Mythical Creatures – Gwragedd Annwn

Gwragedd Annwn

Gwragedd Annwn

The Gwragedd Annwn [gwrageth anoon] were the Lake Maidens of Welsh legend. Wales has stories of a great many sinister faerie creatures; the Lake Maidens were not of this type, nor were they like Sirens or Nixies. They were beautiful and sometimes married mortals. Like Mer-people everywhere, they liked to sit along the banks of their watery home and comb their long hair.

One of the earliest tales about Gwragedd Annwn is the story of the Lady of Llyn Fan Fach, a small lake near the Black Mountains in Wales. In the 12th century, a young farm lad from Blaensawde near Mydfai saw and fell in love with a Lake Maiden he watched combing out her long golden hair. He married her, but the lady warned him never to strike her even in jest, for if he struck her three times, she would return to the lake. They lived happily for several years during which she bore three sons. But the man forgot and on three occasions gave her a love-tap. At the last tap, the Lady returned to her mountain lake. However, she frequently came to visit her three sons, teaching them the deep secrets of medicine. These boys became the famous physicians of Mydfai. This skill, handed down to them by their Lake Maiden mother, descended in the family until the bloodline died out in the 19th century.

Psychological Attributes: Gentleness with an inner strength that enables one to walk away from unpleasant situations.

Magical Attributes: Deep secrets of healing and medicine.

Source: Magical Mythical Mystical Beasts by DJ Conway

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The Witches Credo

Originally posted on Witches Of The Craft®:

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The Witches Credo

Hear now the word of the Witch,
the secrets once hid in the night,
When darkness was for protection,
We now bring forth in the light.
Mysteries of the Water and Fire,
The Earth and the wide-ranging Air,
By hidden Quintessence we know them,
and we bring honor in silence and fair,
The birth and rebirth of all Nature,
the passing of Winter and Spring,
We share with the life Universal,
rejoicing in the never-ending,
Ring Four times in the year we give homage,
come forth the Witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candelas we’re dancing,so too on,
May Eve and old Halloween,
When daytime and nighttime are equal,
when sun is at it’s greatest and least,
The four lesser Sabbats are summoned,
again the Witches gather in feast,
Thirteen silver moons in a year,
thirteen to be the magikal array,
Thirteen times at Esbat we make…

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Magikal Trees – Birch

Birch

Birch

American Birch produces a hard, heavy wood that is used in construction and for carving. European Birchwood is soft and fibrous and used mainly for firewood. The sap of the black Birch contains wintergreen oil and has been used for food flavourings as well as to produce birch beer. The sap can be boiled down like maple syrup.

The Birch is associated with renewal because of its ability to take hold and grow more quickly than other trees. It is a cold climate tree that can compete with evergreens. Often it is the first to spring up after a forest fire, seemingly as a herald of the great woods that will eventually return. Birch is a hardy tree that can do well in many types of conditions. It is most often found in groves rather than individually.

Birch was frequently used for Maypoles and is one of the nine sacred woods for a sabbat fire, in which it represents the Goddess. In the traditional witches’ besom broom, a bundle of birch twigs can be used for the brush. Because of the belief in its protective qualities, baby cradles were commonly made of birch.

According to Jean Markale, Birch was a tree dedicated to the dead. Since death was believed to be a passage into another life, it was also associated with rebirth. In Celtic burials, bodies were transported to their graves with bushy birch branches for a covering, which was called a strophais.

In England and Ireland, December 26 included the custom called “the hunting of the wren,” which marked the transition of the old year to new. The wren represented the old year and was said to be hunted down by a robin (the spring bird) that carried a Birch rod in his claws.

In the thirteenth – and fourteenth-century Wales, lovers met in “the house of leaves,” which meant under a Birch tree. Birch wreaths were given as love tokens to remember these meetings. Going “a-maying” referred to these trysts and meant birch trees as often as hawthorns. (Another name for the Hawthorne is “May tree.”) During the Victorian era, Birch was a symbol of grace and meekness.

Derived from the trees Gaelic name, beith, the place name of Aghavea (Achadh-beith) in Ireland means “the field of the birch trees.”

In ancient Rome, Birch, along with oak and yew, represented the three pillars of wisdom. Slavic folktales, the Genii of the Forest, or Ljesch, and other mythical beings favoured the birch. The tree is a symbol of the country Estonia and its culture.

Archaeologists have found birch bark with inscriptions. The bark easily peels from the tree and has a smooth surface on its inner side. I have found birch an interesting surface for artwork, which also makes it useful in spell craft and ritual.

Latin Name: Betula papyrifera (American white virtual paper birch), B. Alba (European white birch), B. pendula (European weeping Birch), B. Lenta (black Birch or sweet Birch), B. Nigra (River Birch)

Seasonal Details: yellow-green catkins in March; Oval/heart-shaped, finely serrated leaves; bark colours range from drab grey to salmon, or cinnamon red (River Birch) to white (paper birch); the River Birch has shaggy bark.

Powers/attributes: beginnings, birth, blessings, creativity, crafts, fertility, growth, healing, aspiration, love, protection, purification, renewal.

Element: water

Celtic Calendar Dates: December 24 – January 20

Ogham Character:

Name: Beith

Letter: B

 

Rune Character:

Name: Beorc

Letter: B

 

Rune Character:

Name: Ur/Uruz

Letter: U

Feng Shui Sectors: Southeast, west, north-west, negative areas

Goddesses: Audhumla, Cerridwen, Fand, Freya, Frigg

Gods: Angus Mac Og, Dagda, Lugh, Thor

Other Beings/Characters: Ljescg, Taliesen, wood nymphs

Other Names for Tree: Lady of the Woods, silver birch

Zodiac: Sagittarius

Celestial Bodies: Jupiter, Moon, Sun, Venus

Plants: daisy, fly agaric mushroom

Gemstones: fluorite, quartz

Wildlife: Eagle, pheasant, white cow, white egret, white stag

Other Trees: fir, spruce

Colours: dark green, white

Energy: feminine

Other Associations: the arts, travel to the faery realm, date: June 24; Sabbats:Ostara/vernal equinox, Beltane; springtime in general; North; Sunday; Celtic peasant/commentary

Spellwork and Ritual: celebrating a birth; moon rituals; blessing the beginning of a project, relationship, new home, or making any kind of fresh start

Source: Whispers from the Woods by Sandra Kynes

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Celtic Tree Zodiac

The Celtic Tree Zodiac is based on the ancient idea that the time of our births is pivotal to the formation of our personality and behavior. The spiritually savvy Celts, particularly the druids were expert observers. Over time, they recognized that a child born within a certain season would develop certain qualities. Further, the druids observed patterns in the color and shape of a persons life according to the motions of the moon (their calendar being based on a lunar year being 13 months) and the season in which we are born. Below is listed the Tree characteristics of each Tree.

Birch – The Achiever
December 24 – January 20

If you were born under the energy of the Birch you can be highly driven, and often motivate others they become easily caught in your zeal, drive and ambition. You are always reaching for more, seeking better horizons and obtaining higher aspirations. The Druids attributed this to your time of birth, which is a time of year shrouded by darkness, so consequently you are always stretching out to find the light. Birch signs (just like the tree) are tolerant, tough, and resilient. You are cool-headed and are natural-born rulers, often taking command when a situation calls for leadership. When in touch with your softer side, you also bring beauty in otherwise barren spaces, brightening up a room with you guile, and charming crowds with you quick wit. Celtic tree astrology Birch signs are compatible with Vine signs and Willow signs.

Herbal Lore and Magick (Herbs M thru Y)

Originally posted on Witches Of The Craft®:

Herbal Lore and Magick (Herbs M thru Y)

Mace – Psychic Powers, Mental Powers
Maguey – Lust
Magnolia – Fidelity, Oppurtunity, Conflict Resolution
Mahogany, Mountain – Anti-Lightning
Maidenhair – Beauty, Love
Male Fern – Luck, Love
Mallow – Love, Protection, Exorcism
Mandarin – Calming
Mandrake – Protection, Love, Money, Fertility, Health
Maple – Love, Longevity, Money
Marigold – Protection, Prophetic Dreams, Legal Matters, Psychic Powers
Marjoram – Protection, love, Happiness, Health, Money
Master Wort – Strength, Courage, Protection
Mastic – Psychic Powers, Manifestations, Lust
May Apple – Money
Meadow Rue – Divination
Meadowsweet – Love, Divination, Peace, Happiness
Mesquite – Healing
Mimosa – Protection, Love, Prophetic Dreams, Purification, Grace
Mint – Money, Love, Lust, Healing, Exorcism,Travel, Protection
Mistletoe – Protection, Love, Hunting, Fertility, Health, Exorcism
Molukka – Protection
Moonwort – Money, Love
Moss – Luck,Money
Mugwort – Strength, Psychic Powers, Protection, Prophetic Dreams, Healing,Astral Projection
Mulberry – Protection, Strength
Mullein…

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Herb Lore And Magick (Herbs A thru L)

Originally posted on Witches Of The Craft®:

Herb Lore and Magick

HERB LORE
Acacia – Protection, Psychic Powers
Adam & Eve Roots – Love, Happiness
Adders Tongue – Healing
African Violet – Spirituality, Protection
Agaric – Fertility
Agrimony – Protection, Sleep
Ague Root – Protection
Alfalfa – Prosperity, Anti-hunger, Money
Alkanet – Purification, Prosperity
Allspice – Money, Luck, Healing
Almond – Money, Prosperity, Wisdom
Aloe – Protection, Luck
Aloes, Wood – Love, Spirituality
Althea – Protection, Psychic Powers
Alyssum – Protection, Moderating Anger
Amaranth – Healing, Protection, Invisibility
Amber – Success, Love, Insipration
Ambergris – Psychic Ability, Viions
Anemone – Health, Protection, Healing
Angelica – Exorcism, Protection, Healing, Visions
Apple – Love,Healing, Garden Magic, Immortality
Apricot – Love
Arabic Gum – Purify negativity and evil
Arbutus – Exorcism, Protection
Asafoetida – Exorcism, Purification, Protection
Ash – Protection, Prosperity, Sea Rituals, Health
Aspen – Eloquence, Anti Theft
Aster – Love
Avens – Exorcism, Purification,Love
Avocado – Love,Lust, Beauty

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Faerie Beings – Bean Tighe

Today’s Faerie Being is Bean Tighe (house faerie).

Bean Tighe

BEAN TIGHE

BEAN TIGHE (‘Woman of the House’) is an Irish HOUSE FAERIE who looks like a kindly faced old woman. Although these faeries are rarely seen, they perform household tasks for their adopted human families in return for a small reward, such as a bowl of cream.

One of them looks after the enchanted underwater castle that is the home of the Earl and Desmond, AINE’S son. She appears on Knock Adoon on a formation called the ‘Housekeepers Little Seat’ (Suideachan), which juts out into the Lough. She fell asleep there one day and the BUACHAILLEEN appeared and stole her golden comb.   When she woke, she realised what had happened and cursed all of the Little Herd Boys cattle. They all died, followed soon after by the boy himself, but not before he cast the comb into the Lough, where it still lies.

Source: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies by Anna Franklin

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