Mighty Dagda, true and bold
For you I sing of Glory O’
God of Life and of Death
Teach us to cherish every breath
Fiery Lord, Strength Divine
You who host heroes fine
Save me a place in your Hall
Chieftain my heart, cries your battle call
Dagda, O’ Dagda, hear my prayer
The skies open wide and you are there
Mighty Dagda, from whom sustenance pours
In your glory I adore.
-by Branwen Faolain
Did you know that Palo Santo is an endangered species? That the collection of the wood is a regulated business, where ONLY deadfall is permitted to be collected for the trade?
This is why Palo Santo is expensive, and why it’s a really bad idea (and morally questionable as fuck) to buy the “cheap stuff”. Because either 1: It’s not Palo Santo, or 2: It’s poached.
Did you know that White Sage is becoming scarce in the wild due to over-harvesting for the Newage market? It’s not the only one, either. Aloeswood, Sandalwood, Dragon’s Blood, Frankincense and several others are under serious, dangerous, levels of pressure.
If you have to call on these “allies” - you need to be responsible with your use of them. This is not an issue of “feel-good” ecology, this is an issue of essential conservation - so that there is not an age where Dragon’s Blood is as mythical as it’s namesake.
The great thing is that there are analogues, and there is horticulture. With enough effort you can find decent substitutes or begin growing your own plants (try Alchemy Works for seeds). Combining this with respectful, carefully-sourced, purchases will go a long way toward ensuring these species don’t go extinct because of the newage market.
Additionally? This is also a spot where it’s a really great idea to evaluate whether these things have any actual place or purpose in YOUR practice. Are these things, which are often from disparate cultures, of particular value to your specific culture and practice? Because consumption of the limited resource may prevent a person native to that culture from obtaining it - and uh… that’s something that bears a lot of intense thinking-on and probably some backing-the-hell-off-at-a-high-rate-of-speed.
Thought provoking info people.
I tell people this when they come in and are shocked by the sage and palo santo prices, which are reasonable really. We JUST got in some more palo santo in after having to find another ethical source for it. You don’t actually need that much. A stick of palo santo will last a long time. Don’t throw out the little nibs, it’s still good, promise.
Also there are a LOT of other options as far as cleansing and blessing methods go. Around here I point out Rosemary most often (not just because it happens to be my favorite, along with Juniper, because Sage just does not resonate and makes me cough) because it actually is EVERYWHERE. Most people have a bush of it growing in their yards, or a neighbors, or walk past it on the way to work. Great for cleansing, protection, blessing all of the above. You can burn it, you can use it with salt and holy water to asperge, You can hang it from the doorways.
Possibilities they are out there.
grand mistress of fate.
holder of luck so great.
One that guides our destinies,
yet acknowledges we decide.
Wearing a blind fold for centuries,
luck does not always go to the best side.
You know those who deserve it
will not always get your helping hand.
Your will however shall never fall or split
the ones who prosper are the grand.
You are the mystical lady of luck,
and the guide and protector of oracles.
Ship rudder in one hand to lead through muck,
Horn of plenty in the other prospering through cycles.
I pray to thee watch over my fate carefully
protect me from life’s many hardships,
allow my life to be happy so I can smile cheerfully
even in the end during my life’s eclipse.
I pray to thee.
I bought “Celtic Myth and Magik” by Edain McCoy.
Thus far, it’s fascinating. I also found out something incredibly cool that just makes me think I really am on the right path: one of the minor deities associated with the Morrigan is called Carman. Carmen is the name of the woman who essentially…
Thanks for sharing; I will have to check that book out. Funny the little synchronicities one discovers sometimes, eh?
And yeah, I have had that experience with A LOT of mediocre or crappy Celtic paganish books. The entry on Morrigan is basically the word equivalent of a giant skull and crossbones, hahaha.
I hate to be the one to point this out, but the words Carman and Carmen are really, really, really unlikely to be etymologically related at all. I’m also very hesitant of the tendency to lump together Celtic deities willy-nilly, especially the goddesses. From what I am reading, she sounds like she could be part of a triad of deities, but that those would be separate from the Morrigan.
…Wait, is this the book that mentions the “ancient Irish potato goddess” or am I thinking of another one.
I have a pretty distinct memory of this book and this author being disreputable, but I have unfortunately not read the book (probably because of it’s disrepute) and don’t know any details.
I have a personal vendetta against her scholarship. In fact I am solely responsible for us not carrying any of her books in our store.
The book of hers that I read made up an Irish Goddess. No literally made her up out of thin out with a combinations of letters that are not possible in Irish Gaelic (Ancient or otherwise). Similarly her book Witta, she makes claims that Witta is the name of an ancient Wiccan tradition in Ireland.
She demotes gods in their mythologies. Such as in the myth of Arianrhod, while she’ll refer to Arianrhod as a Goddess, Gwydion is merely a “magician” and Don a “King”. Seriously.
She fabricated an “ancient Irish potato goddess” (that gem is in her Witta book)
So…yay. I have a copy of her Celtic Women’s Spirituality book that was given to me and it’s highlighted with all kinds of notes and wtf?! for the first couple of chapters and then my anger was just too great and I had to put it away.
Reblogging for information.
The Stanwick horse mask shows the fine artistic work of Celtic metalworkers in about 50 CE. The simple lines and lack of detail have a very powerful visual effect. The term mask is somewhat misleading, as it is more likely this piece would have been attached to a highly decorated wooden bucket, now rotted away. Such buckets would have been used to hold ale or mead at celebrations.
Decorated buckets of mead. Decorated BUCKETS of Mead!
Ok so I actually already knew this, but it is one of those facts that kinda gets forgotten in the big long dry academic book that your reading because you’re trying to focus on extrapolating world view and things like that. But:
A Horse Bucket of Mead!
Makes me so freakin’ happy.
Look at that design too. That is stylistic beauty. The symmetry.
Saving this image for future use.
Epona and Macha are all over this.
This is gorgeous.
*wants buckets of mead*
if you worship/honor the dagda, how do you do so? i’m interested in seeing other people’s ways of honoring him :)
This is a seemingly simple question that is just so complex lol.
So first of all The Dagda has a space on my main altar, I have dedicated a cauldron to him in honor of his own Undry. It sits on my altar with his candle in it usually, and I give tokens (nuts,dry goods, various other things) to the cauldron as offering. If anyone in my coven has a need/request/prayer to the Dagda specifically or someone who is asking for help that I think he may be of use to I add a petition and offering on their behalf to the cauldron.
I have carved an altar sized club out of a Redwood root as an effigy to the Dagda’s club that I anointed with my blend of Good God Blessing oil annually, or in times when I particular wish to feel his influence.
He is given offerings of oatmeal, beer, cider, fruits, meats, nuts, and any good tasty thing I can think of regularly.
He has another altar in the kitchen, which pretty much insures that he gets offerings, prayers, and songs daily.
My Lumberjack made me an AMAZING boar statue that is dedicated the Dagda. He tends to switch back and forth from the main altar to the kitchen altar as he sees fit.
Generally speaking whenever I drink cider (or whiskey), I raise a toast in his name.
I have created several songs to the Good God’s honor, and he is a central figure in my daily prayers.
I am recognized as a Public Priestess of the Dagda within my community and as such there have been several rituals dedicated to him, and he is spoken of with honor and love.
I still owe him a good and proper Feast, where we will have roast boar and various other delights.
Being the Owner of Uaithne, the Harp that turns the season, I leave an offering to him at the turning of the seasons (a little bit trickery here where I seasons are Wet and Not-Wet)
Being a Keeper of the Lore, I spend time dedicated in study to the gaelic Pre-christian ways and to familiarize myself with his myths and lessons.
Being one of the Great Chieftains, I have dedicated myself to self-analysis and honorable leadership amoungst my family and life.
And being a general enjoyer of humour, food, and sex, I make sure to take time and honor the sanctity and power of all of those things. And to keep them in good abundance in my life.
Votive Bowl Dedicated to the Goddess Hathor by Lady Nefrether
Bronze or copper alloy votive bowl from 18th Dynasty Egypt.
Beautiful. Posting for some ladies that I know.
Oh my… holy… fucking… cow… beautiful.
That’s it. I want one… Let it be made for my hands alone. It will sit in my bath - for I will one day have fancy bathing rooms - and it will be frequently poured full of scented oils…
It’s a thing. It’s a small thing, but a thing. It’s a thing that I judge books, websites, and lots of things off of. That is random association lists. Not sure what I’m talking about? Sure you are! You’ve seen them, they are in every Pagan/Witchcraft 101 book every published by the metaphysics folks apparently ever. The Tumblr and Internet are made of them. It’s either a long list of what deities are paired with an herb/crystal/animal or it’s a by line in an encyclopedia type description of a deity/herb/rock/animal/thing.
Example that I just randomly pulled from off the interweb (these were swiped from a Hecate symbols page):
Willows, dark yew, blackthorn, groves of trees, saffron, raisins and currants, andgourds (especially pumpkins)
Queen of the Night (a light flowery fragrance), cinnamon, myrrh, mugwort, honey, lime, and lemon verbena
Gems and Metals:
Sapphire, silver, gold, moonstone, black tourmaline, black onyx, hematite, smoky quartz and any stone that is dark or luminous
This is just a random sprawl of list to me, and I see it all the time. Let’s say I got tapped by Hecate and actually wanted to do something about that, this does not help me.
Here is why this does not help me. Besides the fact that I would automatically write this list off because of the addition of “(especially pumpkins)” for a goddess who’s native region did not have that particular gourd and probably still doesn’t really with no annotation that this is a modern association thru personal or shared group experience. It doesn’t actually tell me anything.
I as a curious minded person who might be on a path, would want to know the why’s and how of these associations. Even if it is just something like “I had a dream and Hecate was surrounded by pumpkins.” Or in most of the iconography we see her wearing bangles, they were probably made of gold or silver. Or this dead dude from ancient where ever wrote a poem about her smelling of cinnamon.
Then it’s not just a random sprawl of items that somehow magically got grouped together. Then it’s informative. Then it’s more exciting to read.
Not that I don’t find these list entertaining. It’s just frustrating when I stumble on something for one of my own deities and go “Why is that on there?” and can find NOTHING. Because if I were into Hecate I’d probably like to know why limes are a scent for her. Just seems weird and an interesting thing that I would like to know.
Entertaining is one word for them. A cursory glance at any Cunningham book will tell you these random association lists can sometimes be downright deadly(literally). They’re also often based solely on one random writer’s raging UPG, as if they’d never EVER opened a book or read a piece of lore in their life.
That is true. I have heard some scary things in regards to herbs and plants. That’s just downright reckless and makes me shake my head at the publishing companies. You’d think they would be worried about the legal ramifications of putting out stuff that could endanger people.
This. All of this.
In 19 days Italics and I will be celebrating the loudest motherfucking dumb supper your hellbound ears will ever hear: Sviata Vechera. And, this year, your effin’ ass is joining in on the ancestral Yuletide revelry.
Sviata Vechera (literally “Holy Supper”) is a time of intense merrymaking, rocking it hardcore with your dearest (both living and dead), giving thanks for all of your blessings and celebrating the return of the sun. The roots of the ritualized Ukrainian feast is hella ancient, but it got a weak facelift when Christianity rolled through Eastern Europe. The reborn sun was eventually personified as Jesus Christ, and the once pagan celebration evolved into a still pagan celebration with a laughably thin Christian veneer.
(That’s right! You take what you fucking get, Eastern Orthodox Church!)(<- That includes venerating our ancestors through wheat, engaging in idolatry relationships with our icons and, most importantly, choking down our Easter cock bread.)
Unsurprisingly, the Midwinter observance got jostled around when Catholicism took over and the supper eventually settled on December 24 (the eve of Christ’s birth). Ukraine isn’t alone in making Christmas Eve a big effin’ deal (way bigger than Christmas Day, which is a much more low-key affair), though. The majority of Europe blow their wad on the 24th, and each country and ethnicity seems to have very specific traditions, rituals and foods that are made, executed and enjoyed on the special day. (See: Christmas worldwide at Wikipedia.)
When Italics and I became masters of our own holiday observances we bumped Sviata Vechera to the winter solstice (known as Yule and Midwinter) to reclaim the original feast. We still celebrate the 24th and 25th, but in recent years our Holy Supper partying has totally eclipsed the more mainstream Christmas holidays to the point that we normally don’t open our presents until New Year’s Day. (It’s an amphetamine and lingerie fueled Yuletide-themed Black Mass! <- Talk about getting the new year started on the right motherfucking foot!)
2010’s Sviata Vechera was our first attempt to be as traditional as fuck, and it was one of the most incredible Yuletide seasons we ever experienced. It was so effin’ great that I swore on our kolach that I’d emotionally blackmail friends, readers and on-line acquaintances to join in on the loudest motherfucking dumb supper they’ll ever hold. I want to read/hear/see unapologetic, balls-fucking-out hedonism filling up the longest night of your year, and I want it to be truly effin’ special. So this year, my impish Pampusky, I’m once again formally extending an invitation out to you to join us in performing your own loud-mouthed, rockin’-till-dawn dumb supper.
It’s that time of year again folks… *rubs hands together in excitement*
It was worth putting yourself on “Go mode”, worth every scratch to your throat that every gleeful laugh placed as it was ripped from you. Worth the constant ache of some unknown poison invading your muscles and making them weak. It was worth the moments of haze when fatigue was just too much for will to master. It was worth not being able to taste a damn thing of all the yummy food that was brought. Every lungful of birchwood smoke crudding up and mixing with phlem to make tar like sickness was completely and totally worth it.
Because the sea was beautiful. He was there in his brightest colors, with his shiniest jewels all to please and delight. The breeze was warm and the water gentle. A heartfelt kindness from such a tempestuous soul. And the company was top notch. Laughter, spells, prayers, foul language, body language, awe, and adorableness. With everything in between. Watching a small bundle of curiosity and joy watch with wide eyes as women of power cast spells around a fire and exclaim, “Water comes to break the table.” A gleeful laugh from us all even with the meaning still clouded.
Spells for wealth, spells for ambition, spells for happiness. Offerings to the Land, Sea and Sky and those Gods that hold dominion over all. Feet freezing in the clean crystal waves lapping at the ankles. Washing, purifying, blessing the womb of a beloved sister and praying for her fertility. For the Ocean refuses no River. And the blessed Open Sky saw it all. A moments prayer for the veterans and passed beloved dead, incense for the Ancestors.
And after a cleansing shower, I feel the edges of illness still there sapping my energy. It may be that tomorrow I will pay for my willfullness against the bodies weakness. But it was worth it.
Water comes to break the table.
Because this is my life… it really is.
I love you! I’m glad you came with us, even though you’re sick! I hope the smoke that filled you helps to drag out all that which plagues you… our fire tender…
Joy and Power.
Because that child knows what we’re about.
That child knows magic… at the hands and in the hearts of strong fearsome women…
At Hagstone we would like to give yall another way to think about submissions for this zine. What you submit doesn’t have to be strictly ‘new.’ Have you written a blog/tumblr post that you think would be suitable? FUCKING AWESOME. Send it to us!
The inspiration for this zine was not epic tomes of academic writing. To be frank, it was the breadth and critical bent of discussion of witchcraft, magic, and Pagan practice that I’ve seen on tumblr. On this site, I’m seeing some radical shit being discussed and written about, all in the format of a simple tumblr rant. Do I see that critical shit happening at Pagan gatherings and occult conferences? To be frank, not really. What’s happening on tumblr is unique and amazing, and chances are a lot of what you folks have already written on your blogs is exactly what Hagstone is looking for.
Just something to think about.
If you have the time, sift through your blog or tumblr. See if there’s any posts you’ve made that you really like.
(Bonus points for social justice.)
Harvest Altar, 2009, by Ms. Graveyard Dirt
When God came to the Carpathians (<- my family comes from western Ukraine which backs into - and up - the Carpathian mountains) it put a serious dent in His conversionmobile. Ukrainians - much like the Celts - didn’t bother dropping the baggage of their pagan past. Instead, Christianity was incorporated into ancient traditions and beliefs, giving a superficial Christian veneer to longstanding rituals they practiced - and still continue to practice - for thousands of years.
You don’t even need to scratch the surface to view Ukraine’s pagan past - it’s all there, in the open, with the equivalent of a slightly new name. Take the decorated wheat bundle, the didukhy. The very last of the wheat was considered crazy sacred, and great care, ceremony and seriousness went into harvesting it. (There’s a lot of mythology and religious practice involved with wheat growing and harvesting, but I’ll leave that for another entry.)
It was ritually cut and then ritually decorated and then ritually displayed in a prominent place in the house. Later on, when Eastern Orthodox Catholicism greatly influenced the people, religious icons were added to the display until the didukhy were partially phased out leaving only icons in their place. Growing up I remember token stalks of wheat in my grandparents’ dining room, but never a full-fledged bundle decorated with a ceremonial embroidered cloth. (I’m pretty sure a Rushnyk is used.)
I have absolutely no idea what a traditional didukhy even looks like. Seriously. It’s not for the lack of resources because I know damn well I could just Google the shit, but I feel like that’d be copying rather than creating. A bundle of wheat cut and revered by my pagan ancestors a thousand years ago is going to look different - symbolize something different - to future generations. For me it’s enough that I sowed the wheat myself, that I grew it and reaped it, that I created the didukhy, decorated and displayed it.
(I don’t have a proper rushnyk, so, instead, I used a cloth that my mother embroidered which was originally used for covering our Easter baskets when taking them to church on Holy Saturday.)
By creating my approximation of a didukhy I’m at once celebrating the work of my ancestors (not only the effort, sweat and blood that went into growing and harvesting, but also the primitive genetic modifications made through generations of selecting and growing the wheat with the best qualities - it’s an exercise in transformation, from something rough with potential to a finalized product sculpted by the idea of “something better”), observing the life/death cycle of the divine male (who I nurture and grow during the Light year as the Bride, and then reap/kill as the Hag fertilizing the dying year with blood and sex, keeping His seed to pass onto next year’s Bride) and giving thanks, in my own way, for a food that’s become the foundation of western civilization - bread.
Hey everyone! This is just another good ol’ friendly reminder to think about your submission to Hagstone, if you’re planning on gracing us with your awesomeness! Something to remember is that this is for you, it’s for us - it’s for the magical community at large. I don’t want this to be just my voice. I want to hear all of yours. I want to hear from Luciferians, Satanists, Wiccans, Gnostic Christians, Heathens, Asatruar, Kemetics, Thelemites, Sabbatic Crafters - and everyone in between! There is no publication that I am aware of in which the voices of disparate magical practitioners are voiced, and I’d love to change that with your help!
If anyone has any suggestions, or if anyone wants to help, let me know. Or you can reblog this post - spread the word, and let us know what you want to write on!
The attached photos are of my Witchvox posting for Hagstone, and here’s the Facebook group - we’re slowly growing! Please ‘like’ us, if you’re on that site! Someone I presented with at the Canadian National Pagan Conference back in May has allowed Hagstone to publish some of or all of her paper - which was fantastic, and which I am very much looking to sharing with all of you!
Help me keep the ball rolling! Spread the word! And hey, what’re ya writin’ about?
My first ‘real’ post since returning from Kaleidoscope Gathering!
As some of you will probably remember, I was equal parts excited and cautious about attending a Dionysian ritual at KG this year. It was a big deal for me because it was my 1 year anniversary with Dionysus, and so I thought this was perfectly serendipitous!
In the end, it was a pretty terrible ritual. So terrible in fact that I have decided to make my review a two-parter. First, dealing with the ritual and some of its more general flaws (coercion, peer pressure, shame, etc), and then later dealing with some of the things that cropped up in the aftermath.
Below the cut you can find my (very long) review of what went down.
I keep it on the vague side, but I might as well warn you that there is discussion of (Trigger warning!) coercion, skyclad/ritual nudity, and ritual touch. Nothing graphic, but I wouldn’t want to trigger anyone.
I’ve written this in hopes that other people can learn from the awkward and uncomfortable mess that this ritual became because of the High Priest and his aggressive nature. Look for these warning signs in ritual to save yourself form potential discomfort, and even real trouble.
Um…wow. As a Hps in a coven that hinges on providing safe open rituals to the public this really made my skin crawl.
I hope all of my fellow Clergy members take a moment to read this account, as it provides a important look into a participants view of ritual, with key factors that need to be in mind when constructing an ritual but especially public.
Second I think that everyone can benefit from reading this experience to help get a clear sight on red flags and warning signs to note about public rituals in order to keep yourself safe. And yes I do mean safe, I have been to rituals where not only did it go pear-shaped but it essentially cracked some nasty shit open that then followed unsuspecting innocents out. So it’s not just being snobby about ritual, there is safety to consider.
Thank you achangingaltar for sharing this story. This has been an excellent reminder to keep standards high. One thing that it has illuminated that I will be championing more in our naked women’s circles is to communicate clearly everytime that nudity is optional and to their comfort level. Over the year this has laxed a bit as we tend to get the same group of women, and are familiar. But when our rituals are public it should always be stated rather than assumed. I appreciate the reminder.
Once again I am reminded of how lucky I am to have found a group with high ritual standards right off the bat.
I don’t know what to add, that hasn’t already been said here or elsewhere…
Thank you achangingaltar for this story and for sharing your experience. As a HPS of a coven, that holds skyclad optional rituals no less… I’ve seen the potential for these issues… and I’m just disturbed by these.
I’ve seen some awful things in ritual put on by outside groups… and I hope that everyone will read this account. Being aware of what can go wrong from both ends, can only be of benefit.