Celticsprite’s Blog

The Legacy of Chris Caswell – A Public Tribute Concert – February 4, 2013
January 25, 2013, 2:21 pm
Filed under: Celtic Harp, Influential Musicians, Memorable Data

Lunar Calendar 2013
January 23, 2013, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Lunar Calendar, Meditation and Healing
I am pleased to share with you the Lunar Calendar 2013 developed by my blog friend Moonchildsinger,(All rights reserved by the author and re-posted under her kind permission)
It includes a a brief paragraph about the common associations for each lunar month along with the dates (or approximate dates) of the celestial events and Quarter and Cross-Quarter celebrations in each lunar month.
As Moonchildsinger once explained to me: “Please keep in mind that we have followed the pagan tradition which holds that the old year ends with the descent of the solar deity into the underworld on October 31st which then plunges the world above into the darkness of winter. The first moon of our new year, then, is the first new moon appearing after the complete moonphase that contains October 31st.

Is this the only way to structure a lunar calendar? No… not at all. It is just one way, and we have set it out here for you to use as an example when you fashion your own lunar calendar. Again, the names we use, and the place in the eternal Wheel of the Year that we have selected for the beginning of the year are matters of option and choice. If you would prefer to begin your calendar with the first new moon in January and you prefer to name the moons after your favorite flowers, or your family members, or something else… please feel free to do so.

Many different paths from Native American to Celtic, to Egyptian, to Nordic, and Italian use names different from each other for each moonphase. But the differences aren’t as striking as the similarities. What one path calls the Snowmoon another may call the Wintermoon, but you don’t have to use any more than your own human intuition to know what season will most often hold this particular moonphase… and from there it is easy to determine the name you most closely associate the moon of the season. Simple eh?”
This calendar perfectly illustrates the caveat we have already mentioned regarding the possibility that 13 full lunar cycles may not begin and end on the same days which mark the beginning and ending of the year. For the lunar year in this example, the new pagan year begins on November 1st while still under the influence of the last moonphase of the old lunar year and ends in the same way… on October 31st while still in the final moonphase of the current lunar year. So, the 13 lunar cycles for the year are all represented, but the 13th cycle generally contains the end of the old year, while overlapping the beginning of the new year… a whole new cycle. Which is the way it should be… a cycle is another word for circle and a circle has no beginning and no ending… does it?


(a time for divination)

Quickening energy. Beginning and conceiving. Awakening compassion. Looking to the future and it’s needs.

01-11-13 CANDLE MOON – New
01-26-13 CANDLE MOON – Full

(a time for protection)

The birth of energy and a break in the stillness of winter. Cleansing past actions and regrets. Shifting attention through purification to future growth.

02-10-13 SILENT MOON – New
02-25-13 SILENT MOON – Full

(a time for awakening)

The first lusty cry of energy breaking the veil of illusion. A balance of light against dark. Fire withstands ice. Making way for new beginnings, growth, exploration and prosperity.

03-11-13 MAIDEN MOON – New
03-21-13 ARIES RISES
03-27-13 MAIDEN MOON – Full

(a time for love)

Full peaceful energy protects, strengthens, and wards the future. Romance, beauty, and healing are revealed in this light.

04-10-13 HONEY MOON – New
04-25-13 HONEY MOON – Full

(a time for growth)

Creative energy flows from the growth of all things. Strengthened connections to all powers natural and supernatural. Radience illuminates your path.

05-09-13 SEED MOON – New
05-25-13 SEED MOON – Full

(a time for magic)

Energy moves into creation. Opportunities for self reliance and confidence bloom. Unity and balance.

06-08-13 BLESSING MOON – New
06-23-13 BLESSING MOON – Full

(a gathering time)

Energy achieving fullness and success. Dream work, meditation, divination, and preparation for the spiritual harvest which will sustain life.

07-08-13 HARVEST MOON – New
07-22-13 HARVEST MOON – full
07-23-13 LEO RISES

(a time for prophecy)

Energy expended into harvest and gathering supplies and sustenance for the coming winter. An appreciation for vitality and the loss which balances it.

08-06-13 PROMISE MOON – New
08-20-13 PROMISE MOON – full
08-23-13 VIRGO RISES

(a time for exhilaration)

Completion, acceptance, mellowing, and rest after labor. A balance of light and dark lead to organization and clean-up of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter.

09-05-13 SINGING MOON – New
09-19-13 SINGING MOON – Full
09-23-13 LIBRA RISES

(a time for sacrifice)

Letting go and clearing away to find justice, balance, and harmony. Inner cleansing and the lament of loss. Seeking shelter in friendship, karma, and reincarnation.

10-04-13 BLOOD MOON – New
10-18-13 BLOOD MOON – full


(a time for power)

Strengthened communication with the spirits, the elements, and the self in order to prepare for the coming transformation through the greatest darkness.

11-03-13 SPIRIT MOON – New
11-17-13 SPIRIT MOON – Full

(a time for renewal)

The moon of the winter solstice. Slow change, contemplation, and preparation for the re-birth of the light.

12-02-13 SPIRAL MOON – New
12-17-13 SPIRAL MOON – Full

Regarding Names…
I love this comparison depicted on Wikipedia, though it is based on a 12 month lunar calendar , there is a close relationship based on Solstice and Equinox Periods as many cultures have…

Full moon names
Positional name Associated Month English names Algonquian names Other names used Hindu names Sinhala (Buddhist) names
Winter Solstice
Early Winter January Old Moon Wolf Moon Moon After Yule, Ice Moon Paush Poornima Duruthu Poya
Mid Winter February Wolf Moon Snow Moon Hunger Moon, Storm Moon, Candles Moon Magh Poornima Navam Poya
Late Winter March Lenten Moon Worm Moon Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sugar Moon, Sap Moon, Chaste Moon, Death Moon basanta (spring) purnima, dol purnima (holi) Medin Poya
Vernal Equinox
Early Spring April Egg Moon Pink Moon Sprouting Grass Moon, Fish Moon, Seed Moon, Waking Moon Hanuman Jayanti Bak Poya
Mid Spring May Milk Moon Flower Moon Corn Planting Moon, Corn Moon, Hare’s Moon Buddha Poornima Vesak Poya
Late Spring June Flower Moon Strawberry Moon Honey Moon, Rose Moon, Hot Moon, Planting Moon Wat Poornima Poson Poya
Summer Solstice
Early Summer July Hay Moon Buck Moon Thunder Moon, Mead Moon Guru Purnima Esala Poya
Mid Summer August Grain Moon Sturgeon Moon Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, Lightning Moon, Dog Moon Narali Poornima, Raksha bandhan Nikini Poya
Late Summer September Fruit Moon Harvest Moon Corn Moon, Barley Moon Bhadrapad Poornima Binara Poya
Autumnal Equinox
Early Fall October Harvest Moon Hunter’s Moon Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon, Blood Moon Kojagiri or Sharad Purnima, lakshmi puja Vap Poya
Mid Fall November Hunter’s Moon Beaver moon Frost Moon, Snow Moon Kartik Poornima Il Poya
Late Fall December Oak Moon Cold Moon Frost Moon, Winter Moon, Long Night’s Moon, Moon Before Yule Margashirsha Poornima Unduvap Poya

Deep peace of the gentle light on you…
Shine On! ☼

Faerie Lore: "Fairies Or No Fairies"
January 23, 2013, 4:47 pm
Filed under: Faerie Lore

Faerie Lore: "The Long Defeat" by ashsilverlock
January 18, 2013, 5:56 pm
Filed under: Faerie Lore
Elves!…which one of us haven’t ever been alured by the wonderful elven cosmogony created by the all time aclaimed author J R R Tolkien ?… I wasn’t able to prevent myself to share with you an excerpt of such interesting post from my Blogger friend ashsilverlock who carries a cute site called “Fabulous Realms”, on which explores the origins and source of such magical beings. (All rights reserved by the author).
Alan_Lee_illustration_GaladrielThe Elves of Middle Earth, also known as the Eldar, the Quendi and the Firstborn, stand at the absolute heart of Tolkien’s legendarium. Even though the word ‘Elf’ existed long before anyone heard of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, today the Elf is a very different creature because of Tolkien’s writings. The oldest and wisest people of Middle Earth, the Elves possess great nobility and power. They do not age, nor do they die, unless wounds, grief or some artifice of the Enemy takes hold of them and ends their existence. To other peoples they seem at once aged and ageless, possessing the lore and wisdom of experience, together with the joyful nature of youth. But above all, they are the only race never to have willingly served the Shadow. For they revel in the wonders of nature, the beauty of songs and tales, the glimmer of the stars, and the voice of the waters. But in their hearts, they also possess great sadness, knowing that all things pass, and that they cannot preserve them. It is this melancholic aspect of the Elves which makes them so central to Tolkien’s mythology, for they seem to encapsulate one of the major themes of his writing – the passing of ‘The Elder Days’, of a more enlightened and spiritual age, and the loss of its ideals in the face of the relentless rise of man and modernity. But this characteristic also links them with the Elves of folklore who, as depicted in fairy tales like The Elves and the Shoemaker, at first appear very different from Tolkien’s firstborn – smaller and more frivolous in every way. However, it is possible, however unlikely, to link the two conceptions of Elves, if one takes into account Tolkien’s explanation for their literal and metaphorical ‘dwindling’ – an explanation which involves them fighting the inevitable extinction of their species, better known as the ‘Long Defeat’. 
For this, however, we must go back to the very beginning, and Tolkien’s earliest inspirations for the children of Varda.
Tolkien’s Elves are derived in some part from an entirely novel solution to an old mythological problem. There was no doubt that a belief in Elves was widespread in European antiquity, however the words used about them seemed curiously contradictory. The Icelander Snorri Sturluson seemed aware of both ‘Light Elves’ (liosalfar) and ‘Dark Elves’ (dokkalfar), but he also recognised ‘Swart Elves’ (svartalfar), though the place they lived, Svartalfheim, was also the home of the Dwarves. Meanwhile Old English uses words like ‘Wood Elf’ (wuduaelf) and ‘Water Elf’ (woeteraelf). How are all these fragments to be reconciled? Are ‘Swart Elves’ the same as ‘Dark Elves’, and both perhaps the same as Dwarves? Tolkien, however, distinguishes the two species from each other perfectly clearly: the Dwarves are associated with mining, smith craft and a world underground, the Elves with beauty, allure, dancing and the woodland. The various types of Elf, meanwhile, are not separated merely by colour but by history. The ‘Light Elves’ are those who have seen the light of the Two Trees which preceded the sun and the moon, in Aman, or Valinor, the Undying Land in the West. The ‘Dark Elves’ are those who refused the journey and remained in Middle Earth, to which many of the Light Elves eventually returned, as exiles or as outcasts. The Dark Elves who remained in the woods of Beleriand are also, of course, naturally described as Wood Elves. Whilst it would only be natural, as time went by and memory became blurred, for men to be unsure whether such a character was once an Elf or a Dwarf, a main aim in Tolkien’s creations was always to ‘save the evidence’ i.e. to rescue his ancient sources from hasty modern accusations of vagueness or folly. Saving the evidence, moreover, generated story, which was a rather handy side effect!
The first of Tolkien’s published works in which the Elves are glimpsed is The Hobbit, although he had, as we now know, been creating an Elvish mythology for more than 20 years before then (in the string of tales which were to become The Silmarillion). In his 1937 novel, though, Tolkien used Elves sparingly, mentioning them only with reference to Elrond in chapter 3 (‘one of those people whose fathers came into the strange stories before the beginning of History’) and then in the long paragraph discussing the Wood Elves, High Elves, Light Elves, Deep Elves and Sea Elves in chapter 8. It is the Wood Elves who play the most prominent part in The Hobbit, of course, and Tolkien drew his immediate inspiration for them from a single passage in the Middle English romance Sir Orfeo. This contains a famous section in which Orfeo, wandering alone and crazy in the wilderness after his wife has been abducted by the King of Faerie, sees the fairies riding by to hunt, their horns blowing and their hounds barking. Similarly, the first sign Thorin and company have of the Elves in chapter 8 of The Hobbit is when they become aware of the dim blowing of horns in the wood and the sound of dogs baying far off. The basic idea is the same in both places: that of a mighty king pursuing his kingly activities in a world forever out of reach of strangers and trespassers in his domain. This is a common device in Tolkien’s fiction – he often took fragments of ancient literature, expanded on their intensely suggestive hints of further meaning, and made them into a coherent and consistent narrative (usually enhancing them with ideas both from his own mythology and from traditional fairy tale).
We encounter Wood Elves of a quite different sort in the Lothlorien chapter of Lord of the Rings. As with the realm of the Mirkwood Elves, the ‘magic’ of Lorien has many roots, but there is one thing about it which is highly traditional, while also in a way a strong re-interpretation and rationalization of tradition. There are many references to Elves in Old English and Old Norse, as well as modern English (belief in them seems to have lasted longer than is the case with any of the other non-human races of early native mythology), but one story which remains strongly consistent is that of the mortal going into Elfland – best known, perhaps, from the ballads of Thomas the Rhymer. The mortal enters, spends what seems to be a night, or three nights, in music and dancing. But when he comes out and returns home he is a stranger, everyone he once knew is dead and there is only a dim memory of the man lost underhill. Elvish time, it seems, flows far slower than human time. Similarly, the Fellowship ‘remained some days in Lothlorien, as far as they could tell or remember’. But when they come out Sam looks up at the moon and concludes that it is: ‘as if we had never stayed no time in the Elvish country’. Frodo agrees with him, and suggests that in Lothlorien they had entered a world beyond time. Legolas the Elf, however, offers a deeper explanation. For the Elves, he says: ‘the world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow… The passing seasons are but ripples ever repeated in the long long stream’.
The interlude in Lothlorien brings to light another trait of Tolkien’s Elves – many if not most of them envisage defeat as a long-term prospect. Galadriel says ‘Through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat’. Elrond agrees, saying ‘I have seen three ages in the West of the world, and many defeats and many fruitless victories’. Although he later questions his own adjective ‘fruitless’, he still repeats that the victory long ago in which Sauron was overthrown but not destroyed ‘did not achieve its end’. In this he is perhaps justified, for if the entire, long history of Middle Earth shows us anything it is that good is attained only at vast expense, while evil recuperates almost at will. It is made abundantly clear that even the destruction of the One Ring and the final overthrow of Sauron will conform to the general pattern of ‘fruitlessness’. The Ring’s destruction, says Galadriel, will mean that her ring (and Gandalf’s and Elrond’s) will all lose their power, so that Lothlorien ‘fades’ and the Elves ‘dwindle’, to be replaced by modernity and the dominion of men. By ‘dwindle’ Galadriel may mean that the Elves will physically shrink in size (perhaps to become the tiny creatures of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and popular imagination). Or they may ‘dwindle’ in number – or something else altogether may happen to them.
Feel free to read the whole origial post on  “Fabulous Realms”

Celtic Poems: Sweet Spirit of the Woods
January 3, 2013, 12:32 pm
Filed under: Celtic Poems

Sweet spirit of the woods

Sweet spirit of the woods
Come along with cloak of gold
Pass me your cup or dew
Filled with secrets never  told

Carry me to your mound
Let me slip into your lair
Where harps sound profound
And food and mead is so fair.

You that tend the colourful bed of Mabon,
with tempting romance and beating heart.
Keep on painting tapestries of tinsel and red,
till mild Autumn comes with leaves and bark.

You are the pulse of my blood
The colour of the rose bud
Bare feet young and cold
Warm lips, ruby and bold.

Cast your magic spell on me
Let me taste the essence of life
Teach me how the trees grow
On each fruit, on each nut

You know why birds sing so sweet,
The brook flows so pure on spring,
The grass on summer stays green,
And fountains on winter stay asleep.

Wild flowers await for your smile
You paint their colours and glam disguise
Wild animals await for your touch
That cuddles with rhymes their fluffy hearts

I am your passionate mortal
Many full moons have passed
Show me the way to the path
That leads me to your palace

If our love is not meant to be
I would rather stay lonely
Like a stranded boat on the sea
Like a song with no melody

 Eliseo Mauas Pinto
(c) 2011 

As featured on my book “The Butterfly Book of Celtic Poems” available from Amazon both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

“The Butterfly Book of Celtic Poems” is a special collection of poems I began to write from the very first time I felt the magical upbeat of my Celtic heart, with the aim to invite all of you to discover a common tradition, a living identity which should not be alien to those who are partakers and lovers of the Celtic legacy, and the many aspects of bardic poetry in a contemporary society.