Celticsprite’s Blog


Goddesses of The Otherworld: The Cyhiraeth & the Banshee
February 28, 2012, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Celtic Symbolism, Faerie Lore


Divinations for the Maiden Moon (2-21-12 to 3-22-12)
February 24, 2012, 2:08 pm
Filed under: Lunar Calendar, Meditation and Healing

This is a time for new beginnings.


This is the time when all of earth’s creatures know that the long sleep of Winter has come to an end. The Goddess is awake, and magic is afoot…

This is a time when earth’s creatures can feel, and revel in the energy of life breaking the long Winter veil of illusion.

This is the time when earth’s creatures will cheer the eternal struggle when light balances against… and finally overcomes darkness at the Vernal Equinox.

Fire withstands ice and the ensuing thaw bears testimony to the power of the returned sun bearing the promise of Spring, new beginnings, growth, exploration, and prosperity.

Historically, this month holds the key to rebirth, fertility, and deliverance from the long barren death of Winter. These themes of birth and deliverance have long been echoed in traditional spiritual celebrations such as Easter, Purim, Summarsblot and Alban Eilir.

You may know this as the Worm Moon, the Sap Moon, the Lenting Moon, the Maiden Moon, or the Alder Moon. Whatever your name for this moon, you will certainly be able to feel the promise of the warming sun and lengthening days it holds.

We have all been woodshedding long enough, and as long as light is stronger than darkness, it is time to throw open the curtains and let the sun shine in. There is no better moment to feel the earth tides turning toward the season of hope and renewal. Don’t let these tides turn without you. You can do no better than to bring some of this hope and renewal right into your own world.

Will the caterpillar reveal a beautiful new form upon emerging from the cocoon?

Well… you can be assured that it will… and you can be assured of another thing as well. We can reveal beautiful new versions of our own, best, selves too!

Take advantage of this opportunity to break out of your Winter chrysalis of contemplation and see just exactly what your insights look like in the sunlight…

Do they look like new opportunities?…

Do they look like fresh starts?…

Do they look like second chances?…

C’mon Cupcake, fluff up the feathers on those dreams you have been hatching over the long Winter nap and take a good look at them in the fresh light of a whole new day, because I think this is the moment…

…this turn in the Wheel of the Year…

…this beginning of Spring…

…this is the moment to let them spread their little wings and fly.

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


Lunar Calendar: The Maiden Moon (February 21st to March 22nd)
February 24, 2012, 1:40 pm
Filed under: Lunar Calendar, Meditation and Healing

This is a time for Awakening.

This is a time for growth and energy breaking through the veil of illusion. In the calendar system we have provided as an example, this moon is most often named the Maiden Moon. This name is an indication and an homage to the many maidens of springtime honored in this season, from Persephone, to Aphrodite, to Eostara, (from which the name Easter is derived), this moon hails them all.

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 Fearn (Alder) which runs from March 18th to April 14th.

The Runic Calendar of Nordic traditions, (which is governed by half months rather than full months), divides this moon of the year by Beorc (Birch Tree) from March 14th through March 29th, and Ehwaz (Horse) from February 20th through March 19th.

The Goddess Calendar names this moon of the year after Moura and runs from March 20th through April 17th.

This is a time when the energy of life breaks the long winter veil of illusion. During this moonphase light balances against (and finally overcomes) darkness at the Vernal Equinox. Fire withstands ice and the thaw bears testimony to the power of the returned sun. This is a time to revel in new beginnings, growth, exploration, and prosperity.

From a historical perspective this month holds the key to rebirth, fertility, and deliverance from the long barren death of winter. These themes of birth and deliverance have long been echoed in traditional spiritual celebrations such as Easter, Purim, and Alban Eilir.

You may know this as the Lenting Moon, the Maiden Moon, the Sap Moon, or the Alder Moon. Whatever your name for this moon, you will certainly be able to feel the promise of the warming sun and lengthening days it holds.

Just as the caterpillar will reveal a beautiful new form upon emerging from the cocoon, this is a time best suited to breaking out of the winter chrysalis of contemplation to reveal the insights gathered over the long winter of contemplation in the new season of sunlight.

So, with all that information to guide you, you may view this moon as a natural opportunity to gather your resources in preparation for the season of growth and activity soon to come.

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


Loreena McKennitt: "Troubadours on the Rhine" (a trio performance) – 2012 –
February 17, 2012, 4:07 pm
Filed under: Loreena McKennitt, Suggested Albums


Arthurian Romance in Brittany: "The Sword of Arthur"
February 15, 2012, 6:34 pm
Filed under: King Arthur


Le Regard des Elfes: A collaboration with Celine Grandidier
February 15, 2012, 4:16 am
Filed under: Bran, Faerie Lore

http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xo6dl5

Le Regard des Elfes by Wiccancountess

I am  pleased to share with you this nice rendering of  my french friend Celine Grandidier,from Provence. of whom I have already published one of her works regarding the Moon Goddess on on my Facebook Page “Love of Rhiannon – The Celtic Moon Goddess”

Her favourite visual artists are Arthur Rackham, and Pre-Raphaelites . Other Interests Art, poetry, photography.

She is a confessed fan of Fairies, cats, pagan religions and mythology.

The music that accompanies this awesome is written by myself upon a traditional arrangement of the renowned Irish tune “the Star of the Countgy Down”.  It’s called “La Dame Verte” from the “Awen” album recorded along with the celtic band BRAN

The belief on enchanted groves had always allured me very much. Even more when I read about certain faerie ‘Green Ladies’ hidden behind trees , expecting for  wandering pedlars eager for elven dance. I felt that the theme of the Irish song ‘Star of The County Down’ made a nice set with my own. Hereby the quoted lyrics of this song:

“STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN” (trad.irish)
Near to Banbridge town in the County Down,
one morning in July,
down a boreen green came a sweet coleen
and she smiled as she passed me by.
Oh she looked so neat from her two white feet
to the sheen of her red hair,
sure the coaxing elf, I’d shake myself ,
to make sure she was standing there.
Oh from Bantry Bay to the Derry Quay,
Oh from Galway to Dublin Town.
Ne’er a maid I’ve seen like this sweet coleen,
that I met in the County Down.

If you wish to know a bit more about her you can visit her awesome website :Le regard des elfes

Or her delicate art gallery site on deviantArt: Wiccancountess08



Cocidius, the Cumbrian god
February 13, 2012, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Celtic Culture, Celtic Symbolism

A brithonic deitiy… no doubt ofit!—It is funny to note that the inscription discovered at Carlisle was to Mars“Toutates” Cocidius … Teutates is another well-known Celtic deity,mostly cited by Julius Caesar and Lucan. Etymologically this deity’s name canbe interpreted as: ‘He who belongs to the Tribe’ comprising also the concept”Father of the Tribe”. Could there be a so called celtic tribe then?…Maybe a kind of Wood Settlers under this deity’s regency?. 

As cited by the authorof this review, probably the woodwoses  painted in 1499 by Albrecht Durerare closely related to them!… Thus, I am pleased to share with you thisexcelent article written by DianeMcIlmoyle and reposted under her kind permission. All rights reserved by theauthor. © Diane McIlmoyle 30.01.12 

Cocidius altar, Tullie House, Carlisle
Cocidius altar, Tullie House, Carlisle
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there were people here before the Romans. But they were here, leaving echoes of their lives and beliefs through place names, 5,800-year-old tools and 2,000-year-old weapons. When the Romans first encountered us 2,000 years ago, they wrote down some of the things they discovered. They said that there was a people in northern Cumbria called the Carvetii, ‘the deer people’, who were a sub-group of a large northern tribe called the Brigantes – at least that’s what the Romans called them; we don’t know what they called themselves – and we had a number of local gods.
The Romans had an impressively egalitarian approach to the religions they encountered as they travelled the world. They believed the same set of gods was present everywhere but just known by different names. When they came across a native god, they looked in their own pantheon for the Roman equivalent, which is how Lugus – after whom Carlisle is named – came to be seen as a different name for their own god, Mercury. Every native god in turn was partnered with its Roman equivalent and this is how we get to hear about the northern British god, Cocidius.
There are no less than nine carved images and 25 inscribed dedications to Cocidius on Hadrian’s Wall, some from Netherby and Carlisle and others found by Cumberland Quarries (exact site unknown). There are no less than six inscriptions from Bewcastle fort in Cumbria, where he is described as ‘Mars Cocidius’, which means the owner of the altar believed that Cocidius was the native name for the Roman god of war, Mars. Two silver plaques found at Bewcastle show Cocidius wearing a helmet and holding a shield and a club or spear.
The Ravenna Cosmography – a 7th-century summary of all towns that had been in the Roman empire – mentions Fanum Cocidius, which means Cocidius’s Temple. It says that it was between Maia (Bowness-on-Solway) and Brovacum (Brougham). Given this description and the number of inscriptions found, it’s tempting to believe that this site was Bewcastle.
At the eastern end of Hadrian’s wall, Cocidius is linked to forests, and hence to hunting. In an inscription at Ebchester in County Durham, he is ‘Cocidius Vernostonus’ – Cocidius of the alder tree – and at Housesteads Fort and Risingham, he is ‘Sylvanus Cocidius’. Sylvanus was the Roman god of wild forests. An intaglio found at Habitancum Roman Fort on Dere Street at Risingham shows Cocidius surrounded by leafy branches, holding a hare, accompanied by a dog. A further north-eastern image at Yardhope at the tantalisingly-named ‘Holystone Burn’ (the name pre-dates the discovery of the carving in 1980!) shows Cocidius with hat, spear and shield, legs akimbo, arms wide.
Cocidius at Yardhope, Northumberland 
Cocidius at Yardhope, Northumberland
There used to be another image, known as ‘Robin of Risingham’, but it was blown up by an 18th-century landowner who was fed up of people visiting it. I find it intriguing to think of people hunting out the carving in this period, and the name is suggestive: Robin Goodfellow is a name from folklore linked to forests (think Robin Hood) and impish creatures (Shakespeare’s Puck). It may be too much to suggest that the 18th-century people knew that the carving represented a pagan deity but they may have thought there was something otherworldly, even magical, about it. A half-size carving based on a drawing of the original was erected in 1983.
As is often the case with Celtic names, the etymology is frustrating. It could derive from ‘cocco’, the Brythonic word for red, or it could be ‘coit’, the root of the modern Welsh word, ‘coed’, which means woods or forest. Supporters of the former interpretation point to rare references to an Irish Gaelic god, Da Coca, ‘the Red God’, suggesting he is just another version of the same deity, in the same way that Carlisle’s Lugus is the Irish Lugh (and the Welsh Lleu). The colour red is readily associated with Mars and war-like qualities (although this is often overstated) and Cocidius is portrayed with a weapon and a shield. Supporters of the forest interpretation point to the inscriptions identifying Cocidius with Sylvanus, the forest god, and the hunting images. To confuse or elucidate matters – take your pick – the alder tree – as in ‘Cocidius Vernostonus’, Cocidius of the alder tree – was well-known for oozing bloody-red sap when freshly cut. Perhaps it’s not so mad to combine the two, and Cocidius in his original Celtic form was a hunter of both men and animals.
Sylvan Men by Albrecht Durer, 1499
Sylvan Men by Albrecht Durer, 1499
And there I would have ended the story of Cocidius, the northern British god, if I hadn’t come across this image, painted in 1499 by Albrecht Durer. These wild men, legs akimbo, arms aloft, carrying a shield and a club, are the very image of Cocidius. They are a conventional medieval Germanic portrayal of woodwoses – a concept known to medieval English as the ‘wodwos’ of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (c. 1390) – and possibly cognate with the medieval Green Man*, an image seen in British cathedrals from the 11th century onwards. Other woodwose-type wild men are found in other European cultures; in Lombardy, they’re known as ‘salvangs’ – wild men derived from the name of Sylvanus.
I don’t know, and suspect that no one knows, whether these deities and wild men are all ultimately the same. Perhaps they all just answer a need felt throughout history to personify a wild, dangerous aspect of nature, which was a threat to man and beast alike. Whatever the case, Cocidius was Cumbria’s very own.
© Diane McIlmoyle 30.01.12 
* I should point out that there are two inscriptions to a native god, Viridios – which literally means ‘green man’ – found in Lincolnshire.
You can see an altar dedicated to Cocidius at Tullie House Museum in Carlisle. www.tulliehouse.co.uk