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All Hallowed Eve The Cauldron Of Winter & From Here to There Tarot Spell a little bit of Magic

The Christmas adverts are up all ready trying to sell a packaged Christmas from a shop near you.. Not sure its going to take hold this year.. Maybe we have an opportunity to reclaim the season, . I know for many of my closest friends this is actually their favourite time. I have come to really love and appreciate so many of the seasons.. Feeling their unique wisdom and gifts...

The sudden chill that appears in the air, the softening of the light, candles at supper time. As I prepare the Bothy for its long winter rest, harvesting and preserving almost complete.. Pulling the last Pumpkin, which this year will be crafted into a Spicy Pumpkin Ale, alongside the wonderful soup and sweet pumpkin pie.. In that shadow of The Large Oak Tree I could feel the chill of the Cailleach’s breath. So who is the the Cailleach? She is the goddess of the cold and the winds. Sometimes known as the Veiled One or the Queen of Winter, the Cailleach determined the winter’s length and harshness.

The Cailleach was both ageless and immortal; as winter gave way to spring, she would take a drought that returned her to youth. In Manx legend, she spent half the year as a young woman and the other half as a old crone—she was only known as the Cailleach during the latter half.

Collecting Firewood

On Imbolc, or February 1st, of each year, the Cailleach runs out of firewood for the winter. In the Manx tradition, she transforms into a great bird and collects firewood in her beak. In Ireland and Scotland, meanwhile, she collects firewood as an old woman. If she wishes for winter to last longer, she makes the day sunny and bright for her search. If she accidentally oversleeps, the day is stormy and gray. Thus, tradition holds that if February 1st is gray and wintery, winter will be shorter that year; if the day is bright, winter will return due to her preparation.

Back to the Bothy I Stepped a little towards the West, beyond the old Oaks shadow, into the sunshine, and there was a slight warmth still there, but it’s gently fading.. I reach for my Dungarees and Woollen shirt and hat most days now and have since Equinox…

On All Hallowed Eve I uncast the circle, that was brought to life way back in Spring... and gently close the Bothy for its long winter rest.. with the Wood Stove crackling.. As the land rests I rest too..…

Yet for now I invite the mists of the Otherworld to fill the Cauldron before us... Life Beyond the Five Bar Gate often feels in between the worlds, a metaphoric Cauldron, I often use a Cauldron in my Magic , and through that mist I invite to speak the names of our loved ones, our friends, family, and our ancestors of tradition, who have passed before us.. This last year there has been so much loss..

A way of life has been totally stripped back for so many.. As spirit said on Winter Solstice 2019 “There will be a Cosmic Pause like no other.. And from the shell of the Old world a new world will be born” ... We are Stepping into the mists of a whole new cycle of time, yet for now we are remembering our ancestors.. For me tending to the land has been a direct gift of skills and knowledge passed to me from My Dad , his Dad and those wonderful men on that line.. speaking their names aloud on within our hearts , so that they may hear us, and know that they are remembered. We then share a symbolic feast with them, raising the Horn of Odin.. a Bottle of Mugwort beer is cracked open… offering poetry, and tales and stories of the season, before the spirits are thanked, and the circle is closed. It’s a safe space, a place to feel the loss but also the connection. Folklore that tells us that the Faerie ride out at this time of year – that the Veil is thin. Within the Otherworld, within Annwn, lies the Cauldron of Rebirth.

Tales suggest that those placed within the Cauldron are reborn, Folklore suggests that the spirit of those who have gone before return to the Cauldron, for rebirth. So casting the circle, and calling upon the mists at Samhain, when the Gates are open, utterly works for me. It feels right...

“To the Celtic people, Samhain marked the start of the winter season. It was the time when the livestock were slaughtered and the final harvest was gathered before the inevitable plunge into the depths of winter’s darkness. Fires were lit to help wandering spirits on their way, and offerings were given in the names of the gods and the ancestors. Seen as a beginning, Samhain is now often called the Witches’ New Year. We honor our ancestors, wind down our activities, and get ready for the months of introspection ahead.” 

A Tiny Bit of Magic