Kirk! Official Trailer

Wow! there is so much amazing stuff coming out of the U.K. lately! This is official trailer for Kirk! about the 17th century Scottish seer, Reverend Robert Kirk, and his visits with the Siddhe.

The Director, Michael Ferns,  agreed to an interview with me about the story behind the film, and her interest in the subject of Robert Kirk. This will be closer to the end of the year, so watch for it!

For anyone interested in Faery Witchcraft, Robert Kirk is a very important figure.

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LOOSELY based on the true story of the Reverend Robert Kirk of Aberfoyle, a scholar and minister of religion, who believed in the Secret Commonwealth of Elves and Faeries. Our film shows how passionately he wanted his wife to also believe, and the drastic action he took to fulfill this mission. Set in the 17th Century, and filmed in the beautiful locations of Loch Lomond, Ardyll Woods Cashel Forest Rowardennan, and Culross conservation village in Fife. This romantic and mystical tale will please audiences of all ages.

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Witches Familiars: Witchery of the White Sow

Witchery of the White Sow

The pig shares its symbolic value with the boar. In Mesopotamia, at Catal Huyuk, in shrine EVI8, rows of breasts molded over jaws and tusks of boars express the idea that life comes from death.- Buffie Johnson

But, I hear you say, “Isn’t the White Sow the beast of Cerridwen, and is she not a Lammas Goddess, a Goddess of sacrifice? Why bring her to darken the door of Springtime? What has she got to do with flowering  Beltane?”

Let me tell you a little story.

As the trees are reflected in a mirror lake, their branches reaching across the water from their roots into the underwater sky, so do I climb the branches of the Underworld Tree from roots to branches that plunge deep into the earth. Before me is light for which I aim — a green sky shining between the leaves. Out in the light, I reach the topmost twigs, and drop down to the green grass below. Lifted by a wind, I float to the low hills glimmering on the horizon. Inside the door of the hill the Watcher,cloaked in scarlet and black, waits. A penny for your thoughts? I drop a coin into box and find the opening that leads into the Palace of the Faery Queen.


The Faery Hall at Beltane

The dome of the Faery Hall is supported by pillars of trees. Its floor is composed of black and white stones filed flat as tiles set out in squares like a chess board. On a green terrace are two carved and ancient thrones where sit the Horned God, and the Lady with Antlers, the Faery Queen. When they see me enter, their gray eyes glitter, they stir. The low bells toll, and the drums roll under the earth.

The Faery Court surrounds me, full of focused intent. They wear the clothes of Medieval France. Their movements are graceful, coy, unpredictable. Do not be fooled. The Faery, though beautiful, are one with nature and, like nature, they are wild.

A horn sounds  near and far away. A huge white sow enters the Hall. Waving black steamers float around her head. She sniffs the air when she sees me and next thing I know, I am under her feet. As she tramples me with her cloven hoofs, I hear a great drum beating, but it is not a drum. It is the unified breathing of the Faery Court, keeping time to her stomping and grinding me into the black and white stones of the floor. Soon, I am nothing but a smudge of darkness on the white square, and a spray of gray dust on the black ones.

There is silence, and then a blare of trumpets coming from somewhere between the pillar-trees.  Suddenly I see myself, the way all dreamers do, sitting sideways, and unladylike, on the back of the great white sow. I am dressed in a green gown, my waving golden hair is encircled with flowers. Hawthorn flowers entwine the Sow, who is also crowned May Queen, She Who is Reborn in Spring. Smiling, the Sow Goddess dances on the black and white floor, taking me with her. I raise my hands, palm up, as if to catch the rays of the sun. The Faery Court claps and laughs. Soon we are dancing in the bright green light as the Sow carries me around the Faery Hall.

This vision was prophetic. Literally. For when the long seven years in the dark forest of the Horned God’s initiation was over, I went out to a May Day celebration at the Deveraux Pub in London, and was made May Queen by a drawing of lots.

Here is what remains of my hawthorn crown. It has traveled many miles with me. They were elder witches that gave it to me.

Beltane and the Underworld Goddess

Beltane comes to pass in the sun sign of Taurus. At mid tide, the Sacred Cow sees her self in the mirror of a Full Scorpio Moon. As Taurus is birth and the nurturing of life, Scorpio is the sting of death whose weapon is the blade of sacrifice.

Because they were less expensive to feed and care for than bulls, sows appear as lesser sacrificial animals in vegitative festivities. Afterward they were eaten by worshippers who thus partook of the essence of the divinity. In Crete the pig was a favorite sacrificial animal at the Peak Sanctuary on Mount Juktas and other mountaintop shrines consecrated to the Lady of the Beasts. In Crete the Crone, as Goddess of Wisdom, takes the form of a Sow... Buffie Johnson, Lady of the Beasts

Triplicity

Fertility, death, resurrection are the threefold cycle of Earth. The pig with her litter of piglets, sucking her to the bones. The Sow that eats her young. The sacrificed pig who fertilizes the grain, whose death is the promise of life to come.

The Sow is the creature of the Underworld — she lies under the Earth, one with the soil seeded with grain. Divinized, the pig’s blood is given to the soil from which the Goddess springs up in the long days of May. All  spiral into, and out of each other, feeding on each other as life feeds on itself. Close to the forces of nature, the ancients lived these cycles day after day, night after night, season after season. The Full Moon in Scorpio reminded them, that in the fullness of Spring, the darkness of Death was waiting.

Sow and Reap

As early as the seventh millenium B.C.E., the sow was involved in vegetation rituals. The pig’s habit of rooting in the soil with its tusks is a primal image of the plowing of the soil. the sow’s fast growth, and wealth of piglets, made her a creature of plenty. The existence of an ancient Sow Oracle attests to her transformative nature, and intimacy with the powers of fertility — the main concern of agrarian cultures worldwide. Ancient votive figures of pigs have grains pressed into their bodies, making them one with the crops. Neolithic Priestesses wore sow masks to represent the Goddess as they copulated in the fields during Beltane.

The association of sowing and reaping with iconography of Old Man, Death, are well known.

The Sow Goddess acts as an epiphany of the Lady of the Plants. The Greek Goddess, Demeter carries a pig and a torch into Hades when she searches for Persephone. It is no accident that the only witness to Hades’ abduction of Persephone is a swine herd, and that the swineherd reports the rape to Hecate, Goddess of the dark side of the Moon.

As the pig is sacrificed to the Goddess to make the crops grow, the boar is often the agency of death. Set takes the form of a boar to kill Osiris. The Irish God Diarmid is killed by a boar — in fact many Grail Knights are wounded in the thigh by boars to be rescued by Faery Queens. The rites of Tammuz follow the same boar slain pattern as all the dying and resurrecting Gods of the Grain.

Cerridwen

The Welsh Goddess, Cerridwen, has long associations with the White Sow, magic, and poetry. She is a Goddess of doorways between death and rebirth. A shape shifter, Inspiratrice, and witch, it was she that trampled me in the Faery Hall to initiate me into her Mysteries. It was she who dogged my steps for nine years.

Nine: Number of the months of human gestation. Sacred number of the Moon.

The  Black Book of Carmarthen  contains two poems by the bard Cuhelyn that associate Cerridwen with seeds, and therefore fertility and growth in the darkness of the Underworld. As she seeds the Earth, she seeds the imagination of poet, becoming his dark Muse:

A successful song of fruitful praise, relating to the bustling course of the host,

According to the sacred ode of Cyridwen, the goddess of various seeds,

The various seeds of poetic harmony, the exalted speech of the graduated minstrel–BBC III

Her Name

Scottish, Welsh) [KARE-id-ooín or KARE-id-win] Moon Goddess; Great Mother; Grain Goddess; Goddess of Nature. The white-corpse eating sow representing the Moon. Her symbol was a white sow. Death, fertility, regeneration, inspiration, magic, astrology, herbs, science, poetry, spells, knowledge.

Cerridwen is the goddess of dark prophetic powers. She is the keeper of the cauldron of the underworld, in which inspiration and divine knowledge are brewed. She is often equated with the famous Greek crone, Hecate, and to the Irish Badb. She is also sometimes related to the Greek Muses, only in a more violent and dark form.

Cerridwen’s name has many meanings that signify Moon, Sickle, Sow.

Cerid-wen: fair, beloved

Cerit: hooked, crooked Hook, sickle, ben: woman Crooked Backed Woman ( Sounds like the moon to me.)

Ceritwen: crooked white one

One can see that the round shape of the pig suggests pregnancy, the Moon. The cyclical swelling of her belly with unborn piglets decreasing to bone thinness after birth, mimics the phases of the Moon. While in Mexico, I saw a mother pig almost devoured by her suckling piglets who were almost the same size as she. The connotations of the life feeding on darkness as the sow almost dies to feed her young, are resonant. The crooked back of the Sow mirrors the crooked sickle moon, whose belly is in darkness.

The Moon, as has been discussed before, is the vessel of fertility, the place from whence the souls of the unborn descend to earthly incarnation.

Full Moon in Scorpio

Give me more death. — Pablo Neruda

The Poet and his Muse.

The artist must be taken sometimes against his or her will. The Muse possesses the artist, for the artist is the instrument through which the Goddess speaks. The creative process is a fire. It brings illumination, radiation, and sometimes pain, when one comes to close to the flames. The Goddess, Cerridwen, kept the Cauldron of Poetry and Rebirth. As Gwion’s fingers are spattered by the Witch’s brew, he gains the gift of prophetic speech. If he enters the cauldron he will be twice born, divinized, springing up like the grain from the soil of death. He becomes Taliesin, poet, prophet, divine son of the Goddess.

Beltane, your flowers spring from the death of winter. When the sun and moon are joined in the sign of the solar Bull and the lunar Cow, they procreate in the dark. The grass grows, the flowers bloom, the birds feast on buds, and worms that make the gardens fertile.

Merciless, the moon soon rises, and like a mirror, shines back to the joyous Great Mother Goddess her other face: Scorpion Queen of Samhain.

The cycles moves around and around, eternally, or as long as there is life on Earth. Sacrifice, Purification, Divination, and Rebirth. The transfigured Sow Goddess rules Beltane.

I love comments. Please leave them. I am sure some of you know more than me.

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Creating Sacred Space: Part 2

Above, Below, and Between

In the preceding article, Creating Sacred Space, I described how to create a Magic Circle based on the Four Directions of the compass. East, South. West, and North. This is the horizontal Place Between the Worlds, but there at three vertical directions needed  to complete the Astral Temple that really takes one safely into the Otherworld.

Magical Circle

Reestablish yourself within the Four Directions of the Magic Circle. I like what my teacher R.J.Stewart always says: “The direction in which you stand comes through you, the direction that face comes to you, the directions to you right and left uphold you.”

Now you stand in the center of the circle and raise your Magical Weapon to the sky and say:

“I call forth the Gods and Goddesses of the Celestial Realm. The Moon, the Sun, and the Stars, the Seven Planets, the Signs of the Ecliptic, are arranged above us tonight.”

Earthlight Ritual

You can perform the Faery Earthlight Ritual while you call the Sky, as taught by R.J.Stewart at this point to bring it into your body:
*Standing straight with your arms at your sides, visualize the color green in your feet and moving up your legs.
*Raising your arms a little, visualize the color blue moving into your pelvis and generative organs.
*Raising your arms so they are even with your shoulders, visualize the color red moving into your chest and heart.
*Raising your arms so above your head, visualize the color yellow around your head.
*Slowly bring your arms down, visualizing the colors as you go.
This is called Raising the Earthlight and is a Faery technique.

Descent to the Underworld

Now see the ground at your feet. Depending on your tradition, see a five-pointed star shining with blue light, or a six pointed star, the door of a well, and stairway or the roots of a great tree whose branches spread down into the Underworld.

Traditions with Judeo-Christian values, may avoid going into the Underworld, known to them as the Infernal Realm, abode of Demons, or Qlippoth. They may believe that the Faery are Demons. Even I know that they are Fallen Angles — but so are we.

If you feel safer to work in a Temple that has no basement, then it it is perfectly fine to work within the SIX. For those of Faery or Infernal leanings, you will want to include the SEVENTH.


Take your seat in one of the Four Directions. Focus on the well, stairway or tree roots in the center of the Circle. There is a different feel to each.

The Well has a watery feel and tends to take you to twilight places. I find dew spangled grass, trees, and it is through the portal of the well that I have met Merlin, Morgan LeFay, Vivienne, and the Priestesses of the wells.
Around the well grow red and white roses. Roses are sacred to the Faery, and in facet have been created by them. Roses belong to Lucifer and the Madonna as well. I also give them to King Solomon, and the Black Madonna.

Stair to Moat

Stair to Moat

The Stairway that spirals down into the earth has a feel of ancient stone. In my experience, it leads to ancient temple precincts, ruins, and libraries. Also cemeteries, catacombs and the like. Goths will like the spiral stairway, for it seems to lead to the darker mysteries.

The Reversed Tree leads to the Faery Realm, the Green Land and the path to the Palace Under the Hill. This is very potent. There are rules.

I will write another post on the subject of Faery etiquette in the future. If you insist on trying it out before that, use impeccable manners and treat the Lordly Ones with deference, and respect. This isn’t just about being nice — its a warning.


The Sphere Of Light

Now you are within the sphere which is your Astral Temple. You can work within and below as I described, you can journey into one or all of the Four Directions and learn form them. This is never boring as far as I am concerned, because it changes all the time.
This horizontal work can bring amazing experiences. You can wander into the dark forest of the Grimm’s fairy tales, or dive into Undersea Palaces, dally in the Garden of the Rose, or walk among the Standing Stones that shine on the low hill at sunrise..

If you want to move Above, Rising on the Planes, set your intention and you feel yourself shift. Shifting usually brings a sensation of light pressure in your solar plexus and head.
You can visit the Moon, Sun, or Stars. I like to see a golden ladder come down and climb it sometimes. Tower imagery works very well. They have different feels about them. I have often found myself lying in a long golden boat called Millions of Years.


Mood Enhancers

*Music instantly changes the atmosphere. Ambient music, Tibetan bowls, drumming can help focus the mind.
*Incense acts on ancestral memory. Some incenses are designed to call upon certain spirits or deities. Benzoin and Amber call the Faery.
* Crystals, stones, flowers, leaves, figures, and other images can help one to focus, adding a visual link to the deep, subconscious mind. I used to use a crystal bowl filled with water as the centerpiece of my Moon Circles for years.

Every item in the circle should follow the Correspondences to bring through the energies to want to work with.

I will write more on these topics as we go along. Any requests? have any questions or ideas come up about this work of Creating Sacred Space?

For more Magical Instruction, subscribe to my email list and you will be updated.

You can’t go wrong with these books by R.J.Stewart Faery Magus

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