Fun in the Woods


Last Saturday we went into the woods for an Action Day, which consisted of coppicing hazel. The sun was out and shining, we saw a bumblebee, many ladybirds and a small rodent which hastily dashed from one pile of brush to another. One of the workers showed me the pond and some bee orchids. The orchids are only leaves at the moment, but I will be coming back to see them in flower later on.

I also saw three ladybirds on the hazel I was coppicing. Since three is a sacred number and they stayed the whole time on the hazel, there was obviously some significance to this. I looked them up on the net and saw the Irish belief that they take away ailments. I have noticed today that my ailments are a lot better.

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Please Correct Me


Recently on a message board I said in a message “please correct me if I’m wrong” and someone said that they would never correct me.

If I say anything that you think is wrong in this blog, please drop me a line in the comments section. I’m human after all, and I have my off days. I may know more about what I’m writing than you who are currently reading this, but I’m not the fount of all human knowledge.

I have moments thinking “why did I say that?” just like everyone else. I also have moments when someone corrects me, I check my books and it turns out that they were right.

Also my opinion about a subject may change after a number of years because of experience. You try things out, get some of them right, some of them wrong. It’s my opinion that there’s always room for improvement.

Finding Irish Deities


In the texts there are often people who have the same name. Donn is one of them, being mentioned seven times yet only two of these Donns are the same deities. To make matters worse, the name of the deity may be spelt several different ways as spellings were optional when the texts were written, since dictionaries had not yet been invented. For example, Tailte can be spelt as Tealte in a second text.

It all sounds a bit of a minefield separating out which is which, but in reality it’s not that bad. For example, one of the Donns who is a deity is a Milesian, so if the text you are reading is not talking about a Milesian you know it’s not the same Donn. If the text is talking about a Milesian, you know it’s the Donn you want.

Scholarship


Scholarship is badly needed in paganism. There are too many people who do things “because it feels right”, mispronounce deity names or just don’t know the first thing about what they are doing, for example thinking that the ancient Irish ate potatoes because a fluffy book says so.

I avoid books under the “Mind, Body and Spirit” section of bookshops. They’re likely to be fluffy claptrap which isn’t worth the price of a book. Instead I look under “Myths and Legends”, “Archaeology” and other sections which are likely to reveal real information. There is also the Sacred Texts website with books which are out of copyright.

On the other hand, there are people who delve into the minutae of scholarship without thinking “can we use this in our paths?” I’m not a scholar, and therefore not interested in information that I can’t use in my path.

Imbolc


This was one of the quickest rituals I have ever done, as it was absolutely freezing. While all the proper steps for the ritual have to be taken, I was not hanging around.

I’m finding it difficult to get back into rituals and am ending up writing them at the last minute. It’s much more satisfying to have written them for a while, have them properly planned out and then you can do so much more with them.

While a last minute ritual will do, one that has been properly planned out and which you can properly celebrate the festival with is a lot better.