Celtic ecstatic witchcraft & faery tradition • Portland, OR
I'm a Celtic polytheist witch, a dowser, a seer and an enthusiastic sacred site traveler. I work with altered states, seership, divination, ancestor veneration, folkloric faery tradition, and have working relationships with several Celtic deities. I grew up in New England, currently live in Oregon, and am a hereditary witch who grew up in a different but wonderful tradition.
In the mid-1990s I co-founded the Strand by Strand Collective, Portland's first public ritual group in the Reclaiming Tradition. I trained and taught in the Reclaiming Tradition for many years, including years in a teaching collective, and various circles, covens, and magical activism groups. Currently I'm the co-founder of Three Cauldrons Circle, a Celtic polytheist teaching circle in Portland. I also offer workshops and events in the local area.
Members of our Three Cauldrons Circle will host our first Death Salon on our Discord server, WitchSpiral PNW.
Several of us have been talking about our shared interests in green burial options, working with the dead or dying, and the importance of talking freely and openly about the forbidden subject of dying. I am proud to bring the first conversation to our group, and am excited to hear from our members about their hopes, concerns, and wishes. If you’re a Celtic Polytheist living in the Pacific Northwest, you might want to join our server. -Talasyn
In a recent conversation on my Celtic Polytheist Discord server, WitchSpiral PNW, one of our members asked for some advice about forming a relationship with a deity. This is a wonderful question. Here are a few preliminary ideas to get you started:
Begin by reading some of the lore / stories about the deity you are trying to get to know. Some people like to read everything in sight, but I think it’s valuable to start with a few of the stories.
Work those stories. Think about them, and their associations. Notice who else is involved, and what happens. Consider the layers of meaning. Now, do some quiet meditative time when you won’t be interrupted, and imagine the story unfolding. Enter the tale, and walk around inside it as an observer. What can you learn from this vantage point?
Establish a simple devotional practice. If the tales give you specific cues, try to bring your offerings in line with those cues. For example, Brighid might appreciate an altar with a candle dedicated to her, and engraved with her name, or anointed with an oil in her honor. She might like the presence of a tool of some craft you practice, whether it’s woodworking, working with plants (a garden trowel?), or a wooden spoon from your cooking or baking. Make her some delicious food, and serve it on a small plate, or pour a simple offering into a glass on your altar. Sing to her, or hum a tune. Recite a poem that is about her, and even better if it’s one you wrote yourself in her honor. It doesn’t have to be professional quality. If you play an instrument, play a bit of music for her, even if it isn’t perfectly performance-ready.
Listen. It’s easy to overlook this practice when making offerings and doing things. Be still, go into a meditative (or better yet, a trance) state, and listen quietly. Do this often.
Be reliable. Think of what you want and expect in a new relationship with a friend. Show her hospitality, and follow through. It’s better to make a weekly time, or a weekly offering, and be consistent about it, than to be very sporadic. Show that you are reliable, are interested, are listening, and will continue to do so.
Another practice that I use is both simple and profound: Select a scarf that you associate with the deity. Choose a color and texture that feels right. Wear this scarf when you are making your offerings, and when you are interacting with the deity. This becomes a small ritual on its own over time, and builds up a potent charge.
I hope you are all well and enjoying the arrival of fall.
Oregonians will join me in gratitude for the slow improvement in the wildfire situation that has ravaged our state. Never have I felt so grateful for some rain, and the return of damp, foggy weather.
I’m excited to report that I’m organizing several events this fall, and will be posting them over the next few weeks. Here’s the first in the series, taking place on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. Please visit the Events page for further details. Wishing you all health, healing, safety, and clean, fresh air free of wildfire smoke,