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: 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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Event, Spiritwork, Workshop

Queen Under Mound, Queen Under Wave

This past Memorial Day Weekend, Scott and I joined a group of friends from the Fellowship Beyond The Star to a witchy camping retreat near Ottawa, Canada, called the Witches’ Sabbat at Raven’s Knoll.  I’m still processing my experiences, so that will come in another blog soon, but I wanted to post the journey prompts I wrote for the workshop I led at Witches’ Sabbat.

My workshop, titled “Queen under Mound, Queen under Wave” was an introduction to Fand, an Irish Fairy Queen and Sea Goddess.  The first part of my workshop focused on her appearances in myth as well as modern associations and shared gnosis about her.  The second part included two pathworkings, one to visit her as Queen of a sí mound, and the other to visit her in the depths of the ocean.  I wrote both of these for the workshop, and I’d like to share them both with my readers here!  Each takes about 10 minutes.  You can try recording yourself reading them with the indicated pauses and playing it back.*

Queen Under Mound

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 Raven’s Knoll, 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 hedges of hawthorn, and there are a few blooms on them still, despite the lateness of the season.  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, instruments for playing music, flowers, shells, and more.  Find the gift you are meant to give, and bring it with you as we continue forward.  Walk farther along the dirt road until you see to your right what looks like an opening in the hawthorn hedge.  Examine it more closely, and notice how the thorns seem to give way as you approach.  Press forward, and feel them part gently around you as you pass through.  When you have come all the way through, you will find yourself in a meadow with a low mound, and beyond it, a forest.  Stop for a moment to observe everything around you. [5 count beat] What do you see? [3]  Hear? [3]  Smell? [5]  Then continue towards the mound.  As you approach it you notice a strange shimmer in one area – head towards that, and do not be surprised when you pass through it as easily as through a projected image.  Inside, you find yourself in a great hall, with big oaken beams.  To your right there are a great many feasting tables, and directly in front of you is a brick circle that contains within it a great fire, the smoke rising up into the heights of the chamber, much taller than the mound somehow, and out through a hole in the roof.  To your left there is a raised platform, and on it are two great thrones.  Fand sits in one.  Is the other occupied?  Take a moment to observe the room. [5] What do you see? [3] Smell? [3]  Hear? [5]  When you are ready, approach Fand, and give her the gift you brought.  At this time you may ask her the question: “How do I balance all the roles I must play?” Listen closely for her reply. [PAUSE FOR FIVE MINUTES.]  When you have finished, thank her for your time, and leave the way you came. [10] Out the doorway… to the meadow, [3] across the meadow… to the hedge, [3] through the hedge… to the road, [3] and down the road… back to the swirling mists… and into your body. [3] Welcome Home.

 

Queen Under Wave

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 again, as we move into that other place.  When you are ready, open your inner eyes and again see the dirt road beneath your feet, hedged by blooming hawthorn. Continue forward to the crossroads where I stand by the table piled with offerings.  Find the gift you are meant to give, and bring it with you as we continue forward.  Walk farther along the dirt road until you see to your left what looks like another opening in the hawthorn hedge.  Once again, press forward and feel them part gently around you as you pass through.  When you have come all the way through, you will find yourself at the top of a low sea cliff, on a track that leads down to a little beach.  Go down the track carefully, and wade into the water.  The water is chilly and yet you do not seem to feel the cold.  You instinctively know you must swim from here, and even if you don’t know how, or are not wearing the appropriate clothing, you have perfect confidence that you will succeed.  So plunge in, and begin swimming out to sea, as small waves rise and fall around you.  A short way out, a sea creature that is known to you swims up from the depths and greets you.  It is here to show you the way to the castle in the depths.  It squirts water into your face, and then dives.  You dive with it, trying to follow closely, and when you can no longer stand the pressure in your lungs and ears, you are filled with sudden knowledge – and you take a breath.  You have been given the ability to breathe underwater, and this makes your journey much easier.  You join the sea creature in diving down into the blackness, where light barely penetrates, where only by small bioluminescent animals guide your course.  You come to what appears to be the entrance to a cave, and the interior seems to be made of glowing stone, so that you can see again in the dim light.  As you pass through the doorway, the impression of being underwater fades, and you now walk along the floor of another great hall, this one all of glowing stone. This one, too, has a raised platform. Stop for a moment to observe. [5]  What do you see? [3]  Hear? [3]  Smell? [3]   Taste? [3]  Who is on the platform? [5]  Do you recognize Fand, in her aspect as Queen Under Wave? When you are ready, approach Fand, and give her the gift you brought.  At this time you may ask her the question: “What hides in my own depths?” Listen closely for her reply. [PAUSE FOR FIVE MINUTES.]  When you have finished, thank her for your time, [5] and leave the way you came.  [5] Back to the door, [3]  back swimming with your sea creature guide up to the light, [3] back swimming to the beach, [3]  back up to the cliff, [3] back through the hedge… to the road, [3] and down the road… back to the swirling mists and into your body. [3] Welcome Home.

 

* I don’t mind these being shared for personal work or even small group work as long as it’s shared directly from this page and I’m given credit, but please don’t use these to create your own workshop, and it’s definitely not okay to use this anywhere where you’re getting paid or even compensated monetarily for your time.  When in doubt, email to ask. Thanks!

Event, Holiday Celebration

Our Beltaine

WOW this month has been busy so far!  And our Beltaine celebration started that off, pretty much.

We were hoping to have a Beltaine-eve bonfire with local pagan friends but the host unfortunately got sick, so we had another small hearth celebration, like we did for the Spring Equinox.  The deity of the occasion for us this time is Áine, the Fairy Queen, and we also celebrate the fae (particularly the Seelie and nature-aligned ones) for this holiday.

Our meal consisted of a spring green salad with berries and goat cheese and honey with a berry vinaigrette dressing (YUM!), and gluten free angel food cake with home made strawberry topping for dessert.  We also picked up a package of violet flavored chocolate covered marshmallows on a whim at the grocery store, so that’s the other thing on the plate!  And we finally got Áine her own candle for the shrine shelf.

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I used the prayer from the Spring Equionx again, altering it for the new holiday, and though I didn’t write it down at the time, I’ve recreated it as closely as possible below:

Beltaine has arrived, and the days are growing longer than the nights,

Plants are unfurling their leaves, and some have begun to bloom!

Spring has now reached its height, and the season is turning again

We stand at the balance: Spring becomes Summer

And on this day, we honor Áine

Queen of the Fae, Lady of Golden Light

Come to us now, and join in our celebration!

We offer you food, and drink, and merriment!

We ask in return for your blessings.

Help us to continue to grow and to bloom in this season.

Áine, Hail and Welcome!

A couple of days later, we took part in a ritual planned by a local pagan friend of ours that focused on the Green Man as a metaphor for the growth of the coming season.  My role was that of a quarter call, in which I invoked local waterways, tying us back to the local environment.  (The details for that are probably best left for a post on local cultus.)  Here’s an image of the altar at the end of the rite (unfortunately by that time, the Green Man face we had constructed together was beginning to lose leaves!)

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I hope you all had an amazing Beltaine!