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Posts Tagged ‘Outsiders’

Was there malaria in prehistoric Ireland? | The Charles Mount Blog.

Really interesting read from what looks to be a very informative blog!  Worth following, I think!

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Slowly, slowly – I’m reading through Carmina Gadelica by Alexander Carmichael.  It’s an absolutely fascinating read, and a must for anyone following a Celtic-inspired path.  Although it’s focus is on the Scottish Highlands and surrounding islands, those who have an Irish hearth culture would benefit greatly from its contents.

Anyway, the other day I reached a “Prayer for Protection.”  It is Christian, of course:

Christ be between me and the fairies,

My frown upon each tribe of them!

This day is Friday on the sea and on land –

My trust, O King, that they shall not hear me.

A healthy respect, and even fear, of fairy-folk has existed in Celtic nations for generations.  Today, many Pagans insist that fairies are all light and goodness, possessing an altruism towards humanity.  That can be true for some, especially Tuatha Dé Danann like Brighid, but most (based on lore, my few experiences, and the work of others) are ambivalent, mischievous, and occasionally malicious.  They are part of nature which encompasses the creative as well as the destructive.  Their varied natures should surprise no one.  Thus the above prayer makes a lot of sense, especially considering that many of the people interviewed by Carmichael lived in rural areas and struggled with the hardships of Nature regularly.

In ADF, we work with our allies – some of whom may be considered fairies.  Spirits who do not fit that category are Outsiders (or Outdwellers).  They are spirits who have stood against our Gods, destructive beings, illness, ancestors who don’t care for us… hell even mosquitos can be considered Outsiders in a ritual!  They are not necessarily evil – their goals just don’t align with our own.  Outsiders are a natural part of the cosmos.  When we hold our rites, we ask for our allies to be with us and the Outsiders to leave us in peace.  Every grove goes about this differently.  Some give offerings during ritual, some at the end and only if the rite has gone without disturbance.  Some groups turn their back on the Outsiders while a warrior confronts them.  Others still consider internal stresses and anger to be Outsiders.  They envision them going into a box which is moved out of the ritual space.

The above prayer from Carmina Gadelica could easily be rewritten and used in an ADF rite to ask for protection from the Outsiders.

Kindreds be between me and the Outsiders,

My frown upon each tribe of them!

This day is (Imbolc, Saturday, etc) on the sea and on land-

My trust, Kindreds, that they shall not hear me.

 

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Well, a new calendar year has begun.  As a few other Pagans have noted elsewhere, it is interesting to have celebrated a spiritual New Year at Samhain then a more secular one this weekend.  As others have rightfully said, any day could be a beginning of a New Year, but there is so much collective energy around this particular transition that it is difficult not to become swept up in it.  I know many who practice a Scots Gaelic influenced path celebrate Hogmanay, but that is something I’ve never really looked into.

Any transitional time is a good excuse to tidy the house and welcome cleansing energies.  Some do this with besoms, others sacred or ritually charged waters, and still others use incense.  I cleaned the social areas of the house in preparation for a New Year’s Eve party with friends.  I lit incense as an offering to Brighid, protector of our hearth and home.  I prayed for my sense of hospitality to blossom, for a joyous home, and a comforting home in which my guests would be welcomed.  I also lit candles with a similar intent.  There are many who believe in the use of loud noises to scare away more malignant spirits.  This is not necessarily a Druidic custom but it is old.  Growing up, my mother encouraged us to bang pans outside, something I may try to revive next year.  This year, I gathered some old craft materials, cardboard spools, little film cases, etc and challenged my friends to create noisemakers using recycled materials.  It turned out to be a fun and sustainable icebreaker activity!  Some guests also brought “squawkers” which were passed out with champagne.

Ah, the booze…  Any noise we made didn’t scare away the green fairy who, in the form of absinthe, made me quite drunk and eventually sick.  It has been said that how your New Year begins is an indication of how the rest of your year will be.  I’m being optimistic.  Rather than believing my year will entail severe inebriation and gastronomical purging, I feel that, no matter the annoyances, I will be surrounded by loving friends and family who take care of me and sympathize.  There will be fun and merriment with a group of people who I can trust.

That said, I’m taking a break from alcohol…  Tea.  Now there’s a good drink.  You can blend different flavors like liquor.  It is often aged like liquor.  It usually tastes better and has very beneficial qualities.  There’s a drink for me!  I’m sure I will have alcohol again, but I am more respectful of its capabilities now.  It all goes back to the virtues of moderation…  Perhaps something else I can focus on in 2012?

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