Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Welcoming 2015

Nist o thaine sinn dh’ an duthaich,
Dh’ urachadh dhuibh na Callaig,
Cha ruig uine dhuinn bhi ’g innse,
        Bha i ann ri linn ar seanar.

A direadh ri tobht an taighe,
A teurnadh aig an dorus,
Mo dhuan a ghabhail modhail,
        Mar b’ eol domh aig a Challaig.

Caisein Callaig ’na mo phocaid,
Is mor an ceo thig as an fhear ud,
Chan ’eil aon a gheobh de aile,
        Nach bi gu brath de fallain.

Gheobh fear an taighe ’na dhorn e,
Cuiridh e shron anns an teallach;
Theid e deiseil air na paisdean,
        Is seachd araid bean an taighe.

Gheobh a bhean e, is i ’s t-fhiach e,
Lamh a riarachadh na Callaig,
Lamh a bhairig cais is im duinn,
        Lamh gun spiocaireachd, gun ghainne.

Bho ’n ta tart air tighinn an duthaich,
Is nach bi duil againn ri annas,
Rud beag a shugh an t-samhraidh,
        B’ annsa leinn e leis an aran.

Mur bheil sin againn ri fhaotainn,
Ma dh’ fhaodas tu, na cum maill oirnn;
        Eirich fein is fosgail dorus,
             Callain seo! Callain seo!


Now since we came to the country
To renew to you the Hogmanay,
Time will not allow us to explain,
It has been since the age of our fathers.

Ascending the wall of the house,
Descending at the door,
My carol to say modestly,
As becomes be at the Hogmanay.

The Hogmanay skill is in my pocket,
Great the fume that will come from that;
No one who shall inhale its odour,
But shall be forever from it healthy.

The house-man will get it in his grasp,
He will put its point in the fire;
He will go sunwise round the children,
And very specially around the goodwife.

The wife will get it, she it is who deserves it,
The hand to distribute the Hogmanay,
The hand to bestow upon use cheese and butter,
The hand without stinginess, without meanness.

Since drought has come upon the land,
And that we do not expect rarity,
A little of the substance of the summer
Would we desire with the bread.

If that we are not to have it,
If though mayest, do not detain;
Arise thyself and open the door.

Hogmanay here! Hogmanay here!
 ~ Duan Callaig/The Song of Hogmanay, Carmina Gadelica Vol. 1
Over at the Tairis website there is a hand article about Hogmanay, as well as some ideas on how to celebrate it.
Gaol Naofa also has a pretty nifty video about the holiday: 
I wish you all the best for 2015! Sláinte! Laurel

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Whatever holiday that you might celebrate at this time of you, I hope it is filled with much merriment and many blessings!

Warm hearts and hearths,


Friday, November 7, 2014

Charm of Grace

The guiding light of the Gods is before you,
The sage steps of the Ancestors are behind you,
The kind stream of the Spirits is through you,
To succour and aid you.

The bloom of the Gods is upon you,
The bloom of the Ancestors is upon you,
The bloom of the Spirits is upon you,
To bathe you and make you fair.

Grace is upwards over you,
Grace is downwards over you,
Grace of graces without gainsaying, 
The beauteous grace of The Three.

Excellence of men,
Excellence of women,
Excellence of council,
Excellence of lover, 
Excellence of sons and of daughters.

Excellence of dells,
Excellence of knolls,
Excellence of hollows,
Excellence of hills,
Excellence of horses and of heros.

Excellence of travel,
Excellence of journey,
Excellence of small town,
Excellence of great town,
Excellence of sea and of shore.

Excellence of beauty,
Excellence of radiance,
Excellence of goodness,
Excellence of the Otherworld,
Excellence of day and of night.

Excellence of form,
Excellence of voice,
Excellence of complexion,
Excellence of cattle,
Excellence of curd and of butter.

You are the star of each night,
You are the brightness of each morning,
You are the tidings of each guest,
You are the inquiry of every land.

You will travel rough ground,
And you will not redden your feet:
The Three are guarding you and The Three are by your hand.

The brilliance of the Gods is around your head,
The wisdom of the Ancestors is on your brow,
The hospitality of the Spirits is in your heart:
You will go forth and come home safely.

You will journey upward
And come down again,
You will journey over ocean 
And come back safely here;

No peril will befall you
On knoll or on bank,
In hollow or in meadow,
On mountain or in glen.

The protection of The Three is over you,
To shield and guard you 
From your head to your foot.

No man
No woman
No son
No daughter

Will make a glance or wish
Hate or jealousy,
Love or evil eye,
Envy or durance

That will sunder you,
That will lie on you,
That will subdue you, 
That will injure you.

Host will not make,
False one will not make,
Evil spirit will not make,
World will not make,

Word or accusation,
Lie or story,
Spell or sorcery,
Harm or hary,

That will affect you,
That will afflict you,
That will maim you,
That will overpower you.

Towards or from,
Earth or land,
Here or there, 
Up or down,

Above or below,
Sea or shore,
In the sky aloft 
In the deep below.

You are the nut of my heart,
You are the face of my sun,
You are the harp of my music,
You are the crown of my sense;

You are the love of the Shining Gods,
You are the love of the Wise Ancestors,
You are the love of the Gracious Spirits,
You are the love of every living creature.

~Altered prayer from Carmina Gadelica Vol III 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oíche Shamhna Shona Duit!

May you feel your loved ones from this world and the otherworld at this time! Blessings to you all this Samhain!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Summer Rituals {Lughnasadh 2014}

{This is my third and final post about seasonal rituals this past summer}

This was one of those seasons where many of the edibles that I grew ripened late, but because our summer berries were ripening on time, I decided to start my Lughnasadh observations for the beginning of August. I chose August 5th, which was the first Tuesday because I actually had that day off from work and because reaping blessings are traditionally done on a Tuesday. 

I spent a good part of the day in the garden, where I did a reaping blessing, harvesting what was ready, which was mostly herbs and flowers, and some veggies and berries.

The later part of the day was spent baking and cooking some of my earlier harvest. I made some wild berry tarts, lavender shortbread, bannocks and a summer stew. 

This year a few Gaelic Polytheists were suggesting that we do prayers for peace during Lughnasadh, which I decided to join in on. After making my offerings to Macha, I recited Badb's Prayer for Peace {found over at the Gaol Naofa Youtube channel}. After some time in prayer, I did some crafting of charms and oils for prosperity, contracts and peace. 

Towards the end of August I got together with a lovely friend for a day of going to the country for some adventures and wildcrafting. Our first stop was meant to be Simpson Hill Farm to pick up some elderberries, but we ended up missing our turn off the road and a had a happy detour into Restoule.

We ended up stopping into Board's Honey Farm to get directions to our intended destination, and while we were there we did some shopping {I had to stock up on some honey and beeswax anyways}, tour their lovely gardens and beeyard.

Since we were already in Restoule, we stopped by to visit one of my Aunt's to go out and have lunch and to visit my our family cemetery

We eventually made our way to Simpson Hill Farm for our elderberries and then set off to my friend's home in the country. 

Her home is surrounded by acres of lovely woodland and obviously happy flora and fauna. It is always a real privilege to spend time there. 


On our way back into town we went to one of my frequent wildcrafting spots where we left offerings and harvested quite a few pretties including some goldenrod, staghorn sumac berries, lamb's quarter's, daisy fleabane, sweetfern and rowan berries.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Beautifully Gloomy October

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life. 

~Hal Borland

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Summer Rituals {Midsummer 2014}

{This is my second post about my seasonal rituals this past summer.}

Midsummer morning I went down to the lake to greet the rising sun, and sent out a little vessel of offerings dedicated to the spirits of the lake. This for me was a newly adopted tradition, which was inspired by some fellow Gaelic Polytheists who carry on a Manx tradition of "paying the rent", usually dedicated to Manannán mac Lir. Given that I am not a devotee to Manannán, and I do not live in a region associated with him, I thought that it would be more suitable to make offerings to spirits that are hosts of my area. The vessel was made of woven twigs and lined with leaves {it did not float for too long, but I wanted it to be made of something that would not disturb things too much} and filled with flowers, which were finally popping up everywhere in the garden.
A good portion of the day was spent in the garden assembling a critter hotel, installing a couple more bee watering stations, and toad houses. The rest of the day was spent simply relaxing in the garden with an outdoor supper. It was nice to be outside around all of our flora and fauna friends, especially after such a long winter.




A couple of days later I got a small amount of time off work which was busily spent once again in the garden, this time mostly for harvesting. This was first kicked off by decorating our seasonal shrine with flowers and herbs in honour of Airmid.


During the harvesting process I of course did plenty of drying but also made various herbal oils. I also did quite a bit of crafting during this time period, such as experimenting with new incense blends, teas and herbal bath salts.  

I also did a lot of cooking with herbs, including making a little feast of wildflower salad, bannocks with thyme and chive butter, various herbal drinks, lavender and chocolate mint shortbreads, lemon balm cookies, strawberry and rhubarb crisp and meadowsweet sorbet.

After making my offering of herbal goodies I started a rather healing ritual that took place over a period of nine days as well as crafting items for healing.


One more to go!