Monday, May 29, 2017

Recommendation Round Up {for May}

This is my second monthly recommendation post, where I share different media and events that I come across during that month that I think might be of interest to other Gaelic Polytheists. There is a lot for the month of May, so I hope that you all enjoy.

The ladies over at Story Archaeology podcast released their third installment on the series called Circling the Táin, this installment being called The Birth Pains of Ulster. Before giving this episode a listen, you might want to listen to the first two episodes, 1. The Quarrel of the Two Swineherds {or Where it All Began and 2. Portents and Prophecies. I am a fan of both the blog and the podcast, and highly recommend it for all GPs or anyone into Irish myth.

There are two nifty web resources that I came across for the first time this month that deal with the history of Ireland. First up is a Irish Historic Towns Atlas, that features towns that are monastic in origin, Viking in origin, and quite a few others. The second website is geared towards tourism, but has a good amount of history and lore on it as well. Ireland's Ancient East is a pretty good looking website.

While an older article, Irish Central recently republished an article about North America's only official Gaeltacht {Irish-speaking community}, which I am more than happy to boast is just outside of the city where I currently live. Speaking of which, there is an annual event held there every summer that celebrates Irish language and culture. If you happen to be in the Kingston, Ontario area at the end of June, you should come check it out!

The Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada is a three day festival hosted by Cumann na Gaeltachta and Oireachtas na Gaeilge, held from June 23rd to 25th. You can find out more at the event website and purchase tickets over at this site.

There are two books that I have recently added to my wishlist, and although they are not really new releases, they are new to me. Food and Drink in Ireland is a "multi-disciplinary collection of fourteen essays explores the collection, cultivation, consumption and culture of food and drink in Ireland from the beginnings of settlement in the Mesolithic to the present". By the looks of it, this book is probably similar to Domestic Life in Ireland, which is a fantastic resource and read.

The second book is Seanchaidh na Coille / The Memory-Keeper of the Forest, which is a collection of Gàidhlig/Scots Gaelic literature from across Canada. It is described as, "A unique resource, it covers a wide range of territory and time, allowing Gaels to express their own opinions about a broad set of themes: migration, politics, religion, family life, identity, social organizations and more." I can't wait to get this one as well.

Someone from an online GP group that I am a member of found a book that is now available online for free; Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales is one of those books that tends to be on all of the recommended reading lists posted by Celtic Reconstructionists. It can be found on

In the same group, someone else shared this video about Saint Brigid's Cursing Stone {you may need to go to the host site to watch the video}:

Harold Johnson and the Cursing Stones from Howard Goldbaum on Vimeo.

There were quite a few other good videos that I came across this month!

Tomás Ó hAodha does a quick intro to mythology of the Tuatha Dé Danann:

Tale Foundry does another quick intro, this time on all six groups of invaders found in Irish myth:

And to round off the Irish mythology theme, here is a short animated film by Damian Byrne called Cú Chulainns Lament:

I came across a Kate Masters lecture called Megaliths of Orkney and Shetland that is definitely worth spending an hour to watch:

Lastly, Kelden is starting a video series on Scottish witchcraft, and in the first episode the Scottish witch trials are explored:

May was a great month around the blogosphere too! Unsurprisingly, Bealtaine was a topic that came up a few times, including in posts such as May Day & Butter Stealing Witches on The Fading Year, The Folklore of May-Day/Bealtaine on Ireland's Folklore and Traditions, and Bealtaine, Water and Sun-Enchanted Dew on The Ever-Living Ones.

Over at the Primal Heart blog, the author explores devotional practice with An Dagda in a two part series: Devotional Practice with The Dagda and Learning: Devotional Practice with The Dagda.

On Living Liminally there is a great post The Influence of Folk Etymologies, Allec on Child of the Storm shares a lovely Prayer for Protection of the Land, Cailleach's Herbarium shares a yummy floral jam recipe in Preserving the May, Roaringwater Journal shares a lovely spring-time walk in We Welcome the Hope That They Bring, and Occvlta shares a good how-to in How to Burn Incense.




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Gaelic Roundtable for May: Devotionals

{Artwork Corax by Stephanie Lostimolo}
This is my third post participating in The Gaelic Roundtable blogging project, May's subject is Devotionals. The Roundtable asked:
"Does your Worship include Devotional acts? If not, why not? If so, why? Who is the common object of these Devotionals- or who do you find yourself performing them for the most often? Do they have a structure, or is it whatever feels right? Do you record these devotionals? What acts do they usually include? How often do you practice them? Is it daily? Weekly? Whenever the fancy strikes?"
I feel that I have touched on a lot of this already in last month's post, so for this month I will share devotionals that have become a staple within my own practice. A few I have come up with or adapted myself, and many others are created or adapted by others.

It may be noticed that one of the biggest sources of inspiration is Carmina Gadelica, and it will also probably be noticed that some of the versions I am sharing are not adapted. The adapted versions I have previously shared online I will linked to, and for the rest, the originals will be shared.  

In general I work within an outline so I don't get sidetracked when doing my devotionals, but as I have become more comfortable in my religious practice I will do spontaneous devotionals as well. 


Upon rising in the morning I light a candle, make a small offering and say a prayer. Sometimes I will add to that prayer, do divination or do a meditation. 
Togail an Teine/Kindling the Fire
Toirt Taing/Thanksgiving
Urnaigh Èirigh/Prayer at Rising

Before bed I will relight a candle for an evening prayer and sometimes a meditation. 
Smaladh an Tein/Smooring the Fire
Coisrig Cadail/Sleep Consecration


While a little more than monthly, every 20 days I will participate in a Brighidine flamekeeping vigil and a water blessing. I am not comfortable sharing the ritual outline as I don't feel it is mine to share, however, some of the prayers I use can be found below under the "Prayers and Praxis" section.

Another monthly practice is a new moon ritual, which I used to do monthly but have been lax on for the last bit. I would like to incorporate it and make it a monthly devotional again. A' Ghealach Ùr/The New Moon  { A ritual outline I like to use can be seen over at the Gaol Naofa website.}

Prayers and Praxis

These are some of the devotionals that I use as needed, while making offerings, doing certain tasks or when asking for aid with something. By no means is this an exhaustive list, but these are some of my favourites.
A Prayer to Macha for Safety
An Coisrigeadh Sioil//The Consecration of the Seed
An Deiseal/Sunwise Blessing {to open a ritual, by Annie Loughlin}
An Invocation of Macha {by Morgan Daimler}



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

For Those Who Might Ask About the UW Shop

Over the last couple of days I have been getting a heap of messages and emails asking me when I am opening my shop. This is definitely a jump in number, as I will get the odd one every once in a while. So thank you to whoever recommended me, that is very kind!

With that said, the shop has been closed down for about a year or so and I have been only doing a few orders here and there, replenishing supplies of old customers and doing some wholesale orders. As of right now, I am still not really ready to open up the shop due to lack of time and restricted access to some ingredients that are a necessity to what I make.

One of the most requested products lately has been my Mistress of Stags incense and one of the ingredients {sweetfern} I am running low on again. I do have a friend up north who harvests some for me, but I will not be able to get a decent amount until I go back and visit my old patch up there. I hope to do that some time this summer.

At this point I can't say for sure when my shop will open again, but if you are interested in something, just drop me a line and we can chat. And as before, I am always down for swaps in lieu of traditional payment. :)



Monday, May 15, 2017

Bealtaine in the Woods {part two}

My various observances for Bealtaine have been scattered over the course of a couple weeks largely due to my work schedule, but also the weather and being out of commission for a bit with some sort of bug {which has led me to be a bit more prolific online than I usually am, especially on Tumblr! heh}. 

Since on the hike I took with my friend a little while back, I have gone into my neighbourhood woodland a few times, and it is looking just as beautiful as the last place I went to. 

Each time I have gone, I go to a different spot to do some a few times to do some wildcrafting and to leave offerings and do some trashing clean up when I see any. Generally when I head on out these days I bring my little deer spirit vessel that I use as a representation of Flidais {purchased from Sarah Anne Lawless a few years back} and some of little fertility charms to use as offerings. 

After one my trips out last week I gathered some greenery and flowers to decorate our shrine and some rowan wood cuttings to make protective crosses with. And then I finally got down to my main Bealtaine ritual of light a new hearth candle and saining our home. 




Thursday, May 11, 2017

An Apartment Dweller's Quick Tip for Polytheists: Outdoor Shrines

I had already shared a post about indoor shrines to nature spirits, but I like to keep one outdoors if I can as well. If you are an apartment dweller who is lucky enough to have a patio or balcony, an outdoor shrine can be as easy as a flower pot with whatever pretties you want to put in it.

During the move I had brought the original stones of my mini "dolmen" from my last outdoor shrine and placed them in the pot I had chosen for the new shrine. Yesterday while out and about I came across a log on the side of the road with mossy bits on it. I decided to bring it home with me and now some of the mossy bits are in with the stones. 

I am not sure if the moss will be happy there or not, but if that doesn't work out I was thinking of putting some other woodland pretty in it. 




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bealtaine in the Woods {part one}

A few days ago a friend and I made our way to the woods for a small hike. We decided to go to one of her favourite places, Parrott's Bay Conservation Area, which I had never been to before. It was a perfect opportunity for me to see what grows wild in my area at this time of year. However, being a conservation area, I skipped leaving any offerings and we didn't do any foraging.

There were all sorts of pretties including some spring ephemeral flowers such as trilliums, trout lilies and hepaticas. 

About a half hour into our walk we came across a particularly beautiful spot, and we stopped there for a little while. Being surrounded by moss has a tendency to make me giddy, and the only thing that probably stopped me from pulling a momentary Mad King Sweeney was having a companion with me.  

Instead we sat and chatted about The Good Folk, and we both had a bit of a laugh at how a lot of people probably think that I am slightly touched in the head for being as superstitious as I am. Just as we were about to set off on our hike again, a musical instrument started playing, which sounded to me like a recorder or a penny whistle. 

While it was most likely just another mortal serenading the forest or perhaps having a go at us, I found that both the timing and location made me feel a little unsettled. My friend wanted to see where the music was coming from, and against my gut instinct I had agreed. 

We hadn't walked twenty feet before there was a crackling in the trees beside us; I saw what looked to be a streak of red fur out of the corner of my eye and I assumed that it was a fox running away. Going a head another minute or two and we heard another crackle in the trees beside us and this time it was a deer flashing us its white tale as it ran away. After a few more apprehensive minutes there was a third crackle in the woods, this time really big and really close.

Being the chickenshit that I am I turned around and we headed on out the way we came, faster leaving than when coming. If I had been smarter, I would have taken cues from the fox and the deer, both who I see as messengers of a certain Someone

We never did find the source of the music, but I was more than happy to leave it a mystery.

The trail eventually split off into another, which led us to the way out. On this trail we came across two old abandoned cars. I am not sure what the stories are behind them, so two more mysteries. 

Apparently Parrott's Bay is even more beautiful in the autumn, so I hope to make my way back there then, if not before. 

Tomorrow I am planning to go to another spot that is becoming a regular haunt for me, where I will leave some offerings and do some wildcrafting. 

May you all be enjoying the season so far!



Monday, May 8, 2017

An Apartment Dweller's Quick Tip for Polytheists: Witch Bottles

A little while ago I finally got around to making a new witch bottle for our home, but finding ourselves without an in ground garden, chimney or floor boards to put it in, it was buried in a flower pot on our balcony instead. If you have never made a witch bottle before, you can find out how you can here