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...

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The Cailleach stirring

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.

In Ireland they say the Cailleach is turned to stone as spring comes, when the world turns, and She is frozen and grey and lichen wreathed beneath the summer sun. Her ancient face is turned towards the ocean, where her first love the god of the sea, Manannan Mac Lir awaits Her, for She is a lover of tide and depths. Her heart is sad at the many loves she has known, and borne, to find herself old and weary and at the end of her life as the blossoms begin to grace the boughs. But as Samhain draws near, and the first cooler winds rush in from the sea and over the moor, She stirs, and the rocks in her bones begin to melt and fall away, and she is reborn, new and young and full of promise. Her eyes glittering at the thought of young heroes to love by an open fire, She wanders upon the wild land under a cold starry sky where she scatters the rocks from her lap and leaves the dolmens and earth temples behind in Her wake, calling to us all to remember the earth is sacred, to remember once more our ancestors and those who came before. She is the flip side of summer, the life in the soil and the darkness. She blossoms in the night time of the year, like jasmine and honeysuckle, and Her gifts are ancient and immense, and rich with leaf mold and sensuality.

Now at the dusk of summer as winter draws nearer the Cailleach stirs, Her stone body is renewed, made of moonlight and nightshade berries. She is ignored and forgotten but unrepentant, and I ask you to walk with Her a while, and know her in this guise, for She is not old for a good while yet, but young and wild and delicious, and She leads us into the underworld not as the old and dying, but as adventurers, seeking the wisdom of Old Gods and soul treasure, and always, always, unafraid.         



for readings and courses visit www.danuforest.co.uk



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Danu Forest is a wisewoman in the Celtic Bean Feasa tradition of her Irish ancestors. You could call her many things- witch, seer, walker between the worlds, healer, druid, priestess, teacher, writer, gardener, herbwife, stargazer, faery friend, tree planter, poet, and wild woman. Danu 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 Wild Magic, The Druid Shaman, Celtic Tree Magic, Gwyn ap Nudd and The Magical Year'. She teaches regular workshops and online courses and is available for consultations, including healings readings and other ceremonies.


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