Celticsprite’s Blog

Celtic Poems: A Lover’s Quarrel Among the Fairies
February 25, 2013, 6:07 pm
Filed under: Celtic Poems, Faerie Lore

A moonlight moor. Fairies leading a child.

Male Fairies: Do not fear us, earthly maid!
We will lead you hand in hand
By the willows in the glade,
By the gorse on the high land,

By the pasture where the lambs
Shall awake with lonely bleat,
Shivering closer to their dams
From the rustling of our feet.

You will with the banshee chat,
And will find her good at heart,
Sitting on a warm smooth mat
In the green hill’s inmost part.

We will bring a crown of gold
Bending humbly every knee,
Now thy great white doll to hold —
Oh, so happy would we be!

Ah it is so very big,
And we are so very small!
So we dance a fairy jig
To the fiddle’s rise and fall.

Yonder see the fairy girls
All their jealousy display,
Lift their chins and toss their curls,
Lift their chins and turn away.

See you, brother, Cranberry Fruit —
He! ho! ho! the merry blade! —
Hugs and pets and pats yon newt,
Teasing every wilful maid.

Girl Fairies: Lead they one with foolish care,
Deafening us with idle sound —
One whose breathing shakes the air,
One whose footfall shakes the ground.

Come you, Coltsfoot, Mousetail, come!
Come I know where, far away,
Owls there be whom age makes numb;
Come and tease them till the day.

Puffed like puff-balls on a tree,
Scoff they at the modern earth —
Ah! how large mice used to be
In their days of youthful mirth!

Come, beside a sandy lake,
Feed a fire with stems of grass;
Roasting berries steam and shake —
Talking hours swiftly pass!

Long before the morning fire
Wake the larks upon the green.
Yonder foolish ones will tire
Of their tall, new-fangled queen.

They will lead her home again
To the orchard-circled farm;
At the house of weary men
Raise the door-pin with alarm,

And come kneeling on one knee,
While we shake our heads and scold
This their wanton treachery,
And our slaves be as of old.

(c) William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Moon Water – Healing and Charms
February 18, 2013, 1:14 pm
Filed under: Meditation and Healing
A cute post named “Pagan Full moon water strengthening healing” by my Blogger friend

The Celts, like many other people, did always considered water as a sign of life good health, and oftenly as life itself, with a ritual symbolism of cleansing and purification. In my case, I find the most powerful expression in the Ocean, a sheer symbol of mystery and magick.

Purification before ceremonies is a perfect way to open ourselves to blessings, turning ourselves as pure beings unto the presence of Gods and Higher Spirits. By means of  ritual baths we are able to absorb  the power and the same sacredness retained in water itself.

This is a belief extended in the practice of concealing Full Moon Water Potions, since Water is an element which receives much of the influence of the Moon.
Celts use to drop a piece of real silver (or a silver object) when used for blessings, being the water employed in this cases the one that comes from spring wells and morning dew. Sea water and a piece of gold when used for healing to ban evil spirits away, because of its salty content.
Rain water is best for land blessings and for fertility rites, eg: blessing a woman who wants to conceive. Lake water is generally not used.

Specifical stones are also employed… naturally holed adder stones,or fulgurite (really a glass tube created by lighting striking soil); or even gems like quartz or moon stone, a stone a unique light effect that strengthens our intuition and our capacity to understand. The more clearer the more colourful its glow.

Waters are oftlenly laid out in bowls to absorb moonlight, sunlight, or starlight. And collected in a non-metal container. Crystal glass or ceramic bottles with corks are mostly common.
According to the rite the water was used for, some herbs may be added. Leaves of Vervain added to spring water to anoint ritualists before a ceremony, St. John’s Wort to bless a house or a sick person, a branch of yew dipped in well water to sprinkle over a corpse and purify them for their journey to the underworld.
Modern uses of sacred water can be used to cleanse and bless a house, a sick room, a piece of land, or even any new furniture, items, or animals brought into homes.
During outdoor rituals, healers are used to sprinkle the ground, trees, and stones with blessed water using a wand or a twig from a sacred tree. It can be drank also for an internal healing as for purification baths taken before rites and ceremonies.
There are some powerful chants featured in the  Second Volume of the Carmina Gadelica (a collection of folk poetry from the Western Isles of Scotland. Volume II includes many incantations for luck, love and good health. This volume also has numerous poems about plants and animals, and extensive notes on the lore associated with them). 
Here are some combinations of them as featured by Sarah Lawless  on her official site. They can certainly be used for healing purposes, that denotes the ancestral origin of these traditions, during or after which the patient can either be bathed, or instead drink a glass.
Power of moon I have over it,
Power of sun I have over it,
Power of rain I have over it,
Power of dew I have over it,
Power of sea I have over it,
Power of land I have over it
Power of stars I have over it,
Power of planets I have over it,
Power of universe I have over it,
Power of skies I have over it,
Power of ancestors I have over it,
Power of heaven I have over it,
Power of heaven and God I have over it,
Power of heaven and God I have over it.
To ban away evil spirits this second one is very powerful, of cold spring water.
A portion of it on the grey stones,
A portion of it on the steep mountains,
A portion of it on the swift cascades,
A portion of it on the gleaming clouds,
A portion of it on the ocean whales,
A portion of it on the meadow beasts,
A portion of it on the fenny swamps,
A portion of it on the cotton-grass moors,
A portion of it on the great pouring sea-
She’s the best one to carry it,
Oh the great pouring sea,
And she’s the best one to carry it.
my soul,
keep me at evening,
keep me at morning,
keep me at noon,

In order To dipose of  water potions , they shoud be poured directly back onto the earth, to water sacred plants or as an offering onto the roots of a regent tree . Never dumped it down the drain like waste water.

I love to take a bath on my pool on Full Moon… and often  prepare a Moon Potion on a consecrated crystal bottle… filled with rain water and some seasonal herbs…  I just place it outside in the light of the moon for the whole night.
Don’t forget to bring it indoors before the sun comes up. Consume for energy and healing… or blessing work that you feel would benefit from the moon’s magickal power.

Moon Water –  Charms
As you may gather there is a charm suitable for each occasion.
I was once inspired to write down my personal Moon Charms, which I am glad now to share now with you:
“Moon Goddess from Above, 
share your Energy with us, 
Bless this bottle with your Endless Love, 
Let us be healed by your peaceful light.”
“I pray to you Goddess of light
You who watch us over day and night
we honour you as our Great Mother.
I can now feel you walking with me,
And your presence within my heart.”
“Moon Goddess from Above,
Reach me with your shiny eyesBless this bottle with your starry lightWatch us over day and night.”
(c) 2013 Eliseo Mauas Pinto
Here are some examples of them, traditional and modern ones:
Hale fair washing to thee,
Hale washing of the Fians be thine,
Health to thee, health to him-
But not to thy female enemy.
~ Gaelic (used by midwives to sain newborns)
To remove from thee thy sickness
In the pool of health
From the crown of thy head
to the base of thy two heels.
~ Gaelic (bathing charm)
God bless your eye,
A drop of wine about your heart,
The mouse is in the bush
And the bush is on fire.
~ Gaelic (to avert the evil eye)

Bright blessings! ☼
Related Sources:

Chris Caswell Legacy CD Project
February 11, 2013, 3:33 pm
Filed under: Celtic Harp, Memorable Data

Help keep Chris’ magnificent music and stories alive!

Music is the most generous art,
for it gives freely to all who hear.

In correspondence to my previous post “Chris Caswell: A charitable gathering for a leading Harpist and Harper” I pay tribute to the passing of Chris, who said goodbye to us on January 21, 2013.

Chris Caswell was one of the great musicians of our time. Tragically, his time with us was far too short: Chris died of cancer this January 21. Please help us create his legacy project, preserving some small part of Chris’ genius for future listeners and learners.

The Tradition

A true American-Celtic bard, Chris is one of those credited with the revival of the Celtic harp. He was a master harp builder and exquisite player on the harp, bagpipes, flute and whistle, and bodhran. His life’s repertoire was a rich mix of traditional world music, yet he always came back to Celtic music, his first love. Years ago he sought out elder harpers and pipers in Scotland and England to learn their music the old-fashioned way, at their knee. Chris passed along the genuine Celtic tradition, and added much to it, as a beloved teacher, spirited performer, and witty storyteller. He played, toured, and taught for over forty years, performing with some of the brightest names in traditional music.

The Project

Over the years he recorded many hours of brilliant music. We, his friends, want to bring that music to light. Our plan is to collect and remaster select recordings and produce a deluxe double-CD album, with a bonus booklet filled with Chris’ own poems, stories, and lore.

Chris envisioned a quartet of CDs, each thematically based on an element: earth, air, water, and fire. The first came out in 2001: Holy Wood, evoking earth. Fire… well, he didn’t get that far in his design. But he did plan two, air and water: The Brightening Air and The Well at the End of the World. 
In his notes for them, Chris wrote of being a very young man, sitting amongst the archives of folklorist Peter Kennedy in Devon, England, and hearing Alan Stivell: “I began to really listen to the harp. There is indeed a bardic mantle. It isn’t given, and it’s not taken. It settles. For whatever reason, it settled on me. Forty years later, I am still listening. The two albums I’m about to record are the results, so far, of that long listening.”
In addition to bringing out the two new albums Chris began work on, we plan to reprint Holy Wood as well as his lovely holiday album, Celtic Tidings. All these recordings, old and new, also will be available on CD Baby, and via Chris’ own web site. It’s our hope that we can generate a modest income stream to help Roxanne Caswell, his widow, and to repay those people who ordered a new Caswell harp, but didn’t receive one when he became ill.
Any amount — $15, $50, or $500 — will help in this undertaking.
You’re invited to join in the chorus of Chris’ ever-continuing song.

How You Can Help

1. Donate as your heart wishes, and your assets allow. For contributions of $35 and over, you’ll receive a deluxe double-CD set when released.

2. Spread the word about this campaign. Chris touched thousands of lives. Let ‘em know what’s up. Forward this link with a short personal email to your friends. Share this page on Facebook, Twitter, through music blogs and lists.

  “A life lived for music is an existence spent wonderfully.” L. Pavarotti

“Producing this Chris Caswell recording in his memory is a great idea. He was a wonderful musician and a wonderful friend.” — Robin Williamson, harper, songwriter, storyteller. (Chris was an integral member of Robin Williamson and his Merry Band in the ’70s.)
“Chris’ most marvelous contribution was rooting into and revealing the deep spiritual, mythic underpinnings of the Celtic harp and its music.” — Patrick Ball, harper and theater artist.
“Whether we were dowsing around long-forgotten stone circles on an isolated hillside or playing for thousands of people in concert halls, he was always so open and comfortably himself. I feel blessed to have known him — such a playful and brilliant person — and to have called him a true friend.” — Bonnie Rideout, fiddler. (Chris toured and recorded with Bonnie.)
“I shed a tear here in Glasgow, Scotland, and remember all the wonderful shared times at Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle Camp and on many other occasions.” — Alasdair Fraser, fiddler. (Chris taught and performed at Valley of the Moon.)
“When I needed manly men to record Song of the Suburban Shaman, Danny, Chris, and David Morris formed a ‘lusty chorus chanting hymns in praise of Thor.’ Chris howled manfully, and overdubbed layers of bodhran parts that perfectly expressed the spiritual disintegration of the weekend warriors.” — Holly Tannen, traditional singer, folklorist, and songwriter. (Chris and Danny played on her album, Rime Of The Ancient Matriarch.)
Click on some of the team member profiles, below, to learn about our personal connections with Chris. You are invited to leave recollections of your own on the Comments page.

Chris’ Gift to You

Listen to Chris playing on our gallery page.
Click here for a free download of “Jenny Plucks Pears” from Holy Wood, the first album in this series (to download, right click on a PC, or control-click on a Mac).
Search youtube for “clarsar” to hear and see Chris play, and get four free first harp lessons.
Read Chris’ obituary and an article about his harp making via the links below. 
And our special gratitude to Daniel Schoenfeld, Irish musician and winemaker, who donated his legendary Wild Hog Vineyard wine to the cause.

Related Source: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/chris-caswell-legacy-cd-project

An Interview with the Goddess )o(
February 8, 2013, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Celtic Goddess, Meditation and Healing

“What surprises you most about mankind?”
She answered: “That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again. That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health. That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future. That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they never had lived…”

Her hands took mine and we were silent. After a long period, I said, “May I ask you another question?”
She replied with a smile.

“As a Mother, what would you ask your children to do for the new year?”
“To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.
To learn that a rich person is not one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.
To learn that they should control their attitudes, otherwise their attitudes will control them.
To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.
To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.
To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to show their feelings.
To learn that money can buy everything but happiness.
To learn that, while at times they may be entitled to be upset, that does not give them the right to upset those around them.
To learn that great dreams do not require great wings, but landing gear to achieve.
To learn that true friends are scarce, he/she who has found one has found a true treasure.
To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they forgive themselves.
To learn that they are masters of what they keep to themselves and slaves of what they say.
To learn that they shall reap what they plant; if they plant gossip they will harvest intrigues, if they plant love they will harvest happiness.
To learn that true happiness is not to achieve their goals but to learn to be satisfied with what they have already achieved.
To learn that happiness is a decision. They decide to be happy with what they are and have, or die from envy and jealousy of what they lack.
To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.
To learn that those who are honest with themselves go far in life.
To learn how all things must be balanced; good and bad, easy and difficult, pleasant and painful, positive and negative. If all things were easy and pleasant all of the time, they would not seek to achieve, nor recognize or appreciate when life is comfortable.
To learn that even though they may think they have nothing to give, when a friend cries with them, they find the strength to appease the pain.
To learn that by trying to hold on to loved ones, they very quickly push them away; and by letting go of those they love, they will be side by side forever.
To learn that even though the word “love” has many different meanings, it loses value when it is overstated.
To learn that they can never do something extraordinary to cause Me to love them; I simply do.
To learn that the shortest distance they could be from Me is the distance of a prayer.”

~Author Unknown~ (edited and modified by Polly Taskey -all rights reserved by the author)

Related Source:

Grand Concert at the 2013 Los Angeles St. David’s Day Festival-National Day of Wales
February 5, 2013, 3:05 pm
Filed under: Celtic Culture, Memorable Data
Get your tickets today before they’re gone!
Grand Concert at the 2013 Los Angeles St. David’s Day Festival-National Day of Wales
Mar 03, 2013 1:30 PM
Barnsdall Gallery Theatre
4800 Hollywood Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA, 90027
Celebrate Welsh culture with us at the Los Angeles St. David’s Day Festival-National Day of Wales on March 3, 2013 at the Barnsdall Art Park! Performances by Aedan MacDonnel, Joe Praml, Welsh Choir of Southern California, Paul Child, Siobhan Owen, and a special screening of the 1962 short film Dylan Thomas starring Richard Burton. Also from 10 to 6pm visitors will be delighted in an outdoor festival featuring a Celtic marketplace, Welsh language classes, workshops, Welsh Corgi demonstrations, storytelling, kids crafts, food and much more!

More Info:  Visit http://www.aravenabovepress.com.

Get Tickets
Barnsdall Gallery Theatre
4800 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
United States
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Copyright © 2013 A Raven Above Press, All rights reserved.

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530 N Genesee Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90036

Save on Welsh Festival Advance Tickets!
Save on advance tickets now through Feb 4th

We are campaigning on Indiegogo.com to offer you some exclusive incentives for advance tickets at the upcoming St. David’s Day Festival:

Incentives include:
~ Save $15 when you buy two general admission tickets in advance through Indiegogo, and receive 1 complimentary raffle ticket to win a stay at the Dylan Thomas House in Swansea! (Normally valued at $35. ONLY 25 of these combo tickets will be available at this price.)

~ Save $15 when you buy two general admission tickets in advance through Indiegogo! Plus 1 complimentary raffle ticket to win a stay at the Dylan Thomas House in Swansea! Normally valued at $55. ONLY 25 of these combo tickets will be available at this price.

Also available are great deals on festival shirts, the Welsh nursery rhyme book, and much more!

Go to http://www.indiegogo.com/Wales/ for more information and get these exclusive offers while they last.

Los Angeles St David’s Day Festival-National Day of Wales
March 3, 2013 10-5pm
at the Barnsdall Art Park
4800 Hollywood Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA, 90027
The Los Angeles St. David’s Day Festival – National Day of Wales replants its daffodil roots at the Barnsdall Art Park on March 3, 2013!

A Raven Above Press Presents!
2013 Los Angeles St. David’s Day Festival – National Day of Wales
Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant, Los Angeles – Diwrnod Cenedlaethol Cymru
March 3, 2013
Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90027
Inside the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre there will be a special ticketed St. David’s Day Grand Concert beginning at 1:30pm with a Druid blessing, followed by a screening of the rare 1962 short film ‘Dylan Thomas’ starring Richard Burton. After this the Welsh Choir of Southern California (Côr Cymraeg De Califfornia) will take the stage, and then a special performance by Paul Child, and in her debut North American appearance – Welsh soprano and harpist Siobhan Owen!
We are all excited by the return of Paul Child to Hollywood. Among his many achievements, Child is Wales biggest independent selling artist, the ‘Official Voice of Welsh Rugby’, and recently sang at the half time show of the final match of the Wales Rugby Grand Slam. Interesting to note, each time he’s sung before a match, Wales has registered a victory. 
Siobhan Owen was born in North Wales to a Welsh father and Irish mother, and moved to Australia when she was 2 years old. A classically trained singer from the age of 9, Siobhan also turns her haunting soprano voice and gentle harp playing to a repertoire of traditional Celtic songs. She has received prestigious awards for both her classical and Celtic singing and is a popular performer at festivals, concerts, recitals etc around Australia. 
Outside the concert beginning at 10am visitors will be delighted in a free Celtic Marketplace, Welsh language classes by Jason Shepherd of the Learn Welsh Podcast, Celtic workshops, Welsh Corgi demonstrations, Kids Crafts at the Ogden Nash Children’s Area, and the LA Eisteddfod featuring poetry, storytelling, readings and performance at the Harold Lloyd Outdoor Stage, Welsh food (pasties and cakes) by the Welsh Baker, and much more.
We will be promoting artists from both Wales and the US in a special book release party on Welsh Nursery Rhymes written by Peter Anthony Freeman (Llanelli, UK) and published by A Raven Above Press. International artists include Nathan Wyburn (Abergavenny, UK), Anthony Richards (Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, UK), Siobhan Owen (originally from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio, UK now residing in Adelaide, South Australia), Michele Witchipoo (New York City, NY), Kimberly Wlassak (Los Angeles, CA), Rochelle Shelly Rosenkild (Riverside, CA), Brian Kenny (Middletown, NY), Nichola Hope (Barry, UK) Sarah Hope (Barry, UK) Rhys Jones (Swansea, UK), Kerry Evans (Swansea, UK), Jo Mazelis (Swansea, UK), Judy Adamson (Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, UK), Spine Stealer (Los Angeles, CA), Karen Richards (Cleveland, OH), Laurent Castiau (Belgium), Gaabriel Becket (Portland, OR), Xavier Lopez Jr. (Seattle, WA), Jason Shepherd (Swansea, UK), Adrien Burke (Los Angeles, CA), Danny Walden (Bell Gardens, CA), Robert Karr (Westminster, CA), John Charles (Los Angeles, CA), Grasiela Rodriguez (Pomona, CA), Casey Ruic (Cleveland, OH), Daniele Serra (Cagliari, Italy), and Lorin Morgan-Richards (Los Angeles, CA).
Also, Sarah Hope from Barry, UK (now in Cardiff) will be in attendance exhibiting a collection of ceramic wall mounted pieces and dinnerware that are decorated with themes from welsh nursery rhymes and stories. The pieces are a collaboration between artists Sarah Hope and Nichola Hope and sculpture Kevin Caufield. 
Tentative Schedule (may be subject to change)
Harold LLoyd Outdoor Stage:
10:00am – Wake the Bard performs
11:00am – Joe Praml reads Dylan Thomas and other Welsh favorites
12:00pm – Aedan MacDonnell performs
1:00pm – Reading by Jude Johnson
2:00pm – Segni Pembroke Welsh Corgi lecture
3:00pm – Peter Griffiths discusses “what it means to be Welsh”
4:00pm – Wake the Bard performs 
Harriet Beecher Stowe Classroom:
11:00am – Learn Welsh Podcast Welsh taster lessons for Welsh Learners
12:00pm – Peter Anthony Freeman reads from the book on Welsh nursery rhymes
1:00pm – Peter Paddon class Gods, Ancestors & the 21st Century Witch
2:00pm – Learn Welsh Podcast taster lessons for Welsh Learners
3:00pm – Celtic Magick class by Jymie Darling of Pan Pipes Marketplace
4:00pm – Reading by R. Merlin of Ariel & Electra 
Grand Concert in the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre:
1:30pm – Druid Blessing (outside)
2:00pm – Screening- Dylan Thomas (1962) by Jack Howells & starring Richard Burton
2:30pm – The Welsh Choir of Southern California (Côr Cymraeg De Califfornia)
3:15pm – Performance by Paul Child
4:05pm – Performance by Siobhan Owen 
Ogden Nash Children’s Learning Area
Create your own Daffodil or Leek with artist Rochelle Shelly Rosenkild
& Welsh Choir chorister Caroline will facilitate Ysgol Eisteddfod (School Eisteddfod) to help the youth activate and develop their vocal talents in the arts of poetry, song, comedy and storytelling and their artistic and craft skills! If you weren’t born of Welsh heritage you’ll leave being The Cymry-Mabwysiad (Welsh by adoption).
Official Major Sponsors include A Raven Above Press, National Welsh-American Foundation, Tom LaBonge 4th District Councilmember
Community Sponsors include Cambrian Heritage Society Madison WI, AmeriCymru, The Welsh Baker, Learn Welsh Podcast, Ninnau & Y Drych, The Celtic Arts Center, Brian Kenny (Dark Corner of the Abyss), Music Wales, Highland Sun, Eugene Hayden, Queens Favor, Red Dragon Management, Choir of Giants Press, Metro.
Friend Sponsors include Jude Johnson, Peter Anthony Freeman, The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids, Pan Pipes Magickal Marketplace, Emily Fromm, The National Library of Wales, Celtic Myth Podcast, JOMO – Joanne Morrison, Visit Wales, and the Dylan Thomas Birthplace.