Deathwalking: Helping Them Cross the Bridge is
a short book (88 pages) in the Moon Books Shaman Pathways series. It
is edited by Pagan author and
artist Laura Perry and features a dozen essays from Pagans and
shamanic practitioners from
traditions and backgrounds.
Its focus is the little known or
spoken about practice of deathwalking, or pyschopomping, which Laura
explains is ‘helping the helping the spirits of the deceased
move on from this world to the next.’
This interested me because, as a devotee of Gwyn ap Nudd, a god who
guides the dead to the Annwn (the Brythonic Otherworld) I have been
called on to retell the stories of the dead and to act as a guide on
a couple of occasions, and wondered if I will be led to work more
deeply in this area in the future.
Brigid: Meeting the Goddess of Poetry, Forge and Healing Well is an introduction to the multi-faceted Celtic goddess, Brigid, by Irish Polytheist Morgan Daimler. In this book, Morgan traces the threads of the ‘enormous, brightly coloured tapestry’ that gives form to Brigid in the twenty-first century to their original sources.
Morgan centres on the well-known Irish depiction of Brigid as three sisters in the 14th C Sanas Cormac: ‘Brigid of the Poets, Brigid of the Forge, Brigid the Healer’. She introduces Brigid’s earliest representations as the daughter of the Dagda and member of the Tuatha dé Danann in The Caith Maige Tuired and Lebor Gabala Erenn. Lesser know Brigids from the Ulster Cycle: Brigid the Hospitaller, Brigid of the Judgements and Brigid the Cowless are also introduced.
A chapter focuses on Brigid by other names: the Gaulish Brigandu, British Brigantia, Scottish Bride, Welsh Ffraid and Saint Brigid…
Pagan Portals: Gwyn Ap Nudd — Wild God of Faerie, Guardian of Annwn Danu Forest Moon Books, 2017
Review by Anthony Rella.
A contribution to Moon Books’ Pagan Portals series, Danu Forest’s Gwyn Ap Nudd is a slender book that provides an accessible and welcoming path to Celtic mythology, Welsh divinities, and a nature-centered practice. At only 94 pages, one still has the foundational material to begin a rich journey into nature worship, connection to the Fae, and devotional practice with this powerful god of the old Britons.
Through each section, Forest provides overviews and discussion of various myths associated with Gwyn Ap Nudd — as guardian of the underworld, as king of the fae, as leader of the Wild Hunt, and as one who lives in the glass castle of Glastonbury Tor. With each facet of this complex and intriguing figure, Forest offers suggestive insights into how a modern-day…
This Ancient Heart is a collection of essays by well known Pagan and spiritual authors on our relationships with and connections to landscape and the ancestors.
In the Forward by Graham Harvey the scene is set where he says “Much of the curious, unexpected and fascinating is revealed in the book you are now reading” and then asks us to begin to think about our own perspectives on the subject by reminding us that “It is, as with any book, important that readers begin with some reflections about their own expectations and anticipations.”
The Introduction by Paul Davies sets the scene more firmly where he talks of the ancestors, stating “Their bodies are part of this earth and this earth is equally part of us – in flesh, in DNA as much as in spirit. In this way, we are the ancestors reborn. I like that thought…..”
The Annals of Tigernach list four battles for the year 594:
The battle of Ratha in Druadh & the battle of Áird Sendoim. The slaying of the sons of Áedán i.e. Bran & Domangart & Eochaid Find & Artúr, in the battle of Circhenn, in which Áedán was the victor, & the battle of Corann.
The first two battles were closely linked, the battle of Áird Sendoim (‘The Headland’, near Peterhead, ‘on the coast of Mordei’) being immediately followed by Arthur’s ‘Unrestrained Ravaging’ of Morgan’s Tillymorgan hill-fort. The Annals of Ulster described this as the ‘battle of Ràth in druaid’ (Early Irish ràth, a ‘residence surrounded by an earthen rampart’). It took place in the ‘Sorcerer’s land’ (Early Irish drui – a ‘Druid’; genitive druad). Morgan was considered ‘skilful’ (medrod) by…
I have recently finalised my third book, Gatherer of Souls, a collection of poems and stories recovering the forgotten mythos of my patron god, Gwyn ap Nudd. I am very pleased and proud to reveal the cover art, which is by Tom Brown. The publication and book launch will take place on Saturday 29th September (Gwyn’s Feast).
Gwyn ap Nudd is a Brythonic god of the dead and ruler of Annwn. In medieval Welsh literature he is depicted gathering the souls of slaughtered warriors from the battlefield, and is said to contain the fury of the spirits of Annwn to prevent their destruction of the world.
Fierce and compassionate, beautiful and terrifying, Gwyn’s ambivalent nature was unacceptable to Christians. He and his spirits were demonised. Gwyn was replaced as a warrior-protector of Britain by his opponent, Arthur, and the doors of Annwn were slammed shut.
In this work, Salisbury draws on research into several traditions, seeking to distill the essence of cleansing practices for use in a Wiccan context. In that, I believe he succeeds. Moreover, based on the one tradition he references with which I am deeply familiar, I daresay he provides an accurate overview of how these practices are used, and is mindful of concerns about cultural appropriation which get raised more and more frequently in these cases. In five relatively quick chapters, the author touches upon tools used in cleansing, practices for cleansing people and places, how to deal with negative energy situations such as crossing and hexes, and his understanding of spirit entities which might be problematic.
Salisbury’s selection of tools is substantial, and I like the fact that he acknowledges what he’s used and…