Herbal potion, cauldron brew
Now be charged with magick true
With intent I speak this charm
All be blessed an’ none be harmed
Ever minding the law of three
This is my will, so mote it be
Herbal potion, cauldron brew
Now be charged with magick true
With intent I speak this charm
All be blessed an’ none be harmed
Ever minding the law of three
This is my will, so mote it be
By turn of one
The curse is done
By turn of two
It’s power is through
By turn of three
It ceases to be
Brew an infusion of bistort and sprinkle it around your home, speaking the following –
Flee and vanish
From this dwelling
Thee I banish
By this brew
And words of rhyme
Haunt no more
This home of mine
With deepest love and respect
I invite into this circle
Of the four ancient elements
The illuminating radiance of ___
O great ancient one
I call upon thy presence
Mysterious and divine
To be with me now
In this space and time
To witness, protect, and guide
This witch’s rite of magick
So mote it be
The Celtic empire once ranged across Western Europe, and their armies eclipsed even those of Rome. Who were these mighty people, and what became of them?
The Celts (Kel’tz) were a diverse group of people whose empire once spanned the European continent. Archeological digs from Halsted, Germany to the Orkney Isles of Scotland have uncovered evidence of Celtic settlements as far back as the late Bronze Age. But where did these brash, nomadic people come from, and what became of them?
Recent archeological digs in Eastern Europe and Asia Minor indicate the possibility that the Celts were not indigenous to Europe at all. The fact that the original Celtic stock were primarily a dark haired people with swarthy complexions only verifies this new theory. This theory is the migratory theory; when applied the Celtics sometime in the millennia of the Bronze Age entered Europe from somewhere in Asia Minor. It wasn’t long before they settled in the region of the Danube River basin and soon began raiding and conquering their neighbors. The Celtic conquest continued until their tribal lands covered most of Western Europe, from the Danube to Rome and westward as far as current-day Belgium.
Though their rise to power was quick, the Celtic domination of Europe was short, as empires go. Over the centuries following the Celtic Golden Age seen at Halsted, the Celtic people were pushed farther west by new conquerors and empires, sprouting up in Athens, Macedonia, and, eventually, Rome. To the North, the savage Goths pushed the Celts southward as well, condensing the majority of Celtic society into Gaul and Iberia, which today make up France and Spain.
If the origins of the Celts are historically dubious, the name they identified themselves with remains a mystery. While historical accounts exist, as well as a few Celtic carvings referencing tribal names, Celtic writings don’t make any reference to a racial name. The only surviving accounts to make reference to the Celtic people were written by Roman and Greek historians. In fact, it is from Greek texts that the Celts received their ethnic name, Keltoi, a Greek word for “stranger” or “outsider.” This identifier was altered by late Roman writers and eventually adopted by the Celts as a means of identification in trade and war.
Many historians and archeologists believe that the original people who entered European millennia before the birth of Christ had no name by which to identify themselves as a people. They were nomadic, in many ways, and little more than a loose conglomeration of independent tribes and family groups. If this theory is true, it adds a new dimension to the mystery of the Celts with a question that might never be truly answered: Who were the Celts?
Historical records and archeological evidence have much to say about Celtic culture and society. Predominantly in Roman histories, reference is made to the deep racial pride of the Celts, and their stubborn refusal to be dominated or ruled. According to Roman chroniclers, a Celt would choose suicide over surrender. Nor was Celtic society a fluid structure like the Hellenic or Roman empires, but rather a loosely-linked group of autonomous tribes, each headed by a separate chieftain. Within each tribe, the people were further divided into extended family units known as clans. Each clan was subdivided into lineages, called “˜fine’, represented by the paternal kinship. Roman writers, examining this pastoral mind frame from their urban vantage point, no doubt found much to disdain as barbaric and primitive in Celtic society.
However, far from the barbarians with which they were often identified, the Celts had a highly developed society. The basic structure of Celtic society divided the people into three classes: the royal clans, the warrior aristocracy, and the common people, often referred to as Freemen. And, though slaves did constitute a small percentage of the population, slavery was generally frowned upon in Celtic society. However, though Celtic social structure appeared loose and primitive to the Romans and Greeks, the Celts were by no means the “savage race” which the Roman scholars often slurred them by. Archeological evidence has shown the Celts to be an advanced race, for their era. They made use of chain mail in battle and utilized machines for reaping grain. There is also evidence that the Celts had begun extended roadways across Europe centuries prior to the Roman Empire’s much-lauded road system, and it is widely believed by historians that it was from the Celts that the Romans and Greeks first learned the use of soap.
However, regardless of their apparent advancements, the Celts were not an urbanized people, and their tastes ran to simple rather than extravagant. Certain themes appear repetitively in reference to Celtic culture, including the predominance of rural settlements, the traditions governing hospitable feasts, and the evidence of fellowship drinking. Pork tended to be a primary item of diet, and clothing often followed a plaid design. However, though rural themes predominated their society and many settlements were merely farming communities, the Celts were far from uneducated. They placed high regard on thorough education and life-long study. The Druids, who are believed to be the Celtic scholars and priests, were required to undergo a period of training which lasted around twenty years. Also contrary to popular belief, historians have concluded that the Celts had a written language as early as the third century BCE, but made little use of it except on coinage and memorials, placing a higher value on the ability to remember vast quantities of information correctly.
Celtic society declined in the face of Rome’s advancing power, however. As Roman culture stamped more of the face of world politics and trade, the Celts soon found themselves with no choice but to accept Roman rule. And, as Roman culture began dominating the Celtic tribes, the tribal culture was replaced by a racial identity. By the withdrawal of Roman troops from Britain in approximately 340 CE, Celtic culture had waned nearly into oblivion. It would enjoy a brief period of renewal with the fall of Rome, only to be quickly conquered by the Germanic culture advancing across Europe. And so, the proud people who had once dominated the European continent would be lost to myth and legend, leaving more unanswered questions than road signs to their once-golden culture.
Long ago, the Celts imagined the universe as a tree with deep roots and neverending branches. Around 1000 B.C. people began to designate a tree for each Moon phase in the lunar calendar.
Each tree sign has secret powers, magical properties, spirit animals and a corresponding “ogham” — the letter/symbol developed as a secret code of the Celts (also known as the Celtic Tree Language) to attract luck, protect from harm and heighten each Celtic sign’s unique personal powers.
It’s said that inscribing your special items and belongings with the ogham associated with your Celtic sign can harness that sign’s powers.
Look up your Celtic tree sign and ogham below:
You are renowned for having a fresh, unusual outlook. Your ogham is Beithe, which symbolizes beginnings, change and fresh opportunities. Your color is white, and your sacred animal is the cow.
You are blessed with excellent taste. Your ogham is Luis, which represents insight, prescience and discernment. Your color is red, and your sacred animals are the unicorn and bear.
You are a loner and frequently need to escape the chaos of public life. Your ogham is Nuin, which symbolizes peace. Your color is green and your animal is the snake.
You are known for your bravado. Your ogham is Fearn, which represents moral and physical courage. Your color is red and your animals are the red fox, ram and stallion.
You are known for your vivid imagination. Your ogham is Saille, which embodies the principles of intuition, creativity and artistry. Your color is yellow and your animals are the hare and the cat.
You are patient, thoughtful and hopeful. Your ogham is Huathe, which embodies the principle of restraint. Your color is purple and your animals are the goat and dragon.
You are distinguished by your reliability, diligence and emotional strength. Your ogham is Duir, which represents protection. Your color is black and your animals are the white horse, the lion and the salamander.
You are celebrated for your physical strength and star power. Your ogham is Tinne, which is tied to the color silver and your spirit animal is the war horse.
You are prized for your intellect, maturity and perspective. Your ogham is Coll, which represents wisdom. Your color is brown and your animal is the salmon.
You are uninhibited and blessed with foresight. Your ogham is Muin, which symbolizes the power of prophecy. Your colors are pastels, and your animal is the lizard.
You are famous for your sheer determination and willpower. Your ogham is Gort, which symbolizes progress. Your color is blue and your animal is the boar.
You are celebrated for your open-minded attitude and worldly sophistication. Your ogham is Ngetal, which symbolizes unity. Your color is orange and your three spirit animals are the dog, the stag and the rat.
You are wise beyond your years. Your ogham is Ruis, which represents maturity. Your color is gold and your animal is the badger.
November 25 to December 22
Those Born Under This Sign:
Elder archetypes among Celtic tree astrology tend to be freedom-loving, and sometimes appear to be a bit wild to the other signs of the zodiac. In younger years you may have lived life in the fast lane, often identified as a “thrill seeker.” At the time of your birth the light of the sun was fast fleeting and so you take the same cue from nature. You are often misjudged as an outsider as you have a tendency to be withdrawn in spite of your extroverted nature. In actuality, you are deeply thoughtful with philosophical bent. You also tend to be very considerate of others and genuinely strive to be helpful. These acts of assistance are sometimes thwarted by your brutal honestly (which you openly share solicited or otherwise). Elder Celtic tree astrology signs fit well with Alder’s and Holly’s.
The Celtic Meaning of the Elder:
The Celtic meaning of the elder tree deals with:
The elder tree ruling time is within the cycle of the thirteenth moon. This is also the end of the old year at the time of Samhain. This is where the elder derives its symbolism of endings and/or death.
In this same vein, the druids and ancient Celts recognized the elder had natural banishing abilities. The essence of its leaves, and the odor of its pretty white flowers were proven to ward off pesky insects. This origin might have been expanded upon in Celtic lore where we learn branches were hung over doors to ward off evil spirits.
Right on the heels of its associations of banishment and death come the elder’s attributes of rebirth and renewal. The elder earns these symbolism’s honestly as it has long been recognized as a prized medicinal tree. Everything from bark to berries has been used to treat all manner of ailments. The ancient Celtic people recognized its healing abilities, and honored the elder for the gifts of good health.
It is known as a transformative Celtic symbol because it is associated with the realm of fairies. Celtic lore indicates that if you stand near an elder tree at Midsummer’s Eve the land of the fairies will be revealed to your searching eyes. Furthermore, fairies love music – particularly the lulling notes of a flute made from elder wood.
October 28 to November 24
Those Born Under This Sign:
Reed signs among the Celtic tree astrology signs are the secret keepers. You dig deep inside to the real meaning of things and discover the truth hidden beneath layers of distraction. When there is a need to get to the heart of the matter, most certainly the Reed sign will find the core. You love a good story, and can be easily drawn in by gossip, scandals, legend and lore. These tendencies also make you an excellent historian, journalist, detective or archeologist. You love people because they represent a diversity of meanings for you to interpret. You are adept at coaxing people to talking to you, and sometimes you can be a bit manipulative. However, you have a strong sense of truth and honor so most of your scheming is harmless. Reed people join well with other Reeds, Ash or Oak signs.
Celtic Meaning Of The Reed:
The Celtic meaning of the reed within the Ogham deals with:
Today we may not consider the reed a tree, but in the time of the ancient Celts their landscape held prolific reeds in swamp areas; some growing up to 20 feet tall.
The druids viewed any large plant like this with a woody stalk to be a tree, and the reed was considered very important.
All things of the natural world were honored by the Celts, and all things represented the connection with life. In this way, the reed was highly revered for its usefulness in the day-to-day practices of the Celts.
The reed was used for many purposes by the Celts. Specifically, they would weave reeds together to make thatched roofs on their homes – some of which (when properly constructed) last up to a decade or more. This is where the reed obtains its symbolism of protection. It is also a natural insulator, and the Celts honored it highly during cold, wet months.
Reed gives off a faint sweet smell when macerated, and so the Celts were known to lay out pressed reeds as flooring in their homes to deodorize. This was also a practice for cleansing and purifying homes.
Reeds also made good candles, and were viewed as beacons of light during the dark nights. This is another facet of the reed’s purposefulness in the life of the Celts.
The reed gets its symbolism of communication from several sources. In the hands of a good craftsman (and there were many among the ancient Celts), a reed would make a fine whistle, flute or recorder. These were highly prized amongst the people, particularly bards. Through these flutes and music the spiritually-minded Celts would communicate fantastic worlds of vision, heroism, and beauty.
Secondly, if you are still enough, you can hear them sing a song when the wind blows through a field of reeds. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing it, you know it is an eerie experience. The Celts viewed this as an otherworld voice, and considered it a message of powerful importance.
Take the time to incorporate these symbolic meanings of the reed in your life. Gather some up and bring them into the house to open up the energy and clear the air. Or, try fashioning a flute from a reed and take it to your next drum circle to play! Your Celtic ancestors will get such a kick out of that!
October 31 – November 27
In Irish and Scottish mythology, the Cailleach, Irish plural cailleacha [ˈkalʲəxə], Scottish Gaelic plural cailleachan /kaʎəxən/), also known as the Cailleach Bheur, is a divine hag, a creatrix, and possibly an ancestral deity or deified ancestor. The word Cailleach means ‘hag’ in modern Scottish Gaelic, and has been applied to numerous mythological figures in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
In Scotland, where she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter, she is credited with making numerous mountains and large hills, which are said to have been formed when she was striding across the land and accidentally dropped rocks from her apron. In other cases she is said to have built the mountains intentionally, to serve as her stepping stones. She carries a hammer for shaping the hills and valleys, and is said to be the mother of all the goddesses and gods.
The Cailleach displays several traits befitting the personification of Winter: she herds deer, she fights Spring, and her staff freezes the ground.
In partnership with the goddess Brìghde, the Cailleach is seen as a seasonal deity or spirit, ruling the winter months between Samhainn (1 November or first day of winter) and Bealltainn (1 May or first day of summer), while Brìghde rules the summer months between Bealltainn and Samhainn. Some interpretations have the Cailleach and Brìghde as two faces of the same goddess, while others describe the Cailleach as turning to stone on Bealltainn and reverting back to humanoid form on Samhainn in time to rule over the winter months. Depending on local climate, the transfer of power between the winter goddess and the summer goddess is celebrated any time between Là Fhèill Brìghde (1 February) at the earliest, Latha na Cailliche (25 March), or Bealltainn (1 May) at the latest, and the local festivals marking the arrival of the first signs of spring may be named after either the Cailleach or Brìghde.
Là Fhèill Brìghde is also the day the Cailleach gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on 1 February is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood to keep herself warm in the coming months.As a result, people are generally relieved if Là Fhèill Brìghde is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep, will soon run out of firewood, and therefore winter is almost over. On the Isle of Man, where She is known as Caillagh ny Groamagh, the Cailleach is said to have been seen on St. Bride’s day in the form of a gigantic bird, carrying sticks in her beak.
In Scotland, the Cailleachan (lit. ‘old women’) are also known as The Storm Hags, and seen as personifications of the elemental powers of nature, especially in a destructive aspect. They are said to be particularly active in raising the windstorms of spring, during the period known as A’ Chailleach.
On the west coast of Scotland, the Cailleach ushers in winter by washing her great plaid (Gaelic: féileadh mòr) in the Whirlpool of Coire Bhreacain. This process is said to take three days, during which the roar of the coming tempest is heard as far away as twenty miles (32 km) inland. When she is finished, her plaid is pure white and snow covers the land.
In Scotland and Ireland, the first farmer to finish the grain harvest made a corn dolly, representing the Cailleach (also called “the Carlin or Carline”), from the last sheaf of the crop. The figure would then be tossed into the field of a neighbor who had not yet finished bringing in their grain. The last farmer to finish had the responsibility to take in and care for the corn dolly for the next year, with the implication they’d have to feed and house the hag all winter. Competition was fierce to avoid having to take in the Old Woman.
Some scholars believe the Old Irish poem, ‘The Lament of the Old Woman of Beare’ is about the Cailleach; Kuno Meyer states, ‘…she had fifty foster-children in Beare. She had seven periods of youth one after another, so that every man who had lived with her came to die of old age, and her grandsons and great-grandsons were tribes and races.
The word cailleach (in modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic, ‘old woman’) comes from the Old Irish caillech (‘veiled one’), an adjectival form of Old Irish caille “veil”, an early loan from Latin pallium (‘cloak’, an ecclesiastical garment worn by nuns; displaying the expected p > c change of early loans). The word is found as a component in terms like the Gaelic cailleach-dhubh (‘nun’) and cailleach-oidhche (‘owl’), as well as the Irish cailleach feasa (‘wise woman’, ‘fortune-teller’) and cailleach phiseogach (‘sorceress’, ‘charm-worker’).
Related words include the Gaelic caileag (‘young woman’, ‘girl] and the Lowland Scots carline/carlin (‘old woman’, ‘witch’). A more obscure word that is sometimes interpreted as ‘hag’ is the Irish síle, which has led some to speculate on a connection between the Cailleach and the stonecarvings of Sheela na Gigs.
In Ireland she is also associated with craggy, prominent mountains and outcroppings, such as Hag’s Head (Irish: Ceann Caillí, meaning “hag’s head”) the southernmost tip of the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The megalithic tombs at Loughcrew in County Meath are situated atop Slieve na Calliagh (Irish: Sliabh na Caillí, meaning “the hag’s mountain”) and include a kerbstone known as “the hag’s chair”. Cairn T on Slieve na Calliagh is a classic passage tomb, in which the rays of the equinox sunrise shine down the passageway and illuminate an inner chamber filled with megalithic stonecarvings.
The Cailleach is prominent in the landscape of Argyll and Bute, Scotland. In later tales she is known as the Cailleach nan Cruachan (“the witch of Ben Cruachan”). Ben Cruachan is the tallest mountain in the region. Tea-towels and postcards of her are sold in the visitor shop for the Hollow Mountain, which also features a mural depicting her accidental creation of Loch Awe.
Legend has it that the Cailleach was tired from a long day herding deer. Atop Ben Cruachan she fell asleep on her watch and a well she was tending overflowed, running down from the highlands and flooding the valleys below, forming first a river and then the loch.The overflowing well is a common motif in local Gaelic creation tales – as seen in the goddess Boann’s similar creation of the River Boyne in Ireland. Other connections to the region include her above-mentioned strong ties with the fierce whirlpool in the Gulf of Corryvreckan.
Beinn na Caillich on the Isle of Skye is one of her haunts, as are other mountains which are prominent in the landscape, and from which fierce storms of sleet and rain descend, wreaking havoc and destruction upon the lands below.
There is a Glen Cailleach which joins to Glen Lyon in Perthshire. The glen has a stream named Alt nan Cailleach. This area is famous for a pagan ritual which according to legend is associated to the Cailleach. There is a small Shieling in the Glen, known as either Tigh nan Cailleach or Tigh nam Bodach, which houses a series of apparently carved stones. These stones, according to local legend, represent the Cailleach her husband the Bodach and their children.
The local legend suggests that the Cailleach and her family were given shelter in the glen by the locals and while they stayed there the glen was always fertile and prosperous. When they left they gave the stones to the locals with the promise that as long as the stones were put out to look over the glen at Beltane and put back into the shelter and made secure for the winter at Samhain then the glen would continue to be fertile.
This ritual is still carried out to this day.
One does not read about the Wicca.
One does not study about the Craft of the Wise.
The knowledge I will teach is not idle.
You can only learn this knowledge if you use it — if you put it to work.
This study is only for those who have a willingness to learn
Each of you has expressed a desire to learn. Each of you has shown talent at being magickal — at making things happen.
If you are to learn the Craft, you must swear that you will work all your
Magick in Perfect Love.
Work negative magick and you are not one of us.
You must work at growing positive, even if it requires change.
Each of you has shown that you are capable of making changes in the self, in
order that your Magick be more positive.
Each of you has learned that change allows you to be happier.
To learn the Craft of Wicca, you must make changes.
Each of you has done this, and it is joyous and beautiful of you, and it is
this happiness we share.
At this level of your training, you must maintain secrecy.
If your friends, your family, your lovers were truly ready for this
knowledge, they would be here — now.
But if they are not; that is proof that they are not yet ready.
Speak no Magick to those who know less than you, unless you are prepared to
tell all of us that you are a teacher of the Craft.
A true teacher does not teach teh Craft until s/he has completed the
If those we are with are in positive Craft Traditions, we can speak to our
peers and to those more wise than ourselves.
Each of you has your own timing.
You learn at your own rate.
Should you leave this study, there is no sorrow, only joy at the love we
Each of you has shown the ability to work together to raise good, positive
Each of you knows how to help and to share.
Each of you will learn to trust each other.
You must have with me Perfect Trust.
If you do not trust me as your Mentor, I cannot teach you.
And I give you Perfect Trust.
If you swear to trust me, it is because I swear that I trust you.
You have not arrived here by chance.
You have displayed a desire to learn.
You have displayed a talent at Magick.
This Magick is to heal, to help; it only works in Perfect Love.
You are here because you have shown us that you are learning to work in
It is the only way to happiness; and you are here because you are growing in
You are learning to unlock joy.
Each of you is capable of becoming a teacher — to learn the Craft of Wicca
and to share that knowledge.
Each of you must grow into becoming a teacher.
Each of you has taken the Path of being willing to learn, the Path of
wanting to learn.
Each of you is growing.
Each of you is creative.
Each of you is special to the Magick of the Universe.
Each of you perceives the Magick of the Universe as a balance of Yin and
Yang, of masculine and feminine, of God and Goddess.
Each of you recognizes the feminine and masculine within the self.
Each of you has been told this knowledge is only for those who seek to
become of the Wicca.
Each of you is here because it is felt by the Wise, by the Wicca, that you
are capable of knowing stronger Magick than you have thus far conceived of.
By being here, now, you have demonstrated a desire to take this Path.
You have already begun.
You are here because you have shown love to the World.
Because you, also, are Wise.
The Wicca means the Wise: The Wise Ones.
We meet together to talk as wise people and celebrate our happiness.
All of us, even your teachers, are pursuing wisdom and we all follow the
To complete this study, to follow this Path into Initiation means you will
be ready to celebrate the Wisdom you have attained, to celebrate in ritual
the knowledge that you are Magick;
To share with us wine and happiness, words of beauty and laughter…
By the time you complete this course of study you will be a Priest/ess of
The Craft and an Initiated Child of the God and the Goddess.