who looks only to reason to plumb the unfathomable is a fool, for logic is an echo already implicit in the question, and it has no voice of its own; but he is no greater fool than he who scorns logic or derides its impotence from afar, but fears to engage in fair combat when he stands on his opponents threshold. Don’t turn your back on Reason, for his thrust is deadly; but confound him and he’ll yeild for his code of combat is honorable. So here is more of the work of the Pagan Movement. Our lore has become encrusted over the ages with occult trivia and the empty vaporing’s of the lost. The occult arts are in a state of extreme decadence; astrology is in a state of disrepute and fears to confront the statisticians sword; alien creeds oust our native arts and, being as little understood as our own forgotten arts, are just as futile for their lack of understanding, and more so for their unfamiliarity. Misunderstanding is rife. Disbelief is black on every horizon, and vampires abound on the blood of the credulous. Our work is to reject the trivial, the irrelevant and the erroneous, and to bring the lost children of the Earth Mother again into the court of the Sky Father where reason alone will avail. Belief is the deceit of the credulous; it has no place in the heart of a Pagan.

But while we are sad for those who are bemused by Reason, we are deadened by those who see no further than his syllogisms as he turns the eternal wheel of the Great Tautology. We were not fashioned in the mathematician’s computations, and we were old when the first alchemist was a child. We have walked in the magic forest, bewitched in the old Green Thinks; we have seen the cauldron and the one become many and the many in the one; we know the Silver Maid of the moonlight and the sounds of the cloven feet. We have heard the pipes on the twilight ferns, and we’ve seen the spells of the Enchantress, and Time be stilled. We’ve been into eternal darkness where the Night Mare rides and rode her to the edge of the Abyss, and beyond, and we know the dark face of the Rising Sun. Spin a spell of words and make a magic knot; spin it on the magic loom and spin it with the Gods. Say it in the old chant and say it to the Goddess, and in her name. Say it to a dark well and breathe it on a stone. There are no signposts on the untrod way, but we’ll make our rituals together and bring them as our gifts to the Goddess and her God in the great rites. Here, then, is our work in the Pagan Movement; to make magic in the name of our gods, to share our magic where the gods would wish it, and to come together in our ancient festivals of birth, and life, of death and of change in the old rhythm. We’ll print the rituals that can be shared in the written word; we’ll do all in our power to bring the people together, to teach those who would learn, and to learn from those who can teach. We will initiate groups, bring people to groups, and groups to other groups in our common devotion to the Goddesses and Gods of Nature. We will not storm the secrets of any coven, nor profane the tools, the magic, and still less, the gods of another.

We’ll collect the myths of the ages, of our people and of the Pagans of other lands, and we’ll study the books of the wise and we’ll talk to the very young. And whatever the Pagan needs in her study, or her worship, then it is our concern, and the Movement’s business, to do everything possible to help each other in the worship of the gods we love.

We are committed with the lone Pagan on the seashore, with he who worships in the vastness of a mountain range or she who sings the old chant in a lost valley far from the metaled road. We are committed with the wanderer, and equally with the prisoner, disinherited from the Mother’s milk in the darkness of the industrial webs. We are committed too with the coven, with the circular dance in the light of the full moon, with the great festivals of the sun, and with the gatherings of the people. We are committed to build our temples in the towns and in the wilderness, to buy the lands and streams from the landowners and give them to the Goddess for her children’s use, and we’ll replant the greenwood as it was of old for the Dryad stillness, and for love of our children’s children.

When the streams flow clear and the winds blow pure, and the sun never more rises unrenowned nor the moon ride in the skies unloved; when the stones tell of the Horned God and the greenwood grows deep to call back her own ones, then our work will be ended and the Pagan Movement will return to the beloved womb of our old religion, to the nature goddesses and gods of Paganism.

About these ads
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Wicca, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pagan Musings

PAGAN MUSINGS

We’re of the old religion, sired of Time, and born of our beloved Earth Mother. For too long the people have trodden a stony path that goes only onward beneath a sky that goes only upwards. The Horned God plays in a lonely glade, alone … for his people are scattered in this barren age, and the winds carry his plaintive notes over deserted heaths and reedy moors and into the lonely grasses. Who knows now the ancient tongue of the Moon? And who speaks still with the Goddess? The magic of the land of Lirien and the old pagan gods have withered in the dragon’s breath; the old way of magic have slipped into the well of the past, and only the rocks know remember what the moon told us long ago, and what we learned from the trees and the voices of the grasses and the scents of flowers.

We’re pagans and we worship the pagan gods, and wrong the people there are witches yet who speak with the moon and dance with the Horned One. But a witch is a rare pagan in these days, deep and inscrutable, recognizable only by her own kind, by the light in her eyes and the love in her breast; by the magic in her hands and the lilt of her tongue and by her knowledge of the real. But the Wiccan way is one path. There are many; there are pagans the world over who worship the Earth Mother and the Sky Father, the Rain God and the Rainbow Goddess and the Little People in the mists on the other side of the vale. A pagan is one who worships the goddesses and gods of nature, whether by observation or by study, whether by love or admiration, or whether in their sacred rites with the Moon, or the great festivals of the Sun.

Many suns ago, as the pale dawn of reason crept across the pagan sky, man grew out of believing in the gods … he has yet to grow out of disbelieving in them. He who splits the Goddess on an existence-nonexistence dichotomy will earn himself only paradoxes, for the gods are not so divided and nor the lands of the Brother of time. Does a mind exist? Ask her and she will tell you yes, but seek her out, and she’ll elude you. She is in every place, and in no place, and you’ll see her works in all places, but herself in none. Existence was the second-born from the Mother’s womb and contains neither the first-born nor the unborn. Show us your mind, and we’ll show you the gods! No matter that you can’t, for we can’t show you the gods. But come with us and the Goddess herself will be our love and the God will call the tune. But a brass penny for your reason! For logic is a closed ring, and the child doesn’t validate the Mother, nor the dream the Dreamer. And what matter the wars of opposites to she who has fallen in love with a whirlwind or to the lover of the arching rainbow.

But tell us of your Goddess as you love her, and the gods that guide your works, and we’ll listen with wonder, for to do less would be arrogant. But we’ll do more, for the heart of man is aching for memories only half forgotten, and the Old ones, only half unseen. We’ll write the old myths as they were always written, and we’ll read them on the rocks and in the caves and in the deep of the greenwood’s shade, and we’ll hear them in the rippling mountain streams and in the rustling of the leaves, and we’ll see them in the storm clouds, and in the evening mists. We’ve no wish to create a new religion … for our religion is as old as the hills and older, and we’ve no wish to bring differences together. Differences are like different flowers in a meadow, and we are all one in the Mother.

What need is there for a pagan movement, since our religion has no teachings and we hear it in the wind and feel it in the stones and the moon will dance with us as she will? There is a need. For long the Divider has been among our people, and the tribes are no more. The Sons of the Sky Father have all but conquered nature, but they have poisoned her breast and the Mother is sad … for the songbirds, and fish, and the butterflies are dying. And the night draws on. A curse on the conquerors: But not of us, for they curse themselves … for they are of nature too. They have stolen our magic and sold it to the mindbenders and the mindbendres tramp a maze that has no outlet … for they fear to go down into the dark waters, and they fear the real for the one who guards the path.

Where are the pagan shrines? And where do the people gather? Where is the magic made? And where are the Goddess and the old ones? Our shrines are in the fields and on the mountains, and in the stars, the wind, deep in the greenwood and on the algal rocks where two streams meet. But the shrines are deserted, and if we gathered in the arms of the Moon for our ancient rites to be with our gods as we were of old, we would be stopped by the dead who now rule the Mother’s land and claim rights of ownership on the Mother’s breast, and make laws of division and frustration for us. We can no longer gather with the gods in a public place and the old rites of communion have been driven from the towns and cities ever deeper into the heath where barely a handful of heathens have remained to guard the old secrets and enact the old rites. There is magic in the heath far from the cold gray society, and behind closed doors, but the people are few., and the barriers between us are formidable. The old religion had become a dark way, obscure, and hidden in the protective bosom of the night. Thin fingers turn the pages of a book of shadows while the sunshine seeks in vain his worshippers in his leafy glades.

Here then is the basic reason for a Pagan Way: we must create a pagan society wherein everyone shall be free to worship the goddess and gods of nature. The relationship between a worshipper and her gods shall be sacred and inviolable, provided only that in the love of one’s own gods, one does not curse the names of the gods of others.

It’s not yet our business to press the law-makers with undivided endeavor to unmake the laws of repression and, with the Mother’s love, it may never become  our business … for the stifling tides of dogmatism are at last already in ebb. Our first work and our greatest wish is to come together, to be with each other in our tribes… for we haven’t yet grown from the Mother’s breast to the stature of gods. We’re of the earth, and kin to all the children of wild nature, born long ago in the warm mud of the ocean floor; we were together then, and we were together in the rain forests long before that dark day when, beguiled by the pride of the Sky Father, and forgetful of the Mother’s love, we killed her earlier-born children and impoverished the old genetic pool. The Red Child lives yet in America; the old Australians are still with their nature gods; the Black Child has not forsaken the gods; the old ones still live deep in the heart of Mother India, and the White Child has still a foot on the old Wiccan way, but Neanderthaler is no more and her magic faded as the Lli and the Archan burst their banks and the ocean flowed in to divide the isle of Erin from the land of the White Goddess.

Man looked with one eye on a two-faced god when he reached for the heavens and scorned the Earth which alone is our life and our provider and the bosom to which we have ever returned since the dawn of time. He who looks only to reason to plumb the unfathomable is a fool, for logic is an echo already implicit in the question and it has no voice of its own; but he is no greater fool than he who scorns logic or derides its impotence from afar … but fear to engage in fair combat when he stands upon his opponent’s threshold. Don’t turn your back on Reason, for his thrust is deadly; but confound him and he’ll yield…for his code of combat is honorable. So here is more of the work of Paganism. Our lore has become encrusted over the ages with occult trivia and the empty vaporings of the lost. The occult arts are in a state of extreme decadence; astrology is in a state of disrepute and fears to confront the statistician’s sword; alien creeds oust our native arts and, being as little understood as our own forgotten arts, are just as futile for their lack of understanding, and more so for their unfamiliarity. Misunderstanding is rife. Disbelief is black on every horizon, and vampires abound on the blood of the credulous. Our work is to reject the trivial, the irrelevant and the erroneous, and to bring the lost children of the Earth Mother again into the court of the Sky Father where reason alone will avail. Belief is the deceit of the credulous; it has no place in the heart of a pagan.

But while we are sad for those who are bemused by Reason, we are deadened by those who see no further than his syllogisms as he turns the eternal wheel of the Great Tautology. We are not fashioned in the mathematician’s computations, and we were old when the first alchemist was a child. We have walked in the magic forest, bewitched in the old Green Thinks; we have seen the cauldron and the one becomes many and the many in the cloven feet. We have heard the pipes on the twilight ferns, and we’ve seen the spells of the Enchantress, and Time be stilled. We’ve been into the eternal darkness where the Night Mare rides and rode her to the edge of the abyss, and beyond, and we know the dark face of the Rising Sun. Spin a spell of words and make a magic knot; spin it on the magic loom and spin it with the gods. Say it in the old chant and say it to the Goddess, and in her name. Say it to a dark well and breathe it on a stone. There are no signposts on the untrod way, but we’ll make our rituals together and bring them as our gifts to the Goddess and her God in the great rites. Here then is our work in the Pagan Way; to make magic in the name of our gods, to share our magic where gods would wish it and to come together in our ancient festivals of birth, and life , of death and of change in the old rhythm. We’ll print the rituals that can be shared in the written word; we’ll do all in our power to bring the people together, to teach those who would learn, and to learn form those who can teach. We will initiate groups, bring people into groups, and groups to other groups in our common devotion to the goddesses and gods of nature. We will not storm the secrets of any coven, nor profane the tools, the magic and still less, the gods of another.

We will collect the myths of the ages, of our people and of the pagans of other lands, and we’ll study the books of the wise and we’ll talk to the very young. And whatever the pagan needs in her study, or her worship, then it is our concern, and the business of the Pagan Way to do everything possible to help each other in our worship of the gods we love.

We are committed with the lone pagan on the seashore, with he who worships in the fastness of a mountain range or she who sings the old chant in a lost valley far from the metalled road. We are committed with the wanderer, and equally with the prisoner, disinherited from the Mother’s milk in the darkness of the industrial wens. We are committed too with the coven, with the circular dance in the light of the full moon., with the great festival of the sun, and with the gatherings of people. We are committed to build our temples in the towns and in the wilderness, to buy the lands and streams from the landowners and give them to the Goddess for her children’s use, and we’ll replant the greenwood as it was of old for love of the dryad stillness, and for love of our children’s children.

When the streams flow clear and the winds blow pure, when the sun never more rises unrenowned nor the moon rides in the skies unloved; when the stones tell of the Horned God and the greenwood grows deep to call back her own ones, then our work will be ended and the Pagan Way will return to the beloved womb of our old religion … to the nature goddesses and gods of paganism.

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elder (Nov 25 – Dec 23)

ELDER LORE

  • 13th Moon of the Celtic Year – (Nov 25 – Dec 23)
  • Latin name: Dwarf Elder – sambucus ebulus; Elderberry – sambucus canadenis.
  • Celtic name: Ruis (pronounced: roo ish).
  • Folk or Common names: Lady Elder, Elder, Elderberry, pipe tree, bore tree, bour tree, Eldrun, Hyldor, Hyllantree, Ellhorn, Sambucus.
  • Parts Used: Bark, leaves, flowers, berries, wood.
  • Herbal usage: The Elder has many medicinal uses, and can be used to treat over 70 conditions. The bark can be used fresh for headaches and to promote  labor, or can be dried and powdered and used in small doses as a diuretic. The leaves and flowers can be made into drinks, poultices and salves. Elderberry  flower water is useful for soothing sunburns. The berries are safe to eat when eaten ripe, and they can be used to make wines, jams and teas.
  • Magical History & Associations: The Elder is a tree of Venus and is associated with the element of air. The bird associated with the month of Elder  is the rook, the color is blood-red, and the gemstone is dark green malachite. The Elder also is associated with Black Horses, Ravens, and Badgers. The Elder  is linked to the eternal turnings of life and death, birth and rebirth, and creativity and renewal. It represents the end/beginning and beginning/end. It is  sacred to the deities of Bran, Venus, Hel, Callech, Holda, the White Goddess, the Great Goddess, and Pryderi (The Celts believed that it was during the time  of Elder that their sun or solar spirit was held prisoner, just as Pryderi was forced into exile). The Elder is the Old Crone aspect of the triple Goddess,  wise old energy at the end of the year’s cycle, and is sometimes called the “death tree” because of this. Funerary flints found in megalithic  long barrows were Elder leaf shaped, suggesting the association of Elder with death goes back a long way. Elder is also called the “witch’s  tree” and certainly the village hedge-witch would have used the elder in healing and Magick. The Elder is also associated with a dryad (tree spirit).  Early European legends tell of a dryad called Hylde-moer, The Elder Tree Mother, who lives in the Elder tree and watches over it. Should the tree be chopped  down and furniture made of the wood, Hylde-moer would follow her property and haunt the owners. Similar tales tell that if a child’s cradle were made of  Elder, Hylde-moer would pinch the child black and blue and give it no peace or rest, therefore it is considered unlucky to make a cradle out of Elder wood.  The Elder is also seen in a negative light by the Christian religion, since Judas supposed to have hanged himself from an Elder tree and the cross used to  crucify Jesus was supposed to be made of Elder.
  • Magickal usage: The month of Elder includes the Winter Solstice, which is celebrated as the Sabbat of Yule, a day to mark the return of the Sun.  Therefore, calling upon the Sun God or Goddess is good to do during this month. Elder has the Magickal powers of Healing, Visions, Faery Magick,  Spirituality, Cleansing, Sleep, Exorcism, Offering, Love, Protection, and Prosperity. Elder is often used to produce visions. At Samhain, the last of the  Elderberries were picked with solemn rites. The wine made from these berries was considered the last sacred gift of the Earth Goddess, and was valued and  drunk ritually to invoke prophecy, divination and hallucinations. Elder twigs were woven into head-dresses to enable the wearers to see spirits. The Elder is  very useful in Magick dealing with Nature Spirits and the Fae. Wood spirits are said to live in Elder forests, and wood elves are said to come to listen to  music played by flutes made with Elder wood. The Elder has strong protective qualities. Tiny twigs of Elder or dried Elderberry can be worn in a bag around  the neck as a charm for protection against physical or psychic attack. As a protection against evil (and later against witchcraft) Elder branches were hung  in doorways of houses and cowsheds. Elder can be used to bless a person, place or thing by scattering leaves and berries to the four directions, and over the  thing or person being blessed. It is said that if you stand under an Elder tree, you will never be struck by lightening. Elder was also buried in graves to  ward off evil spirits, and is considered protection against earthbound, “physical” spirits like vampires. Elder as Vampire-Repellent is older  folklore than the lore about garlic. When you put Elder on a threshold or windowsill, you can force a vampire to count over the thorns and the berries until  morning comes, because vampires are obsessive-compulsive about counting things. Also, Elder blossom were worn at Beltane to signify witchcraft and magic, and  Elder twigs can be used to undo evil magic. Elder is a traditional wood for making Magickal tools, like besoms and wands. It is said in Irish folklore that  it is Elder and not Ash which is used by witches for their magic ‘hobby horses’ and besoms. Justice was often dispensed under an Elder, so the hilt  of a coven sword was often made of Elder wood. Elder is also a good wood to use to make Protective Wands. There are very strong superstitions about not  cutting down or burning an Elder (maybe caused by a fear of releasing the tree’s Hylde-moer – or maybe out of a deep respect for the tree), so be sure to  remember to ask the tree if it will allow you to take a branch. It is traditional to say this before you cut a branch:”Lady Ellhorn, give me of thy wood,         And I will give thee of mine,         when I become a tree.”

    Some people like to leave a small gift of some kind when they do harvest a branch – or you can do something practical like untangling the    tree’s ivy, clearing up around the trunk, watering in dry weather, or tidying up trash from around the tree.

Categories: Working With Nature's Gifts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Birch (Dec. 24 – Jan 21)

BIRCH LORE

  • 1st Moon of the Celtic Year – (Dec 24 – Jan 21)
  • Latin name: Yellow birch – betula alleghaniensis; black birch – betula lenta; canoe or common birch – betula papyrifea.
  • Celtic name: Beth (pronounced: beh)
  • Folk or Common names: Beithe, Bereza, Berke, Beth, Bouleau, Lady of the Woods, Birth, Canoe Tree, Paper Tree, Silver Birch, White Birch.  “Birch” is derived from the meaning “Bright” or “Shining” in Indo-European and Sanskrit terminology. Quite possibly it came  from the Anglo-Saxon term “Beorgan” meaning “to protect or shelter”
  • Parts Used: Leaves, bark, wood, sap, branches.
  • Herbal usage: Birch leaves can be used to make an infusion that is good for breaking up kidney or bladder stones. Birch bark is an astringent and can be  used to treat non-hereditary baldness. Birch tea can be made from the inner bark and leaves and this is good for rheumatism or as a sedative to aid sleep.  Birch sap can be harvested the same way maple sap is, and then boiled down into birch syrup.
  • Magical History & Associations: The bird associated with the Month of the Birch is the pheasant. Birch’s color is white, its day is Sunday and  its gemstone is red chard. The Celtic symbol of Birch is the White Stag with a rack with seven tines. Birch is associated with the element of water, is a  tree of the sun and the planet Venus, and its Herbal Gender is feminine. The Birch tree is sacred to the God Thor and the Goddesses Diana and Cerridwen.  Birch is considered to be a Goddess tree, the symbol of summer ever-returning. The Birch is also a special tree to the Celts (“On a switch of birch was  written the first Ogham inscription in Ireland, namely seven B’s, as a warning to Lug son of Ethliu, to wit, ‘Thy wife will be seven times carried  away from you into fairyland or elsewhere, unless birch be her overseer.” – Robert Graves, The White Goddess) and Birch wood is one of the nine  traditional firewoods to be added to the Belfire that is burned at Beltane. It is one of the three pillars of Wisdom (Oak, Yew, Birch) and often symbolizes  the first level of Druid working. Birch trees often have Otherkin spirits attached to them and the “Lieschi” or “Genii of the Forest” are  said to dwell in their tree tops. The Ghillie Dhu (pronounced “Gillee Doo or Yoo”) are guardian tree spirits who are disguised as foliage and  dislike human beings. They prefer birch trees to all others, and jealously guard them from humans. If the spirit of the Birch tree touches a head it leaves a  white mark and the person turns insane. If it touches a heart, the person will die.
  • Magickal usage: The month of Birch is a good time to do magick associated with new beginnings. Magickal work done in this moon adds strength and momentum  to any new choices made. The Birch has applications in magick done for protection, creativity, exorcism, fertility, birth, healing, Forest Magic, Inner  Authority/Self-Discipline, Lunar workings, love, and purification. Magickal protective uses of Birch include tying a red ribbon around the trunk of a birch  to ward off the evil eye. Also, gently whapping someone with a Birch twig drives out negative energy, and Birch branches hung near a cradle will protect the  newborn from psychic harm. In fact, cradles can be made from Birch wood to further protect a newborn. Many farmers plant Birch around their houses to protect  against lightning. For magical parchment, gather Birch bark from a tree that has been struck by lightning (chosen by Thor) – and the Birch paper will keep  the writings safe. Because Birch wood has the qualities of exorcism and protection, its twigs are traditionally used to make witches’ brooms. Brooms made  of a mixture of Ash, Birch and Willow are said to be especially powerful in magick. Birch rods are also used in rustic rituals to drive out the spirits of  the old year. Birch is also perfect to use to make a ‘Goddess’ wand, since Birch is the tree known as ‘the Lady of the Woods’ and a grove of  Birch trees is an excellent place to communicate with the Goddess. Birch wood is also a good choice for making rune sets to use for divination. Be sure to  harvest your branch for the rune set during the waxing moon, and make sure you ask Odin or Byarka to inspire your work. Also ask the tree if it will allow  you to take a branch and be sure to leave the tree an offering of thanks when you are done. Birch trees especially appreciate gifts such as pretty stones,  sea shells, flowers or herbs. (Please note: never take bark off a living Birch tree, since this will kill it.)
Categories: Working With Nature's Gifts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Woods: The Many Types & Their Uses

The ancient Celtic tree alphabet was used by the followers of the Old Religion to construct a language of the trees that could be used in conjunction with the occult symbolism of each of the trees.  When translated from the ancient tongue we find the following trees referenced often: Elm, Birch, Hazel, Oak, Aspen, Alder, Ivy, Yew, Rowan, Ash, Pine, Willow, Elder, and Spindle.  These trees, along with others, will be covered. From early times, there have been the sacred groves and the sacred tree.

 
Individual trees of particular species have been revered, the kind varying with the divine force represented.  Oak and Cedar are obvious examples of father emblems as Willow and Hazel are mother emblems.  The androgynous Pine and the world bearing Ash also have their place in our folklore.  The symbolism of the woods are very important in the construction of any magical tool.  A complete description of the various woods and their uses is impossible in a limited space but we will cover as much as possible.

 

OAK ) The oak tree is the tree of Zeus, Jupiter, Hercules, The Dagda (The Chief of the Elder Irish gods), Thor and all other Thunder Gods.  The royalty of the Oak needs no enlarging upon.  The Oak is the tree of endurance and triumph, and like the Ash, is said to count the lightings’ flash.  The Oak is a male wood which is ideal for the construction of any tool that needs the male influence such as Athames, certain wands and staffs.  The midsummer fire is always Oak and the need fire is always kindled in an Oak log.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Endurance, triumph, strength, power, dominion, prosperity, sacrifice, guardian, liberator.

 
BIRCH ) With the exception of the mysterious elder, the Birch is the earliest of the forest trees.  The Birch is used extensively in cleansing rituals.  Throughout Europe, Birch twigs are used to expel evil spirits.  Birch rods are also used in rustic rituals to drive out the spirits of the old year.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Controlled by the Lunar influences.  Birth, healing, Lunar workings, and protection.

 
HAZEL ) The Hazel is a tree of wisdom.  In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences were bound to the eating of Hazel nuts.  Until the seventeenth century, a forked Hazelstick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases of murder and theft.  We have retained the practice of divining for water and buried treasure.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Wisdom, intelligence, inspiration, wrath.

 
ALDER ) The Alder is the tree of fire.  In the battle of the trees, the Alder fought in the very front line.  It is described as the very “battle witch” of all woods, the tree that is hottest in the fight.  from the alder, you can make three different dyes, red from its bark, green from its flowers, and brown from its twigs; this symbolizes the elements of fire, water and earth.  The Alder wood is the wood of the witches.  Whistles may be made of this wood to summon and control the four winds.  It is also the ideal wood for making the magical pipes and flutes.  To prepare the wood for use, beat the bark away with a willow stick while projecting your wishes into it.  The Alder is a token of resurrection.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Controlling the four winds, banishing and controlling elementals, resurrection.  Making magical dyes.

 
IVY / VINE ) The Ivy was sacred to Osiris as well as to Dionysus.  Vine and Ivy come next to each other at the turn of the year, and are jointly dicated to resurrection. Presumably, this is because they are the only two trees that grow spirally.  The Vine also symbolizes resurrection because its strength is preserved in the wine.
OCCULT ASPECTS: (VINE) Faerie work, Joy, Exhilaration, Wrath, Rebirth.

 

(IVY) Fidelity, Constancy, Love, Intoxication.

 
YEW ) The Yew is known as the death tree in all European countries.  Sacred to Hecate in Greece and Italy.  Yew wood makes excellent bows, as the Romans learned from the Greeks. This strengthened the belief that Yew was connected with death.  Its use in England is recalled in Macbeth where Hecate’s cauldron contained:”… Slips of Yew, slivered in the moon eclipse.”The Silver Fir of birth and the Yew of death are sisters. They stand next to each other in the circle of the year and their foliage is almost identical.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Destructive workings concerning death.  Not recommended for magical tools “…for I am the tomb to every hope.

 
ROWAN ) The Rowan is seen as the tree of life.  It is also known as Mountain Ash, Quickbeam, The Witch or Witch Wand. In the British Isles, Rowa is used as a protection against lightning and magical charms of all sorts.  In ancient Ireland, the Druids of opposing forces would kindle a fire of rowan and say an incantation over it to summon spirits to take part in the battle.  The Rowan is alsoused for many healing purposes.  The “Quickbeam” is the tree of quickening. Another use was in metal divining.  In Ireland, a Rowan stake was hammered through a corpse to immobilize the spirit.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Divination, healing, astral work, protection.

 
ASH ) The Ash is sacred to Poseidon and Woden.  The Ash is considered to be the father of trees.  The Ash is the tree of sea power, or of the power resident in water.  Special guardian spirits reside in the Ash; This makes it excellent for absorbing sickness. The spirally carved druidical wand was made of Ash for this purpose.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Seapower, karmic laws, magical potency, healing, protection from drowning.

 
PINE ) External symbol of life and immortality.  It is one of the few trees that are androgynous.  It was also worshiped by the ancients as a symbol of fire because of its resemblance to a spiral of flame.  It is regarded as a very soothing tree to be near.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Strength, life and immortality, rejuvenation

 

WILLOW ) The Willow was sacred to Hecate, Circe, Hera, and Persephone, all death aspects of the Triple Moon Goddess, and was often used by the Witches in Greece.  The moon owns it. Female symbol.  It is the tree that loves water most and is sacred to the Moon Goddess who is the giver of dew and moisture, generally.  The Willow is the tree of enchantment. Can be made into a tool to make wishes come true.
OCCULT PURPOSES: Moon magic, psychic energy, healing, inspiration, fertility

 

ELDER ) A waterside tree, the Elder has white flowers that bloom to their peak in midsummer (as is also true for the Rowan) thus making the Elder another aspect of the White Goddess.  The Elder is also said to be the crucifixion tree. The inner bark and the flowers have long been famous for their therapeutic qualities.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Witchcraft, banishment, magical art, waters of life.

 
HAWTHORN ) The Whitethorn or Hawthorn or May Witch takes its name from the May.  It is a generally unlucky tree and its name, translated from the Irish Brehon Laws, had the meaning “harm”.  The Goddess, under the name Cardea, cast spells with the Hawthorn. In many cultures, the month of the Hawthorn (May) is a month of bad luck for marriages.  The Hawthorn blossom, for many men, has the strong scent of female sexuality and was used by the Turks as an erotic symbol.  The monks of Glastonbury perpetuated it and sanctified it with an approving tale that the staff of Joseph and the Crown of thorns were made of Hawthorn.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Purification, enforced chastity, male potency, cleansing.

 

HOLLY ) Holly means “holy”. The identification of the pacific Christ with the Holly is poetically inept a it is the Oak king, not the Holly king that is crucified on a T shaped cross. The Holly has many uses form making a dye from its berries to being used as an aphrodisiac.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, beauty

 

WHITE POPULAR ) The tree of the Autumn Equinox and of old age, is the shifting leaved White Popular, or Aspen, The shield makers tree.  Heracles bound his head in triumph with popular after killing the giant Cacus (the evil one).  The Black popular was a funeral tree sacred to the Mother Earth. Plato makes a reference to the use of  Black popular and Silver Fir as an aid in divination.  The Silver Fir standing for hope assured and the Black Popular for loss of hope.  In ancient Ireland, the coffin makers measuring rod was made of Aspen, apparently to remind the dead that this was not the end.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Hope, rebirth, divinations.This concludes trees referenced to be in use in Europe. However, I thought there may be interest in a few local trees.

 

ALMOND ) Almond has a very sweet natural being.  Aids in self protection.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Fruitfulness, virginity

 

APPLE ) It is an old English custom to drink to the health of the Apple tree with a good glass of cider all in hopes of encouraging the tree to produce a good crop next year.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Fertility

 

COCONUT ) The Coconut is feminine and very fertile.  The shell represents the womb, and the milk, fertility.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Protection from negative psychic forces.

 

FIG ) The Fig is androgynous. The fruit representing the feminine and the triple lobed leaves suggest the masculine force.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Balance

 

MISTLETOE ) The mistletoe was sacred to the Druids and to the Norse. It was considered to be the great healer and has both male and female qualities.   It was so well regarded by the Norse (because it was sacred to Freya) that they refused to fight in the vicinity of Mistletoe.  The custom of hanging Mistletoe in the house to promote peace comes from this. Generally regarded today as a symbol of love and purity.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Love, fertility, sexual potency.

 

PALM ) Is regarded as particularly powerful because of its incredible durability and because it is self renewing, never changing its leaves.  Aids in rejuvenation.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Resurrection, and the cycle and matrix of life

 

PEACH ) The Peach is an emblem of marriage.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Abundance, fruitfulness, happinessThis concludes this short treatise on the various woods, their types and uses.  This information was passed to me through various sources, and no claim is made as to its accuracy.

Categories: Working With Nature's Gifts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The White Goddess Meditation (Seed Moon)

The White Goddess Meditation

(Seed Moon)

People have a hard time forgiving their own mistakes, as well as other people’s mistakes and abuses. This meditation is a way for you to forgive yourself and other people, thus helping you to leave it in the past and start experiencing and enjoying every aspect of your life.

After getting comfortable and taking a few deep breaths, begin focusing on the problem that troubles you and that you want to forgive. For about five minutes, go over in your mind every aspect of the hurt and pain from the initial incident to everything you have felt, thought and done since that time.

Now, imagine the image of the White Goddess as She comes to stand before you. She reaches out Her and touches your spirit. You sense all that pain and hurt being released, floating off lighter than air, like bubbles steadily moving upward until they pop. The White Goddess smiles and you sense a white light that fills every cell of your being with an ecstatic, but calming joy that makes you want to laugh and smile. Take a deep breath and hold it for a moment, then release it. Smile as wide as you can and let the love of the White Goddess fill you with wonder.

As the White Goddess bids you good-bye, She tells you that you can always call on Her whenever you need to forgive something or need divine love. Take a few deep breaths and come back to your body, to the present time and place.

 

Categories: Esbat Spells, Meditation | Tags: | Leave a comment

Lunar Energies & Esoterica: Alder

LUNAR ENERGIES & ESOTERICA: ALDERby Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr) & Epona  

Alder is the time of birthing, after the inception in Birch, the quickening in Rowan, and the premature urgings of Ash. Alder is the beginning of a new cycle, just as the Spring Equinox brings forth new life on the earth. Also at the Equinox, the days and nights are of equal length, and an egg can be balanced on its end. Try it!
This balance is an important part of Alder, in more than physical terms. We also have the balance of yin and yang, male and female, fire and water. A symbol of this balance is the Alder King of Celtic legend, a man whose rule is based not on fear, but on sensitivity, understanding, and reverence. He works in harmony with his queen and the natural order of life to make sure he, and his people, are connected to, and in balance with, the earth (for more on the Alder King, see “Bran and the Sacred Kings of the Alder Moon,” pg. 28).
The glyph of this moon is “I am a shining tear of the sun,” from the ‘Song of Amergin,’ in The White Goddess. Take a moment to think on this, before you continue reading.

One meaning of this glyph is the dual nature of Alder: it is a tree of both water and fire. Alder grows in and around water, yet is known for its ability to make charcoal and gunpowder. Alder pilings lift buildings out of the water, and in the same way, Alder acts to lift our spirits out of the waters of the first three moons, and onto the dry land of the spring and summer months ahead. Alder also acts as a bridge between the two halves of the year, connecting and balancing the fire and water aspects, and the male and female sides of ourselves.

You can use the energies of this moon to reconnect with the earth, and bring your inner natures into balance. Now that the storms of Ash have passed, we can quit trying to attack each other, and learn to work together in harmony, especially with the opposite sex. A left-over effect of Ash is that the men are pretty fed up with the women. Be sensitive to each other now, act responsibly, and understand how your actions can affect others. This must be done now, when the balanced energies of nature are all around us, or things will get really out of skelter by Holly moon.

The hardest thing to overcome in this moon is self-doubt and doubts about other, but these are a natural consequence of new beginnings and birthings, when we look toward the year ahead. This is a good time to honestly examine these doubts, so you will know what you have to deal with in the future moons. The Alder can help you through this, and give you joy and hope for the future.

The Hazel Nut

Categories: Articles | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Celtic Tree Horoscope

Your Celtic Tree Horoscope

  • posted by Annie B. Bond

Inspired by The White Goddess and other works by Robert Graves.

According to ancient Celtic lore, there is a magical tree associated with each month of the year. Find out which one is your helper and learn valuable information about your personality from the wisdom of the trees–including the planet and gemstone associated with your Celtic tree horoscope.

December 24 – January 20: BIRCH
Planet: The Sun
Gemstone: Rock Crystal
Birch people tend to be hard-working and ambitious, with strong leadership qualities. You are generally loyal and faithful, although you may tend to hide your feelings.

January 21 – February 17: ROWAN
Planet: Uranus
Gemstone: Peridot
Rowans tend to be idealistic and original, a free-thinker filled with the fire of idealism. You are probably unconventional, artistic, and ahead of your time, imaginative and humanitarian in your outlook.

February 18 – March 17: ASH
Planet: Neptune
Gemstone: Coral
Ash people are good communicators, witty and spontaneous, and generally curious about life.

March 18-April 14: ALDER
Planet: Mars
Gemstone: Ruby
Alders are filled with courage and affection, loyalty and determination. Your energy is considerable, you enjoy physicality, and love to play.

April 15 – May 12:WILLOW
Planet: The Moon
Gemstone: Moonstone
Willows tend to be in touch with their emotions, intuitive, and adaptable. Underneath the appearance of hesitance, willows possess great flexibility and inner strength, along with a strong will.

May 13 – June 9: HAWTHORN
Planet: Vulcan
Gemstone: Topaz
Hawthorns are spontaneous and sometimes impatient, possessing great confidence, creativity, and charm.

June 10 – July 7: OAK
Planet: Jupiter
Gemstone: Diamond
Oaks tend to be self-confident and responsible, optimistic and proud, with ample charisma and a strong philosophical streak.

July 8 – August 4: HOLLY
Planet: Earth
Gemstone: Red Carnelian
Holly people are cautious and practical, reasonable and filled with personal integrity, sensitive and protective.

August 5 – September 1: HAZEL
Planet: Mercury
Gemstone: Amethyst
Hazels are very perceptive, idealistic, and artistic. Wisdom and creativity are especially important to hazel people.

September 2 – September 29: VINE
Planet: Venus
Gemstone: Emerald
Vine folks are very sensitive and self-critical, gentle and romantic. You can be quite authoritative, and harmony is of great importance to you.

September 30 – October 27: IVY
Planet: The Moon
Gemstone: Opal
Ivy people are social and loyal to their friends, kindly but sometimes restless, and, although appearing hesitant, actually very strong.

October 28 – November 24: REED
Planet: Pluto
Gemstone: Jasper
Reeds tend to be fearless and stubborn, uncompromising and independent, imaginative, loyal, and sometimes jealous.

November 25 – December 23: ELDER
Planet: Saturn
Gemstone: Jet
Elders are energetic, self-disciplined, although disliking routine, open, spontaneous, and self-sufficient.

 

Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,245 other followers