Tag Archive: celtic


The Celtic people knew the importance of the solstice. Although the Yule season marks the middle of winter, colder times were still to come. It was important to put aside staple foods for the coming months, because it would be many months before anything fresh grew again. Consider, as you think on this devotional, what your family has put aside — both material goods and things on the spiritual plane.

A flock of sheep grazing in the snow on the hills outside Doagh, County Antrim.

A flock of sheep grazing in the snow on the hills outside Doagh, County Antrim.

The food is put away for the winter,
the crops are set aside to feed us,
the cattle are come down from their fields,
and the sheep are in from the pasture.
The land is cold, the sea is stormy, the sky is gray.
The nights are dark, but we have our family,
kin and clan around the hearth,
staying warm in the midst of darkness,
our spirit and love a flame
a beacon burning brightly
in the night.

Beautiful-night wallpapers 8049 1680x1050

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/CeltYulePrayer.htm

The Celtic calendar begins with the month of the Birch Moon, a time of new beginnings and making plans for the future.

birch moon

The first of the 13 months of the Celtic calendar is the month of the Birch Moon.  It begins just after Yuletide and runs through most of January.

Staring just after the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year – the month of the Birch Moon marks the period of the year when the hours of daylight start to increase over the hours of darkness.  Its associated color is flame red; from this comes the red candles that we burn at Yuletide.

 

New Year’s Resolutions

The month of the Birch Moon falls into the “quiet time” during the bleakest period of winter.  None of the eight major Neopagan festivals occur in this month.  There is little to do but wait for warmer weather.

This month is therefore primarily a time of contemplations, of looking to the future and starting to make plans for the year ahead- hence the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions.

THE LADY OF THE WOODS

The silvery bark that covers the trunk of the birch tree resembles the silver of the moonlight, which it reflects at night giving it a magical look.

birch-wood-tree

“Tree Goddess”. Photo taken by Norse Witch

With its long, slender branches that stretch up to the sky, the birch symbolizes the female aspects of nature and is often known as “the Lady of the Woods.”  Growing up to 100 feet high, it has also been thought of as a ladder that shamans can climb to reach the gods.

 

BIRCH MOON MAGIC

The month of the Birch Moon is the ideal time to weave magic focusing on new beginnings and purification, or to cast spells for support, shielding and cleansing.

bafef5c7-22ab-4b47-a74f-412250104c6c

“The Birch” by Margaret Walty

At the beginning of the year, concentrate on new beginnings.  Ask for general luck in whatever the coming year brings, and focus on what you want to achieve.

Resolution Blessing Spell

The birch is the first tree to grow back after a forest has been cut down or razed, reinforcing its association with new beginnings.  It is a tree of extreme hardiness, thriving in places where the oak cannot.  When you make a New Year’s resolution, increase your chances of sticking to our guns by performing this blessing spell.

You Will Need:

  • Red candle
  • Red ribbon
  • Birch wand
  • Frankincense, rose, and benzoin essential oil

resolution spell1. Go for a walk in your local park and collect a birch twig no more than 12 inches long.  As birch is a very common tree, you should be able to find one easily, even in urban areas and parks.

2. Mix a few drops of rose frankincense and benzoin essential oil into the palm of your hand and rub the mixture into a red candle.

3. Light the candle, and stand in front of it for a few moments visualizing your resolution.  If you are planning to learn to play guitar, for instance, visualize ourself happily strumming your favorite song.  You may want to state your intent aloud, saying, “I will learn to play guitar.”

4. Holding your birch twig at one end, pass it through the candle’s flame.  Then turn around, clockwise, holding the twig in front of you to draw a circle around yourself.

5. Repeat the incantation, “I manifest new chances for good fortune, clarity and insight.  I open myself to new experience and allow change to manifest in my life.”

6. Now sit down for a few minutes and quietly contemplate your wish.  When you have finished, blow out the candle.

Purification and Cleansing

purificationThe silver color of the birch’s bark is associated with purity and cleansing.  Criminals and naughty schoolboys were often beaten with birch twigs – “birched” – in order to purify them and drive out any evil influences.

This is a good time to cleanse your mind of negative thoughts and attitudes, such as anger and jealousy, or an addictive behavior, such as smoking.  A full Moon that calls within the month of the Birch Moon is called the Cold Moon; you can strengthen your intent by performing the following ritual at this time.

A Simple Cold Moon Ritual:

1. Light a white candle besides a small bowl of natural spring or rain water.

2. Stand over the water and pray for the strength to let go of your vice.

3. Write down your negative behavior nine times on a piece of paper.

4. Fold up the paper, place it inside a freezer bag, and pour in some of the prayer water.

5. Place the bag inside your icebox to “freeze” your bad habits – putting them behind your forever.

Birch Throughout the Year

birch year

  • Birch is used for purification, exorcism and protection.  A red ribbon tied to a birch twig will help ward off the evil eye.
  • Witches’ brooms are made of birch twigs tied around an ash branch with strips of willow.  The purifying birch sweeps away evil spirits, as well as dirt.
  • At Beltane (May Day), birch twigs are used to light the fires that signal the beginning of the new season.

 

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  5.

 

Suggested Links:

Celticradio.net, “Celtic Zodiac: The Birch“.

The Goddess Tree, “Birch“.

Jaecap. People.tribe.net, “The Birch Tree“.

Spiritblogger.wordpress.com, “Spirit Message of the Day – Celtic Tree Month Birch – Strength“.

The 13th Lunar month of the Celtic calendar is Elder.  This tree marks a time of endings and beginnings.

The Elder Moon is the last month in the cycle of the 13 Celtic Moon months, and it indicates the renewal of energy and continuous journey of the soul toward greater happiness and understanding.  The Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night occurs during Elder Moon and is the chance to focus on your heart’s desire.

Annual Evaluation

The Elder Moon is time to bring a halt to habit-forming patterns that have restricted your growth, so that you may heal and move on.  Evaluate what you learned during the past year and give yourself time to work out what you want from life.  Perform spells that conclude the annual cycle and release the energy you invested in previous projects and endeavors, so that you may concentrate on conceiving your new dreams for the New Year.

TREE OF LIFE AND DEATH

“The Elder” by Margaret Walty

The elder tree’s ability to recover when damaged has made it a symbol of regeneration since ancient times, and for this reason it was used in burial rites in British long barrows, an ancient style of grave.  Due to its white flowers (life) and black berries (death), the tree is also sacred to the Mother Goddess who governs birth and death.

Protective Powers

Art by Oskar Klever

The wood is believed to have protective properties to because of the powerful Dryad spirit that lives within it.  When planted near a home, the tree will ward off intruders. The healing powers of the elder are also thought to cure insomnia (by placing elderberries in a spell bag under a pillow) and ensure health of unborn babies (when pregnant women kiss its bark).

 

ELDER MOON MAGIC

Use the powers of the elder tree to bring a sense of completion to the old year and feeling of renewal for the start of the next cycle.

Review the Year

Bring a sense of completion to your Celtic lunar year.

  • Review the last 13 Moons, writing down what you have learned from each.  Acknowledging your lessons helps you move on.
  • Areas of your life that are unfulfilled indicate stuck energy.  Hold quartz and direct love toward your current job, cramped apartment or credit card bill.  New opportunities will appear as if by magic.
  • Resolve difficult relationships by writing a letter to the soul of the person with whom you are in conflict – this helps to clear the way for change.  Then burn the letter.

Release Negativity

Upon reaching the end of the Celtic calendar, the Elder Moon month is the perfect time to release negative energies before entering the New Year, feeling renewed.

1. Dig a hole in the ground and say, “Mother Earth, I ask you to transform my pain into healing.”

2. Place a photo of yourself and a drawing, or written account, of any negative incidents into the hole.

3. Speak or shout your feelings into the hole.

4. When you feel ready, place an elder twig into the hole to represent the end of the cycle.

5. Fill in the hole and stamp the earth down three times saying, “I release the past, so let it be.”

 

Protection Charm

Use this charm to repel unwanted attention and harassment during the party season.

1. Collect together five tiny elder twigs, a white ribbon, a white candle and a strand of your hair.

2. Light the candle saying, “White light surround me, safe will I stay.”

3. Drip the wax onto one of the elder twigs and press your hair into it before it dries.

4. Surround the twig with the others, making a small magical bundle.

5. Secure it with the white ribbon saying, “As I will it, so let it be.”

6. Slip the protection charm into your party handbag and you’re ready to go.

 

Elder Tree Blessing

Use this blessing to heal an environment where there has been an argument, accident, illness or shock.

1. Gather together some elderberries and leaves.

2. Face the north and say, “I call upon the guardians of the earth to bless this place.”  Throw some elderberries and leaves towards the north.

3. Turn to the east and repeat the ritual, this time calling upon the guardians of air.

4. Turn to the south and repeat, calling upon the guardians of fire.

5. Finally, turn to the west and all upon the guardians of water.

6. End by randomly scattering the remaining leaves and release the energy.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  17.

 

Suggested Links:

Celticradio.net, “Celtic Zodiac: The Elder“.

The Goddess Tree, “Elder“.

Spiritblogger.wordpress.com, “Spirit Message of the Day – Creative Renewal Cycle“.

The Celtic Moon month of Reed prompts you to withdraw from the outer world, to look within yourself and reconnect with the past.

The celebration of Samhain, now known as Halloween, occurs during the Reed Moon.  To the Celts this month hailed the end of the year, a time to cull the livestock and to connect with ancestors.  All around the world festivals that honor the dead are celebrated.  During the Reed Moon, light a candle for loved ones who have died and you may receive a message from the spirit world.

Releasing Old Energy

The Reed Moon is a good time to use divination to gain insights into the year that has passed.  Perform spells that will release old energy, and burn symbols of illness and negativity in your bonfire on Halloween.  Remember the Celtic year does not begin until the Winter Solstice, so use this interval to dream not to make plans for the future.

THE HAUNTING SOUND OF REED

In the past, the reed was used to make swift-flying arrow shafts that slew both enemies and game.  In this way the plant was linked to the season of death and sacrifice, in which trees shed their leaves and the energy of nature became more introspective.  Many early musical instruments also used the reed to create a haunting sound that has been connected to rites for the dead and summoning the spirits.

Wind Instruments

Modern-day wind instruments have developed from the same principle used by original reed instruments, whereby a current of air is vibrated to produce a melodic sound.

Other traditional uses for reed include thatching.  Rooftops were thatched with reeds, and as the Celts withdrew into their homes for the winter they honored the plant that gave them shelter, making the reed a symbol of royalty and protection.

 

In the depth of winter, you need to recharge.  As you tend to stay indoors a lot during the cold season, this is a good time to both focus on and bless your home.

REED MOON MAGIC

Harness the power of the plant of protection and divination during this lunar month.  Using Reed magic can help you to connect with your ancestral roots or let go of the past.

Ancestor Spirit Altar

Use this ancestral ritual to connect with your ancestors and other loved ones who have crossed to the spirit world.

You Will Need:

  • Ancestral images
  • Three white candles
  • Flowers

You may choose to use a pentagram as the symbol of your spiritual tradition

First, place the ancestral images on a table, with flowers and candles.  Light each candle in turn and offer after each in the following order.

Candle one:

I honor the Ancestors of my Blood.

Candle two:

I honor the Ancestors of my Heart.

Candle three:

I honor the Ancestors of my Tradition.

Meditate, letting images peacefully drift through your mind, and ask for a sign that your loved ones are still with you in spirit.

 

Protection Charm

Use this reed charm to protect yourself from negativity.

You Will Need:

  • Freshly cut reed
  • A black ribbon

1.  Visualize yourself within a circle of white light.

2.  Tie a knot in a freshly cut reed, as it will be more flexible, and then say, “Royal Reed, plant of protection, keep me safe until the new year.”

3.  Suspend the knotted reed from the ceiling using the black ribbon.

4.  At Christmas, take it down and burn it.

 

Samhain Reed Spell

If you need help in letting go of something from your past, use a little reed magic at Samhain (October 31).

You Will Need:

  • Knife
  • Pen
  • Sea salt
  • Matches
  • Fireproof dish

1.  Go to a spot along the river bank where reeds grow tall and strong.

2.  Sprinkle sea salt on the surface of the water and say, “River of birth, river of death, I honor you.  Please accept this offering.”

3. Now choose a reed, cut it, and carefully draw a symbol, or write a word, to represent what you wish to release on the reed.

4.  Light the reed in the fireproof dish and, as it burns, visualize the old energy being transformed into light and disappearing.

5.  Once the reed has burned away, pour the ashes into the water and walk away, feeling fully cleansed of the past.

 

Traditional Magic

  • Try bringing some reed magic into your life with these traditional rituals:
  • Leap over a small bonfire to leave behind the old year.
  • Eat an apple at Samhain at midnight to dream of your spirit guide.
  • Carve out a turnip or pumpkin as a lantern of protection.
  • Bury an apple at a crossroads as an offering to the spirits of the dead.
  • Use the runes for divination or to gain insight into your current situation.

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  16.

 

 

Suggested Link:

Celticradio.net, “Celtic Zodiac: The Reed“.

The Goddess Tree, “Reed“.

The lunar month of Ivy offers the opportunity to give thanks for life’s blessings and to prepare for a period of spiritual growth.

The Ivy Moon coincides with the end of the harvest season when successes and losses must be accounted for.  In ancient times, intoxicating ale was brewed from ivy and was used to induce visions of the battlefield.

The plant teaches us that restrictions are necessary to help us hone our skills.  During this month remember that your enemies are your teachers and that opposition is a blessing in disguise.  Focus on magic that strengthens your resolve.

 

Prepare for the Future

Spells that boost your sense of responsibility will make you ready for what lies ahead.  Be prepared to take the long-term view and accept and celebrate your life as it is  right now.  Trust that the Ivy Moon will prepare you to receive an answer to your prayers at exactly the right time.

Ivy/Gort card from “Voices of the Trees” by Mickie Mueller

As the winter months draw in, you’ll need to improve your resilience and tenacity.  Spells for good health are advised at this time of year.

THE RITUAL OF THE “IVY GIRL”

Ivy grows in a spiral formation reminding us that each cycle of the seasons brings us closer to the center, to the spirit.  The last harvest sheaf to be cut in the village was once bound with ivy and called the “Ivy girl.”  This was given to the farmer whose harvest was last, as a reminder of his responsibility to the spirits of the land.

 

Ivy Mythology

Ivy is ruled by the planet Saturn and is often linked with horned gods such as Pan and Dionysus, and as such is a plant of protection, sexuality, property and faith.  Ivy was also believed to protect from alcohol intoxication.  For this reason, intertwined vines of grape and ivy, representing balance, were depicted in ancient images of Dionysus.

 

IVY MOON MAGIC

You can use the month of the Ivy Moon for spells and rituals for protection, or harness its energy to make charms that will strengthen resolve and help you face challenges.

House Protection Spell

Utilize the magic of ivy to protect your home from negative influences.

You Will Need:

  • A black candle
  • Lots of ivy stems

1. Light the candle and say, “I call upon the spirits of this place, come in peace.”

2. Make a circle of ivy stems on the floor and step into the circle.

3. Turn to the north and recite, “Spirits of the Earth protect me.”

4. To the east say, “Spirits of the air protect me.”

5. To the south say, “Spirits of fire protect me.”

6. To the west say, “Spirits of water protect me.”

7. Place the stems that formed your circle at the boundaries of your property.

 

Facing Challenges

Performing this ritual during the Ivy Moon will help you to learn from difficult circumstances and move on.  To perform this ritual you will need:

  • A piece of paper
  • A pen
  • A white candle
  • A fire-proof dish

1. Write a list of the troubles that you are experiencing.

2. Next to each one write what you have gained from it, for example “It made me stronger.”

3. Light the candle saying, “This flame represents my faith in the universe.  I give thanks for the lessons I have learned.”

4. Burn the paper and feel yourself grow stronger.

 

Women’s Ivy Charms

Ivy is a feminine plant and it is particularly lucky for women.  Use the following ivy charms all year round to utilize ivy’s powerful magical properties.

  • Brides who carry or wear ivy will have a long, committed and prosperous marriage.  Sew an ivy leaf into a small pocket of white linen, and give this to a bride to slip into the hem of her wedding dress for luck.
  • To guard against accidents while driving, carefully secure an ivy leaf on your car dashboard.
  • Grow ivy vines around the front door of your house to prevent negativity from entering your home.

 

Ivy Spell Bags

Use the magic of ivy to strengthen your willpower.

Ivy leaves, ginger and Echinacea placed in a yellow spell bag will guard against addictive behavior.

Ivy leaves, chicory, sea salt and sage in a navy blue bag will guard against overspending.

A charm of ivy leaves, hawthorn leaves, and red chili seeds placed in a white spell bag will help to keep you faithful to your lover.

Placing ivy leaves, lily petals and lilac flowers in a blue spell bag will prevent you from returning to a destructive relationship.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  15.

The lunar month of the Vine offers the opportunity to bring your plans to fruition the winter begins.

The Autumn Equinox, when night and day are of equal length, occurs during the month of the Vine Moon.  It helps you realign your energy to prepare for the dark half of the year.  The month of the Vine Moon is a time to value input from others and any networks that are made may prove useful in the future.

 

Time to Consolidate

Focus on magic that resolves; cast a peace spell to end an argument or use prosperity magic to help you settle bills and pay off existing debts.  Magic must be balanced with action now, so use nature’s last burst of energy, visible in the vibrant fall colors, to inspire you to complete projects that you started earlier in the year.

Invest in your health during this month by eating foods packed with vitamin C to stave off colds as the weather declines, and boost your energy levels with herbal drinks.

 

 

FERTILITY AND CONCENTRATION

Jen Delyth ‘Celtic Tree of Life’

The vine is the only plant in the Celtic Tree Calendar not native to northern climes, although it’s  featured in much Bronze Age art.  It was cultivated by migrants from southern Europe.  The name vine comes from the word “viere,” meaning “to twist.”  This refers to the Druidic concept of spiritual development.

 

Fruits of the Vine

In the colder north, the vine was substituted with blackberries.  Both are used in wine, in money spells and are linked to fairies.  Pictures of grapevines were painted onto garden walls in ancient Rome to ensure the fertility of the household.

Eating grapes and blackberries is a magical remedy that aids memory and concentration.

 

 

VINE MOON MAGIC

Use magic during the month of the Vine Moon to restore peace to troubled relationships and to bring prosperity and fertility into your life.

Fall Magic

Try the following charms, remedies and spells to stay in tune with the magical powers of the season.

  • Catch a falling leaf and make a wish.
  • Place a  grapeseed in a glass of red wine and drink on the night of the full moon to attract riches.

Equinox Peace Spell

Use this spell to bring to a troubled relationship or to help heal any dispute.

You Will Need:

  • A white candle
  • A white ribbon
  • Pen and paper

1.  Hold the candle and say, “I dedicate this candle to peace.”

2. Write a list of the grievances that caused the conflict.

3. Light the candle and focus on sending love to the other party.

4. Burn the list in the flame saying, “For the sake of peace, I let it go.”

5. Light the candle for a few moments each night and focus on peace.

6. Tie the ribbon to a bramble or vine.  When the leaves have all fallen, peace will be restored.

Fertility Charm

Use this ancient spell to help you to be fruitful at this time of the year

1. Place a bunch of grapes in a bowl in your bedroom (or office if it’s a project not a baby you’re delivering!).

2. Next say, “Spirit of Vine, I open myself to your powers.”

3. Take some time to collect your thoughts and then make your wish.

4. Finish the charm by eating a grape and saying, “So let it be.”

Prosperity Pie

Use this prosperity pie recipe to bring financial fortune into your life.

You Will Need:

  • Pastry
  • Sugar
  • Blackberries
  • Pie dish
  • Spring water

1. Gather a basket of blackberries, leaving one of your hairs on the vine as an offering of thanks.

2. Wash the fruit in spring water, saying, “Water of life, take my strife.”

3. Roll out the pastry and visualize the prosperous life you desire.  Line the pie dish with a sheet of pastry.

4. Put the fruit into the pie dish, add sugar, and say, “Life grow sweet.” Try to imagine all golden light entering the fruit mix.

5. Top the pie with more pastry and decorate with vine patterns, saying, “The spell is complete.”

6. Bake in a moderate oven for 35 minutes and share with friends.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  14.

 

Healing is in the air during the Celtic Month of Willow, inviting you to open your heart and express your emotions.

During this time of April showers, the watery month of the Willow Moon teaches you to release pent-up emotions and experience your grief.  Tears are linked to healing, and as you express difficult and painful feelings, you are able to purge yourself of subconscious fears.  The Willow Moon offered a healing month to the Celts, who literally spring-cleaned themselves in steamy saunas, known as sweat lodges, in readiness for the Beltane festival at the start of May.

Watery Tree

This month is the perfect time to perform lunar magic and to let go of the past.  Cast spells to restore and nurture during the waxing Moon and to release problems during the waning Moon. Drinking more water will help you attune to the Willow Moon and so enable you to connect to the tree’s water magic.

HEALING AND BLESSING

The willow is imbued with the power of the Moon, and so it has always been particularly linked with witchcraft.  The traditional witches’ broom is bound with a willow branch, and lunar wands used specifically for Moon magic are made of willow wood.

A lovely handmade willow wand that can be purchased from the Eire Crescent shop on Etsy.

Broken Hearts

The willow’s close ties to the Moon and tides also connect it to affairs of the heart.  An old English tradition involved jilted lovers wearing a sprig of willow in their hats, which originated from an ancient willow charm to heal a broken heart.

Lucky Tree

It was also believed that knocking on willow wood would help to banish bad luck, and that the tree’s leaves and bark could be added to healing incense and sachets to further promote health.

Focus on bringing someone round to your way of thinking.  Attract love or a new job, or aim to make a good first impression.

WILLOW MOON MAGIC

The Willow Moon provides the perfect time to harness lunar power and energy for wishing spells, divination, healing and protection.

Willow Divination

Willow is a good tree for boosting your intuition because of its watery association with the Moon.  Try these traditional “willow ways” of using your extrasensory perception!

  • Throw your shoe into a willow tree on the new Moon.  If it gets stuck you will be married in the next 12 months, but if it falls you will remain single.  you can try this eight times, if you do not get the desired result the first time!
  • Sleep with willow leaves under your pillow on the night of the full Moon to have a psychic dream.
  • Burning the bark and leaves of willow with sandalwood, outside during the waning Moon, will help you see spirits.

Protection Spell

Planting a willow tree in your yard will banish bad luck from your home.

You Will Need:

  • Willow branch
  • Spring water
  • A clear quartz crystal
  • A lock of your hair

1. On the new Moon, dig a hole and place the quartz crystal inside it.

2. Call upon the blessing of the Earth Mother with the following incantation: “Earth to earth, in power and love grow.”

3. Add the lock of your hair, to bring your own energies to the spell, and say, “I welcome you.”

4. Place the willow branch in the hold and refill the earth around it.

5. Shower the covered earth with the spring water while saying this chant: “Water to water, in power and love grow.”

6. Water the buried branch each day until it is strong.

Moon Water Spell

This willow tree ritual should be performed outside and can be used to make a wish, or heart’s desire, some true.

1. At the time of the full Moon go to a shallow river or stream where willow trees grow.

2. Stand with your feet in the water and hold your arms up to the Moon.

3. Visualize  moonlight flooding your aura, filling your body with each breath.

4. Recite this incantation: “Lady Moon of wax and wane, bring my wish and take my pain.”

5. Perform an act of ritual purification by washing your hands in the water by the roots of the tree.

6. Focus on your wish and tie a knot with a string around a willow branch to seal it.  When your wish comes true, untie the knot.

“Esbat” by NinfeAde

Healing Sachet

Use this charm during the Willow Moon to support your recovery from past bereavement or heartbreak.

You Will Need:

  • White spell bag
  • Willow leaves
  • Willow bark
  • Moonstone crystal

1. Harvest the bark and the leaves on the full Moon, leaving a strand of hair as an offering of thanks.

2. Hold up the moonstone and say “Mother Moon, Fair thou art, may your radiance heal my heart.”

3. Place all the ingredients in the bag, tying three knots to seal it, saying, “By the power of three so let it be.”

 

 

Source:
“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  9.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Blue Roebuck, “Willow“.

Celtic Radio, “Celtic Zodiac: The Willow“.

The Goddess Tree, “Willow“.

The lunar month of Ash is the perfect time to travel or just to plan your path ahead in every aspect of your life.

 

In ancient Europe, the ice began to thaw during the Ash Moon.  People ventured out of their homes for the first time since the dark days of late fall.  It is maybe for this reason that this month is linked with journeys.  Focus magic on transformation, moving you to a new space physically or spiritually.

Taking Time Out

The month of the Ash Moon is a good time to start planning your summer vacation and acclimatize your body to being outside.  Cast spells that take your inner energies on an excursion by harnessing natural forces, such as floating wishes downstream in a paper boat, or blessing a feather and letting it fly in the wind.  Valentine’s Day also occurs near the time of the Ash Moon, so cast a love spell that focuses on sharing your journey in the year ahead with someone special.

 

A SACRED TREE OF MAGIC

The ash has always been revered as a magical tree.  In Scandinavian countries the universe was believed to be composed of a giant ash called the Yggdrasil, and runes were traditionally made from ash wood.  In Greece ash trees were sacred to Poseidon, the god of the sea and the wood was used to carve charms that protected against drowning.

The ash tree is the “Tree of Life,” and its winged seeds, called keys, represent the key to universal understanding.

Ash For the Sick

Ash is renowned for its healing powers.  Sick children were passed through the ash branches, and a bowl of water and ash leaves by the sick-bed was an old remedy to speed recovery.  In witchcraft, ash wood is traditionally used to make healing wands, and the leaves from the ash are used to boost the power of protection and increase prosperity incense.

The tree is also believed to cure warts: prick the tree with a min then use the pin to cross the wars tree tines saying, “Ash tree, ashen tree, pray by this wart off me,” and put the pin back in the tree.  Hopefully, the warts will swiftly disappear!

 

ASH MOON MAGIC

Use Ash Moon spells to focus your mind through meditation or move your life in a new direction.  Use this month to create a healing wand or cast a love spell.

Journey Spells

Use the ash to attract good fortune in all your journeys, physical and metaphysical.

  • Write a letter to the angels telling them what you want to change in your life and asking for help.  Address it to paradise and “mail it” by burning the letter in a candle flame.  Wait for you answer; it will come in unexpected ways.
  • Draw in an image of your wish on a luggage label and attach to a kite.  Fly the kite and ask the spirits of the wind to make it come true.
  • Charge a feather; pass it through incense smoke and repeat a wish three times.  Drop it from a bridge into a river to activate the magic.

A Healing Wand

Harness the healing powers of the ash to make a wand.

1. Lay your hands on an ash tree’s trunk and say: “Magical tree, I ask for a wand infused with your power to heal.”

2. Cut a branch the length of your forearm and the thickness of the base of your index finger.

3. Shave off the bark and decorate with a soldering iron: runes and spirals are appropriate.

4. Charge the wand by leaving it in spring water overnight.  Use you wand whenever you are going to do some healing magic.

Walking Meditation

Practicing this technique during the Ash Moon will free your mind from stress and attract solutions to your problems.  You will need a smudge stick, a bunch of herbs – usually white sage – that is used to “smudge,” or cleanse, and area with smoke.

1. Light a smudge stick, then take time to relax and breathe deeply.

2. Direct the smoke around your body, taking time to cleanse your aura, and say: “Spirit, I walk this journey and invite you to join me.  May each step be sacred.”

3. Take a walk through nature.  Everything on your journey has a message for you, so relax and enjoy.

4. On your return, write down any animals you encountered and unusual sights or flashes of inspiration you received.

Ash Love Spell

Valentine’s Day falls close to the Ash Moon, so cast a spell to attract romance.

You Will Need

  • Red candle
  • Valentine’s card
  • Three red rose petals
  • Red pen

1. Light the candle saying, “Flame of desire, light the fire, three kisses and love will come.”

2. Kiss each rose petal and place them in the card.

3. Close the envelope and seal with red wax.

4. Send the card to your lover, or carry it as a talisman to attract love.

 

 

 

Source:
“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  7.

 

Suggested Links:

Blueroebuck.com, “Ash“.

The Goddess Tree, “Ash“.

Celticradio.net, “Celtic Zodiac: The Ash“.

Spiritblogger.wordpress.com, “Spirit Message of the Day – Spirit Message of the Day – Transformation by Creation“.

The lunar month of Rowan offers you the opportunity to strengthen your resolve and nurture your dreams.

This point in the agricultural calendar is marked by the plowing of the soil to prepare it for the seed; any magic performed now is groundwork.  The surface of the earth appears barren, but the life-force is stirring beneath.  Ask yourself what you need to prepare to plant the seeds of your dreams this year.

The White Month

The Celtic fire festival of Imbolc (February 2) falls in the Rowan Moon, and is associated with the Goddess Brigid, to whom the festivities are dedicated.  Also known as Bride, She represents the mother of the newborn Sun, and all candle magic is sacred to Her.  During the Rowan Moon, wear white to cast spells, use white candles, and feast on white foods to attune to the season.

 

THE TREE OF PERSEVERANCE

The rowan terrain or mountain ash often grows on craggy mountains, higher than any other tree.  Its ability to flourish in bleak places teaches you perseverance.  The rowan berries reveal a natural pentagram at their base – a symbol of the womb of the Earth Goddess and of protection.  These physical attributes give the tree associations of healing and guardianship.

The rowan berry has a tiny five-pointed star or magical pentagram (an important symbol in magical traditions) opposite its stalk.  This explains why it was worn, hung in doorways or planted near houses to offer protection against evil forces.

Rowan Charms

Sprays of rowan berries were once  hung in cattle barns to protect livestock from disease and sorcery.  The leaves and berries can also be used to make a divination incense, and carrying the bark is believed to promote healing in the bearer.  The name “rowan” even comes from the same root as the word “rune”, in its meaning as a charm.

ROWAN MOON MAGIC

When you collect wood from a tree, remember to leave an offering on a branch in return.

The Wheel of Bride

This protective charm represents the waxing energies of the Sun and can be hung in the home to attract good luck.

1. Collect two straight sticks of rowan or mountain ash wood.  Leave an offering of thanks on a branch, such as a strand of hair, thread or ribbon.

2. Hold the sticks in a cross and say, “Spirits of this wood, I bring you together for the good of all.”

3. Bind the sticks into an equal-armed cross and secure with red thread.  As you do this, visualize a powerful white light.

4. Hold the charm up to the Sun and say: “Behold the Wheel of Bride, blessed be.”

Magic Mirror

Use this meditation and a magic mirror to help increase your psychic powers.

1. Prop up a round mirror on a table, surrounded by rowan leaves, berries and three white candles.  Close your eyes and say aloud, “My Lady, open my inner eye to grant clear vision.”

2. Focus on the center of your forehead and “direct” your breathing on this spot.

3. Half-open your eyes and gaze in the mirror.  Focus on your breath and register any images that drift into your mind.  Repeat this process regularly and your visions will improve.

Candle Magic

Combine the magic of the Rowan Moon with the candle magic of Imbolc.

1. Fill a small pot with earth and then hold a white candle in your right hand.  Concentrate on what you want to grow this year.

2. Plant the candle in the soil saying: “Mother Brigid, I ask you to nurture my dream, may it grow with your blessed light.”

3. Light the candle and see its flame expand, taking strength from the Sun.

4. After seeking the help of the Goddess through candle magic, plant a seed as an offering of thanks to Her in a favorite place and wait for your wish to grow.

 

Attune to the Moon

  • Harness the growing potential of the Rowan Moon in your life and make a new start by following these resolutions.
  • Begin spring cleaning now.  As the light increases, you need to clear out your clutter with all your energy to make way for new growth.
  • Have a Rowan Moon dinner party and ask you guests to wear white, dine by candlelight and eat seeds such as beans, pulses and nuts.
  • Look for the first snowdrops of the season and make a wish when you see one.  Snowdrops hold potential of spring.
  • Tie a white ribbon on a rowan tree while saying the names of those you love.  The tree will send out healing vibrations to them.

Source:
“Enhancing Your Mind, Body and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD 6.

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Rowan“.

Goddess Banba

Banba is the Celtic Goddess of the spirit of Ireland. She is one of the Tuatha de Danaan.

“Banba’s themes are protection. Her symbol is soil. A Celtic war goddess, Banba extends safety to those who follow her, wielding magic in their support. In Irish tradition, she protected the land from invaders. As a reward for her sorcery’s assistance, Banba’s name became linked with ancient poetic designations for parts of Ireland. Interestingly enough, Banba translates as ‘unploughed land’, meaning it is left safe and untouched to grow fertile.
Considering crime and other societal problems, a little extra protection from Banba seems like something we could all use year-round. Think of your home and possessions as the ‘land’ she guards. Gather a pinch of dirt from near your residence, take it inside, and keep it in a special spot. Light a candle (white is good) near this anytime you feel you need Banba’s diligent sheltering.

On this day the Scots burn a pole attached to a barrel of tar (a Clavie) and take it around town to banish evil influences, especially magical ones. The Clavie’s remaining ashes are gathered by people as an anti-curse amulet. In keeping with this custom, burn a small bit of wood (perhaps oak) on a safe fire source. As it burns, recite an incantation like this:
‘Banba, burn away negativity, burn away mal-intent
Let the energy return from where it was sent.’

Keep the ashes as an anti-negativity talisman.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

For more information on Banba and her sisters Eriu and Fodla who make up their powerful triad, click here.

There are claims that this Banba may have been worshipped as Macha which would’ve given her associations with war as claimed by Seathrún Céitinn.

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