Celtic

Creating Balance and Harmony in Ritual

You Must Have Balance

Ever since I started learning witchcraft, just about every book I’ve read has emphasized the importance of balance. You must have balance for your workings to be successful. I agree with this, but as I’ve spent time actually doing the work, I’ve learned a thing or two that wasn’t in books- wasn’t in articles online.

This push for balance comes from the Hermetic Principles, which are outlined in The Kybalion. The Fourth Principle, the Principle of Polarity, states: 

Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its’ pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.  

Wiccans have drawn many of their ways from this little book. When they applied this Principle, they also apply it to the Deities. You must invoke the God and the Goddess, you must have a Matron and Patron deity. This implies that the God and Goddess – no matter which ones – are polar opposites and that you need both to learn the ‘truths’. Hmm…nope. Don’t think so, sorry! I’m sure this principle applies to other things, but I don’t think it can be applied to humans based on gender. 


Duality and Deity

I started writing this blog Saturday night, after having an epiphany. ButI knew it wouldn’t be a very good article if I just shared my discovery without doing a little background research. One of the books I went to was Silver Ravenwolf’s To Ride a Silver Broomstick. Now, I like Ravenwolf as an author – she’s a good writer. But I don’t like how she states her believes as dogma – I wouldn’t like that even if I believed what she does, but I really don’t like it because she has very different beliefs from me. For example, she states that deities exist to help humans.  I was talking with a friend (who happens to be an amazing author) about this and she said that Ravenwolf’s point of view is that “humans ate the center of the universe”. (literally laughed out loud at this). But I digress… the point is she and many other authors hold this believe that male and female deities represent certain things and they both must be  present in order to bring a balance of power to the ritual. I haven’t been practicing as long as Ravenwolf or any other author that makes this claim, but I’ve learned from experience that the deities are all very different from one another, and some deities possess qualities that are said to belong only to the opposite sex. So I decided to try something different.

Calling The Three

I created a talisman for my bedroom, and as I was setting up my altar, something in me said to call upon the three deities that have the most presence in my life: the Morrigan, the Cailleach, and Lugh. I affectionately call them “the Three”. I thought about what they represent, most prominently anyways, and I thought of the elements.  Not the four elements of traditional witchcraft but the elements as the Celts saw it: Land, Sea, and sky. So I arranged the candles I have dedicated to each deity in a triangle. I raised my hands in goddess position and called the Morrigan and asked her to bring the power of land – the strength of stone and stability of trees. I called to Cailleach and asked her to bring with her crashing waves of wisdom, and then asked Lugh come to my circle as rays of light come in through my window in the early morning hours. And it was incredible. The Morrigan came on a mist and rose like the standing stones she used to stop a retreating army once. Cailleach came in on a crashing wave –  I could almost smell the salt and felt that unique chill you get when you stand on a beach. When Lugh came in I felt the gentle warmth of the sun and I could feel the flames of passion spark inside me as if gas was poured onto the fire. I said the words and gave the offerings. I left the talisman on the altar to scribble down everything I said and did, as it was impromptu and I didn’t want to forget what I said or what I felt. A few minutes later I returned to my altar, thanked the Three, and bid them farewell. When I went to pick up the talisman- I shit you not it was vibrating with power. I could feel the energy buzzing from it when my hand was about an inch away from it. Even though it may seem like it’s not a big deal, it was one of the freakiest and most amazing things I have ever experienced. After I hung it on my wall I pulled out my computer and started this article to share my story. I suggest giving it a try – instead of routinely calling a god and goddess, really think about the deities you work with and think about their personalities, the lessons they teach, the elements they favor and call on them based on those qualities. That would create true balance. If you don’t like it, then no harm done, right? But you could have an incredible ritual because of it, so just try it out. 

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Thoughtful Thursdays: Devotional Practice

Thoughtful Thursday Presents: Devotional Practice

A lot of thought must go into developing a devotional practice, so I thought this would be the perfect topic for this weeks Thoughtful Thursday post. First I would like to apologize this is going up so late! I took the day off yesterday and the day before to spend time on my devotional practice- preparing and celebrating Lughnasadh. 

Devotional Practice for Hekate

At the end of every month, I perform a ritual for Hekate. She is the Queen of the Underworld, the Torch Bearer, the Keep of the Keys to All Realms. Her torches light the way to the path you must take to reach the next phase in life. She is found in liminal locations, that is places that are in two places at once – putting it simply. She is older than time, and people have been leaving offerings to her at crossroads and intersections for centuries. The ritual I perform is an adaptation of the deipnon. 
The Deipnon, meaning “evening meal” and it was how the Athenians honored Hekate each month. A portion of the last meal of the day was placed out for Hekate and the restless dead. This offering was to purify the household, atoning for any misdeed a person of the household may have committed. It also was given to gain Hekate’s favor, as well as appease the vengeance of any spirits residing with her. People would place meals at crossroads or in shrines dedicated to her outside the entranceways to the home. This was done on the last day of the Athenian calendar, and many modern devotees, like myself, have adopted it as a monthly practice honoring her. The Athenian calendar, or the Attic calendar, followed the lunar cycles. The new moon marked the end of each month, which is when they would perform this ritual. So, modern devotees may perform this at the end of the calendar month or on the new moon. 
Because of the reasons behind my offering, I perform the deipnon on the last day of each month. I give offerings to thank Her for guiding me through the month, lighting the paths I needed to take to meet my goals and to ask her to do the same for the month to come. I also give offering to ask Her to protect my home – to lend me her hounds to scare away anyone or anything that means me harm. I create my own black salt which I pour in front of the threshold to keep nasty spirits and entities from wandering inside. 

Relationship Building

Devotional practice is how you build and maintain relationships with the gods. As the Morrigan is my Matron goddess, I go to her altar at least once a day to give her an offering and to communicate with her. I talk with her all throughout the day, but I make sure to go to her altar and give her my undivided attention at least once a day. If I don’t have anything in particular  to ask her about I will just go and count my blessings. Gratitude is a major component of my witchcraft practice. I believe gratitude empowers much of my magickal workings. I will recognize the blessings I know/feel were from the Morrigan and tell her how they helped me. Of course, she knows this already but it’s important to say so. 
I work with Lugh and Cerridwen quite often as well, so I make sure I honor them regularly as well. I have three altars – one is my Morrigan Priestess altar, and the other is my working altar. On that altar, I have a candle and offering dish for Lugh and Cerridwen. These are both in my ‘witchy room’ – where I meditate, cast spells, hold ritual, and store my herbs, crystals, wands, cauldrons, staff – you get the idea. Outside I have a makeshift altar for Hekate – a tree stump on the corner bu the corner of my home. It’s where I leave the food for the deipnon. 
If you are polytheistic like I am I hope that you put time and thought into your devotional practice. The gods are not magickal vending machines! If you only talk to them to request their blessing on your spell or rite, they will get fed up and stop coming around when you call. I believe they love us, but I also believe they can get annoyed, even pissed off, with us at times. I know the Morrigan gets pissed when people litter! Being a people pleaser I feel compelled to pick up litter whenever I see it. The Morrigan is not the most convenient Matron goddess but it has been rewarding and fulfilling to have her in my life. All of the gods have become rewarding and fulfilling parts of my life, and I think having a regular devotional practice has made all the difference.

The Wheel Is Rolling On! Preparing for Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh is all but upon us!


 I don’t know about you, but I LOVE celebrating Sabbats! I feel like I did when I was 6 years old on Christmas Eve – all but trembling with anticipation and joy for presents and wearing my “holiday clothes” and seeing family. I get to spend the day focusing on things in life that matter but make me happy, things that make life worth living. I love how the air seems to change as it draws closer to a Sabbat. It’s as if there’s electricity in the air and the closer it gets to the day the stronger the charge. Some sources say that the Veil thins on all of the Blessed days (not just on Samhain). I believe that. I’m a medium so I can sense beings from the Other side. The Veil is the thinnest on Samhain that’s for sure. The electricity I feel before every other Sabbat is nothing in comparison to how it feels in October. But that’s for another day! Today I am going to tell you:
  •  what Lughnasadh means to me
  • what I’ll be doing to celebrate
  • suggest activities for families/covens/solitary witches
  • share a ritual and go over ideal spell themes. 
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What Lughnasadh is All About

For the ancient Celts, Lughnasadh first of the harvest festivals (harvest of fruits). 
It was time to begin harvesting corn as well.

It marked the point of the year when nights grow noticeably longer. Celtic days started with sunset so they actually began the celebrations the night before the first of the month. They had a different calendar than we do so if you want to do it like the Celts you’d observe Lughnasadh on the first full moon of August. 


Lughnasadh began with the Celtic god Lugh – hence the name (it’s Gaelic for “Commemoration of Lugh”). Lugh held a feast in honor of his stepmother, Tailtiu. She is said to have been the one who introduced agriculture to Ireland which is why Lughnasadh is linked to the land and harvest.

In modern times we typically don’t rely on crops and livestock for food, so the focus translates to things applicable to today’s world. This is a day to appreciate what we have. Make a meal that has meaning to you, like using a recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation. I will be making chicken soup because the recipe holds sentimental value for me. My younger brother and his girlfriend just purchased their first house not too long ago- he’s only 27! I’m 30 and the only thing I own is my car (😥) – but despite my envy, I am beyond proud of my brother and what he has accomplished. The amount of time and energy and love he and his partner have put into the house is incredible and the result is a warm, welcoming home (although one of their dogs was not keen on welcoming my toddler). My brother’s girlfriend made us chicken soup from scratch for supper. My son, who I normally have to force feed if it’s not mac and cheese, sat at the table like a grown up and ate all of his soup! It was phenomenal! So when I make the soup I will think of family, of the strong bonds siblings have, of talent and creativity, and of perseverance to make a house into a home. 


Other than food the themes of Lughnasadh are: 

  • abundance
  • prosperity
  • a time to begin new projects/careers or set new goals
  • gratitude
  • family 
  • protection of hearth and home

Lughnasadh Activities 

I have quite a few activities planned for Lughnasadh this year. The first task will be preparing the feast. Well, soup isn’t really a feast but it’s still fun to say. I’m making chicken soup from scratch and serving it with rosemary french bread. It’ll go in the crockpot so I’ll throw the veggies together in the morning and start them cooking in the broth with herbs. I will check on it periodically and do the next steps in stages throughout the day. Being a harvest festival I plan to harvest some flowers from my garden to make a decorative centerpiece for my table. I’m going to make sure I’ve got everything I need for the ritual and spellwork. Then I’m going to clean the house from top to bottom! While I clean I will memorize my lines for the ritual. I wouldn’t look like a very competent priestess if I’m fumbling with note cards or a book while I lead ritual!

I’ll have my son ‘help’ me by giving him a squirt bottle of water and a rag to have him wash the walls. He’s 2 and at that stage where he wants to be involved in everything I do. 

When the cleaning is done it’ll be time for something fun with the Gods in mind – part of my devotional practice is to do arts and crafts making something for them at least once a week, so, this is the perfect day to do so! I’ve already made statues as offerings so I’ll make decorative altarpieces while my son makes a mess with his Model Magic. I favor Sculpey clay but it’s not really child-friendly. Crayola’s model magic never dries so it’s perfect for little ones who tend to leave it out for hours but keep coming back throughout the day. 

Some activities you could partake in are:

  • Painting/Drawing (of what you want, of the Deities, of what you’re celebrating today)
  • Sculpting (statue of the Deities, a mini spear for Lugh, a Goddess statue for Anu, an offering dish for the ritual/your altar)
  • create Corn Dolly’s for the ritual (to represent the Deities)
  • Go for a walk and find the perfect stick to be your wand for the rites, or if its’ big enough to be your staff- my son LOVED when I took him to help me find my staff

When the arts and crafts are done, and supper time is coming close, I will turn the crock pot to low and take my son outside so he can play for 20 minutes while I ground myself. I will take off my shoes so I can actually feel the earth beneath me. I will feel the strong, unbending ground and the warm, exhilarating sun on my skin and I will think about Anu and Lugh. I will think about ways they have affected my life, ways they could help me with my goals for the next phase of the year, how my love for them runs so deep and strong like the roots of an ancient tree. This is something I try to do every day as a part of my devotional practice for the Morrigan (I’m a priestess for the Morrigan so I will interact with her multiple times a day).

Lughnasadh Ritual & Workings

Source: oghampathways.wordpress.com


“Alluring Anu”
©2018 Amanda Wilson. All Rights Reserved

Since I don’t want to impact the efficiency of the ritual I’m planning I have designed one especially for you, my lovely readers. I have been really drawn to Celtic magic lately, so I have written a ritual that combines practices of Druidry, Celtic magic, and Wicca.  The ritual will be honoring Lugh and Anu, the Goddess of the Land,  the mother of the Gods and one of the three Morrigans. (To learn more about Anu, check out my article about her on Hubpages: The Magic of the Morrigan: Alluring Anu.) You will acknowledge and provide an offering for your ancestors and the Spirits of the Land as well. The intent of the ritual is to recognize and give thanks for the abundance in your life – what you’ve ‘harvested’ from your hard work and dedication. This could be beautiful paintings as a result of study and practice, a raise or promotion at work after years of working your ass off, a garden full of gorgeous flowers after spending all those days getting bitten by bugs, dirt under your nails and sunburns on the back of your neck because you were sitting on the ground messing with the soil, pruning the massive plants (I have some flowers that grow so big they weigh down the whole plant), or anything else that applies to you!

Before the ritual, you should clean your whole house. This is something I do with every turn of the year. Witchcraft values order, balance, and efficiency. By going through your house cleaning and organizing each room you are setting up the home for maximum efficiency. If you come across things that are no longer of use- and be honest with yourself here!- you should consider donating or recycling it. I used to have the hardest time letting go of things, but I’ve come to learn they are just that: things. Would I save them in case of a fire? No. So no sense keeping them in that box you keep tripping over because it doesn’t fit in the closet. My rule of thumb is if I haven’t thought of the thing in 6 months then its time to move it along (obviously certain things are exempt, like your kids’ first outfit or heirlooms etc.). When your home is clean and organized the energy tends to be more positive and light. The Faeries certainly prefer a clean and orderly home over one that is cluttered, dark, and dusty. 


Now that your house is clean you probably are not. So take a shower and scrub yourself clean. You will be inviting Gods into your home tonight and you don’t want to be grubby doing it!  As you’re washing your body let go of all the things stressing you out. Let it slide down your body like the water drops and swirl down the drain with the soap and water. When you are washing between your toes you are washing away the bricks of stress weighing you down. Exfoliating your face is clearing the clutter from your mind as the gunk is cleaned out of your pores. The Celtic gods appreciate cleanliness and this definitely applies to you as well. Even if you aren’t honoring Lugh and Anu, taking a ritual shower or bath is common practice before a ritual. Cleansing yourself helps to cleanse your mind and soul which allows for a fierce focus on the working.


🌖Lughnasadh Ritual🌖


You’ve cleansed your body and your home so now you will move on to the next step in preparation. You should anoint yourself and perform a self-blessing. Just dap a bit of oil on your chakra points and ask your Patron/Matron deity to bless you tonight. If you don’t have one then ask the Universe.

 You want to wear clothing that is both comfortable, easy to move in, doesn’t pose a fire risk (long flowy sleeves + candles = OUCH). You also want to wear something that makes you feel Witchy. When you have clothes dedicated to ritual use only you will feel magical when you put them on and it will assist in the shift in consciousness, help you stay focused, heighten your psychic senses.  


Items Needed:

  • Candles to represent Anu, & Lugh (green and gold are common choices)
  • Altarpieces that make you think of the intent – like photos of your garden, a pay stub, the painting you’re proud of.
  • offerings for the ancestors, land spirits and the Deities – traditionally this would be whiskey, wine, herbs, honey but when it comes to offerings I always tell people it’s not WHAT you give but HOW you give it. Now the Fae do appreciate shiny trinkets and sweet food/drinks, like milk and honey. But offerings for Deities must come from the heart. Don’t go out and get whiskey and absently pour the libations. You could offer herbs the Deity is said to favor, offer food or drink that you particularly favor, make something for them like a painting or a sculpture, or perform a duty in honor of them. Offerings can be as unique as the individual laying them out.
  • Incense: I know there are lists all over the internet that tell you which incense is appropriate for Lughnasadh. When I choose incense for rituals I use my intuition. Certain scents act as keys, that is once I smell them my chakras open and my energy becomes grounded, I start breathing slow and steady and my consciousness shifts to the necessary level for magic and devotionals. Nag Champa, Dragons Blood, and chakra aligning incense sticks are my go-to’s but choose what works for you.
  • Magical Tools: tools are more than objects that assist us with a task, they are symbols for different concepts or themes in life. The tools that we will recognize/use in this ritual are the cauldron, the torc, the sword and the spear. If you don’t have these things don’t fret. You could use a bowl, a necklace, an athame (I’m using a dagger), and a stick. I’ll be using clay statues of these things and the dagger to cast the circle and open the barrier etc. You could have pictures of these things too, the whole idea is what these things symbolize.

Bring all these things to your altar and set them aside – not on the altar yet. Light some sage or a cleansing incense. Rosemary, patchouli, dragon’s blood, frankincense, myrrh, and vervain all work great to clear the air of negative energy. And by negative I don’t mean ghosts – negative energy is energy that distracts from the intention of the working. So, cleanse the air, and then smudge your tools one by one as you put them on your altar. I’m not going to tell you how to set up your altar – the Gods don’t care where everything is. Do what works for you. I like to have the tools arranged by the quarters, so candles in the southern corner, incense in the east, water or my cauldron in the west and then salt or soil from my property in the north. Again, this works for me but do what works for you!


Before you cast the circle center yourself – find your point of power (usually in the belly) and rock gently back and forth until you come to a natural stop, then rock side to side until you come to a natural stop. Now release all tension, control your breathing. Focus on your feet. From the bottom of your feet, roots are extending, they reach down into the ground -the body of the Earth Mother Anu, and when they come to a natural stop your breathing pulls up the Waters of the Earth, the natural currents that charge the power of the earth. With each breath, these waters rise higher. Continue until they fill your body. Now focus on the sky – see the Sun in your mind’s eye. Now see the moon, the stars. See them together in a beautiful blended sky. Open your Crown and accept the golden stream of light, the Fire power from the Sky. Again pull it towards you and into your with each breath. Take a moment to feel the combined powers merging with your own. When you cast the circle, see the Waters of the Underworld and the Fire of the Sky emerge from your finger (or athame or wand whichever you prefer). As they meet they form protective Mist, that is both a barrier and a boundary, establishing a safe space in which you will conduct your ritual and carry out your workings.  As you rotate you could think or say something to this effect:

I cast now a circle of the Waters of Anu and the Fire of Lugh, a circle of mists that protects from the unwanted and invites the Divine. In the name of Anu and Lugh this circle is sealed!

Now call the Airts. If you have a call you particularly like then you may use it, or you can make one up. Ian Corrigan’s Sacred Fire, Holy Well he provides an exercise to attune to the Four Airts, but I like to use it as the call. The short and sweet invocation for each corner allows for time to envision the wind and feel the qualities enter the circle and intertwine with your energy.

East wind blow Bounty

See red wind blow from the east and enter your circle, swirling around you clockwise until it wraps around you bringing the awareness of wealth in your life and the power of growth.

South wind blow Song

See white wind from the south blowing in and filling you with energy and new impulse.

West wind blow Wisdom

See the twilight gray wind enter your circle and infusing your spirit with knowledge and inspiration. 

North wind blow Strong

A black wind swirls in and around you, bringing strength and stability. 

Light the candle for Anu as you raise your power hand and with your wand/athame or finger, draw an invoking spiral (start in the middle and rotate clockwise). See the mist parting and Anu appearing and stepping forward as you say:

I call to you, Anu, Goddess of the Land and Mother of Gods, to come to my sacred circle to join and bless this Lughnasadh rite. Hail and Welcome Earth Mother Anu!

Now light the candle for Lugh and repeat the process, saying:

I call to you Lugh, God of Light, to come to my sacred circle to join and bless this Lughnasadh rite. Hail and Welcome, Master of Skills Lugh!

Take the offering for the Ancestors and as you pour/place it into the offering dish say:

With this offering I honor you, Ancestors of Blood and Bone. May you bless this rite with your wisdom and love.

Take the offering for the Land Spirits and as you pour/place it into the offering dish say:

With this offering I honor you Spirits of the Land, Guardians of this place. May you bless this rite with your protection.

Now state the intention of the ritual. Acknowledge the ways in which Anu and Lugh have blessed you thus far (say at least one specific thing, like “thank you Lugh for helping me write that proposal that got me my promotion”, or “thank you Anu for blessing me with perseverance I needed to reach my weight goals”). Next share with them the goals you have for the future, and request that the bless you with their virtues so that you will achieve them.

Take the offering you have for Anu. Hold it up above the altar and say:

Behold my offering for Anu, a token of my respect, love, and gratitude. 

Place/pour into the offering dish and repeat for Lugh:

Behold my offering for Lugh, a token of my respect, love and gratitude. 

 If you have any spellwork planned you may proceed with it. If you don’t, you may perform divination, using Tarot or scrying to find an answer to any burning questions you have or to obtain advice on how to achieve your goals. You could just sit and communicate with the Deities. Be sure to write down messages your receive and any feelings/sensations you felt during the ritual.  

When you are ready to end the ritual thank and dismiss the Deities and then the Energies of the Directions. Saying something like “Thank you for joining me on this night. Depart in peace ____”


Open the circle by extending your power arm and rotating counterclockwise, envisioning the mist separating into the Water and Fire and returning to the Earth and Sky.


🌖 Lughnasadh Spell✨🌖

Lughnasadh is a great time for spells that involve prosperity, abundance, relationships, and protection. The moon phase for tomorrow night is Waning Gibbous, so for prosperity and abundance, I recommend casting the spell during the day, drawing from the Sun’s energy. The Sun has cycles just like the moon. From sunrise to noon it’s like the waxing moon so spells bringing things to you are best, from noon to three the sun is most powerful so you could cast any kind of spell and typically from 3 until dusk you would cast for release, serenity or removal. 
The Druids follow the year’s cycle just as Wiccans do but with a few differences. Again explaining this in detail would warrant another full article, but here it is in a nutshell: instead of a hierarchical modal of realms, they believe that the Upper- and Underworlds manifest themselves here on Earth in various time phrases. There are specific moon phases, times and holy days that correspond to each Station of the Year – Station being holy days. For Lughnasadh, the energies for spellcasting are strongest when the moon is a Waning Gibbous between the hours of 3 and 5:59 in the evening. This year the moon is, as I said earlier in Waning Gibbous so from 3 until 5:59 tomorrow would be the best time to perform your ritual and spells. You would draw on the powers of the Sun, the Moon, and of the earth. 

I am a firm believer that the most effective spells are ones you write yourself because that much more energy is put into manifesting your Will. I will provide a spell I’ve found to be effective and easy to manipulate to cover just about any type of spell. 

Anu Earth Magick Spell¹
This spell involves calling on Anu and the element of earth to manifest your desired goal. Useful for material things, such as money for a bill, a new job/promotion, new car or home, etc.
Items Needed: 
  • Anu’s incense (small pinch of soil, 3 tbsp of mugwort, 2 tbsp Irish moss)
  • a small bowl
  • 1 cup soil from your property
  • Athame
Light the incense and pass the bowl through the smoke. Fill the bowl with the soil. Hold your hands over the bowl and say:

I am one with Anu, Mother of the Land, whose body is the green and fertile hills, whose blood flows through the rivers, whose bones are the stones of the earth. The power of the earth flows through me, I am one with the spirit of the earth, I am one with Anu!

With your finger or athame draw a symbol representing what you wish to manifest in the soil. See your desire clearly in your mind and see it flowing into the soil, moving from the realm of Energy to the physical realm to manifest in your life. When you’re done sprinkle the soil outside on your property (releasing it into the Universe to manifest and send you what you want). (Woodfield, 2011, p.90-92)

1. Woodfield, S. (2011). Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess: 
Invoking the Morrigan. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.



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