Nature


A lot of pagans seem to think that the only way of connecting with nature is to go out into the country.

This isn’t true : you don’t need the country to connect with nature. You can connect with the trees in the city centre, watch the starlings as they flock in the dusk over the buildings or go to a local park to see the flowers.

Nature is all around us, it’s not just found in the country.

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Lughnasadh


Monday was Lughnasadh, a festival that the god Lugh set up to commemorate his foster mother Tailte, who died clearing the plain of Mag Mell.

I did a small ritual to commemorate Tailte and mark the harvest.  As most people reading this blog know, I write a new ritual each time.

However, I didn’t have time to do it and decided to make it up as I went along.  This is the first time I have done this with a festival, and I decided to do it to see how it would go.  The ritual went well, but I had the feeling that if I had planned it beforehand it would have been better.

Danesbury Hill


On our way back from the West Country yesterday, we stopped at Danesbury Hill.  This is a Celtic Iron Age hillfort, most of which was dug by an archaeological team headed by Professor Barry Cunliffe from the sixties to the eighties.

Danesbury Hill is lovely to walk along.  We saw four different types of butterflies : chalk blue, marbled white, red admiral and an orange one I have yet to identify.  There were lots of flowers, including self-heal, clover, yellow vetches, forget-me-nots and some yellow ones which I didn’t know what they were.  There were also two ponies grazing the land.  I think I saw a medlar tree, but since it’s the first I’ve seen I need to check it in my identification books.  Medlars are unique in that the fruits of the tree are only edible when they are rotten.

I took an offering of water into the midst of the hillfort.  There is a place there, which has a ring of trees around a central tree which is very unfriendly to humans and very powerful.  My betrothed, who’s not sensitive to such things, could sense that there was a boundary.  I gave the offering and the hillfort seemed less hostile to me.

Book Habit


I went to Treadwell’s bookshop at the weekend, fully intending only to buy “Celtic Myths and Legends” by T. W. Rolleston.  I read a copy belonging to my sister many years ago, and since then I’ve wanted my own copy.

I knew Treadwell’s had a copy as I saw it when I went for a ritual [detailed here] and because of the ritual I had a £7 credit note in my purse.  Then I saw a copy of Brian Day’s “Celtic Festivals”, which I’d read and was on my to buy list, so I had to get that.

I’m also buying a book on charms via post, so that gives me three books, plus one on order via my local library, plus another I’m currently reading and two on trees which I bought a while ago.  Which equals seven.

It’s a good thing I have a job to support my habit, now I just have to find the time to read them…

Halfway Through Making a Stang


I am in the process of making a stang, which unfortunately is getting interrupted by This Damn Wedding of mine.

I have oak wood for the stang, which was given to me by a tree I often talked to.  The wood is split into three pieces, which I will put together by dowel rods.  It’s being delayed because I first have to make a water blessing so I can give the tree I take them from an offering.  The wood for the main body of the stang was lying in the water, so I did not have to make an offering.  Then I will have to wait for the wood for the dowel rods to dry and carve out the spaces for the rods in the wood which will make up the body of the stang.

I was told by one of my goddesses that I was to attach the bones of the sea, the bones of the earth and the bones of the air to my stang.  I was given a mouse and four birds courtesy of my cat.  Normally there is nothing strange in this, but before now my cat had caught three birds in the entire eight years I have had her.

I have to wait for the mouse and birds to decompose so I can attach the bones to the stang, some of which are going to be put between the pieces of wood.  I have seashells for the bones of the sea, but need something to cut the shells up so they look like bones instead of shells.

After that I need an antler for the top and a nail for the bottom and it will be finished.  Unfortunately this is not a quick project and is even slower with wedding s**t intruding upon it.  I want to get it finished this year (my year begins at the Spring Equinox) but I am not sure this will happen.

In Your own Words


It’s important to use your own words when consecrating items, doing spells or anything else of a ritual nature.

Because you have made these words, they are tied to you and thus the spell is tied to you.  If you use someone else’s words, then they do not have that tie and will not work as well, especially if you do not understand what they mean.

Making your own words can take a lot of work, but in witchcraft, if you want to get results, you have to put the work in first.  Witchcraft is not just two seconds of doing a spell that you see in the movies, it’s putting a lot of work in in the first place.

Consecrating Items


In my opinion consecrating items is the ABC of witchcraft.  All the basic books tell you how to consecrate items, but they never state why.

The act of consecrating an item is to program the item to be used in a certain way.  This is why a consecrated kitchen knife will work better than an unconsecrated athame, even if it has fancy runes and carvings and costs lots of money.

The purpose to which an item has been made does help it work, but I have found that all items work better with consecration.  If you have bought an item in a shop, you do not know to what purpose the maker has made it for.  For example, if you buy a wand its maker may have made it to be a wand used for healing and you bought it to be used for blessing.  If this wand was left unconsecrated then it would not be terribly effective at blessing as it was made for healing.

The best way to consecrate items is one which fits in with the path you follow.  From what I have seen, most people use the four classical elements : earth, fire, water and air.  However, if you followed Chinese gods it would be more appropriate to use wood, fire, water and metal as these are the Chinese elements.  I have a ritual which uses the Celtic realms of earth, sea and sky, since I follow an Irish path.

The Meaning of Flowers by Claire Powell


This book is a really good book on the meaning of flowers.  It tells you how the meaning of flowers came to Britain and why various flowers mean what they do.  For example, cabbage represents love because in France (where the meaning of flowers came from to Britain) someone will call his sweetheart “my little cabbage”.  It goes through all the meanings that they had for flowers in Victorian Britain.  There is a very useful appendix at the end of the book which is a list containing the name of the flower and what it means, which is a good short reference.

Avebury by Evelyn Francis


This is one of a series of small books which is produced by Wooden Books and bought as a stocking filler for £5.99.  Avebury is the biggest stone circle in Europe.

I found the book mildly interesting and the historical facts good, but when it wandered off into ley lines I started to lose interest.  It’s not a bad buy, but a bigger book for double or treble the price would probably have given more information.

Midsummer


I celebrated Midsummer last night.  I usually take the day off for festivals, but Midsummer crept up on me and I only remembered to book the day off when it was too late to do so.  So last night we did a small celebration to honour the goddess Áine.

Midsummer is Áine’s day and the traditional way to celebrate was to light torches to her and then parade the torch round the house to protect against sickness and disease and to ensure fertility for the year ahead.

We lit one tealight, which is the modern equivalent of a torch, at my altar and then we paraded it around the house.  In hindsight, I should have paraded it around the garden as well.

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