I think a major point that is missed by some people practicing reconstructionist faiths is that we are literally creating new traditions and practices as we go along.  So much of what we have is modern and even our interpretations of the mythos, of the beloved lore, are often modern and translated and created in the last few centuries.  We are a modern faith movement.

Why do I bring this up? What’s your point, Boggan?  Simply this: do not discount people because they value their UPG or find a modern approach to an old tradition or ritual. It’s their practice; what we take away from it as a whole is different and goes into the whole SPG part of the faith and is worth conversation and consideration but there is no orthodoxy, no central authority. We are richer for that, I believe.

What we know for “certain” in the lore and the mythology is not the be-all, end-all of a reconstructionist faith.  It has great value and importance (incredibly so!) but so does everything else we are creating along the way. 

Faiths and cultures evolve and so do the gods; remember that.

A conversation I had with an atheist friend:

Them: “So, you believe in a mighty sky wizard?  You?”

Me: “No.”

Them: “Oh, good. I-”

Me: “I believe in a trickster sea wizard, a poetic blacksmith goddess, a trio of bloodied, prophetesses and a highly skilled, porridge-loving, well endowed god.”

Them: “…alright then.”

Me: “They say hi.”

Bealtaine Recipies

Breakfast Ideas -

Irish Porridge with Berry Compote -

(from Irish Cooking by Publications International Ltd.)

This recipe is great with whatever berries are in season near you. I like to use the honey instead of sugar to represent the fruits of our labor as well as the honey the bees make after pollinated the food. Its a very sun representative food to me as well.

Ingredients -  

  • 4 cups plus 1 TBLS divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup half and half ( or cream or dairy substitute)
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar or molasses
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries hulled and quartered
  • 6 oz fresh blueberries
  • 6 oz fresh blackberries
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar or honey

Steps

  1. Boil the water with a pinch of salt, then sprinkle in the oats and cinnamon and nutmeg as its boiling. Stir until it begins to thicken, then reduce to simmer for 35-40 min. Add in the cream/non-dairy and molasses/brown sugar.
  2. Combine berries and water in small sauce pan, add in sugar or molasses. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Cook 8 - 9 min or until tender and the berries still hold their shape.
  3. Decide porridge among 4 bowls and top with the berry compote.

Honey Scones - 

Sounds delicious and from the same book as above. Great for Imbolc as well.

Ingredients - 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBLS brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 TBLS baking powder
  • 6 TBLS butter, melted
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 TBLS granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. While heating line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 2. Combine flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the oats. Whisk the milk, cream, melted butter and egg in a separate bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry until the dough just comes together.
  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and pat dough into a ¾ in thick circle. Cut the circle into eight triangles.
  4. Arrange triangles onto the baking sheet and bake for 12 - 15 min or until golden brown. Let cool 15 and serve warm, with butter and honey.

Feast Dishes -

Sides - 

 Here are some side dishes that I thought up or read for your feast. These will be in less recipe format then the ones above.

Savory Strawberry Salad -

Ingredients

  • ½ purple onion
  • 1 container strawberries, rinsed and sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • 6 - 8 roma tomatoes sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • 2 TBLS balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste
  1. Slice onions into ¼ inch quarter rings. Add to a non-reactive bowl. Add the strawberries and tomatoes.
  2. Add balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place into the fridge overnight, or the freezer for 1 hour. 
  4. Remove the bowl and let come to room temperature. Serve.

Spring Salad Mix -

Add a fresh made dressing to a bag of salad mix! 

Try these -

  • honey, lime, oilive oil and dill
  • raspberries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper
  • rice wine vinegar, cilantro, lime, and canola oil
  • lemon, dijon mustard, clove of garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper

Simple Sides -

  • Irish Cheddar and fresh fruit
  • Colcannon
  • Fire Roasted Corn on the cob
  • Fire Roasted Bell Peppers dipped into a creamy dressing (Ranch)
  • Carrots and Celery dipped into hummus
  • Local fresh produce, raw and ready to eat!
  • Red cabbage and sliced apple slaw

Main Course -

  • The main dish should be something that reflects the season, and your celebration. If you are having a bon fire, hot dogs, sausages and other food roasted over the fire are appropriate. 
  • Or fire up the barbecue and grill up some some meat! Carne asada, which is a popular summer meat to grill in SoCal, it is marinated strip steak in lime and other seasonings, and great for this holiday. Also try lime and tequila marinated chicken, grilled salmon, or hamburgers. 
  • Not going to be outside? Try roasting or broiling in the oven. A good beef roast is great, or maybe some broiled fish.
  • Vegatarian? try boca burgers, or other veggie burgers, grilled portabellos with cheese on top, or some seasonal veggies on the grill! I love roasted zucchini on the barbecue or in the broiler.
  • Do what is good to you and appropriate for your diet/nutritional needs and what is in season. Just because the ancient Irish folk ate something at this holiday, it doesn’t mean we can’t eat what we have available or even the modern equivalent of it!

Drinks - 

  • Gewurztraminer with Elderberry Syrup and fresh strawberries and blackberries
  • May Wine - ½ cup of dried sweet woodruff leaves, 1 bottle of Riesling wine, 1 bottle of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne, ¾ cups organic strawberries, chopped. And a pinch of fresh sweet woodruff flowers for garnish
  • Meyer Lemonade infused with lavender and mint
  • Fresh brewed floral tea, such as chamomile, with honey or infused 3 flower sugar, from my other post.

Desserts - I am going to make a whole separate post for Bealtaine desserts!

I hope you enjoyed my post on the foods and recipes I put together for this year’s Beltane!

A simple gaelpol blessing for disposing of offerings:

Back to the earth, and may it be

A blessing of blessings upon all Three.

I have a pot of soil outside my apartment door that I pour my offerings out into while I recite this; but you could use this for most any method that you prefer. 

OK, this might be a kind of dumb question, but I’m unclear on terms and what they mean, so I thought I’d ask. What’s the difference between heathenry and Nordic polytheism? What is the difference between Gaelic, Celtic, and Irish polytheism?

I’ve stayed in Hellenic circles too long, I think, and neglected learning about other stuff.

Anyway, thanks to anyone who can clear this up for me!

drive.google.com
Deity devotions templates tumblr.pdf

I made this today (literally about 30 minutes ago after I finished making a workout log for April) because I got an idea about making devotions a little bit easier for new polytheists as well as more established ones. The layout is pretty simple and allows you to keep track of what deity you prayed to, the date, any offerings that were made, etc. I’ve also included a journaling option. Also (and though it’s not viewable in the pictures below), I’ve left enough room around the borders so people could do their drawings or whatnot. I’m more than happy to provide the documents I created since the pics aren’t that great via email or messenger.


Update: Okay, I think I fixed it so now people can download and begin their devotional book. 

The Value of Who You Call “Ancestor”

It is a powerful thing knowing not only where you come from but from who.

It is also just as powerful in knowing what you value.

Through four exhaustive years of genealogy research, countless hours talking to extended and immediate family and even a round of genetic testing, I know where my ancestors came from and who many of them were.  I take a comfort in knowing where my roots lie and from what soil we have stood and raised families.

But, I have to ask myself: what is the value in it?  Is it a cultural pride or a means of validating the ancestors I venerate?  How deep does my research go and just how accurate is it? What is the true value of it all?

I enjoy certainties, factual answers.  I enjoy knowing that I am very Scottish and Irish and have roots in Gaelic countries and cultures.  I enjoy knowing the names of my distant relations and knowing of their journeys, their victories, their failures.  I enjoy knowing who has come before me.

But many don’t.  And there are some who do know but do not wish to honor those people for a variety of reasons, all of them valid.  Some turn to others not of their blood and call them “friend”, “family” or “ancestor”.

And that is just as important and worthy of being celebrated.  While I may know my genetic and cultural roots and take pride in it, I also find joy in honoring those who have no blood relation to me but who are also just as worthy of such veneration.  There are those who have influenced our lives on such a level that they deserve to be recognized as “ancestor”, “mentor”, “family” or what have you.  They inspire, give purpose and help us define who we are and what we choose to embody.

Those people or figures (be they mythological or something else entirely) are just as much ancestors to us as my grandfather is.  Knowing your familial roots, especially as someone who engages in ancestral worship, can be a very powerful and defining thing but it is only as valuable as you allow it to be. You choose who to remember and who to honor, not the dictations of your blood or the wishes of your family.  Rather, it is ultimately you and your love of them, be they honored due to blood or deed, that gives them definition.

Macha, Queen of Justice,
We honor you and we call to you.
You have known love and loss, betrayal and pain,
as you have known the crown of victory;
Great is your will, diverse is your skill, and fearsome is your power.

We call to you -  
Cradle our hands, so that we may know we’re not alone
Guide our legs, so that we may never lose ground
Strengthen our backs, so that we may stand tall under the weight of our experience
Sharpen our minds, so that we may separate truth from oppression
Open our hearts, so that we may have compassion for ourselves
Fix our eyes, so that we may never lose sight of hope.


Macha, Queen of Justice,
We honor you and we call to you.


Hail, Macha.

—  for survivors

brigid of unspoken justice
brigid of revolution
brigid of wildfire
brigid, wordsmith

brigid, builder of community
brigid of the whistling teakettle
brigid of morning birdsong
brigid of candlelight


brigid of the glowing embers
brigid of guidance
brigid of the rolling hills
brigid, transformer of lives


oh goddess, with room for all the world in your arms–
exalted one,
dear brigid, hold us close

—  musings

classic-literature-snob  asked:

Wait, okay, the Dagda. How do we know he likes porridge? This was an Irish king, right? And a god? Tell me more, please, I'm so interested!

Ah yes, the Dagda is a fascinating being!  A god, yes, and a king - king or chieftain of the Tuatha Dé Danann.  He is a complex and intriguing character who is found throughout the Irish mythos and is featured prominently in several myths found in the Lebar Gabála and other sources.  He is a warrior, a musician, a lover, a father and a god of all skills and many names.  

While I am normally weary of Tairis and Gaol Naofa as an organization, they do have a fantastic write up about the Dagda which can be found here.  The author gives a wonderfully insightful and well researched overview into the Dagda.  Enjoy!  

Celtic Deities: Óengus/Aengus

Óengus is a God of Love, Youth and Poetic Inspiration. He is the son of The Dagda and Boann, and was said to live at Brú na Bóinne.

Óengus’ father, The Dagda, had an affair with Boann, the river Goddess who was the wife of Nechtan. To disguise Boann’s pregnancy, The Dagda stilled the Sun for 9 months so that Óengus was conceived, gestated and born in one day.
Midir became Óengus’ foster father.

  • Abode(s): Brú na Bóinne.

  • Weapons: Moralltach, Beagalltach, Gáe Buide, Gáe Derg.
  • Animals: Swans.
  • Consorts: Etain, Caer Ibormeith.
  • Parents: The Dagda & Boann  (Midir acted as a foster father).
  • Siblings: Oghma an Cermait.
  • Children: Diarmuid Ua Duibhne (foster son).

When he came of age, Óengus dispossessed The Dagda of his home, Brú na Bóinne (an area of the Boyne River Valley that contains the passage tombs Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth). He arrived at his father’s home after The Dagda had shared out his land amongst his children, and none was left for Óengus so he asked whether he could instead dwell in Brú na Bóinne for “a day and a night”, - to this, The Dagda agreed.
Now, bear in mind that the Irish language has no indefinite article, so “a day and a night” is equal to “day and night”, which covers all time, therefore enabling Óengus to take permanent possession of Brú na Bóinne.

Tales of Óengus:

Óengus also killed Lugh Lámhfada’s (yes, Lugh as in Lughnasadh) poet for lying about his brother, Oghma an Cermait. The poet claimed that Oghma was embroiled in an affair with one of Lugh’s wives.

In the “Tale of Two Pails”, a sidhe woman, foster daughter of Óengus, became lost and wound up in the company of St. Patrick where she was then converted to Christianity. Unable to win her back, Óengus left and eventually, consumed by grief, she died.

Óengus fell in love with a girl who appeared in his dreams. His mother, Boann, Goddess of the river Boyne and a cow Goddess who’s milk formed the Milky Way (known as Bealach na Bó Finne, - the White Cow’s Way - in Irish), searched the whole of Ireland for a year. The Dadga did the same. It was the King, Bodb Dearg who finally found the girl after a further year of searching.

Óengus travelled to the lake of the Dragon’s Mouth and there he found 150 girls chained in pairs. Among them was his girl, Caer Ibormeith. Caer and the others would take on the form of swans for 1 whole year, every second Samhain. Óengus was told that if he could identify Caer in swan form, he could have her hand in marriage. Instead, he turned himself into a swan and the pair flew away, singing a beautiful song that would put all who listened to sleep for 3 days and 3 nights.

He owned a sword named Moralltach, the Great Fury, given to him by Manannan mac Lir. This, he gave to his foster son, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, along with another sword named Beagalltach, the Little Fury. He also gave him two spears of great power: Gáe Buide and Gáe Derg.  When the young man died, Óengus took his body back to Brú na Bóinne where he breathed life into it whenever he wished to speak to Diarmuid. 

In other legends, Óengus was able to repair broken bodies and return life to them.

Celtic Deities Series [2/101]

We are accustomed to distinguish the supernatural from the natural. The barrier between the two domains is not, indeed, always impenetrable: the Homeric gods sometimes fight in the ranks of human armies, and a hero may force the gates of Hades and visit the empire of the dead. But the chasm is there nonetheless, and we are made aware of it by feeling of wonder or horror aroused by this violation of established order. The Celts knew nothing of this, if we are entitled to judge their attitude from Irish tradition. Here there is continuity, in space and in time, between what we call our world and the other world–or worlds. Some peoples, such as the Romans, think of their myths historically; the Irish think of their history mythologically; and so, too, of their geography. […] The supernatural and the natural penetrate and continue each other, and constant communication beteen them ensures their organic unity. Hence it is easier to describe the mythological world of the Celts than to define it, for definition implies a contrast.
—  Celtic Gods and Heroes byMarie-Louise Sjeostedt, translated by Myles Dillon, page 1.

So for Trans Day of Visibility I have written a poem about us as a whole and my feelings that Manannán mac Lir is basically the god of genderweirds. It takes the form of rosc, a sort of short, punchy truth poem genre. Though I’ve skimped on the alliteration aspect of it to focus on closings and three words per line. Anyway. Here it is:


The sun shines

above the sea

swiftly swaying, bobbing

world of motion

why not us

we too, people


The sun shines

above the sea

we little people

some in skirts

others choose beards

and some both


The sun shines

above the sea

you looking on

covering us lovingly

embraced in mist

like a father

The Morrígan:
Her/Their History & Contemporary Cult

This page is a work of love, devotion, and practicality.  It is for the Morrígan, as herself and themselves, and for any of us who have tasted her names in the blood on our lips.

  • Introductions & History
  • Her Cult
  • Contemporary Reflections on the Morrígan, Sovereignty, War, & Death
  • Tumblr Resources and E-shrines
  • Books, Sites, & Organizations

It is a work that will never be finished, I hope, as my own practice deepens and our community continues to grow and publish and evolve as long as there is need of her/them.  I sincerely hope it provides some measure of help for people.

And for fuck’s sake, don’t go making any oaths about patrons or whatever until you’re damn well sure you can handle the consequences.

[x]