The Eisteddfod is an assembly of Welsh poets and musicians that compete for an “eisteddfa” or bardic chair. This traditional festival is so important that it is announced 13 months in advance. From as early as the sixth century, the bards of Wales–who were the harpers, genealogists, and soothsayers, as well as court poets and story-tellers—are reported engaging in embittered disputes. Their special status was recognized by law so that formal competitions were used to settle differences. It was at Cardigan in 1176 when the Lord Rhys presented chairs to the winning poet and best performers on the harp, pipe, and fiddle. The Eisteddfod became a way to rate bards and thus distinguish them from the non-bardic traveling ministrals or vagabonds. Overseen by modern Druids, the festival attracts thousands of people even today, and though many awards are give for a number of categories, the place of honor is still reserved for original poetry.
Many of the common names of this plant pertain to its toxic nature (Witches’ glove, Dead Man’s Bells, Bloody Fingers). Foxglove belongs to the Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae) and the whole plant is toxic. It contains various cardiac glycosides. Foxglove also went by the names Goblin’s Gloves (in Wales), Throttle-wort, Thimble Flower, Finger Flower, Ireland it was also known as Fairy Cap, Lunsmore, and the Great Herb. Foxglove was also considered dear to faeries. If a plant was harmed, the faeries would bring retribution
Imbolc – Brigid’s Well Spell
To Heal Or Bring General Good Health
Purpose: To ease ill-health or bring well-being in the coming year.
Background: Imbolc is also known as the Feast of Brigid, a well-beloved Irish Goddess renowned as a patron of healing. Many springs and rivers are sacred to her, bearing features of her name, in Brittany, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, but her strongest association with the healing power of waters is with wells.
In pre-Christian times, people venerated the genii loci, or “spirits of place,” of natural locations that were considered particularly sacred springs and wells, sources of water that came up from the earth, were considered very special, and healing properties, including cures for eye and skin problems, became attributed to many of those associated with Brigid. In this spell, you will be recreating Brigid’s Well in symbol, in the form of a pottery or stone bowl or cup. Since Brigid’s Healing Well is a spiritual symbol, this recreation is just as valid as if you had applied to the spirit of a well in Kildare, in Ireland, or a river in Wales. You may make up to three requests for healing, including one for general good health, as appropriate.
How to cast the Spell
Items You Will Need:
Six white candles, 6-8″ in length
One stone or pottery cup or bowl
Three small beach pebbles
One small cup of salt
Timing: Cast this spell at Imbolc
Casting the Spell:
Place the candles all around the cup.
Name each stone as an ailment you wish healed, as appropriate, sprinkling a pinch of salt over each. Breathe onto them, saying:
By my breath.
By my flesh.
By the living waters of Brigid, may health prevail and good reside.
Hail, Lady of Fire.
Hold your palms toward the flames and close your eyes, then visualize dark stains on the stones dissolving in the water, rising to the surface to be burned away in the candle flames.
Chant the following until you feel the energies in the circle rise:
Earth, water, flame
Work in Her name
Earth, water, fire
Work my desire.
Discharge the energy raised by raising your hands into the air and mentally releasing it.
The Spells Bible
The Definitive Guide to Charms and Enchantments
Cut Firewood, Mow to Increase Growth, Castrate Farm Animals, Dig Holes, Wean, Potty Train, Wash Windows, Advertise to Sell, Travel for Pleasure
In days gone by, when the world was much younger
Men wondered at spring, born of winter’s gold knife
Wondered at the games of the moon and the sunlight,
They saw there the Lady and Lord of all life.
CHORUS: And around and around and around turns the good earth
All things must change as the seasons go by,
We are the children of the Lord and the Lady,
Whose mysteries we know but we’ll never know why.
In all lands the people were tied with the good earth
Plowing and sowing as the seasons declared
Waiting to reap of the rich golden harvest
Knowing Her laugh in the joys that they shared.
Through Flanders and Wales and the green land of Ireland
In Kingdoms of England and Scotland and Spain
Circles grew up all along the wild coastline
And worked for the land with the sun and the rain.
Circles for healing and working the weather
Circles for knowing the moon and the sun
Circles for thanking the Lord and the Lady
Circles for dancing the dance never done
And we who reach for the stars in the heavens
Turning our eyes from the meadows and groves
Still live in the love of the Lord and the Lady
The greater the Circle the more the love grows
Herb of the Day
Folk Names: Broom, Frey, Furze, Fyrs, Gorst, Goss, Prickly Broom, Ruffet, Whin
Deities: Jupiter, Thor
Powers: Protection, Money
Magickal Uses: Gorse is a good protectant against evil. In Wales hedges of the prickly gorse are used to protect the home against fairies, who cannot penetrate the hedge.
Gorse is also used in money spells, it attracts gold.
Saint of the Day
Welsh bishop, also called Eliud, Issell, Teillo, Teilou, Dub, and Theliau. A native of Penally, Pembrokshire, Wales, he studied under Sts. Dyfrig and Dubricius. He accompanied the famed St. David ofWales to Jerusalem and was a friend and assistant to St. Samson in Brittany, France, for seven years. Returning to Wales in 554, he was quite successful as a preacher and founded and served as abbot-bishop of Llandaff monastery in Dyfed, Wales. He was buried in Llandaff Cathedral.
Deity of the Day
“Silver Wheel”; “High fruitful Mother”; Goddess of the Stars; Goddess of the Sky; Goddess of Reincarnation; Full Moon Goddess. Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess in Wales. Honoured at the Full Moon. Beauty, fertility, reincarnation. Her palace was called Caer Arianrhod (Aurora Borealis). Keeper of the circling Silver Wheel of Stars, a symbol of time and karma. This wheel was also known as the Oar Wheel, a ship that carried dead warriors to the Moon-land (Emania).