Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Resurrection Dance

This dance is known as the Hag of the Mill Dust (Cailleach An Dudain). This dance dramatized the seasonal cycle to come as both a man and a woman would play the parts of the changing seasons. The woman represented mother nature and the fertility of life. The man represented the reaper and the coming winter.

To begin the dance, the man held the druid wand, Slachdan Druidheachd, first over his head and then over hers. When the wand passed over her head, she dropped down to the ground as if dead. Dancing aroud the body to mournful music, he greived the loss of life. Then, he raised her left hand and touched it with the wand. The hand seemed to come alive. It began to move up and down. Overjoyed, the man continued to dance around her. Next, he would bring her other arm to life. The legs would follow and finally, he kneals over her, breathing into her mouth and touching her heart with the wand. She leaps joyfully to life and they both dance together.

This passion play illustrated the death of the Mother during the barren months to come and also, the promise of her reurrection in Springtime.

Monday, September 29, 2008


This is in celebration of Michaelmas and St. Michael, who took the place of Lugh. Just like Lugh, St. Michael is associated with horses, a shining spear and high places. Churches situated on tops of hills or rocky mounts are dedicated to this Saint. Such as St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall.

On his feast day, an unblemished male lamb was sacrificed and women made a special cake called Struan Micheil. This is also known as Michael's Bannock. This cake was made collecting all the types of grain grown on the farm. Equal parts of the grains were added together and kneaded with butter, eggs and sheep's milk. The bannock was marked with a cross and cooked on a stone over a fire of sacred oak, rowan and bramblewood.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Enchanting an instrument

This is a method of enchanting a creative tool, filling it with a creative energy for a specific use.
For example, by tools we mean, a musical instrument, a special pen, a laptop, paint brush. Anything that you are going to use in a creative way to express yourself.

This is the month of Awen or inspiration, so focusing on connecting to your creativity and the tools for it is a perfect New moon ritual. Especially potent at the beginning of any new creative project.

Using the Labyrinth, you can meditate silently while walking. Either visualizing your new project to completion or charging the instrument with focused intent. Sometimes having a mantra, that you repeat while walking, is helpful.

"By the Power of Three times Three,
Let this instrument sing with creativity."

The labyrinth above is at Glendalough, in the Wicklow mountains in Ireland. Photo by C. Siobhan Halstead, Shoobee Designs

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blessing of Awen

"The Awen I sing, from the deep I bring it . . . "
~ Taliesin

The basic meaning of Awen is "Blowing, Breath, Wind" for inspiration. It literally means to "breath in" as in the word inspire. One of the best ways to access you inspiration is through meditation. Building a labyrinth for walking meditation is a centuries old tradition. Walking a labyrinth allows you to clear your mind and become inspired by the Goddess.

You can construct a labyrinth out of stone, plants, painted on cloth or contrete.
Here is a link to a Laying Out Labrinths
to give you some ideas.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mabon Barley Bread Blessing

The making of Barley Bread is a traditional way to celebrate Mabon (September 20, 21 & 22nd) in the British Isles.
It is usually shaped into a sheaf of grain to grace the Harvest table.
There are many blessings that you can chant while kneading the dough to imbue the bread with luck and good fortune. Here is a favorite:

"Peace to all our family.
Plenty in all out days.
Protection of the sacred three.
Bless us in all their ways."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mabon Incense

An incense can be made combining the following:
2 parts Benzoin
1 part Myrrh
1 part Red Rose Petals
1 part White Sage
1 part Solomon`s Seal
optionally1 part Pine or 1 part Sandalwood

For use during Mabon rites and celebrations.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mabon Altar

To build a Mabon altar, you can use:
  • Yellow Candles
  • Bronze or Copper coins
  • A plate of apples, berries, nuts and other harvest fruits
  • Soft blue crystals, such as Blue lace agate
  • or Rose Quartz
  • Symbolic salmon, representing the salmon of knowledge
  • A green or blue cloth
  • Small personal treasures that you no longer use, to sacrifice as a symbol of what no longer serves you.
  • A blue dish of water.

Set up altar facing the West.
Once you have built your altar, you can design any number or rituals.
Suggested themes: abundance, mending quarrels, forgiving transgressions, gratitude, fruition of long term goals, harvest, sharing the wealth/abundance

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Celtic Goddess: Rhiannon

The Welsh Goddess of the moon and inspiration. Her name means is either "Maid of Annwn" or a variant of Rigatona, "Great Queen". Her name comes from the Welsh word Rhiain, which means "maiden."

She is Queen of the Faeries, the Goddess of fertility and rebirth, transformation, wisdom, and magic. Goddess of ethereal beauty, she was born with the first moonrise. She is the Muse of poets, source of artistic inspiration, she was worshiped outside amidst the trees at woodland alters and underneath the Moonlight.

She continues to inspire artists like Fleetwood Mac. Here is a link to their song Rhiannon

Rhiannon is said to possess three magical marvelous birds that can wake the dead, or lull the living to sleep. These birds can heal the sick and wounded with their sweet songs. Often three birds appear together in Celtic legends, as a symbol of the triple Goddess. Here is the song Three Birds of Rhiannon by Stevie Nicks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon occurs in late summer or early fall, at or after the autumnal equinox, Sept 21st. Farmers and farm workers in the Northern Hemisphere would take advantage of the additional hours of light and work through the night in order to complete the harvest.

An old Celtic harvest Moon ritual was to gather a key, a ring, a flower, a sprig of willow, a small piece of cake, a crust of bread, and 4 cards (the 10 of clubs, 9 of hearts, ace of spades, and ace of diamonds). Wrap these items in a handkerchief and place it under your pillow.

As you lay in your bed, say
"Luna, luna, every girl's friend,
to me your clarity you will lend.
Let me this night in visions see,
Emblems of my destiny."

If you dream of storms, it means coming trouble
if the storms end, a calm fate after strife.
a ring or the ace of diamonds = marriage
bread = a good job
cake= prosperity
flowers = joy
willow = treachery in love
spades = death
clubs, = living in a foreign land
diamonds = money
keys = great power
birds = many children
geese = more than one marriage.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lunar Botanicals

The following is a helpful list of plants associated with the moon:
Adders Tongue, Aloe, Lemon Balm, Bladderwrack, Buchu, Cabbage, Calamus, Camelia, Camphor Resin, Chickweed, Club Moss, Coconut, Cotton, Cucumber, Dulse, Eucalyptus, Gardenia, Gourd, Grapes, Honesty, Irish Moss, Jasmine, Lemon, Lettuce, Lily, Loosestrife, Lotus, Mallow, Mesquite, Moonwort, Myrrh, Papaya, Poppy, Potato, Sandalwood, Purslane, Turnip, Willow, Wintergreen

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mabon Rowan Ale

Note: This is to be made a year in advance in preparation for next year's feast.
1 pound of Rowan Berries
4 Cups Sugar
3 Quarts Strong Ale

Partially crush the Rowan Berries
Place in a 4 Quart container with a lid
Sprinkle the sugar over the fruit
Fill the container with the ale
Cover loosely
Fermentation should begin within 48 hours
When rapid bubbling has ceased, strain, cork and store for 1 years time.

This should bring the joy of the sun to your feast and protect all who drink it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rowan Jelly

A delightful accompaniment to rich game for your Mabon feast.
4 Cups Rowan Berries
2 or 3 apples, peeled and quartered
4 Cups sugar (approximately)
4 Cups Water (approximately)

Cover the washed berries and apples with water.
Simmer about 40 minutes, until water is red and berries are soft.
Strain off the juice, but do not press the fruit or the jelly will become clouded.
Measure the juice and return it to the pan.
Add equivalent amounts of sugar (1:1, water:sugar)
Boil rapidly for 1/2 hour.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Magical Properties of Rowan

Valued throughout the Celtic countries for it's powerful magic, the Rowan in called "The Wizards' Tree."
  • It's ruler is the Sun.
  • Branches, leaves and berries are all magical.
  • Leaves and berries can be placed along window ledges to protect your home.
  • For serious protection, take two twigs and tie together with red string in the shape of a cross. Hang the cross over doors and windows.
  • A rowan wand or walking staff will protect you from harm on a journey and bring spiritual enlightenment on your path.