2014 Fairy Human Relations Congress

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2014 Fairy Human Relations Congress
* June 27-29, 2014 * Skalitude Retreat * Twisp, Washington * www.fairycongress.com *

Every year around the Summer Solstice in June, Fairies and Humans gather together to network, communicate, co-create, and bridge relationships on Planet Earth. Specifically focusing more on Nature Spirits, Devas, and the Faery Realms rather than on the Sidhe, Fae, and Faerie, the more human-like races also attend this spiritual gathering. The Congress was first held in the early 1950’s by Daphne Charters in England, but migrated to the United States under directorship of Michael Pilarski at Skalitude near Twisp Washington. The first American gathering was held in 2001 and became an annual event ever since. It was the early ones that I first attended and then with my travels around the world and moving away from the Pacific Northwest, I haven’t had the chance to return until this year. Amazingly it has retained its same beautiful community natured cohesion, peacefulness, center of love and harmony I remembered from 2003-2004. It has grown a bit with more attendees, but never infected with the riff-raff you get at most other festivals. It still has the trustworthiness and balance I remembered loving about the first Pagan gatherings and festivals I went to. Not having to worry about theft, violence, disorderliness, nor people with ulterior motives. The Congress is like the very first spiritual Rainbow Gatherings (before Rainbow fell apart and decayed with riff-raff) meeting a Pagan academic conference. Peace, Love, Healing, and Community empowered the grounds the entire space of the event. I felt recharged and rejuvenated albeit it I was unable to attend many workshops or rites since I was chasing around our little one and watching our festival booth The Tree Leaves Oracle.

As the world has been seeing a full blossom of Fairy and Faerie festivals popping up around the globe, this is the only one that I’ve ever attended that is primarily knowledge and spirituality based unlike some of the others that are music festivals wrapped around the faerie cloak, commercial malls, fantasy dress-up balls, role-playing game conventions, and what-not on a different level than you experience here. This is a true community with more rituals than a normal human can handle and great workshops abound. The music scene is primarily drum circles, although some bands and entertainers will take the small stage in the evenings. The entertainment is drumming, dancing, meditating, yoga, frolick, and education. Of course all the fairy / faerie festivals I attend all have a spiritual nature and rites/rituals embedded in their fabric, but many you have to be “in the know” or hunt around for those aspects if you seek them. Not here, they will be an essential part of your experience. It was good to be back after a 10-12 year hiatus.

Every year, world renown authors and experts on faerie/fairy wisdom hold workshops and classes at the event. Next to the rites and rituals, this is the prime purpose of the Congress. This year, the congress secretly began on thursday and ended on monday as opposed to the flier posted dates – with a special immersion workshop thursday evening by Michael Dunning on “The Dragon Body”. Friday Morgan Brent did “songs from the Garden”, Kirsten Sogge did Eurythmy, Aimee Ringle a Meadow Walkabout, followed by a communal breakfast, opening ceremony and morning circle, Joanna Schmidt on “Opening and Nurturing Your Intuitive Gifts”, Diane Pepper “Meeting Your Multi-Dimensional Selves”, Maia Klevjer “Introduction to Shamanic Journeying for Young Adults”, Joseph Freeman on “Animal Communication”, Ellen van de Viss on “Gardening with the Joyful Devas and Nature Spirits”, Saphir Lewis on “Standing Up as a Human in the Co-Creaetive Relationship”, followed by a communal lunch, then David Spangler on “Understanding the Subtle Worlds: A Foundation for Partnership”, Orion Foxwood on “Growing the Tree of Enchantment: A Journey of Fairy/human Co-creation and Companions”, Laurence Cole: “Listening Deeply to the Emergent song of Now”, Michael Dunning: “Standing in the Power of the Spiritual Stream of Human Becoming”, Creeksong: The Taoist 5 Element(al)s: Using Ancient Sounds as Invocations”, Bridget Wolfe & John Curtis Crawford: “The Alchemy of Unity: When the Whole is more than the Sum of its Parts”, Evening Yoga with Kat Allen, Integration Hour, Circle, a communal dinner, Ecstatic Dance and Drumming with Burke Mulvaney and Friends.

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Saturday saw repeat performances and presentations of Friday morning, with added in the afternoon Jacqueline Freeman: “Shrines: Doors to the Fairy World”, Michael Dunning: “21st Century Grail Stream and its Guardians”, David Spangler: “Partnering with the Subtle Worlds: Rules of the Road”, Flora LaRayne and Fransisco: “Blossoming: A Soul’s Longing”, Deborah Koff-Chapin: “Bringing the Subtle Beings into Form Through Touch Drawing”, Shoshana Avree: “The Essence of Existence, Essence of your Soul”, followed by communal lunch, and then
Rj Stewart: “Elizabethan Fairy Magic”, Orion Foxwood: “Clearing the Soul Cage: Cultivating Presence, Clarity and Wonderment”, Saphir Lewis: “Attunement for Powerful Co-Creative Communication”. Ellen Vande Visse: “Gardening with the Joyful Devas and Nature Spirits”, Bridget Wolfe & John Curtis Crawford: “Being in the Other: A New Perspective o Co-Creation”, followed by repeat activities from friday night of yoga, integration, and communal dinner. After dinner was the main Ritual and Fairy/Human Parade, Acousitc Concert in the Lodge with RJ Stewart, Drumming/Dancing/ and Merriment all night long. Sunday had repeat activities from friday and saturday morning, but after Circle held the spectacular “Angel Wash” in the meadows, and the afternoon presentations of Anastacia Nutt on “Celtic Fairy Traditions: Herbs, Charms and the Wise Ones Who Made Them”, Creeksong “Cernunnos: Lord of the Forest, Lord of the Wild Things”, Orion Foxwood: “The Re-Sourcing Prayer: A Technique for Attunement and Alignment”. Jacqueline Freeman: “Honeybees: The Vibratory Voice of Transformation”, Dolores Nurss:”Dreaming with Fairies”, Closing Circle followed by Yoga, Integration Hour, and communal Dinner. Monday had a special Immersion workshop by RJ Stewart of “The Four Cities of the Tuatha de Danann: Beyond the Hidden Crossroads”. It was a most spectacular weekend with clear weather, good sun, fun nature, and a charming community. All meals were communal and included in the festival fees – good wholesome vegan, vegetarian, and free-range organic foods. The food alone was worth the 12 hour drive we had entering this realm.

In previous years, the notable speakers and workshops were done by Peter Tompkins (Secret Life of Plants), Findhorn co-founders Dorothy Maclean and David Spangler, and teachers in the Celtic Faery tradition RJ Stewart, Caitlín Matthews and Orion Foxwood. Other presenters also included flower essence specialists, animal and plant communicators, shamanic practitioners and herbalists, wildcrafters, fairy seers, intuitives, geomancers, Bards and Druids, and Native American storytellers.

The founders and organizers feel this event is very important as the Congress affects the planet by joining with the nature, devic, and other higher realms to bring more peace, love, and understanding into the world with a goal of not escaping the outer world but to positively affect it. It is a time on the globe wheras multiple crises are affecting humanity and they feel it is very important to seek alliances with as many light forces as possible in other realms. Although many deny their existence, the fairy realms and Mother Earth are big players in what is happening on the planet and this vanguard event bring these people together with an intent for communication and cooperation for ourselves and humanity. They feel that the event has more fairies, devas, and light being in attendance both seen and unseen, albeit registration for 2014 was over 250 in attendance, with a feel of close to 300+ frolicking in the meadows. It was a perfect sized event and one I hope to return to again and again for years to come. It has been a long time since I’ve had a good recharge like I did at this event which makes it worth all the more.

~ Leaf McGowan, Druid, Ovate, Faeid, & Healer
founder of the Faeid Fellowship, Tree Leaves Folk Fellowship & Pirate Relief
www.technogypsie.com/chronicles

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Photos from the Event:

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British Vikings Announce Ragnarok is Coming on February 22nd

crossposted from http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/11/ragnarok-vikings-february-22

British Vikings Announce Ragnarok is Coming on February 22nd
Stubby the Rocket

 

Ragnarok February 22We thought Idris Elba was supposed to cancel the apocalypse, not start it!

So…do you have any plans for February 22nd? You might want to cancel because apparently, it’ll be Ragnarok outside. Last week a proxy for the Norse god Heimdallr (Heimdall in the Marvel-verse) sounded a note on Gjallarhorn, which signals that there are only 100 shopping days left until the Doom of the Gods!

Like February isn’t bleak enough, right? We’re not entirely sure why someone blew the horn, but the Jorvik Viking Centre of York, England is predicting that Doomsday will come this winter, at the end of the feast of Jolablot, which just happens to coincide with their annual Viking Festival. Hmmm….

Ragnarok February 22

So, what to expect from a Viking apocalypse? The giant wolves Skoll and Hati will devour the sun and moon, respectively. Next, Odin All-Father will be vanquished by another wolf, Fenrir (pictured above) and Chris Hemsworth will die in battle with the mighty Midgard serpent Jörmungandr. Then the earth sinks into the seas, and things will be unpleasant for a while. But, the thing to focus on is that after Ragnarok a new age begins! We think. Honestly, the Eddas are pretty vague about it, so probably best to start building an ark now, before there’s a rush.

 

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Goibnui, the Smith of the Tuatha Dé Danann

Goibnui, the Smith of the Tuatha Dé Danann

Other names:
Govannon (Welsh), Gofannon (Welsh), and Gobannos (Gaulish), Goibniu, Goibhnet, Goibhniu.

Counterparts:
There is suggestions that Goibnui, the Smith of the Tuatha Dé Danann, was replaced by Saint Ghobnatan. The site of Tobar Ghobnatan had archaeological evidence of a hut and artifacts such as iron slag, a crucible, and metalworking tools leading experts to believe that the site was used for iron works before its Christian occupation. This may have been the metalworking site of Goibnui. This also led to St. Gobnait to being a Patron Saint of Iron Workers. Both names have similar roots. Monastic site where St. Gobnait’s house, well, church, and grave resides has suggestive evidence that it had formerly been a Pagan Shrine with fairy wells. Gofannon (Welsh) and Gobannos (Gaulish). He lived on in Irish myth as Goban Saor, the craftsman who built the two round towers.

Deity / King / Lord of:
Irish/Celtic God of Smiths, Faerie lord of Metal craft. Son of Goddess Danu. Brew master of Immortality elixirs.

Qualities:
iron working, smelting, metal working, brew master, beer.

Description:
Goibniu is the Irish God of Smiths and was a son to the Goddess Danu. He was the official Smith to the Tuatha de Danann. He is found in company often with Luichtne the carpenter, Creidne the wright, and Diane Cecht the leech. His parents are unknown, but believed to be the hypothetical son of Danu, brother to Dagda and Dian Cecht. Others claim his family to be Tuirbe Trágmar (father), Net (grandfather), Balor Elatha (half-brothers), and Dagda (Nephew). He continued on in Irish folklore as Goban Saor, the legendary craftsman who built the round towers.

History:
He was believed to be killed alongside Dian Cecht by a painful plague that struck Ireland.

Folklore/Mythology:
He was believed to be able to smith swords that would always strike true. He was in possession of the Mead of Eternal Life. He, Credne, and Luchtainel were believed to be the creators of the magical weapons used by the Tuatha de Danann in battle. He and his brothers Creidhne and Luchtaine were known as the Trí Dée Dána, the three Gods of art, who forged the weapons which the Tuatha Dé used to battle the Fomorians. He was believed to be a creator of beer that would make its drinker immortal. He was a master brewer for the Tuatha de Danann. His feast would protect the Tuatha de Danann from sickness and old age.

Archaeology/History:
Referred in the Book of Invasions as “Goibniu who was not impotent in smelting, Luichtne, the free wright Creidne, Dian Cecht, for going roads of great healing, Mac ind Oc, Lug son of Ethliu.” Another text referring to him was the St. Gall codex referencing him in a charm during the “Second Battle of Magh Turedh” calling upon him in a spell to remove a thorn “very sharp is Goibniu’s science, let Goibniu’s goad go out before Goibniu’s goad!” During the Second Battle, Ruadan (son of Bres and Brighid) was sent to kill him. As the Fomorians felt he’d make a good spy, he was asked for parts of a spear from Goibniu assembled by a woman called Fron. Ruadan threw the spear at Gobniu wounding him. The spear was pulled out and he was keened by Brigid inventing the practice of keening and giving it to humankind. Keening is the high-pitched wailing for the dead often referenced to the Banshee (beansidhe). He went to the Well of Slaine, watched over by his family and healed by its magic waters, returned to battle, making more weapons for the Tuatha de Danann, and won Ireland from the Fomorians. His weapons always made their mark and wounds inflicted by them were always fatal. His ale made the Tuatha de Danann invulnerable. the Lebor Gabála Érenn describes him as as ‘not impotent in smelting’.

Monuments and Artifacts:
The site Moytura in County Sligo is supposed to be associated with him as is the Moytura site in County Roscommon.

Bibliography/Recommended Readings:

  • R.A.S. Macalister 1941 “Lebor Gabála Érenn: Book of the Taking of Ireland” Part 1-5. Dublin: Irish Texts Society.

  • Gray, Elizabeth A. 1982 “Cath Maige Tuired: The Second Battle of Mag Tuired”. Dublin: Irish Texts Society. URL: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T300010/index.html
  • MacCulloch, J.A. 1911 “Religion of the Ancient Celts.” Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

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Could St. Gobnata be a modernized version of Goibniu?
Statue at Tobar Ghobnatan

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Gogmagog or Gog and Magog

Gogmagog: Gog and Magog
Goemagot, Goemagog or Gogmagoc; He of the Two Horns, He of the Two Ages, Gogmagog and Corineus

These ancient Giants (i.e. Titans, titans, fomorians, ancient ones) known as “Gog” and “Magog” in Paganism are descendants of early pre-Christian Giants of early English pageantry who were very tied to early Britain. The myth states that the Roman Emperor Diocletian had 33 wicked daughters whom he married off to 33 husbands who curbed their unsettling ways. However the daughters were so wicked, led by the eldest sister Alba, they plotted to cut the throats of their husbands as they slept. As punishment for this crime, they were set adrift in a boat with a half year’s rations of food, shunned forever. They drifted ashore the isles of what later became “Albion” (named after the eldest). Fornicating and coupling with demons, they populated the wild windswept island with a race of giants. Some say this was the Islands of what is known as modern day “Ireland” and became to be the legendary giant race of Fomorians while others claim it was the island of “Britain” and were the Giants who lived in these lands. When Brutus, great-grandson of Æneas, in company of his most able-bodied warrior Corineus, fled the fall of Troy, they by fate found themselves on these islands of Giants. Brutus was impressed with these isles so much that he named the Islands after himself, which later became called “Britain”. The leader of the Giants was a detestable monster named Goëmagot (Gogmagog), who stood in stature twelve cubits, and of such prodigious strength that at one shake he pulled up an oak as if it had been a hazel wand. Brutus and Corineus faced “Gogmagog“, had combat, and hurled him from a high rock to his death. (This place, called “The Giant’s Leap”, “Langnagog”, are disputed being in Ireland as well as Cornwall) As a reward for this defeat, Corineus was given the western part of the island, which many say is how Cornwall was called after him. After this defeat, Brutus travelled to the East and founded the city of New Troy, which eventually became known as “London”. [Geoffrey of Monmouth’s 12th century Historia Regum Brittaniae] Some correspond these myths to the biblical tale of Samson and Greek mythology of Hercules. Others argue that Gogmagog was a corruption of Gawr Madoc (Madoc the Great).

Another mythos to their origins tell that the 33 infamous daughters of Diocletian who were captured and chained at the gates of Guildhall as guardians had given birth to numerous sons who were deemed to be “Giants”. The last two survivors of these offspring, were “Gog” and “Magog”. This comes from the lore around the carved giants guarding the gates of Guildhall during the reign of Henry V. They were added to the Lord Mayor’s Show in 1554 which were labelled in 1605 as Corineus and Gogmagog. After much destruction of London by the great fires in 1666, they were resurrected in the Guildhall with the intent that they were to be seen daily all year and never to be demolished again such as the dismal violence as happened to their predecessors during the fires. Since these were made of wicker and pasteboard, they didn’t last very long, as they were eaten by rats. In 1708 they were replaced by a pair of wooden statues carved by Captain Richard Saunders which lasted for 200 years until destruction in the blitz. In 1953 they were replaced by the current carvings in the Guildhall created by David Evans as a gift to the City by Alderman Sir George Wilkinson who had been the Lord Mayor in 1940. Gog and Magog came to symbolize the links between the modern business institutions of the City to its ancient history. They have been coronated by Thomas Boreman in his “Gigantick History” of 1741 as:


    “Corineus and Gogmagog were two brave giants who richly valued their honour and exerted their whole strength and force in the defence of their liberty and country; so the City of London, by placing these, their representatives in their Guildhall, emblematically declare, that they will, like mighty giants defend the honour of their country and liberties of this their City; which excels all others, as much as those huge giants exceed in stature the common bulk of mankind.”

Another mythos could be relating them to Gyges or Gugu, the king who made Lydia a significant power. Some say the prophet Ezekiel utilized his history symbolically to tell this tale and referring to Asia Minor origins for convenience. Alexander the Great was also associated with Gog and Magog, identified as such in works glorifying the life and deeds of Alexander as someone who personally strove to keep Gog and Magog out of the civilized lands. This is related to the impenetrable wall he built to block off a pass in the Caucasus. The Quran also makes reference to a wall built to keep out Gog and Magog, which will be destroyed in the last days. Some equate this wall with Alexander’s, others with the Great Wall of China, and others as the Iron Curtain.

Gog and Magog don’t only have a place within Paganism, more so found Within much of J-C-I mythology (Judaism, Islam, Christianity), is an abundance of their existence in the lore, history, and beliefs of these peoples and/or faiths, especially as they pertain to future prophecies and catastrophism. Found in the Qur’an, Book of Ezekiel, Book of Genesis, and the Book of Revelation. These “supernatural beings” are also referred to as “demons” and “races” that once predated upon the Earth. According to Islam and Christianity of this being(s) were “war” incarnate, and was a great and righteous ruler (He of the Two Horns) or one that impacts two ages (He of Two Ages), would travel the world in three directions, until he found a tribe threatened by himself, or who were of an evil and destructive nature and caused great corruption upon the Earth. Often humans would offer tribute to Gog and Magog for his protection with the hope that he’d agree to help them. However, Gog and Magog notoriously declined the tribute. Because of this, according to legend, humanity constructed a great wall that all the hostile nations could not penetrate, trapping them there until doomsday, that their escape will be a sign of the end … “The War of Gog and Magog” would precede the return of Jesus.

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February 1st-2nd: Imbolc or Oimelc, Candlemas, St. Brigid’s Day

Imbolc or Imbolg a.k.a. Candlemas, Groundhog Day, St.Brigid’s Day, Là Fhèill Brìghde, Lá Fhéile Bríde, Feast Day of St. Brigid, Spring Festival.

Celebrated February 1st or 2nd annually in the northern hemisphere, and August 1st or 2nd in the southern hemisphere.

Cultures: Gaels, Irish, Scottish, Manx, Neo-Pagans, Celtic Reconstructionists, Neo-Druids, Wiccans, Druids, Pagans.

Represents: hearth, home, lengthening days, early signs of Spring, birthing of ewes, milking of Ewes, milk, first stirrings of Spring, St. Brigid, candles, and first feasts.

“I mbolg” is Irish for “in the belly” and refers to the pregnancy of ewes. It has also been referred to as Oimelc referring to “Ew’s milk”. Imbolc is a popular Pagan holiday celebrating the marking of the first stirrings of Spring. Most commonly taking place traditionally on February 1st or 2nd, can take place also as late as February 12th in the Northern Hemisphere, and by new European settlers in the southern hemisphere celebrated around August 1st. It is a cross-quarter sabbat in modern Pagan faiths as a halfway mark between the Winter Solstice (Yule) and the Spring Equinox. The festival was first recorded to have been celebrated in the Middle Ages in Gaelic Ireland and was referred to as the “Tochmarc Emire of the Ulster Cycle” and was a cross-quarter day festival in Irish Mythology as one of four. The other four cross-quarter day festivals were Samhain, Beltane, and Lughnasad. Many believe it first celebrated the Goddess Brigid and later turned to represent the Saint Brigid. With growth of the Neo-Pagan movement of Shamanism, Celtic Spirituality, Druidism, Wicca, and Witchcraft, especially in relation to Celtic reconstructionism, “Imbolc” was revitalized as a Neo-pagan religious festival. As it was followed by Candlemas on February 2nd, as the Irish “Lá Fhéile Muire na gCoinneal” or “feast day of Mary of the Candles”, Welsh “Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau” the two festivals became blended together. Because some Irish Neolithic monuments are aligned to this date, such as the Mound of the Hostages at Tara, it is believed the holiday was celebrated much earlier than the Middle Ages. It appears however for the first time from folklore collected during the 19th-20th century in Rural Ireland and Scotland. The holiday represents the hearth, home, lengthening days, early signs of Spring, birthing of ewes, milking of Ewes, milk, first stirrings of Spring, St. Brigid, candles, and first feasts. It is celebrated with hearth fires, butter, milk, bannocks, divination, seeking of prophecy, omens, oracles, candles, bonfires, weather divination, Groundhogs, badgers, snakes, festivals of light, early Spring celebrations, celebrations of Fire, purification, the Goddess Brigid, or St Brigid.

The Annals of the Four masters records Brigit to having died February 1st, 525 AD. Others believe this was the date of her birth. Because St. Brigid was believed to have died or born on February 1st, the date has been dedicated to her. The date also coincides with the Festival of St. Brigid of Kildare at this time. The association with Brigid / Brighid / Bríde / Brigit / Brìd, the festival is also related to holy wells, Brigid’s crosses, sacred flames, healing, poetry, smithcraft, and magic. In Gaelic tradition, Imbolc also is the time of the “Hag” or the “Cailleach” who gathers her firewood for the rest of winter. If she desires a longer winter, she makes sure the weather on this date is bright and sunny so she can gather more wood. If she’s ready for it to be over, this date will be overcast, cold, or with foul weather. If the snakes come out of their holes, badgers come to the surface, or the groundhog sees its shadow, there will be more winter. If they do not come out, then they are asleep and winter is almost over. The lighting of fires, candles, bonfires, and hearths represents the return of warmth and the growing power of the sun. As the Feast of St. Brigid, Lá Fhéile Bríde, and Lá Feabhra – Candlemas and Imbolc is celebrated as the official first day of Spring. Craft-wise this is honored by the handcrafting of the Brigid’s Bed when young unmarried girls would create a corn dolly representing Brigid called the Brideog (Little Brigid) adorned with ribbons, shells, and stones lying on a bed. On St. Brigid’s Eve (January 31st) the girls would gather in a house for an all nighter sleepover with the Brideog, only later to be visited by the single young men of the community to come treat them and the corn dolly with tribute. As Brigid is believed to manifest of Imbolc Eve, another tradition is the leaving of a strip of cloth or clothing outside for Brigid to bless. Fires that night when extinguished would have their ashes raked smooth, and in the morning, the fire caretakers would inspect the ash for any kinds of markings for a sign that Brigid came through the hearth. Cloth and clothing left out that night would be brought back into the house and believed to possess magical healing and protective energies. On Imbolc, the girls carry the Brideog through the community from house to house where offerings are given to her. The date is also celebrated by the weaving of Brigid’s Cross.

Neopagan celebrations of this festival vary from tradition to tradition, religion to religion. Much of the traditional rites associated with the practices today are based on reconstructionist theory in its beginnings evolving to new traditions today. As previously said, it is a time of purification, and therefore a time of initiations and new beginnings.

Bibliography/References:


  • Adler, Margot. 1979: “Drawing Down the Moon”. Boston: Beacon Press.

  • Bonewits, Isaac. 2006: “Essential Guide to Druidism”. New York: Kensington Publishing.

  • Carmichael, Alexander. 1992: “Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations”. Hudson: New York, Lindisfarne Press.

  • Chadwick, Nora. 1970: “The Celts”. London, Penguin books.

  • Cultural Heritage Ireland. “Festival of Imbolc and St. Brigit”. Website referenced March 2012. http://www.culturalheritageireland.ie/index.php/irish-history-from-the-annals/80-irish-history-from-the-annals/174-the-festival-of-imbolc-and-st-brigit

  • Danaher, Kevin. 1972: “The year in Ireland: Irish Calendar Customs”. Dublin, Mercier Books.

  • Hutton, Ronald. 1996: “The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain”. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • MacKillop, James. 1998: “Dictionary of Celtic Mythology”. New York: Oxford University press.

  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. “Imbolc”. Website referenced March 2012. http://www.wikipedia.org.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Articles and Research papers are done at the Author’s expense. If you donate below, you’ll help contribute to the costs of the research that provided this article. Any Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

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Burns’ Tam O’Shanter, 1792 (1855 illustrations) « Sexy Witch

Burns’ Tam O’Shanter, 1792 (1855 illustrations) « Sexy Witch.

Burns’ Tam O’Shanter, 1792 (1855 illustrations)

“Tam O’Shanter” is a ghost story written in verse by the great Scottish poet Robert Burns. Burns persuaded his friend Francis Grose to include a drawing of Alloway Kirk, in his Antiquities of Scotland (1791), which Grose promised to do if Burns would supply him with a ghost story to go with it. Burns wrote a brief version of the story in prose before starting his 224 line poem. Both versions have been quoted in the following account (see here for the prose and here for the poem).

The poem concerns a farmer, Tam. After a night of drinking and story-telling, Tam must ride home to Carrick through a heavy storm. As Tam passes Alloway kirk-yard it is “the wizard hour, between night and morning”. He sees a bright light streaming from the ruined church and, on investigating, he is “surprised and entertained, thorough the ribs and arches of an old gothic window … to see a dance of witches merrily footing it round”. As the dance grows “fast and furious” the women cast aside their cloths and dance in their “sark” (undershirt). Alone among the many “wither’d beldams, auld and droll” (withered grandmothers, old and comical) Tam notices a “winsome wench” in a “cutty sark” (short shirt). After some time observing the young witch dancing, Tam unwisely cries out “Weel done, Cutty-sark!”; at which, the music stops, the lights go out and all the witches give chase. Tam makes for the bridge (since a witch can’t cross running water): “the pursuing, vengeful hags were so close at his heels, that one of them actually sprung to seize him: but it was too late; nothing was on her side of the stream but the horse’s tail, which immediately gave way to her infernal grip, as if blasted by a stroke of lightning.”

The poem was immediately, and immensely, popular: it has been illustrated many times. Artists have shown particular relish in depicting Nannie (the young witch) dancing, chasing Tam, and grasping the tail of Tam’s horse, Meg (or Maggie). The three illustrations below are by John Faed (and engraved by Lumb Stocks and James Stephenson for the 1855 edition). These are some of the best and most frequently reprinted or copied illustrations to Burns’ poem. I have accompanied each illustration (or detail) with a passage from the poem.  (Follow link above or below for the author’s article to continue …)

http://sexywitch.wordpress.com/2006/09/15/burns-tam-oshanter/

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“Haitian Horror” by Thomas Baurley

Haitian Zombification

A treatise in 1989 on “Haitian Zombies”. Exploring Wade Davis’ work in Haiti with the compound made from tetrodotoxin utilized by witch doctors in creating real-life zombies as slaves.

Baurley, Thomas: 1989 Haitian Horror: Zombification as Myth or Reality?. Florida State University: 1989.

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The Feri Tradition (Witchcraft/Wicca)

Saturday, October 16th

The Feri Tradition (Witchcraft/Wicca)


The Feri Tradition, Witchcraft/Wicca

Among the distinguishing features of the Faery tradition is the use of a Faery Power which characterizes the lineage. It is an ecstatic, rather than a fertility, tradition. Strong emphasis is placed on sensual experience and awareness, including sexual mysticism, which is not limited to heterosexual expression. In this, as in the general spirit of spiritual exploration, there is more risk-taking encouraged than in other Wiccan traditions which may have specific laws limiting behavior, and there is a certain amorality historically associated with the Tradition. We see ourselves, when enchanted, as “fey”–not black, not white, outside social definitions, on the road to Faeryland, either mad or poetical. We are aware that much of reality is unseen, or at least has uncertain boundaries. — The Faery Tradition, by Anna Korn - http://www.lilithslantern.com/Faery%20Trad.htm

Most of this data came from a discussion between Pagan folk about what the Feri tradition is. Important facts and details are shared here for definition purposes.

The Feri Tradition, a tradition of Wicca and subset classification of the Neo-Pagan type of Witchcraft, came about through the work of Gwydion Pendderwen, Victor and Cora Anderson. Originally found only on the West Coast of the United States, in recent years it has spread into several parts of North America, and even overseas. The Feri Tradition is adamantly polytheistic, recognizing many manifestations of the Divine from many different places and times. The tradition focalizes its rich lore and practices around specific Feri deities and guardians it honors within the tradition’s rituals and liturgies. These rituals/liturgies are heavily invocatory, to encourage possession, which relies mainly on psychic talent or sensitivity to occur. The term “Feri” has come to replace the term “Faerie” or “Faery” in order to separate it from the various Faerie traditions that exist within the Neo-Pagan religious boom of faiths, beliefs, and organizations seen on the uprise since the late 60’s.

The Feri tradition refers to a belief structure composed of “lore” consisting of teachings, names, stories, tools, specific poetry, liturgies, rituals, and practices. Practices consist of the wide variety of tools the Feri use in the practice of their tradition, such as the “Iron Pentacle”, the “Pentacle of Pearl” (meditation tools). The tradition is influenced by works and passionate beliefs of its founders Victor (such as Huna/Dahomean-Haitian), Cora (southern root and folk magic), Gwyddion (Radical Faeries, Shamanism, Wicca), Starhawk, and other influential members.
They claim, like most Neo-Pagan Wiccan/Witchcraft traditions to not have been influenced by Gardnerian or British Traditional Wicca, owning its own evolution. It claims the traditional secrecy that so many Neo-Pagan witchcraft traditions do, though you can always seem to attend a class on the tradition or be exposed to its works without much difficulty. (I Met Victor and Cora at the Gathering of Tribes in Atlanta, Georgia in 1991 – and they did a workshop on this ‘secret’ tradition offered to all attendings of this public gathering. ) But they do hold strong on the use of oaths and the public view of being a ‘secret tradition’.

The Feri tradition does claim to have a small number of members, and that appears to be true, as is many lesser-known Wiccan tradition do hold true. Every student and member can still trace their lineage of initiation and training back to Victor and Cora. The Reclaiming tradition, spearheaded by Starhawk, is believed to have evolved from the Feri tradition.

http://www.feritradition.org
http://www.witchvox.com/trads/trad_feri.html

Tuesday, October 12th

A Knock at the Duir … inspirational mini-film …


Check this out ….
http://duirwaighgallery.com/inspiration_duirwaighfilms.php?section=84#

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Elf Queen’s Daughters and the Silver Elves

The Elf Queen’s Daughters and the Silver Elves

[ This is an update, revision, and expansion of our late 1980’s/early 1990’s pages on the Silver Elves and the Elf Queen’s Daughters we once had published on Geocities, then Faeid.com, then Treeleaves.com, Treeleavesoracle.org, and finally Technogypsie.com. After a bunch of internet research, interviews, correspondence, and discussions, this is the history we have assembled together of all we know about the Silver Elves and the Elf Queen’s Daughters. In addition, those pages are no longer separate and now condensed to a single file since the Silver Elves are now the official representatives of the Elf Queen’s Daughters. The Silver Elves assisted with revisions of this article in February 2011 ]

According to Wikipedia, The “Elf Queen’s Daughters” (EQD) were a group of elves originally operating from the South Bay area of San Francisco, California that later branched off to groups in Seattle, Washington. They had published a newsletter that was themed on “Bringing together male and female elves in celebration of ritual, magic, and the understanding of Fae”. They were Goddess oriented and referred to all of their members as “sisters”. They also possessed similar ecologically-based Pagan beliefs that are common with the modern “otherkin” movement as well as the Church of All Worlds, holding the image of the Earth in like respect to the “Gaia Hypothesis” – as a woman with trees for her hair, rivers for her veins, etc. as their image of the Earth as a physical Goddess, a living breathing Earth. Zardoa, who created “The Silver Elves” was first awakened by the Elf Queen’s Daughters in 1975. The EQD taught Zardoa the casting of Astrological Charts, the I-Ching, and various spells of Enchantment. As an EQD Vortex, Zardoa founded the “Elves of the Southern Woodlands” in 1975 in Carbondale, Illinois soon after his visit to the Aurora Vortex. He was soon joined by Morning Moonstar. Later in 1978, Aeona Silversong also joined the Elves of the Southern Woodlands and Zardoa gifted her that name. A few months later in the summer of 1978, Zardoa awakened Silver Flame who became a part of that vortex before she moved to Gainesville, Fl. She was so much a part of the vortex that when the vortex relocated to Gainesville, Florida in 1979, the group did so to be near Silver Flame. Upon relocation, the Elves of the Southern Woodlands changed their name to the “Sylvan Elves” and in 1980 began publishing the Magical Elven Love Letters in order to share knowledge of the Elven Way to those interested. The “Sylvan Elves” relocated to California in 1981 and took on the title of the “Silver Elves” as they are known today. In 2008 they relocated to Hawaii and are working on volume 3 of the Magical Elven Love Letters, An Elfin Book of Dreams: An Oracle of Faerie, and the Elfin Book of Changes. They are founders and elders of the “Elven Way”.

(more…)

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Faeids

Faery

Faeid.

Faeids. Faeids are Humans, Faeries, or Faerie/Human Breeds or those communicated with by Faeries for the purpose of bridging the gap that has developed between humans and Faeries long ago. As the
mists separate our realms of understanding, belief, and physical contact; the only means to travel between the worlds today are “gateways” that either sporadically appear on the planet, exist within magical grids/leylines/or places, or created through magic and ritual. Faeids are those who walk between the realms or have had invitation or faery luring to do so.

The term Faeid, was put together by Anthropologist Tom Baurley in 1986 while working on his degree and studying the Neo-pagan movement in North America. The term “Fae” or “fay” or “Faerie” come from the French replacing the Old English “elf” during the Tudor period. Spenser and Shakespeare popularized the change. According to Brian Froud, the terms
“Elfland”, “Faerieland”, “Elf”, and “Faerie” were and still are interchangeable words for Faerie. Numerous spellings for the fae range from fae, fairy, fayerye, fairye, fayre, faerie, faery, and often represent the world of Faerie, as a noun, as a geographical location, and for its inhabitants, as well as an adjective describing faerie culture. Baurley took this term, and combined it with the greek work “id” meaning “to know”. Therefore, Faeid translates to “Faery knower” or “Faery communicator”. Faeidism or Faeidry are the rites, rituals, practices, and knowledge of the “faeids” who live a lifestyle or path in life that seeks constant connection with Faeries.

Faeids usually wear the Elven or Faery Staras their symbol. This symbol, given to humanity as a symbol for Faeids to recognize each other by the Fae is ever growing in popularity in the new age, Neopagan, and folk communities. The more you see of these will be signs in the times to come as the understanding of Faeries and their world. The bridge between the realms are being built.

The Faeid Fellowship is an organization for Faeids. It was started in 2000 by Leaf McGowan for the betterment and understanding of the realm of Faery.

[ Faeid? ] [ Gifts ] [ Are you a Faeid? ] [ Support ] [ The Fellowship ] [ Faery Stars ] [ Help us ] [ Faerie Lore ]

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