Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folks: Form Your Squadrons

Last night into early this morning was a Super Black New Moon in Virgo, and while others can tell you more about that, I took the time last night to go see Na Morrigna, the three Daughters of Ernmas, to ask what message they had for me and my allies and associates this Dark Moon. I met them around a huge cauldron, into which they threw herbs and other ingredients. I breathed the steam, watched images dance across the surface, and gave them my attention as they communicated their message. Here is what I was told*:

“It is time to get back onto the wagon, and take the reins again, but hold them in a loose hand. You are anxious and also have high expectations. Do not dwell on the past, neither its good nor its ills. Look forward. Change is possible, but there is work to be done. Organize yourselves. Form your squadrons – small practice groups within larger networks. Decisive action must be taken by each individual group; be small, swift, flexible, and adaptable. Identify goals and work by consensus. Create your own strategies and share with others in your network. Everyone has a role to play.”

This is perhaps a good time to remind you all that my major role, beyond these Dark Moon messages, is to offer healing (in person or remotely) to others in my networks, especially when illness (spiritual, emotional, or mental/physical) is impairing their ability to perform their own role in the larger work. Such healings are free of charge within the boundaries of an individual’s own agreement with Na Morrigna. (Basically – if you’re a devotee with a right relationship with one of or all of Na Morrigna, and She/They agree/s that you need healing as part of your exchange with Her/Them, I’m happy to oblige, because that becomes part of my exchange with Them. If you wish to pay me yourself, with money or barter, I’m happy to do that, too!) I also do divination for those wishing to understand their own role better (see last year’s Tarot Spread), and I’ve been known to do combination divination/consultation advice for neophyte devotees looking to dedicate themselves with an oath to one or more of Na Morrigna (though as my own relationship is with Anu, Badb, and Macha, my advice is more suited to working with Them over other goddesses sometimes included, like Fea and Nemhain).

Beyond that… Shifts are coming. I can feel that, but I’m not sure what kind. This is meandering into Unseelie Weather Report territory, but keep your wits about you, friends. Shields and wards, ground and center. Keep an eye on large patterns, but a closer eye on your local communities and ecosystems. I don’t think this is going to be an easy winter.

* That is, translated as best I can out of the all-encompassing experience that is deep trancework, into grammatical English sentences. If I am an artist of any sort, I am primarily a wordsmith, and more than two decades writing poetry and prose has perhaps prepared me to take these experiences and find the best words to encapsulate a deep knowing understanding that is transmitted in a way that transcends words. Those who dance with the divine in this manner all have their own preferred medium of expression.

Celtic Polytheism, Event, Holiday Celebration, Prayer

Lughnasadh – A Belated Summary

Lughnasadh season is busy in our house because it also usually coincides with the start of the Kemetic Epagomenal Days, and this year it also coincided with my return to Priestessing for the Morrigan.

Altar for the Fox and Fungi Lughnasadh celebration

This year, our main ritual was celebrated with the Fox and Fungi group at our local UU Church, which I co-led with another group organizer. We did a druidic style ritual based on a liturgical outline I’ve devised for the group, which sort of splits the difference between Wiccan ritual structure, UU service structure, and the ADF Core Order of Ritual that I became accustomed to when I was previously a member of an ADF Druid Grove. (Yes, those work together better than you might think!) We called upon Lugh and Tailtiu as the deities of the occasion, and a friend and very good storyteller regaled us all with her version of Tailtiu’s story. Our main working was done with leaves placed in baskets. We each had two leaves. On one, we wrote something we were good at or something we’d accomplished that we were proud of. On the other, something we hoped to learn to do, or something we hoped to achieve. As we listened to musical accompaniment, we each came up to the altar to put our leaves each into the appropriate basket. Later, the leaves were taken outside to our ritual space.

It was nice to be with our community, but it did mean that our home observance went largely undone – I wrote a prayer and Scott poured Lugh and Tailtiu each out a shot of whisky, but we didn’t do a large family dinner. I’ve copied the prayer below, for those interested.

Lughnasadh has arrived,
And the days begin to grow shorter
Fruit is ripening on branch and vine
And grains are golden in the fields

Summer heat still hangs in the air
But we have begin the harvest
We are standing on the cusp of autumn
And soon the nights will be chill

On this day we honor Lugh and Tailtiu
His foster mother, who cleared the land
So that the people might plant grain
She gave her life for her people’s needs

Come to us now, and join in our celebration!
We offer you food, drink, and merriment!
We ask in return for your blessings:
Help us to bring in the first fruits of our labors

Lugh and Tailtiu, Hail and Welcome!

lughnasadh Prayer, by Aleja Nic Bhe Chuille
Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

A Re-Gathering of Crows

I’m back on deck this Lughnasadh-Eve. Finished with my Saturn Return (but not yet ready to turn that journey into a narrative), and once again Called. I Answered (how could I not?), and have been once again drafted into the service of Na Morrigna, the Three Sisters, to deliver the messages I receive on the Dark Moon.

Are you ready to join me again, Crow Folks? A new journey awaits. Do not wait too long in deciding. Put less important things aside. We need to harness our own creative powers and generate the foundations of our triumph.

We all have a role to play. We were called. We accepted. We rise together.

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folks: A Final Message

I’ve been told to step back from this work, the messenger role I was thrust into around Lughnasadh last year.  It’s been six months, and the balance feels right.  I’ve learned a lot, and hopefully so have you.  I’ll still be around to answer questions privately through divination, and I’m happy to pull three more cards as I did for myself, to elucidate your new roles going forward.  But my three cards spoke of a need to step back, to spend the next few months on internal work.  The timing makes sense – my first Saturn Return begins next month, as Saturn encroaches within three degrees of its position in my natal chart.  That will be my focus for now, that self-work and my ongoing relationships with Starflower, and the Eyes of Ra.

That said, I do have one last message for you all, as we move into spring:

“It is time to seek harmony amongst yourselves.  This may require stepping out on your own in order to see things more clearly, in order to reorganize your priorities so you know where you can compromise and where you cannot, where bridges can be mended, and where fires can only be extinguished.  You need to continue training, but it is time to try things on your own.  What can you accomplish by yourself?  You have grown stronger, and you need to know your new limits, and what weaknesses still require ongoing work.  In the coming months you will be tested, and when we are ready, new leaders will be chosen.”

Good luck, Crow Folks.  May the winds be kind.

Celtic Polytheism, Event, Holiday Celebration, Paganism, Prayer, Ritual

Imbolc!

 

This year for Imbolc, we helped to organize a ritual at our local UU church.  At home, our deities of the occasion are Cailleach and Brigid, and the group agreed to honor them for our ritual.  We used a shortened version of the ADF creation of sacred space and ritual center, honoring of the Hallows (Fire, Well and Tree), the Kindreds (Shining Ones, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits), and a short meditation to help us connect to the space between the worlds.

Then we invoked the Cailleach and Brigid.  Another participant read a prayer they’d found called “Prayer to Brigantia, Keeper of the Forge“, by Patti Wigington, substituting “Brigid” for “Brigantia”.  I wrote a poem for Cailleach following the same pattern, and Scott read it during the ritual.  I’ve reproduced both, below.

We also tied raffia to pussywillow branches for our hopes and intentions for the spring, similar to cloutie ties, and we sang Kelianna’s song Brighid’s Flame together.

It was a simple ritual, but poignant for many of the participants, and it’s proof that we can pull something together in less than a week.  Still, I think we’re going to plan farther ahead for the Spring Equinox!

 

Imbolc Prayer for Cailleach, by Aleja Nic Bhé Chuille

Hail, Cailleach! Bringer of ice and snow,
She who blankets the world in white,
She who freezes the world so time seems to slow,
She who encourages us to rely on each other,
She who is called the Blue Crone,
And teaches us the true meaning of survival.

Hail, Cailleach! Queen of Winter,
She who frosts the ground with her staff,
She who dropped rocks and made mountains,
She who shaped valleys and hills,
She who flies over the land as a great winter storm.

 

Prayer for Brigantia, Keeper of the Forge, by Patti Wigington

Hail, Brigantia! Keeper of the forge,
She who shapes the world itself with fire,
She who ignites the spark of passion in the poets,
She who leads the clans with a warrior’s cry,
She who is the bride of the islands,
And who leads the fight of freedom.

Hail, Brigantia! Defender of kin and hearth,
She who inspires the bards to sing,
She who drives the smith to raise his hammer,
She who is a fire sweeping across the land.

 

[Feel free to use my prayer to Cailleach for your own rituals, with proper attribution!]

 

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folks: We’ve Done Well So Far

The Dark Moon is tomorrow yet the message from the Morrigna comes to me tonight, with the first of my moon’s blood.  And the message in a nutshell is this: we’ve achieved a lot so far.  This is especially true for those of us who are in the US.  As with all of these messages, they’re most accurate for those closest to me in time, space, and association.

You have trained, you have done the work, you have achieved victory.  Much of what we have worked for has come to pass, and more will come to pass soon.  This success is earned; we have manifested our shared desires.  Revel in it for now, but do not lose sight of the longer term goals.  False confidence and arrogance can ruin these foundations before they have time to set.  There is more to build in the coming months, and those who have risen to the top must lead the others.  Gather them beneath your wings.

I get the feeling that after Imbolc we’ll be working at a slower pace for a while before it ramps up again, and that we may be rotating instead of all on call, so to speak, but as of yet that’s not been made clear to me.  I have one more of these, for the Dark Moon directly following Imbolc, on Feb 4th.  I expect it will be clearer at that point.  Until then, fly joyously.

Celtic Polytheism, Holiday Celebration, Paganism, Prayer

Prayer for the Solstice

This is a prayer I just wrote for my 3-day Solstice working for Na Morrigna. It’s a little rough, still, but it was written in a fit of inspiration a few moments ago. I may edit it later, but this is the version I used today, and will be using tomorrow and the following day.

We are the children of light

Children of darkness

And seekers of balance

Darkness beneath our wings

Wings that shelter the oppressed

Oppressors fear our darkness

Light that blazes in our eyes

Eyes that witness injustice

Injustice condemned once brought to light

Balance ripens into peace

Peace sown by justice

Justice grows into balance

A never-ending spiral

The spiral of the Sun

The Sun’s renewal never ending

Shortest day and longest night

Night the deepest darkness

Darkness once more birthing light

We are children of the light

Children of the darkness

And seekers of balance

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folk: Solstice Work

The Dark Moon was yesterday, so here’s your next message from the Morrigan:

You’re losing focus. Do I bore you? The work has not yet come to its pinnacle. Get out of your own way, and RISE! See things the way they truly are, and work to expose that which will perish once brought to light. Harness the light of the coming Bright Moon to dispel illusion and glamour. We’ll shift the world again.

This begins a little harsh, perhaps, but I invite those who immediately react with the thought that it’s not aimed at them, of course not, to sit with it for a moment, and reflect. I haven’t completely lost focus, no. But I was beginning to lose it: under my ill health, under my holiday plans. Make time. Make space. And jettison your excuses, your insecurities, and your feelings of helplessness.

The next full moon is Dec 22nd, so I recommend incorporating these suggestions into your Solstice work. I think I may create a ritual to do over the course of three days, Dec 20-22nd. Probably no more than a half hour each day, but I want it to build and then set to rise, like a loaf of bread.

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

A New Wave of Crows

As I have on several previous Dark Moons, I have asked for and received a message from the Morrigna, and this time I was given and answer with three instructions.  It is not as completely channeled this time as it has been on previous occasions, so the next few paragraphs are more in my own voice, with Theirs in my ear.  As such, I have left it unformatted.

Crow Folks, those of you who have been fighting and doing the work, I know that many of you are close to burn-out.  I am on the edge of it, too.  So it’s time to rest, recuperate, recharge.  Enjoy this moment of relative peace, and do something that will please your soul.  Something creative, something that will make you feel relaxed and renewed.  We are not going to rest on our laurels, for the work is not yet done, but the compassion that burns fiercely within us must be tended, lest the flame die out.  So do your tending.  For my part, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year, and I’ve also made plans to go to a Korean bathhouse with friends.  I’m going to get a massage, and try to do a few more chapters in an anxiety workbook.  Self care and shadow work aren’t always easy, but they are always necessary, so find the time and heal yourself.  That is your first instruction.

Your second instruction starts with something like a notification: a new wave of Crows is coming.  Some of us started on this path one, two, or even twenty years ago, but more will be joining us this winter.  Find them.  Reach out to others around you who are already traveling this path.  Create a net of branches, so that the new Crows will have somewhere to land.  Look for the lost ones, the solitary, the stragglers.  Welcome them into your groups; offer them friendship.  Some of them will prefer to learn on their own for a while, supported by the net.  That is fine; let them do as they will.  Others will have questions, and will want guidance.

This is your third instruction: guide them.  Share everything you know, everything you’ve learned, every experience.  Share the good and the bad, for they must choose this path with their eyes fully open, with deep knowing in their hearts.  Be as patient as you can: they are learning, they are transforming, they are beginning to sprout wings.  And in the spring, we will all fly together.

I know I still owe many of you cards.  I am getting to them, slowly but surely.  Anyone who has not asked for their next six cards, please email me.  Anyone new to the path is welcome to start with the nine card spread, adjusted for the change in time of year.  This is also a good time to remind you all that the other part of my work is healing.  I’m trained in distance energy healing methodologies, and am available to you free of charge as an “on-site medic”, so to speak, if your need for healing is related to the work you’re doing for the Morrigna (ie, if it could be a line-of-duty injury, or if it is preventing you from doing your best work).  If you’re not sure, I am more than happy to ask on your behalf.  I can do these over text chat media, as time and energy allows.

Also, some of you already got this in the newsletter, but here is the journey prompt from the class I taught at Hallowed Homecoming:

Breathe yourselves into stillness, children of earth.  Breathe deep. Breathe in relaxation… and breathe out the worries and cares of the world. Breathe until you reach that space between, the space that lets us walk between the worlds.  We will all go together. Feel as mists steam up from the ground and surround us here. Pay attention to notice the shift – we are leaving the campground, and coming into another place.  When you are ready, open your inner eyes and see the dirt road beneath your feet. On either side grow trees, and many have already begun to lose their autumn-bright leaves. Continue forward to the crossroads where I stand, and behind me, to one side of the dirt road, a table piled with offerings.  There are things to drink and eat, weapons of war, representations of your battles and efforts, and more. Find the gift you are meant to give, and bring it with you as we continue forward. [Count to 10.]  Walk farther along the dirt road, until you begin to smell roasting food, and woodsmoke, and begin to hear the crackling of a fire, and voices talking quietly.  A gap in the trees shows you a narrow track that runs uphill, towards the things you hear and smell. Follow it, and as you crest the hill, the trees thin to an open plain.  You can see the fire, now – it is a large cooking fire, and over the fire hangs a giant steaming cauldron, while food roasts on the coals at the edges. Three figures surround the cauldron, and they turn to you as you approach.  Give them the gift you have brought, and ask the question you carry in your heart. [WAIT for 5-10 minutes].  When you have finished, thank them for their time, and leave the way you came. [10 secs] Back across the plain… to the hill, [3] down the hill… to the road, [3] and along the road… back to the swirling mists… and into your body. [3] Welcome Home.

Take care of yourselves, everyone.

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folk: Be Daring

The Dark Moon was a few days ago, and once again I spoke to Na Morrigna.  The sense of urgency is building as we get closer to Samhain, and I must once again remind you that if you are planning a celebration for the holiday, do not forget Them.  Do something small if you must, but do SOMETHING.  For those of you who requested I do the 9 card Morrigan Spread I shared here, or those who did it for themselves, make sure you are following through and completing the tasks in those last three cards.  After Samhain I will be following up with six more cards, three to cover the time period to Yule on Dec 21st, and three for the period from then to Imbolc on Feb 2nd.

The message this Dark Moon is as follows:

The way forward will take both strength and courage: you must rise to the occasion and do what you think you cannot.  Draw on your convictions, and use them to act with resolve.  The race will be long, but you will persevere – and perseverance brings triumph.  The Morrigna are the High Queens of your striving.  They guide your every move, and if you trust in Them you will achieve more than you dream is possible.  The way will not be easy, but the result will be worth the battle.  You must re-balance this world, re-balance the connection between the Mundane World and the Otherworlds.  There is a plan larger than you can individually conceive, larger than you can individually affect, but change starts within each of you.  Find your role and play your part.  Change yourself to change the world.

I personally like to celebrate the Fire Festivals as three-day affairs, and my dates for Samhain this year are sundown on Oct 31 through sundown on Nov 3, though the ritual we are planning will be just after sundown on the 3rd.  Any time in there would be appropriate to add your magic or ritual to the Work of the Morrigna.  The moon will be waning, the New Year beginning, and it’s a perfect time to do magic that sweeps out the old and brings in the new.

And please – if you are in the US, don’t forget to vote the following week.  It’s on the 6th, the day before the Dark Moon.  I think that bodes well for the turning of the political tide.

 

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