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Irish

Otterrific Opportunity 8/29/15 - 9/4/15 #ForesightFriday

Divination Tool Used: Sacred Circle Tarot

Card Drawn: Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups #SacredCircleTarot #ForesightFriday

Key Word(s): Movement

My take on this card: This coming week is filled with opportunity. It is not, however filled with patience. It is the time to Seize the Day, Jump at the Chance, Lose Yourself in that special moment, Say Yes to the Dress…you get the idea. The thing you need to keep in mind is, should Opportunity come a-knockin’ you need to decide on the spot. Either snag the chance to do whatever, or risk missing out and having yet another moment to make you want to travel back in time and kick yourself in the arse (Hey, we’ve all got those moments, but why add another one to the pile???)

The image on this card includes a Knight standing in a river…he represents that opportunity that comes around…the river suggests that things shall be moving quickly and that things will have a deep spiritual and emotional impact.

This nifty little card also holds the image of an apple tree and….AN OTTER!! 😀 Both of these images are related to knowledge and wisdom. Apples are known as the “fruit of knowledge” and, in Irish Celtic lore, otters are known as guides and guardians of spiritual knowledge & wisdom.

All in all, it would seem that the recurring theme of my Wednesday Wisdom posts has been preparing us for the coming week. With that in mind, I shall leave you with a message that is on a new pair of socks I purchased while on vacation last week…as it should pretty much be everyone’s mantra next week.

Carpe the Fuck out of This Diem #CarpeDiem #SiezeTheDay

IrishHeritageYup, that’s what I called it, Irish Heritage Reclamation Day? Why? Well, because in my humble opinion, St. Patrick was a bit of a douche, and I don’t think he should have a day named after him. He is known for 2 things primarily: Driving the snakes out of Ireland, and Bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle. Well, BOTH of these things are not true. He didn’t drive snakes out of Ireland (no snakes ever existed in Ireland…it is widely believed that these ‘snakes’ were actually Druids)), he converted pagans into Christians but Christianity already existed in Ireland though it was not wide-spread (and his ‘mission’ to do so may have been fueled by his being held captive in Ireland as a teen. You know a little bit of “I’ll show those nasties a thing or two” might have been part of his motivation – yes this is conjecture on my part, but this is my blog, I say what I want, lol).

ANYWAY, St. Patrick’s Day is pretty much a U.S. holiday that was celebrated by early Irish immigrants as a way to band together and be proud of their Irish heritage. This is the time when corned beef & cabbage came into play as well. I think it’s nice that they found something to pull them together as a community during a time when they were all experiencing much hardship.

So, if the snakes that Pat drove out of Ireland were pagans, why on earth do I celebrate on this day? Well, much like early Irish-Americans, I am quite proud of my Irish heritage. I have always felt that my Irish roots run deep, and have always had an affinity for all things of an Irish-Celtic nature. I have two Irish deities in my personal eclectic pantheon. I’ve traced the journey of my Great-Grandfather’s family as they made their way to North America – first into Canada, and then to the U.S. a few generations later. Also, this is a day that meant a lot to my family on a personal level. You see, my Great-Grandparents were married on March 17 (many moons ago), and while they have both moved on from this life, I still like to celebrate their union.

Yes, it’s fun to get schnockered, it’s fun to party, I wholly admit to doing both (though not nearly as rowdily as I once did). Partying and drinking, however are secondary or lower on my list of things to celebrate today.

Ol’ Pat (who was NOT Irish, and who’s color is apparently blue) died on March 17th…ok maybe not cool to celebrate the dudes death, BUT my Pixie-ish spin on THAT would be celebrating the end of his personal crusade to oust the Druids. Today I honor those wise and Holy Ones.

So,  I don’t refer to today as St. Patrick’s Day, as I don’t feel he should be celebrated. I call it St. Paddy’s Day (As this actually elevates those early Irish-American folks…since they were oft times referred to as Paddy’s – yes, also not exactly the nicest term either, but come on, let’s reclaim this shit and turn it positive!!), Irish Day, St. Patsy’s Day (as in Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, lol), and any number of things that pop into my little Pixie brain.

Today I honor My Heritage. Today I honor My Family. Today I honor the tenacity of Irish Immigrants. Today I honor the Pagans who died rather than shun their beliefs. Today I honor the Irish Deities. Today I honor Me.

 

Faeries!Being that my not-so-alter-ego is that of a Puckish Pixie, Faeries are something quite near and dear to my heart. Their history is also rooted in Celtic Irish Mythology, which makes them quite important to my Spiritual Path as well. So, where to start? How about we head on back roughly 4000 years, and take a brief peek at the Tuatha de Danann.

The Tuatha de Danann were, quite literally, the People of the goddess Danu. According to the Annals of the Four Masters (chronicle of medieval Irish history, compiled between 1632 and 1636 in a Fransiscan monestary), they were a powerful ancient tribe who ruled Ireland from 1897 to 1700 BCE. Until they were defeated in battle by the Milesians.

According to legend, after the Milesian’s victory their leader, Amergin, was called upon to divide the land between the two Peoples. He cleverly split the land with the Milesians Ruling that which was above ground, leaving the Tuatha de Danann to rule all that was below.

The Tuatha de Danann were led underground by their King, The Dagda, and became known as the Aes Sidhe (people of the hills). They are the Faery People of the Otherworld who have been known to intervene in human wars on the side of justice and righteousness.

Throughout most of the Medieval period, Faeries were not seen as beneficial beings to have around. Most people during this time felt it necessary to protect themselves and their families from the fae. It was believed that they would steal children and leave them with a less-than-stellar replacement….why they supposedly did this is not entirely clear. It is possible that this was the way for people of the period to explain away childhood ailments and physical deformities.

Towards the tail end of the Middle Ages, however, as folks were gearing up for the Renaissance the Fae became an integral part of tales told by Bards before the Royal Court. They were fanciful stories of love & trickery…and not nearly as dark & sinister as what some of the superstitions had most recently been. And, while I think that most of these stories still weren’t exactly accurate in their portrayal of faeries, the essence was correct (especially in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Perhaps these Bards (especially ol’ Will) were far more in tune with the nature of things than even they realized.

So, what are Faeries as we know them today? Simply put, Faeries (aka: Fairies, Wee Folk, Pixies, etc…) are nature spirits, but simple is hardly a word I would use to describe them. My favorite description of them comes from 17th-century Scottish minister Robert Kirk who said they are “a middle nature betwixt man and angel.”

Faeries come in many sizes from quite wee to that of ourselves. They are humanoid in their appearance, but they appear to us as more ethereal beings than physical. They reside between realms/dimensions, which is why most people are not aware of them and why even those of us who are aware tend to only catch glimpses of them…most will see them as a glimmer of light that flashes quickly by, barely noticeable at all.

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now? Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” ~John Lennon

In my experience, faeries like flowers, clover, a nice sunny spot on the lawn, shiny stones & soft tinkly chimes. They also like to hide things…lots of things, at least lots of MY things! LOL They also like water, be it a birdbath, a fountain, or a babbling brook. They like the reflective quality of the water, the way the sunlight glints off the surface…not to mention the way they can make faces at themselves in it. They are also big fans of fun, laughter, integrity, honesty & sincerity.

Generally, the Fae do not like loud sudden noises, clutter (although I think the ones surrounding me must be an exception to this lol), or dirty water. They are also not big fans of dishonesty, chaos, selfishness, or abusers. Basically they are not fans of nasty people & nasty habits, and you certainly can’t fault them for that! 😉

To become friends with these wee winged ones, one must help create a pleasing environment for them (Pretty flowers, a fae house, a fountain and/or birdbath etc), and show respect & a love of nature. Once you’ve created the environment, spending time outside, and being playful will show them you’re not a stick-in-the-mud and just may be someone they want to party with!

Another thing you may want to do is appeal to their love of shinys. Not to say that their friendship can be bought with baubles, because it can’t. However, a gift of a few lovely stones to show them you appreciate them will certainly go a long way in gaining their favor. I mean, who doesn’t like a nice shiny???

Give them their space…meaning don’t intrude in their environment ALL the time (nobody likes a guest who overstays their welcome, including the Fae). Be a decent human being and be kind to nature and all her creatures…and don’t be a phoney. The Fae detest falseness and to be false in order to gain their trust will only backfire.

 

Brighid2This week I’m going to expand on last week’s Brighid post by sharing a bit of my own experiences with her. Brighid, while not my Patron Goddess, has been with me for a while. She is the one who sparks my creative fires, fans the flames of my desires, and helps me to remain compassionate even when facing adversity.

I cannot remember what year it was that I first became aware of her, but I do remember the circumstance.  I was trying to think of something to paint for a friend whose son was in need of healing, and was at a complete loss of ideas. I started looking through my books, magazines and the internet for inspiration. I came across the same image of Brighid (Brighid of the Hearth By Artist Mickie Mueller) a few times, and was drawn to it. It led me to start looking into info about Brighid, and when I discovered she ruled creativity, inspiration & healing, I asked her for her help. The next day, I knew what I would paint, and I began to work. I infused each stroke of my brush with healing energy. I worked on it for weeks, pausing to thank her every day.

When I was done, I was quite pleased with my results. Mainly because I had never painted with Healing Dragon Paintingacrylics before…and hadn’t painted anything AT ALL in about 15+ years, but also because the image on the canvas matched the image that I had had in my head (I was kind of amazed by this, lol). I then took a picture of it, so that I could concentrate the energy on the photo and “recharge” the painting when necessary.

When I began working on that painting, I felt an instant kinship with Brighid. Perhaps because of my Irish Ancestry, but I think more so because I see her as the prime example of womanhood…at least a prime example for me. She is a Healer, a Diviner, at One with the Animals and she is Creativity. She exudes an heir of femininity, and yet, she is fierce and strong. Her association with Smith Craft reminds us that if we can endure and survive our ‘Trials by Fire’ we will come out the other side much stronger than we were before.

Now that I’m reflecting, I think she has been with me far longer than I have been aware of her. I’ve always been the creative type…with a slight fascination with fire <Insert Beavis excitedly repeating “Fire! Eheheheh Fire! Fire! Fire!” here 😉 >. I have been forged stronger through the flames of multiple trials, and have been called to be a Healer as well. Every time I have had an inexplicable drive to write something…every time I have had the fire within my belly rage into an inferno so that I may become fierce and defend myself in a dangerous situation…every time I tap into the waters of emotion and compassion for the purpose of healing myself or someone else, She is with me.

Below is a chart of correspondences that I’ve been compiling for a while, and have now finally put into a referable format. I’m sure it is by no means a complete list, but it should be enough to help you along if you’re new to working with Brighid.

Brighid Correspondences

Meaning of Name

The Exalted One, The Bright One, Fiery Arrow, The Powerful One, The High One

Area(s) of Influence

Creativity, Smith Craft, Healing, Divination, Wisdom, Fertility, Childbirth, Animal Husbandry

Name Variations

Brigid, Brigit, Brid, Brìghde, Brìde, Brigantia, Briginda, Brigdu, and Ffraid – Also the Christianized St. Bridget

Aspect

Threefold Goddess

Attributes

Goddess of the Sacred Flame (Flame of Inspiration, the Forge & the Hearth),  Lady of the Healing Waters, Goddess of the Fertile Earth, The Mistress of the Mantle

Culture of Origin

Celtic/Gaelic

Temples, Important Cities

Kildare (Ireland), Shrine at Faughart Hill (Ireland), Bride’s Mound (South West of Glastonbury, England), St. Bride’s Ring (Forfar, Scotland), Bae Sain Ffraid (South Wales)

Festivals, Sabbats

& Holy Days

Imbolc (Feb. 1/2), ST. Bridget’s Feast Day (Feb. 1)

Crystals & Gemstones

Amethyst, Azurite, Garnet, Peridot

Herbs & Flowers

Angelica, Bay, Cinnamon, Cypress, Daffodil , Dandelion, Fennel, Lavender, Mugwort, Myrrh, Rosemary, Snowdrop

Tree(s)

Apple, Oak, Rowan

Metals

Gold, Silver, Brass, Steel

Animals

Serpents/Snakes, Cows, Sheep, Goats, Bees

Symbols

Fire, Forge, Candles, Bell, Brigid’s Cross, Brìde’s Bed, Wells, Springs, Corn Dollies, Cloaks, The Number 19

Foods

Blackberries, Dairy, Honey, Seeded Breads, Dried Fruits

Colors

Red, White, Green, Gold, Blue

Special Offerings

Fresh Baked Bread  with Butter, Honey, and/or  Blackberry Jam, Oat Cakes, Milk, Blackberries, White Flowers, Shamrock

Element(s)

Fire, Water

Planet

Sun

Best Day to Work With

Sunday

Best Time to Work With

Sunrise

Tarot Card

The Empress

 

 

BrighidHonored by many pagans at Imbolc; Brighid is the Irish Celtic Goddess of Fire: the Fire of Poetic Inspiration and Divination, the Fire of Healing and Fertility, and the Fire of Metal-Working and Crafts.

Brighid has been revered throughout Ireland since the time of the Tuatha de Danann and was such an integral part of the people’s lives that she was incorporated into Christianity as St. Brigid of Kildare in the 7th century CE. 

According to Cormac’s Glossary, a 10th century compilation from oral tradition, she is said to be ‘a Goddess whom poets worshiped’ and patron of healing and smithcraft. She was venerated not only as Brighid, but also as Bride, Briginda, Brigidu, and in North Britain as Briganda, which can be translated as ‘High One or Exalted One’. Other titles include; ‘Ash-less Flame’, ‘Flame of Two Eternities’, and ‘Mother of All Wisdom’.

She was worshiped as St. Brigid in an Irish convent at Kildare, which means the church of the Oak-tree. This was the site of an ancient temple in which a perpetual, ash-less fire burned (this suggests it was a sort of lamp, perhaps fed by oil, tallow or butter). In later Christian times, when the nuns kept the fire burning using wood, the ashes were said to miraculously vanish. In 1220 A.D., the Archbishop of Dublin decided that the fire-cult was ‘pagan’ and ordered the flame to be extinguished. After his death the nuns rekindled the flame until the Reformation when the entire convent was suppressed.

Next Week: I’ll be giving some Correspondences and other such stuffs. 🙂