Owls – Symbology and Mythology

(Cailleach, Oidhche, Comachag)
The word “cailleach” in the Scottish-Gaelic means old woman!, “coileach-oidhche” is the word for owl, believe it or not it means “night-cockerel”! These birds were most often associated with the Crone aspect of the Goddess. The owl is often a guide to and through the Underworld, a creature of keen sight in darkness, and a silent and swift hunter. It can help unmask those who would deceive you or take advantage of you.

Owls are believed to have played a more prominent role in early Celtic cults, and could perhaps have derived from a more broadly based deity of a common European descent. Predating the Greek cult of Athene, for whom the owl was an animal attribute, were images of these mysterious birds in Celtic lands.

Owls are believed to be a sacred animal to the famed Cult of the Head. They often appear with human heads and with bovines, such as rams and bulls, all of which have been determined by scholars to be objects of this strange cult. In modern Scottish and Welsh languages, the owl, by the etymology of the word alone carries negative connotations of death and darkness. Then, in later Gallo-Roman times the Owl lost its cult significance, but has been linked to a Celtic goddess associated with fertility.

The most famous myth dealing with the owl is in the story of Bloudeuwedd, contained in the Mabinogi. Lleu, one of the central characters of the story has a wife created for him by the magician Gwydion, because his mother forbade by her own word that he would never marry any ordinary woman. Bloudeuwedd is her name, and as the tale goes she tricks Lleu into divulging the secret to his own mortality, convincing him to even demonstrate how.

In the process, Bloudeuwedd then kills Lleu, who avenges his death by turning her in and owl, from which she receives her namesake in Gaelic.

A prime example of owl imagery are the handle fittings found with a famous cauldron found in Bra, Jutland that dates to the 3rd century B. C.. The cauldron was found in a bog in Bra, and was believed to have been a votive offering that was broken into pieces before it was deposited. When put together, the cauldron spanned over a meter in diameter and was adorned by several owls and bulls heads.

In the Celtic style, the fitting bears the face of an owl through an arrangement of shapes that terminate at the end of some columnar tendril designs. This owl is typical of La Tène work and is defined by the large eyes and sharp, curved beak that stand forth from background of intertwining designs.

In Ancient Greek mythology the Owl was a creature sacred to Athena, Goddess of the night who represented wisdom. Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom had a companion Owl on her shoulder, which revealed unseen truths to her. Owl had the ability to light up Athena’s blind side, enabling her to speak the whole truth, as opposed to only a half truth. The Ainu in Japan trust the Owl because it gives them notice of evil approaching. They revere the Owl, and believe it mediates between the Gods and men. The bird features prominently Celtic folklore where it is considered both to be sacred and to have magical powers, again because of its abilities in the dark. Zulus and other West African nations consider the bird a powerful influence in casting spells, and think that using parts of the owl gives great strength to a person involved with magical incantations.

To the Welsh, the Owl is a night predator — the only bird capable of defeating the swift falcon and then only at dusk, its time of power. The Owl symbolizes death and renewal, wisdom, moon magick, and initiations. Their Goddess Arianrhod shapeshifts into a large Owl, and through the great Owl-eyes, sees even into the darkness of the human subconscious and soul. She is said to move with strength and purpose through the night, her wings of comfort and healing spread to give solace to those who seek her. A star and moon Goddess, Arianrhod was also called the Silver Wheel because the dead were carried on her Oar Wheel to Emania (the Moon-land or land of death), which belonged to her as a deity of reincarnation and karma. The Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess in Wales, her palace was Caer Arianrhod (Aurora Borealis), or the secret center of each initiate’s spiritual being.

However, many cultures have focused on the dark side of the Owl’s symbolism. People have always been suspicious of the Owl because of man’s fear of the dark, or night, and those things that might dwell there. In general, the hooting of an Owl is considered a portent of death or bad luck, and it may even prophesize death, as the death of Dido was foretold. It is a medical fact that most people die at night, and for that reason also the Owl has been seen as the messenger of death.

In the Middle East, China, and Japan, the Owl is considered as both a bad omen and an evil spirit. For Christians the Owl traditionally signifies the Devil, powers of evil, bad news, and destruction. Similarly, in the Old Testament the Owl is an unclean creature that stands alone as a figure of desolation. In an Australian Aboriginal myth the Owl is the messenger of bad news. Yama, the Verdic God of death, sometimes sent out the Owl as his emissary.

Indigenous peoples of the Americas consider the Owl to be the Night Eagle because it is silent and deadly in flight, and is a solitary bird with all-seeing eyes. The Owl is generally regarded as a bird of sorcerers because of its association with–and abilities in–the dark. It symbolizes deception and silent observation because it flies noiselessly. The Owl is feared by peoples who believe that the death warning is in its hoot.

In the Navajo belief system, the Owl is the envoy of the supernatural world and earth-bound spirits. The Pawnee understand the Owl as the Chief of the Night and believe that it affords protection. The Cherokee honor the bird as sacred because of its night-time vision, and wish to draw that power to themselves to see in the dark. Continue reading “Owls – Symbology and Mythology”

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Can There Be Witches That Are Also Christians?

This is a subject that has been hotly debated since Christianity first became an accepted religion and the debate I feel that will never have a definite answer.

Some people believe they can at least partially combine Christianity and Paganism usually by still thinking of Jesus as a  god or because many Christians already worship a triple god “the father, son, holy ghost or spirit” and saints to help them with certain things so jumping to a belief in a Triple Goddess and other goddesses isn’t that big of a jump. Many never call upon other gods than those they already believe in. Mostly the Christians that combine The Craft and Christianity are just bring the feminine divine back into their lives.

I have found over the years that the two were combined very early in the ancient history of religions. For example “In a way, Gnosticism is the best example of Hellenic Syncretism” ( see links below for more information). Another example of Christianity and Paganism crossing over is with two major holidays Easter and Ostara also Christmas and Yule. The early Christians trying to convert pagans purposely put the resurrection of Jesus close to Yule the Pagans celebration of the birth of Odin/the Oak King and the coming of the Maiden or spring time of year. So by putting Jesus birth in the wrong season, the Christians could use it to say something like . “See the son of our God is born now also.”

Let me interject here that it has been scientifically proven that the man known for the last 2056 years, give or take a year or two, as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth or by other names as well was born not born in the winter. There is a debate ongoing in the scientific community over which season and what exact year he was born. (Click the link below for more information) These are not the only holidays that Christians purposely used to convert pagans almost any Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year has a Christian holy day of some sort close to it or even on the same date. (Click on the link below for more information)

I have included a link for YouTube that presents the views of people who say they are Christian WItches.

Now my personal view is how can a person believe that there is a son of God that will cleanse them of all the wrongs they have done to others and/or themselves also believe in the Wicce Rede of “Do as ye will, lest it harm none.” and if you do harm someone with words and/or actions you need to take responsibility for the wrong and apologize or whatever to make what happened a thing of this past and most importantly forgive yourself. We as pagans do not ask a god or goddess to take away our wrongdoings to be free of them we free ourselves of the wrongs we have done. How can a person practice a religion that does not believe in a heaven or hell or satan when that is part of the core of Christianity? Part of the Christian dogma is the 10 commandments of which the first one is “Thou shall have no other God before me.” So does this mean a Christian Witch is breaking one of the main rules of Christianity if they use a different god and/or goddess for a spell and/or ritual? And if they do break the commandment do they ask the son, Jesus, of their one God to forgive them for doing so? Christians are also not supposed to worship idols (which if you go into some of the different denominations of the Christian churches you could see Jesus hanging dead from a cross and other statues of saints. Are they not all ready worshiping idols when they pray to them asking for their help with interceding with God to bring about something in their life? In my personal opinion and also from trying to meld Christianity and Paganism some may be able to justify what they are doing but I could not keep denying the feminine part of the dual nature of the Devine.

I have included in this post a link to a general search on how witches are talked about in all the Christian Bibles. Not one of them is a positive statement toward witchcraft. In fact, all of the passages condemn witchcraft in one way or another. So how can a Christian not follow the book that is supposed to be a guide in how they should live their lives? How can they practice Witchcraft when it is expressly forbidden by the commandments and other passages of the book their faith has been built on?

Some Information About Gnosticism

Some Views on When Jesus was Born

Pagan Holidays Used by Christian for Easier Convergence

Different views on Christians Witches

YouTube Videos on Christian Witches

Biblical View on Witches

I have tried to give you enough information to form your own opinion on whether or not a Christian can also be a Witch that practices Witchcraft. So I would like your viewpoint on whether a person can mix Christianity with Witchcraft/Paganism?

MAIDEN, MOTHER, AND CRONE: THE WICCAN TRIPLE GODDESS

In many Wiccan traditions, the Goddess takes a three-fold form, known as the Triple Goddess. Her individual aspects, known as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone, are aligned with the phases of the Moon’s cycle as it orbits the Earth—the waxing crescent, the Full Moon, and the waning crescent. These aspects also represent the three phases of a woman’s life in terms of physical reproduction—before, during, and after the body’s ability to have a child.

But while a woman will proceed linearly through these phases in a literal sense during her lifetime, each aspect of the Triple Goddess has qualities that all of us—male and female—resonate with at various points in our lives. Indeed, the three-fold form of the Goddess could be said to reflect the complexities of the human psyche, as well as the cycles of life and death experienced by all who dwell on Earth.

TRIPLE GODDESS: ORIGIN STORIES

The concept of a triple deity can be traced back to ancient civilizations, such as the Celtic goddess Brighid, who rules over three crucial skills within Celtic society: healing, poetry, and smithcraft. Another example is the goddess Hera, who has three different roles in Greek mythology: Girl, Woman, and Widow. These major goddesses were likely at least part of the inspiration for an important book in the history of Wicca’s development: The White Goddess: a Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth by Robert Graves.

Graves was a British poet and scholar, writing around the time that Gerald Gardner and others were first practicing their form of Witchcraft which eventually became known as WiccaThe White Goddess made the case that cultures throughout pre-Christian Europe and the ancient Middle East worshipped a White Goddess of Birth, Love, and Death, and that she had different names in different regions. Other, earlier writers also described a Triple Goddess, including Aleister Crowley and Sigmund Freud.

Gardner himself did not worship the Triple Goddess in his tradition, but other Witches of the time were drawn to her, including Robert Cochrane, who is often credited with bringing her into the modern Witchcraft movement. However, it was during the 1970s that the Triple Goddess as we know her today—Maiden, Mother and Crone—became firmly rooted in many forms of Wicca.

But rather than being a single identity taking different forms, the Wiccan Triple Goddess is typically represented by three separate deities, each an aspect of the Goddess in her own right. These may be borrowed from one or more ancient cultures. For example, many worship Diana (Roman) as the Maiden, Isis (Egyptian) as the Mother, and Kali (Hindu) as the Crone. These designations are rooted in the individual deities’ roles within the cultures they are borrowed from. Isis, for instance, was a mother goddess in ancient Egypt.

Each aspect within the Triple Goddess is associated with particular seasons and other natural phenomena, as well as human characteristics and elements of life on Earth. These associations can be used to call on the appropriate aspect of the Goddess during magical work, ritual worship, and prayer.

Continue reading “MAIDEN, MOTHER, AND CRONE: THE WICCAN TRIPLE GODDESS”

Goddess Knowledge – Gaia

This week we are going to find out more about the Goddess Gaia. Which is also another name given to Mother Earth by Neo-Pagans. 

GAIA

Gaia existed before everything; she existed before time. Gaia, the eternal, prehistoric earth mother goddess,, is fertility incarnate, moist, mysterious, strong. She is life energy itself; everything that lives, breathing or not, overflows with her life. She is the earth and all powers of the earth. Gaia is not always a consoling goddess: standing for life and generation without thought of consequence, she has energy and a power that must be approached carefully. All bodies eventually return to her, into the black, fertile earth, to be devoured and to receive her life to live again. As goddess of the soul, Gaia reminds us that the soul develops in dark places and that ultimately soul must be rooted in the body, in earth. She is a reminder that we must ground ourselves into the reality of nature and incorporate all sides of ourselves, be the pleasant or unpleasant, light or dark.

For more information about Gaia click on this general search link: Information about Gaia

Gaia is also known as Mother Earth here is a link for more information on this name for the same Goddess: Information about Mother Earth

Link for a general search for images of Gaia:Images of Gaia

The general search for images of Mother Earth is basically the same as for Gaia.

A Modern-Day Witch Explains How Magic Can Empower Women

Witchcraft, Wicca, paganism, goddess-based spirituality. Whatever you want to call the practice of magic, it’s empowering women.

Enchantments is a New York City occult store (and home to three cats) that sells custom candles, incense, spiritual books, blended oils and other magical products. It’s also a place where both seasoned practitioners and people completely unfamiliar with magic come to seek answers.

Stacy Rapp, a witch and the owner of Enchantments, says that the interest in witchcraft is increasing. While people of all genders are welcome in the community, Rapp said that women are particularly drawn to magic because of the gender equality inherent in the practice of witchcraft and the option to worship female deities. Goddess-based spirituality is also appealing to young queer and trans young people, who may feel unwelcome in other religious communities.

Ammo O’Day, an Enchantments employee, personal trainer and life coach, said that she came to witchcraft after rebelling against her Catholic upbringing.

“I was told I was going to hell because I’m a woman,” said O’Day, who spent 12 years in Catholic school. “I knew from a very young age that something was up… that everything I was taught about being female was incorrect.”

I spoke to Rapp about how she came to practice magic, stereotypes about witchcraft, and how she hopes to empower other women through education.

 

Continue reading “A Modern-Day Witch Explains How Magic Can Empower Women”

Local Feathers~

Awesome information! Thank you Cindy Knoke! 💓🌷

Stellar Jays live in the pine forests in Southern California’s mountains.

Oregon Dark Eyed Juncos are local birds and are related to sparrows.

Burrowing Owls are “a species of special concern,” in Southern California, where much of their natural habitat has been destroyed by development. Petitions are being submitted to the state to change their status to endangered.

This handsome jay was hanging out on a picnic table, waiting for a handout.

So, of course, I gave him one!

Juncos are quite tiny, and rather shy, so they are hard for me to photograph. This guy was unusually cooperative!

Burrowing owls nest underground to hide from raptors and raise their young. People and organizations all over California are setting up underground Burrowing Owl boxes to help shelter and protect these adorable owls. It is a rare thrill to see them out of the boxes curious about the human who is…

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Is Witchcraft Real?

Witchcraft has been practiced all over the World, in one form or another, for thousands of years, but is witchcraft real? Deciding if something is real or not requires evidence and facts, but as Witchcraft is a religion nowadays, it could also be argued that belief itself is enough to make it real. I will outline the more common points of view and present some facts on this page. I will also cover a little bit about Magic and Spells and whether there is actual magic being practised within Traditional Witchcraft and the more modern Neopagan varieties. There are a wide variety of spells we would love to be able to cast ourselves, from making someone love us to making obscene amounts of money, and anything in between. More on this subject after a brief history lesson. Is Witchcraft Real? History is a Good Place to Start Traditional Witchcraft reveres Nature and I shall use that as it’s core belief to uncover some history. Archeologists have discovered many paintings in ancient caves which clearly depict early man worshiping nature, more specifically the Sun, Moon or Earth. Some of these paintings date back as far as the Paleolithic area, 40,000 years ago. Does this mean that our ancestors were practicing witches? To us possibly, but to our ancestors they were merely following their own way of life and quite probably had no actual term for it. Jumping forwards in time to the Roman period there is plenty of evidence that a large part of northern Europe worshiped nature. The followers of this time were Pagans, as were the early Romans, and they followed a whole host of differing practices. This is one thing that sets paganism and Witchcraft apart from most other religious belief systems. Even if two adjacent villages or clans worshiped the same thing that did not mean that their practices were the same, or even close, but there would be some fundamental common ground. The Middle Ages is where the term Witchcraft became much more widely used and known. Naturally the practitioners of Witchcraft were not the ones that decided to draw so much attention to themselves, as they were more than happy to carry on using their various arts out of the main public eye. The average healer would have quite happily remained anonymous and continued to practice herbalism to help his or her village. Sadly outside forces would forever change the practice of Witchcraft. The Catholic Church had grown into the major faith of the time and a variety of Popes had begun to target heresy from as early as the 12th century. The Inquisition was the primary way to dispense the will of the Catholic Church and it was initially not barbaric. By the time Pope John XXII formalized the persecution of witches in 1320 things were beginning to change. Witches became routinely burnt at the stake with a minimum of proof but this practice altered towards hanging after a few years. Estimates of the death toll range from 40,000 to 100,000 with 12,000 executions confirmed from witch trials in Europe alone. Needless to say the majority of people killed were not witches. Witchcraft by necessity became an underground practice during these years and would remain so for centuries. In the late 1940’s to early 1950’s a new and more modern variation of Witchcraft came to the fore which was called Wicca Witchcraft. This combined many aspects of pagan Witchcraft that came before it and was a more open form of practice. Wicca was popularized by Gerald Gardner in 1954 in the British Isles. Since then Witchcraft has seen a renaissance with a growing number of both Traditional Pagan Witches and more modern Neopagan Witches spreading throughout the World. Most countries repealed any laws outlawing Witchcraft which has allowed the practice to flourish.

Read more: https://wiccanspells.info/wiccan-pagan-articles/is-witchcraft-real/