celtic

Review: 2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary (Northern Hemisphere) by Stacey DeMarco

December, 2018

Review:

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary (Northern Hemisphere) by Stacey DeMarco

Rockpool Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-925682-13-7

List Price: $21.95 USD / £16.99 GBP

The 2019 Lunar and Seasonal Diary is a beautiful, spiral-bound calendar, richly illustrated with pleasing sepia color pages. As one would expect, it tracks the waxing and waning of the moon and the lunar eclipses of the coming year. It also provides the astrological house of each new and full moon and features the eight annual festivals of the wheel of the year.

I reviewed the Northern Hemisphere edition of the Seasonal Diary. Both Stacey DeMarco and Rockpool Publishing are based in Australia, which is why special care is made to tie the festivals to the seasons themselves instead of calendar dates. After all, our calendars follow the reality of the Earth and her seasons, not the other way around.

Especially well fitted to the new pagan, the diary has a well written introduction the hows and whys of spellcraft and the basics of working with crystals. The moon phases are introduced, as well as the elements, directions and the wheel of the year – not enough to complicate things, but enough guidance to use the daily and monthly prompts that follow. Each month features a specific deity, as well as an appropriate ritual or spell, drawing inspiration from traditions as varied as Slavic, Celtic, Hindu, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, and Shinto. I think the selection is broad enough to be interesting for almost any pagan.

I found the Lunar & Seasonal Diary a beautiful resource to keep me connected to the monthly rhythms of the earth. Each month begins with a page questioning “What am I devoted to?” – asking us to simultaneously reflect on what we have been wrapped up in the month just past as well as what we would aspire towards in the month ahead. Prompts are given for important dates and goals to focus on and manifest in the month ahead.

This monthly return to focus seems a positively recharging reset to our frame of reference, especially during those stressful times when we’re just happy to it through one calendar page to the next. It reminds us to recall what we are working for in the first place, reminding us that the daily grind is a process and not an end in itself. This monthly taking-stock can allow you to stay open to the living world around you, to stay fast with what is truly important to you, or to shift your focus and goals each month, working on different aspects of your life just as the energy of the earth changes through different phases around you.

With the space for taking notes, prompts for both reflective and aspirational record keeping, I think this is a great notebook for any pagan who sees the value of the occasional ritual to keep one in tune with the seasons, and it especially shines for those new to the pagan path.

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary: Northern Hemisphere on Amazon

Gael Song

October, 2018

The Body of the Goddess, Earth

In most druid writings, there are lots and lots of descriptions about relating to nature, how wonderfully peaceful it is, how deeply restorative. It’s one of the most fundamental, if not THE fundamental, teachings of Celtic paganism. But I don’t think I’ve ever read what I personally feel is the reason for the tapestry of wonders and extraordinary powers of nature, which is that earth is the Body of the Goddess! In the seven heavens my druid guides taught me, which make up the planes of light of the inner realms, the first heaven is earth, and it is ruled by the Goddess. She teaches us wisdom because, once upon a time, wisdom grew stale and flat. Folks forgot the laws of love and bad things began to occur all across the universe (I hear the theme from Star Wars as I write this sentence). So, humanity volunteered to come down into realms of illusion and non-love to learn the laws of love all over again through life’s hard experiences. Wisdom is a living thing, it can only be renewed by reliving it into existence, and our hard, hard task is brightening the light of wisdom throughout the cosmos. This is humanity’s main purpose, and our overlighting teacher and mistress in this process is the White Tara, the Goddess. (The seventh heaven is the Diamond Core, and it is ruled by the God, just in case anyone was wondering what He might be doing.) I always see the ivory White Tara star when I look deep into the earth with my inner vision, Her Shamballa center of light, which orchestrates all that occurs here, our wisdom lessons particularly and the forward momentum of love across the globe. This is Her world.

So, when we are out in nature, looking at the misty ocean or appreciating the loveliness of a fuchsia sunset, perhaps, it is the Goddess Who meets us in the ethers, always. Why do we feel so held and peaceful in the forest or near bodies of water especially? Because we’re being embraced there by Her restful, patient, mothering intimacy that knows all will turn out just fine in the end. Or sometimes, it’s Her longing just to hold us close in our pain, when life becomes too harsh to even contemplate happy endings. By Her silence that is as gentle as the hush of night. I believe gravity also belongs to the Goddess, Her holding force that wants to keep us as close as possible, to feel Her endless love and tenderness for each one of us, to support us from below in utter physical security and steadfastness. Stones, too, so very important to druids as well, are Tara’s bones. It is Her essence we meet underground in those ancient chambers, dolmens, and caves the wise ones of the old ways used for ceremony and initiations.

The quality that I’ve always admired most about the Goddess is how She manages to keep adoring every one of Her children, even when they have strayed deeply into darkness. This means murderers, corporate executives who are impoverishing thousands with their personal greed, rapists, and on and on. Anyone can be comforted in Her embrace, anyone at all. All nature is infused with Her energy, Her enduring patient love that waits centuries, if that’s what it takes, for us to turn and seek to touch Her face, to begin walking the path back Home. In fact, I think we are completely lost without Her, and I worry about all the people I meet who will not even consider that She exists. This is one of my primary reasons for being pagan to the core! And it is this single belief in Her that has caused me the most grief from others over the years. Keep believing in Her, please! Keep the ancient ways sacred and open to those who turn back to Her when they are ready to remember. For She will be the saving of the earth!

Not only that, but it is Her Body that sustains the horrific wounds of war, fracking, pollution, a climate out of control. This is Mother love with a capital L! She endures practically anything to see that we accomplish our task, to remain nearby, to lead and hold us as we blunder along down here. It is time to remember, to return Her divine enduring love with real CARE, gentleness, responsibility for what we each do to Her. I saw a film once in which a man in Austria planted trees and vegetables in a veritable wasteland of dirt and sand. And in seven years or so, his farm looked like paradise, luscious fruit hanging from every tree, many-hued flowers spilling over each other in all directions, peace, fertility, a world full of Her beauty and fecundity once more.

All of these qualities of Her love infuse natural spaces, especially Her restful nature that we need so much in this hurried world. So, take a moment to sit beside a tree or river today and feel Her, will you? Remember Who is truly there! She is SACRED, far more than we know. And let’s take care of Her now, picking up that trash we walk over every day, not poisoning our grass and plants and air any more, instead, nurturing and blessing Her for Mothering that’s as deep as the ocean, as wide as the sky, older than the mountains, and as tender as the petals of roses.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment

Gael Song

August, 2018

Lughnasa


Lughnasa is my very favorite spirit time of year. The solstice/equinox and cross-quarter days mark the cosmic openings of the eight basic aspects of spirit in all things, shifts that are quite powerful. If you are into feeling energy or spirit, these can easily be felt. The masculine openings occur at sunrise, the feminine at sunset on the eve of each holy day. Early in each year, at Imbolc, this spirit opening feels like a baby, a little Girl. Then comes the Boy of the Vernal Equinox, the Virgin Girl and Boy of Bealtaine and Midsummer, the mother and father of Lughnasa and the Autumnal Equinox, the Grandmother at Samhein, until finally, the Grandfather opens on Midwinter. And all these cosmic aspects of spirit are quite different, with very varied directives in life, plus they open the six-week phase of growth for that inner aspect of the self until the next solstice/equinox portal for everyone. All of us, men and women alike, the cosmos and the earth, too, have these eight parts of our spirits, for this sacred structure interfaces all things. We are not so different after all.

So, on the evening before Aug. 5th, the cosmic Mother spirit opens; within each person, across the globe, and in all the planes of existence. And it is a dramatic change from the world server, strong-willed, action oriented Virgin Male of the preceding six weeks. Everything suddenly slows down. There is a nurturing, comforting presence billowing through the wind and clouds. I often feel the impulse to lie down and rest on the earth’s body, a mother herself. This is Lughnasa. Divine Mother can be particularly felt in the first fruits of the harvest. For this holy day also marks the opening of the action ethers within, which means manifestation into the physical, the specialty of the harvest father, Lugh, for whom even this feminine festival is named. This cosmic mother loves to nourish all her children with foods that delight, manifesting the tastiest blueberries or corn or cucumbers from her soil. The fruits of all the inner work of the previous nine moons of walking one’s path begin to appear at this time as well (the Apple moon is the tenth of the druid year), not just the outer harvest of grains and fruits, for the cosmic Mother wants to manifest all our dreams as well! (Though I have the distinct feeling that foods and recipes that simply cannot be resisted might be her personal favorite.) In my meditations into past lives as a Celt in Scotland over 2,000 years ago, I recalled large tribal celebrations at Lughnasa in honor of the earth mother, with extravagant expressions of gratitude for all the natural resources the earth mother had provided over the passing year, each tribe trying to outdo the others. I saw all priestesses who were mothers circled inside the groves in my visions, too, priestesses in divination meditations, calling out anything they saw that might lay ahead for the tribes, blessings and challenges both. And there were always swans on the lochs, too, the mother totem.

But more than this, Lughnasa falls during the Apple Moon, moon of the Goddess, the White Tara, July 27th-Aug. 19th. And when I do my own Lughnasa ceremony at my altar, calling in my druid guides to facilitate the opening of the mother part of my spirit, I always feel the gentle Presence of the White Tara come in around me as well. “Let Me come very close”,” She says, “I miss you so much, child of My Heart!” And I can sense spirit arms around my shoulders or a gentle head laid, very lightly, on my own with that strong eternal Mother Love pouring into me. And I remember the same thing happening in those ancient lifetimes, too, a personal encounter with the Goddess around the time of Lughnasa in those great tribal crowds, a sweet message of mother love to each and every person there. For myself, I need a space of silence for this intimate interface, not the loud, talking on and on, ceremonies that many prefer. And it’s when I fall asleep later that evening when I often feel Her most closely, spirit fingertips brushing across my temples. Oh, She can become very insistent about learning distressing wisdom lesson of the mother aspect at times across the next six weeks, I’ll grant you that, but not on this one holy day. It brings mother comfort and sweet abiding love, stronger in ways than any other. And then on Aug. 8th, three days past Lughnasa, there is always another personal Goddess message, but this time not a visitation, no, a physical gift of some sort that signifies what else will soon be manifesting during the harvest season. Lughnasa, mother comfort, peace, sweet rest, delicious things to eat, and the hint of fulfillment soon to come. No wonder I love it more than all the rest!

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment

Book Review: Pagan Portals – Rhiannon, Divine Queen of the Celtic Britons by Jhenah Telyndru

June, 2018

Book Review

Pagan Portals: Rhiannon, Divine Queen of the Celtic Britons

by Jhenah Telyndru

There is knowledge, and there is wisdom; one comes from the mind and the other from the heart and soul. Jhenah Telyndru has both of these in abundance.

As the founder and Morgen of the Sisterhood of Avalon, Ms. Telyndru’s love for her subject comes through in every page and word.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Archeology and a Master’s in Celtic Studies, her knowledge has been attained through years of study.

“Rhiannon” is well-researched via many avenues, i.e. etymology, story-telling, mythology and literature. Rhiannon’s connections to other Goddesses such as Epona, Morrigan and the Matronae (Divine Mothers) is explained in the earlier parts of the book.

While Rhiannon, herself, is not identified as a Goddess in history, this does not stop many women from around the world from worshiping her as such, and the whys and hows of her divinity and sovereignty are explored within the pages of this wonderful book. Ms. Telyndru draws in each reader as she shares her own insight and wisdom, and helps us to more fully come to know Rhiannon.

For those who know nothing of Rhiannon, this is the perfect introduction. To those who know of her and yearn to learn more, this book is a stepping-stone to knowing her more fully and deeply, how to understand her and use her stories on our own journey to Sovereignty. We can begin to learn how to build and deepen our own relationship with her, through the use of shrines, altars, offerings, her symbols and meditative trance journeys.

Allow Jhenah Telyndru to guide you in your journey to Rhiannon.

(Disclaimer: While it in no way deters from my recommendation of this book to all, it bears mentioning that I am proud to be a member of The Sisterhood of Avalon – SM)

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis: The Egyptian Goddess

The Road to Runes

May, 2018

The Road to Runes: Hagalaz, the Coming of Hail

So, it was the turn of a different friend to pull a rune this time, and I wasn’t expecting it. On the spot divination, she pulled out the polished, burnt piece of hazel and looked at me quizzically. I had to admit to her that my studies had not taken me this far, and thus, my latest article was born. Pictured is the rune she pulled: Hagalaz, also known as Haglaz or Hagala. This rune literally means ‘hail’, and by what I have learnt, is a pretty fierce and somewhat scary rune to see in any divination.

The Elder Futhark (the group of runes I am working with and believed to be the oldest Germanic runic alphabet) is split into 3 Aett, or groups of 8 runes. Hagalaz is the first rune of the second Aett, or Aettir. There are so many variants of the terms used to describe the runes and their alphabetic structure, and while I am still learning I am keeping myself open to all of these words, so forgive me if I chop and change. The second Aettir is sometimes known as Hel’s Aetirr, which sounds pretty ominous. Hel is the daughter of Loki, and therefore at least part giant, and she reigns over the realm of Hel, one of the dwelling places of the dead in Norse mythology. She is fairly indifferent to the trials and sufferings of humankind, if not actually cruel, and that aspect seems to be reflected in the hail rune. Hail is out of our control. It doesn’t care if we get cold, or wet, or stung. It has no pity for our misery; it simply is, and it is up to us to deal with it; get out of the cold or battle on through the storm.

Hail is the coldest of seeds… (Viking Rune Poem)

Hail is often described in runic inscriptions as a seed, and perhaps this is simply due to its appearance, as if someone high above was casting ice cold grain onto the earth, in the vain hope of it sprouting into some bizarre crop. However, there is more to the seed aspect than simple appearances. If we are tested, and we follow through with the test, whether we pass or fail, we grow as people. Each new challenge we face changes us in some way, usually for the better. Even bad experiences teach us something. Hagalaz is a seed rune because although hard times may be coming, there is the chance for great personal transformation; to be the sprouting wheat after the grain is cast.

Hail is whitest of grains. It whirls from the sky

whipped by the wind, then as water it trickles away. (Old English Rune Poem, translation Marijane Osborn)

This is a reminder that hard times don’t last forever; just as the icy hail turns to water and trickles away, so will our hardships eventually come to an end. We may be whipped into shape by the storms that buffet us, by the challenges that are sent to test us, but ultimately, calm will come, and a time to take stock and see what we have learnt, gained, or been left with. Also, it could be that we are about to lose something, but perhaps that is something we should have let go of long ago. Are we holding on to something that does not help us achieve our highest goals? Are we clinging to a relationship that prevents us being the best we can be? Hagalaz warns that it may be a tough time, but something different is coming, and it’s up to us to make the best of the new situation.

Hagala who breaks helmets… (Runic Inscription on the Kragehul Lance)

So far, I’ve concentrated on the more positive aspects of Hagalaz, but I can’t avoid the simple fact that this is a rune associated with destruction, turmoil, conflict and crisis. Hail is coming and you’re going to be caught out in the storm. If you’re already having a tough time, it’s possible it could get worse before it gets better. Are you ready to be tested? Be prepared, have your wits sharp, don’t be complacent about any potentially upsetting or risky situation and muster your inner strength. Yes, transformation and growth might be just around the corner, but you’re going to have to turn your face into the cold wind and really push hard before you feel the benefits.

The ninth rune in the Elder Futhark, just as Yggdrasil holds nine worlds, Hagalaz is a powerful and crucial rune in any reading. I think it’s important not to panic if you do pull this rune for a client. I’ll admit, when my friend pulled the rune and I read the meaning, I was startled and worried at first, but thinking about her personal situation (private, sorry!) it makes sense. She’s been through a tough time, it’s not over yet, and we’d already spoken about certain things probably not being resolved to satisfaction until Samhain. A gifted practitioner herself, it doesn’t surprise me that she pulled the rune that almost exactly describes the situation she is in and where she appears to be going. And it gave me the chance to learn about a formidable rune; one more step along the road.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.

Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

Click Images for Amazon Information

GoodGod!

March, 2018

Meet the Gods: The Three Craft Gods of the Danann

Merry meet.

In Irish mythology, there are brothers who are ‘The Three Craft Gods of the Danann.’ They are also called ‘The Three Gods of Skill of the Tuatha Dé Danann.’ Brigid and Tuireann are their parents.

Credne – or Creidne in Old Irish and Creidhne in modern Irish – was a craftsman who worked mostly in bronze, but also in brass and gold. When Nuada, the High King of the Tuatha Dé Danann, lost his arm in battle, it was Credne who fashioned a replacement arm from silver.

(Photo by Nicolas Hoizey on Unsplash)

Goibniuis the blacksmith. He also is connected with hospitality & putting on feasts for the gods. One source said he had a magic cow, Glas Gaibhnenn (glas-gav-e-lan), prized for giving profuse quantities of milk.

Luchta or Luchtaine, is the carpenter. He was considered the patron of woodworking and wheel making.

The three of them forged weapons for Tuatha De, the ancient divine race of the Mother Goddess Danu (the enchanted, mystical beings, fairies and leprechauns) when they fought the abominable giants and monsters whose magic was strong. Credo provided sword hilts, spear rivets and the conical pieces of thick metal in the center of a shield that protect the user’s hand.

Those working in any of these crafts and seeking the skill or protection from one of these brothers could place an item on the altar that is a tool of the trade such as a hammer or chisel, or small items made by someone in the trade. Offerings could include water or ale, along with raw materials such as precious or semiprecious metals, or a piece of wood.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

Gael Song

March, 2018

Unearth Your Own Ancient Goddess

As I walked my solitary path, the Goddess led me carefully, slowly, tenderly. First, I made a long journey around Scotland, my motherland. And as my family and I went sunwise round the coast, visiting stone circles and souterrains, and barrows all along the route, I could feel buried memories and slumbering parts of myself awakening. Sitting in a dolmen in the Celtic ruins on the western coast, the wind hushed in the cave-like interior, I saw a circle of women in the ethers threshing grains onto a hide beneath, chanting in an ancient tongue. And I knew I’d been one of them, long, long ago in that very place. I could feel a stream of light in my left leg opening during that journey, brightening and strengthening, only later realizing it was the Goddess flow up my left leg into my inner feminine. And over all the intervening years, I’ve noticed that stream is always brighter whenever I stand on Scottish soil, dimming as soon as I get on the plane to return to the US. My heart always dims a bit, too. But that first trip was only the beginning.

Next, the Goddess led me to a Celtic shaman, who taught me to speak with rocks, rivers, turtles, and shells. Well, no, he taught me to listen to them. His drumming brought clear visions into my mind in moments, images of stone circles in the Orkneys, myself a druid, a male lifetime of ancient days. It was my heart that unfolded into brightness that time, as I felt an inner devotion to the earth from those long-forgotten days that drew me Home to silence with a quiet intensity, surprising in its strength. So, I began to take time away from my therapy practice and the mountainous needs of my clients, as well as moments of quiet under the trees of our yard, away from the busy-ness and noise of my daughters, though they were much beloved. I didn’t realize it was the Goddess in the stillness, either, not then. But I felt how starving I was for rest, small sheltered moments when I wasn’t taking care of anyone else. And I knew some Otherworldly Presence was holding me during those quiet times, too, filling me with gentle comfort and silent pregnant power, as I slowly learned to recognize the Goddess, the White Tara, by Her energy signature. She especially touched my feminine within and my inner child, parts of myself my family and clients rarely noticed, for they were too busy needing me, instead.

But it was energy school that brought Her fireworks to life, an angel coming into the ethers four days into the very first session, who hovered before me, his outline so bright, I could barely discern his features, his light wafting down over me like illumined mist. When I asked who he was, he said his name was Metatron. And I told him I’d never heard that name, for he wasn’t in the Bible, the only place I’d read any angel names before. He only replied that, no, he wasn’t in books, for he preferred to be experienced, not read about. And I saw nine symbols in the ethers on my chest being rapidly changed, symbols I’d never seen before, either, ones that looked like those squiggly astrology figures, with the sound of tapping in the background, as if an old typewriter was being used. And from that moment on, every time someone came up to me, I’d have a rolodex of photos go through my mind, spinning rapidly forward, all the past lives I’d shared with that individual. I found myself hugging total strangers at energy school, saying things like, “Oh, you were my scribe in Egypt! I’m so happy to see you again after all these years!,” as if 3,000 years ago was last year! It took a while to get my head wrapped around that past life influx, about six weeks. But by then, I’d settled into healing work with more past life memories arising in those visions. The Goddess pulls white-winged surprises out of Her bag sometimes!

It wasn’t always easy, though. There was pain, ongoing not-so-fun surprises, too, when She opened some old fear for healing in my life, again. But I got used to that as well. And it empowered me greatly, my feminine especially, as She knew it would, as I gradually understood that those fears weren’t even real, that I could transmute them during my next meditation, simply and easily, and they would then disappear from my life, poof! This was profound, this realization that my own inner beliefs were creating my one little world on the outside, and that I could change it all, just by melting ancient fears away. It was like gathering a bouquet of wildflowers, this process, too, for behind every fear was some truth, some strength or skill I’d left behind, beside the threshed ancient grains or those terribly patriarchal pyramids, perhaps. How astonished I was, for instance, when I picked up my little harp for the first time, to feel I had played it long before in Greece. And over months and years, I could feel the inner grip of fear begin to loosen, too, deep within, places that had weighed me down all my life, as the gifts of many lives were woven into the fibers of my being.

Then Tara drew me into ceremony. Ah, this opened wide joyful portals to angels, the fae, Tibetan masters, ancestors from my star tuath, so many who came to help. Whole sheaths of fear were washed off in seconds as a workshop participant knelt before the Celtic high cross in the middle of my flower essence garden or stepped into the river below my home! What a magical experience that was! If you are ever drawn to attend or create ceremonies, DO it! Just be very careful who you call in from above to assist you, for it’s an extremely powerful process. And then, too, I saw how some of the deepest exchanges between participants at workshops, the biggest heart openings of all, occurred as folks chatted over lunch when they were the most relaxed. I just watched from behind the kitchen counter sometimes as inner heart roses or lotuses opened and brightened, breathing gently, while people munched on carrot sticks and never noticed. Shifts come in simple, unnoticed ways as well.


But what I want to say most of all, the whole point of this article, is how those ancient memories of goddess times, before the shift to patriarchy 3,000 years ago, unearthed my inner matriarch, my inner wise woman, my inner goddess, mine and everyone I worked with. For those ancient pagan times especially were when women were relied on, respected for their generative powers, looked up to, in fact. It was a matriarchal consciousness then. I was speaking with a friend about this recently, and she commented how she had no idea what the ancient life of her motherland was like. And I felt a momentary sadness, thinking, oh, sweetie, but then your inner feminine powers must still be buried, all your talents from those days! And the knowing washed through me then how carefully the Goddess has been growing all of me into blossoming, all of everyone who dips into the long ago. How very blessed I felt in that small moment, how full inside! So, if you feel moved to dip your toes into light healing or past lives or even reading ancient history, especially of your own motherland, any of the places you may have left pieces of your souls behind, oh, DO it, love! Gather your own lilies and roses and Queen Anne’s lace of ancient times into the shining bouquet of love you truly are.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornVolume One Revised, and Volumes Two and Three.

For Amazon Information Click on Images

Gael Song

January, 2018

The Goddess we need more than anything else on Earth!

I write this during the ancient Celtic new year, Nov. 24th through 28th, the intercessory days the Celts called Samhain (pronounced sahven). These were days of celebration to thank the Goddess for the living of the year and to remember all who crossed over to the Otherworld during the passing skyturn. They called Her the White Tara then, and Her Beloved, the high God, Oghama. And the veil does thin greatly during this time, for She draws very near to remove projects or efforts no longer needed and break them down into that pregnant primordial sea of Hers, awaiting Oghama’s light seeds of Midwinter. Many things are moving through the veils at this time of year.

I do a simple ceremony of gratitude to the Goddess on Nov. 24th for the life She gives us all, the music She creates that always comforts and often gets me up doing jigs and reels (jig music gets me through my vacuuming in half the time!), the path of experience She rules that leads us all through our lives, the wisdom She helps us all embody through our hard lessons of life, and the water that cleanses in the bath and comforts in the sea outside my little cottage, all Tara’s regencies. When I do healings, it’s Tara Who comes in to draw off the shadows before Oghama arrives to put new light structures into the spaces the healing left within. And Tara’s sexual union with the long-term partners She creates for all of us is pure bliss. Her fingers on my temples, when I have trouble falling asleep, and the deep renewal She gives through restful sleep every night is pure heaven as well. Manifestation into the physical realm is Tara’s regency as well, for Oghama only puts the light seeds of possibility into everyone’s heart during the Oak moon for Her to choose from.

I never hear the Goddess spoken of in polite conversation. It’s as if She doesn’t exist. And more often than not, if I mention Her, I get one variety or another of negativity for quite a while, active insults or cold shouldering mostly. And there’s a pool of sadness in my heart over this utter refusal of the world to acknowledge Her. For without Her, we are lost. The White Tara rules the flow of emotion through all worlds, identical to the druid year, 15 24-day moons with 5 intercessory days (described in detail in my last article). So, lessons of restraint in anger and sexuality, endurance and patience in difficulty, determination to reach the end of one’s path and birth that inner divine child/highest destiny, working together in long term partnerships for the good of the world all stream from Her as well. And Tara rules the global/cosmic feminine, decidedly in difficulty here on earth! This means wise women within and their powers of intuition, prophecy, and especially calm and gentle wisdom in caring for their tribes and families. The Goddess is regent of intimacy, too, especially in partnership, and these are the major lessons She teaches in life, the preparation She puts into place for that final happy ending and true love relationship decreed for everyone on earth. If no one relates to Her here, no wonder there is rampant rage, oversexualized everything, ubiquitous fears of closeness, and marriages falling apart all over the place! If you have needs in any of these areas of life, call Her in! She is a veritable powerhouse of understanding and tenderness. But it’s Tara’s Love I value most.

When I say my prayer of gratitude during these special days, the part that brings tears to my eyes and fullness into my heart is when I thank Her for Her amazing love, the times She comes in around me even when I’ve failed at what I wanted to do, failed utterly. For me, this usually means not holding my center well enough, sliding into anger or despair when another darkness shows up for healing in my life. And if I think I’ve hurt someone, I have great difficulty forgiving myself. But not Her! She always comes in to hold me at these times, Her love and comfort pouring into every cell to lift and cherish me. Once a few years ago, a friend was instantly forgiving after I’d been unhappy with her over some trivial thing. And I thought, this is the Goddess. For the Goddess loves me, no matter what I do, no matter how long it takes me to get something right, even with these 15 extra pounds I never seem to lose. I believe in my bones that Tara truly loves murderers, criminals, rapists, everyone, for Her love is rock solid and unwavering, Her understanding of my own and everyone’s inner darkness deep and complete. Oghama understands us all, too, but His love is sunny, light-filled, not so familiar with the dark places in my soul. How do we reach the outcasts of the world, those who are living in the dark side of life without Her? We don’t, plain and simple. Only Her breadth and depth of love can bring them Home. That’s what I believe. For Her love is like nothing else I’ve ever felt, even God’s wonderful Beloved romantic closeness. Her love is bedrock, utterly unmovable by any darkness in any realm!

I used to say a daily prayer for God to make me just like Jesus (in my former Christian days). And I hoped for some leadership role to bring light into the world. Now, to tell you the truth, my deepest prayer is simply to bring real loving comfort to whoever I come in contact with every day, to be as forgiving as She is, to cherish the divine in everyone everywhere and try to understand them, especially their imperfections. Honestly, now, I just want to be like Her.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornVolume One Revised, and Volumes Two and Three.

 

For Amazon Information Click on Images

 

 

 

 

 

Book Excerpt from A Modern Celt: Day of the Dead by Mabh Savage

October, 2017

Day of the Dead

 

Samhain, for many on a Pagan path, is “the biggy”, the festival of all festivals, and much of this is to do with the day’s association with the dead and thus ghosts, spirits and other things otherworldly. It’s generally celebrated on October 31st although in Gaelic the word actually means “November” so the festival being named thus would seem to indicate that is to be celebrated at the start of November. This is probably because the Celts believed a new day started at sunset, so when fires were lit on the 31st October as the sun went down, it was already Samhain, the next day, and time to celebrate another point in the year when the veil is thin and one can almost speak to one’s ancestors, as they walk amongst us. Sometimes the night time celebrations are still called “Samhain Eve” rather than Samhain, and I think it’s key to understanding the Celts that we recognise that they weren’t taken too much by the time of day or the date, but more by splitting things into light and dark. Sunset was the end of the current day, therefore it was the beginning of a new day. Samhain was the halfway point between equal night and day (the autumn equinox) and the longest night (the winter solstice). Winter was darker; summer was brighter.

 

This is how I believe they saw the world, and this is how, as someone trying to understand their ancestors, I am also finding myself looking at the world. Even though we are, as a modern society, so obsessed with timekeeping and date stamping, it’s nice just to think “It’s cold and the sun is low after only a few hours, it must be winter. The moon is full and the sky is clear- it will be cold tonight. The leaves are yellowing; it is autumn.” It’s so much more special to watch the world change around you, to feel the turn of each season, than to mark its continuation by the flick of the page in a diary and waiting for dates to happen. The most physical evidence of any sort of calendar kept by a Celtic people is the Coligny Calendar, bronze plates dating from around the year 200 (although it’s thought the calendar usage may go back as far as 800 BCE) which show a calendar based on a 5-year cycle using both the solar and lunar cycles to describe an approximately structured year. This is not unlike our modern Gregorian calendar if you think about it- we have months roughly based on the cycle of the moon, although as we only have 12 now we stick in random days here and there (i.e. the 30 and 31-day months), and every 4 years when we’ve not managed to travel quite all the way around the sun, we get an extra day!

 

So here we are at Samhain. We now understand that the Celts were looking forward into the darker part of the year and preparing for winter, whilst at the same time feeling the touch of the other world; the fae, the Tuatha Dé Danann and indeed their own ancestors. Ever since I can remember this has always been a time to remember one’s own ancestors and honour them the best you can. This can be simply saying their names out loud, or holding a feast with their favourite food included. A common practice is to leave an image out of the ancestor or ancestors in question, and if no image is available or appropriate then something that either belonged to them or reminds you keenly of them. This is their physical link to you; this is how they know where to come through when they reach the veil. Offerings are left with this image or symbol, as a way of thanking your ancestor for what they have brought to you. Hopefully, your ancestor will see the gesture and be grateful, but also be at peace seeing that you are doing well and honouring your traditions; understanding yourself as a whole person, and acknowledging what came before you and what will come after; after all, by whole heartedly embracing this practice you accept that one day you will be on the receiving end of the gesture- whether through a direct blood descendant or even from friends or students- anyone you may have had significant and positive influence on.

 

As well as honouring our ancestors, we also accept that in the long run, they no longer belong here. Not that they are unwanted, but that they now reside somewhere else, and only at Beltane and Samhain can we be this close to them again. Samhain, starting at sunset, has the longer darkness, and therefore the greatest opportunity to light fires and candles as beacons to guide the dead, which I think is why this winter festival is more widely recognised as the day of the dead, rather than its summer counterpart, which is more about the continuity of life and fertility.

 

So at Samhain, there tends to be a threefold celebration. We welcome the ancestors- we draw them towards us somehow, we feel their presence and we celebrate their return. We spend time among them, enjoying their company like one would a friend you have not seen for years. Not only ancestors but friends and acquaintances past, including pets and working animals that may have been close to us. Because of this it can be a very bitter sweet time of year: although it’s wonderful to feel the presence of someone or something deeply missed, it also brings sharply into focus the original grief when you lost them. Because of that though, it can be a great way of dealing with grief. Sometimes we bottle things up too much, and Samhain has a tendency to bring to the fore feelings we would not normally have to deal with on a daily basis. It’s a good idea, because of this, to surround yourself with friends, family and loved ones or whoever can best support you through this.

 

Of course, you may be someone who genuinely deals with grief better on your own, but when you are also dealing with the potentially supernatural, it’s good to know that you are not alone; that you are not the only person who is feeling the presence of someone long gone but clearly not forgotten. So this is the second stage of Samhain: being with those we lost, and dealing with it either with happiness or grief while ensuring we are supported and making it as joyous as possible with feasting, drinking, and even gifts. Some celebrate Samhain as New Year too (understandable looking at how the Coligny calendar split the year into two halves), so again, more drinking, gifts and excuses for tomfoolery! The third stage is a little more solemn, and just as important. This is the stage where we feel the veil closing, and we say farewell to our ancestors (and other loved ones) and ensure we guide them on their way.

 

There are many different ways of doing this and I would not recommend that you practice rituals, rites or magic with the intention of guiding the dead without the guidance of someone experienced in such matters- quite frankly it can be a bit scary. More simply and traditionally, candles can be lit as symbolic beacons to show the dead their paths. can be played, for in Celtic tradition music is a gift from the otherworld and thought to be very magical indeed. Ancestral feasts are cleared away and images of ancestors are cleaned and put away until after the season is over, to remove temptation for the spirit to stay. It’s like saying, we’ve been happy to have you here, and we wanted to let you know how grateful we are for your influence in our lives. But we are the living; you are the dead. It’s time for us to get back to our lives, and for you to return to whence you came. I think it’s very healthy in that way; we accept that our loved ones are gone. We in no way cling on to them or expect them to return to us to be a permanent part of our lives, and in this way we can deal with our grief and move on, although it can take several years for grief to lose its keen edge of course. But we also accept that here is a time when we can celebrate them. Whether you believe that the dead physically (or metaphysically) return or not, how can anyone sneer at the idea of having a whole festival dedicated to love, remembrance and joy?

 

 

 

 

 

***
About the Author:
Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.

 

Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gael Song

September, 2017

Goddess Leading

     Raised in a Christian household, as an adult I was actively involved in my church, following in my mother’s footsteps. But then, six months after she died, I did a simple ceremony to release her and felt a powerful feminine Presence materialize in the ethers beside me. “I will be your Mother now,” that Presence said. Only much later did I realize it was the Goddess, She Who was never ever mentioned in my world. And suddenly, all I wanted to do in my leisure time was search out esoteric books on Celtic lore and times, a hunger within propelling me that I didn’t understand. During the summer before my oldest daughter left for college, we took a trip around the coast of Scotland (sunwise, not that I thought about that then.) And we stopped at every stone circle, souterrain, and barrow along the way, tramping through farmers fields and up unnamed hillocks (until my girls simply refused to get out of the car to look at any more!). My heart was literally starved for connection with my motherland and the divine feminine that poured into my feet and legs as I walked that soil. But after twelve years of voracious reading and searching, I remained restlessly unsatisfied. The Celts hadn’t written anything down, and many of the texts that tried to fill those spaces were confusing or filled with gaping holes or obvious distortions. I kept sensing ancient truths and mysteries, just beyond my reach.

     Then I attended a week-long retreat with a Celtic shaman, which left me astounded to realize I could talk telepathically with trees, stones, and turtles, that I could slip between small spaces and enter other worlds, where druid teachers stood ready to teach me in the hushed silence of moss covered trees. How many more stone circles I visited that way! Saying very little, the waiting druid guides led me on mental journeys to sacred sites and other realms where I’d lived before or quietly opened portals in my heart and mind. At first, I kept trying to talk with them, asking question after question about Celtic life, which brought only gentle smiles and amused silence in response. Not one of those druids ever said, “You must do this or that,” thank Goddess! The choice was always mine in the end. Such silent respect and service to my wondering soul drew me to the path as nothing else could, for in my life I’d known a fair amount of control, servitude, and neglect. And mysterious surprises kept appearing in my outer world, too, beckoning, beguiling me down this Goddess misted path.

     A few years later, I was led to attend a school of energetic healing, using light to heal inner fear in a simple meditative process. And I watched in utter wonder, after one of my classmates or teachers did a healing with me, as the spirit world meticulously cleaned up every reflection of that recently transmuted fear in my outer world. It quickly became very, very clear that my inner fears, many from past lives and my long ago descent from heaven to earth, were holding the patterns of my life in place. None of my druid guides explained this, either, their teachings fiercely experiential. They simply surrounded and held me in silent wisdom and ancient love as I observed and learned for myself. My life was a bit of a shambles back then, a difficult divorce and concomitant financial nosedive with three daughters to raise. And in my misery, these small sips of freedom the Goddess held out put wings on my heart and feet.

     So I began to do healings on myself every morning and evening, hoping for release into happiness within a year, at most. But every time a fear was healed, a new fear took its place. And negative circumstances kept occurring in my life to activate these new fears and open the ancient memories for healing. Life was full of these surprises, though I learned not to take them seriously, for they disappeared as soon as I transmuted them in my next few meditations. Plus, these challenges were interspersed with Goddess enchantment that often left me breathless with joy—like the day I was wrung out from a cross-country drive and a nasty encounter with a lady at a B&B. And suddenly, as I flopped on the sofa after finally arriving home, a hundred fireflies lit up at once, all fluttering just outside my windows in the deepening dusk. I felt their hearts surrounding mine like a crowd of happy children, lifting me instantly out of my fatigue and despair. The most lightning bugs I’d ever seen before were five or six spread out over the river and meadows below. So sweetly magical, that was! And things like this began happening more and more, too, Goddess blessings, every one.

(photo from smithsonianman.com)

     Every couple of weeks, the color that filled my aura moved down into the ground, and another came in from above, as if I was ascending a rainbow ladder of light somehow. I began to tune into these colors, feeling them intimately. And every couple of years or so, there was an intense passage with severe anxiety or time pressure or financial strain that lasted several weeks. And at the end of each of these times, I broke through into a whole new realm in my mind, a place entirely different from what I’d seen in my meditations before. And each time this happened, the outer circumstances of my life instantly changed as well: a home sold, a change of partner, a move, or new financial resources that broadened my life and work. There were seven of these passages, and I could feel that they were initiations: the first earth, next water, then air and fire, then cherub, bone, and diamond. I could see concentric sheaths of light in my aura burning off in light as I emerged through these passages, too, moving from outer to inner. The last challenge is still ahead of me, the diamond initiation, connected with my core wound, my guides say. Currently, I am working in the final sheath within, too, an intensely bright light in the heart’s core that matches the seventh world of the inner planes, the heaven they call the Diamond Core.

     It’s been twenty-one years now since I began this healing process, thirty-six since my Mom passed over, years of solitary druid practice, for no one in my world has been very interested in my path, very few even respectful of the Goddess Who holds me so tenderly, especially in my pain. But during all these years, my inner world was filled to overflowing with fae friends leading me to sparkling fabrics or recycled clothing in nooks and crannies of discount stores, then telepathying unusual designs for ceremonial wear to sew, suggesting delightfully unique recipes for dinner at the last minute, or leading me on spontaneous outings in the forest. My druid star brother was ever nearby, too, teaching me laws of love of the Celtic realms of heaven, the sacred geometry of nemetons, and holding up a standard of respect for all life that was literally out of this world, along with my star sister, always ready to help me understand those ray colors and inner planes of light, 350 in all, that neatly sorted themselves into those seven heavens. The Celtic pantheon appeared, too, one by one, over the past seven years, as regents of the fifteen structures of light in the Diamond Core that regulate cycles too numerous to mention, as I slowly moved up the inner spiral staircase of light.

     Over these years, my home was gradually transformed with Celtic art, a priestess wardrobe, oak leaves and interlaced designs, crystals, faeries, and roses everywhere. The Goddess called Herself the White Tara, and I began to call the God, Oghama, not Christ. And They became my best Friends, eternal partners in love and union without any of the friction between the divine masculine and feminine so common on earth. I began to feel a growing fusion of that Celtic heaven with earth, a rising of the Goddess and resurgence of the Celtic world here, but healed of the old black magic and sacrifice beliefs. Even my smallest questions were finally answered, the warp and weft of the Celtic tapestry finally mended, not by words, but by years of facing fear and embodying truths that empowered my spirit, understandings born of living experience over many years that remade my own little world into a place of shimmering beauty that thoroughly nourished my soul. The Goddess teaches wisdom first and foremost. If you are tempted to give up on your path, I suggest holding on till the next magic lifts you out of distress, for Her gifts have been amazing and ongoing.

     But then, my inner longing has shifted once again, for more than any other thing now, I wish to see that Celtic heaven manifested on earth. My druid guides tell me that humanity was once born into light in a single instant in this seventh heaven, each person with an eternal love partner in the image of God/Goddess. And each person has the structures of one of the twelve sacred cultures of the Creator Sun fused into her or his very bones, the specific culture depending on the location each person was created out of there. No wonder I can’t help buying yet another Celtic tapestry at the Renaissance Faire! I am guided to start an intentional community based on those laws of love of the Celtic heaven, Celtic to the core: Celtic art, music, sacred spaces, and architecture, pagan ceremony (blended with open-minded Christian, uniting the two sacred traditions of Scotland in mutual respect), and deeply honoring love for the Goddess, finally! I can’t wait for that! May Her bright blessings enfold us all and lead us Home soon.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba Reborn, Volume One Revised, and Volumes Two and Three.

For Amazon Information Click on Images

 

 

 

 

Next »