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Book Review – Pagan Portals: The Dagda by Morgan Daimler

April, 2019

Book Review
Pagan Portals
The Dagda
Meeting the Good God of Ireland
by Morgan Daimler

The
Dagda, the Good God of Ireland, is the subject of the book written by
Morgan Daimler. She has created a beginner’s book on a Deity that
is multilayered and complex. As of 2017, the time of the writing of
this book, the author, Ms. Daimler had not heard of a book that was
written solely on the Dagda.

The
author, Ms. Daimler, has broken the five different chapters up into
sub-entries. Each entry deals with a different aspect of the Dagda.
Even though there are only 77 pages in the e-book, I found myself
taking a lot of notes.

The
first chapter describes the Dagda, in name, physical description, and
in his relationship with others. The second chapter is the mythology
of the deity known as the Good God, the Dagda. There are several
different myths that Ms. Daimler uses; most of which have Irish
titles that I can’t pronounce. (My pronunciation of Irish words is
terrible so that my program that does my typing would misspell all of
them anyway.) All of the myths that Ms. Daimler used as references
showed the Dagda, as a God of many skills, abundance, and healing.

In
chapter 3 one of the possessions that belong to the Dagda, is a
cauldron of abundance. In modern neopaganism, the cauldron is often
associated with feminine or goddess energy. In Irish were more
generally Celtic mythology the cauldron is associated with Gods.

Also
in chapter 3, she talks about herbs, trees, and resins. She does
point out that herbs are a bit more modern and vary from person to
person. Oak has always had a strong connection with the Dagda. Also
having an association with the Dagda are frankincense and myrrh,
neither of which are native to Ireland.

On
page 51 of Ms. Daimler’s book she talks about the Dagda has a
strong modern reputation as a Druid or working druidic magic, but she
points out that there is nothing explicit in the mythology the
connecting to the Druids. She does think it’s redundant that the
Dagda has his own Druid. She says it’s redundant, if he, himself
was also a Druid. I don’t think it’s any more redundant, then a
tarot reader going to another tarot reader for a reading.

There
are a couple of different things that Ms. Daimler includes in the
book that I find interesting. One of the sub-entries is the Dagda in
my life; I like when an author includes their working with a Deity or
part of their own spiritual growth experience. She also includes a
look at the Dagda in the modern world.

I
do see this book as a jumping off book for learning more about the
Dagda. I think some of the sources that Ms. Daimler quotes, will lead
others to search more about Celtic myth. I’m glad to have read this
book because it gave me a deeper understanding of the Dagda, and the
way Irish/Celtic myths look at their deities. I highly recommend this
book.

Pagan Portals – the Dagda: Meeting the Good God of Ireland on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page. If you are interested in a reading you can reach her on Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

GoodGod!

April, 2018

Meet the Gods: Dian Cécht

(art by Jane Brideson)

Merry meet.

With so many people around me sick, it was probably no coincidence I came across Dian Cécht, the Irish god of healing. It so happens a story told about him is the same as the one told about Credne, one of the three craft gods, last month. He was described as a craftsman who worked mostly in bronze and when the High King lost his arm in battle, he fashioned a functioning replacement arm from silver.

In “Pagan Portals: Gods and Goddesses of Ireland: A Guide to Irish Deities,” Morgan Daimler also tells the same story, adding that Dian Cécht also healed Midir’s wounded eye and cured plagues disguised as serpents. “There is a reference in the St. Gall’s incantations to a salve of Dian Cécht, which is used for healing. Dian Cécht was invoked with healing charms into the 8th century CE and even in modern folklore is associated with an herbal oatmeal preparation that has healing properties,” Daimler wrote.

In the Ever Living Ones blogspot, Jane Brideson offered “a prescription for Dian Cécht’s porridge,” describing it as “the oldest-known Irish medical remedy.” It’s made of oatmeal, dandelion, hazel buds, chickweed and wood sorrel.

Multiple sources speak of Dian Cécht’s Well of Health, Tiopra Sláine, said to contain one of every herb that grew in Ireland. Wounded warriors bathed in the water were healed.

Daimler writes, “Dian Cécht was considered the supreme physician of the Gods and possessed a well or cauldron, the Sláine, into which the wounded could be placed and from which they would emerge restored. Throughout the Irish texts where he appears he is renowned for his healing skill and he is called ‘the healing sage of Ireland’ and ‘God of health.’”

As the god of healing, he is associated with physicians and restoring of the body.

He is not only a god of active healing, but also of the knowledge of healing arts and of healing magic. He is known as a superlative healer with any method. We don’t have many existing myths featuring Dian Cécht, but the ones we do have generally center on his healing skill in one way or another,” Daimler wrote.

His name is thought to translate as swift for dían and power for cécht, yet another source said the name appeared to mean God of the Plowshare.

Dian Cécht was also known as Cainte, a chanter of spells and prophecy. His titles include god of power and health and sage of leechcraft,” Brideson wrote.

A well or a cauldron are associated with him, and can be used to symbolize him. Offerings could include water, medicinal herbs or herbal tea. He may be called on for anything related to healing or medicine, when wishing to heal or be healed.

Click Image for Amazon Information

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.

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.

 

The Kitchen Witch

March, 2018

Corned Beef and Cabbage

This is not going to be an essay of whether to celebrate St. Patty’s Day or not. I know that many Pagans do not celebrate St. Patty’s day with the righteousness of Jehovah Witnesses not celebrating Christmases and almost every other holiday. I am not one of those people. When I was growing up Catholic in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Saint Patrick’s Day was a secular holiday that was celebrated in my public school – it didn’t have anything to do with the Catholic Church at all – nor did Valentine’s Day, for that matter – another thoroughly secular holiday, only celebrated in my public school.

I am the type of person who believes in celebrating everything. Living in Buffalo, New York, this is really the way it is here – everyone celebrates everything, regardless of religion or cultural background – we are a partying people. Google it – Buffalo rivals much larger cities New York, Boston and Chicago in its St. Patty’s day celebrations. We have two parades on two separate days in two separate neighborhoods and they are both well attended. It’s not all Christians out there wearing the green. Everyone’s Irish – no matter if their last name is Mueller or Paderewski or Brucato or Khun.

I long ago stopped partying as hearty as I could – it just doesn’t work for me anymore. But I still like to eat the traditional foods as much as I can. And whether you are cooking for St. Patty’s Day on the weekend of March 17, 2018 or you are having a group of people over for an Ostara ritual, a plate of corned beef and cabbage is always a springtime delight.

According to my Joy of Cooking, corned beef got its name in Anglo-Saxon England when beef was preserved with salt the size of a kernel of wheat – called “corn” – not the yellow corn that Americans know, that would be “maize” – and unknown to Europe at that that time, anyway. Note the similarity of the words “corn” and “kernel”. “Corning” was a type of preservation so that meat could be kept for months. Salting meats and fish was ancient – every culture has ways of doing this to preserve food through the lean months. The way it was done in the middle ages meant that the meat was much saltier than we would recognize it nowadays – probably much saltier than we would find palatable! Modern refrigeration and brining methods has changed this and the corned beefs and pastramis that we eat today are much less salt and much more flavor than their medieval ancestors.

Usually corned beef is on sale this time of year. Look for either a good-sized brisket or round – I like a brisket because it’s more traditional but a round generally has less fat and will cook down less dramatically. You can get them from a butcher but generally they are prepacked in heavy plastic, with the brine and a small pack of seasonings included.

You can cook it in a slow-cooker – it takes about six to eight hours. I looked up how to do it in the Insta-Pot pressure cooker – it would take 90 minutes for the meat and another 10 or so minutes for the potatoes, carrots and cabbage. But I opted to do it the old-fashioned way – on the stove-top, in a large pot. The package also has instructions on how to cook it.

You need:

a corned beef, between 3-5 pounds.

Enough cold water to cover the meat.

Contents of the seasoning packet.

4 to 6 small white or red potatoes, or larger ones, cut into quarters.

Several small white onions or a larger one, cut into wedges.

3 to 5 carrots, cut into pieces.

Half a cabbage, cut into wedges.

Take the corned beef out of the packing and rinse it off. Set it in the pot and cover with cold water. Add the seasoning packet. Put on the stove and bring to a boil.

You don’t have to do this, but I do: I add a stalk of celery, a carrot and a piece of onion to the water. Just for added flavor and general food magic.

When the water comes to a boil, turn it down to a simmer. You’ll notice that there’s “scum” on the top of the water, so take a spoon and skim it off and discard it.

Now – some recipes say to cover the meat and let it simmer for several hours – some say to leave it uncovered. I personally always cover my corn beef as it cooks. Once in a while, I take the cover off and poke it with a fork and turn it over. But generally, I leave it alone and go about other business.

After two or so hours, you will notice that the meat has shrunk quite a bit! The aroma of the corned beef spiced should be drifting through your kitchen and making you hungry for dinner. This is when you should remove the celery and carrot and onion that was added when you first started – if you did add them. If not, just add the potatoes, carrots and onion wedges.

Cover the pot again and after about a half-hour to forty-five minutes, add the cabbage wedges. These only take fifteen minutes to cook! Dinner is almost ready! Set the table!

My son was over the day I cooked this and I almost forgot to take a picture of a fixed plate of the finished meal! We were having such a good time together, as we always do. But here is it:

Naturally, that’s my small plate and not the large one I prepared for my son. I should have taken a picture of that plate but he had it almost finished before I had mine even served up!

Anyway, this is a meal that always satisfies. I usually take the leftovers and make corned-beef hash – just chop everything up and fry it all together with a little butter. But that’s if there is any leftovers! Usually the meat gets all eaten up and there’s just a few potatoes and carrots left and a wedge of cabbage. There’s never any complaints when I cook up this meal.

So try this one out. It’s wicked easy – it practically cooks itself! If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is! Brightest blessings this Ostara season!

References

Rombauer, Irma S. and Marion Rombauer Becker. Joy of Cooking. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1975.

For Amazon Information Click Image

 

Dex and Ken. “How Do You ‘Corn’ Beef?” https://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2153/how-do-you-corn-beef/

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.