Book of Shadow 

Book of Shadows Blessing

By the All over all - by the Goddess ad God and by the Ancients unsen all 'round, working through these words, rites, and spirit as a force of good will, healing, harmony, and thanks let not these passages be used for ill else the Karmic Law of Three be found - let these passages be used for the good of all according to free will, let it harm none.  So mote it be! 

The Wiccan Rede (Full Version)

 Bide the Wiccan Laws we must
In perfect love and perfect trust

Live and let live
Fairly take and fairly give

Cast the circle thrice about
To keep the evil spirits out

To bind the spell every time
Let the spell be spake in rhyme

Soft of eye and light of touch
Speak little, listen much

Deosil go by waxing moon
Chanting out the Witch's Rune

Widdershins go by waning moon
Chant out the baneful rune

When the Lady's moon is new
Kiss the hand to Her times two

When the moon rides at its peak
Then your heart's desire seek

Heed the North wind's mighty gale
Lock the door and drop the sail

When the wind comes from the South
Love will kiss thee on the mouth

When the wind blows from the West
Departed souls will have no rest

When the wind blows from the East
Expect the new and set the feast

Nine woods in the cauldron go
Burn them fast and burn them slow

Elder be the Lady's tree
Burn it not or cursed you'll be

When the wheel begins to turn
Let the Beltane fires burn

When the wheel has turned to Yule
Light the log and the Horned One rules

Heed ye flower, bush, and tree
By the Lady, blessed be

Where the rippling waters go
Cast a stone and truth you'll know

When ye have a true need
Hearken not to other's greed

With a fool no season spend
Lest ye be counted as his friend

Merry meet and merry part
Bright the cheek and warm the heart

Mind the Threefold Law ye should
Three times bad and three times good

When misfortune is enow
Wear the blue star upon thy brow

True in love ever be
Lest thy lover's false to thee

Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill
"An ye harm none, do what ye will."

 The Charge of the Goddess

Whenever ye have need of me, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then ye shall assemble in some secret place and adorn the spirit of me, who am Queen of the Witches.  There ye shall assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won it's deepest secrets; to these I will teach things that are yet unknown.  And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are truely free ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music, and love all in my presence.  For mine is the ecstacy of the spirit, and mine is also joy on Earth.

Keep pure your highest ideals, strive ever towards them; let naught stop you or turn you aside; for I am the Gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man.  Upon Earth I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death I give peace unutterable.  Nor do I demand ought in sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the Earth.  From me all things proceed, and to me all things must return.

Let my worship be in the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.  Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.  And thou that thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee naught unless thou knowest this mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee.  For behold, I have been  with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.


The Call of the God

        I am the Radiant King of the heavens, flooding the Earth with warmth and encouraging the hidden seed of creation to burst forth into manifestation.  I lift My shining spear to light the lives of all beings and daily pour forth My gold upon the Earth, putting to flight the powers of darkness.

        I am the master of the beasts wild and free.  I run with the swift stag and soar as the sacred falcon against the shimmering sky.  The ancient woods and wild places emanate My powers, and the birds of the air sing of My sanctity.


        I am also the last harvest, offering up grain and fruits beneath the sickle of time so that all may be nourished.  For without planting, there can be no harvest; without winter, no Spring.


        Worship Me as the thousand-named Sun of creation, the spirit of the horned stag in the wild, and the endless harvest.  See in the yearly cycle of festivals My birth, death, and rebirth -  and know that such is the destiny of all creation.


        I am the spark of life, the radiant Sun, the giver of peace and rest, and I send My rays of blessing to warm the hearts and strengthen the minds of all.

Before Time Was

(From: “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham


        Before time was, there was The One; The One was all, and all was The One.


        And the vast expanse known as the universe was The One, all-wise, all-pervading, all-powerful, eternally changing.


        And space moved.  The One molded energy into twin forms, equal but opposite, fashioning the Goddess and God from The One and of The One.


        The Goddess and God stretched and gave thanks to The One, but darkness surrounded Them.  They were alone, solitary save for The One.


        So They formed energy into gases and gases into suns and planets and moons.  They sprinkled the universe with whirling globes and so all was given shape by the hands of the Goddess and God.


        Light arose and the sky was illuminated by a billion suns.  And the Goddess and God, satisfied by Their works, rejoiced and loved, and were one.


        From Their union sprang forth the seeds of all life, and of the human race, so that we might achieve incarnation upon the Earth.


        The Goddess chose the Moon as Her symbol and the God the Sun as His symbol, to remind the inhabitants of Earth of their Fashioners.


        All are born, live, and die, and are reborn beneath the Sun and Moon; all things come to pass there under, and all occurs with the blessings of The One, as has been the way of existence before time was.


Thirteen Goals of a Witch

I.          Know yourself.

II.         Know your Craft (Wicca).

III.        Learn.

IV.       Apply knowledge with wisdom.

V.        Achieve balance.

VI.       Keep your words in good order.

VII.      Keep your thoughts in good order.

VIII.     Celebrate life.

IX.       Attune with the cycles of the Earth.

X.        Breathe and eat correctly.

XI.       Exercise the body.

XII.      Meditate.

XIII.     Honor the Goddess and God.



Yule – also known as Winter Solstice is celebrated on the first day of Winter.  The Goddess gives birth to a son, the God, at Yule.  This is a time darkness and is the shortest day of the year.  Since the God is also the Sun, this marks the point of the year when the Sun is reborn as well.  Thus, the Wicca light fires or candles to welcome the Sun’s returning light.  The Goddess, slumbering through the Winter of Her labor, rests after Her delivery.

        Yule is the remnant of early rituals celebrated to hurry the end of Winter and the bounty of Spring, when food was once again readily available.  The Full Moon after Yule is considered the most powerful of the whole year.

Imbolc – (February 1st or the Full Moon in Aquarius) marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God.  The lengthening periods of light awaken Her.  The God is a young lusty boy, but His power is felt in the longer days.


        This is a Sabbat of purification after the shut-in life of Winter, through the renewing power of the Sun.  It is also a festival of light and fertility, once marked with huge blazes.  Fire here represents our own illumination and inspiration as much as light and warmth.


        This is one of the traditional times for initiations into covens and self-initiations.


Ostara – also known as the Spring Equinox, marks the first day of true Spring.  The energies of Nature subtly shift from the sluggishness of Winter to the exuberant expansion of Spring.  The Goddess blankets the Earth with fertility, bursting forth from Her sleep, as the God stretches and grows into maturity.  He walks the greening fields and delights in the abundance of Nature.


        On Ostara, the hours of day and night are equal.  Light is overtaking darkness; the Goddess and the God impel the wild creatures of the Earth to reproduce.


        This is a time of beginnings, of action, of planting spells for future gains, and of tending ritual gardens.

Beltane – (May 1st or the first Full Moon of Taurus) marks the emergence of the young God into manhood.  Stirred by the energies at work in Nature, He desires the Goddess.  They fall in love, lie amongst the grasses and blossoms, and unite.  The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God.  The Wiccans celebrate the symbol of Her fertility in ritual.

        The flowers and greenery symbolize the Goddess; the May Pole, the God.  Beltane marks the return of vitality, of passion and hope consummated.

Midsummer – also known as the Summer Solstice and Litha, arrives when the powers of Nature reach their highest point.  The Earth is awash in the fertility of the Goddess and the God.

        Bonfires are leapt to encourage fertility, purification, health and love.  The fire once again represents the Sun, felt on this time of the longest daylight hours.  Midsummer is a classical time for magic of all kinds.  Herbs gathered on this day are extremely powerful.

Lughnasadh – (august 1st or the first Full Moon in Leo) is the time of the first harvest, when the plants of the Spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops.  Mystically, so too does the God lose His strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer.

         The Goddess watches in sorrow and joy as she realizes that the God is dying, and yet lives on inside Her as Her child.

Mabon – also known as the Autumn Equinox, is the completion of the harvest begun at Lughnasadh.  Once again day and night are equal, poised as the God prepares to leave His physical body and begin the great adventure into the unseen, toward renewal and rebirth of the Goddess.

        Nature declines, draws back it’s bounty, readying for Winter and it’s time of rest.  The Goddess nods in the weakening Sun, though fire burns within Her womb.  She feels the presence of the God even as He wanes.

Samhain – (October 31st or the first Full Moon of Scorpio) the Wicca say farewell to the God.  This is a temporary farewell.  He isn’t wrapped in eternal darkness, but readies to be reborn of the Goddess at Yule.

        In some places this was the time when animals were slaughtered to ensure food throughout the depths of Winter.  The God – identified with the animals – fell as well to ensure our continued existence.


        Samhain is a time of reflection, of looking back over the last year, of coming to terms with the phenomenon of life over which we have no control – death.  Wiccans celebrate this Sabbat as the “Witch’s New Year.”


        The Wicca feel that on this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is thin.  Wiccans remember their ancestors and all those who have gone before.


Introduction to the Celts

(From “Celtic Magic” by D. J. Conway)


The Celts are commonly thought of as the ancestors of the Irish.  In fact, their civilization covered a much larger area than Ireland.  The Celts first appeared in history as they came out of the East in waves of migrants in the 9th century BC.  They spread into Gaul, the Iberian Peninsula, north Italy, the Balkans, Asia Minor, Britain, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.  By the 5th century BC, they were sacking towns in Italy, France, Germany, and Switzerland, areas where they settled for a time.  At the height of their power their territories stretched from the British Isles to Turkey, but they finally fell to the Romans and Germanic tribes.


        Although they were not all of the same ethnic stock, they spoke different dialects of the same language.  They were amongst the greatest technologists of the ancient world: skilled metalworkers, builders of roads and chariots, experts in agriculture and animal husbandry.  They were also warriors of unparalleled courage and ferocity, feared even by the Roman legions.  They laid the foundations of western European civilization.


        The Celts were a brilliant, flamboyant, fearless, and dynamic people, but also given to drunkenness and boasting.  Although they were poorly organized as tribes, they were first and foremost warriors, often hiring themselves out as mercenaries to any who could afford their high price.


        The women, who were held in high regard, were as good warriors as their men.  Any Celtic woman with her temper roused was a dangerous force to be reckoned with.  In early Celtic history, it was not unusual for the women to fight alongside their men.


        By the 1st century BC, the Romans began encroaching on Celtic territory, finally conquering most of their land, with the exception of Scotland and Ireland.  Even after this, there were sporadic uprisings; one led by Queen Boadica in Britain around 61 AD nearly wiping out the Roman legions in that country.  The Celtic beliefs were not destroyed until the Christians began to make inroads.


        From about 600 BC the Celtic peoples had an alphabet, called the Ogham (pronounced owam).  The Ogham alphabet was sacred and probably used only for special recordings.  The Druids knew and used the Greek alphabet for ordinary messages, although the later Bards of Wales continued to use the Ogham to write down what they remembered of Druidic tradition.  Eventually the Christian church forcibly replaced the Ogham with the Latin alphabet.  With the knowledge of three alphabets it is likely that at some point, at least in Ireland, the Celts began to record their history and legends.


        Although it is said that the Celts kept no written records, St. Patrick personally burned over 180 Irish books written in the Celtic language.  This set an example for Christian zealots which destroyed every piece of Druidic literature they could find.  Christian monk-scribes, for some unknown reason, felt compelled to record the Celtic myths, even while the missionaries determinedly stamped out belief in the ancient gods and goddesses.


The Celts were religious to a high degree.  The ethical teachings of the Druids can be summed up as: worship the gods, do no evil, be strong and courageous.  They believed in reincarnation and transmigration (the transfer of a human soul into animal or plant form).  Their pantheon held a great number of female deities of primary importance – mother goddesses, tutelary goddesses.  They also had the concept of the triune god, three aspects of a single deity.  They did not believe in punishment by the gods after death.


        The Druids were the Celtic priesthood.  In the beginning, until the Romans and other patrilineal religions forced change, the Celts had similar organizations of women.  There are some clues in historical writings to suggest that these women were called Dryads and lived in sacred groves.  It is very probable that they were in existence before the Druids, being part of the very old goddess religions.


        In The Underside Of History, Elise Boulding states that some Druidesses, such as one group who served the goddess Brigit, were secluded orders, never having contact with men.  Other priestesses were married and periodically left their duties for time with their families.  A third group, more like grove servants, lived normal lives with families.  It is also possible that witchcraft or the Wiccan may have evolved when the Druids were driven underground.


        The Druids and priestesses were the healers, judges, astronomers, teachers, oracles, and religious leaders of the Celtic clans.


        The head Druid was the Arch Druid, and his female counterpart likely called the High Priestess of the Grove.  Special schools were available for would-be initiates of either sex.  It was no easy matter to become part of this elite religious community.  According to Julius Caesar’s Gallic War; about 20 years of study were required, slowly working through exacting levels of the orders.  All formal education consisted of teacher recitation and pupil memorization.


        The Druids had three divisions within their order: the Bards (poets), who wore blue robes; the Ovates (prophets, philosophers), who wore green; and the Druid priests, who wore white.  Their tonsure was later copied by Christian monks.


        In Ireland, the Ovates and Bards were collectively known as the Filid.  The Druids were the philosophers, judges, and advisors to tribal leaders.  The Ovates compiled knowledge of all kinds.  The Bards praised, ridiculed, and taught through the use of music and poetry.


        This entire teaching survived in Ireland as the Brehon Law.  They sang Veda-like hymns, sacrificed with special plants and occasionally animals and humans, and used sacred fires.  However, the practice of human sacrifice does not appear to have been very common in Ireland and Britain.


        The higher priests sometimes wore masks or crowns with horns during certain fertility ceremonies.  The horns were in honor of the Celtic god Cernunnos (in Britain) or the Horned One, and symbolized the male virility needed for fertility.  The Horned God was the opener of the Gates of Life and Death, the masculine, active side of Nature, god of the Underworld.  This is the oldest form of god that this world has.


        The female counterpart of Cernunnos was the naked White Moon Goddess.  This oldest Earth goddess is the Primal Mother, who creates everything; the passive, feminine side of Nature.


        The Druids as a whole were extremely powerful.  They could easily pass from one warring tribe to another, or go into any region they chose.  In fact, they were so powerful and well trained that in later periods they were prohibited from carrying or using any physical weapons.  It is said that by words alone they could conquer enemies and cause all kinds of hardship.  They taught a very special relationship with Nature.


        The Ogham alphabet of the Celts, in use until about 700 A.D., was primarily a sacred teaching.  Each letter represents a wealth of ideas and thoughts.  Druidic in initiates could also use it as a secret sign language by stroking the nose, legs or any straight object.  By this means, a silent message could be passed to another initiate while talking to a third person about something quite ordinary and innocent.  This ability made the Druids so formidable that eventually use of this sign language was outlawed.


        In Celtic belief, the areas of being or existence were represented by three concentric circles.  Abred, the innermost, is where life springs from Annwn; it is the arena where the human soul must perfect itself.  The next circle out is Gwynedd (purity) where the life spark finally triumphs over evil and can rest forever from reincarnation.  The outermost is called Ceugant (infinity); it is the dwelling place of the ultimate power of creation.  This idea of a triune universe is represented by the three-pointed knot in Celtic artwork.


        Druidic lore taught that a human soul had to pass through many incarnations in Abred, the Circle of Necessity, before it could reach Gwynedd, the Circle of Blessedness.  Abred, the earthly life; once the lessons are learned, the soul does not return.  The Druids taught that three things could hinder progress: ego or pride, lies, and unnecessary cruelty.


        The priestesses, or Druidesses, were highly revered among the Celts, as they knew the power of words, stones, and herbs.  Priestesses sang the dying to sleep, did enchantments, prophecies, charms, birthing, and healing.  A cauldron, bowl, spring or pool was one of the central features of a Grove and was probably used for scrying.  Red-haired women were sacred to the war goddesses, as red was the color of life blood and menstrual blood.


        Blacksmiths ranked high in the social order because they were trained in special magic.  They trained for a year and a day on Scath’s Island (possible Skye), learning metal magic and the martial arts.  They could also heal, prophesy, and make weapons filled with magical powers.  Blacksmiths were dedicated to the goddess Scathach or Scota.  Most pagan cultures held blacksmiths in awe because of their ability to create using the Four Elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  My grandmother told me that as a young girl she and others had to take leave of the smithy at a certain point in the operation.  Curious, she sneaked back to watch the smith whisper certain “things” over the metal, but she could not hear what he was saying.


        Certain hills, lakes, caves, springs, wells, monoliths, clearings within groves, and ancient stone circles were sacred worship places because of their connection with ley lines and significant happenings in the past.  Wells, springs, fountains, and ponds were considered female symbols, water-passages to the underground womb of the Great Mother. 

         But the Druids preferred oak groves and forests.  They even built some large rectangular or horse-shoed wooden buildings as temples.  The horse-shoe shape symbolizes the womb of the Great Mother, the Great Gate of the Goddess, or knowledge gained through ritualistic rebirth.  Roughly carved tree trunk images or stones ornamented with metal plates occasionally represented devotion to the deity.  Each Celtic temple had its sacred cauldron, a symbol of the Great Mother’s cosmic womb or reincarnation.

        Most celebrations were held at night as the Celtic day began at midnight; they reckoned time by nights rather than days.  Their calendar was based on the Moon and had thirteen months.  The bright half of each month was made up of fifteen days and the waxing Moon, while the dark half was the fifteen of the waning Moon.  During the waxing Moon, the priests/priestesses did positive magic; during the waning Moon, binding or dark magic.


        The months of the Celtic year were named after trees, which corresponded to letters of the Ogham alphabet.  They also knew and used the solar year, based on the time it takes the Sun to circle the Earth and return to the same place.  They adjusted their lunar year to the solar year by inserting an extra 30-day month alternately at two-and-a-half and three-year intervals.


        The Druids understood and used the Greek Meton cycle.  This consists of 235 lunar months, the time it takes the Sun and Moon to travel back to the same positions of a previous 19-year-cycle.


        A Druidic Cycle was completed in six Lustres or thirty years, based on a solar year.  A Lustre was a cycle of five years.  A period of 630 years was called a Druidic Era.  All eras were dated from the Second Battle of Mag Tuireadh in Ireland, when the Tuatha De Danann defeated the Fomorians.


        In the Celtic areas of Britain and Ireland, a new year began after Samhain (Halloween).  Each year was divided into a dark and light half, with Samhain beginning the dark half and Beltane (May Day) beginning the light.


        The Celts always performed certain movements in the direction of the Sun (clockwise) during ritual.  They considered it very unlucky to go Widdershins (counterclockwise), except for specific rituals.  This moving in the Sun’s direction extended to the passing around of drinking horns at feasts.


        Religious holidays centered on the solstices, equinoxes and Moon phases.  Four Fire Festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were the highlights of a Celtic farming year.  They represented plowing, sowing, growing, and harvest.


        There is also evidence that they observed Imbolc (February), Beltane (May), Lughnasadh (August), and Samhain (November).  Special ceremonies were held at Samhain (Halloween) when, they believed, the veil between the worlds was thinnest and the dead could be contacted for help and knowledge.


        Mai or Maj (May) was a month of sexual freedom in honor of the Great Mother and the Horned God of the woodlands.  Trial marriages of a year and a day could be contracted at this time; if this proved unworkable, partners simply went their separate ways at the end of that time.  Sexual activity was encouraged, especially at Beltane; children conceived at this time were considered very lucky.  Green, worn at this time to honor the Earth Mother, was later called unlucky by the Christians in hopes that the people, especially women, would discontinue following the old sexually promiscuous ways.


        Green was and is the color of the fairies or little people.  It was considered an unlucky color to wear unless you were on good terms with the fairies in the sidhs (shees).  The sidhs were the ancient burial mounds seen around the countryside.  In Scotland the fairy host was called the Slaugh Sidhe.  The fairy world later was considered the world of souls of the pagan dead, of Nature spirits, and the Celtic gods.  Fairy rings of dark grass or mushrooms are still considered places full of magic and power.


        The terrifying Celtic gods were only personifications of the destroying natural forces in this world.  It is known to all psychics that certain Nature spirits haunt lonely places; these are neither good nor evil, simply different.  The Celtic peoples knew this and took an open attitude towards the fairies or little people, calling them the Good Neighbors or the People of Peace, with the idea that it is better to be on friendly terms with unpredictable elements than to court trouble.


        In Britain, Glastonbury Tor is supposed to be the haunt of Gwynn ap Nudd, king of the fairies and the ancient Celtic god of the dead.  Local tradition at Glastonbury says that there is a secret cave shrine inside the Tor.  A maze-like processional path can clearly be seen up the sides of the hill, and the Chalice Well at its foot is credited with supernormal healing powers.


        Avalon is often identified with the presence of Glastonbury.  The name Avalon means ‘Place of Apples’.  Apples have been grown in Britain for a very long time.  The tree itself was sacred to the Celts because of its fruit.  When an apple is cut crosswise, a pentagram or 5-pointed star is visible.  The pentagram was a symbol of the Welsh Sow Goddess Cerridwen, otherwise known as Morrigu, the underworld goddess of death and regeneration.  The star was a reminder that everyone is journeyed to the land of death.  In view of this, it is thought that the custom of bobbing for apples at Halloween may have begun as a symbolic cheating of the Death Goddess.  In an attempt to attract new pagan converts however, the Christians adopted both the pentagram, as a symbol of Christ’s five wounds, and Cerridwen’s sacred cauldron, as the Holy Grail.


        Feasting and games, particularly warrior skills, were part of the four seasonal holidays: Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain.  Pork, because it was the chief food of the Tuatha de Danann, was served at these festivals, especially at Samhain.  Mead, special breads, and other foods were also served.


        Oak and mistletoe were two of the most sacred plants.  Sexual rites were part of the ancient ceremonies of the oak and mistletoe gods.  Although no details have been preserved, we can assume, by comparison to similar ancient rites that a priest and priestess physically and symbolically copulated.  This sexual combining represented the power of the Sky god (lightning which strikes the oak) fertilizing the Mother Goddess.  Such a sexual religious act is known as sympathetic magic.  The same sexual sympathetic magic was practiced in the newly plowed fields to entice crop fertility.


        Holly was sacred to the Morrigu.  Its red berries were symbolic of menstrual blood, while the white berries of the mistletoe signified semen.


        Among the birds, wrens were thought to be the most prophetic, possibly because it was believed that the Celtic “fays” or fairies could change themselves into birds.


Dress and Ornamentation


The Celts actually were a very clean people, using soap long before the Romans did.  The Celtic men and women of Britain sometimes wore swirling blue tattoos or paintings on their bodies.  All Celts played Lyres and harps, loved songs, music, and recitation of legends and epic adventures.  They used metal or ornamented natural horns for drinking.


        Children took the mother’s name, and daughters inherited her possessions.  Virginity was not valued; twice the dowry was given to for a woman previously married or with children.  Abortion and choice of change of mate was woman’s right.


        Both sexes loved jewelry: brooches decorated with gold filigree, cuttlefish shell, lapis, and other stones; buckles of gold filigree and stones; pins and linked pins with animal-style decoration; necklaces of amber, granulation and chip carvings.  They wore torques, pendants, bracelets, pins, and necklaces.  The women sometimes sewed little bells on the fringed ends of their tunics.  The elaborate intertwining of their artwork was a guard against the evil eye or curses.


        Celtic women painted their fingernails, reddened their cheeks with roan, and darkened their eyebrows with berry juice.  They wore their hair long and braided or piled up on their head.  Their usual dress was a sleeved tunic tucked into a large, gathered, or belted skirt or simply an ankle-length tunic with a belt.


        Celtic men on the continental mainland wore trousers with a tunic, but in Britain and Ireland the men wore a thigh-length tunic and a cloak, the ever-present dagger or sword, and a leather or fur footgear tied around their legs.  Mustaches were common, and the hair shoulder-length.  A horned helmet indicated a powerful warrior.


        Clothing was usually wool dyed in bright colors or clear red, green, blue, or yellow.  Some of the natural plant dyes used were woad (Old Irish, glastum, Welsh, Iliwur glas) for blue; acorns for brown shades; Queen Anne’s Lace for yellow-green.  Various parts of the alder produced many shades: red from the bark, green from the flowers, brown from the twigs.


        In the early cultures, both men and women had huge rectangular cloaks pinned at the right shoulder.  These cloaks were generally woven in bright plaids, checks, or stripes.  Later, they wore large hooded capes reaching to the knees.


        The Celts were an energetic people with a zest for life.  They were strong psychics, in tune with the forces of Nature and the powers of the human mind.  Ordinary objects were decorated with highly spiritual symbolic designs, a visual reminder that their beliefs went beyond lip-service.  What we now call magic was an integral part of their belief system.  And the basics of that system are still as usable today as they were then.


The Blessings of the Sidhe: Celtic Fairy Faith Etiquette

By: Sharynne MacLeod NicMhacha, Llewellyn’s 2009 Magical Almanac

        Mention the word “fairy” to any Witch or Pagan and you’ll conjure up a variety of images, from slender, mysterious, long-eared beings to dangerous or mischievous sprites to demure pixies in teacups.  Indeed, when people talk about “the fairies” these days, they may be referring to quite a different type of thing than the next person – anything from garden devas and household spirits to personal spirit allies from a wide and eclectic cornucopia of spiritual or cultural traditions.  Many people, however, do seem to perceive some connection between the ideas of fairies and the misty landscapes and ancient legends of the Celtic spiritual traditions.  As we will see, in Celtic tradition there are very specific beliefs about what the fairies are (and aren’t), as well as how to honor and respect them.

So, What to Call Them

        The earliest name for what we might call “fairies” is found in early Irish manuscripts, where they are referred to as the ‘Aes Side’ (The People of the Fairy Mounds).  These sid or “fairy” mounds are actually Neolithic burial mounds created hundreds or even thousands of years before Celtic people came to live in Britain and Ireland.  When they arrived, they recognized these as sacred sites and incorporated some of them into local legends and the fabric of their mythological tradition.  Later the Aes Side were more commonly called the ‘Tuatha de Danann’, (The People of the Goddess Danu).  This term refers to the old gods and goddesses of Ireland, a polytheistic pantheon of powerful male and female deities associated with the landscape as well as the elements of culture such as healing, wisdom, skill, and so forth.


The Tuatha de Danann figure prominently in the myths and legends of Ireland, and were believed to primarily inhabit a variety of sid locations, mostly fairy mounds but also bodies of water (rivers, lakes, oceans, etc.).  In general, they are beneficent, but could be quite formidable if disrespected.


What is most interesting is that many centuries later, when the names of only a few deities like Lug and Brig (in the form of Saint Brigid) were remembered, these “People of the Sid Mounds” became folkloric figures renowned for their potential blessing or mischievous activities.  They were known in Ireland by the Irish term “Sioga” and in Scotland by the Scottish Gaelic word “Sitheachain.”  These spiritual entities still lived in the same places as the Aes Side – fairy mounds and bodies of water – still had the same dual nature and were still known by similar names in both languages.  These similarities held true in Wales as well, although here they were called “Plant Annwn” (The Children of Annwn) or the “Tylwyth Teg” (The Fair Family).


The English word ‘fairy’, which we commonly use instead of the indigenous terms, is a much later word, and a foreign import at that.  It comes from the French word “fee”, brought into English originally as “fay-erie”, a word that referred to a supernatural power of enchantment belonging to the Fay rather than referring to the beings themselves.  Many people involved in the Celtic tradition therefore prefer to refer to these entities as the “Sidhe” (pronounced “shee”), a word popularized in the poetry of William Butler Yeats.


In the Scottish Lowland tradition (a blend of English and Gaelic tradition, to some degree) there is evidence that these spiritual entities didn’t like to do called by the word “fairy” at all.  Some folklore sources state that they disliked the word (and were especially opposed to the term “elf”) but did seem to approve of the Scots term “seelie wight”.  This means “Blessed Being” in Scots, an older dialect of English.  In Ireland, they were sometimes referred to as “The Good People,” “The Good Neighbors,” “The Little Folk,” or “The Hill People,” as well as just “They.”  It was believed and hoped that what you called them, they would be; it would be dangerous to call the beings by their proper name without calling or invoking them.

Fairy Realms and Habits

Where do the Sidhe live?  In early traditions, they lived in fairy mounds or bodies of water, as well as on otherworld islands located across the water.  Their world, however, was not directly located at these physical locations, but existed in another parallel plane of existence; these physical locales served as portals to that world.  It was believed that people could most easily access these realms and their inhabitants on the Four Celtic Feast days (Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasadh, and Samhain).  In later folk tradition, it was believed that they could be seen most frequently at the four turning points of the day (dawn, noon, dusk, and midnight).


The Celtic otherworld was in some ways like our own, but in other ways much more beautiful, with certain aspects reminiscent of dreamtime.  Sickness and death were unknown or very rare, and the otherworld was considered to be the source of wisdom, healing, and other such gifts and powers.  In Ireland, the otherworld was known by many names, including “Tir na nOg” (The Land of Youth) and “Mag Mell” (The plane of Honey).  In Wales, it was called “Annwfn (pronounced “ah-NOO-vin”), later shortened to “Annwn” (AH-noon).  This literally means “un-world” or “not-world” i.e., the world that is not our own.


Originally, the Sidhe were fully human-sized (or even bigger).  They were not described as being small in stature (one to three feet tall) until the last few centuries.  Perhaps as their stature in religion declined, they were perceived as smaller in physical size.  In the folklore records, the Sidhe were of many types with many different appearances.  One of the most common descriptions is of a green coat with a red cap, although many other human-type appearances are also seen.  In Celtic tradition, the fairies do not have wings, although they sometime are able to fly or levitate.  To do so, they would make use of a magic password in order to fly on transformed grasses, twigs, or the stem of ragwort – much like the legend of the Witch’s broomstick!


The Sidhe are said to love music, dancing, hunting, processions, and games and are very skilled at spinning, weaving, baking, metalwork, and crafts.  They are traditionally said to value beauty, order, love, fertility, generosity, loyalty, and truth and are generally fair and helpful, showing gratitude for kindness shown to them.  It is said that even bad fairies do not lie, they only equivocate.  Overall, their code of morality is a little different than ours, which can lead to misunderstandings.  It is much like visiting a foreign culture: it’s important to find out who lives there, what they consider important, what is polite or impolite, how their society works, and how to show respect and fit in.

Interactions with Humans

Overall, The Sidhe appear to mainly keep to themselves.  However, there are certain instances in which they have sought out interactions with humans.  These occasions include borrowing, help with babies, and assistance with conflicts.  Most fairy borrowings consist of asking for a loan of grain and they will often return more than they borrowed.  Barley meal seems to be their natural grain (seconded by oats), and special cakes were sometimes baked by them for “fairy favorites.”  They may also ask for a loan of tools or implements, as well as fire.  In early stories, human beings were sometimes summoned to the otherworld to assist in certain conflicts or difficult situations, which was in some cases a sort of spiritual or moral test.


There are also numerous fairy tales in which mortal midwives were called to help in the otherworld, usually with nursing fairy babies.  It seems that some interbreeding among their own kind was considered to be necessary or beneficial.  In fact, certain families in the Celtic countries are known for their fairy blood.  In Wales, the Physicians of Myddfai were descended from the three sons of a mortal father and a fairy mother.  The fairy mother taught the physicians the skills of herb-lore and healing before she had to return to her home in the otherworld.


My own Scottish clan, Clan MacLeod, is also said to be the result of a fairy-mortal union (mortal king and fairy wife).  In this case, the descendants were gifted with “Am Bratach Sith” The Fairy Flag, a magical banner that would help the clan in times of trouble.  The banner has been used successfully several times and is on display in Dunvegan Castle, where the clan chiefs still proudly assert the fairy associations of their lineage.

          The fairies could also be harmful or mischievous, either due to their personal nature or (more often) human disrespect or misdeeds.  A certain amount of homage was paid to the fairies, and this was considered to be almost a necessary protection payment in Ireland.  The church frowned on people who had dealings with the fairies, but the country folk were more lenient.  Certain folk seers and folk healers even said that they worked through the fairies and obtained cures and information from them.

There were certain dangers inherent in interacting with the Sidhe, however.  One could actually be carried away to the otherworld, and it could be very difficult to return, especially if one had tasted fairy food or drink.  Those most in danger of being carried off were beautiful children or babies, and good-looking young men or women.


Fairy magic can take many forms, including shape shifting, flight, and other activities.  The English word “glamour” was used to refer to the power of illusion that fairies cast over human beings in order to prevent the humans from seeing the fairy’s true form or location (rather than a power that human beings try to use over the Sidhe, as has sometimes been asserted).  In the Irish language, this was known as “pishogue.”


Another misunderstood term has been translated in English as a “co-walker.”  In Celtic tradition, this is not a fairy helper but a human double visible only to those with second sight.  The double’s appearance could signify an upcoming visit or spouse, but more often it portends an illness or death.  These dangers were balanced out, to some degree anyway, by the possibility of recovering one of the fairy blessings, including fertility, abundance, assistance, music, and other types of special skill.  These blessings were usually bestowed upon those who respected the Sidhe, their homes, and their traditions.

What about Fairy Etiquette?

How can we honor the fairies and show respect for their ways?  The Sidhe like open and loving people, those who are gentle, polite, and cheerful (but not braggers or boasters).  They love music, dancing, good fellowship, and true love.  They do not like rudeness, selfishness, gloominess, scolding, wife-beating, bad tempers, bad manners, or undue curiosity.  Some do not like to be verbally thanked; one may bow or curtsy, though.  The Sidhe will expect all questions they ask to be politely answered.


Hospitality is important!  The Sidhe must be made welcome in the houses they visit.  They are pleased by neatness and order, a freshly-swept hearth, a clear fire, clean water, and offerings of milk, bread, or cheese.  Honor their privacy, and be able to keep fairy secrets imparted to you.  They are fond of solitude and contemplation and want to preserve their traditional way of life.  They may punish those who infringe upon their privacy, steal from them, spy on fairy revels, or boast of fairy favors.  Be open, generous, ready to share with those in need, speak the truth about your plans and quests, and be congenial with them.


What about seeing or contacting the fairies?  In general, the best rule to observe is that contact is their prerogative!  The Sidhe generally present themselves to humans only if they wish to do so.  It is sometimes said that they can be seen unaware by using fairy ointment or a four-leaf clover, and that they may be seen more often on the Moon’s quarter days.  Tradition has it that they may also be seen at the turning points of the day, as well as with the assistance of a naturally holed stone.  Those with Second Sight (in Gaelic, “An Da Shealladh”) can occasionally see them – although this is sometimes considered a blessing and sometimes not.


There are some recorded ceremonies and spells to call or see fairies, but these are considered both dangerous and unwise.  It is also understood to be an extremely bad idea to try and capture or control a member of the Aes Side, to take fairy items or treasure, or to try to learn their true name.  If fairy protection becomes necessary, the most commonly used items were rowan wood, iron, salt, St. John’s Wort, vervain, or by crossing running water.  Physical contact with a powerful Celtic seer was said to enable one to see the fairies on a temporary basis.  Overall, however, the best rule of thumb is to learn how to honor and respect the fairies according to their own rules of society and etiquette.


How, then, to honor these wondrous magical beings?  We can show our respect to the Sidhe by making fairy altars, leaving offerings, and following the guidelines explained above.  Fairies should be honored simply because they are Blessed Beings, with no expectations of gifts in return – these are not guaranteed, other than perhaps purely spiritual benefits!  We can also keep the house tidy and make a clean, special area for them with a fire, or perhaps a safe candle or flame.  Set out water and food offerings, particular barley cakes, and remember that they also love dancing and music!  Outdoors, people placed flowers on “fairy stones”, and in Scotland milk was poured into a cup-and-ring marked stones or other stones with natural indentations.  Above all, be honest, truthful, positive, and respectful and honor the ways of the blessed inhabitants of the otherworld!


The Power of the Nine Wells: Fairy Herbs and Healing

By: Sharynne MacLeod NicMhacha, Llewellyn’s 2009 Magical Almanac

        Throughout the Celtic world, ancient folk healing practices survived well into the twentieth century and were widely practiced in the various Celtic lands (the Celtic “nations” included Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales).  Some of these healing rites were associated with the elements of the natural world, including natural plants and herbs, holy water, and sacred stones.  In addition to the use of herbal lore and preparations, many healing ceremonies included the use of charms, spells, incantations, and other ritualistic practices.

        In earliest times, the Druids of Gaul – the ancient name for a large area in Western Europe – were said to have gathered mistletoe in a solemn ceremony, for this plant was known as “All-Heal” in the ancient Gaulish language.  Other ancient accounts, which are almost two thousand years old, tell how the Gauls ritually gathered other healing plants as well.  Club moss (or “Selago”) was gathered by a person clad in white with bare feet washed clean.  An offering of bread and wine was made before the sacred plant, which was culled without the use of any iron implement.  Interestingly, it was gathered by placing the right hand through the left armhole of the person’s garment.  Brookweed (or “Samolus”) was to be gathered by someone who had fasted in preparation for the ritual act, picking this time with the left hand.  Whoever gathered the plant was not to look directly at the plant or put it anywhere except into a trough for animals to drink, as one of its uses was to protect the health of flocks and herds.


        Many centuries later in Gaelic Scotland, healing plants were also gathered according to certain magical principles.  A number of plants were said to be gathered with a specific hand (including yarrow and ivy), and one Scottish clan outlined the correct procedure for gathering St. John’s Wort stating that it should be plucked with the right hand but preserved with the left.  In addition, the Druids of Gaul stated that club moss warded off all harm from the person who possessed it and that it was also good for eye troubles.  This same belief still existed in early-twentieth-century Scotland, where the plant was used to treat eye disease and as a powerful protecting plant.


        Other healing plants that were used in Celtic healing magic included figwort, bog violet, pearlwort, catkins, reeds, shamrocks (“seamrags”), bog myrtle, primrose, and juniper.  In Ireland, nettles, rowan, vervain, yarrow, and mugwort were widely gathered for healing purposes.  Irish folk healers were said to use chamomile, tansy, loosestrife, lichen, dandelion, plantain, cleavers, mullein, ivy, hazel, and apple in their highly specialized herbal healing magic.  Healing herbs were sometimes burned in a flame or used in conjunction with sacred water.  Often, special charms or spells were recited while using these healing plants.  Here are some excerpts from several versions of an old Scottish healing charm that was recited when gathering yarrow:


“I will cut the fair yarrow

So that my hand will be more brave

So that my foot will be more swift

And my speech as the beams of the Sun


May I be an island in the ocean

May I be a hill on the shore

May I be a star in the waning moon


May I be a rock in the sea

May I be a staff to the weak

I can wound, but none can wound me.”


          In some of these Celtic healing charms, mythological elements or characteristics are mentioned.  For Example, in one Scottish charm recited when gathering figwort, the person mentions the “ninth wave,” a Celtic mythological element that refers to the magical boundary between this world and the otherworld.


“I will gather the figwort

Of a thousand blessings

Of a thousand virtues


The nine joys

Came with the nine waves

To gather the figwort…”

           Pagan deities are mentioned in certain healing charms and spells, even into the Christian era.  More than one thousand years ago, well after the introduction of the new religion, ancient texts recorded healing charms and incantations in Ireland that still invoked the physician god Dian Cecht and the smith god Goibniu.  Many centuries later, Scottish healing prayers and invocations also referred to legendary figures and Pagan deities.  In healing charms against urinary infection in cattle from the Highlands, the folk healer would face the rising Sun and loudly intone ancient charms that included the following words:


“I am now on the plain,

Reducing wrath and fury,

Making the charm of the red water

Great wave, red wave

Strength of sea, power of ocean,

The nine wells of [Manannan] MacLir

Pour relief upon you.”

         In Irish folk tradition, certain magical or healing practices, including the methods of gathering and utilizing sacred plants, were often attributed to the gifts and influence of the Fairy Folk.  In Lady Gregory’s “Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland,” an old woman had this to say about the use of the “lus-mor” (“greatherb or plant”, a plant more familiarly known to us as mullein:


“As to the “lus-mor,”

Whatever way the wind is blowing,

When you begin to cut, if it changes while

You’re cutting it, you’ll lose your mind.

And if you’re paid for cutting it

[i.e. for performing a cure],

You can do it whenever you like

But if not, “They” [the fairies] might not like it.


I knew a woman who was cutting it one time,

And a voice, an enchanted voice, called out,

“Don’t cut that if you’re not paid,

Or you’ll be sorry.”


But if you put a bit of this with every

Other herb you drink, you’ll live forever.

My grandmother used to put a bit

With everything she took,

And she lived to be over a hundred.”

       The supernatural inhabitants of the Celtic otherworld were also believed to provide magical healing in medieval Wales.  One of the most famous legends in Wales is that of the Physicians of Myddfai, whose origins are recoded in the folk tale known as the Legend of Llyn y Fan Fach.  The legend says that a widower saw a beautiful fairy woman sitting on the surface of the lake, and after three encounters (and a nerve-wracking meeting with her father), the woman agreed to marry the man, provided that he was able to understand and respect the customs of her people.  The couple lived together happily for many years and had three male children.  However, on three separate occasions, the husband failed to fully understand or properly react to his wife’s reaction to certain life experiences, and so she eventually returned to the otherworld.

        The fairy woman reappeared from beneath the waters of the lake and spoke to her sons, telling them that she was bestowing upon them the knowledge and gift of healing.  She taught her sons the lore of her people and explained the medicinal properties and other virtues of the plants that grew in their area, and, as prophesied, the sons became well-known healers.  The fairy woman’s sons became physicians to Rhys Gryg, the lord of a local castle, and their fame grew.  The descendants of these three healers (and ultimately, of the fairy woman of Llyn y Fan Fach), are still known in Wales.  Here are some examples of their magical-derived healing charms and lore:

Cure for Headache:

For those frequently afflicted with headaches, let them make a lotion from vervain, betony, chamomile, and red fennel; wash the head three times a week therewith, and the person will be cured.


Charm for Toothache:


Engrave the following words on an iron nail: “Ayla, Sabaoth, Athanatos,” and put the nail under the affected tooth.  Then drive the nail into an oak tree, and while it remains there the toothache will not return.

A Sleeping Potion:

Take the juice of opium poppy and of eryngo, compound them into pills with milk, and let these be administered to the patient.  One will induce sleep in general, but if not, let the person take another, taking care that two or three hours should elapse between each dose in order to watch their effect before another is given.

        How remarkable that these healing practices, given to the Physicians of Myddfai by their mother, a woman of the fairy realms, have been preserved to this day!

        In addition to herbs, other sacred objects were used in Celtic healing magic.  Stones, both large and small, were also used in these ancient folk practices.  Certain standing stones were believed to possess healing or protective powers, and people were sometimes physically passed through large holed stones to effect certain cures.  In Cornwall, children with rickets were passed through the holed stone at Men-an-Tol.  Offerings of milk, ale, cakes, or flowers were often left on or near the large healing stones.


        White quartz pebbles or stones, as well as green stones, rose quartz, and naturally holed stones were also used in the folk tradition.  In Scotland, smooth spheres or ovals of quartz were held and protected by certain families.  If someone in the area was in need of healing, they came to the house and asked to use the stone.  Many of the quartz spheres were encased in a silver fitting and held on a silver chain, for silver was also used in many healing rites.  The quartz healing stone was then dipped into a cup of water, thereby imparting it’s healing power to the water, which was then drunk by the person in need.


        Water and stones were also used together in another Scottish healing rite.  This ceremony was used as a form of divination to ascertain if the patient would recover from their illness.  “Unspoken Water” was used in this ritual – that is, water taken in silence from under a bridge over which the living and the dead must pass.  The water was not to be spilled and was poured over a cornerstone of a building while speaking aloud the name of the ill person.  If the stone split, it meant the illness was fatal; if the stone remained intact, the person would recover.


         In all of the Celtic countries, sacred wells and springs were used for healing rites and other religious purposes.  This is an ancient custom, dating back to the Pagan era.  In many areas, the use of springs and wells was so engrained in the people’s practice that they were accepted into the workings of the local church.  Processions were made three times sunwise (clockwise) around the well, making prayers or offerings to the saint (previously, to the gods and goddesses) of that particular well or spring.  Archaeological evidence shows that the veneration of healing deities at wells and springs is an extremely ancient practice, going back many centuries.


        Many of the Pagan customs of the Celtic ancestors lasted for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  Healing charms and lore – as well as spells, incantations, and ceremonies associated with herbal, natural, and spiritual healing – have been recorded for centuries, and were still alive and well far into the twentieth century.  From the use of sacred plants and herbs to the invocation and supplication of the spirits of water and stone, the ancient practices are still potent and accessible to modern practitioners who wish to walk in the footsteps of those who came before and honor the wisdom of the old ones.


Celtic Deities and Mythology

Introduction from an excerpt from Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway

        Religion and reverence of the gods was a firm part of everyday Celtic life, as was the belief in magic..  Study of Celtic mythologies is the best way to understand the basic powers behind each deity.  It would be impossible to include here every myth of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Britain.  There are several good books listed in the bibliography [of Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway] for those who wish to study the mythologies in depth…. The recurring theme in most of the stories is that it was possible for humankind to gain the knowledge and power needed to reproduce the magic exhibited by the deities.

        These tales are contained in the only manuscripts known to exist today.  The Irish myths come from the Books of Leinster, the Dun Cow, Ballymate, and the Yellow Book of Lecan.  The oldest of the Welsh documents is the Black Book or Caermarthen (12th century).  This, along with the Book of Aneurin (late 13th century) and the Book of Taliesin (14th century), is known as the Four Ancient Books of Wales.  Welsh legends are readily accessible today in the Mabinogion, compiled from the tales in the White Book of Rhydderch (transcribed 1300-25), the Red Book of Hergest (1375-1425) and the Hanes of Taliesin (16th century).


        There are a veriety of spellings for the names of the Celtic gods and goddesses.  In the lists that follow, I have given the many different spellings.  The pronunciations that follow some as the names are approximations only, as it is very difficult to translate the Celt and Welsh tongues.


        The list of Celtic Deities below was found at Psychwise at: :

ANGUS MAC OG (Makohk) ((Ireland)) *God*

One of the Tuatha De Danann. God of youth, love and beauty.

ANU (An-oo) / ANANN / DANA / DANA-ANA ((Ireland)) *Goddess*

Mother Earth, Goddess of fertility, prosperity, comfort.

ARAWN (Ar-awn) ((Wales)) *God*

God of the underground kingdom of the dead. Revenge, terror and war.

ARIANRHOD (Ari-an-rod) ((Wales)) Goddess

Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess. Honored at the full moon, beauty, fertility, reincarnation.

BADB (Bibe) / BADHBH / BADB CATHA ((Ireland)) *Goddess*

Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess in Ireland. Associated with the cauldron, crows and ravens. Life, wisdom, inspiration and enlightenment.

BANBA ((Ireland)) *Goddess*

Part of a triad with Fotia and Eriu. They used magick to repel invaders.


Closely connected to the Druids. Science, healing, hot springs, fire, success, prosperity, purification, crops, vegetation, fertility. A sun and fire god.

BLODEUWEDD (blod-oo-eeth) / BLODWIN / BLANCHEFLOR ((Wales)) *Goddess*

The maiden form of the Triple Goddess. Goddess of the earth in bloom, flowers, wisdom, lunar mysteries, initiations.

BOANN (Boo-an) / BOANNAN / BOYNE ((Ireland)) *Goddess*

Goddess of the river Boyne; mother of Angus mac Og.


God of prophecy, the arts, leaders, war, the sun, music, writing.

BRANWEN (Bran-oo-en) ((Wales)) *Goddess*

Goddess of love and beauty.

BRIGIT (Breet) / BRID (Breed) / BRIG / BRIGID / BRIGHID ((Ireland, Wales, Spain, France)) *goddess*

Associated with Imbloc. Goddess of fire, fertility, the hearth, all feminine arts and crafts and martial arts. Healing, physicians, agriculture, inspiration, learning, poetry, divination, prophecy, smithcraft, animal husbandry, love, witchcraft, occult knowledge.

CERNUNNOS (Ker-noo-nos) / CERNOWAIN / CERNENUS / HERNE THE HUNTER ((Known to all Celtic areas in one form or another)) *God*

God of nature and all wild things. Virility, fertility, animals, physical love, nature, woodlands, reincarnation, crossroads, wealth, commerce, warriors.


Goddess of nature. Death, fertility, regeneration, inspiration, magick, astrology, herbs, science, poetry, spells, knowledge.


Connected with Beltane, often called the May Queen. Goddess of summer flowers, love.

THE CRONE ((Known in all Celtic regions)) *Goddess*

One aspect of the Triple Goddess. She represents old age or death, winter, the end of all things, the waning moon, post-menstrual phases of women's lives. All destruction that precedes regeneration through her cauldron of rebirth.

THE DAGDA ((Ireland)) *God*

Protection, warriors, knowledge, magick, fire, prophecy, weather, reincarnation, the arts, initiation, the sun, healing, regeneration, prosperity and plenty, music, the harp.

DANU / DANANN / DANA (Thana) ((Ireland)) *Goddess*

Probably the same as Anu. Mother of the Gods, Great Mother, Moon Goddess. Patroness of wizards, rivers, water, wells, prosperity and plenty, magick wisdom.

DIANCECHT (Dian-ket) / DIAN CECHT ((Ireland)) *God*

Physician-magician of the Tuatha. God of healing, medicine, regeneration, magick, silver working.

DON / DOMNU (Dom-noo) ((Ireland and Wales)) *God*

Ruler of the land of the dead and entrances to the otherworld. Control of the elements, eloquence.

DRUANTIA ((All Celtic regions)) *Goddess*

Mother of the tree calendar. Fertility, passion, sexual activities, trees, protection, knowledge, creativity.

DYLAN ((Wales)) *God*

God of the sea.

ELAINE ((Wales)) *Goddess*

Maiden aspect of the Goddess.

EPONA ((Britain, Gaul)) *Goddess*

Goddess of fertility, maternity, protectress of horses, horse breeding, prosperity, dogs, healing springs, crops.

ERIU (Err-i-oo) / ERIN ((Ireland)) *Goddess*

One of three queens of the Tuatha Da Danann.

FLIDAIS ((Ireland)) *Goddess*

Goddess of forests, woodlands and wild things.

GOIBNIU / GOFANNON / GOVANNON (Gov-ann-on) ((Ireland and Wales)) *God*

God of blacksmiths, weapon makers, jewelry making, brewing, fire, metalworking.

GREAT FATHER ((All Celtic regions)) *God*

The Lord. The horned god, (Not Satan) lord of winter, harvest, land of the dead, the sky, animals, mountains, lust, powers of destruction and regeneration. The male aspect of creation.

GREAT MOTHER ((All Celtic regions)) *Goddess*

The Lady. The female aspect of creation, goddess of fertility, the moon, summer, flowers, love, healing.


THE GREEN MAN ((All Celtic regions)) *God*


See Cernunnos. A horned deity of trees and green growing things of earth. God of the woodlands.

GWYDION (Gwi-dee-on) ((Wales)) *God*

Greatest of the enchanters, warrior-magician. Illusion, changes, magick, the sky, healing.

GWYNN AP NUDD (Gwin ap Neethe) ((Wales)) *God*

King of the fairies and the underworld.

GWYTHYR (Gwee-theer) ((Wales)) *God*

Opposite of Gwynn ap Nudd. King of the upper world.

HERNE THE HUNTER ((All Celtic regions)) *God*

See Cernunnos, The Horned God, and Green Man.

THE HORNED GOD ((All Celtic regions)) *God*

Lord of the wild hunt. The masculine, active side of nature. Earth father, growing things, wild animals, alertness, fertility, desire, physical love, agriculture, flocks, brewing.

LLYR (Thleer) / LEAR / LIR (Hlir) ((Ireland and Wales)) *God*

God of the sea and water.

LUGH (loo or loog) ((Ireland)) *God*

God of skills. Druid, physician, smithing, war, magick, commerce, reincarnation, lightning, water, arts and crafts, manual arts, journeys, martial arts, poets, musicians, historians, sorcerers, healing, revenge, initiation, prophecy.

MACHA (Maax-ah) ((Ireland)) *Goddess*

Protectress in war as in peace, goddess of war and death. Cunning, sheer physical force, sexuality, fertility, dominance over men.

MANANNAN MAC LIR (Mannan-awn maklir) ((Ireland and Wales)) *God*

God of the sea, navigators, storms, weather at sea, fertility, sailing, weather forecasting, magick, arts, merchants and commerce, rebirth.

MARGAWSE ((Wales)) *Goddess*

Mother aspect of the Goddess.

MATH MATHONWY (Math math-on-oo-ee) ((Wales)) *God*

God of sorcery, magick, enchantment.

MERLIN / MERDDIN / MYRDDIN (Meer-din) ((Wales and Britain)) *God*

Great sorcerer, Druid, magician. Illusion, shape-shifting, herbs, healing, woodlands, nature, protection, counseling, prophecy, divination, psychic abilities, foreseeing, crystal reading, tarot, magick, rituals, spells, incantations, artisans and smiths.

THE MORRIGU (Moor-rig-oo) / MORRIGAN (Mor-ee-gan) / MORRIGHAN / MORGAN (Moor-gan) ((Ireland, Wales, and Britain)) *Goddess*

Supreme war goddess. Queen of phantoms and demons, shape-shifter. The crone aspect of the goddess, great white goddess. Patroness of priestesses and witches. Revenge, night, magick, prophecy.

NUADA / NUDD/ NODONS ((Ireland and Wales)) *God*

Similar to Neptune. God of the water, oceans, fishing, the sun, sailing.

OGMA / OGHMA / OGMIOS ((Ireland)) *God*

Similar to Hercules.

PWYLL ((Wales)) *God*

Ruler of the underworld.

RHIANNON (Hri-an-non) ((Wales)) *Goddess*

The great Queen. Goddess of birds and horses. Enchantments, fertility and the underworld.

SCATHACH / SCOTA/ SCATHA ((Ireland)) *Goddess*

The shadowy one. Goddess in the destroyer aspect. A warrior woman and prophetess who lived in Albion (Scotland), probably on the Isle of Skye and taught the martial arts. Patroness of blacksmiths, healing, magick, prophecy, martials arts.

TALIESIN (Tal-i-ess-in) ((Wales)) *God*

God of the bards. Poetry, wisdom, wizards, music, knowledge, magick.

WHITE LADY ((All Celtic regions)) *Goddess*

Associated with the Crone aspect of the Goddess. Dryad of death, destruction, annihilation.

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