Eamhancholl

Beech
Letter: X (Xi)

Forfeda Flash Card – Vicky Newton

The appearance of Eamhancholl in a reading indicates that you are entering a time of cleansing. This might be a physical clean out of belongings but also an emotional and spiritual cleansing. On a physical level take time to consider if you are holding on to things needlessly or if there are things you can pass on to others to their benefit. Emotionally ridding ourselves of clutter and baggage brings us freedom from fixed ideas and things that hold back our emotional and spiritual development. Take this opportunity to evaluate your spiritual path and ensure that you are still interested in the studies you are perusing. Feelings of being stagnant and adrift in your spiritual journey, in conjunction with the appearance of Eamhancholl, is a good indication that it is time to make a change. More generally Emahancholl occurring in a reading is an indication that you are encountering negative energies and you may wish to undertake cleansing rituals to purify your home and yourself on all levels; body, mind and spirit.

Beech

Scientific name: Fagus sylvatica
Family: Fagaceae
Origin: native

The monumental beech tree is another of the majestic and instantly recognisable trees of the British woodland. With its vast spread canopy and towering height of 40m in mature trees it is an inspiring sight whether stood alone or amongst the trees of the forest. The grey bark of tree is smooth and thin, often marked with horizontal etches and its reddish, torpedo pot red leaf buds are the easiest way to identify this tree in winter, unless the tree has held on to its leaves in winter and it is sometime want to do. Beech is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers bloom on the same tree. Both types bloom between April and May, with male catkins hanging from long stalls from the end of the twig whilst the female flowers grow in pairs which turn woody once pollinated, eventually producing one or two beech nuts in the autumn.

Beech Tree by 1195798

Magical Correspondences

Planet: Mercury, Saturn
Element: Air, Earth
Birds: Bluebird
Color: light blue
Deity: Hermes/Mercury, Odin, or Chronos/Saturn, Ogma, Thoth

Eamhancholl Eamhancholl Eamhancholl
Eamm Haan Colll Eamm Haan Colll
Eeeeeam Han Colll Eeeeeam Han Colll
Eamhancholl Eamhancholl Eamhancholl

Suggested Galdur

Magical Uses

Carve a wish or the name of something that you wish to manifest into a beech stick which is then buried in the ground. This is particularly effective in relationship to prosperity and plenty.

Carry a beech wood charm to bring good luck and success or place powered beech wood powder in your right shoe to help you walk towards your future fortune.

Water gathered from a beech hollow can be used in spell work, particularly blessings and spells for beauty and self worth.

Use a beech wood wand during works focused on ancestors worship or generally when you need to boost the energy of your working.

Mythology and Literature

Beech trees have a long association with the practice of writing and, by extension, knowledge and wisdom. Beech wood has been used as the basis of writing tablets as well as sliced into fine leaves to form the pages of a book. It is no wonder then that beech tree is then associated with gods of wisdom and communication such as Ogma, Odin and Mercury/Hermes. Even today the Swedish word ‘Bok’  means both book and beech whilst in German ‘Buch’ means book and ‘Buche’ means Beech.

In a more occult sense the beech tree is associated with liminal spaces and the u Underworld. This is part due to its serpent like root system which dives deep into the earth. On the other hand the medieval Welsh poem “The battle of the Trees” by the Bard Taliesin, refers to the beech as a tree which “prospers through spells and litanies”, explaining its association with magical practice and lore. Folklore in Germany associates the beech tree with new birth, with the hollow of a beech tree serving as an alternative to the cabbage patch. Unlike the stork and cabbage patch the baby is said to magically appear in the beech Halloween, perhaps drawn up (or down) in to life manifest.

Another very practical use of the beech tree is as a source of winter fodder. Beech nuts were a preferred source of winter feed, particularly for swine.

When the long, varnished buds of beech
Point out beyond their reach,
And tanned by summer suns
Leaves of black bryony turn bronze,
And gossamer floats bright and wet
From trees that are their own sunset,
Spring, summer, autumn I come here,
And what is there to fear?
And yet I never lose the feeling
That someone close behind is stealing
Or else in front has disappeared;
Though nothing I have seen or heard ,
The fear of what I might have met
Makes me still walk beneath these boughs
With cautious steps as in a haunted house.

The Beech Wood By Andrew Young
Madru: Das Baum Tarot from Acclectic Tarot

Sources and Further Reading

Mileage may vary. The Forfeda are a later addition to the ogham alphabet which are sometimes including in divination sets. There is a diversity of names and meanings ascribed to the symbols of the forfeda and what is offered here is my own interpretation. Please take the information provided here in conjunction with other sources of information.

Tales Unfold – Forfeda
Magick and the Green Dragon
Living Library Introduction to the Forfeda
Learn Religions
Druid Garden
Druidry.org
The Goddess Tree
Thomas Marty Shamanic Healing
Woodland Trust

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice © Nanou22

This was when the whole world measured time

This is when the light would turn around

This is where the past would come undone

and the spinning earth will mark a new beginning

Let’s go back in time, to when it all began

To the breaking of new dawns

Where moments bright with fire, would light the chanting song

Where pagans worshipped sun, and danced among the trees

Wore strange masks of covered straw, and blessed cold ash with awe

Wreaths hung upon the door against all spirit’s, dire and when the winter’s grasp let go, the sun reversed the pyre

This was when the whole world measured time

This is when the light would turn around

So that spring arrives, and seeds will sprout and grow

Oh, radiant sun, stretch the day, shorten night Return earth’s darkness into light

This is where the light will turn around

And this was where the past would come undone

Summer Solstice by Carrie Richards

Iphin

Gooseberry
Letter: Io (Ph)

Forfeda Flash Card – Vicky Newton

When Iphin appears in readings it highlights our sense of grief and or remorse for his previous situations have played out and suggests that this may be clouding our judgment in the here and now. Our ability to view things intellectually can be hindered by our emotions and there is a danger in allowing our heart to rule our head. The process of dealing with, and releasing, your grief will bring resolution to the situation at hand. This might be through mended and renewed relationships to the release of creative and transformative forces that can be used to change you for the better. The key message of Iphin is that in order to grow you must step outside of your comfort zone and find the place where it you are able to meet your own needs whilst respecting the needs of others.

Gooseberry

Scientific Name: Ribes uva-crispa
Family: Grossulariaceae
Origin: unclear
Habitat: Urban and agricultural settings including hedgerows

Wildly cultivated for its fruit the Gooseberry can also be found in the hedgerows and mixed Woodlands of the British Isles. It is not clear if the plant is native to the UK or was introduced in times past but as it appears well settled in countryside without out-competing other species it is certainly comfortable here.

Leaves are rounded with three to give lobes with flowers appearing as a creamy white bell. The wood is dark in colour and often covered in protective spines which not only protect its seasonal fruit but make an excellent boundary plant.

The best way to identify gooseberry is during the fruiting season as it is hard to mistake it for anything else during this time. Fruit appears between June and August and can range in colour from tart green all the way through to red and purple. They usually have a light covering of hair over their outer skin, though they can develop in to full-fledged spines in larger fruit.

Gooseberry © GLady

Magical Correspondence

Planet: Venus
Gender: Feminine
Themes: transformation, change, releasing grief and grievances
Deities: Brigidh, Arianrhod
Sabbat: Beltane

Magical Uses

Iphin Iphin Iphin
Iii F-in Iii F-in Iii F-in
Iiiiii F-in F-in F-in
Iphin Iphin Iphin

Suggested Galdur

Incorporate dried fruit in to healing charms or spells to increase a woman’s fertility.

Gooseberries make a good food offering to deity, particularly Goddesses.

Make a jar of sweet gooseberry jam or jelly as a peace offering to someone who is upset with you. 

Mythology and Literature

There is little regarding gooseberry in folktales and lore but there are a number of things we can derive from its traditional healing uses. Its use as a way of treating women recovering from childbirth and complicated menstrual problems has lead it to be associated with goddesses concerned with fertility and childbirth, particularly Arianrhod and Brigid when considering Celtic pantheons.

 The Ogham Tract refers to Gooseberry as “the sweetest of woods” and “most wonderful of tastes”. It has variously been associated with the fae and with ancient shamanic practices, depending on your research source.

Quiet woods was our haunt
Below the gooseberry bushes
Where we found out we were in love
Gooseberry picking our pretense
from prying, eyebrow-lifting parents
Whose disappointment and disapproval would have killed us.
Dappled light shone on our first tentative kiss
Giggles echoed along the corridor of tree trunks
We touched thin, undeveloped bodies tenderly, shyly.
Prohibited love, we were both just fifteen
On hugging our long curls interlocked, yours blonde, mine mousy brown
Our lip gloss; yours bright red, mine pink, joined like glue.
Best friends became lovers in the silent woods
There was nothing wrong with our love
Yet we hid it for so long.
We carried gooseberries in our hoods on the way home.

Gooseberry Picking by Della Perry

Sources and Further Reading

Mileage may vary. The Forfeda are a later addition to the ogham alphabet which are sometimes including in divination sets. There is a diversity of names and meanings ascribed to the symbols of the forfeda and what is offered here is my own interpretation. Please take the information provided here in conjunction with other sources of information.

Tales Unfold – Forfeda
Magick and the Green Dragon
Living Library Introduction to the Forfeda
Living Library Iphin
Learn Religions
Writing with Tarot
Sentiment Metaphysics
Wildfood UK

A Jubilee Weekend

It has been one of those liminal long weekends, where days seem to blur and flow together. The cause of this has been the celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II here in the UK, with bunting and street parties and many displays of Royalist joy.

I am not a royalist, but I am mindful that Queen Elizabeth II represents a constant through out the turmoil and change of the last 70 of social, economic and political upheaval. Though the Royals have not always set the best example to society, and will no doubt continue to display defects in their humanity on regular occasion, the consistency and dignity (in the royal sense) that the Queen has brought is something worthy of recognition.

In truth the Jubilee should have taken place in February but if its too cold and wet for British Pagans to be working skyclad for Imbolc then its too cold and wet to trot out a 90 odd year old woman for the trooping of the colours. That being said the thoughts and opinions about the event expressed by Pagans in this February article about the Jubilee are as relevant in June as they were in February though this is a better time to share a poem to mark the occasion.

If charm were a country, then you would be

Its capital of many domes and spires
Gilded and gleaming off a crystal sea,
And graced with every art that love inspires.

If beauty a nation, then you, its queen,
Would wield the scepter of love’s dazzling power
Beguiling all thy subjects with serene
And regal allure from a silver tower.

Alas, the fairest flow’rs remain unknown
Behind the garden walls of married life;
And thou, the loveliest, shouldst not bemoan
The humble title of a poet’s wife:

To capitals yet made these lines proclaim
Eternal love, and gild thy beauty’s fame.

For Elizabeth by Joseph Charles MacKenzie

Uillean

Honeysuckle
Letter: Ui

Forfeda Flash Card – Vicky Newton

Uillean is the symbol of hopes and dreams, of the freedom to pursue them until they become a reality. If there is pleasure to be found in the process or in the realisation then free yourself to experience all that is on offer. In the words of the Wiccan Goddess; All acts of love and pleasure are my ritual. Uillean hints that you may be experiencing distractions, the noise of the everyday world obscuring your route to achieving your goals. This is a time to put aside those distractions that may be hindering our journey and stay true to your own values and beliefs in order to stay the course and see your way to the centre of the Mysteries.

Honeysuckle

Scientific name: Lonicera periclymenum
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Origin: native
Habitat: woodland and hedgerows
Common Names: Honeysuckle, Woodbine and Goats Foot

Honeysuckle is a deciduous climbing plant, with a large variety of species native to the temperate zones of both hemispheres. They can grow up to 10 m high, growing in a vine-like manner akin to ivy, producing twists and coils which are perfect from climbing amongst other trees and up the side of buildings. Nestles amongst the vines and oval leaves of deep green bearing creamy trumpet like flowers which appear yellow-orange with a pale pink flush. Sweet smelling, the flowers produce edible nectar which attracts many species of moths, butterflies and other pollinating insects. After flowering between July and September honeysuckle produces clusters of red berries which ripen during the autumn. Though some species are native to Britain, or have been successful introduced and naturalised some species are aggressive self-propagators and escape their garden setting to become invasive.

Honeysuckle © adamtepl

Magical Correspondences

Planet: Venus
Element: Earth
Gender: Feminine
Themes: Love, luck, intuition, protection
Colour: pale pink and white
Deity: Cerridwen, Gaia, the Morrigan, Venus/Aphrodite
Sabbat: Beltane, Ostara

Magical Uses

Uillean Uillean Uillean
Ullll Eee Ann Ullll Eee Ann
Ullll e Ann Ullll e Annn
Uillean Uillean Uillean

Suggested Galdur

Bring flowering honeysuckle into the home to encourage an environment of love and harmony. This is particularly effective for improving relationships where two vines are intertwined.

Burn honeysuckle incense or scented candles to attract and maintain financial blessings into the home or generally sweeten the thoughts of others towards you. Honeysuckle flowers can also be added to honey jar spells.

Crush a honeysuckle flower and place it on or close to your forehead as you sleep to increase psychic pores and insight. Alternative add dried flowers to sleep pillows for the same purpose or to induce dreams of love and passion.

Plant honeysuck in your garden, particularly along boundaries to protect  and bless your home and to attract the Fae into your home.

Honeysuckle flowers can also incorporated into spells intended to determine the true worth of a person or thing or used as incense during divination sessions for the same purpose.

Mythology and Literature

Honeysuckle and woodbine do not feature prominently in folklore but when it appears it is usually in a healing context. For example, in Scottish records a witch is recorded to have created a wreath of woodbine, passed the patient through it nine times before cutting the wreath up in to nine pieces and then burning the wood in order to effect a cure. Other records link honeysuckle with the Fae, protecting against those with malicious intent whilst nourishing the kindly ones. On practical level honeysuckle stems are strong yet pliant and can be twisted into an effective rope. There is evidence that bridles and harness have been made from honeysuckle as early as the Bronze Age.

Of myths the most prominent relates the tale of Greek lovers Daphnis and Chloe. The pair loved far apart and could only meet when the honeysuckle bloomed. Daphnis begged the Goddess Aphrodite to aid their love and in response the Goddess caused the blossoms to last longer, carrying blossom whilst ever the weather was warm. This lengthened the time the lovers could be together and provides an explanation for the flowering of the plant. The association of honeysuckle with love appears in Scotland as well, with honeysuckle sticks being carried as a charm for attracting love and ensuring long lasting fidelity and bonds (on a count of the way it grows and it’s indestructible nature once the plant has become established).

The Honeysuckle Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker

The lane is deep, the bank is steep,
The tangled hedge is high;
And clinging, twisting, up I creep,
And climb towards the sky.
O Honeysuckle, mounting high!
O Woodbine, climbing to the sky!

The people in the lane below
Look up and see me there,
Where I my honey-trumpets blow,
Whose sweetness fills the air.
O Honeysuckle, waving there!
O Woodbine, scenting all the air!

The Honeysuckle Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker

Sources and Further Reading

Mileage may vary. The Forfeda are a later addition to the ogham alphabet which are sometimes including in divination sets. There is a diversity of names and meanings ascribed to the symbols of the forfeda and what is offered here is my own interpretation. Please take the information provided here in conjunction with other sources of information.

Tales Unfold – Forfeda
Magick and the Green Dragon
Living Library Introduction to the Forfeda
Learn Religions
Archangel Oracle
Woodland Trust
Sabrina’s Grimoire
Witchipedia


Forfenda Flashcard
Wood Grain Background
Ornate Picture Frame

The Elemental Triangles

Someone coming to witchcraft and Paganism for the first time will quickly encounter the most common representations of the material elements, the elemental triangles.

These symbols are representative of Air, Fire, Water and Earth, the four elements of manifestation which Greek philosophers posited were the underlying components of all creation. Combined, these four elements then create the fifth element of Aether, (also called quintessence or Spirit in magical praxis). These Greek philosophers didn’t just recognise the elements in the physical world but in the emotional and spiritual realms of each individual human, seeing them as contributing to both health and wellbeing.

In alchemy the four classical elements are represented by triangles, with their orientation and placement of a horizontal line denoting their association, and when combined form a six pointed star, representative of Spirit in this context. When viewed at a glance and without labels, the newcomer may find identification of the individual triangles difficult but the symbols are in fact quite logical in their association if you think of the line as indicating the horizon.

ElementSymbolRepresentation
AirAn upward pointing triangle with a horizontal line through it the symbol is pointing above the horizon to the sky
FireAn upward pointing triangle  fire, heat, smoke etc. all rise
WaterA downward pointing triangle water flows downhill to the lowest point
EarthA downward pointing triangle with a horizontal lime through it the symbol is pointing to the earth below the horizon

Hierarchy of Elements

The order we give to the elements is varied and may depend on context. When considering the elements in relation to the cardinal points we often start with Earth in the north before proceeding to Air, Fire and Water respectively.

On the other hand most magical operations with a foundation in the western magical tradition begin in the east and so order given is Air, Fire, Water and Earth. This recognises that the operation begins in the quarter associated with the dawn and start of the day.

In the ancient world the order given to the elements recognised their level if purity, beginning with coarse element of Earth rising through Water and Air to Fire as the second most rarefied element after Aether. The Neoplatonic philosopher Proclus framed it in terms of the qualities and dynamics of the individual elements which when paired with the modern  scientific understandings of each element might give insight into why they were ordered in such a way.

ElementQualitySubstanceMobilityScientific
EarthBluntDenseImmobileMatter
WaterBluntDenseMobileLiquid
AirBluntSubtleMobileGas
FireSharpSubtleMobilePlasma
Neoplatonic Hierarchy of Elements

The Elemental Triangle as Ritual Gestures

One upon a time I was participating in a public ritual where participants were invited to take part in the calling of the quarters of by forming the elemental triangles with our hands. I thought this was a really good idea of the organisers, as it gives one something to do with their hands and concentrate on energetically whilst someone does the circle work around you.

Earth
Air
Fire
Water

Oir

The Spindle Tree
Letter: Oi

Forfeda Flash Card – Vicky Newton

When Oir appears in divination matters of family are being highlighted. This may be related to blood family or those of our chosen family, those we have invited into our lives due to shared. We are being reminded of the importance of our obligations to others, both within our immediate kinship circles as well as the wider spiritual community. Finding a common purpose sometimes means taking on the role of mediator, whether that is close at home or within the wider community. Surrender to your wider responsibilities does require total surrender of self or ignoring our own inner voice. Ask questions, question authority and abandon those old excuses of “knowing your place” in order to make progress in the matter at hand – due diligence is key to a successful outcome.

The Spindle Tree

Common name: spindle, pindleberry, Pegwood
Scientific name: Euonymus europaeus
Family: Celastraceae
Origin: native

The Spindle tree is a species native to most of Europe, including Britain, preferring the edges of forests, hedgerows and scrub land and the chalky soils of the southern regions. It is a deciduous species which can grow up to 9m in height, living up to 100 years. The bark and twigs start greed, darkening with age and acquiring light brown cork like markings. The leaves of the spindle are shiny with a waxy quality, edged with teeth around the edges whilst the flowers and small and white, developing into pink pod like fruit with bright orange seeds. Flowering during May and June the flowers are a rich source of nectar and pollen for insects whereas the leaves are preferred by many moth and butterfly caterpillars such as the magpie moth and holly blue butterfly. The leaves are also attractive to aphids, which in turn attracts their predators such as ladybirds, lacewings and many bird species.
The presence of spindle, with its popcorn like fruit, is an indication that you are walking through ancient woodlands.

Spindle Tree Source

Magical Correspondences

Element: Earth / Water / Air
Gender: Female
Themes: attaining quests, cleansing, divination, honour, inspiration, spiritual work, feminine power, seeking true self, community spirit
Birds: Owl, Swan
Colour: White
Deity:  Athena, Frigg/Freya, Minerva, The Fates
Sabbat: Imbolc

Magical Uses

Oir Oir Oir
Ohhh-rrrr Ohhh-rrrr Ohhh-rrrr
Oh Oh Ohhh-rrrr
Oir Oir Oir

Suggested Galdur

Blend bark and leaves into incense to sooth and cleanse emotional wounds and support with work focused on our shadow self.

Use the act of spinning, ideally using tools made of spindle wood, to magically bring people together in any sense (love, relationship, business, friendship etc). Begin the process with a clear purpose and intention in mind, either with a short prayer or intention written upon the whorl. Focus on this purpose/intent thought out the process, bring yourself back as your mind and focus naturally wander. Once finished formalise the end of the process, such as with a closing prayer of by leaving offerings to any spirits you may have invoke.

Include the letter Oir in your spells casting to ensure that the effect of the spell is long lasting either as a single letter or as part of a sigil.

The fruit of this tree is poisonous and should not be taken internally. Avoid consuming food/drink from wooden vessels made of spindle.

Mythology and Literature

A hardwood, Spindle has long been used in the production of pegs, bobbins and spindles, hence the common name of the tree. It should come as no surprise that the tree is therefore associated with goddesses associated with the feminine arts of spinning and weaving across Europe.

The act of weaving, particular the weaving of fate, is a common theme in many pantheons, be it the Nordic Norns or the Greek Fates. Goddess such Frigg, Frau Holly and Brigantia are all weaver deity’s, intimately associated with the womanly arts of child rearing, abundance and creativity. They are associated with domesticity, security and peace.

Spinning is something that requires patience and dedication, and a skilled spinner and weaver was highly valued within her community, her skills able to transform one thing into another. The items they produced could not only supplied the family but could produce things which could be traded, further ensuring the successful survival of the clan, ensuing their value and status within the family.

‘The Spindle Tree Fairies’ – postcard illustration by Rene Cloke 1920

Spindle-wood, spindle-wood, will you lend me, pray,
A little flaming lantern to guide me on my way?
The fairies all have vanished from the meadow and the glen,
And I would fain go seeking till I find them once again. Lend me now a lantern that I may bear a light
To find the hidden pathway in the darkness of the night.

Excerpt from Alms in Autumn by Rose Fyleman 

Sources and Further Reading

Mileage may vary. The Forfeda are a later addition to the ogham alphabet which are sometimes including in divination sets. There is a diversity of names and meanings ascribed to the symbols of the forfeda and what is offered here is my own interpretation. Please take the information provided here in conjunction with other sources of information.

Tales Unfold – Forfeda
Magick and the Green Dragon
Living Library Introduction to the Forfeda
Learn Religions
Cailleachs Herbarium
Woodland Trust
Druidry.org

Forfenda Flashcard
Wood Grain Background
Ornate Picture Frame

The Rights of Woman

Yes, injured Woman! rise, assert thy right!
Woman! too long degraded, scorned, oppressed;
O born to rule in partial Law’s despite,
Resume thy native empire o’er the breast!

Go forth arrayed in panoply divine,
That angel pureness which admits no stain;
Go, bid proud Man his boasted rule resign,
And kiss the golden sceptre of thy reign.

Go, gird thyself with grace, collect thy store
Of bright artillery glancing from afar;
Soft melting tones thy thundering cannon’s roar.
Blushes and fears thy magazine of war.

Thy rights are empire: urge no meaner claim —
Felt, not defined, and if debated, lost;
Like sacred mysteries which, withheld from fame,
Shunning discussion, are revered the most.

Try all that wit and art suggest to bend
Of thy imperial foe the stubborn knee;
Make treacherous Man thy subject, not thy friend;
Thou mayst command, but never canst be free.

Awe the licentious and restrain the rude;
Soften the sullen, clear the cloudy brow:
Be, more than princes’ gifts thy favours sued –
She hazards all, who will the least allow.

But hope not, courted idol of mankind,
On this proud eminence secure to stay;
Subduing and subdued, thou soon shalt find
Thy coldness soften, and thy pride give way.

Then, then, abandon each ambitious thought;
Conquest or rule thy heart shall feebly move,
In Nature’s school, by her soft maxims taught
That separate rights are lost in mutual love.

Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1792)
Hekate – Detail from painting Jupiter and Semele by Gustave Moreau

Eabhadh

The Sacred Grove
Letter: Ea
Also called: Kode

Forfeda Flash Card – Vicky Newton

When appearing in divination Eabhadh indicates that there is a need to resolve differences and misunderstandings taking place around you. This may indicate that you are bring called to the role of peacemaker or you should be looking for one to support you. It is important that both sides are willing to listen and work together, regardless of how right they perceive their position to be. Comprise is a key concept and you should not be afraid to lead by example, using fairness and wisdom rather than the heat of emotion or sacrifice your own ethics in order to be perceived as the hero or popular.

©JosepMonter

The Sacred Grove

Eabhadh is not associated with a single tree but rather the sacred groves of the Celtic world. These are places where sacred trees, such as Aspen and Birch or Oak and Hawthorn, grow together where it is believed the Druids would meet to discuss grievances and hand down judgments in their role of law bringers. Whether or not this was historically the case the groves of sacred trees, particularly when they grow near a stream or pool, are still considered special by new age Pagan. Given the role of the druid and the associations of judgment, wisdom, conflict resolution and communication, it makes sense that Eabhadh divinatory meaning is consistent with these themes.

Magical Correspondences

Planet: Sun
Theme: Communication, conflict resolution, wisdom, judgement, deeper knowledge
Deities: All

Magical Uses

Eabhadh Eabhadh Eabhadh
Eee Bahhh Aaaad Eee Bahhh Aaaad
Eee Eee Eee Bahhh Aaaad
Eabhadh Eabhadh Eabhadh

Or

Kode Kode Kode
Koooo d Kooo d Koooo d
K K Koooo d
Kode Kode Kode

Suggested Galdur

As a sacred space the Sacred Grove is the perfect setting for communal worship. Invoke the energy/presence of Eabhadh to make any space sacred.

Sacred Groves were also associated with oath giving in the context of judgment and conflict resolution. Inscribed the letter Kode upon any of the sacred trees and upon it swear oaths / make promises using phrases reminiscent of the Druids for example “In the face of the Sun and in the eye of Light I do swear…”

Carry wooden charms inscribed with Eabhadh during times where communication is clear, or in situations which may become combative.

Mythology and Literature

Though the letter appears in scholarly Ogham texts from the 12-14th century the interpretations discussed above are quite modern in origin. It seems that Liz and Colin Murray were the first to introduce Eabhadh (also known to some as Kode) in association with the sacred grove in their book Celtic Tree Oracle.

Over time other authors on Ogham have built upon the associations, variously describing Eabhadh as being associated with conflict resolution and communication as well as deeper wisdom and the connection between the worlds of Gods and men. John Michael Greer says that it is  “a few of central balance and infinite possibility, symbolized by a grove of many trees; the presence of many factors, the possibility of freedom.”

As touched on earlier, ancient peoples across Europe have held particular groves of trees sacred. Depending on the culture these were meeting places of man, sacred spaces of communal worship and the place where man and Gods could communicate through devotion or prophecy. This continues today, though less formalised perhaps, with many Pagans in the modern age finding a sense of peace and connection in such places. In any case these spaces are sacred and the dress should not be pruned or the wood harvested for mundane purposes, unless essential to the health of the trees. Gathering wood for sacred purposes should be performed will all due reverence and offerings to the spirit of place and tree, and then only with clear permission obtained through divination and other spirit communication.

In the sacred grove, to old gods of the north
to rowan, ash, oak and thorn they call forth
the rites, offerings of blood, milk and earth
for these gnarled wise branches are gods of rebirth.

Here the hazel drips soft her poisonous milk,
twisting roots form an altar of green mossy silk
where birds fear to perch, the wind dare not sway
for here, the trees speak, gently whispering the way.

Great roots speak to earth of seed and growth,
leaves beg for the rain, each a tiny green oath
to ancestral gods of sea, stone and wood
in the druid grove where the sacred trees stood.

These dark tales of the north, how strange they may seem
but they are not quite as remote as we deem!
Toss a coin for a wish, or knock wood to shape fate…
Ah vibrations of ancient ways in us still resonate.

In the Sacred Grove by Patricia67

Sources and Further Reading

Mileage may vary. The Forfeda are a later addition to the ogham alphabet which are sometimes including in divination sets. There is a diversity of names and meanings ascribed to the symbols of the forfeda and what is offered here is my own interpretation. Please take the information provided here in conjunction with other sources of information.

Tales Unfold – Forfeda
Magick and the Green Dragon
Living Library Introduction to the Forfeda
Learn Religions

Forfenda Flashcard
Wood Grain Background
Ornate Picture Frame

The Making of a Spell

At its core a spell is words spoken with a strength of will and confidence that it will indeed come to pass but what makes is active is the things we do alongside. It might be something as simple as lighting a white candle and speaking words with the clear and visualised intent that what is spoken will come to be or a carefully timed, multi-step process with an elaborate set of tools and correspondences. Let’s take this through one step at a time.

Set your Will / Intention and Goal

Before putting pen to paper, it is important that you establish what you will actually is and the form it will take in the real world; aka your Goal. These two things go hand in hand but each come with particularly things to keep in mind.

Your statement of Will is a statement which sets the scene. It should be a single sentence, maybe no more than 10 words if you can help it, fewer if you would like to be able to easily create a sigil of the intent. This usually takes the form of an positive “I am” statement such as I am calm, I am attractive etc. rather than saying something dismissive or negative such as I am no longer stressed, I am not ugly.

Equally the statement should be cast in the present tense rather than something intended for the future. This is because your statement of will is intended to make changes here and now so instead of saying “I will be strong and brave” say ” I am strong and brave”.

In the case of cursing, hexing and banishing the wording of a statement of intent can be seen contentious. “I am” statements are not always as applicable in these situations and the purpose is not always easily expressed as a positive. I personally see no issue in saying “I hex… I remove… I banish” when writing statements of intent in these situations, and usually avoid follow up conjunctions like “…so that …” as such things usually constitute a second follow up spell which is by its nature a positive for you.

From setting your intention your goal should follow. This should be an achievable outcome, something that can reasonably expected to manifest itself in the real world. The advice is always that your goal should be specific but not too specific. If your goal is to have a car to get you to and from work you need to make sure you are specific enough that you manifest a car rather than a regular lift from a colleague but not so specific that finding a 2019 Mazda3 Matchbox toy in the street could be considered an answer to your request.

If you are wanting to attract a lover don’t describe them, if you want a cash injection dint set a dollar amount. Rather make them general but measurable goals of finding a loving and respectful partner or the funds to meet your financial commitments.

If this goal represents a commitment from you, for example your intent it to be calm and your goal is to have time to meditate each day make sure that you are actually committed to working that time into your schedule each day. If your day is utterly jammed packed then maybe the goal of time to meditate is unreasonable and one of letting go unnecessary commitments is a better one. Diagonal thinking may result in a better magical outcome.

Correspondences

With your will and goal in mind it is now possible to build a set of correspondences which align with them. These might include coloured candles, crystals, herbs and scents and other items which might become part of a constructed item during the magical action phase. It is also now that you might finalise whether or not you will work with deity or planetary energies, or some other entity, and incorporate symbols and imagery such as runes and tarot cards.

You can be highly structured in this process, using books like The Magician’s Tables: The Complete Book of Correspondences by Alan Richardson or Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences to identify the correspondences to use but you can also use items that resonate with you. Particularly with respect to scents and colours you may feel drawn to using items which fit your own individual associations with a given intent and goal and this is perfectly acceptable. So long as the item is reinforcing your will it can be there. This is also useful when you don’t have access to many (or exotic) correspondences. You should also keep in mind that there are such things as universal correspondences, such as white candles, clear quartz, natural stones (i.e. not crystals), and that kitchen herbs and spices will cover most of your magical needs.

Finally, remember that there is no better correspondence than a physical representation of your goal. This might be a picture of someone meditating, a school book or some other item which beings brings your goal clearly to mind. Whatever correspondences you use or include as part of your magical action always keep firmly in mind that the aim is to reinforce and amplify your will.

Raising Energy

When raising energy in a magical setting you are working to first ensure that there is sufficient energy to achieve the desired outcome. Energy raised becomes energy available for the spell in an energetic exchange. Whether you view this as an exchange between you and the universe or you and a deity is entirely dependent upon the nature of the spell. The other purpose to raising energy is to morph the frequency of energy around you to match to quality of your will and goal. The purest way to do this is to clearly visualise your intended goal whilst engaging in activities such as dancing and movement, or you could sing, chant and make music/sound. 

The nature of the energy raising activity should complement the intent/goal. You don’t want to mix an aggressive or fast paced activity with a goal/intent which requires calm or careful deliberation. You may also want to make the energy raising activity part of your magical action, such as stirring herbs and ingredients, with visualisation but this should not constitute the magical act in its own right. If you are working with deity, you may also find ways of raising energy which also serve as an exchange of fidelity between man and God.

Magical Action

The magical action is any action performed within ritual which is made with the intent to influence or change the current of energy. It may be a mundane action but when such acts are made in a higher state of mind it takes on a more complex and deeper meaning. You might burn, scratch, hit, freeze, drop or bind … essentially you are verbing your magical intent in a way which is consistent with your will though the most common action you will find is combining ingredients together or the anointing of an amulet/talisman. Again, your choice of magical action will be heavily influenced by your will, though

Whatever action you choose the act itself should come at the peak of the energy raising process.

Other Considerations

Intention(will), goal, correspondences, raising energy and magical action are the key elements of a magic spell but there other things you can use to increase the effectiveness of your spell. These other considerations may impact on the finer detail of your correspondences and magical action, depending on the space, privacy and permissions as well as your need to cast the planned spell…

Timing

Timing is something that can be used to further amplify your will, and is something that might influence your correspondences. There are many ways to time your spells. Relatively straight forward methods, which occur frequently, include timing according to the planetary day and hour, the daily station of the sun (dawn, midday, sunset etc.) or the phase of the moon. For more complexity, or less frequently occurrences, you could consider the lunar mansions, the zodiac sign of the sun and/or moon and even the position of the planets in relation to each other or your natal chart. Sometimes it is possible to line up a number of auspicious timings, but that does not mean you need to wait until that one in a million alignment of sun, moon, planets and stars. If performing your spell on a Wednesday afternoon, or during the next waxing of the moon is soon enough that’s fine. If you need to knock that spell out asap then ditch timing all together and go for it. Timing is as important as you want or need to make it. Speaking personally, I usually try to pick a planetary day and hour auspicious to my will and let it go at that, that means at most I have to wait a couple of days, a week at most, unless I need more time to organise.

Another timing element to consider is repetition. Seven-day spells are the most common example of this, where the same spell is performed over seven consecutive days either with the same correspondences and tools or with slight amendments to reflect the day of the week. Variations on this theme include three days, nine days and spells performed on the same moon phase over a number of cycles (with three, seven and nine all being auspicious numbers) or until a desired outcome has been achieved. As before, if your goal is something that can be achieved in a one and done spell casting then you don’t need to consider this but for larger, project like outcomes, regular repetition should be considered. You may also consider adapting the spell slightly, amending wording and correspondences to reflect the stages of the project’s development but at this stage you may well consider treating each stage as an individual spell in a series rather than repetition.

Working Space

The space in which we work can also serve to strengthen our will, becoming either part of our correspondent set or the magical act. A high windy place is the perfect setting to work with the element of air and for scattering intentions to the wind and if you have the freedom of transport and travel then consider these elements in your spell planning and preparation.

That being said the nature of your working space may impact on what is possible, particularly with regard to raise energy and magical action. Keep in mind whether or not you’ve got space to dance, the privacy to meditate, the ability to burn candles and plan accordingly. If you do go out in to nature then it is highly important that you consider what you are leaving behind and the risk to local fauna and flora and don’t be the reason the moors catch on fire.

Record Keeping

Witchcraft is results drive process but it is also a process of experimentation. If a spell worked well the first time will if work better with slightly different set of words or an amended set of correspondences. Conversely, we need to know when things don’t work, or don’t produce outcomes as intended so that if we come to perform a similar spell, we can take our previous experience into consideration. For this reason, people will make a big deal about writing your spells and observations down in a Book of Shadows or Book of Mirrors.  

That being said, I am a bad witch. I don’t keep a physical spell journal and have a tendency to misplace my electronic records in a rather disorganized filing system. This is a habit partially developed as seeing spell work as performed at the point of need and individual to any given situation. Unlike ritual I see no reason to repeat the same process over and over, unless the spell was written to be performed over a number of consecutive days or weeks. I tend to take each need for a spell as an opportunity to incorporate recent research and experience with current praxis, resulting my in own unique approach to witchcraft.

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