Symbols have power in their own right. This is because they have meanings from various cultures and the symbol represents all the meanings.

Recently I lost a charm from my charm bracelet. It was a four-leaved clover for luck and with it I’d had a lot of good things happen by coincidence. Whereas I noticed that these coincidences didn’t happen after I lost it. I meant to put a spell on it for good luck, but hadn’t got around to it.

The problem with a symbol is that it will embody all the meanings from all the cultures that it is a symbol in. You can’t pick and choose which meanings a symbol has.

This was brought home to me recently when I discussed my tattoo on a message board. The tattoo is a green dragon holding a sun, which I got before I became Pagan. It was mentioned to me that this has symbolism to do with healing (I’ve done an aromatherapy course) and Tai Chi, which I’ve also done, both after getting the tattoo. Neither of which symbols I meant the tattoo to represent.

If I was to get another tattoo I would be more careful of all the meanings of all the symbols I had tattooed on me.

Ancient Legends and Superstitions of Ireland by Lady Wilde

This book is a must for anyone who wants to read about charms, omens and superstitions of Ireland.

The book starts off with stories. Each batch of stories is interspersed with sections on various superstitions of Irish life. Interestingly one of the first stories is about the SATOR square used in Ceremonial magic.

There is a section about charms and spells, a section about plants and one about omens, so this book is really useful to anyone following an Irish path.

Taking Responsibility

As Pagans and witches we should take responsibility for our actions. We make things happen via ritual and/or spells and sometimes the result isn’t what we wanted. It doesn’t matter that we had good intentions or that we made a mistake, it’s our fault it happened and the deities/spirits/occult forces that are behind what we do will not take “I didn’t know” or “I didn’t mean that to happen” as an excuse.

When things do go wrong, we should accept responsibility and correct our mistake, whether it’s by sacrificing something to a deity or using magic. We should not just be making an excuse and walking away from the problem we have caused. We need to make restititution.

Celtic Mazes by Adrian Meehan

This book is about Celtic maze design. Before you get excited, it is mainly about what are usually called “key patterns” in Celtic art, not mazes you can physically get lost in.

Since the writer does not know the difference between a maze and a labyrinth, I do not rate this book very highly. It does teach you how to draw key patterns, but there is a section on goddess symbols which I look at with suspicion. For example, one of the symbols is apparently a ram’s head. The author explains this by saying it’s the shape of a woman’s reproductive system. This is true, but until the last few centuries British people did not really know about surgery or reproductive systems, so I seriously doubt that a ram’s head is a goddess symbol.

I found this book to be okay, but one to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Mother Earth

One of the things I hate is people who follow an Irish path following Mother Earth or Gaia.

This is a Graeco-Romanic concept and really does not fit in with an Irish path. After the second battle of Magh Tuireadh, the Tuatha Dé Danaan and the Milesians parcelled out Ireland between them. The Milesians were to have all Ireland above the earth and the Tuatha Dé Danaan were to have all Ireland under the earth.

So the Tuatha Dé Danaan, who make up the majority of the Irish deities, went to the sídhes in the earth to live. Many of the features of the Irish landscape are connected to deities, for example the Paps of Anu, Ardmachu with Macha or Tara with Tailtu.

So in a sense all Irish deities are earth deities, although there are some, like the Cailleach, who is a deity involved with creating landscape, that are more connected with the earth than others. Mother Earth really does not fit in with deities which are part of the land itself.