Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Seed Listings

I have just add more seeds to the Unfettered Wood Etsy shop, some are ones previously favourites which had sold out and others are completely new.


Orca Bush Bean
Blue Jay Bush Bean
Purple Foxgloves
Bull Thistle

New Additions:

Hollyhocks Mix
Bergamot/Bee Balm
Columbine Mix
Cardinal Flower

There are also other seeds available too. Go over and have a look!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Welcoming Winter

After spending a good portion of yesterday baking and getting prepared, I ended up waiting until today to do my devotional ritual to An Cailleach. I think my timing was perfect, because today she is letting her presence be known with high winds and snow.

Offerings of various shortbreads {rosemary-coconut, chocolate-ginger and cardamom-nut}  and skeachan cake {Tairis has a great recipe here}, whiskey, hot chocolate and incense were made. I also did some divination and started working on charms to protect the home from storms.

In other news, there are some really nice photos over at the Shadows and Stone blog of yesterday's happenings at Newgrange during the Midwinter sunrise. After the passage tomb not being illuminated with sunlight since 2007, A'Ghrian decided to show her lovely face for them yesterday {I am glad she at least showed up for them, I didn't have such luck}.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Grianstad an Gheimhridh {The Winter Solstice}

I can't remember the last time I got up early to greet the sunrise during Midwinter. This is something I used to do as an eclectic neo-Pagan, and this is something that I still do for Midsummer. However, after being inspired by a few other Gaelic Polytheists, I figured I would drag my arse out of bed early to do so.
I walked down to the shore of Lake Nipissing waiting to for A'Ghrian to show herself, but she remained hidden under the cloud cover. So as the day started to get brighter, I recited a prayer that is found in Carmina Gadelica {volume 3}:

Fàilte ort féin a ghrian nan tràth,
'S tu siubhal ard nan speur ;

Do cheumaibh treun air sgeith nan ard,
'S tu màthair àigh nan reul.

Thu laighe sios an cuan na dith

Gun diobhail is gun sgàth ;
Thu 'g eirigh suas air stuagh na sith,

Mar rioghainn òg fo bhlàth

The Sun
Hail to thee, thou sun of the seasons,

As thou traversest the skies aloft ;
Thy steps are strong on the wing of the heavens,

Thou art the glorious mother of the stars.

Thou liest down in the destructive ocean
Without impairment and without fear ;

Thou risest up on the peaceful wave-crest
Like a queenly maiden in bloom.
Afterwards I left some offerings to the land spirits and admired the pretty scenery before heading on home.

It is turning out to be a lovely day, which will be spent mostly indoors baking treats and getting ready for a devotional ritual to An Cailleach. I hope that you all enjoy the day however your decide to celebrate it!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Yuletide Blessings

I want to wish all of my readers a wonderful holiday season & all the best for 2014! May you have plenty of warmth and merriment during this cold time!

Sláinte agus Beannachtaí,


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Coming Soon...

I have been making a gaggle of different charms including these witch balls. Coming soon to the Unfettered Wood Etsy shop!

A Spell for Safe Travels

I recently started a safe travel spell and charm for a loved one and their travel companions. The candle pictured is red for protection and was anointed with protection oil and the phrase "Taisteal sábháilte" {"safe travels" as Gaeilge} was carved in ogham script. Surrounding the candle is one of the rowan berry necklaces I made a couple of months back with a World Tree charm on it, along with candles for the Three Realms {Land, Sky, and Sea}.
For this kind of work I use a prayer that was inspired by a prayer for travelling found in Carmina Gadelica:
While traversing Land: mountainous, flat or forested,
While traversing Sky: under cloud, moon glow or sunray,
While traversing Sea: stormy, placid or wave.
The Gods still uphold them,
The Ancestors be their shield,
The Good Folk point the way.
The Dé ocus Andé protect them when leaving, upon returning and during stay.

I also made a charm bottle for protection during travel for my loved one, which will be sealed with red wax from the spell candle once I am done the working. In the bottle I have representations from the Three Realms {cemetery dirt for Land, a feather tip for Sky, and a shell for Sea}, as well as some protective botanicals {birch, yarrow, comfrey and rowan}.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tree Corpses

photo by Hailey Toft
Tree Corpses

An electric hum sounds off a warning that their community will die:
The breath,
The heart,
The life of the forest will fall,
One tree at a time.

Their corpses will be carried out in a retinue of lumber hearses;
Bodies piled high to be processed at the mill.
Cadavers to be butchered and fashioned into trophy furnishings for
Murderous hearts.

The forest will fall one tree at a time.

After the ancient ones are gone there will be an ocean of saplings;
But the new hope, a chance for life will be mowed over and encased in concrete.
Another highway for the parade of
Wooden bodies.

The breath,
The heart,
The life of the forest will fall,
One tree at a time.

No longer a sacred refuge. Their community will die.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Snowy Day Candle Making

I have been getting into the Yuletide cheer by doing some candle making! The pillar candle pictured is the finished product of my crafty day.

The candle is made from beeswax that has been dyed green and has been scented with pine, cedar wood and vetiver essential oils. I then adorned the candle with some sprigs of blue spruce, cedar and sparkles.

I have another Yuletide themed candle that I will be working on next, one that will be more firey and spicy. ;)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Intentions Behind Making Offerings {Part 2}

This is a follow up to a post I did a few days ago Intentions Behind Making Offerings; there has been quite a bit of discussion over at Tumblr in response to the post over there, which showed me that there was a need for me to clarify a few things, which I am doing over here as well. You can see the discussion over at Tumblr here.
 I have read all the responses and comments so far to my initial post, and I appreciate all the feedback. Before I respond to other people’s thoughts, I will reiterate that everything that I am writing here is just my own opinion, I am not representing any group or stating that these are the opinions of those who share a similar faith as my own {although I would be especially curious to hear what other Gaelic Polytheists and Celtic Reconstructionists feel on this topic}.
After reading the responses I have gotten and re-reading my initial post, I feel that I was not thorough enough to begin with and made some assumptions that others who would be reading my post would already know my overall position on making offerings and have a general feel of my position when it comes to relationships with deities, ancestors and spirits. To save some time in completely repeating myself, I welcome people to read the other post I had linked to here. I will however be going into further detail as necessary.
Something else I failed to be clear on in my initial post was what types of Pagans, polytheists and magical practitioners I was originally talking about, which were those who feel they practice some “Celtic” based or inspired faith. I have tried to find the original article that I had alluded to and unfortunately have not been able to find it on Tumblr anymore. It was called something like “Offerings Celtic Style” and was originally posted on Tumblr around July or August. If anyone remembers that post and it is still around, please feel free to share it.
There are people from different traditions and faiths that have responded to this, most notably people from a Kemetic path {a timely discussion is going on right now, which I recommend other people read, as it is quite interesting, which can be seen here}. I will not pretend to have even the slightest clue what it is like to deal with the Gods of people from a completely different spiritual path than my own, and it could very well be that what I consider to be bribes is perfectly acceptable to their Gods and their value-system. I am comfortable saying though that I do not think that this approach is acceptable with the deities that I have a relationship with nor is this an approach that fits into my own world view.
Some folks have mentioned the idea of a “gift for a gift” and someone had also used the word “reciprocity”, which I feel both encapsulate what I am trying to get at here. The spirit in which I see these terms is in complete opposition to some people who think that they can take without giving back or only give something to manipulate someone to get what they want.
Someone mentioned if we don’t get something back from the Gods then what is the point? Indeed. There is something I feel I get back including guidance, protection, wisdom. I may ask for something that I feel I need or ask on behalf of someone else, that does not however mean that my Gods are here to fulfill my every whim and demand.
Long before I start asking for things, while I am still in the early stages of developing a relationship with a deity or spirit, I will make offerings, take actions to demonstrate my intentions, to show hospitality. If and when a relationship is established, then I may ask for something.
While I do not pretend to be “equal”, I do espouse to treat my Gods, Ancestors and the Spirits I work with as I would someone who is dear to me. They are not here for me to use. That said, I do of course get something back for having a relationship with them. If I did not, much like a one-sided friendship, eventually ties would be severed.
It is difficult for me to clearly define how I see my deities, although, at least in part, I see them as mentors and kindred. If I were to have a wise person in my life teaching and guiding me, there would be an automatic amount of respect that I would have for them; anyone who I feel is my kindred, I have an automatic amount of respect for them.
Besides what I already get out of a relationship with a mentor or kindred, I may ask that person for a favour. The may agree to grant that favour, or they may not. I would still respect them either way and I would try to avoid manipulating them, giving them ultimatums, or bribing them as I see these things as disrespectful.
For me offerings are made with a generous heart; they are just one expression of the values that I see as sacred, the values that I try to uphold in every day life.
I hope that I have somewhat clarified my position and I welcome further comments and discussion, whether you agree or disagree.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Intentions Behind Making Offerings

I will preface this post by stating that what is written here is just my own point of view, which can either be taken or left.

Over the past few months I have been noticing an increased amount of Pagans, polytheists and magical practitioners talking about making offerings as a part of their practice. Many folks are talking about the research they are doing to find out what type of offerings to make, the quality of the offerings and so forth. All great. Fantastic even. There is however a trend that has irked me, and this is the spirit in which the offerings are sometimes made.
One article in particular really got under my skin, which was an "offerings 101" type thing advising people to make offerings to get what they want. The whole tone of the article was one of commanding spirits and "using" deities to get ahead in life, a spiritual view that is completely foreign to me and perhaps even dangerous.
To me the act of making an offering is a sign of hospitality; it is the giving of a gift out of gratitude, friendship, respect. Offerings are a part of sacred devotion and reverence.  The act of giving to get what you want is bribery, something that dirty policy-makers do. Surely there is nothing sacred nor hospitable about that.
In other words, bribes are not offerings.  The intention behind making an offering is equally important--if not more so--as the act and effort behind it.
For a wee bit more on making offerings, you can check out a previous post here. I welcome thoughts and comments, including ones in opposition to me own.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Signs of An Cailleach

It may be more of a kiss from Her rather than a thump of Her hammer or a blast from Her wand, but She is near nonetheless. ;)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hospitality for My Ancestors & An Cailleach

I finally found the time and energy to properly welcome my Ancestors & An Cailleach and to celebrate the season. Offerings of baked apples, pumpkin muffins, roasted pumpkin seeds, whiskey and tea were made. The house has been sained, along with some other timely workings and divination.

When my ritual and workings were over, I went outside and not only was it snowing, but there were a bunch of small white moths flying around. Moths are often seen as messengers from the Otherworld. I feel both the Storm Hag and my Ancestors near.
May you all be reaping the blessings of this time!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Táim Sínte ar do Thuama {I am Stretched on Your Grave}

I took this photo of my family cemetery a couple of years ago, and it reminds me of a 17th century Irish poem Táim Sínte ar do Thuama {in English I am Stretched on Your Grave}.
Here is the poem in Gaeilge:
Táim sínte ar do thuama agus gheobhair ann de shíor mé.
Dá mbeadh barra do dhá láimh agam, ní scarfainn leat choíche.
A phlúirín is an tsearc sé ann domsa luí leat.
Mar tá boladh fuar na cré uait, dath na gréine is na gaoithe.

Is nuair is dóigh le mo mhuintir go mbímse ar mo leabaigh.
Is ar do thuama sea a bhím sínte ó oíche go maidin.
Ag cur síos ar mo chruatan is ag cruaghol go daingean.
Sí mo chailín chiúin, stuama do ghluais liom ina leanbh.

Is tá na sagairt is na bráithre gach lá liomsa i bhfearg.
D'fhonn a bheith i ngrá leat a stórmhnaoi is tú marbh.
Dhéanfainn foithnín ón ngaoth duit, is díon díot ón bhfearthainn.
Agus brón ar mo chroíse tú a bheith thíos ins an talamh.

Is an gcuimhin leatsa an oíche úd a bhíosa agus tusa.
Fé bhun an chrann draighnigh, is bhí an oíche ag cur cuisne.
Céad moladh le hÍosa nár dheineamar an milleadh.
Is go bhfuil an choróin Mhaighdein mar chrann soilse inár gcoinne.

Is tabhair mo mhallacht dod' mháithrín is ní áirímse d'athair.
Is a maireann de do chairde gach lá faid a mhaireann.
Nár lig dom tú a phósadh is tú beo agam i do bheathaigh
Mar nach n-iarrfainn mar spré leat ach luí leat sa leabaigh.

Is tá brón ar mo chroíse atá líonta le grá dhuit.
Is an londubh taobh thíos dó atá chomh dubh leis na háirne.
Sara dtiocfaidh aon ní orm is go gcloífidh an bás mé
Ó béadsa i mo shí gaoithe romhat thíos ar na bántaibh.
Here is an English translation:
I am stretched on your grave
And I'll lie there forever
If your hands were in mine
I'd be sure they could not sever
My apple tree, my brightness
It's time we were together
For I smell of the earth
And am worn by the weather.
When my family thinks
That I'm safely in my bed
From morn until night
I am stretched out at your head
Calling out to the earth
With tears hot and wild
My grief for the girl
That I loved as a child.
Do you remember the night we were lost
In the shade of the blackthorn
And the chill of frost
And thanks be to Jesus
We did all that was right
And your maiden head still
Is your pillar of light.
The priests and the friars
They approach me in dread
Because I still love you
My love and you're dead
I still would be your shelter
Through rain and through storm
And with you in your cold grave
I cannot sleep warm.
So I am stretched on your grave
And will lie there forever
If your hands were in mine
I'd be sure they could not sever
My apple tree, my brightness
It's time we were together
For I smell of the earth
And am worn by the weather.
Here is a video of the Gaeilge version beautifully sung by Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Samhain Blessings

Oh, ye Dead! Oh, ye Dead! whom we know by the light you give
From your cold gleaming eyes,
Tho' you move like men who live,
Why leave you thus your graves,
in far off seas and waves,
Where the worm and the seabird only know your bed.
It is true, It is true, We are shadows cold and wan;
And the fair, and the brave whom we loved on earth are gone,
But still thus ev'n in death,
So sweet the living breath
Of the fields and the flow'rs in our youth we wander'd o'er,
That ere, condemn'd, we go,
To freeze 'mid Hecla's snow,
We would taste it awhile, and think we live once more!
 To haunt this spot, where all
Those eyes that wept your fall,
And the hearts that wailed you like your own, lie dead!
May you feel the breath and fill the steps of your Ancestors. Blessings to you all this Samhain!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Late Autumn Garden



Some Samhain Crafts & Reading

royalty free photo

The dark half of the year will soon be upon! So, here is some crafting ideas and reading resources on how you can celebrate and observe the season. 



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

And the Winner of the 2013 Samhain Giveaway is...


Congrats Kat, your name was randomly selected and I will be sending you your goodies ASAP.

Thanks to everyone who participated and I hope you will all join me again for the next giveaway. :)


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Samhain Giveaway Now Closed

The Samhain Giveaway is now closed. I will randomly draw a winner soon and will post the results within the next few days. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

2013 Samhain Giveaway

Samhain is almost here, so it is time for a giveaway! This is what is up for grabs for the 2013 Samhain giveaway...

  • Ancestor Jar Candle
  • Witchy Flask
  • Ancestor Charm Bottle
  •  Barm Brack Kit
  • Samhain Herbal Blend
  • Tech Duinn Incense
  • Dark Daughter Incense
  • Immrama Incense
  • Ancestral Graveyard Dirt
  • Dark Arts Wortcunning Powder

Ancestor Jar Candle

This is a hand poured black beeswax candle in a pretty mason jar containing wormwood from my garden, Ancestral graveyard dirt, and scented with sandalwood essential oil. Tied around it is a black ribbon with a pretty skeleton key.

Witchy Flask

A stainless steal flask for your spirited drinks when out on a haunt on a chilly Samhain eve!

 Ancestor Bottle Charm


I made this wee charm bottle for connecting with Ancestors and can either be carried on your person or left on an Ancestral shrine/altar. Inside the corked bottle is Ancestral graveyard dirt, dandelion root, mullein seeds, periwinkle flowers, bittersweet nightshade berries, tansy flowers, and poppy seeds. The bottle was sealed with black beeswax and has a little skull tied to it with black string.

I purchased this adorable barm brack kit from From Home Spun Ireland, which comes with a recipe, charms to go inside your cake, a pack of Barry's Tea, and a little pouch that say Oíche Shamhna on it. Samhain barm brack {an Irish fruit bread} charms would be baked inside the bread, which were used to predict what to expect in the year ahead. To find out more head on over to the Home Spun Ireland listing.

Samhain Herbal Blend

Use this intoxicating herbal blend to scent your Samhain festivities as a simmer potpourri, as an offering, or in your Samhain spellwork. This blend contains dried local apples, mugwort, cedar and wormwood from my garden, along with patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver.

Tech Duinn, or the House of Donn is one of the places in Irish lore where the deceased go to. This loose incense has a combination of plant materials that are appropriate as a burnt offering to the Beloved and Mighty Dead, including sweet smelling sandalwood. The winner will receive 1/2 ounce in a baggie.
This loose incense is a mixture that I created to give as a burnt offering to the Irish Goddess Macha, and has various plant materials associated with divination, sorcery and battles. The most notable smell is the heady scent of wormwood. The winner will receive 1/2 ounce in a baggie.
 Named for the immrama, or the voyages to the Otherworlds found in Irish mythology, this incense has been crafted for travel, both in this world and the spirit realms. Burn for protection whether journeying by spirit, land, sky, or sea. It contains mugwort, often used in dream work and spirit travel, as well as plants traditionally associated with safe travels in Gaelic lore, yarrow, comfrey and birch. {partial ingredient list}. The winner will receive 1/2 ounce in a baggie.

A 1/2 cup of sifted graveyard dirt that came from the graves of some of my Ancestors in a small Northern Ontario village cemetery. For Ancestor & Chthonic Deity rituals, or workings involving divination, protection and hexing.
This is a nourishing offering powder for plants that are entheogens, or associated with death, divination, cursing, ancestors, chthonic deities, and spirit travel.

Use as an offering to plants that you harvest from in the wild, plants in your garden or houseplants. To use sprinkle on top of the soil at the base of the plant and then water, use as a fertilizer tea, or work in the soil before planting seeds, transplanting or repotting.
The winner will receive 1 ounce in a baggie.
How to Enter the Giveaway
For those who are interested in entering, all you need to do is share a spooky story {this could be something that happened to you, someone you know, a legend from your area, or a favourite piece of folklore}. All entries must be submitted to the comment section of this post; you can either just type it out there or link to a video or blog entry that is posted elsewhere. Previously some folks were having issues posting in my comment section, so I will accept entries that are emailed to me {unfetteredwood at yahoo dot ca} and I will post them in the comment section, along with listing who the name of the person it is for.  The winner will be drawn at random right after the closing date. Below you will see the vitals:
  1. Only one entry per person.
  2. Entrants must be 18 years or older.
  3. The giveaway is open for all countries.
  4. To enter you are not obligated to purchase anything from me or to subscribe to any of my social media haunts.
  5. All entries must be submitted by Sunday October 20th at 3pm EST.
  6. The winner will need to provide a mailing address to receive their pretties. The information provided will not be used for any other purpose than to receive their winnings. The information will not be given to anyone else, or sold to a third party.

Good luck to all of you who enter!