Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Polar Bear

Polar Bear, Power Animal, Symbol of Purity, Death, Rebirth, Transformation

By Ina Woolcott

Polar bear's medicine includes the ability to navigate along the earth’s magnetic lines , introspection, ability to find sustenance in barren landscapes, purity of spirit, strength in the face of adversity, solitude, expert swimmer through emotional waters, finding ones way back from the brink, communication with Spirit, dreams, death and rebirth, transformation, creature of dreams, shamans, mystics and visionaries, defence and revenge

Intelligent and fearless, native tribes throughout history have held the polar as a desirable ally and spirit helper. The white colour of the polar bear is very significant indeed, for it represents purity of spirit. As this bear is fearless and the universal energy only flows when fear is absent, the polar serves as a valuable ally in getting past fear, both physically and mentally.

To the Eskimo and Inuit peoples this animal is a source of both physical and spiritual nourishment. On a spiritual level, the polar bear is regarded as the embodiment of the spirit of the North, an animal who possesses ancient wisdom and has shamanic powers.

Of the bear family the polar is the most aggressive and carnivorous. They are exceptional hunters. Polar bears weigh up to 1600 lbs and are able to knock a 500lb seal out of the water with one blow. Incredibly strong, they are far more adaptable than other bear which is well suited to their excellent survival skills. Though they are one of the largest land carnivores, they are still capable of great speed on both ice and earth. They are able to swim 100 miles non-stop.

Although they have the same characteristics as other bears, the polar does have specific traits inherent to it. If this is your power animal you should read up on the information available about bears in general for a deeper understanding of this powerful medicine. If polar bear is (one of) your guide, you will have challenges linked with flexibility, change and stubbornness and should ask the polar for assistance in overcoming these obstacles.

Prior to acting the polar will observe the situation beforehand. They know how exactly how preserve their energy and strength and use both at the most appropriate time for the best outcome. This is just one of the lessons to be learned form the polar. Perhaps if this is your power animal, you would benefit by learning the art of energy management.

Within the animal kingdom the polar has no enemies. However, they do have but one enemy - the human hunter.

The polar is known as the "Ice Man" amongst some native tribes due to its preference for hunting on sea ice. How the polar appears to us is symbolic. If the polar were seen walking on ice, the message would be connected to the frozen, blocked, emotions stored within us and the need for allowing those emotions free flow, to express themselves. If seen looking for food, nourishment and replenishment of the body, mind and spirit would be the message. It is very important to watch the polar to get the right message.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Bruce & Melissa - Thunder Road Live!

I love songs that tell stories and Bruce is the master at them. I discovered this version of Thunder Road a few years ago and was blown away by it.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


Ogham letter: F
Ogham name: Fearn
Celtic tree month: mar18th to ap14th.
The alder grows to a height of approximately sixty to seventy feet with a girth of twelve to fifteen feet. Juvenile trees are conical in shape rather like fir trees but as it matures its crown becomes more open and straggly. The leaves of the Alder are roughly round in shape, pointed where they meet the stem and slightly flattened at the other. In colour the leaves are a dark glossy green. There is no autumnal colour so to speak, the leaves just get darker and darker till they fall as, sometimes as late as December.
The Alder has male and female catkins on the same tree, the female catkins look like small cones which stay on the tree all winter.
The leaves of the Alder make an excellent poultice for all sorts of swellings and inflammations. This could be because the Alder is reputed to be able to balance fire (inflammations) and water (swellings) it is said placing Alder leaves in work boots and socks helps tired and aching feet, I wonder about this as I would think this to be jolly uncomfortable. Alder bark made into pills was said to have been beneficial in the treatment of general digestive weakness and enteritis. A decoction of the bark was once used to try and stem internal bleeding. The same decoction could be used as a gargle.
There are several possible meanings to the name Alder. One being that it is derived from the Anglo-Saxon root Alor or Aler meaning reddish brown. This could be from the fact that the wood of the Alder which is a pale colour turns red when cut leading the wood cutters of old to think that the tree was bleeding.
Another possibility is that in Scandinavian myth the first women was created from the Alder, and in Irish myth the first man so possibly Alder simply means Elder.
The Alder is closely associated in mythology with all forms of resurrection. The alder is closely associated with the yearly cycle of the Sun in fact the spring equinox falls within the month of Alder, a time when the power of the Sun is restored to us.
The Alder is known as a tree which is the King of the Fairies and as such carried people of into the otherworld. This other world thought pattern is carried on in that the bird most associated with the Alder is the Raven. As white birds such as the Stork became synonymous with birth so the Raven was associated with death and the otherworld. It is interesting then to find that the Deities most thought of in respect of the Alder, such as Saturn, Chronos and Bran for the Gods, and the Morrigan for the Goddess are also Raven deities.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

New Life: A Fairy Tale

 I wrote this a few years ago for the birth of a friends son.

All through the enchanted forest there was upheaval. The Faeries were flying around in circles (in fact there had been a few collisions) . And as for the Dragons there was so much smoke in the air from their excited flamings that this was only making it worse for the faeries.
Just when things were descending in to total pandemonium the Lord and Lady the rulers of this magic realm came to the forest riding on their snow white unicorns “what is going on my children” the lady asked them.
Of course as is the way of all excited beings they all started to speak at onchave had to cover your ears for the noise. There were the high pitched voices of the Faeries and the booming bugles of the Dragons. Also the Dryads had to shout the loudest of all as they could not go far from their trees. Sitting watching all the kafuffle with an amused grin on his face was a white cat. The lady got down from her mount stooped down and picked up the cat “perhaps you can tell me whatever the matter is pangurban” she said. “Well milady said pangurban. They are in this state of excitement because they have heard that there has been a wondrous event. They have heard that there has been the birth of a human boy”.
Now this was a rare event in the enchanted realm as there were few humans living there”. “Oh is that all” the Lady of the forest said with a laugh that sounded like the waters of a babbling brook. “Well it is true” she said, the human you know as Suncrow has had a little one. Of course this set them of again there were questions coming from every direction and just when things were threatening to get out of hand again, a loud strong voice cried out, SILENCE, it was the Lord of the forest. Now all the forest dwellers were slightly afraid of Him so there was total silence in a split second. Now pangurban knew that the Lords bark was worse than His bark, (even if it offended his sensibilities to use the word) . “Don’t just sit there smirking cat, tell me what they want to know?” Well Lord they want to know the usual things, his name and is he handsome being the main ones, oh and there is one precocious fairy who wants to know if all his bits are intact. On hearing this, the Lord let out a bellow of a laugh “is that all my little ones, this is why we are here you have been invited to come and see this child”.
 So a few days later the Faeries and Dragons were all gathered at Suncrows cottage in the clearing at the centre of the forest. Everyone was there but they were as quiet as mice (as they did not want to wake the child) the Faeries flew in one by one to see this wonderful child, But the Dragons had to be content to poke their heads threw the window on account of them being bigger than the whole cottage itself. Last of all pangurban who had been elected spokes cat came into the cottage “I have been given the responsibility of giving the best wishes of us all” he said as he settled on Suncrows lap. The Faeries wish, hold on what is his name he exclaimed! That has yet to be determined said Suncrow. Oh well then said the cat they wish him health and happiness and his hearts desire all his days. Just then one impatient Dragon stuck his head through the window and we will protect him all his days it said. And as for me said pangurban I will tell him tales and sooth his troubles as long as he needs it. Then the Lord and Lady came forward and said as for his name it is Ian. And as is the way of all magical beings there was much merrymaking to be had.


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Anam Cara

Anam Cara – The Friend of Your Soul

In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. One of the fascinating ideas here is the idea of soul love; “Anam Cara” may sound like some new French perfume, but it actually refers to the Celtic spiritual belief of souls connecting and bonding .
In Celtic Spiritual tradition, it is believed that the soul radiates all about the physical body what some refer to as an aura. When you connect with another person and become completely open and trusting with that individual, your two souls begin to flow together.
Should such a deep bond be formed, it is said you have found your “Anam Cara” or soul friend.
Your “Anam Cara” always accepts you as you truly are, holding you in beauty and light. In order to appreciate this relationship, you must first recognize your own inner light and beauty. This is not always easy to do. The Celts believed that forming an “Anam Cara” friendship would help you to awaken your awareness of your own nature and experience the joys of others.
The “Anam Cara” was originally someone to whom you confessed, revealing the hidden intimacies of your life. With the “Anam Cara”, you could share your innermost self, your mind and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an “Anam Cara”, your friendship cut across all convention, morality and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the “friend of your soul”. The Celtic understanding did not set limitations of space or time on the soul. There is no cage for the soul. The soul is a divine light that flows into you and into your Other.
This art of belonging awakened and fostered a deep and special companionship. When you love, you open your life to an Other. All your barriers are down. Your protective distances collapse. This person is given absolute permission to come into the deepest temple of your spirit. Your presence and life can become their ground. It takes great courage to let someone so close. Where a friendship recognizes itself as a gift, it will remain open to its own ground of blessing….. When you are blessed with an “Anam Cara”, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home. This bond between friends is indissoluble: “This, I say, is what is broken by no chances, what no interval of time or space can sever or destroy, and what even death itself cannot part”.
~ from “Anam Cara…Wisdom from the Celtic World“, by John O’Donohue

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Resolution of a Witch.


May I be as the one who weaves the cloth
in a forest, deep hidden.
May I sit at the work, uninterrupted.
And may I remain an outcast, if that is what it takes.
May I know the seasonal procession in my spirit and
in my body, celebrate cross quarters, solstices and equinoxes.
May each Full Moon find me looking upwards, at trees
outlined on luminous sky.
May I hold wildflowers. May I cup them in my hand.
May I then release them, unpicked,
to live on in abundance.
May my friends be of the kind who are at ease with silence.
may they and I be innocent of pretension.
May I be capable of gratitude. May I know
that I was given joy, like mother's milk.
May I know this as my cat does, in her bones and blood.
May I speak the truth about happiness and pain
in songs that sound of the scent of rosemary,
as everyday and ancient, kitchen-herb strong.
May I not incline to self-righteousness or self-pity.
May I approach the high earthworks and the stone circles
As fox or moth,
and disturb the place no more than that.
May my gaze be direct and my hand steady.
May my door be open to those who dwell outside wealth
and fame and privilege.
May those who have never walked barefoot never find the
that leads up to my door.
May they be lost on the labyrinthine journey.
May they turn back.
And may I sit beside the fire in winter
and see in the glowing logs what is to come,
yet never feel the need to warn or to advise, unasked.
May I sit upon a plain wooden chair, in true contentment.
May the place where I live be as the forest.
May there be track ways where there are caves and pools
and trees and flowers, animals and birds,
all known to me and revered, loved.
May my existence change the world no more nor less
than the gusting of winds, or the proud growth of trees.
For this, I go in cast-off clothes.
May I keep faith, always.
May I never find excuses for the expedient.
May I know that I have no choice, and yet still make the choice
as the song is made, in joy, and with consideration.
May I make the same choice every day, again.
When I fail, may I know forgiveness for myself.
May I dance naked, unafraid to face my own reflection.

**Author-Rae Beth*** __________________