Irish Early Law by Fergus Kelly

This is a very good book which is well-written and easy to read. It details the law in Ireland in the Dark Ages and is a fascinating look at the Irish culture that would have been around when the myths were being written down.

Despite what feminists would have us believe, while Irish women had more rights than their continental counterparts, they still did not have it easy.

This book shows that women could only learn professions (such as Druidry) if there were no men in the family left to carry on the family profession. Also, women belonged to the father when they were young, to the husband when they were married and to the family if they were widowed.

This book was expensive at £40, but it was well worth paying the money for it.


What is Folk Magic?

For me, folk magic is using the simple things that are there. Using herbs that you already have around the house, things which are classified as superstitions or things which date back a long time.

I will use a tool if I have it, if not then I can get by perfectly well without it or substitute something else.

Bath Salts and Soap Making Course

Last Sunday I went to a course in Treadwell’s about how to make bath salts and soap. I already knew how to make bath salts, but was interested in how to make soap.

The first part of the course detailed correspondences of herbs and crystals with the planets. I was amazed at the number of people who weren’t writing anything down – how do they expect to remember it all? Then we were given a handout on the correspondences anyway. I would have preferred it if the tutor had taught people that correspondences are specific to person and not given a list to learn by rote.

The tutor was only using seven of the ten planets as the other three planets are “modern ones”. Since we’re living in the modern era, I would have preferred it if we used all ten of the planets.

The second part of the course was how to make bath salts. I enjoyed this, but prefer using Epsom salts in bath salts as they are known to help muscle aches. Apparently the magic part of it is to focus your intention while you’re making the salts or soap “to put your intention in” which I know from experience doesn’t work.

The last part was how to make soap. I was disappointed as I thought we’d be making soap from scratch, but it was because we would need a kitchen for it and apparently the lye that goes into soap can cause burns if not properly treated.

We grated unperfumed soap with a grater, added herbs and oils to it and firmed it up into a ball. The tutor added far too much essential oil to the soap, it should really only be 1 drop per 2.5 ml and gave no safety data with it or the herbs. After she told us about tripping on mugwort tea during a class she took, I thought she’d be more careful with both herbs and oils.

My soaps are drying for a week and I’ll report on how they turn out later.