Friday, September 6, 2013

Today I had some time to myself and felt like messing around with Photoshop - this is the result:

gaol naofa
The quote is from the Triads of Ireland, the photo is my own. 

This summer was very busy - one of my busiest trimesters at school, and stressful without having super-reliable childcare. I am happy to say that the childcare issue has been resolved and I feel much more at ease about the time I'm spending away from home. This week I started my last trimester of school - it is very surreal. It's been six very long, intense years but I'm glad I've made it to the (almost) end. I won't have as much time for writing as I'd like until the end of the year, since I've got to study for my graduation exam (cumulative!!) and then the various licensing boards, however I have resolved to be a little bit more frequent than I have as of late. Soon I'll be putting up a post about our trips to the sea and Manannan, and some of the fun autumnal activities my son and I have been doing.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Beach day!

I've suddenly been very busy with school and life, I have already neglected the new blog. Bad!

A few weeks ago I had a lovely day at the beach. Living near the coast for my entire life has given me a deep love and appreciation for the sea (no pun intended), and I'm excited to share it with my son. I've also always felt drawn to the sea in a spiritual sense. When I was younger I began to talk to Poseidon - as Greek mythology was the only type I had been exposed to - and I've been talking to the ocean ever since. I spent a good deal of the beach day mulling over the sea ... I am now beginning to learn about Manannan mac Lir, the Irish sea God, and exploring the beginning of that relationship. I think my connection to the ocean and interest in Manannan are not coincidental.

Whilst lost in these deep thoughts I stumbled - quite literally - upon a unique stone.

It's looks like a liver!
gaelic folk magic - gaol naofa

I thought that this stone would be useful to me in the future for healing work. I found a few other interesting stones that day - a naturally holey stone, a basalt stone with a vein of quartz, and a pretty blue striated stone. I'm always on the lookout for interesting stones.

gaelic folk magic - gaol naofa

From what I understand (thanks to Healing Threads by Mary Beith!) in Scottish tradition stones shaped like body parts were popular for healing. Sometimes the stone would be dipped into water and rubbed on the body, or the patient would drink the treated water. There are many healing sites where votive offerings  often shaped like afflicted body parts, were left, presumably to cure the corresponding part of the living patient.

The rest of our beach day was lovely. The weather was fantastic, the tide was very low; my sister and son and I climbed around tidepools full of ocean life! There were so many starfish, hermit crabs, anemones  and we even saw a few tiny fish. 

gaelic folk magic - gaol naofa

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Imbolc 2013

Happy Imbolc!

imbolc gaol naofa
Dandelions are FUN!

The dandelions have been blooming in my area for a few weeks now, but I wanted to give special consideration to this holiday, as I have been building my relationship with Bride. I felt that this day must be a particularly special holiday for me. Of course, life gets in the way, and on the day of the calendar holiday I was working late and my mom had surgery scheduled for the next day! I ended up celebrating Sunday night (the 3rd); a good friend came for dinner and we "churned" butter in a mason jar! We had fun singing a churning song, and the butter was so delicious! After dinner my friend and her son went home and I attempted to get my 2 year old to help me make a Bride's Cross, but that idea went up like a lead balloon!

imbolc gaol naofa
Bride's Cross made with pipe cleaners - kid friendly!

I finally had some quiet time after Mr. 2yr Old was in bed, to make my dealbh Bride (Bride doll/icon) and her cradle (the leaba Bride). I happen to have a young apple tree in the back yard so I used an apple branch for the slatag Bride - the wand of Bride.

imbolc gaol naofa
The dealbh Bride 

Once the crafty part was done I did my prayers and offerings, and put all my garden seeds and some thread and cloth outside that night to be blessed, before inviting Bride in. More prayers and offerings in the morning; unfortunately I had not had time to go out to find any elder twigs (since I am in an area where there doesn't seem to be much rowan or mountain ash!) to make protective charms with ... I will have to make sure to be more prepared in the future! All said, it was a successful and enjoyable experience. I wish I'd had more time to prepare - especially for house cleaning - but I believe Bride was pleased. I did see something resembling wand marks in my ashes that morning!