31 Days of Offerings – Days 6-11: Simple Steps Forward

31 Days of Offerings(1)

Day 6-7: Keeping it Simple

Water. Whisky. Showing up.

Water. Whisky. Showing up.

Well water for the well spirits, the harvest deities whose time has passed. Their shrine will stand empty for the winter soon. I listen for St Gobnait, the bee woman whose court is leaving the land. I let Latiaran’s flame burn down.


Water. Whisky. Showing up.

Somewhere, in the depths of the ‘rinse repeat’, the universe shifts.

A dark goddess in a dark room, lighting up a flaming spiral path. October is her time of chaos, and so, my chaotic month too. “November,” after all, “is the time of my birth”*.

Days 8-9: Moving Forward a Step

The days are stressful, anxious, uncontained. I am learning that daily offerings are a touchstone. The lighting of the hearth fire was at the heart of the daily struggle of my ancestors. The lighting of a candle on the hearth altar can be mine. Not so different. We have humanity in common, huddled around our fires that come from the same source.


One of my hearth shrines. Icons and symbols for Brigantia; Our Lady Breaker of Chains; and St Brendan. (It’s a bit of an ancestral mix.)

Days 10-11: Offerings to Me

Our friend has just had her second baby, but still has time to bake us a little cake to say ‘congratulations’ on our marriage. We share mutual offerings of time and hospitality – the most precious things in the world.


SJ enjoying some very good hospitality.



And in a work context, a very unexpected prophecy from a servant of a now-foreign god (to whom my Wyrd may always be tied). I have just sat through a church service for fieldwork, irritated, wondering what the point of my being there is. But it mattered to someone that I was there. She holds back right until I’m standing at my car, then out pours a tumble of divine words of pure imbas – words that speak deeply into my Work.

On the way home I think about my offerings to the world, which go beyond religion, beyond tradition, even beyond gods. And how the world gives back, and nothing goes truly unnoticed.

*From ‘Cailleach: the Hag of Beara’ by Leanne O’Sullivan.

Slí na Fírinne*: Imbas

*’The Way of Truth’.

“What’s UPG?” asked my friend, after a grove ritual a few weeks ago.

I’d been basking in the midsummer sun, dancing with the fae, honouring Aine of the Summer Sun in all her glory. The imbas was flowing.

“What’s UPG?” My answer was halting and not accurate. All at once I realised: I don’t really know, and I don’t really care. Continue reading


greenbgGiven that it’s still (sort of) the beginning of the year, we’ve been talking about calendars a lot over at the Cauldron forum.

For many Pagans, particularly of a Wiccan or Druid flavour, calendars are fairly straightforward. There are plenty of us, though, who do calendars differently – from Norse to Kemetic. Continue reading


PBP2014cGiven that I’m re-launching this blog with a more Gaelic recon-type approach, I thought ‘C is for Cailleachan’ wasn’t a bad place to start.[1] There’s more than one Cailleach figure, and I thought I’d take some time to explore the differences between ‘my’ Cailleach and some of the others. The nice thing about the (plural) word ‘Cailleachan’ is that it emphasises the potential separateness of these goddesses and their different cultural origins. They’re not all the same. Continue reading

Brigid of the Fire


We’re living in a slightly problematic flat at the moment. (Fortunately we’re also moving soon.) The light in the hallway blew a couple of weeks ago, for about the fourth time since we moved in – we’ve given up replacing the bulb now. Meanwhile, the kitchen currently appears to be haunted, with the fluorescent light in there doing a good impression of a badly-wired disco. And then there’s the damp. It’s really, really damp. Continue reading