Triangle of Manifestation

The Triangle of Manifestation is from Ian Corrigan’s Book of Nine Moons and is particularly for a working called “The Summoning Cauldron,” in which a spirit is summoned into the central circle. This is a version of the Triangle on solid wood, and is ideal for those working through the ADF Initiate Path, or who might wish to do work after Ian’s direction in the Book of Nine Moons.
Designed by Ian Corrigan, an ADF Senior Priest and Archrduid Emeritus. Please visit his blog at Into The Mound: Druidic Occultism & Pagan

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Make like a tree….

So I have spoken on the fire and the well in our spiritual selves so it seemed only natural that I also speak of the tree within. Each of us has our own tree within, our own axis mundi that connects us to all the realms.
“The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, columna cerului, center of the world, world tree), in religion or mythology, is the world center or the connection between Heaven and Earth. As the celestial pole and geographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms (Wikipedia).”
Our feet and toes become roots connecting us to our earth mother. All we have to do is sit on the beach and dig into the sand with our toes to know how great it feels to connect to that energy. If you have been to any festivals where you have had rain and the opportunity to do the same in the mud it brings back the joy of childhood. So remember to kick off those shoes and feel the dirt beneath and connecting to your feet.
Our spine and torso is the trunk of this tree standing tall but bending against the wind. We tend to forget we are as strong as an oak. Many of us forget our inner strength.
Our arms the branches that can reach out to all the worlds, but just as easily offer warmth and shelter to each other.
Our heads and hair the crown of the tree seeking out the light of the heavens, aglow with that spark from the sun, moon and stars. It is here that many talk about the two primal powers of fire and water. The fire from the spark of order and the waters of potential mixing and mingling within us but we tend to forget the other powers that assist us, the wind the blows about us whispering to us the voices of the Ancestors and the dirt that connects us to the Nature Spirits.

Seamus

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What’s in your cauldon?

What’s in your wallet? It Is a cute advertising tag line but if I may “What’s in your cauldon?”

Inside all of us is the cauldron of magic and creativity and like most we use the waters there daily for work, school, hobbies the daily grind but we often forget to take the time to refill that cauldon.

Take time for you.Do something nice for yourself, whether it is grabbing the headphones and listening to your favorite music, sneak off to the art gallery or maybe working a crossword puzzle. Whatever it is remember that cauldon is one of rebirth and transformation but it is up to you to keep it full.

Last night I spent time with my god-babies curled up on my shoulder and chest reminding of the hope and wonder of being human.
They helped me refill my cauldron….so my friends.
What’s in your cauldon?

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Shine On

Recently on face-book someone was struggling with things and feeling down and I wrote a small note to them about how we all face the darkness but it was important to keep their faith and heart-shrine glowing…I really have come to think about this a lot lately.

I think we all that divine spark of light and love within us and it is our responsibility to kindle our heart-shrine with this spark and tend the fire of our hearts with piety and love. Each time we perform ritual and offer to the Kindreds we feed that fire. Each act of love and kindness we feed that fire. It is important that we continue to be good fire tenders and allow that fire to shine out unto the world. Like a light-house against the night sky, the fire of our piety should be that beacon unto the world.

If we truly seek to be spiritual beings then we must do the simple things that build our lives around that spirituality. It’s not enough for us as pagans to show up to ritual on high days or full moons. We must aspire to be spiritual in all of our endeavors. No matter what we do we should try to incorporate our piety into the experience. This sounds like old news and many of you are going duh…but stop for a minute and ask yourself if you do it? Do you let your light shine? Do you live as an example of your virtues and are a good reflection of the Kindreds? If you are the only Pagan someone meets will you leave a good impression? Are you an ambassador for your faith? Trust me I know I have a lot of work to do myself, we are all flawed in our own way and it is those flaws that make us beautiful and unique.

So I don’t believe in the random acts of kindness, I think we should start striving to do deliberate acts of kindness. Whether it is volunteering for charity, giving blood, giving change to the homeless guy on the corner or whatever, I challenge all of us to be deliberate in our kindness, to be good fire tenders of our heart shrines. Shine on my friends!
Seamus

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Lessons in Our Druidry from a set of Braille Ogham

Braille ogamA couple of weeks ago, a student on ADF-Dedicants mentioned some trepidation about the “omen” part of an ADF rite. It wasn’t about being able to interpret the symbols: this student was blind, and so couldn’t even see the symbols.

This got us thinking, and we responded almost immediately, asking if we could make a set of ogham with Braille tree names on them and send them to the student free of charge (since we really had no idea what we were doing, and we really needed someone to test them before we tried to produce them for sale).

We set about designing them with the student’s input, and ended up with a design where the symbol is on the left, with the English tree name running up the right edge of each piece. We used a piece of red alder that was 1/8″ thick for this first set, because it’s just a test set, and we expect to need to refine it over time. (Check them out!)

We can also do them with the Braille using Irish names, too: we actually originally designed them that way before realizing that perhaps we should do them in English instead, and the student confirmed a preference for the English version.

Projects like this make the work we do at The Magical Druid really worthwhile, though: not only does it stretch us creatively, but it lets us serve a whole group of folks who others don’t create things for. . . and let’s be honest, a blind person should have access to quality divination products, as well as any sighted folks.

We’re really looking forward to the feedback about the set. We think the Dedicant is going to love them.

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Artist Spotlight: Shawneen

Photo of Shawneen on the Hill of TaraThe Magical Druid is, we like to think, something a little different than your normal Pagan store. One of our goals has been to highlight local and other Pagan artists and the wonderful work that they do. Today, we’d like to tell you a bit about one of our talented artists: Shawneen!


Shawneen has been a practicing pagan for over 36 years, an environmental intuitive, geomantic consultant and interfaith celebrant. He is an ADF Druid that has served as the ADF Naturalist Guild Preceptor and locally as Three Cranes Grove Tree Czar. He is a flamekeeper for both ADF and the Ord Brighideach International, a Labyrinth Facilitator and designer of Earth Energy based Landscapes. Shawneen graduated as a horticulturalist from Michigan State University and has worked and volunteered for The Franklin Park Conservatory, Habitat for Humanity, and others. He teaches classes and does walking tours on all things nature. He is also well-versed in the art of Ogham and has taught classes, and acted as Seer in local Grove rituals many times.

Steampunk Druid Sigil: a gear and two screwsShawneen’s Steampunk Druid Sigils (seen at left) are a highlight of some of the wonderful things that we feature here at The Magical Druid. The Druid Sigil is often depicted with a wreath of leaves and two staves or spears going through them, but this version is every bit as creative and it helps to show that even in our modern world, there are powerful symbols that can deepen our experience.

Another particular item that Shawneen has created for us is a set of Nine Sacred Woods, what he calls the “Need Fire Bundle.” He collects all the woods in a sacred, horticulturally appropriate and sustainable manner using his training as both Druid and horticulturalist. Appropriate offerings are made to all trees and permission asked before they gave of themselves. Shawneen ensures that a seedling of one of the sacred woods is planted for each bundle purchased.

A bundle of Nine Sacred Woods
Shawneen was also instrumental in our creation of the fege find that you can find in our store as well: he placed the original request and got us creating them!

Come by our store to see some of his work, or check out Shawn’s work on his page, and check out all our artists on our local artist page!

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Grand Opening Celebration: January 6!

Our StorefrontIt’s almost here: we’re getting ready to open our doors to the public!

When we started this, we really wanted a physical location: someplace where our customers could come, chat with us, and peruse all the stuff we make. Well, that dream is becoming a reality on Jan. 6, 2013, when we open for business in the physical realm!

We finally rented a space for The Magical Druid: we’re at 14 W. Pacemont Rd., Columbus, OH, 43202 in a lovely little place that can hold all our stuff and has a small office! It’s quiet, quaint, and on the major bus line in Columbus, as well as convenient to many of our customers.

We’ve spent the last month or so painting, setting up tables, creating displays and posters, and re-wiring the space. We moved our heavy equipment about two weeks ago, and we started filling in the space with all sorts of new products. If you’ve only seen us at festivals (or only seen us in Seamus’ garage), then you haven’t seen anything yet!

We have all of our consignment jewelry and artwork on display now. We’ve created posters  for multiple paths, and gotten all our prayer cards in and on display.

We’re very excited about this new step (and perhaps a bit terrified from time to time), and now that we’ve got a date set for our Grand Opening, we couldn’t be more pleased with where we are.

We’ll have a pre-party between 5 PM and 9 PM on Saturday night (Jan. 5th), and folk are certainly invited to attend (just let us know if you’ll be coming). The party is a bit bitter-sweet for us, as we lost a friend this past week (read my remembrance on my personal journal) and are unable to attend his funeral because of the opening, so we’ll be collecting donations for our friend’s family, and we’ll talk a bit about him as we begin the evening as well. We’ll also have Rev. Amber Cannon officially blessing the store in a short ritual beginning at 6 PM. Again, we’d love to have you join us.

On Sunday, Jan. 6th, we have our official Grand Opening. We’ll be open from 11 AM until 6 PM, with special sales, discounts, and door prizes! Plus, everyone coming in will receive a free gift from us.

Check out our new store website (now that we’re more than just an online store) and find directions to the store on the site as well!

We hope to see you there: both Seamus and I are very excited about getting to see you there!

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Creating Pagan Prayer Cards

Pagan Prayer Card ExamplesOver the past two weeks, we’ve been creating a set of Pagan Prayer Cards. It’s been interesting to get to know the spirits on the cards as we’ve been working. Coloring them, creating prayers, and putting together the whole set has been quite the experience.

Most of the art used is public domain, which has limited the number of deities we have an option to work on (since public domain work is more often “the work you have” rather than “the work you want”). One piece in particular, the Brigid Prayer Card, was done by Christina Marvel, and we think it’s amazing. we cannot describe how happy we are that she let us use it for this project.

Piecing together the prayers was the hardest part (still is). We weren’t sure how to set up the cards so that they would work for a wide variety of people. The prayers we’ve settled on deal with certain aspects of the deities, rather than being general prayers of praise to the deities (which we write a lot more of in general). It’s been really nice, though, to get to work with these deities and read their lore.

The prayer side of Apollo’s card was the one that first made us realize that we might have a pretty quality idea here. We spent a lot of time reflecting on the roles we could call out in the prayer, and settled on creating a “Prayer for Clear Sight” for the back of the card.

Back of our Apollo Prayer Card
Pan’s prayer turned out to be a bit more lusty than we expected, though I suppose in hindsight that makes some good sense. Odin’s prayer went through two complete revisions.

We’re still working on prayers for a few of the cards, but they should be done in time for us to send the first run off to print. We’re waiting on our first draft of the cards to come in before we order the full set (Oðin is on order right now).

The cards are going to be the same size as baseball cards (about 3.5″ x 2.5″). We’re only sort of joking when we talk about doing “Archdruidic Rookie Cards” after this.

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First in a series: new eBook about runes

The Very Basics of Runes: The Elder Futhark

Our newest book:
The Very Basics of Runes: The Elder Futhark!

The Very Basics of Runes – The Elder Futhark just became the newest book I’ve published. It’s a real simple eBook, which you can download on any e-reader (I tried it out on my iPad a bit ago, and it looks pretty good in iBooks), designed to give you a real basic view of what each of the runes in the Elder Futhark means.

Seamus and I have been working to try and do more than just sell runes to people via The Magical Druid, and one of the things we were thinking was, “You know, it’s great that people are buying runes, but we’re giving them a tool here, not a decorative piece. How do we get them to feel comfortable using these things?” I mean, the last thing anyone who creates stuff wants (be they artist, magician, author, or even software developer) is for the thing they create to gather dust and never be used.

So, we put together this little book as a sort of experiment. It draws on the last ten-or-so years of lore and divinatory work that I’ve been doing. The book itself includes a number of things I’ve developed just for this project: a three-rune and nine-rune spread that I developed, the “Elder Futhark Rune Poem” I wrote a few months back, and some info on Odin’s Eye).

What we’d like to do is have the book available as part of a bundle so that anyone who buys a set of runes from us can get up and running with their divination: it’ll help people get comfortable with the runes and start using them as soon as they get them. Right now, you get a set of runes, a rune reference card, and a bag to carry everything in. We’ll add the eBook to that at no charge, we think.

We’d like to offer an additional “bundle” that will include a physical copy of the book to tell our customers how to use the runes themselves, an Odin’s Eye, and a nine-rune spread board (or cloth? We’re not sure yet). It’s an easy way to make our rune sets stand out above others (you know, other than their natural beauty and superior craftsmanship, he said humbly).

One of the keys, of course, is that because we’re making/publishing all this stuff ourselves, we can do it far cheaper than anyone else out there. Our hand-made runes are some of the best you’ll ever see (again, he says humbly), certainly at their price, but the ability to offer additional support for very little cost is pretty huge.

Next up: Ogham books, Anglo-Saxon rune books, Greek oracle books, and others. Honestly, it’s kind of fun to build infrastructure around stuff. . . especially when it means that you can help people enjoy what you’ve created just a bit more.

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Crafting the Fege Find

The Fege Find, or Finn's Window

The Fege Find, or Finn’s Window

A couple of days ago, we received a request from one of our customers to create a fege find (Irish for “Finn’s Window” or “Finn’s Ridgepole”). Seamus and I were pretty pleased with the outcome, and I spent some time doing research trying to figure out how best to make it.

The design appears in In Lebor Ogaim, or “The Book of Ogam,” and is listed as one of the “cryptic varieties” of ogam. Both the translations of “window” and “ridgepole” bring to mind the notion that you can “look through” the fege (ridgepoles in Iron Age houses tend to lead to the smoke hole at the top of the roof), so we put a hole in the middle of it, since it’s just empty space, anyway, and it is kinda cool to think about “looking through” the ogham, especially in this configuration. Religion, after all, is all about orienting yourself, and having the ogam as markers of your vision is pretty darn cool.

Erynn Laurie’s book, Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, has a section on this (p. 144 in my edition, which I think is the current edition). She has some very interesting thoughts on the subject (including some notions regarding the shamanic process of “climing and squeezing out through the roof-hole” that are terribly worth considering). She describes the “ridgepole” in question and the hole at the top like this:

“The Féige Find can be immagined as the tree the poet climbs upward into the center to reach imbas and the Otherworlds. The glyph itself, with its five concentric rings, can be seen as the roof of the hut when you lie on your back looking up to the rings and thatching and the central smoke-hole. The ogam feda themselves are like the bindings that hold the thatch, and the stars spinning in the night sky around the central post of the world tree, or the north star that is the nail about which the heavens revolve.” -p. 145

It’s darn good imagery.

Anyway, I spent some time last night doing some practical work with the fege, as last night was our usual bit of Clergy Order Work. I meditated with the Window up to my closed eye, centered on the flame of a candle before me, and when I opened my eye and looked through the Window to the candle flame, I saw things beyond the flame before me that were reflected in the vision I had been meditating on. The real interesting thing was that I had left a pad of paper on the working space before me (so I could write things down afterward, not during, though I’d already drawn the fege on the paper), and I almost immediately had the urge to begin writing. Words poured out of me for a little bit. I had drawn the fege find on the pad before the journey, and found myself writing four sets of words in the four corners around the outside of the fege, and a fifth set of words spiraling through the fege itself.

When I went to journal the experience, I had to re-translate the words, which was not terribly easy, since I had been writing from one position, so some of the words were written backwards. I did manage to understand everything I wrote, though (sometimes by re-tracing the words in reverse to figure out what letter I’d intended to write). All the sets of words (couplets, almost) were about fire and poetry. It was a strange but deep experience.

This version is done in cedar, because we like working in cedar, and it burns very cleanly (as opposed to some other woods that don’t always burn well). We might try some other woods, but we’ll have to see (oak, for instance, burns very poorly when it comes to detail like this. The most interesting thing is that apparently, no one has ever thought to make these things into jewelry, it appears, and we do love doing things that are new and unique! You can pick one up at The Magical Druid, of course!

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