Fantasy, Fiction, ireland, Lore, love, Magik, Nordic, Orkney Islands, scottland, Seals, Selkie

Romance of the Scottsh Sea: Selkie Lore

“As soon as the seal was clear of the water, it reared up and its skin slipped down to the sand. What had been a seal was a white-skinned boy”
-George Mackay Brown


Selkie
is the Orcadian dialect word for, “seal”. The word derives from earlier Scots, selich, (from Old English, seolh) So, selkies are a very common sight across Orkney. Heads bobbing above the waves, they are often seen  by the shore, watching  inquisitively with uncannily human eyes.

In the Faroe Islands there are two versions of the story of the Selkie or Seal Wife. A young farmer from the town of Mikladalur on Kalsoy island goes to the beach to watch the selkies dance. He hides the skin of a beautiful selkie maid, so she can not go back to sea, and forces her to marry him.
He keeps her skin in a chest, and keeps the key with him both day and night. One day when out fishing, he discovers that he has forgotten to bring his key. When he returns home, the selkie wife has escaped back to sea, leaving their children behind. Later, when the farmer is out on a hunt, he kills both her selkie husband and two selkie sons, and she promises to take revenge upon the men of Mikladalur. Some shall be drowned, some shall fall from cliffs and slopes, and this shall continue, until so many men have been lost that they will be able to link arms around the whole island of Kalsoy. Unlike the Finfolk, who retained their malicious tendencies  throughout the years, the selkie-folk have come to be regarded as gentle  creatures,  with the ability to transform from seals into beautiful, lithe  humans.

In the surviving folklore, there is no agreement as to how  often the selkie-folk were able to carry out the transformation. Some tales say  it was once a year, usually Midsummer’s Eve, while others state it could be  “every ninth night” or “every seventh stream”.

Regardless of how often they were able to transform, the  folklore tells us that once in human form, the selkie-folk would dance on  lonely stretches of moonlit shore, or bask in the sun on outlying skerries (rocks).

The selkie skin

A common element in all the selkie-folk tales, and perhaps  the most important, is the fact that in order
to shapeshift they had to cast off  their sealskins. Within these magical skins lay the power to return to seal  form, and therefore the sea.

If this sealskin was lost, or stolen, the creature was  doomed to remain in human form until it could be recovered. Because of this, if  disturbed while on shore, the selkie-folk would hastily snatch up their skins  before rushing back to the safety of the sea.

Amorous encounters

. The selkie-men were renowned for their many encounters with  human females — married and unmarried.

A selkie-man in human form was said to be a handsome  creature, with almost magical seductive powers over mortal women. According to tradition, they had no  qualms about casting off their sealskins, stashing them carefully, and heading  inland to seek out “unsatisfied women”.

Should such a mortal woman wish to make contact with a  selkie-man, there was a specific rite she had to follow. At high tide, she  should make her way to the shore, where
she had to shed seven tears into the  sea.

The selkie-man would then come ashore and, after removing  his magical sealskin, seek out “unlawful love”.

In the words of the 19th century Orkney folklorist, Walter  Traill Dennison, these selkie males:

“. . . often made havoc among thoughtless girls, and  sometimes intruded into the sanctity of married life.”

There is a folk song called, “The Maiden & The Selkie,”  that is a very lovely and tribal depiction of the romance of the Selkie-man to the women of the Orkneys, to hear it click the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om8LzIcFmbA

If a girl went missing while out on the ebb, or at sea, it  was inevitably said that her selkie lover had taken her to his watery domain —  assuming, of course, she had not attracted the eye of a Finman.

But while the males of the selkie race were irresistible to  the island women, selkie-women were no less alluring to the eyes of earth-born  men. The most common theme in selkie folklore is one in  which a cunning young man acquires, either by trickery or theft, a selkie-girl’s  sealskin.

This prevents her from returning to the sea, leaving the  seal-maiden with no option but to marry her “captor”.

The tales generally end sadly, when the skin is returned,  usually by one of the selkie-wife’s children. In
some accounts, her children go  with her to the sea, while others have them remaining with their mortal father. Tragic and connective the lore of the Selkie is a profound representation of the human connection and longing for the sea.

Literature

The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry or The Grey Selkie of Suleskerry is a traditional folk song from Orkney. The song was collected by the American scholar, Francis James Child in the late nineteenth century and is listed as Child ballad number 113.

“The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry.”

An earthly nourris sits and sings,
And aye she sings, “Ba lilly wean,
Little ken I my bairns father,
Far less the land that he staps in.”

Then ane arose at her bed fit,
And a grumly guest I’m sure was he,
Saying “Here am I, thy bairns father,
Although I am not comely.”

I am a man upon the land,
I am a silkie in the sea,

And when I’m far frae every strand,
My home it is in Sule Skerry.”

“It was na weel”, the maiden cried,
“It was na weel, indeed” quo she,
“For the Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie,
To hae come and aught a bairn to me!”

Then he has taken a purse of gold,
And he has laid it on her knee,
Saying, “give to me, my little young son,
And take thee up thy nouriss fee.

It shall come to pass on a summer’s day,
When the sun shines hot on every stone,
That I shall take my little young son,
And teach him for to swim the foam.

And thou shalt marry a proud gunner,
And a very proud gunner I’m sure he’ll be,
And the very first shot that e’re he shoots,
he’ll kill both my young son and me.”

An interpolated 5th stanza has also been heard:

‘Twas weel eno’ the night we met,
When I’d be oot and on my way,
Ye held me close, ye held me tight,
“Just ane mair time ere the break o’ day!”
Phrase Key

nourris = nurse
ken = know
 staps = stops
bed fit = foot of the bed
 grumly = strange

The version I like best of this was done by Joan Baez. To hear it click below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zZy2Q3QY0Q&list=PL4593CF2488169FD8

Great books for more on Selkies:

  • Thomson, David. The People of the Sea: A Journey in Search of the Seal Legend
  • Katharine Briggs, An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Boogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures
  • Williamson, Duncan (1992). Tales of the seal people: Scottish folk tales
  • “The Brides of Rollrock Island” by Margo Lanagan

Source material: http://www.orkneyjar.com/index.html

http://www.stolaf.edu/people/hend/VictoryMusic/July-MusicTrad_SelkieLore.htm

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American Lore, bacterial infections, Brewing, cold, DIY, flowers, flu, fungus, herbal remedy, herbal tea, herbalism, Herbology, Herbs, Home Brew, home remedy, infection, Lore, Magik, plants, plants, Ritual, sinuses, sore throat, tonsillitis

Dandelion: Magic & Medicine

It has been several months since I have written anything online, because I fell very deeply into a fictional story that I am writing, but I am very pleased to pick up where I left off with some practical folk lore.

Today’s lore is inspired by a friend who woke up in the middle of the night with cramps and a UTI from a complicated systemic candida infection, which for those of you who have experienced this, understand how painful it is. So, she looked up the normal home remedies, but due to her doctor prescribed diet is unable to utilize quite a few of them. So, today I am going to make her a fresh leaf dandelion detox tincture. My own recipe, that I adapted from a similar fresh leaf tea my mom used to make me.

To get started here is a bit of lore on dandelions!

This precious flower, now crossed off as a weed, was a gift to the new world by the French, it is said. The break down of the name “dande-lion” is translated as lion’s mane. Modernly treated with horrible pesticides, this stubborn plant refuses to die off. A lesson to be learned from one would think. It has many wondrous healing properties including: liver and kidney detox, natural dye, tincture (tea), roasted leaves make a tasty caffeine free coffee replacement for a healthy morning pick-me-up, anti-bacterial milk from the stem can be applied on the go for playtime scrapes, they enrich your garden soil with acidity necessary for plant growth, it is a natural anti-depressant, it can be used as a diuretic, and no part of this plant is poisonous. You can eat the leaves in a salad, and then have the roots and petals in a complimentary infusion with honey afterwards.

I have even seen a video on youtube of a woman making a dandelion wine. (Awesome.)

Perhaps, I will make a video and a demijohn of homemade dandelion wine myself!

According to occultist and author Sarah Anne Lawless, “Dandelion belongs to Hecate and is mainly a chthonic plant associated with the underworld and necromancy. It is beloved by bees, goats, pigs and is considered a toad plant (all have a certain underworld nature), with bees sometimes acting as psychopomps in old folklore. Dandelion is also a very Mercurial weed associated with the air element explaining its use in aiding in communication with the dead and increasing psychic ability. Drink an infusion of the dried and roasted roots to enhance your psychic abilities before performing divination or summoning spirits of the dead. Medicinally, Culpepper writes that Dandelion has an “opening and cleansing quality… it openeth passages”. This can be applied to sympathetic magic, meaning this weed is excellent for walking between realms and communing with the spirits that reside.”

You can read more about this on her site, where she has a written piece about the growing, and usage of dandelion in magical practices: http://www.sarahannelawless.com/2010/10/16/weeds-for-witches-part-iii-dandelion

For me personally, being an herbalist in the making, I find it pure joy and magically profound that this tiny, underestimated, and forgotten flower has so many incredible traits just waiting to be tapped in to, yet it is ever to often written off as a nuisance. Let this be a lesson about following the common opinion. Just because it is said to be true by the masses, doesn’t make it so, not in the slightest.

So, here is the recipe for the Dandelion Detox Tincture

Firstly, start with two large bunches of organic dandelion greens. These can surprisingly be purchased at a grocers like Sprouts.

Wash lightly in cool water, and cut off the long portion of the stems and set aside. Start boiling 2-3 quarts of water on the stove and add the stems. (I do those first because they are more fibrous and therefore harder to breakdown.

Boil for 15 minutes.

Then take hand fulls of thee greens and twist them into halves and then quarters with your hands, adding them to the mixture as you go.  Stir.

When you have gotten all of your greens in, let boil until they are soft and pliable, much like spinach.

Here is where you can go a couple of different ways. Because we are in Texas and its summer time, doing a traditional tincture just didn’t sound that appetizing. However to make one, you simply strain out the green remnants, and serve hot like a tea.

What we did is this:

Throwing all of the greens and juice into a blender we added a lot of ice and lime, and then pureed it until mostly liquid. Grab a straw and a bit more ice to your glass and you have a very healthy detox smoothie.

-Dandelion Picture Photo Credit to Louise Docker

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All Halows Eve, American Lore, Ancestors, autumn, Beer, celebration, fall, Feast, Halloween, harvest, Hearth Fire, holiday, ireland, Lore, love, love lost, Magik, new year, poetry, Ritual, Samhain, Samhain Ritual, scottland, spirits

Samhain: A Night to Honour…

All Hallows Eve is a contemplative night for me and my household.

It is a time for joy and tears as the veil is now quite sheer. On this night we light candles and make a large feast of stuffed mushrooms, brown sugared carrots, rosemary potatoes twice baked, and roast salted pork, we throw open all of the doors and windows so that none may be left out, be they man or spirit. We wear masks for protection. We drink wine, mead, or beer, offer sweets for security, and most importantly we hail the honored dead.

This is a night of holy reverence to acknowledge the lives and deaths of those that came before us.

My extended family has let this tradition go for many years, giving into Protestantism, but the ways of our ancestors have come around full circle into our not so modern little house. The snake has bitten its tail, and so I will say the prayers long neglected, and light our hearth after midnight to usher in the new year to come.

As we light it I will say,

” Save. Shield. Surround,

The hearth, the house, the household

The eve, the day, the year.

We honor & thank you.”

For you see, as Celts, the onset of Winter is the birth of our new year, which is actually entirely optimistic. The hardest part is the beginning, Spring is born, matures into Summer, and before you know it, the year wanes…and you have come full circle.

So on your Hallowed Night, make a circle and say a few words of kindness, let it all go, tell raucous stories about family members present and past, for this is the heart of our wild selves and this is the tradition of our people.

I really felt like this poem by Fredrick Manning well represents my heart this season:

“Yea, she hath passed hereby, and blessed the sheaves,
And the great garths, and stacks, and quiet farms,
And all the tawny, and the crimson leaves.
Yea, she hath passed with poppies in her arms,
Under the star of dusk, through stealing mist,
And blessed the earth, and gone, while no man wist.

With slow, reluctant feet, and weary eyes,
And eye-lids heavy with the coming sleep,
With small breasts lifted up in stress of sighs,
She passed, as shadows pass, among the sheep;
While the earth dreamed, and only I was ware
Of that faint fragrance blown from her soft hair.

The land lay steeped in peace of silent dreams;
There was no sound amid the sacred boughs.
Nor any mournful music in her streams:
Only I saw the shadow on her brows,
Only I knew her for the yearly slain,
And wept, and weep until she come again.” 
― Frederic Manning

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herbalism, Lore, Magik, mythology, parrot, parrot lore, plants, plants, Tibetan Lore, tree of life, Uncategorized

Tibetan Story of The Tree of Life

If you do not quarrel you are safe–if you have no debts you will be rich.

  – Tibetan Proverb


ONCE
upon a time there was an old beggar dressed in rags and tatters, with wisps of gray hair about his face. He was so very old that it seemed he could have never been young, and never in all his life had he had a bath. This old beggar traveled everywhere asking for rice and *tsamba and receiving more rice than he could eat he spread it out in the sun to dry and went on begging.

One day as his rice was drying a hundred parrots came along and ate it all up. When he came home he was angry and said,

“Here I work every day, begging for a little food, and these old parrots come along and eat it all up.”

So he planned to be revenged and made one hundred snares of bamboo, put them all around in the reeds and went off to beg again. When he returned, sure enough, he had caught the whole hundred in his snares. Among them happened to be the king of the parrots, who, before the old man came home, spoke to his companions, saying:

“We are in a bad fix. He has caught us all and he’ll kill us every one. When we see him coming let us all hang down as though we are dead, then he will take us out of the snares and pitch us away. But the first one thrown must keep count, and as soon as one hundred are thrown he shall call out and we will all fly away. We must all lie perfectly still until the last one is thrown.”

Finally the old man came home with some rocks in the front of his gown to throw at the parrots, for he didn’t think they would all be dead, but when he saw them all hanging perfectly still he climbed up and began to throw them down. He had pitched down ninety-nine and was untying the string off the king’s leg when the rocks in his gown got in his way and he threw one of them down. As soon as it lit, away flew the ninety-nine.

“Huh, they were all fooling me, but I have one left and I’ll take a rock and kill him.” The parrot suddenly came to life and sticking up his thumb said, “Please don’t kill me, it is true we were very bad and did eat up your rice, but you are a good man, so don’t kill me, take me and sell me and you can get more than your price of the rice.”

So he tied a string around the parrot’s leg, took him to town and tried to sell him to a merchant. The beggar said he was a fine parrot and could talk, but he didn’t know what he was worth, so the merchant had better ask the parrot himself. The parrot answered that he was worth a lot of money and the merchant must pay the old man fifty *taels of silver for him. The merchant gave the money to the old man, who almost died of joy to have so much money. After the parrot had been with the merchant for two or three years he asked permission to visit his home and parents, as they were getting old. He said,

“You treat me very nicely here and I love you, and I will soon come back again and bring you
some nice fruit.”

The merchant took the chain off the parrot’s leg and let him go. He was gone two or three months, when one day he came, carrying some seeds in his mouth, and said,

“Plant these seeds, and when you are old and eat of the fruit of this tree you will be young again. Plant the seed care-fully, and in three years you will have plenty of fruit.”

The merchant planted the seeds and at the end of three years, sure enough, there was much fruit. One day he was in his garden and one of the fruits had fallen to the ground, but he was afraid to eat it lest the parrot had thought of this as a scheme to kill him. That night a poisonous snake coiled around the fruit and slept. The next morning the merchant called his dog and showed him the fruit, which he ate, and which killed him immediately. The merchant knew now that the parrot had schemed to kill him, and poured hot water on him and scalded him to death.

Now in this country were two old people, very frail and too feeble to go out and beg, so they were about to starve to death. So the old man said one day,

“Let’s eat some of this fruit; if it makes us young it’s all right, if it poisons and kills us, it doesn’t matter, as we are about to die anyway.”

So they got their walking sticks and went slowly to the merchant and asked him for some of the fruit. He said,

“You can’t eat that, for it will kill you at once.”

They told him it didn’t matter, for they were about to starve to death anyway, and it was easier to take poison and die quickly. He finally gave them one each, they ate it and grew young at once. They were much pleased and almost worshiped the man. Then the merchant knew that something must have poisoned the fruit as it lay on the ground and he was grieved to think that he had killed his parrot.

1. Tsamba–   flour made from parched ground barley or wheat that is the chief cereal food in and near Tibet

2. Tael

  •  any of various Chinese units of value based on the value of a tael weight of silver
  • any of various units of weight of eastern Asia

 

“The Story of the Tree of Life.”  http://www.sacred-texts.com/asia/tft/tft43.htm

“Tsamba.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tsamba&gt;.

“Tael.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tael&gt;.

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American ghost story, American Hauntings, American Lore, autumn, Bell Witch, Bell Witch Haunting, fall, Fantasy, Fiction, Ghost, Halloween ghost story, Haunting, Kate Batts, Lore, love lost, Magik, mischief, paranormal, Paranormal activity, Poltergeist, prophesy, spirits, Tennessee Lore, Uncategorized, Witch Ghost

American Ghost Story: Kate Batts, Witch & Poltergeist

THE ULTIMATE POLTERGEIST

So to prepare for the onset of All Hallows Eve, I have found for you a tale most intriguing. This juicy local lore hails from the south, deep in the history of Tennessee, from a small town called Adams.  It’s about a witch, whose name was Kate Batts, and about her grudge-match with the head of a family by the name of Bell.  The Bell family was comprised of what has been recorded and acknowledged as, “good folks.” The torment of the father, Ol’ Jack Bell, as the witch spirit called him, was shared by all of his loved ones on the estate, but especially his daughter Betsy, who was forbidden by the ghost to marry  the man she had planned on. It was said that the witch ghost, was a woman who had been cheated by John Bell, and was hell bent on revenge and planned to act as executioner.

The Goodspeed brothers wrote a local history in 1886, and it said the following:

“A remarkable occurrence, which attracted wide-spread interest, was connected with the family of John Bell, who settled near what is now Adams Station about 1804. So great was the excitement that people came from hundreds of miles around to witness the manifestations of what was popularly known as the “Bell Witch.” This witch was supposed to be some spiritual being having the voice and attributes of a woman. It was invisible to the eye, yet it would hold conversation and even shake hands with certain individuals. The feats it performed were wonderful and seemingly designed to annoy the family. It would take the sugar from the bowls, spill the milk, take the quilts from the beds, slap and pinch the children, and then laugh at the discomfort of its victims. At first it was supposed to be a good spirit, but its subsequent acts, together with the curses with which it supplemented its remarks, proved the contrary.”

For four years the family of John Bell was forced to endure what has come to be called a “noisy spirit” or poltergeist of a type which was unique
when compared with similar events documented before or after it. Developing the ability to speak, the spirit soon began to call itself “Kate”, after an odd local woman named Kate Batts. People in the community  referred to it as “Kate Batts’ witch”, though its physical form, if any, was never truly identified. The center of the unseen entity’s activity was John’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth (Betsy) Bell, a very attractive girl, who suffered from physical abuses brought on by the spirit which included merciless beatings, scratching, slapping, and constant mental anguish brought about by the spirit’s seemingly inexhaustible mischief and verbal harassment. It consistently ridiculed the choice of Joshua Gardner as her future husband, and induced in Betsy, and her father, a sickness, the symptoms of which included odd physical disturbances that eventually resulted in the death of John. The spirit could read the thoughts of those around it, describing in great detail the backgrounds of total strangers. It could accurately describe simultaneous events in other areas of the world within moments of being asked. Kate could move objects, sing, preach, and accomplish the most baffling pranks without detection. Its knowledge of the universe was astonishing, yet curiously incomplete in many details. Upon being exposed to both Baptist and Methodist doctrines, Kate began to display violent and contradictory behavior resulting, no doubt, from the many differences of those philosophies. Perhaps the spirit’s most astonishing manifestation occurred when four other spirits named Blackdog, Mathematics, Cypocryphy, and Jerusalem appeared briefly during the later years of the haunting. All seemed to be subservient to Kate and were invisible as well. It was during this period that the spirit’s mischief grew more intolerable with each passing day. Its evil hatred was often matched in kind with benign understanding and kindness, making it, in essence, a great paradox in the spirit realm, and an unwelcome guest in the intensely religious community it had chosen to haunt.
 (http://bellwitchlegend.blogspot.com/)

There were many superstitious people in the country who believed the witch was a reality, something supernatural, beyond human power or comprehension, which had been clearly demonstrated.  This is the way many reasoned about the mystery.  Kate arrogantly claimed to be all things, possessing the power to assume any shape, form or character, that of human, beast, varmint, fowl or fish, and circumstances went to confirm the assertion.  Therefore people with vivid imaginations were capable of seeing many strange sights and things that could not be readily accounted for, which were credited to the witch. Kate was a great scapegoat.
The goblin’s favorite form, however, was that of a rabbit, and this much is verified beyond question, the hare ghost took malicious pleasure in hopping out into the road, showing itself to every one who ever passed through that lane.  This same rabbit is there plentifully to this day, and can’t be exterminated.  Very few men know a witch rabbit; only experts can distinguish one from the ordinary molly cottontail.  The experts in that section, however, are numerous, and no one to this good day will eat a rabbit that has a black spot on the bottom of its left hind foot.  When the spot is found, the foot is carefully cut off and placed in the hip pocket, and the body buried on the north side of an old log.
(http://bellwitch02.tripod.com/index.htm)

As the story grew in popularity people would come to visit the witch and people would travel hundreds of miles to come and see the effects she had on the Bell family’s life. Until one day in 1820 when the witch spirit accomplished her task! John Bell died.
At his funeral it was aid that she danced, laughed, and made quite  spectacle of herself. It took a while for the strange things to end though, and it is still said that her spirit took up residence in what is now referred to as the Bell Witch Cave. Others believe that it is the point from which she entered the world.  Regardless, after John’s death, she said she would be back in seven years….and she was.

In 1828, Kate Batts reappeared. She visited the home of John Bell Jr. She conversed with him about the past, present, & future as well as making some predictions. She also said that there was a reason for John Bell Sr.’s death, and that she would return once again in one-hundred & seven years hence. That places a re-occurrence in 1935, of which nothing that I know of has been found. But there are those who say that after her second return, that she never really left, that her spirit, mischievous, still lingers on, and that if you go to the Bell Cabin site or the Bell Witch Cave, that you are certain to get a little pinch!

Movies made based on the lore:

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Bell Witch Haunting (2004)

An American Haunting (2005)

Bell Witch: The Movie (2007)

The Bell Witch Haunting (2013)

For more information on the Bell Witch lore,  you can check out these sites:

http://www.bellwitchcave.com/

http://www.bellwitch.org/story.htm

http://bellwitchlegend.blogspot.com/

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autumn, autumn equinox, cat, celebration, fairies, fall, harvest, harvest moon, love, Magik, poetry, warmpth

Autumn’s Child

Night time falls soft upon the Earth

Like a shroud for he who lies dormant until the lithe Spring

Balance of light to dark becomes bent and rounds until the cold is spent

Leaves touched gold by faerie hands, turn old and red and fall upon the ground

 Autumnal triumph once again is welcomed with open arms by those who hear

The Harvest Moon, is a greeting from my mother, that warms me

September’s equinox is the gateway to comfort

Bracing for the coolness, I step into the change and all of its splendor

Cloak wrapped tightly against the wind, there is magic liveliness in the air

Candles lit, the hearth is too, tea is made, & I am cozy, ready with a book, and a blanket

Renewal comes with the first cold as peace and silence return to the once bright world

This heart of sweet rich darkness is finally breathing, beating strong, and at home again

High above, the sand hill cranes call against the heavens once more

My mind rises, presenting itself to the trials of life

-The Lady

 

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autumn, autumn equinox, celebration, fall, harvest, harvest festival, harvest moon, holiday, ireland, Lore, mabon, Magik, moon cakes, mythology, scottland, september, Uncategorized

Mabon & The Autumn Equinox

Tis’ Mabon (May-bon) time again!

This year the Autumnal Equinox will fall on the 22nd of September.  An exciting time for those of us who follow the ebb & flow of our little galaxy. This is the time of year when the harvest is brought in, the leaves begin to turn, and what was new, ripe, and young begins to feel the waning of time and of youth. It is symbolic of the transition between the, “mother,” time & the,”crone,” time. To many pagan faiths the equinox also represents the preparation of the horned god’s death, and the phase before the most spiritually open time of the year: Samhain (Sow-en).

For Celtoi & Druids, the celebration of Alban Elfed occurs this night. Druidry.org says, “Alban Elfed marks the balance of day and night before the darkness overtakes the light. It is also the time of the second harvest, usually of the fruit which has stayed on the trees and plants that have ripened under the summer sun. It is this final harvest which can take the central theme of the Alban Elfed ceremony – thanking the Earth, in her full abundance as Mother and Giver, for the great harvest, as Autumn begins.”

Modern magic folk celebrate the history of their practice, culture, & the lore that is the basis of the traditional Celtic/Welsh path that so many tread.

The tale of Mabon (Modron), the Welsh God, (the “great son of the great mother”), also known as the Son of Light, the Young Son, or Divine Youth, is celebrated. The Equinox is also the birth of Mabon, from his mother Modron, the Guardian of the Outerworld, the Healer, the Protector, the Earth. Mabon was taken after he is a mere three nights old (some variations of the legend say he is taken after three years). Through the wisdom of the living animals — the Stag, Blackbird, Owl, Eagle and Salmon — Mabon is freed from his mysterious captivity. All the while Mabon had rested within his mother’s womb; a place of nurturing and challenge. With strength and lessons gained within the magickal Outerworld (Modron’s womb), Mabon is soon reborn as his mother’s Champion, the Son of Light, wielding the strength and wisdom acquired during his captivity. http://www.twopagans.com/holiday/Mabon.html

The Chinese have a similar celebration, but it is centered differently than that of our European traditions, and it is called the Moon Festival:

“it is a day for family reunion. This lively festival takes place on the 15th day of the 8th Chinese lunar month every year, so its exact date by the Western calendar is different every time. Full of joy and happiness, friends and loved ones gather to celebrate a time when the moon is at its fullest and brightest of the whole year, and everyone gathers together to delight in eating moon cakes and appreciating the spectacular beauty of the full moon.”

 http://www.chinatravel.com/focus/mid-autumn-festival/

So regardless of your beliefs…

HAPPY HARVEST TIME ALL.

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