We are in what are called the “dog days” of summer. Imagine that the ancients thought that Sirius (one of the dog constellations) was the cause of the extra hot and sultry days of summer because that star rose with the sun each day during this time and they actually thought we received heat from it. But no, there is no heat from Sirius, only the tilt of the earth, giving us more heat.
We have come to equate these dog days of summer with high running emotions – especially frustration and anger. Let’s face it, when we are hot and uncomfortable, our patience does run a bit thin! There are many aspects of our lives that warrant extra care during the dog days. When traveling with a pet, extra precautions need to be taken to keep your pet safe. During all the fun and frolic of outdoor bar-b-ques and picnics, steps need to be taken to assure that food is kept cold, as it will spoil much quicker in the heat. Continue reading
We are approaching the season of Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas. This is the first of three harvest festivals. This one focuses on what we call the “first fruits”, those fruits, vegetables and grains ripening early in the season. The other two are Mabon and Samhain, one celebrating the harvest of the last crops and the next that of the herd animals sacrificed to feed the tribes.
In the many myths about this festival there is a consistent theme, that of sacrifice. To see the abundance of our harvest, it is important that we also honor the sacrifice made to assure it. Typically, the stories are of the great feats of Lugh is association with this special season. Lugh, the great hero of the Celts, was the child of Cian of the Tuatha Dé Danann and Ethniu of the Fomorians. The union of these two forged an alliance of two tribes. He was given in fosterage to Tailtiu, Queen of the Fir Bolg, wife of Eochaid mac Eirc, the last of the Fir Bolg Kings, further deepening this alliance. Lugh’s story is about birth and transformation. He is a powerful archetype who achieves his greatest gifts through adversity. Continue reading
We are in the season of summer and we have just celebrated the Solstice. I work with Ogham in my spiritual practice because it brings nature into my life so effectively. It helps me listen to the many messages available to me from my kindred in nature. In the Celtic tradition, heather is the tree for the Summer Solstice, something we can all associate with Scotland and Ireland, but the linden is the alternate tree for this season, and this tree is actually much more prevalent all over Europe.
Art by Deanne Quarrie
In Celtic Tradition our world is composed of Three Realms, those of Land, Sea and Sky. In the midst of these Realms we find the Sacred Grove, the place of flowing together. There the Sacred Fire burns, by the Well of Wisdom, beneath the World Tree. Sacred Fire is that which weaves itself throughout the Three Realms. It connects us and all of life to the Realms as well as to our gods and goddesses. Fire is Sacred Spirit, Sacred Inspiration, without which life would have no meaning.
And so we come to Fire. We have taken a look at Body/Earth, Breath/Air, Water/Sacred Source and now Fire/Sacred Inspiration. It is the spark, the flame, the heat of passion. It is what ignites our creativity, fuels our passion and fires our hearts to love. It is the Dance of Life, the joy found in movement, sexual energy and the warmth that germinates new life in seeds. It is the warmth of sunlight on our skin and the ecstatic pleasure of orgasm. Continue reading
“Ovid says of Cardea, apparently quoting a religious formula: ‘Her power is to open what is shut; to shut what is open.’ …”
Robert Graves, in the White Goddess
The Roman Goddess, Cardea, was keeper of the doors and had as Her principal protective emblem, a bough of Hawthorne. In the Celtic year, June is the month of the Oak, “Duir” and is considered the hinge of the year (the seventh of thirteen moon cycles).
She looks both forward and backward in time. Benefactress of crafts people, she lives in a starry castle at the hinge of the universe behind the North Wind. She is the Keeper of the Four Winds.
She is honored at her festival, Beltane, and is also honored during the month of June – which is known as the “hinge of the year.” Continue reading
Art by Deanne Quarrie.
I am a student of Northern European/Old Icelandic Seidr. What I find particularly fascinating in my studies are not the deities but rather the creatures living on the World Tree along with the Primordial Giants who predated the gods.
One such creature is Níðhöggr, the “Derision Striker.” Níðhöggr is a great dragon who lives at the base of Yggdrasil, the World Tree. She gnaws on the roots of the tree, stimulating new growth. Her home stretches from icy Niflheim, near what is called the “Roaring Kettle”, the sacred well of all the rivers of Niflheim, all the way to Dead Man’s Shore in Helheim where she devours the piled corpses.
From time to time I dive into the idea of seeing the Triple Goddess as Sisters rather than Mother, Maiden, Crone. I must confess that the idea of Sister Goddesses, complete in their familial connectedness, representing unity, connection, and interdependency, is very appealing. We, who practice Goddess Spirituality, strive in our relationships to reflect this in our work together. Shared power!
If I were to look at the sisterhoods individually, I enjoy the Ananke and the Moirae from Greek mythology. I like them because they represent a balance. One side setting the standards and the other, enforcing them! A perfect example of the laws of cause and effect! Continue reading
I am a child of the Earth.
I live and breathe, walk and dance upon Her face.
She is my source and I learn from Her each day. This I know…
Life begins in the dark as Desire.
Deep in that dark place life begins to form, taking root and becoming…..
As life stirs…… deep in the Mother’s Belly,
there is a gentle quickening, movement
that alerts us to a “knowing”
of the presence of something yet to come.
As the Earth prepares Herself with warmth,
the rains and waters come to flood the land,
nourishing the soil in which She is creating new life.
Art by Deanne Qyuarrie
Earth and Water and Fire
come together and Form continues to take shape.
One last thing is needed.
Just as new form emerges,
She breathes Air upon it.
Her Breath, giving Life to all. Continue reading
Most of us know the story of Inanna’s descent into the Underworld to visit with her sister Erishkigal. The reason for her visit is that Erishkigal’s husband has died and Inanna was a childhood friend of his and she will visit to pay her respects. As she travels to meet her sister, Inanna must pass through seven gates where they ask her to remove and part with aspects of herself so when she approaches Ereshkigal.
Upon arrival, her sister, who is angry because she believes that her husband loved Inanna, hangs Inanna from a meat hook to die.
While Inanna was in the Underworld, Ninshubur waited three days for Her to return, and when she did not she thought all was lost and began to mourn for her. She visited the temple of Enki who agreed to help her. Enki knows the nature of the underworld and its rule by a jealous, anguished Erishkigal. As a god he has the power to create and ease hardship. From the dirt under his fingernails, he creates the kurgarra and galatur, instinctual, asexual creatures Continue reading
Ecstatic Dancer Art by Andrew Morton, Used with Permission
If you are like me and view Goddess as everything – the entire web of life – then we cannot be connected to Goddess only in our heads.
We must see Her, hear Her, feel Her, dance with Her, taste Her, smell Her and finally we must KNOW HER. Somehow we drifted away from our natural state, engaging in life with our natural senses, including the intuitive.
Once we were right-brain functioning species but over time, with the development of written alphabets and a fast paced, artificially constructed environment we have become mostly left brained in our approach to life. This keeps us in our heads and out of touch with our bodies.
Yes, we use our senses but we are not aware of using them! Continue reading
Water is the daily necessity for earth’s creatures.
When the Continental Celts were looking for a new homeland, they ventured west from the known river valleys of the great landmass we call Eurasia. Just beyond the great mountains, the Alps, they discovered sweet and abundant water, fertile soil, expansive woodlands, and the plentiful fish, game, berries, grasses, fungi and broad-leafed plants necessary to support their tribe. Continue reading
Drawing by Deanne Quarrie
Sometime between the ages of 35 and 55, give or take, a woman enters a phase in her life that can only be described as metamorphosis. Yes, most call it peri-menopausal or menopausal, but truly such changes occur in each woman’s life at this time and it truly is a metamorphosis.
It is that time in her life when she stops producing as much estrogen but the production is often haphazard, sporadic and certainly unpredictable. This affects every aspect of her life. She might notice her eyes being dry in the morning, feeling like grating sand when she tries to open them. Her bleeding times may come on at different intervals or not at all. She may bleed more – she Continue reading
From Wikimedia Commons
The Year 2016 is coming to a close. It is a time of endings and a time of beginnings. That is the wonderful thing about our cycles. We all have the opportunity to end and begin – over and over. Each day, each month and each year. We all scurry about making resolutions for the new year only to see them fail almost immediately.
This is where a good basic magical practice can lend a hand with our resolutions. In every magical act, we must first know what it is we wish to manifest. I am not talking some empty wish here but a real look at what we want – really want – for the new year to bring. Continue reading