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The Celtic cultures of Ireland, Britain, and Gaul provide us with rich and ancient wells of magical lore: blessing and purification rites; protective charms and spells; fate-binding and fordestination; dire curses and battle sorceries. These many forms draw on the traditions of poetic incantation and the power of the Otherworld. This weekend intensive draws on folk tradition, archaeological study, early literature, and extensive personal experience, to explore these traditions of magic and sorcery in depth, while seeking insight through them into Celtic worldviews and cosmologies.
On day one, we will begin with an overview of the Celtic cultures to ground us in the magical and cosmological systems that provide structure for our work. We will lay the groundwork for safe magical practice with a session devoted to spiritual cleanliness and magical protection. We’ll learn to practice saining, smoke cleansing, and other methods of blessing and purification, and the fundamentals of warding and protecting both ourselves and our spaces. The day’s work will provide us with a charged warding tool we can begin using for protection as we delve into further sorceries in the next sessions.
On day two , we’ll deepen into the work with a session examining the ethics of magic. We’ll enter into one of the most ancient traditions in the Celtic world, the practice of chanted sorceries, with a session focusing on the use of poetry, chant, song, and trance in magic, with demonstrations in Gaulish and Old Irish. We will go on to explore how spirit work and spirit alliances can enliven and empower our work. We’ll cover the lore of druids calling forth Otherworldly spirits, the land and rivers to their aid, to tales of phantom armies and enspirited weapons. This will give us the tools to begin entering into spirit alliances ourselves and learn how to enshrine a spirit into an object to aid us in magical work.
On our final day , we will study the use of magical scripts and languages, including the use of Ogam sorcery in both tradition and lived practice. With a solid grounding now in the tools and ethics of the work, we’ll turn our attention to oaths, binding and cursing. We’ll cover the geis or ritual taboo and its connections to practices of fate-binding and oath magic, progressing into binding curses, wounding spells, curse tablets, and other forms of cursing. As part of this study, we will examine the history of cursing as a method of magical redress against oppression and injustice, and its use in justice work and activism. The session will culminate with a demonstration or group working for hands-on experience crafting a spell or curse tablet.