Mirror of Wisdom

Tarocchi Celtici
Card 46 Nocciolo Coll = Hazel46 Summer mirror
In this card the high flying Salmon of Wisdom of Celtic myth, that we see in all the 4 Hazelnut Tree cards, is suspended in mid Air in the upper 3rd of the image.
So immediately we know, what this card is all about:
  Eating of the sacred Hazelnuts, like the Salmon did in the myths of old,what will we learn?
About the World?
About everyone and everything in it?
About the Spirits that have – and will be there forever?
But – since this is a 10 of Fire – Most importantly about ourselves.

Again the Hazelnut Tree and its leaves and fruit are in the centre of the image.
We have 2 Fire Sprites.
One is sitting atop a leave, holding a piece of greenery that supports a simple torque.
Yes, when you KNOW, you are bound to that knowledge, you have to wear it and can not “un- know “ it.
Realizing that, her hair stands on end! We all know, what that situation feels like.
This Being also looks over to her companion, a concerned expression om her face.
Her companion is sitting in the foreground, hugging her knees, head leaning onto her arms, sad resigned face turned towards us.
At her feet we see a magnificent Celtic mirror – much like the ones found in graves of Celtic ladies of high rank. The curvilinear spiralling design on its back tells us much of what we will see, when we dare to look into it – Nothing is straight forward and all is connected to everything else.

The Fairy no doubt has looked into that mirror, seen herself, her beauty, but – since this is a magical mirror and she ate of the magical hazelnuts who’s shells are laying on the mirror, she also has seen her shadows, her ugliness her weaknesses and the dark shadows of all the world she lives in.
She mourns the loss of her “innocent oblivion. Now she knows. Mourning however is the first step. Then comes denial
then bargaining, then finally acceptance and after that the push to move on, grow and thrive with and on the expanded consciousness.
I feel, that that is, what the 10 of Fire = the 2nd card of Hazel Wisdom is all about.

Celtic Anglo Saxon mirror/ grave good

Celtic Anglo Saxon mirror/ grave good

The Hazelnut Tree Ogham

Medicinal properties

To clear a stubborn cough, finely powder the nuts and mix with water and honey.

The leaves can be used in teas to treat such ailments as varicose veins, circulatory problems, fevers, diarrhea and excessive menstrual flow.

Hazelnuts are a good source of protein, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. 

Magickal properties

Wands made of this wood symbolize white magick and healing. Forked sticks are used to find water or buried treasure. If outside and in need of magickal protection quickly draw a circle around yourself with a hazel branch. To enlist the aid of Plant Fairies, string Hazelnuts on a cord and hang up in your house or ritual room. Magically, hazel wood is used to gain knowledge, wisdom and poetic inspiration. 

Hazel wood is excellent for making all purpose magickal wands. 

Weave Hazel twigs into a crown. Put this on your head and wish very hard. Your wish may come true!

Twigs of Hazel are placed in window frames to protect the house against lightning, and three pins of Hazel wood driven into your house will protect it from fire.


The Hazel encourages us to seek out information and inspiration in all things and emphasizes the value of the inquiring mind and of learning of all kinds. Just as the Hazel concentrates all its goodness and its continued existence in the kernel of its fruit, so we attain wisdom by reducing knowledge down to its purest form and passing it on down the ages.

Through meditating on the essence of wisdom, we gain creative inspiration. Like the limbs of the Hazel, we must remain pliant in our approach to learning. Concentrated thought in an open mind can, like the Hazel, become a connection with the divine source of all things.

 Hazel teaches us the noble arts of learning, teaching, communication, and healing. 



The Knight of Shamanic Flight

Card 62 Edera: Gort = Ivy62 Fall Gnomes

In a regular deck this card would be the Knight of Fall/ Earth.

In this deck all 4 Gort = Ivy cards also feature a Boar in some form. In this image we see another bronze cast of a Boar hidden behind the Ivy. Boar was treasured by the Celts for its feistyness and stubborn resilience and was an emblem of the power of a mighty warrior. The Warrior in this image however is not out to make war, but involved in preparations for an exploratory journey into the Otherworld:

He is the Knight of the magic potion:

A Gnome beneath the Ivy is seen with his pot filled with a magic brew, that obviously also includes a few small Mushrooms as well as the freshly harvested Amanita Muskaria Mushrooms that are prominently featured on the image. What will he experience on his journey to the Otherworld?

The Fly Agaric Mushroom was and still is widely used as a hallucinogenic.

It is not proven, that the Celts of the British Isles were users, but in mainland Europe and Siberia the Mushroom was widely used. Even today there is the custom to give, as a hostess present at New year’s celebrations, a little wooden Fly Agaric Mushroom, ofter with a Ladybug on it, for good fortunes in the new year. Even my MIL sends us some made out of chocolate in her Winter Solstice parcel 🙂

In Siberia shamans eat Fly Agaric in order to enter a clairvoyant trance state and mobilize their shamanic powers of healing. Amanita muscaria are also ingested when they wish to communicate with the souls of their ancestors or to contact spirits. One to three Amanita mushrooms appear to be the usual traditional dose with initial Amanita effects being felt in about twenty minutes. It was the practice of Siberian and other tribes to recycle the urine of someone who had already eaten Amanita muscaria, and thus, because a substantial amount of active substances in it remained unchanged, it could be used for later or given to someone who did not manage to collect Mushrooms for their use. Fly Agaric

The Fly Agaric employs the human imagination for centuries. European history and culture has many myths about Amanita Muscaria.

The German saying, that the red Toadstool Mushroom is a sign of good luck, points to a deep devotion to the Fly Agaric Mushroom. Thus, it is described that Wotan/ Voden, the Germanic god of ecstasy and knowledge was responsible for bringing it to the people. According to legend, Wotan rides through the Sky at the Winter Solstice and where the foam dripping from the mouth of his Horse Sleipnier fell to the ground, nine months later the red Mushrooms were sprouting.

Popular belief also associates the Fly Agaric with witches, wizards and wise women, and depending on the occasion, with pleasure or calamity. It also was suspected to be one of the ingredients of the famous flying ointments.
In many shamanic cultures the Fly Agaric is counted among the sacred plants that were used by shamans to achieve an ecstatic state, to delve into the Otherworld. Among  Siberian shamans it is still in use. Also the priests of the Maya used the Mushroom as an intoxicant to get visions of the gods. Even the strong drink “soma” which goes back to the Vedas of India is said to have contained Amanita Muskaria.
Today you can still find imaginative representations of the red mushroom on old postcards, Glückspilzchildren’s book illustrations and comics. They are popular as seats for garden Gnomes, as piggy banks, as sock knitting aids, as Christmas Tree ornaments, as marzipan decorations on cakes or as lucky charms for New Year’s. Even in popular literature it had to serve as the murder weapon.
Although the consumption of Fly Agaric Mushrooms is usually not fatal, it leads to nausea, severe mental impairment and intoxication. Precisely because of this somnolent trance-like effect, the fungus is unfortunately often misused as a drug. It takes effect by causing dream-like drowsiness and then goes into hallucinations and under certain circumstances also agitation. Unfortunately also palpitations, muscle spasms , anxiety states and panic attacks can be the result.

Although the acute symptoms of Mushroom intoxication subside within a few hours, because of these serious side effects, experimentation with Fly Agaric is not recommended.


We do have Fly Agaric Mushrooms growing on our property.

It actually is a crazy coincidence, that just yesterday I took a picture of a Yellow Amanita,which has much the same properties than his red capped cousin, that is growing here in profusion, even right underneath our deck.


Am I eating them?


The amount of psychoactive substances they contain depends on where they grow and on weather and other uncertain factors.I enjoy their spiritual strength and “teacher Medicine.

But for trance journeys all I need is my drum .:)

Spread of the Week with the Tarocchi Celtici:

Our “homework for the “Deck of the Month” group on Aeclectic Tarot was the following spread:

1. What inspires you
2. What challenges you
3. What doorway opens for you
4. What will you risk
5. What can you discover

So, here is my personal reading:


1. What inspires you?
XV Cerumno
Cernunos the Horned God in all his otherworldly glory just as he is depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron. As soon as I saw the image, EVERYTHING I know about the ancient Celts rushed into my poor head and washed over me. He sure is its ambassador.
He and the culture that worshipped him surely inspire me, fills me with ahw and wonder. The christians have him pegged for the Devil and here too he is card XV of the deck. In my shamanic upbringing I learned, that horns and antlers when worn by a Medicine Person stand for “more than ordinary knowledge” = shamanic wisdom and a connection to the Spirits of the other realms. The shamans of my tribe wear antlers on their headdresses to point to this fact. With us, he would fit right in!
His Snake stands for transformation and I am remembering all my encounters with Snakes – in this ordinary world – and in the Otherworld, where more than once I danced with one, as it was the Miahanit of one of my Inde’ teachers. The skeleton of a Snake is lying on our family Altar right now. …..
….I could go on and on here…
Everything is connected!

2. What challenges you?
Oups!! I pulled Card 52 Betulla Beth = Birch Tree Ogham
= the Gnome family:
Mom and dad Gnome
cooooing to tiny little Gnomy in the wooden cradle…
And that is just it: Little kids challenge me. I feel awkward around them, I know how to work with and raise Animal infants and have done so often: Little baby Wolf, itzy bitzy baby Fox No problem… A box full of baby Raccoons!

Yaaaay! 01fuettern

4 month later they are all up in the wood pile, hissing and ready to tackle the wild that is their home….
But Human babies….???
I can hand tremble over them and find out, ifff they are sick and what is going on – but after that – forget it….
I run….

3. What doorway opens for you?
Stop!, NO, no further here!
VII Teutates sitting atop a square box cart, its wheel in the centre of the image. This is the boundary of his territory and I better skedaddle..
This is a static Chariot, if I ever saw one.
Nothing moving here….
His shield is not helping.
I will turn around and find another way….
This one is not it…..
No problem.
I can go anywhere else.

His helmet however, that opens the door to archaeology and the magnificent finds from the Celtic culture
The Crow? I can fly with her, to go see Morgana le Fay, whom I met in a vision a few years ago.
This is not the only way, just because you see it …
My inner Chariot does not need established track-ways – it can swim beneath, above and through anything and I enjoy the ride.

4. What will you risk:
Oh, Let’s see: XX Epona!
Well, with her and her Animal entourage I risk anything! No problem!
With a feisty Horse Goddess, her mighty Steed, a Lark, a Hawk and my Owl Miahanit I can risk jumping through the magical Hole in the Rock Stone ( Men-an-Tol, Cornwal) and go journey anywhere.

Men an Tol  Cornwal

I have risked a lot in my days: Risked to love again after a devastating loss, risked everything, up and left and changed continents and cultures, build a new life on a new continent in the middle of the wilderness. Risked to live openly pagan and teach about shamanism in spite of being poopooed by the catholics in town….. I risk being “open” = unprotected, so I can hand tremble and “see” into my patients and clients in order to find what is wrong and how it is fixable. I risk going to the MDs in town with what I find, being laughed at, pushed aside…. and then proven right, when finally they do a couple of X-rays on the patient….
– I risk writing about this stuff and booooooring you all to death with it….
Enough risk.
One always has to weigh risks versus not risking it, safety versus growth.
And risking something stupid is stupid!!
Risking taking the organic garbage out to our dump site after dark is stupid. I KNOW, the Bear is out there. I also know, she knows me and will not attack. But ifffff I stumble between her and her new cubs…..
THINK, before you risk……

5. What can you discover?
“Discover” means, that I did not know it before!
Discover means new
New means growth
Discover means learning
I pulled another friend of mine:
Cana Ngetal O Ebion Peith –
-Tongue twister name for a card 😉
The Queen of Reid and with her my “Guffo” =Owl in Italian. I discovered that
This is the very first card I drew at the beginning of the month.

What a discovery it was! How much I learned by just exposing myself to these 79 pieces of cardboard and the images they present. My Owl Miahanit is confidently sitting on top of a large vessel. The shy Queen still has not come out from behind the Reid.

The Frog speaks about change – of form and thought. The colourful bead however speaks of me having to get my act together and start making jewellery.

I could start with an Owl pendant, looking like the Owl on the card:

pen owl SCB
And a Rune pouch for an AT member. ….
Let’s see, what kinds of discoveries this day will bring
I am glad that I am working with this deck for another month and so the discoveries will continue

Changing Times

Tarocchi Celtici 54 Fall Gnomes

Card 54 Frassino:Nion

– or rather Nuin, as the Ash Tree Ogham is called.

In this image the Ash Tree is dwarfed by the mighty stone bust of the warrior of Saint Chaptes, France.

This bust was found in a field near Nimes and the curvo-linear designs on his helmet are almost destroyed by plough shards. On his neck and chest very faint traces of small Horses are visible However, it was possible to make out traces of the red and black paint that he was coated with – in his time.

w 2.




Our image however shows us 2 other magnificent limestone carvings: On is the pedestal of another statue, the other is the penis shaped pillar of Pfalzfeld in Central Germany.

Pfalzfelder saeule

It is suspected, that this pillar once held human heads, since traces of blood and brain matter of different individuals have been found on it…


The image on our card shows us the tools used to create such master works – as well as its magical creator, a small Gnome. He sits astride the helmet of the warrior of Saint Chaptes, stone mason’s pick hammer in hand, an Ash leave on his hat, he is smiling at us – across time, space and cultures.

I would like to ask him about the meaning of the pictograph symbol we see high in the sky as well as on the stone bust.

So, how to read this image?

The Ash Tree is seen as the Tree of life in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Ygdrasil was the Viking Tree of Live and wisdom.

What wisdom, once magnificent, scarrrrrry and powerful, was in the hearts and minds of the creators of these now treasured artifacts? The heads smashed on that pillar? What did they know? What could they tell us? What was not right with them, so they were sacrificed to the Gods – or seen as enemies?

The Culture came, flowered and disappeared, just to be nostalgicly revived in our days by people dedicating themselves to a Celtic reconstructional path.

Belief in Fairies, Gnomes and Water Nymphs? All pushed aside by newer religions and modern realism…

Just the Ash Tree – flowered and grew, died, but its seeds took root and grew, flowered, grew high and mighty, were chopped down, became period furniture…..

But still, Ash Trees are still here….

Pray, that the Emerald Ash Borer does not change that forever.

Emerald Ash Borer plague destroying ancient forests

Emerald Ash Borer plague destroying ancient forests