The Whispering Winds
"We dislike in others that which we dislike in ourselves"
May Issue 2003
Featured article - Tuatha De Danann
In Irish-Celtic mythology, the Tuatha Dé Danann (Children of Danu) make up the Irish pantheon founded by the goddess Danu. It is said that on Beltaine (May 1st.), they arrived from the west in ships made from clouds.
Legend has it that they brought with them four great treasures that showed their skills in magickal arts. These were the Stone of Fal, which would scream whenever a true king of Ireland would place his foot on it. The next was the Magic Sword of Nuada, a weapon that only inflicted mortal blows when drawn. The third treasure was the Sling-shot of the Sun God Lugh, that never missed its target. The final treasure is the Cauldron of Dagda from which an inexhaustible supply of food came forth.
Upon their arrival in Ireland, a battle ensued with the "Fir bolgs" (men of the bags) at Mag Tuireadh. The king of the Fir bolgs was, "Eochid son of Erc" and they were the original inhabitants of the island. The king of the Tuatha De Danann was "Nuada". After a fierce battle, the Tuatha De Danann defeated the Fir Bolgs. As a concession to the Fir Bolgs, Nuada gave them the province of Connacht to live in. During this battle, Nuada lost his left arm and thus had to step down as the King, as no disfigured person could be king.
After Nuada, "Breas" who was half Formorian ( sea raider), and half Danann, now became King. He ruled for seven years, but the people became disenchanted with his harsh way of ruling, and so he was ousted from power.
Nuada who had his severed arm replaced with one made of silver by the great physician " Dian Cecht", regained the throne. After being ousted from power, Breas made a plea to his Fomorian father "Elatha ". This resulted in a second battle at northern Moytura, in Sligo.
During the second battle of Mag Tuireadh, the Tuatha De Danann fought and conquered the Fomorians, a race of giants who were the primordial inhabitants of Ireland. The Fomorians were completly defeated and routed from the island. During this battle, Nuada was slain and the hero of the battle " Lugh" (he of the shining arm), became the new King of Ireland. It is for Lugh that the sabbat "Lughnasadh" is named.
After Lugh's reign, "The Dagda" (the Good God) became king. He was followed in succession by his three grandsons (Kings Mac Cuill, Mac Cécht and Mac Gréine). It was during the reign of Dagda's three grandsons that yet a third battle was engaged in by the Danann. This battle was with the invading "Milesians". They were known as Sons of Mil from the kingdom of Spain. It is from the Milesians, that the famous Druid poet, "Amergin" emerged from.
The Milesians conquered the Tuatha De Dann during this battle.
A decision was then made that the Milesians would rule the above ground part of Ireland, while the Tuatha De Danann would rule the underground. And so in keeping with this agreement, the Danann dispersed into various "Sidhe's" (fairy mounds). And to this day they are known as the fairy or wee folk.
According to the Annals of the Four Masters, the Tuatha de Danann ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C.E to 1700 B.C.E
The Leabhar Gabhála (Book of Invasions) is the most important record of the legendary history of Ireland and the Gaels. It was written in the 11th century, and records many battles and sagas of that period.
There are many fascinating tales of the Tuatha De Danann too numerous to mention here. For example the story of Miach, who was slain by his father "Dian Cecht" in a fit of jealous rage. It is from the grave of Miach that all of the herbs of the world sprang forth from. Or the tale of how Cúchulain (Hound of Culann) son of Lugh, came to be named. And so many, many, other tales.
So it is suggested to the reader to take some time and explore this rich heritage. You won't be disappointed. As a Celtic wita, I am humbled to be a part of the journey from there to here and beyond.
"Remember; an entire beach starts with but one grain of sand... We each add our grain to the ever growing tale of
Featured Recipe - Dublin Coddle
Although it is best made with a good stock - water in which a ham has been boiled, or even a ham bone - a light stock cube will substitute.
1lb/ 500g best sausages
8oz/ 250g streaky bacon
1/2pt/ 300ml/ 1 cup stock or water
6 medium potatoes
2 medium onions
salt and pepper
Cut the bacon into 1in/ 3cm squares. Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan which has a well-fitting lid, add the sausages and the bacon and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the sausages and bacon and save the liquid. Cut each sausage into four or five pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut into thick slices. Skin the onions and slice them. Assemble a layer of potatoes in the saucepan, followed by a layer of onions and then half the sausages and bacon. Repeat the process once more and then finish off with a layer of potatoes. Pour the reserved stock over and season lightly to taste. Cover and simmer gently for about an hour. Adjust the seasoning and serve piping hot.
Featured Crystal - Ruby
The energy of the Ruby is projective and the element is Fire. The astrological signs are Leo, Scorpio, Cancer and Sagittarius. It vibrates to the number 3. Ruled by Mars, the ruby is used for instilling courage when going to war or taking on enemies of any kind to insure victory The ruby is known as a stone of nobility. It is considered an excellent shielding stone. It stimulates the heart chakra. It is well known for its protective values. And is often used to induce stability. It is also beneficial for attaining a state of bliss and purifying. In the 10th century, dragons and snakes were carved in their surfaces to increase the flow of money and power to their owners.
Its magical powers include wealth, protection, joy, sexual fire, prevents nightmares, attracts the opposite sex.
Featured Herb - Chamomile (Chamaemilum nobile)
Chamomile is a masculine plant associated with the Sun and the element of Water. Use an infusion of chamomile to add golden highlight to brown hair.
The volatile oils of chamomile are an antispasmodic which can be used for treating indigestion and menstrual cramps. It is also an anti-inflammatory and anti-infective useful for treating skin disorders. It is steeped in a tea to aid in sleeping. Only the flowers and the first three to four inches of the plant are used for tea and medicinal uses.
To make chamomile wine you will need:
Two ounces dried, crushed chamomile flower heads
One quart dry wine
Pour dried flowers into quart of dry wine; let stand for ten days in a well-ventilated area. This wine can be used for digestive problems.
Chamomile has been used for centuries to help relieve infections, stomach gas, stomachaches, and menstrual pain. It is also good for insomnia and promotes healthy skin.
Chamomile is used to attract money. A handwash of the infusion is sometimes used by gamblers to ensure winnings. Use it when making sleep and meditation incenses. Sprinkle chamomile in your bath to attract love. Sprinkle the herb around your property to remove curses and hexes.
Featured Poem - Shadows by the Moon
(Submitted by LunaBear)
Brilliant moon, surrounded by stars
Each one coveting an eternity of secrets
The shadows created by your luminous glow have been
My spirituality is a precious night flower blossoming in your mystery and strength.
Your glow has led me down a path that allows me to grow at every moment.
In your blanket of night I have been protected
I travel by you and the wisdom of ages that you radiate.
Epona: Gallo-Celtic Goddess in a Roman Pantheon
(Submitted by Rev. Dina Ely http://www.veilofnight.org)
Epona, the "horse goddess" or "Divine Mare," has her origins in the Celtic tradition. Which surprises many, because she is best known for her worship in Roman mythology.
And in reality, it was in the Roman culture where Epona blossomed as a powerful deity. Little is known of where Epona fit into the Celtic pantheon and religious beliefs. She has no obvious family ties to other Celtic deities. Scholars have suggested that perhaps Epona was, in the beginning, a broad goddess of Nature, similar to Gaea or "Mother Earth". Some scholars argue that Epona's geographic origin is in eastern France, carried across to the British Isles by the Gauls.
Later in Celtic tradition and especially throughout Roman tradition, Epona became the protector of horses, and the goddess of animals. She has carried the "mother" aspect with her, however, because to this day she is considered a fertile mother goddess.
Her connection to horses is particularly important in understanding why Epona's worship spread from one culture to another. Horses, in ancient times, were a vital symbol of power. Horses were, to Romans, the power behind the dreadful cavalries with which they swept over the world. To the Celts, horses were equally powerful, if for somewhat more spiritual reasons. In particular, the concept of a mare and her foals was for the Celts a celebration of fertility and the tender care of mothers, in rearing generation after generation of their people.
When the Romans invaded the British isles, they were exposed to the "barbarian" Celtic culture. Epona's worship spread like wildfire from the land of the Celts throughout the Roman empire. It is now believed that nearly every stable in the Roman empire contained a shrine to Epona. Historians note almost 350 inscriptions from Roman times that worship and honour Epona.
Her worship was enduring, as well. There is evidence to suggest that in the Middle Ages, despite the popularity of Christianity, Epona was still honoured as a holy maiden in charge of protecting horses.
The white mare is the sacred symbol of Epona, and she is frequently depicted feeding horses from a basket laden with fruit and grain. In Roman times, an annual celebration was held in her honour on or around the date we know now as December 18th.
Cricks Corner: The other day while out for my daily chataqua, a thought occured to me. And that was
that humanity is like a sand filled beach. A beach that starts out with a single grain of sand that multiplies and and ends up as humanity. Each grain is different and unique, yet becomes part of the whole. The sandy beach that
Mother Nature provides is similiar in that each grain of sand is special in its own way and adds to the whole beach
as well. The difference is that when Manann Mac Lir sends his gentle waves upon the sands of Mother Nature,
the beach is cleansed and renewed. But with the beach of Humanity, we send forth waves of war and destruction
and we destroy more then we renew.
Throughout our history we have sought to destroy the grains of humaity for reasons of greed, prejudice, and other negative issues.
Perhaps its time to build a new beach of humanity. One where humankind rises above the shackles of physical restraints such as jealousy, pride and avarice. One where the only currency that counts is spiritual progress. After all, when we leave this realm, all of the physical accumalations stay behind. And so the question to ask yourself when you are preparing to stand before your deity is, am I to be spiritually rich or spiritually poor?
Until next time Cailleach's...
Did you Know???
The Green Man', a name coined by Lady Raglan in 1939, is a medieaval image usually found in churches.
Ge milis a' mhil, cò dh'imlicheadh o bhàrr dri i?
Honey may be sweet, but no-one licks it off a briar.
Want to help your community ? Go to a hospital and read a book to a patient. If nothing else you will have a captive audience. (Huge grin).
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