Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Beannachtaí Na Oíche Shamhna Oraibh!

May the Gods smile upon you, may the Spirits be kind to you, and may your Ancestors always be near.

Beannachtaí na Oíche Shamhna oraibh/Samhain Eve blessings to you all!

Warm hearts & hearths,


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fall Leaf Bouquets for Ancestor Offerings

{one of my bouquets from last year}
A few years ago I started making fall leaf bouquets to use as offerings both on my Ancestor shrine as well as to bring to the cemetery around the time of Samhain. This is by no means a novel idea, and my inspiration actually came from the following song:
"The autumn air
Thickly fills my lungs
So sweetly
Reminds me of
Her smoky breath
With wine and this
Bouquet of maple
And oak leaves
In death or life
We'll always be..."

There are a few different ways you could go about making your bouquets, but the one I choose to do is a pretty straightforward bunching and binding it all together with yarn or ribbon. I like to use various different leaves and also berries and nuts, going with whatever I can find outside around me. {Unfortunately I don't think I have any other examples than the one pictured above that I have previously made. I will try to remember to take photos of the ones I make this year to give some more ideas and either add them or link them to this post}. 

Below are some link of other fall leaf bouquets ideas:

Autumn Leaves Bouquet {from Ali Does it Herself}
How to Make a Fall Leaf Bouquet {from Metamorphocity}
Maple Leaf Roses {from Listed and Loved}

And to get you into the spirit, here is a video to the song that originally inspired me:




The Gaelic Roundtable for October: Divinity

This is my seventh post participating in The Gaelic Roundtable blogging project, and October's topic is Divinity. The Roundtable asked:
"Who do believe are the Deities of the Irish Pantheon? How do you believe that they gained their Divine status? Were they always Gods- or did they become them? Or do you view them as traditional Gods at all? Are there other “categories” that you believe exist- such a “demons” or Demigods? How does your view of Gaelic Divinity differ from traditional views of Divinity such as what is found in the Hindu, Greek, or Abrahamic faiths?"
My definition of what divinity is will probably not suit everyone, but is fairly simple: I see those who fit into the "divine" category as anyone who is not mortal. Of course this is a pretty broad definition which could include a whole host of beings, but within the context of Gaelic Polytheism I break it down to Gods, Spirits/Good Folk and Ancestors. 

In general I think that it is difficult to neatly arrange the divine within the GP context like how one would in the classical pantheon manner. It is a wee bit more messy than that, especially when one turns to the complicated lore and mythology of the Gaels for insight. I think that there is an overlap of the Gods, Spirits/Good Folk and Ancestors, and it is likely that many individual divinities fall within two or all of those categories.

I think that some of these individuals were mortals at one time or perhaps were always some type of supernatural being that became elevated to the status of Gods through reverence and may even maintain that status through the continuation of that reverence. Maybe this is the "payoff" Gods get from having reciprocal relationships with us mortals.

I have no idea how any of them became, if some were always in existence playing a role with the dawn of the cosmos, helping shape The Great Nothing into something, or if like us they came along later.



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Apple & Staghorn Sumac Jelly

I made this jelly about a month back for the first time, and definitely will be making it again! I used a really great recipe found over at the Thomasburg Walks blog.

If you are not familiar with staghorn sumac and how to harvest it, Wayward Spark has a very informative post that you can check out. I harvested mine back in August and left it out to air dry, before stashing it away in a jar to use throughout the rest of the year. If you are new to making jelly or canning, check out this article.

***One thing to note about staghorn sumac is that it is high in tannic acid, so keep boiling time for the juice limited.***

If you can, give this lovely recipe a try!