Celticsprite’s Blog

Divinations for the Silent Moon (12-24-11 to 1-23-12)
December 30, 2011, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Lunar Calendar
This is a time for Stillness

This is the deep silence of Winter earth still in slumber after the Solstice celebration, but just beginning to feel the re-birth of energy, and the return of ever lengthening daylight.

You can see it in the slow drip of the icicles clinging to the bare branched forest.

You can hear it in the rustle of woodland creatures lumbering back to the first signs of activity after the deep sleep of Winter.

You can feel it in the morning kiss of sunrise and the lingering caress of sunset.

Magic is awake… and soon will rise.

You are rising too, and so this is a time to cleanse past actions and regrets so that you can shift your attention to future growth. In history this has been seen as a most appropriate time for settling (or forgiving) past debts, to reconcile past differences, and to put aside old disputes.

The Roman festival of the goddess Concordia is known as the Charista and is generally accepted to be held in the final week of February. The Charista… (can you see the beginnings of the word “charity” here?)… is a time for the living to make peace and reconcile differences among one another. This particular festival generally culminates in a feast with family and friends at which all disagreements are put to rest.

The quality of this moons’ energy is therefore one of purification and new growth made possible by “wiping the slate clean” of any bad or negative influences left from the past.

Much as the awakening sleeper may silently reflect upon all that may unfold with the coming of the dawn before actually stretching and moving to begin the day, so does this moon invite you to reflect upon all that you intend to accomplish in the coming year. And, in this reflection, you may free yourself of past worries and doubts.

You may cleanse and purify yourself from old fears and uncertainties.

You may “wipe the slate clean” of the past in order to begin anew.

Whether you know this as the Wolf Moon, the Silent Moon, the Disting Moon, the Cold Moon, or the Snow Moon, you can best use the slow-to-awaken energy of this time to work on the kind of personal, private matters that need to be put to rest before you can concentrate your fullest efforts into forward momentum. You wouldn’t set sail without lifting anchor now would you? Of course not, so… you know… don’t launch your future while things from your past still act to drag you down.

 The Wheel of the Year continually turns and with each revolution all is renewed and opportunities abound fresh with the fullness of everything the universe has to offer. I just want you to be in the best possible position for your grab at the golden ring.

So… While you clear out whatever bilge is left in the holds of the good ship “Future Happiness”, I’m gonna scan the skies for horary hints that will help us chart the very best course for this moonphase… ok? 

Related Source:
(all rights reserved by the author and reposted under her kind permission)

Lunar Calendar: The Silent Moon (December 24th to January 20th)
December 30, 2011, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Lunar Calendar
This is a time for Protection.

In the calendar system we have provided as an example, this moon is typically named the Silent Moon, and is a reference to the break in the stillness of winter that is indicative of a gathering of energy. Like the silence before the storm, the Silent Moon offers an opportunity to cleanse past regret so that we might better shift our attentions through this purification to future growth.

In many other belief systems there are already time-honored traditions for the establishment of a calendar. We have encluded a few examples here for you to consider.

In the Celtic Tree Calendar the name of this moon is Beth (Birch) which runs from December 24th to January 20th.

The Runic Calendar of Nordic traditions, (which is governed by half months rather than full months), divides this moon of the year by Peorth (Dice Cup) from January 13th through January 27th, and Elhaz (Elk) from January 28th through February 11th.

The Goddess Calendar names this moon of the year after the goddess Hestia and runs from December 26th through January 22nd.

This is a time for stillness. This is the deep silence of winter earth after the solstice celebration heralding the birth of energy and the return of ever lengthening daylight.

In history this has been seen as the most appropriate time for settling (or forgiving) past debts to mark the beginning of a new solar year. The quality of this moons’ energy is thus one of new possibilities guided by that which came before.

This concept is depicted through certain double-visaged gods and goddesses such as Janus, who looks simultaneously backward at the past and forward to the future.

Whether you know this as the Silent Moon, Disting Moon, or Snow Moon, you can best use the slow-to-awaken energy of this time to work on the kind of personal, private matters that need to be put to rest before you can concentrate your fullest efforts into forward momentum.

Just as you wouldn’t set sail without lifting anchor you will also be well advised not to launch your future while things from your past still act to drag you down.

So, with all that information to guide you, think of this moon as the perfect opportunity to cleanse and purify yourself of past debts and through this purification, shift your attention toward future growth.

If you select a personal name for this moon, this name too, should correspond to whatever reflects the theme of purification and inner cleansing to you.

Related Source
(All rights reserved by the author and re-posted under her kind permission)

Celtic Cookery: The Cornish "Figgie ‘obbin" aka "Figgie Hobbin"
December 27, 2011, 5:02 pm
Filed under: Celtic Cookery

"The Moon Goddess Triad" by Eliseo Mauas Pinto
December 26, 2011, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Celtic Moon Goddess, Celtic Poems
This one is called “The Believer”, the first work on a series of photomanipulations featuring my Canadian friend and icon muse Sierras on praise of the Celtic Moon Goddess.

“I pray to you Goddess of light
Reach me with your shiny eyes
You that reign each starry night
Show me fertile paths of new days
You that count the sea waves 
Nurture the divine seed on me”

(c) Eliseo Mauas Pinto 


Model Source of Inspiration: – Photo by Kind of Blue in Green Photography,July 2010.Piercieng and Pendant: Personal Stock 
Tatoos: Personal Stock 

This one is called “The Acolyte”, the second work on a series of photomanipulations featuring my Canadian friend and icon muse Sierras on praise of the Celtic Moon Goddess. 
“I walk along with the moon of my ancients 
I constantly pray for your healing devotion 
Blessed be the days for having their nights 
Blessed be the nights for bearing your light
Keep on nurturing thy divine seeds on me”

(c) Eliseo Mauas Pinto 

Model Source of Inspiration – Photo by Kind of Blue in Green Photography,July 2010. 
Moon Goddess Tiara: Personal Stock 
Tatoo: Personal Stock

This one is called “The Priestess”, the third and final work of a triad on a series of photomanipulations featuring my Canadian friend and icon muse Sierras on praise of the Celtic Moon Goddess.

“Greetings to you our kindred Goddess,
you who flow the changes of women’s bodies
you who are the keeper of women’s mysteries,
mistress of the tides and the shifting night 
Goddess of the Moon, 
of the many names and many lands.
Call upon us and we shall come to you,
For you bring us your full shining face
and you bathe us in your love and light.”
(c) Eliseo Mauas Pinto

Model Source of Inspiration: – Photo by Kind of Blue in Green Photography, July 2010.
Tiara ,Feather and Goddess Pendant: Personal Assorted Stock
Moon :http://justiej.deviantart.com/
Starry Night and Snow Storm Texture : http://glamourousacid-stock.deviantart.com/ 

These Photomanipulations were specially developed for deviantArt with Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended(c) 2011 

Peace and light☼Feel free to find similar posts onGoddess Art

Merry Solstice!
December 21, 2011, 1:46 pm
Filed under: Druidry

Deep Peace
of the running waves to you.
Deep Peace
of the flowing air to you.
Deep Peace
of the quiet earth to you
Deep Peace
of the shining stars to you
Deep Peace
of the gentle light on you.
Moon and Stars
pour their healing light on you.
This is the time of the  reversal of the Sun’s ebbing presence in the sky,
A time of  birth and rebirth 
of sun gods 
and life-death-rebirth deities 
and new beginnings 
Deep Peace to you,
Deep Peace to you.

" A Seasonal Reflection" by Loreena McKennitt
December 20, 2011, 1:25 pm
Filed under: Loreena McKennitt

LoreenaGreetings to you all… I would like to share with you these personal reflections by Loreena McKennitt posted on December 16, 2011 – Official Press

Peace and light ☼
Dear all,

As we make our way through one more year no doubt many are reeling from the uncertainty and difficulty of the way our lives have become. We may have experienced the loss of loved ones, loss of a job, loss of good health, or the loss of things which were once so familiar and comfortable to us and which provided us with a sense of identity and belonging. Perhaps some of us are stretched to the limit in terms of how fast our lives have become. No doubt we are living in the wake of a certain kind of technological explosion which has left our ability to keep pace with it all lying in tatters.

So at this time of year the instinct to slow down, regroup and reassess our priorities seems like an appropriate one. It gives us time to think about how this journey of life is so fleeting, that the volume of stuff in our lives cannot really compete with the depth of the human experience, that to find the brakes and exert them may very well be one of the greatest challenges of our generation and our time. And so, the darkness of this season allows us to reflect on where we have been and where we are going and gives us the much needed pause to do this internal reflection. It also affords us the opportunity to count, not least of all, and even amongst all the losses, the bountiful blessings which this life and world continue to offer, to reflect on the gifts of those before us and who in turn invite us to consider being of service to others.

Finally, I’d like to thank the thousands of individuals who have “found a place for my music in their lives” and who continue to support and inspire me. I would also like to thank the many individuals in and outside of Quinlan Road who play or have played a very vital but often invisible role in bringing us all together. Their efforts are considerable and much appreciated and can in no way be underestimated. May the spirit of the season bring hope, love and renewal to you and those you hold dear.

The Rhiannon’s Celebrations: Epona’s Day & The Mari Lwyd
December 19, 2011, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Celtic Moon Goddess, Celtic Symbolism
 As I commented on a previous post, Rhiannon is probably a reflex of the Celtic Great Queen goddess Rigantona and may also be associated with the horse goddess Epona. 
Some also associate her to the Irish “Macha” and the Gaulish “Epona“, the “Great Mare” derived from the inferred proto-Celtic *ekwos ‘horse’;  I guess it is because of her horse association as  depicted on the Welsh Mabinogion, which does not present Rhiannon as anything other than human, descibed riding a white horse, and afterwards condemned to carry visitors on her back for being suspected to murder her own son.
Rhiannon thus bears the stamp of two important Gaulish cults: that of the “Horse Goddess” Epona on one hand; and Matrona, the “Great Mother”, on the other. Rigantona ‘Great Queen’, as Rhiannon would have been known in Romano-British times, is best considered a local variant of this composite figure.
According to Phyllis Pray Bober, (reviewing Réne Magnen, Epona, Déesse Gauloise des Chevaux, Protectrice des Cavaliers in American Journal of Archaeology) , unusually for a Celtic deity, most of whom were associated with specific localities, the worship of Epona, “the sole Celtic divinity ultimately worshipped in Rome itself,” was widespread in the Roman Empire between the first and third centuries CE. 
 A relief of Epona, flanked by two pairs of horses, from Roman Macedonia
18th December is the day on which the celebration was held by Romans.  It was the day when all the cloven-footed beasts – horses, donkeys, cattle, oxen – were rested and not made to work.
The celebrated questions herself on this subject on her personal blog :
“What is the reason for Epona’s incorporation into the Roman calendar?  And why is it remembered so near the Solstice? Well, the early Romans celebrated midwinter with rites to Ops and Consus, the Sabine deities of the underworldly earth whom they saw as resonant with Rhea and Saturn. Consus was associated with horses and, by extension, by those beasts that ploughed the fields.  The Gaulish goddess Epona became incorporated into Roman religion  because of the Roman army whose cavalry was made up of levies of men from Gaul, the Low Countries and Germany: the influence of riders and grooms who depended upon their horses brought Epona into association with the midwinter rituals.

Epona ushers us into the deep gifts of midwinter and invites us to rest, to cease from our shapeshifting and realize that we are not super-beings but souls whose bodies need the grace of refreshment and the garlanding of festival.  In midwinter’s rest lies the deep wisdom, the seeds of our renewal whereby the new year can be fruitful.”
The Mari Lwyd

A south Welsh folk ritual call Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) is still undertaken in December – an apparent survival of the veneration of  goddess Rhiannon. The pantomime horse is thought to be a related survival.

The Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare or “Gray Mary” in English), also Y Fari Lwyd,  is a Welsh midwinter tradition, possibly to celebrate New Year , although it formerly took place over a period stretching from Christmas to late January. It is a form of visiting wassail, a luck-bringing ritual in which a the participants accompany a person disguised as a horse from house to house (including pubs) and sing at each door in the hope of gaining admittance and being rewarded with food and drink.
https://i1.wp.com/www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Xmas/calendar/countries/wales/mare.jpgThe Mari Lwyd consists of a mare’s skull (sometimes made of wood, or when the custom is followed by children, cardboard) fixed to the end of a wooden pole; a white sheet is fastened to the back of the skull, concealing the pole and the person carrying the Mari. Two black cloth ears may be sewn onto the cloth.
Coloured ribbons are usually fixed to the skull and small bells attached to the reins (if any) by which the Mari is led.
Mr Vernon Rees, a freeman of Llantrisant, remembers that his father, Tom John Rees, was in charge of the Llantrisant Mari. The Llantrisant head was not a real skull but was made of wood, bandaged right down to the snout to make it look like a genuine horse’s head. Mr Rees remembers the Mari being kept in the cupboard under the stairs and knows it was still around in 1937, when the family moved house. Tom John Rees was a miner at Ynysmaerdy Colliery, just north of Llantrisant, and died of pneumoconiosis in 1945, when he was only 45 years old. Mr Rees does not know whether his mother gave the Mari Lwyd away or what became of it.
The Mari party (five or six men or boys) often had coloured ribbons and rosettes attached to their clothes, and sometimes wore a broad sash around the waist.
There was usually a “Leader”, smartly dressed, who carried a staff or stick, or a whip, and sometimes other stock characters, such as the Merryman, who played music, and Punch and Judy (both played by men) with blackened faces; often brightly dressed, Punch carried a long metal poker and Judy had a besom broom.
The custom used to begin at dusk and often lasted late into the night. Now it may start earlier in the day (as at Llangynwyd, where it begins at 2pm on New Year’s Day).
During the ceremony, the skull is carried through the streets of the village by the party; they stand in front of every house to sing traditional songs. The singing sometimes consists of a rhyme contest (pwnco or pwngco) between the Mari party and the inhabitants of the house, who challenge each other with improvised verses (traditionally exchanged through the closed door); the contest could last for some time, until one side gave up.
The tradition started fading through the first half of the twentieth century and had pretty much become extinct during the Second World War. Nowadays, some folk associations in Llantrisant, Llangynwyd, Cowbridge and elsewhere are trying to revive it. Llantrisant’s Mari Lwyd custom was revived nearly two and half decades ago by members of the Llantrisant Folk Club, very much in the style in which it was being performed when it originally died out, probably at the start of the Second World War.
Related Sources:
Mabon and Guardians of Celtic Britain (Inner Traditions) By Caitlín Matthews
Wikipedia’s Article:Mari Lwyd