Friday, October 13, 2017

The Story of Biddy Early: Ireland’s Most Famous Witch and Faery Friend

"“There is a country called Tír-na-n-Og, which means the Country of the Young, for age and death have not found it; neither tears nor loud laughter have gone near it… According to many stories, Tír-na-n-Og is the favourite dwelling of the fairies…”
– W. B. Yeats, Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry

“Mrs. Sheridan, as I call her, was wrinkled and half blind, and had gone barefoot through her lifetime…  She had never been to school she told me, because her father could not pay the penny a week it would have cost. She had never travelled many miles from the parish of her birth, and I am sure had never seen pictures except the sacred ones on chapel walls…

She had never heard of the great mystic Jacob Behman, and yet when an unearthly visitor told her the country of youth is not far from the place where we live, she had come near to his root idea that ‘the world standeth in Heaven and Heaven in the World, and are in one another as day and night.'”
–Lady Gregory, Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland

In Ireland the Church has raised its monasteries atop the sacred groves and springs which, in their virgin state, long served as temples for the Irish.  But by most accounts, the Irish minded little.  Perhaps they thought one god is as good as another–Brigid might as well be the Blessed Mary, I suppose.  Or perhaps their hopes for keeping their old faith—like so many hopes in the Isle’s history—hinged on a battle that was fatefully lost.

As St. Patrick walked about the countryside, it’s told, spreading the Gospels throughout the Emerald Isle, he met mostly the gentle hospitality of the Irish peasantry, with their willing ear for lore of all kinds, their love of things bright and grand in spirit, and their warm fires of peat and twigs.

But one Druid saw that his whole order and the fate of the Irish was threatened by this new mission from Rome, and so challenged the Saint to a battle of magic and power.  They met in an open field where billowing clouds traversed across the sun. 

The Druid began the battle by rising into the air high above the meadow, until all who watched had to squint into the sun to see him any longer.  St. Patrick ended it by uttering a few words, with which the Druid faltered, and fell from the light of the sun.  His body was broken on the stones below, and his blood joined in with the clover.

Although the Church had its way with abbeys and crosses, some traditions refused to die.  From the very first the Christian priests abhorred any talk of the faery—the fair people—that invisible race of sometimes helpful, sometimes wicked folk who had blessed the Irish with miracles and cursed them with tragedy since before anyone’s greatest grandmother could recall.

“Many poets, and all mystic and occult writers, in all ages and countries, have declared that behind the visible are chains on chains of conscious beings, who are not of heaven but of the earth, who have no inherent form but change according to whim, or the mind that sees them. You cannot lift your hand without influencing and being influenced by hoards. The visible world is merely their skin. In dreams we go among them, and play with them, and combat with them,” wrote Yeats of the faeries.

Although the priests told all to not believe in such pagan nonsense, they themselves were the most afraid to go about at night time where a troop of faeries might be traveling from their cave to the sea, or from their hawthorn tree to the fields below, or simply dancing to their heavenly music from twilight to dawn in a circle of moss-covered stones.

And though the priests forbade it, their words alone could not hinder the fair people from sometimes bestowing on mortals certain gifts—the sight of things far away, the power to heal and root out evil, or a  music so divine that maidens would dance off their toes for the joy of it, or die slowly pining away for it.

Though the gift of flowering music wasn’t bestowed on the red-haired lass named Biddy Early, no one doubted that she had been touched with the gifts of foresight and healing.  She has since earned the title of Ireland’s most famous witch.

How her power came to her no one knows.  Some say her first husband (she had at least three and outlived them all) came to her after he died and told her secrets which gave her the power.  Others say she was a seer from birth.  Terry Glavin of Lost Magazine wrote, “When Biddy was a girl she spent a great deal of time talking to herself, in places where the blackthorn grows, places like the rath in Jack Brian’s field beside the farm at Coolreagh. It’s one of those overgrown stone circles where people used to see faint lights dancing on certain nights of the year.”

Some say that it was her son, who was coveted by the faery for his skill at the game of hurley.  Yeats once wrote, “The people of faery cannot even play at hurley unless they have on either side some mortal.”  The boy was an astounding player, able to leap like a deer and dodge like a rabbit. 

That’s why they say when he was eight the faery took him away (which is the way of saying to their land, a place of everlasting youth, leaving the living to mourn over the lifeless body left behind like so many rags forgotten).

It is said the boy returned to Biddy in her grief and granted her a little blue bottle with which to make her living.  Biddy, they say, would shake this little bottle and see inside a vision that would answer any matter brought before her.  She never charged any money for her services (as is the custom the world over with shamans and healers), but would sometimes take a little bread or tea, or more often whiskey (the abundance of which they say lead to the death of all her husbands). 

According to a little girl whose mother inherited Biddy’s cabin, “She was as good, and better, to the poor as to the rich. Any poor person passing the road, she’d call in and give a cup of tea or a glass of whiskey to, and bread and what they wanted.”

Little is known of Biddy’s early years.  She was born to a poor farming family in County Clare in 1798.  “That was the year of the Croppies,” writes Glavin.  “Seamus Heaney wrote a great poem about it. The peasants filled the pockets of their greatcoats with barley, to feed themselves on the run, and they made their final stand at Vinegar Hill, shaking scythes at cannon. They fell in the thousands, and they buried us without shroud or coffin, and in August the barley grew up out of the grave.”

Perhaps it’s fitting that with a tragedy such as the failed Irish Rebellion of 1798 comes a blessing to the people, and Biddy was certainly that.  She had a little shed in which she would go and consult the faeries, working miraculous cures and telling the future of any who would come and seek her help.  She made many cures with little bottles of potion and prayers and holy water. 

Often she would warn someone she had given a cure to that they should mind the bottle when crossing such a bridge, or that it would break by such a gate, or that they should not come to any door but their own or they should lose it.  And she was always right.

Daniel Curtin told Lady Gregory a story of both her healing and foresight, “There’s not a man in this countryside over forty year old that hasn’t been with her some time or other. There’s a man living in that house over there was sick one time, and he went to her, and she cured him, but says she, ‘You’ll have to lose something, and don’t fret after it.’ So he had a grey mare and she was going to foal, and one morning when he went out he saw that the foal was born, and was lying dead by the side of the wall. So he remembered what she said to him and he didn’t fret.”

As the Tarot deck includes cards of ill-fate, so Biddy’s tidings were not always happy, and the will of the faery is not always kind to the earthly folk.  “There was a woman, Mrs. Leary,” Mrs. Sheridan told Lady Gregory, “had something wrong with her, and she went to Biddy Early. And nothing would do her but to bring my son along with her, and I was vexed… When Biddy Early saw him she said, ‘You’ll travel far, but wherever you go you’ll not escape them.’

The woman he went up with died about six months after, but he went to America, and he wasn’t long there when what was said came true, and he died. They followed him as far as he went.”  The faeries, that is.

Now, the priests loathed Biddy and often brought fire and brimstone down on anyone seeking her help.  A blacksmith told Lady Gregory, “The priests were against her and used to be taking the cloaks and the baskets from the country people to keep them back from going to her.”  They even once attempted to put her on trial for witchcraft (she was the last in all of Ireland to be accused in court), but at the last minute all of the witnesses refused to testify. 

Many stories are told of how she hexed a priest’s horse as her rode past her house (he had been whipping those on the road to see her) by having it run into the middle of the nearby river and refuse to go either backward or forward.

She got out of another stitch with the authorities when an eviction notice was served.  The night of its execution, she was told by the faery (some say it was her dead husband) to tell the sheriffs, “Stay where you are,” when they came a-knocking.  She did just that, and all four were stuck to their spot in the road as if their feet were encased in stone.  After two hours she said, “Be away then!” and the enchantment was released.  They never again brought ill will to the stout woman’s door.

Besides curing all manner of sick folk and cattle (a lost foul or a sour milking cow could mean destitution for a family), she would also trace the source of harmful magic and give the ailing a cure.  Sometimes it was a thornbush planted in a faery road which was causing cattle to fall sick.  Sometimes it was a curse of jealousy or ill-will wrought in the mind of someone who may not even know they had the power to do harm.  This is a common theme in the Evil Eye lore.  A certain Mrs. Crone, interviewed by Lady Gregory relates a tale about her healing by Biddy:

“I was myself digging potatoes out in that field beyond, and a woman passed by the road, but I heard her say nothing, but a pain came on my head and I fell down, and I had to go to my bed for three weeks. My mother went then to Biddy Early. Did you ever hear of her? And she looked in the blue bottle she had, and she said my name. And she saw me standing before her, and knew all about me and said, ‘Your daughter was digging potatoes with her husband in the field, and a woman passed by and she said, ‘It is as good herself is with a spade as the man,’’ for I was a young woman at the time. She gave my mother a bottle for me, and I took three drinks of it in the bed, and then I got up as well as I was before.”

A popular form of evil spell in Ireland was the use of a dead man’s hand (the infamous Hand of Glory, used the world over for all types of theft and deceit) to steal the butter right from the churn, or milk right from the cow.  Biddy would find the culprit and stop the theft.  (A popular way of doing this was for the inflicted family to put red hot coals beneath their churn, at which point the thieving conjurer would run up to the cottage in a terrible ruckus, screaming that they were being burned alive.)

This practice is further evidence of Biddy’s shamanic nature, as in most ancient cultures there are two types of magic workers—the good and the evil.  The evil always work for their own benefit, seeking wealth and glory at the cost of others.  Envy is their heart’s affliction, and that void is never filled. 

The favorite trick of a greedy shaman is to bewitch unsuspecting folk with sickness to cause them to seek the enchanter’s help, at which point they would simply remove their own curse and collect the bounty.  This is one reason that good shamans never accept money for their services, and are obliged to be generous with what they have and humble with what they don’t.  Otherwise they might be accused of seeking wealth at the expense of others’ suffering.

It’s a shame that the Church failed to recognize this distinction, and early on put the black mark of witch on all those wise men and women who used the herbs of the mountains and valleys, as well as the prayers and visions through which the spirits guided them, to cure the ill and attempt to bring a heavenly grace into the earthly realm—a task which we all may hope is still not in vain.  Lady Gregory recorded the words of a Mr. McCabe: “The priests were against her, but they were wrong. How could that be evil doing that was all charity and kindness and healing?”

Biddy’s old cottage is in ruins now, the stone walls broken and the thatched roof caved in.  But when Terry Glavin visited its remains not so long ago, he found that not everyone had forgotten this miraculous woman.  “Someone had draped a pretty red kerchief over a hole in a stone wall where a window had been. On the sill, in the nettles and the moss, there were offerings of the sort that people used to leave at saints’ wells. There was a pen, a little bottle, some coins, a package of stamps, and a ribbon.”  Such tokens are important in humble folk traditions. 

A few simple pins in a bottle were thought to keep evil spirits away.  A coin thrown into a sacred spring brought good fortune, and even today a hopeful seeker might cast a penny into a wishing well. Biddy herself worked untold miracles with nothing but a little blue bottle (and their help, of course).

The emblems of this healthy and humble faery faith are not of golden rings and grand cathedrals, but of butter and bread, thimbles and tea.  “Lay not up your treasures,” as they say.  That’s something to keep in mind as both the pomp of the picking of the Pope (say that three times fast) and the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day cross our path this spring.


Source
http://weekinweird.com/2013/03/20/biddy-early-irelands-famous-witch-faery-friend/

Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland

"The first rigorous academic overview of witchcraft in Ireland, this publication is a very welcome addition to a growing corpus of scholarship on this relatively neglected aspect of Irish social and cultural history. For decades, St John D. Seymour’s Irish Witchcraft and Demonology (1) was the only academic text on the subject available to researchers.

Since the early 1970s the handful of scholars who have delved into research in this field have been mainly concerned with ascertaining why there was so little witch-hunting in Ireland, though significant case studies of Irish witchcraft trials, such as that of Florence Newton in Cork (1661) and the Islandmagee witches in Antrim (1711) have appeared since the early 2000s, lending greater depth to the analysis.

From the late 1990s, Raymond Gillespie’s work in mapping the magical, moral world of early modern Irish people has deepened our understanding of how witchcraft, ghosts, divination, prophesies and astrology and other forms of supernatural intervention in earthly affairs constituted an essential part of both Catholic and Protestant popular religion in Ireland.

Similarly, it has only been in recent decades that the non-Christian supernatural as part of popular religion alongside official Catholic doctrine in late 18th and 19th-century Ireland has been explored, with current historiography remaining largely silent on Protestant witchcraft belief during that period. In the context of this emerging scholarship,

Ronald Hutton and Andrew Sneddon have led the way in exploring the nature of early modern Irish witchcraft belief and the ways in which this differed from beliefs in the British Isles and continental Europe. This is Sneddon’s third book on the subject. While the central focus is on the period between the passing of the 1586 Witchcraft Act and its repeal in 1821, witchcraft and magic during the late medieval era and the 19th and early 20th centuries are also covered.

By examining these phenomena over such a lengthy period, he has made a very significant contribution towards advancing scholarship which traverses the usual chronological and conceptual boundaries imposed on Ireland’s past by historians, charting change and continuity over the centuries. The author’s deep understanding of his subject, his keen awareness of the nature of witchcraft and magic throughout the British Isles, his mastery of historiography, his familiarity with relevant source material and record compensation, and his adeptness in developing a methodology suited to the Irish context have resulted in an original, systematic study which goes a long way in addressing a significant lacuna in Irish historiography.

Sneddon is to be commended on producing a work of such substance notwithstanding the serious limitations imposed by a dearth of source material. In his introduction, he explains to those not familiar with the sorry history of archival collections in Ireland that combined with the destruction of records during the 17th and early 18th centuries, almost all Irish administrative and criminal manuscripts relating to the main criminal courts of Quarter Sessions, Assizes and court of King’s Bench) down to the mid-18th century are now lost, together with probate material and Church of Ireland parish and institutional records. Consequently, as another Irish historian Neal Garnham has observed, Irish historians have no choice but to reply on ‘aggregations of examples drawn from the contemporary press, or the wealth of anecdotal evidence contained in the private papers of prominent individuals’ (quoted p. 1).

To his credit, Sneddon has mined an extensive range of new, under used and under analysed primary sources ranging from church record, private correspondence, depositions, newspapers, periodical, printed pamphlets and books to ballads and almanacs, and woven highly fragmented material into a coherent, original narrative that is solidly grounded in archival evidence. His extensive endnotes and select bibliography serve as excellent starting points for further reading and research in this field. 

The book also makes an original contribution in a number of other important respects. Because Sneddon’s approach is informed by recent developments in the study of European witchcraft and popular magic, this study veers away from representing the Irish experience as particularly exceptional. As befits a volume in this series edited by Jonathan Barry,

Willem de Blécourt and Owen Davies which aims to illuminate lesser known or little studies aspects of the history of witchcraft and magic and to explore their relevance and influence from the medieval to the modern period, the interpretative framework for this study of witchcraft and magic in Ireland is the British Isles in particular, with Sneddon constantly comparing beliefs and practices in Ireland with those in England, Scotland and Wales. This is an especially strong feature of the study.

His analysis of belief in witchcraft and popular magic within the three main religious denominations (Catholic, Church of Ireland, and Presbyterian) is another innovative feature of this work. Sneddon also breaks new ground by examining, for the first time, both harmful magic and its beneficial counterpart together, highlighting how cunning-folk or commercial, magical practitioners were recognised as part of both Catholic and Protestant popular culture in early modern and modern Ireland, just as they were in the British Isles and elsewhere in Europe.

Sneddon states explicitly that this book is ‘by no means comprehensive but breaks the hard ground of the academic study of Irish witchcraft, lays a foundation upon which future studies can be built, and dispels the myth that witchcraft and popular magic were not an important part of Protestant and Catholic culture well into the modern era’ (pp. 3–4). The book is very well structured, comprising seven thematic chapters which follow a logical sequence.

Chapter one explores the nature of witchcraft belief beliefs across denominational and socio-cultural groups in early modern Ireland, offering a nuanced, contextualised overview of the very specific nature of Irish beliefs in magic and witchcraft. Presenting a different approach to interpretation of Irish witchcraft beliefs from those offered by Raymond Gillespie, Elewyn C. Lapoint and Ronald Hutton, and drawing heavily on scholarship on beliefs in contemporary England and Scotland, Sneddon argues that belief in potentially harmful magic, especially love magic, had a longer lineage in Ireland, ante-dating the 12th-century Anglo-Norman colonisation.

He also claims that the female butter-stealing witch was not, as existing historiography contends, a corrupt version of the malefic/demonic figure found in continental Europe but a distinct part of Gaelic Irish culture that dated from at least the early medieval era. Chapter two provides a brief overview of witchcraft legislation and legal administration in early modern Ireland, set within the comparative framework of the British Isles, with specific emphasis on the Irish witchcraft statute of 1586 which, as Sneddon points out, has hitherto tended to be cited rather than studied. He concludes that although almost identical to the 1563 English statute, the 1586 Irish Witchcraft Act was part of a grander programme for conquest and consolidation of Elizabethan power in Ireland. The following two chapters examine how civil and ecclesiastical authorities interpreted the 1586 Act and the degree to which they punished practitioners of magic, be they harmful witches or benign cunning-folk.

Chapter three concentrates on cunning-folk whom Sneddon identifies as ‘a recognised, cross-denominational cultural phenomenon in early modern Ireland’ (p. 36). He concludes that such men and women specialised in three activities (finding lost goods or treasure, diagnosis and curing of witchcraft, and, in Gaelic Irish and Catholic regions, protection again fair attacks on livestock and humans) and that notwithstanding the illegality of popular magic, there is no evidence of any concerted drive by the civil authorities to suppress it. Furthermore, he argues, opposition to cunning-folk was expressed in Ireland in the same way as it was by demonologists in Europe and England. Chapter four tackles the question of why prosecution and execution rates for witchcraft in Ireland were so low compared with England, Scotland and continental Europe.

Sneddon is especially thoughtful in his engagement with explanations advanced by historians, notably Raymond Gillespie and Elwyn Lapoint, and while he is at pains to emphasise the limitations imposed by the dearth of sources, he makes excellent use of archival examples, particularly the 1641 Rising Depositions (Trinity College Dublin) and Presbyterian session minutes to offer some fresh insights into this complex phenomenon. Sneddon contends that although by the mid-17th century accusations of malefic, demonic witchcraft were being made by and against Presbyterian and Church of Ireland settlers, during the disturbances of the 1640s prosecutions rates were low owing to ‘serendipity, informal arbitration, execution, and imprisonment without trial’ (p. 61). Furthermore, he asserts, the Catholic majority did not make formal accusations of malefic witchcraft while the Protestant only did so late in the 17th century.

Chapter five focuses on witchcraft trials and demonic possession in Ireland. It begins by setting the record straight on what ought to be regarded as witchcraft trials, revising downwards the numbers identified by earlier scholars to a total of four recorded trials and one execution. After an overview of demonic possession in Britain and Ireland, Sneddon presents detailed analyses of two well-documented trials, the first in Youghal (1661) and the second in Islandmagee, County Antrim (1711) and affords cursory attention to the prosecution of Irish women for witchcraft abroad – in Scotland during wide scale witch-hunts (1590s, 1670s) and in America during the 1680s.

The focus then shifts to witchcraft in modern Ireland, with an exploration of popular belief in witchcraft in Protestant and Catholic communities after the witch trials, from the early 18th century onwards. Using public discourse, parliamentary and court records, as well as folklore sources, Sneddon traced the decline in educated belief in magic and witchcraft, and examines the attitude of the judicial authorities to cases involving witchcraft before and after repeal of the Irish Witchcraft Act in 1821.

This is done within the context of a wide ranging sketch of the decline, decriminalisation and legislative repeal in other countries in the British Isles and continental Europe. Sneddon argues that while the ‘Catholic clerical elite, in the eighteenth century at least, condemned many popular folk beliefs considered superstitious, traditional malefic, demonic witchcraft was still regarded as orthodox, along with various forms of the miraculous’ (p. 122).

He stresses how in contrast to Catholic Ireland, little research has been undertaken on magic or witchcraft in Irish Protestant communities during the 18th and 19th centuries.

In this context, his finding that witchcraft scepticism in public discourse was voiced by growing numbers of Irish Protestants post-1750 breaks new ground in deepening our understanding of denominational differences about witchcraft. Sneddon argues plausibly that this trend towards scepticism, combined with the legal authorities brushing aside allegations of witchcraft, marginalised belief in magic and witchcraft within educated culture to the point that the Irish Witchcraft Act ‘slipped quietly from the statute book in 1821’ (p. 123).

In the concluding chapter he contends that cunning-folk, who are widely recognised as having been part of popular culture in early modern society, continued to serve both Catholic and Protestant communities in Ireland as late as the 20th century. Having highlighted how other magical practitioners (namely fortune-tellers and magical healers) differed from cunning-folk, Sneddon combines case studies of individual practitioners, contemporary clerical reactions and newspaper reports to construct a picture of what cunning-folk did, who sought their assistance, and how they were deal with by the authorities once complaints were made against them.

Sneddon contends that from the mid-19th century, popular recourse to cunning-folk declined as legal action was taken against them by clients, usually for theft or obtaining money under false pretences, and at this trend was facilitated by changes in policing and legal administration. In addition, Sneddon highlights the contribution of both the Catholic and Presbyterian hierarchies who, on spiritual and religious grounds, warned their faithful against having any dealings with cunning-folk.

On reaching the end of this original, scholarly book, the reader will have gained an excellent, fresh insight into the nature of beliefs about magic and witchcraft in Ireland, and the various ways in which these both conformed to and differed from beliefs in the British Isles and continental Europe throughout this period. It is, therefore, extremely suitable as a textbook for university students and is likely to be the main scholarly work on this subject for several years to come."


Source
http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1946

WITCHES of IRELAND

"Ireland has many tales of witches and their evil ways. My personal favorite is that of Seamus Rua’s housekeeper. Partially because I like Yeats’s collections, but also because Seamus is Irish for James. Before we get to the main dish, though, let’s take a short look at some other famous Irish witches. Perhaps just enough to whet your appetite for now.

First up is Dame Alice Kyteler, who owned the Kyteler Inn, in Kilkenny, where she would lure local businessmen with her charms, taking their gifts and money. She survived four husbands, although gossip has it that it was through her own machinations. Between those possible murders and her talk against the Church, she was ill looked upon. She was the first to be accused of witchcraft in Ireland, although she managed to escape and was never heard from again.

Next is Biddy Early, who was born in 1778, County Claire. She had been taught herbal cures from her mother, until she became an orphan at 16. Being an outcast, she started talking to the fairies and learned how to use them against others. She, like Dame Alice, was married four times, one of whom was her stepson from a previous marriage. As time traveled on, she started to make a name for herself as a healer, with legend saying her powers came from a mysterious blue bottle. This bottle was brought to her by a dead relative from the Irish Otherworld. She denounced the Catholic Church and was accused of witchcraft in 1865. She was acquitted, and later repented on her deathbed. Her blue bottle was never found after her death, with the locals whispering that the fairies came back to collect it.

The last witchy appetizer is Florence Newton of Youghal. She supposedly cursed the maid of a local prominent figure. Being a beggar, Florence asked the maid for scraps, and when the maid refused, Florence grabbed her and gave her a cursed kiss. The maid started to have seizures and, when Florence was brought into the maid's presence, started vomiting needles and pins. Florence was arrested, where she was then accused of causing the death of her jailer. It would not be a far-fetched assumption to think that she was found guilty and hanged, but all the records were lost, and so we do not know. Perhaps she used her magical powers to escape?

Also from Youghal, there is the annual Halloween festival that goes with the legend of An Bhean Uisce, The Water Woman, of whom you can read about here, from the excellent folklorist Pollyanna Jones: http://hubpages.com/holidays/The-Youghal-Halloween-Festival-The-Legend-of-An-Bhean-Uisce.

Seamus Rua (Red James) woke up one night from a very deep sleep, as voices wafted up from the floor below. He crept down the stairs and saw half a dozen old women sitting around the fire in his kitchen, joking and laughing, one of whom was his housekeeper. He thought briefly back of the bedtime drink she had brought to him, which he had left untouched on his bed stand, for which he was happy to have skipped for the first ever time.

They were passing around a jug of his whiskey one noticed it was empty. She stood up and cried out “It is time to go, my sisters!” She placed a red cap upon her head, grabbed a bundle of yarrow, and changed “By yarrow and rue, and my red cap, too, away and hie over to England!”

Before the last word was out of her mouth, she flew and disappeared up the chimney. The other women copied this action and, as they all started away, Seamus leapt out and grabbed his housekeeper. He took the yarrow and red cap away from her. “If you don’t mind, I will take this for myself. By yarrow and rue, and my red cap, too, away and hie over to England!”

The moment the words were out of his mouth, he shot up through the fireplace. He flew over the Wicklow hills, across the Irish Sea, skimmed the Welsh mountains, and sped headlong over the ramparts of a large castle. He went through an open door, down many flights of stairs, and was bracing himself for impact as he neared a stout door, not even breathing a sigh of relief as he flew through the key hole, unharmed, finding himself in the kitchen cellar.

Groggy and confused from the ride, he found himself astride a stillion (a cradle for beer vats). Lights were flashing around him, and he didn’t even notice his hand held a tumbler of wine before he started drinking it, joining the old women who had flew in before him. They were laughing as loud and lustily as they had in his own kitchen.

He attempted to keep up with their drinking, but was soon left under the table. He woke to rough hands pulling him up, dragging him up the stairs, and then slamming him down in front of the Lord of the castle. The sheriff was called and Seamus was taken to jail. Found guilty in no time at all, he was roundly ridiculed for the story he told of how he had turned up in the cellar.

A gallows was prepared and soon he was in a cart, the horse taking him to his final destination. He had a sign on his back that told everyone he had been draining the casks of the Lord's estate every night for the past month, to the jeers of the throng who had come to watch him twist in the wind. Evidently his housekeeper and her fellow witches had been doing nightly visitations for some time, quaffing quite heartily!

Along the way he spied in elderly woman who yelled to him “Seamus Rua, are you going to die in such a strange place without your caipin dearg?”

Recognizing his birth language, Irish, term for red cap, Seamus smiled and nodded a thank you. He turned to the lord and humbly asked. “My Lord, I would very much like to die with my red cap on, which should still be in your cellar.” The aristocrat relented and sent a servant to get the article of clothing. In a matter of minutes it was handed back to James, whereupon he put on his head and looked out at the crowd as he was marched up onto the gallows.

“My good people please take my plight as a warning... By yarrow and rue, and my red cap, too, away and hie my way back home!”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth when he astonished the crowds by suddenly flying into the air, heading west back over the English countryside to his home in Ireland.

So now, my gentle reader, I wish you all spooky Samhain dreams and haunted Halloween treats. I hope this story, retold with my own inflections, adds to your scary merriment, this October season!"

Source
https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/Witches-of-Ireland

6 Famous Witches Throughout History

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Being “Self Conscious” Was the Purpose of it All. Being “Self Conscious” is the Meaning of Life.

When did being “Self Conscious” become a negative thing?
Sometimes when someone has a low opinion of themselves or talks negative about their own self image, or maybe even boasts highly as they say, maybe nervous or visibly acting uncomfortable, they are called “Self Conscious”, as if it is a negative thing. When truly if you are acting uncomfortable, then you are Self Aware and must give yourself permission to leave that in which makes you "uncomfortable". Your body is your message from the Divine. LISTEN.

We at times have claimed to be self conscious, say of how we might look, a particular hairstyle or some other bodily image concern. We seem to use it as a negative or something to work on Not Being.  We call ourselves, “Self Conscious” however, the thing is to be “Self Conscious” is the Ultimate Goal I would Say.   To Know Thyself, to be Self Aware, to be Conscious of Self, of who we TRULY are is a VERY positive thing. Some may even say it is the most important passage, knowledge, lesson or mission we came to Earth to achieve.
If I am “Self Conscious” then I know myself, I am listening to my intuition through the talking of my body. If I am “Self Conscious” I know my Truth and honor myself.  Many believe that being “Self Conscious” is why God created Humans. Simply to become aware of SELF, to be Conscious of SELF, to be “Self Conscious” . It is the WHOLE Purpose of Humanity.        ~  Reverend Crystal Cox


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Timeline Shift: The Third Wave of 2016 Sandra Walters

" Jul 29, 2016
Blessings Beloved Light Tribe,

The energies for the September wave, our third amplification of 2016, are already arriving. To recap: The first wave (late December – January) was aimed at dissolving looping programs which interfered with HUman perception of the Shift in consciousness. These programs which kept people doing the same things, thinking the same thoughts, repeating the same beliefs were dismantled.

As always, the collective recreates old patterns out of habit, so there is a delay between what occurs and what the collective can perceive due to our experience of linear time. That is the free will choice of Creator-in-carnate HUmans, with powerful DNA, who are able to collectively create realities.

The second wave (March-April) was aimed at shadow; the uncomplimentary beings, programs, thought forms, emotions and beliefs which are deeply engrained into the collective subconscious. This level of light was (and is) a bit torturous for disharmonious beings, both Human and non-Human. Many Lightworkers are feeling the impact of this global purging of disharmony, because the effects apply to every single being on this planet. No stone is unturned during a dimensional shift. 

Gratitude to the Lightworkers who had the vision and intuition to prepare for this phase.

You have the tools, compassion and understanding to stand in your power, no matter how difficult it gets to witness and experience this cleansing of the collective consciousness.

Remember that these waves have deep purpose in preparing and launching us into the New. These energies are a purer frequency of photonic light; frequencies that are typically experienced by higher realities. Realities are based on bandwidths of vibration.

Your resonation determines your externally projected reality – your personal reality, as well as collective. (Vibration = vibration).

Photonic light aimed at dissolving bandwidths that no longer serve Divine Will (the Universal rewrite) continue to penetrate our Solar system, Gaia and your individual consciousness.

Reporting Our Progress: Higher Realms desire your Connection

Your bodies are still attempting to hold a huge consciousness in a tiny form. It can be painful, uncomfortable, fatiguing, stimulating … whatever is needed to anchor this new level of light into the collective consciousness.

This is why so much preparation was done to clear and upgrade the body and assist it into crystalline transformation. Keep your body vehicle clear and moving, flowing into this new stream of Light.

Remember to report all of the effects to your Higher levels. The nightly check-in with your Team and backward review help with adjustments in dreamstate (this has worked well for me for several years, try it.) A reminder that you are being monitored individually and as a collective.

Complaints about the external reality or internal symptoms slow the collective process. We are completely capable of this evolution, Beloveds. As embodiment and contact intensifies (or begins) for many, the intermingling of energy fields can make the body feel electrified, blown apart, blissy, or non-existent.

Some feel unheard, isolated or alone in this journey. Leave those notions of separation behind, beloveds. The new experience is foreign to the lower levels (mind, ego, emotions). Parent them, train them to be patient with the transformation. The Higher teams hear everything, beloveds.

All of your emotions, thoughts and words go into the collective sorting out of who-can-handle-what, and when. So if we desire the full acceleration available with these waves, we need to be HUman Masters – now. That is not a controlling position, it is one of grace, compassion and acceptance of the role of Wayshower.

Even with the intense internal heat, the sensations of being electrified, the vagus nerve activations (article on that soon), and the new glands developing to handle this transition, we persist in grace. Creator Breath: We breathe and exhale peace, in order to balance the deep unrest boiling up in the global population.

August: Take Inventory of Health, Lightwork, Creativity

Our third wave is beginning to arrive already. Vibrational match will become more apparent as the High Vibe Tribe anchors frequencies of freedom. You have sensed this for a while; the freedom, the completion, the gradual release of the lower reality. And yet your spirit continues to expand into the body vehicle. Hence the term *embodiment*. Let the light in, let the Higher Self step forth. Create as much freedom as you can from routine; you’ll need to play in the moment with this new level of light.

Multidimensional awareness intensifies in August, along with clarity, direction and creativity after the purge of the last wave. Use what you have learned, do not ignore the new direction. Many of you will be relocating, traveling and journeying to prepare for the September wave. Use the momentum of this phase to move ahead and step away from the old Self.

You are stepping away from yet another level of the old reality. Resistance can bring depression, confusion, and disharmony in the body. Follow the Higher Self guidance; trust your heart as it merges with the Christed state of consciousness. Take note of feeling more like the True Self. Smile, breathe, all is well.

The lower vibration is what it is; let it have its experience. 

What is playing out on the smaller stage of the lower reality has no impact on the overarching mission of Ascension. There are many surprises ahead for the lower reality, as well as the higher. High Vibe Tribe, you know what is about to unfold. Trust that inner guidance with your personal journey. Stay in service to Divine Love. Participate in creative, playful, cleansing, healthful activity as the energies shift in August. Celebrate the lighter, brighter, happier place of the radiant heart.

Turning point: August Prep, September Shift

Unity is key in Unity Consciousness. That applies to your thoughts, energy fields and emotions more than physical surroundings. Most of you will need the support and companionship of others during this phase. The Wednesday Unity Meditations are there for you to connect etherically to the Light Tribe and Higher realms.

We connect this way for many reasons: To experience the true/new level of Christed peace, to feel our collective power, to heal the collective and ourselves, to assist with embodiment, to raise the vibration of the HUman heart grid, and to connect with each other as we shed concerns about physical location or physical exhaustion with the new level of light.

It is a highly supportive activity; if you are not participating, take a look at why you resist connecting with other Lightworkers in this way.

Upcoming Triggers

There is a lot unfolding at the moment to shift the vibe before the next wave enters. It seems we had a rough passage with the second wave, however we will create a much higher platform to stand on in August. Wayshowers, follow the personal direction for location, alignments and co-creations.

Much of this phase will feel like a new wave of awakening – even for the Light Tribe – as the Higher Self steps in. There is a bit of reorganizing, shuffling of locations and duties presenting. Pay attention to the new direction, we are aiming for a very powerful influx to bring HUmanity into alignment with their hearts.

The Lion’s Gate (August 8) and August 21 are our collective triggers this month. The September wave begins around September 9th – 11th with the peak of the wave flowing in September 26 -29. Gratitude for your endurance, dear hearts. You are witnessed, you are cherished. Expect brilliance, beloveds!

In Love, Light and Service,"
Sandra
———–

Source
http://www.sandrawalter.com/timeline-shift-the-third-wave-of-2016/

Monday, July 24, 2017

As per the experience of the Mandela Effect, an ACTUAL physical change in my physical reality that happened to me in a very notable way in May of 2016, at this point, for me personally, it is about daily focus on the reality, the timeline that I want to live in.

It is about waking up in a world where things may not yet be ideal as far as the timeline I really want to be living in, however, keeping my own thoughts, energy, and focus on the things I do want.  Pondering, visualizing the way I want things to be. Staying out of the energy of old programs, moving through old reactions and patterns with new ones, even if only a slight each time.

It is about being the best me I can be everyday with each energy, program, circumstance, personal attack, that comes into my awareness.  It is about refocusing when I lose my focus because old reactions come up to new circumstances, challenges or events. I find myself reacting inside, however, I process the energy as to not react outside. Then I continue to work on transmuting the initial feeling, what is the root cause and working toward clearing it all.

I do this all day everyday. A feeling comes up that does not feel good, feel right. Therefore I know it is not True for me. So I then look at the root cause and trying different methods to reprogram myself to not be triggered. Such as imagining what a triggerless me would feel like in that moment, or meditation where I focus only on a beat, or other methods of frequency and eye movement changes to try and uproot the original wound let’s call it or simply expose the hiding place of the program within my own existence.

Reminding  myself daily that I can move energy better, clearer, more joyfully.  And that I don’t have to react, buy into what other people are feeling or seeing or have as their life mission. To not react to those who don’t get me or validate me. But instead to validate myself and to transmute the energy to that, just energy and not a program that triggers an old response of earlier versions of Me, be it in this life or my  or my entire ancestral line in any reality.

With this I believe I am clearing out old programs for good, and collapsing lower vibrational realities I once lived or experienced, clearing, lower frequency timelines of which I nor my ancestral line will have to visit again.

It is about recognizing my old patterns, which are programs of ego from lifetimes, and removing those programs, simply by stating I remove that program. It comes up, I see it I remove it, over and over until it does not come up, does not trigger a feeling or lower vibrational response.

I believe this daily work is monumentally important and that it is say my Graduate class, or Doctorate class in the school of Earth. I have done the work, lived the lifetimes. I have seen that we literally shift realities, actual physical reality, WOW. And so now the work to bring all that together is the work within my daily thoughts, my triggers, my reactions to things outside of my control and my willingness to participate in or abandon Patterns and Programs of which are not what I want and not part of the higher frequency Reality I really want to live.

Yes I do believe there is a need out there for Facebook pages, blogs and such to assist people in validating that the Mandela Effect is real. This is a valuable tool, as is learning to walk, to talk. It is also valuable to assist you to not feel it is a mental illness as many around you may claim.  However, once you have validated it to yourself and once you yourself fully, truly, without a doubt believe that you have experienced a reality shift, an actual physical, then it is time to do the clean up work to level up debri in your realities in lower timeline frequencies, to remove programs, to create worlds by focusing on what you do want

If you continue focusing on is it real, prove its real, needing others to see it as real or believe it as real then you are denying yourself the beautiful, amazing Gift of actually experiencing this awakening and all it truly has to offer you by focusing on YOU and not on proving it over and over or trying to convince others. They will KNOW when it’s right for them, PERIOD. That work is done, now it’s about the individual you with you, me with me.

I have no further need to convince myself that “it” is happening. As to go daily down that rabbit hole, I change my focus to proving something that I already know is True for me. It is not my job to convince others. The internet has ALL the information they need to validate it has happened for them personally. And if it has not then why spend my time convincing them of my Truth, of which may be no where near their truth? There is Simply No Need for that.

What I spend my thoughts, my time, my energy on every day, LITERALLY creates worlds. I know that now. So I don’t want to focus on all the things that have changed, as they are constantly changing. I want to focus on being the absolute purest, happiest, most abundant, joyous, loving, fun, wealthy, healthy, high vibration, high frequency me that I can possibly imagine, and therefore at some point obtain.  I want to focus on the world I want to create and not get jumbled in proving each new reality shift.

YES it is real, it is WOW amazing, magic and supernatural. It is REAL. You know that, you have seen and felt it so let’s stay focused on Joy, on what we want. And not get trapped in energetic struggles trying to convince others every day or follow every new change in each timeline shift.

I believe that I, as with many others, are clearing old timeline programs, old programs and identities as we collapse multiple timelines and versions of ourself into a higher vibrating version of ourselves.

Our Joy is our guide.

We literally feel bad in our body when something is not right and we literally feel good when something is right for us. That is not to say this signifies as to something being right to or for anyone else.

For me I am sitting in the eye of the Mandela storm per say. I know it is happening, some people are very upset, others curious, others disbelieve. I know it’s a huge stretch for people who have not had the experience to believe in it’s existence. They literally cannot stretch their imagination to it being real. And that is fine, they will when they are ready.  For me it’s surreal, it feels space and dreamy at times as I float in and out of their realities and they really believe it is real, and well it is for them. However, I don’t get stuck there, I observe, check my own triggers and programs, work on clearing those and keep moving through.

Many people are angry and looking to argue or prove to anyone who will join them. I don’t engage with those folks, as that is not the reality I want to experience. I block them, move out of their energy, don’t hang around them. And stay focused on the things I do want in my next timeline.  Their fear does not have to be owned by me, proven or justified by me in any way. Their fears are theirs and are programs they choose to still participate in. I do not.

At times it WOWS me, as I look directly at the physical changes, or come across a movie that did not exist, or things about my own body, or the sky or destinations. However, I don’t get caught in it, let fear rise or even question why now. I know why. I created all this somehow. Some version of my created this. And I trust and love me, and want to be the absolute best version of me, so I keep moving, keeping improving, keep letting old programs and patterns go and don’t engage with the naysayers, as I don’t want THEM creating MY REALITY.

~ Reverend Crystal Cox, Timeline Shift Ramblings














Reverend Crystal Cox can assist you with
what you are going through with the Mandela Effect.
offers spiritual counseling services, intuitive readings
and is an expert in timeline shifts and what it means to you personally
and can guide you through what is happening to you.
Please eMail her at ReverendCrystalCox@gmail.com
for spiritual counseling, readings, Mandela Effect Readings and Advice
and / or healing sessions.