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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

As the wheel turns to spring, life begins to stir in the soil and earth magic grows more powerful with every day.

Now is the time to sow flower herb or vegetable seeds indoors for abundant new plants in the coming summer. Excellent things to try in a limited space are salads or calendula or nasturtium plants which can be directly sown into small pots and grown on the windowsill if space is short. Allow yourself to experiment and have fun, eagerly awaiting the new shoots and seedlings springing into life.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

A time of magic and transformation, sacred to the goddess Brighid, is upon us at the eve of Imbolc,  Lá Fhéile Bríde  as it is known in Irish and Là Fhèill Brìghde as it is known in Scottish Gaelic. Brighid is one of our oldest and most revered of goddesses, Britain and Brittany are both named after Her, she is the sacred guardian of these countries. Her special festival, Imbolc, is one of the oldest Celtic festivals- one of the most famous sacred sites in Ireland, the mound of the hostages at Tara, built around 3350BC is astronomically aligned to the Imbolc sunrise, and there are several others, showing us that this time has been sacred for thousands of years. Thought to mean ‘in the belly’ Imbolc is a time when the ewes are pregnant and the new lambs are born, and when the year ahead is still pregnant with possibility.

There is something so special about this quiet, wintery time, when the first new shoots may be breaking through the soil but winter still continues fierce for a while yet. Today I woke at dawn to frosty world of white and silver, and I cleaned the hearth and kindled the fire in Brighid's name, adapting a traditional Celtic kindling prayer from the Outer-Hebrides.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Celtic Month of Rowan

Published in the 1940s, The White Goddess written by Robert Graves has served as the basis for a great deal of popular information on the Celtic ogham. Despite being the grandson of ogham scholar Charles Graves, Robert took liberties with the history of the ogham alphabet and added embellishments such as the thirteen-month ogham tree calendar. The appeal of this calendar for working with the energy of trees has captured the imagination of many of us who have incorporated it into our magical practices.

While it is a modern construct, the tree calendar holds meaning because of the concepts it has come to symbolize and the significance it has for twenty-first century magic, ritual, and everyday life. In 2019, I am exploring the wheel of the year through the plants of the Celtic tree calendar.

January 21st begins the time of rowan and its ogham character Luis. Commonly known as rowan in the United Kingdom, in North America this tree is known as mountain ash. Although the leaves of the rowan resemble those of the ash, true ash trees are in the genus Fraxinus. The energy of this period is associated with the coming of new life born from the darkness of winter. Rowan is associated with protection, strength, and creativity. It is also associated with the goddess Brigid whose fire guides us to the light within.

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in England, rowan had a negative reputation because it was associated with witchcraft. The most likely reason for this is that the berry carries a pentagram design at its base. Some herbalists avoided using rowan for fear of being labeled a witch and suffering the consequences. In northern Europe, this tree was planted near homes and stables to ward off lightning strikes because rowan was associated with the storm god Thor who had the power of protection. Rowan wood was used by the Celts when reciting magical incantations.

Draw the ogham character Luis on a candle for protection to burn during magic, ritual, or astral travel. Because rowan is a powerful ally for divination and for contacting elementals, burn a small piece of bark or twig to enhance psychic abilities. To attract success, cut five branches to the same length and lay them out in a pentagram shape on your altar. Hold a rowan branch to connect with your spirit guides when seeking their advice.

Rowan makes a good, magically protective walking stick. Enhance its power by carving its ogham into the wood. Burn a piece of rowan wood or a dried leaf to express your dedication to a deity or to acknowledge the blessings in your life.

Native to North America, the American mountain ash (Sorbus americana) is a small, shrubby tree reaching fifteen to twenty-five feet tall. Its lance-shaped leaflets are dark green with gray-green undersides. They turn yellow in the fall. The common mountain ash or European mountain ash (S. aucuparia) grows twenty to forty feet tall. It has medium-green, lance-shaped leaflets that turn yellow to reddish-purple in the fall. Both trees produce dense, flattened clusters of white flowers that bloom in May. After the flowers, orange-red berries develop and ripen in late summer.

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Today we celebrate Samhain, and I'm drawn to think of my ancestors, my mothers bloodline and my fathers, back to the beginning, and as I step out to the threshold of my home, darkness gathering about me like a shawl, I give thanks to Gwyn ap Nudd, my patron god, lord of the wild hunt, and I give thanks to those that stand we with me unseen at the liminal places, who have seen my victories and my sorrows, and held my hand soft as the mist that caresses my cheek. I give thanks for each of them, my ancestral guardians, my beloveds, those whose bones are now a part of the rock and soil, those whose ashes are scattered on the wind, and whose memories are dust in the barrow mounds upon the hills, those who walked this long road before me. I remember you and you live in me, always.

Each year I bake a gift for the spirits, either barm brack or soul cakes, which I place out with a candle and a whiskey, for those who pass by on the wind. 

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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.

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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. 

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  • Maja
    Maja says #
    Beautiful

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.

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