Sucellos:

July and August are 2 very hectic months for me. We are setting up on Summer markets and craft shows to sell our jewellery and my shamanic artwork, clients come to the house for Tarot readings, for consultations and to work on personal issues, patients – many seriously ill come for a healing session – or I am asked to go to their homes – students come to spend time with me to deepen their insides and skills, I am asked to give teachings in public or private venues…..

With a full plate like this there just is no time left for any Tarot work/ explorations, often I barely have time to draw my card of the day….

So, when I decided, to do the following Tarot exercise, I quickly picked a card in the morning, took time out to go on the net and goooogle the character portrayed and then had to leave in order to set up our large show tent on the local craft show. …..

Sucellos

Tarot exercise:

Imagine, you are meeting the character of one of your cards:

I had drawn Sucellos, the card No XIII of the Tarocci Celtici.

Now, sure for me the number 13 is always linked to the Death card. But in this deck here – there is no Death card. ( and I miss that!!!!)

So Sucellos is “the hammer guy”!

Great!

From Wiki and other sites on the WWW:

In ancient Celtic religion, or Sucellos was the god of agriculture, forests and alcoholic drinks of the Gauls, also part of the Lusitanian mythology.

In Gaulish, -cellos is interpreted as ‘striker’. It is derived from Proto-Indo-European *-kel-do-s whence also come Latin per-cellere (‘striker’), Greek klao (‘to break’) and Lithuanian kálti (‘to hammer, to forge’). The prefix su- means ‘good’ or ‘well’ and is found in many Gaulish personal names. Sucellus is therefore widely glossed as ‘the good striker.’ The name is a systematically correspondingcognate of Early Irish sochell (‘kindness’) and Old Irish soichell (‘liberality, generosity, open-handedness’)

Sucellus may also have been thought of as a creator god, and is usually portrayed as a middle-aged bearded man, with a long-handled hammer, or perhaps a beer barrel suspended from a pole.

Here we see him with a rather modern looking hammer and what to me looks like a beer pitcher, with barley, hop and other beer making ingredients decorating it. He is accompanies by a hunting Dog and a winged Lion, that reminds me of the winged Lions of Venice, some sculptures from the 12th century.

 splendid, incomparable winged lion of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice.

winged lion of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice.

Well, as I was setting up the large show tent, hammer in hand in order to pound the anchoring spikes into the ground, sure, Sucellos and his hammer floated into my mind and I decided, to sing to him:

Chant to shamanic drum rhythm:

Ohm mahan oh mahan!

Calling to Sucellos!

God of the mighty hammer!

Come with your chimera!

Bring your mighty Dog!

Ohm mahan oh mahan!

Calling to Sucellos!

Come and help me with my tent!

Ohm mahan oh mahan!

…..>>>>>

Then the following, rather one- sided “conversation” ensued:

Hi Sucellos!

Nice of you to appear!

Oh woups! Careful with that hammer!

No! This is not some Roman war camp – this is a Craft show.

All these tents are the tents of artisans, setting up their wares.

No, this is 2013 and well, this is Barbaria indeed! It however is called Canada. Muskoka to be exact – because of the muskeg and all the Mosquitoes.

Yes, the ones, that are biting you right now are called Horse flies and they are so big, you can ride on them. They eat your Chimera alive within half an hour…

I called you here, so you can help me a little! With your Hammer!

Can you hammer these tall nails/ spikes into the steel feet of my tent, to secure it for the coming thunderstorm?

Yes, like this!

Great!

Careful, no sparks, the fire danger is high!

Oh and watch out for all the Earwigs falling down from that Pine Tree!

They crawl into the tiniest spaces – like into the tubing of your golden torque!

Oh! Thanks, that was fast! 🙂

I would have used up all my remaining energy to hammer the tent stakes down in this heat!

Fido!!! Stop that!! Leave that Coyote shield alone! I have to sell that!

Well, while you, your Dog and Chimy here are on this side of the Otherworld anyway, how about staying in the Tent over night – to watch it and keep my stuff save from robbers and marauding teenagers?

Yes, they are still up to no good, when they had too much to drink and break into tents at night….

Then, tomorrow, you and the Chimera could help watch out for pickpockets and shoplifters!

You guys would be a great attraction and an asset to my booth!

And for all the help I will invite you all to the Wabora restaurant on Sunday night.

Japanese Hibatchi with whirrrrling knifes!

You guys will like it and the food is great!

Sooooo:

What happened next:

http://www.discovermuskoka.ca/festivals-events/calendar-of-events.html?task=view_event&event_id=96

Friday was the day the show opened – to a VERY ominous forecast:

Hot, hazy, humid, thunderstorms with hail and damaging winds…..

Yes, exactly that! Tents were heaving and shaking in wind gusts up to 60 km/h and several other show tents ripped, flew of and the artesans involved had to deal with damaged artwork and financial loss. Some were holding onto their Tents, weighing them down with their own bodies, as flimsy tent pegs were not holding and aluminium poles were bending and breaking….

Well, I thought about Sucellos and his hammer helping me along and our tent, who’s nickname is “the Villa” held fast and was not moving an inch in the surrounding mayhem…..

But it got worse: the wind gusts increased and several of the large old Pine trees and Maples around the perimeter of the show grounds were creaking, cracking under the pressure and – coming down.

One of them crashed to the ground, exactly where last year our friend and fellow crafter Lynn would have been set up. By a quirk of faith this year there were no tents located on that spot.

Tree down

Another Tree smashed into a pottery booth….

But still it got worse: the tornado warning we had in the forecast was upgraded to a tornado watch. And the sky grew greenish grey and dark……

Now would have been a good time to close the show for the day. The radio was advising people to stay home and take precautions…

But the show convenor ignored all the warnings, and threatened people, that iffff crafters dare to close up, she would not allow them to come back for next year’s show…..

The show visitors left and there were only us vendors left.

Then all hell broke loose:

Storm rolling inIt got even darker,the wind picked up, stuffff was flying everywhere, and then the rains came down and drenched EVERYTHING. Several more tents collapsed under the pressure of water and rain….

We had buttoned down all rain flaps and prayed that the aged Pine Trees under which we were set up, would stay put…..

..and that our spikes would hold….

They did! Thank you, Sucellos!

Half an hour later the whole mess was over and the sun came out. A lot of crafters were standing between tattered tent parts and wet and or ruined artwork…..

The temperature dropped about 10degrees centigrade and everyone was coooold and wet…..

Our neighbouring town, Gravenhurst ,took a full hit and countless Trees crashed down upon houses, electricity lines and made roads and streets impassable.

It took the community more than a week to clean up and restore power….

http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=15676

The craft show?

We all had to wait around until the official closing time, 7.00pm  😦

Saturday and Sunday the weather was perfect, but we had fewer than normal attendance, because many people were staying home and dealing with the aftermath of the storm….

It was quite a labour, to get Sucellos’ spikes back out of the soaker wet ground…..

But I was glad and thankful! 🙂

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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.

DSCN7295

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.

DSCN7158

Am I eating them?

No!

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:

DSCN1461

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?
Me??
Anything!!!
“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.

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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…

bugeyed

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

The Gnomes of Earth

I am looking at a few more of the Tarocchi Celtici Cards:

Card 51 Pioppo Bianco: Eadha = White Poplar

Ace of Fall/ Earth51 Fall Gnomes

The White Poplar Tree is in the background of the image.

In the Ogham alphabet the Eadha is the Tree aligned with material things, every day life and all Earthy aspects. It is looked upon as being the provider for the sheer stamina it takes to get through our busy lives and not to forget that we are embodied Spirits.

Endurance, shielding our soul from every day realities and staying strong in the “Winds of Life” are its strengths. Aspen and Poplars “speak” in the Wind and so we are to listen and perceive the message coming through.

The Celts and their contemporaries used Poplar wood for shield making. Shields for war, but also the shields upon which you hoisted a victorious leader and carried him to the feast.

Doors too were made from Poplar, because Poplar wood does not bend out of shape, when it gets wet on one side and stays dry on the other.

In the image we see 3 Storks. Since this is a fall card, it is prudent to assume, that it is a breeding pair and their offspring from this year. They are now ready to take to the air on an arduous flight south – just to return in Spring.

A Gnom is shyly hiding his face behind a Poplar leave . He has assembled his work of the summer; a beautiful golden ring featuring a 2 headed Snake, several gold coins and several magnificently inlayd Celtic beads.

2 swords and a large spear are stuck in the ground. It is peaceful time, the time when one goes to the local Fall market, or local Fall fair, barters with other producers and exchanges some of one’s goods for whatever one may need to get through the Winter.

Maybe the whispering Poplars are the ones in charge of the gossip.

Another thin that happens on the Fall fair of course is one could look for a mate 🙂

3 Storks in the sky!?? In Spring Storks bring babies – did you know?

A nice golden ring??

Maybe this Gnome is out to whoo his bride?

 

 

Card 52  Betulla: Beth = Birch   52 Fall Gnomes

Oh! Now it is becoming clear, what the Snake ring was all about!

The Gnome got married to Mrs. Gnome and here they both are looking into the wooden cradle, where the future sleeps.

All tools and trinkets are put aside – this is family time.

The Birch Tree – blooming in spite of this being a Fall card, is dwarfed by a mighty Hart, protector of the realm and Guardian of prosperity and strength.

2 of Earth.

All is well.

🙂

 

 

Tarocchi Celtici Card 66 Betulla: Beith

In the Celtic Ogham Beith, the Birch Tree is the first month and comes after Samhain in what today is November 30 – Al Grimrath.

Birch stands for new beginnings, cleansing, the feminine Goddess of the Forest, and strength for new tasks.

66 Winter Water

This Birch Tree is in the centre of the card, flanked by a mighty Hart upon who’s left antler a Fish Fairy/ Undine is hanging??
Another of this species sporting a looooong Lizard tail is cowering at the floor next to a large beautiful decanter. Iffff only I knew, what that “thing” is, that this Being is about to pick up and show to us. It is monochromatic pictograph like – object or sign…?? Is it something used in divination? And I as a diviner have no idea!?It somehow looks like a monochromatic rock art symbol, rather than an object. Maybe someone who has the book and speaks Italian can help out here.
I am finding all the Water Nymphs in this suit quite strange. Should they not be in the Water, their home?? And why is this the Winter suit, when it shows the Birch tree here and all the other trees/ plants in this suit all in full bloom?
But then all the Trees in the Celtic Tree alphabet are shown in full Summer bloom and do not reflect the seasons either.
– Strange…..
I feel, that this is something, that will eventually bother me, when I use this deck for readings.
Shall I ignore the Water/ Winter aspect? But fish tailed Beings on dry land will inevitably bring up the notion of “being out of place/ out of their element…….”

divider

I was fascinated, when in one of our books about archaeology and excavations in the lands of the Celts I discovered a picture of the magnificent beaker, that is featured on the card image:
It is the famous beaker found in a grave in Dürnberg near Hallein in Austria.
It is an Etruscan art style.

Schnabelkanne

schnabel kanne griff
It is bronze and the Handle shows a predator swallowing the head of a human.

I wonder if it was an enemy – or is is the monster of Death swallowing the high status male, whom the Celts had buried with these grave goods.

On the rim a Lioness is swallowing a Dragon

On the rim a Lioness is swallowing a Dragon

Beaker…………………

I an sure, the knowledge gleaned from this enigmatic find will influence my interpretation of this card in a reading.

Tarocchi Celtici – IX Ogimos

Ogimos is an older, wiser guy. Some say, like Heracles in his senior years.

Ogmios
His forte’ is his eloquence in speaking. He mesmerises his audience to such an extend, that their ears are chained to his every word and they follow willingly to wherever he leads. Eloquence in speech was highly prized among the Druids – they had a guild of ovids and yes, also the bards, but all words of wisdom had to be spoken in a pleasing and engaging way. Ogimos also was known as a psychopomp, a shaman who’s words and chants guide the soul of fallen warriors into the Otherworld. Some people assume, that Ogmios lend his name to the Ogham, the Celtic Tree alphabet.
On the card we see Ogimos sitting on the ground outside – near a stone circle. In his right – almost skeletal hand (alluding towards death and – silence..) he holds a formidable hatchet – probably from his warrior days. Today however his tongue is his mighty weapon. He is wearing a lion skin and is pointing towards the head of this costume, that lies to his feet. He is also equated with being a sun deity, with his hair spread out like sun rays – much as the Green Man wears his leaves. – relating back to Maponus. The Lion motive is also repeated on the hatchet – along with Ohgam signs.
Around his neck he has a green chain with many heads. All his listeners, that fell into his spell. But now – he is as chained to them as they are chained to him…. What will they do if ever he falls silent. How heavy are they for him to wear?
The weight of the wisdom of old age.
Behind him the standing stones have Ogham inscriptions. I will have to sit down and figure those out.
We also see a sprig of Yew, pointing towards regeneration and rebirth and also linking this card with the XII,Gwydion, who is hanging from a Yew Tree