Raven is the fatal touch of the Calleach in winter, the wisdom of Odin, the vessel of prophecy given to a seer, the mighty protector of the Western Isles, and the healing message of an Indian shaman. Naming You might want to choose a Ravenish magical name. There are many names associated with Raven from the differing traditions. Below is a list of European names:. When choosing a totem, find a symbol to represent that totem and keep it on you, or in a sacred place in your home.
For instance, I always wear a silver raven ring. This token will help you to communicate with your totem, and it will protect and guide you both in magical and mundane affairs. Keeping ravens and crows as pets is also illegal. Raven artwork is all around us. Native American artists have created artifacts, T-shirts, emblems, and all sorts of sacred raven art. Raven and Crow are favorite subjects in traditional Chinese and Japanese art. I have found raven paintings by local Japanese and Chinese artists in San Francisco.
Raven art is catching on in Western Culture, especially among Celtic and Norse style artists. I now find ravens in jewelry, decals, T-shirts, and altar cloths, available from vendors in local craft fairs, Scottish and Celtic Games, Scandanavian festivals, Renaissance fairs and other historical re-enactment fairs. You'd be surprised where you can find ravens. I have found wooden and metal ravens in antique stores. Halloween is an especially good season to find raven designs sold as decorations.
Many artists and craftspeople are open to suggestion, and available for commissions. The more people that ask for raven designs, the more they will show up in the marketplace! Pull these cards out and use them in meditation, trance work, spirit guide work. Sacred Times Raven represents winter, because of their ability to endure the cold.
My husband, who was stationed in Greenland with the Army in the 's, saw only two animals the year he was there - arctic foxes and ravens! Raven also represents night, their ebony plumage reminding us of the Dark Moon. Raven magic is very potent at this time of month when the majesty of the starry universe unfolds above us. Raven is an ideal guide on the path of the deepest mysteries. The intelligence and adaptability of Raven really makes Her an appropriate totem for any time or season.
Astral Travel There are many chants and songs that can be used to invoke Raven. A traditional Scottish chant to shapeshift into a crow for astral traveling , while holding a crow or raven's feather: From the witch trial of Isobel Gowdie I shall go into a crow with sorrow and such and a black thraw And I shall to in the Devil's name Until I come home again!
Prophecy and Divination I have fled in the shape of a raven of prophetic speech. To invoke Raven as bird of prophecy, you can use the old English rhyme used to interpret omens by the number of ravens, crows, or rooks seen in a flock:. Keep a raven feather or artifact with your divination tools. Ravens especially preside over dark tools such as dark mirrors and onyx scrying balls, but can be used with any tool. Dreamwork Raven is an excellent dream guide. Most Native American craft stores will sell dream wheels or you can make your own.
Attach a raven feather or artifact to the wheel and hang it over your bed. Powerful and prophetic dreams will come your way. Magic Circles When drawing a circle using Raven imagery, clothe yourself in dark flowing robes.
In the Morganian tradition of Wicca, the Raven priestess circles the perimeter nine times in honor of the nine priestesses of Avalon. Adding raven feathers to your tools for instance attaching the black feathers to your wand, staff, athame, shield, drum, pentacle or crafting your tools in the shape of ravens is a powerful way to use Raven Magic.
I have also worn a raven mask when drawing down the Raven Goddess, Morgan. Trance Use Raven to guide you into trance. There are many poems and songs dedicated to Raven that you can use to guide you. Teacher of warriors, and of sex, spells that heal and spells that hex Raven, come to us now! Twin birds of memory and thought Who brought the knowledge Odin sought Raven, come to us now!
When doing a healing circle for an absent friend, the energy can be sent in the form of a raven. If you are working directly with someone who is ill, you can use raven feathers to stroke their body, collecting and drawing out the negative energy, to be shaken out and cleansed later. Raven is powerful medicine. In nature, Ravens will mob their enemies if they come too near their nest. Ward your home or business against malefactors with the spirits of warrior ravens, like Owein's Raven Army, the Morrigan, or the Valkyres. When you invoke their fearless spirits, nothing can prevail against you.
Annotated Bibliography I have an ever growing Corvid library. Here are some of my favorites! An absolute MUST for raven lovers. A Guide to the Crows, Jays and Magpies of the World, by Steve Madge and Hilary Burn, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, An encyclopedia of Corvidae with over one hundred entries, color drawings, details of their identification, habitats, voice, breeding, diet, distinctive habits, etc. This book is for the serious corvidologist. A wonderful gift for a child. The sequel to Ravens in Winter. Very thorough and readable.
Symbolic and Mythological Animals, by J. Paul, Minnesota, A manual on how to work with animal totems and spirits. Lifespan A wild raven can live more than thirty years. Huginn and Muninn, every day They fly over earthground. I fear for Huginn, that he may not return. But even more, I fear for the loss of Muninn. One for bad news, Two for mirth. Three is a wedding, Four is a birth. Five is for riches, Six is a thief.
The Celtic polyvalent deity did not have exclusive functions, but they were adept in all things. They also appeared in many polymorphic guises that included zoomorphic forms which combined human and animal attributes. Below in an overview of Celtic gods and goddesses who were more widely accepted by the ancient Celts across all regions. Equated with Apollo, Belenus was the most widely venerated of the Celtic gods. Another popular god is the antler-god referred to as Cernunnos. He is the patron of the chase and the lord of the forest.
Holed antlers discovered in Herfordshire UK appear to have been used as a human headdress, a practice widely presented in ancient cultures. Cernunnos was one of many zoomorphic animal-like gods. He is depicted on one of the plates of the Gundestrup Cauldron. A zoomorphic goddess who is represented by a mare is Epona. Monuments to Epona are found all over from Wales through France and into the Rhinelands.
Her popularity with the Celts demonstrates their high regard for the horse. Epona was also popular with the Roman cavalrymen. Associated with fertility, Epona is the epitome of the mother goddess. In studies of Welsh mythology, she may have been equated with Rhiannon—the divine queen. He is associated with the spear as a Magical Weapon brought from the Otherworld.
Following the Roman conquest, during the reign of Caesar Augustus, the feast was dedicated to the emperor. The same feast occurs in insular Celtic tradition on August 1st. In Ireland, the ritual is known as Lughnasadh , an agrarian feast in honor of harvesting crops. The Irish Lugh was considered the greatest of all Celtic gods. The Dagda yielded command to him in the second battle of Magh Tuireadh. He is commonly known as Lugh of the Long arm or Hand.
Of note, the Hindu perception of the sun rising, with its beams of light and its setting, was also likened to a great hand: The 1 st Century Roman poet, Lucan , writes the Celts had predominantly three gods: Teutates, Taranis, and Esus. Teutates was associated with the Roman god of trade, Mercury. Esus was equivalent to the Roman god of war, Mars. His popularity among the Celts is evidenced by the number of Celtic names of gods joined to Mars on inscriptions.
The method of killing human victims in sacrifices depended on which god the offering was made to. Victims sacrificed to Teutates were drowned, to Taranis were burned, and to Esus were hanged. On the Gundestrup Cauldron, there is a figure held upside-down over what appears to be a pail of water, perhaps a sacrifice to Teutates. It should be noted that the names of these three gods were not widely found on inscriptions. The concept of triplicate forms has roots in Indo-European mythology and philosophy.
Pythagoras saw three as the perfect number of the philosophers: The ancient Greeks believed the world was ruled by three gods: The Fates, the Furies and the Graces are example of triplicate goddesses who were found in Greek mythology. As in the Greek religion, the Celts viewed humans as body, soul and spirit; the world they inhabited as earth, sea, and air; and the division in nature as animal, vegetable, and mineral.
Celtic goddesses were also often portrayed in triplicate forms as described below. Mother symbols were worshipped in triplicate from. In Gaul the title matres or matronae was used. Mother Earth was the symbol of fertility and figures of children, baskets of fruitm and horns of plenty were found all over the Celtic world. From Vertault in Burgundy was a triple mother goddess sculpture with a baby held by one hand while the other holds a towel. She embodies all that is perverse and horrible among the supernatural powers.
Babd is one of the triple-aspect goddess of war who would fly over warriors in battle and give out terrible screams, both to frighten and to incite them to even braver and mightier deeds. It is claimed that she appeared above the head of the warriors during the Battle of Clontarf in A. Babd is associated with sexual desire and fulfillment, as are all of the deities of war and battles.
When Babd appears in the Ulster cycle and incites Cu Chulainn to his last battle, she takes the form of the raven and waits to pick his corpse clean. Macha is the second aspect of the triple goddess of war who is featured in the Ulster cycle. She wins the race, but gives birth to twins as soon as she crosses the finish line.
In her shame and anger, she curses the men of Ulster that, whenever they needed their strength most, such as on the eve of battle, they would be as weak as a woman in childbirth for nine days and nights. Like her sisters, she is associated with war and sexual gratification.
She is seen as a weeping woman washing blood-stained shrouds at a ford in a river. This is an omen, particularly to a warrior on the way to battle. In one legend the Dagna encounters her washing blood-stained clothing in a stream. At the end of the legend, she gives a dire prophecy to the fate of humankind and the world. She is associated with war, grief, mutilation, shape shifting, and sexual gratification for its own sake.
Ancient Celtic religion conjures both utopian and horrific images. The Celts demonstrated their spiritual kinship to nature and love for the Mother Goddess through their artwork and reverence for sacred groves. Their beliefs and philosophies are similar to the Greeks and Hindu Brahmins. Ancient Druids studied the nature of moral philosophy and believed the human soul is indestructible. Their belief in the immortal soul can be associated with the Greek Philosopher, Pythagoras, who was famous for his philosophy that the soul was immortal and went through a series of reincarnations that included animals and plants.
This practice was based on their belief that the head was the temple of the soul. The soul is the continuation of the existence of a person and includes all of the functions of personality. Finally, the Celts viewed the gods as their ancestors and creators who were more like supernatural.
Myths of the Great Goddess teach compassion for all living beings. There you come to appreciate the real sanctity of the earth itself, because it is the body of the Goddess —Joseph Campbell. As we continue exploring the mystique of the Ancient Celtic religion, we discover their beliefs have similarities to the Greeks and Hindu Brahmins.
The belief in the immortal soul can be tied to the darker Celtic side of keeping enemy heads so they can capture their power. There were names of gods and goddesses recorded throughout the vast area once inhabited by the Celts in Europe, from Ireland to Turkey. Of these names, about of these only occurred once and are thought to be names of local deities particular to each tribe. Only twenty names occur with great frequency in the areas where the Celts once resided and were often associated with the Roman pantheon of deities. Unfortunately, written accounts by the Celts were sparse.
Today, we must rely on Greek and Roman writers, Irish Christian monks, and archaeological artifacts to piece the Ancient Celtic religion together. Classical writers were biased by their perception of Celts being barbarians. Celtic myths written by Christian monks were heavily redacted to reconcile them with the Christian beliefs. Even though the evidence is fragmentary, we can glimpse some of the religious ideas and rituals connected with the pantheon of Celtic deities and their roles by studying the mythology and comparing it to archaeological evidence.
Below is an overview of how the ancient Celts viewed their ancestral god and their belief that the Mother Goddess was involved in the creation of the universe. Caesar and the insular literature indicate the Celts did not look upon their gods as creators but as their ancestors—more as supernatural heroes and heroines. In the lives of these gods and heroes, goddesses, and heroines, the lives of the people, in their emerging patriarchal society and the essence of their religious traditions, were mirrored.
The gods and goddesses were depicted as human and were subject to all the natural virtues and vices in an idealized form: Their intellectual powers were equal to their physical abilities. This depiction of gods as ancestors also appears in Hindu myth and saga.
There is an old Irish passage in which the Druids, like the Hindu Brahmins, boasted they had made the sun, moon, earth and sea. In Vedic mythology historical predecessor to modern Hinduism , creation began with space aditi in which sky and earth were formed and were regarded as the original male and female elements. Irish tales suggest the Ancient Celts believed creation evolved around the Mother Goddess. The Irish epic tells of several struggles between the Children of Danu, representing darkness and evil, and the Children of Danu, representing light and good.
Only after the Children of Danu break the powers of the Fomorri at the second Battle of Magh Euireadh did the good gods prevail. Interestingly, the Children of Domnu are never completely overcome or eradicated from the world. The Children of Danu came from four fabulous cities where named Druids taught them skill, knowledge and perfect wisdom. Further, the Children of Danu brought special treasures from these cities:.
The Dagda is portrayed as the father of the gods in this epic tale. Transportation is usually via rivers like the Thames or out to the sea. He is, in essence, transports souls to the divine waters — his consort Danu, the Mother Goddess. Hence, Danu takes precedence as the primary source of life. Celts did not visualize gods with exclusive roles.
Not only did their deities have different functions — and therefore were polyvalent— they also appeared in various forms—and thus were polymorphic. Kim Clifton and the folks at Troy Hayner have been wonderful supporters.
We were way south in Portsmouth a few times this year-once at the Arts Center and then again for the River Days Festival, where we opened for the Fabulous Thunderbirds. While Kara, was vacationing in Florida, we were honored to have several of our good friends filling in. Instrumentalist Margit Dijkstra is a blazing hot flute player and also sometimes joins the regular septet lineup , Kay Harris is an outstanding vocalist and a founding member of " Sirens ", who Molly and Craig play with, and wildman fiddler, Ric Smith.
There were also several gigs where Mark Richards, our percussionist, was unavailable, so we had one of our favorite musicians and dear friends, Molly Pauken, fill in on percussion and bass. It is always an absolute pleasure to play with Molly in any type of band configuration, and she spends a lot of time laying down tracks at Lone Raven Studio. The scheduled date is Friday, December 12 which is also Kara's birthday.
We will be sending out flyers soon. Also, we are working with our friends at WOSU on the details for a new full concert video. The plan is for this video to be shot live at their new studio located at the COSI building, or possibly at an alternate location. For a sample video clip, please click here. It consists of a wonderful collection of tunes from the Irish Harper, Turlough O'Carolan, as well as some great original and traditional selections.
Editorial Reviews. From the Author. From an idea that would not just go away and to pages of Celtic Rain (The Battle Raven Series Book 1) · Isabelle Stewart. The Celtic pantheon is known from a variety of sources such as written Celtic mythology, Part of a series on a god of thunder and lightning, Ancestor God, Sky God, God of Wind, Rain & Hail; Andeis - a Gallic god Badb (Badhbh) - war goddess who takes the form of a raven flying over battlefields; Ban- Chuideachaidh.
Andi displayed her versatility on this project and played hammered dulcimer, bodhran and fiddle. She also provided vocals on several of the tracks and made her debut on the Nigerian UDU drum! Ex Stark Raven multi instrumentalist, Sid Omasta, also joined in on some excellent acoustic bass parts. We had a lot of fun working on this CD, so be sure to pick up a copy soon. Their CD release party is scheduled for Saturday, July 12 at 1: Then, they wrapped up the year with their 5th annual holiday concert at the Shamrock Club.
So far, is booking fast and promises to be a big year for the Septet. And speaking of the Shamrock Club, this year's concert was the best yet. The night opened with a Jazz-flavored set of Christmas songs featuring Lone Raven, along with special guests Sid Omasta on bass and Karl Wohlwend on jazz guitar. The attendance was standing room only, and next year's event is already in the planning stages. The Shamrock Club deserves a big applause for supporting this event, as well as all of the other great events they sponsor during the year!
The CD contains 15 traditional and original tracks with some very pleasant surprises and a full 74 minutes of music. Due to a fire in Brian's apartment, we did not get started on this project until mid June. As such, we spent some long studio sessions together and burned the old midnight oils on many of them. We had some great times and laughed a lot, ate our share of Atomic Fireballs and pasta salad, ran from the dog, played with the cat, got out more percussion instruments than anyone should and Topping off the septet is fiddler wiz, Liz Blickenstaff.
The band has been performing for concerts around the state and is now accepting bookings for The new Septet lineup features incredible lead vocals from Hilda, Stephanie, Heather and Kara, as well as 5-part harmonies. The band's instrumentals are fueled by the twin fiddles of Kara and Liz, and driven by the band's rhythm section-featuring Heather and Mark on percussion, and Stephanie on electric bass.
Hilda and Craig round off the rhythm section by switching off on piano, guitar, banjo, mandolin, accordions and whistles. The above photo was from the Celina Concert Series.