Danu's Cauldron: Wisewoman's Ways, and Wild Fey Magic

Living in a sacred landscape, walking between the worlds in the veil of Avalon Glastonbury. Where the old gods roam the hills, and the sidhe dance beneath the moon...wander into the mists with me and let us see what we may find...

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Danu Forest

Danu Forest

Danu Forest wisewoman, witch, seer, walker between the worlds, healer, druid, priestess, teacher, writer, gardener, herbwife, stargazer, faery friend, tree planter, poet, and wild woman lives in a cottage near Glastonbury Tor in the midst of the Avalon lakes, in the southwest of England. Exploring the Celtic mysteries for over 25 years, and noted for her quality research, practical experience, as well as her deep love of the land, Danu writes for numerous national and international magazines and is the author of several books including Nature Spirits, The Druid Shaman, Celtic Tree Magic, and an on going seasonal series 'the Magical Year'.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

So equinox has passed, and the leaves have begun falling from the trees. Its dark earlier, and the call of the hearth fire is stronger now than before. I always feel early autumn and the equinox, is a whole season, a whole process rather than a single point. We are balanced finely, gently tipping a little more into the dark half of the year, when the Cailleach calls us to look within.

Here in Avalon the scent of ripe apples fills the air, and the mists draw in, and there can be a feeling of both abundance and grief as death and endings seem to hang on every branch and blow on every breath of wind, with the harshness of the unknown winter the only surety ahead of us. We find ourselves now at a time when endings are afoot in our cultures as well as the seasons, with uncertainties and challenges ahead. But in these quiet moments, when the summer sun seems to be far behind, when we see the hope and life force of the land drain away into the earth once more, it is She who takes our hand, without a word, and we know that we will not walk into the darkness of winter alone.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs


This time of year, the earth is full of abundance, and the wild witches garden is full of butterflies and bees- a haven for nature and our spirit and animal allies. The bee in particular has long been the friend of witches and seers in the Celtic traditions as well as further afield.  

Bees have long been considered magical beings, sacred to the a host of earth goddesses. In ancient Greece the priestesses of Artemis and Demeter were called Melissas, and in English folklore there is a tradition of 'telling the bees' all the news of your family, as well as your hopes and fears as they serve as powerful spirit allies. 

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Maja
    Maja says #
    Beautiful

The fairy pools SkyeI was blessed this year to spend the summer solstice on the Isle of Skye, and the powerful eerie and eternal presence of the Black Cuillin mountains surrounded me every day. Known in Gaelic as An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, or the Isle of Mists, this is an Otherwordly place with a distinct feeling to it. Nowhere on earth feels like Skye. Its a place of memory, of spirits.

On the solstice I went on a pilgrimage to the famous Fairy Pools- a series of bright turquoise pools and rushing waterfalls, slicing through the land across a bright green marshy river valley. The source of the water is a vast and deep purple slit or crevasse splitting the massive hillside above from top to bottom with obvious vaginal imagery. This mountains Gaelic name can apparently can no longer be translated, but its powerful feminine presence is unmistakable. The fairy pools are said to have no specific Faery myths attached to them, but their name is well earned. Anyone visiting can feel the unique atmosphere of this beautiful place, and the bright waters, pouring endlessly from the vaginal mountain flanked on either side by immense rocky thighs together with numerous traces of ancestral barrows and possible neolithic rock carvings dotting its landscape strongly suggest this was once a sacred complex, probably honouring the goddess of the mountain. There was one barrow ( an ancient burial mound usually for a chieftain or healer traditionally used for ancestral ritual) which was clearly to be seen, its roof fallen away but its rocky internal structure- small internal 'rooms' off a small central passage- was in the perfect position, by the side of one of the waterfalls to have allowed a view of the Great Goddess and space to enact entrance to Her womb/ tomb, as the ancient priestesses of the site sat in vigil in the barrows sacred darkness, seeking rebirth and vision.      

...
Last modified on

It’s been a busy time for me lately. As a magical mother I’m always doing two things or more at once, every day an endless list of practicalities, and my spiritual life is by necessity deeply enmeshed in the mortal physical world. I see no separation between magic and the mundane, I walk through the worlds seamlessly.  But there are times when I feel particularly blessed, when the realms of spirit come to me and I am given space, connection, without purpose, without focus, other than to touch and feed the soul, just a time to revel  in the love of the Otherworld.

Yesterday I walked the dog and child through endless meadows filled with knee high golden buttercups, purple clover and wild white cow-parsley, like sea-foam, as the glorious heat of the day began to subside, and the mists rolled and billowed from the many rhynes, or watery ditches that lace the fields around my home, in the marshes that surround Glastonbury Tor. I waded through clouds of gold and green and white flowers all wrapped in the white mists of Avalon. Soon the Tor ahead of me vanished into clouds, and the meadows became wreathed in their own eerie shimmering light. A buzzard, my ally and kin from the realms Above swooped overhead and vanished into the white encircling walls of mist, and it seemed we had wandered into Faerie. Dog and child leaped and played, and I gathered armfuls of fresh herbs, and the sound of crickets grew still. I breathed and felt the earth beneath me so full of life. We walked for a time in some blessed realm. And my heart was full to the brim.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Seeing spirits is a common thing in the Celtic traditions. A glimpse out of the corner of your eye, a shimmer in the air, or a full film-like vision- the second sight, or more accurately, the two sights- an da shealladh- as it is known can take on all sorts of forms. It often seems to run in families, and it runs in mine to varying degrees. It is both a blessing and a curse, sometimes, and requires a very flexible yet strong sense of reality to stay grounded in the face of such experiences. Traditionally tales tell us that it is especially useful to foretell a death, but it is seldom so dramatic, or so straightforward in real life. Because the thing is, seeing spirits, just like seeing anything else in this life, isn’t necessarily all that directly useful all the time. It would be wonderful to say that everything I’ve ever seen has been clearly meaningful, and relating to my life and those around me, but like seeing anything corporeal in this world, its foolish to presume it’s all about you, and there are a great many things about the workings of the spirits that we just don’t know, and will never know when we walk the mortal path. Some things just are just getting on with what they do, and aren’t there to instruct or warn or do anything useful for you at all. In a way that can be much scarier than seeing ghosts or the trapped, caught- on- a- loop type energy recordings that are so often what people experience when they are somewhere haunted. There is no narrative for us, necessarily, any more than there is in seeing a stranger cross the road- it’s not a message for you- other than to say the Otherworlds are far vaster and more varied than we’ll ever know. 

That said, there are also friends out there, allies, and kin, regular welcome visitors…and those that walk with you sometimes. It’s traditional to make these offerings, and I reserve a special dish on my hearth and in my garden to leave them gifts of cream, honey and mead, as well as the best portion of every cake I ever bake. One such visited me a few weeks ago, busting into the room behind me in such a rush that at first I thought it was my son. A few moments later I experienced the first proper earthquake I’d ever felt, measured 4.4 on the Richter scale. A very rare thing for the UK. Was their visit a warning? Could I have stopped the earthquake? Of course not, and there was no danger for me and those I loved…no, it was not a warning. But it was lovely they came to tell me all the same. An da shealladh doesn’t always have a use, it’s not like in the movies, but it’s still a gift, in the long term, if you are strong enough…to see a wider reality, and feel a wider, greater sense of kin. I still think a greater sense of scale, in the heart and in the mind- is a good thing.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    Thanks Ted! i like to think the hill just shrugged off what it didnt want!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is delightful, Danu. Thank you for the timely reminder that it's foolish to presume it's all about you! You're right: a gre

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Though many Celtic pagans celebrate the new year at Samhain, early January still has a distinct feeling, as the hubbub of the winter solstice and Christmas celebrations subsides and we are left with the blank page of the year ahead. Now is a good time to encourage stillness and contemplation within our days if we are able, and to be aware of keeping our energies clear to allow the wisdom of spirit to emerge into our awareness and maintain our focus on our plans ahead. Traditionally for those who acknowledge the 12 days of Christmas there is an opportunity to seek omens each of the twelve days for guidance in the year ahead, but truly the world of spirit always shows us signs and messages if we open up to their potential. Seeking time every day to find stillness and open ourselves to the natural world around us allows us to receive this messages at any time.

Throughout January spend some time, even for just a few minutes, outside. Be in wild nature if you can, but just feeling the earth beneath your feet, or seeing the sky or having the wind on your face is all you need. Breath deeply and let your senses open gently, focusing on nothing in particular…let yourself remember that the earth is alive and sacred, wherever you are, and just connect. Be with it. Be aware of the flight of birds, the shapes of clouds, the sound the wind makes, know that spirit is speaking to us always, and let their meaning and messages come to you in each its own way. Listen. Breathe. Pay attention to your dreams.  

...
Last modified on

My new book Gwyn Ap Nudd is finally here! After a long long period of retreat it's such a joy to see this book, written as an offering to my patron god finally come into the world in time for Samhain/ Nos Galan Gaeaf! At this time of year he is said to ride out from the 'deep place' Annwfn, as leader of the Wild Hunt, leading all unquiet spirits to their rest and chasing wicked souls from the world.  Working with Annwfn the underworld of the Brythonic tradition, is not an easy path, entwined with faerie it is a place of transformation where we may learn more of ourselves than we are comfortable with….  Yet Gwyn ap Nudd, whose name means ‘Bright’ or ‘White’ is also a mysterious Faery King, dwelling in his Glass Castle beneath Glastonbury Tor, and under numerous dark still lakes in the wild Welsh hills. A dark lover and hunter god of the winter, he guides us to the secret places, within our magical land and within ourselves….      

In the 14th Century, Welsh soothsayers when entering the forest would say

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jeannetta Young
    Jeannetta Young says #
    Danu, this is more of a question than a comment, though the answer might benefit others...with which of your books would you recom
  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    thank you!
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    This was an excellent read. I've been feeling a draw to Gwyn ap Nudd lately, and this book couldn't have come out at a better tim

Additional information