The Owl and the Night – Reclaiming the Crone And the Light from the Dark

  For those who spend time following certain lines of discussion both in the mainstream and  the alternative medias, there has been a great deal of discussion about the owl and her symbolism. We are living in a period of great change and upheaval and it appears that those who dwell in darkness are now being exposed to the Light. This, my friends, has long been foretold and awaited by many, especially by those of us who dwell within the Light.

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For those of us who work with esoteric signs and symbols, I believe it is high time we reclaimed the signs and symbols that we have used benevolently for generations, symbols used by sections of human society for ill intent. I refer to my own symbol as an example, the symbol of my house – the Owl of Moonpaw – one of many symbols used and turned backwards to mean something evil, dark and corrupt. While every symbol has both a positive and negative side, the bastardisation of esoteric signs and symbols from the swastika to the pentagram has reached its peak. It is time to neutralise the evil and take back the ancient symbols of wisdom, knowledge and protection and say to those who do evil “no more, you have taken enough and you will have no more.”. Let’s take back our symbols and our heritages, my friends, my brothers and sisters. Let’s take back our swastikas, our pentagrams and our owls, our lions, our snakes, our dragons, and our winged gods and goddesses. It’s time to bring them all home and back into the Light and take away the power from those who choose to dwell in darkness. Their time is over. The polarity is reversing. Their black sun is setting and a new dawn awaits those who want a peaceful and just world for all, not just a self-appointed few.

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   The symbol of my house – the owl – has some negative connotations. She is associated with death and ill luck. But without death and ill-luck how can one appreciate life and prosperity? The owl dwells in darkness but does she not also bring sleep and dreams and healing? Does she not also teach one how to see that which is hidden, that which hides from the Light, those who wish to do ill and bring evil upon others? In order to find the wicked rats who hide in the shadows, doesn’t one also need the ability of the owl to see in the dark to find them? She harsh but she is wise, she kills but she also teaches tough lessons – the best lessons of all, as we will always remember them. The owl in her hag-nest sees all, even into the darkest corners of your soul. She sees the truth and speaks it too, no matter how uncomfortable. We need the owl so let’s retake her power from the wicked and the cruel and learn from her positive aspects. We can see Light even in the darkness.

Peace and Blessings.

 

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The Grimalkin Wheel of the Year – Morchuria, Day of the Ancestors

  The moon festival (moon festivals are held from the autumn equinox to the beginning of the Far Pavilions’ new year) of Morchuria is held between the festivals of Oliach (autumn equinox) and Mordrach (midwinter) in the Grimalkin calendar. At this time the year descends into darkness and the observance marks the beginning of the winter. Morchuria is the Grimalkin remembrance festival where we ask those who have departed this mortal life to join us in our celebrations. Vigils are held in the forest, at barrows and burial cairns, in groves and in homes. Candles are lit and incense is burned to invite the departed and the spirits of the forest into the household to sing, dance and feast. All merriments are held in their honour. The official remembrance ceremony takes place in the Central Council Chamber and we sing songs and read poems to remember our loved ones.

 

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After the initial ceremony and the invocation to the spirits at sunsdown, all gather at the torch-lit Henge and hold a banquet. Huge cauldrons of stew, casseroles and hot fruit puddings bubble deliciously over roaring fires, all washed down with hot spiced mead, warm fruit cordial or spiced milk. Balefires are lit under which potatoes and apples cook. All merriments honour the Great Mother in her Dark Aspect – the bringer of night, of winter, and of arcane secrets. All around the forest hollowed out ‘neeps glow with candles, their odd faces leering through the dark to frighten away evil.

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Morchuria is also known as the Day of the Elders where the elders of the clowder are honoured and given gifts. Elders are the cornerstone of Grimalkin society – all wisdom, skills and trades are passed down from the old ones. They are revered as great teachers and they represent the Great Mother in her Crone aspect – the tester and initiator of souls. The young ones (and older ones who should know better) dress up in costumes and scare each other in the dark for it is the only time they can stay up all night without going to bed. Adults dress as demons, swarthy spirits and shades to frighten the young ones who then converge upon the ‘evil-doers’ and ‘vanquish’ them with sticks. This is a symbolic gesture; badness and negativity are driven out by the light and innocence of youth and, by doing this every year, it not only drives away malevolent spirits, but teaches youngsters to never fear the darkness.

 

Ancestral Shrines and Honouring the Spirits

“A great oak does not mourn the loss of a single twig.”

Old Grimalkin Saying.

  Ancestral shrines are found in all Grimalkin homes. They consist of small niches or spaces within the household sometimes with statuettes and items belonging to the deceased. Some items may represent the trade or profession of the forebear. Candles are lit and flowers placed on the shrine to mark anniversaries such as the ancestors’ birth and death. At Morchuria, the Day of the Ancestors, offerings of food and wine are placed on the shrine and the departed are invited into the home so they can celebrate along with the living. The shrine will be in a private part of a Grimalkin’s dwelling, such as a bedroom or ante-room. The deceased will then take his or her place on the shine in the form of a figurine, or an object that reminds the family and friends of that Grimalkin. If a Grimalkin was fond of the sea, it would be a shell, or if they liked to walk in the woods, it would be an acorn, nut or pinecone. Grimalkins have many ways of remembering those who have crossed over into the Otherworld.

But shrines are not just confined to the home; our respect for the dead is great and there are public shrines all over the clowder, usually dedicated to the founders, or other prominent Grimalkins. Yew groves are also places where many a historical Grimalkin is buried. West of the Henge is a grove where there are burial cairns and graves in abundance. Here one will find votive offerings of food and flowers making the burial grounds not a place of sadness, but one of memory and joy. Stone effigies of Grimalkins past look down benevolently at those who come to remember, in particular, the memorial to Celandine Ursula Longwhisker, the mother of Winnowyn Longwhisker, who was Clowder Mother for many decades. Here, a robed Celandine stands with paws outstretched with a silver halo around her head and a dormant lion at her feet. Many come to honour her with flowers and music on the anniversaries of her birth and death.

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  The Wildcat equivalent of ancestral shrines is the Halls of the Ancestors. When a Wildcat dies, it is believed their soul is taken by the Irya Nos, the Dark Sister, to the halls of their forefathers. Each clan has its own ancestral hall that has an entrance in the physical world. These entrances can be in the side of a barrow, a cave in the mountainside, or at the entrance to a waterfall. Wildcats (like Grimalkins) believe the afterlife lies parallel to the mortal world, existing side-by-side. Votive offerings are placed at the entrances of these halls at set times during the year. In Old Grimalkin, these places are called ahnn-dachann (place of the ancestors) and date back to a time when the clowders, as we know them, did not exist. Some are more than ten-thousand years old. The ancestral spirits that reside within the halls are called manes. In the Halls of the Ancestors, life is eternal in a world of everlasting summer. In these otherworldly fields and mountain passes, clans will visit other clans and share meat and mead with one another. In this land there is no war and no strife, no Wildcat fighting Wildcat. Here, everyone is a Laird.  In the world of Grimalkin, entrances to barrows and caves are doorways to the world of the spirits, not the spirits of the departed, but to the realm of the elementals, spirits and faeys. But one must be careful – not all spirits are friendly. Some can be mischievous and swarthy.

 

Witchcraft, Paganism and Druidry – A Matter of Serious Concern and the Alt-Media’s Direction Regarding the Old Ways

  I do not usually get angry at things but I feel compelled to write this as a matter of urgency. Recently, a number of ‘alt-media’ sources have been wrongly associating witchcraft/paganism and Druidry with the illuminati, Satanic worship and the New World Order. It is high time I put my paw down.

  I am old enough to remember the ‘Satanic Panic’ of the 1980s. people were wrongly accused of ritual crimes and genuine, benign occult groups were the target of a campaign of misinformation and salacious gossip. While I do acknowledge there are sections of our society that DO walk in the shadows, the majority of those who practice the Old Ways most certainly do not. Here is one example:

  While I respect Mr David Icke in the work he does by exposing corruption and wrongdoing, I have seen parts of his videos that link druidry with the nefarious Bohemian Grove, describing the attendees as ‘druids’. I have heard others in the alt-media equate nefarious practices with the likes of Bohemian Grove and other shadowy elements.  I respect you deeply Mr. Icke but I MUST STRONGLY OBJECT.

THE MAJORITY OF DRUIDS ARE PEACEFUL.

THE MAJORITY OF PAGANS ARE PEACEFUL.

THE MAJORITY OF WITCHES ARE PEACEFUL.

WE HAVE FOUGHT LONG AND HARD TO BE RECOGNISED AND PROTECTED BY LAW. IT APPEARS OUR WAY OF LIFE AND OUR TRADITIONS ARE BEING HIJACKED.

  Druidry has evolved since the days of sacrifice. We now live in enlightened times. This must be known.

   I find it deeply concerning that those of us who walk within the light are being associated with these shadowy elements. We have gone to great lengths to educate people about our ways, that we are peaceful and work to help others and our communities. This association with corruption will undo everything we have worked for.

  While it may take me some time to lay my paw on what is at the heart of this, I want to assure those who may have heard/read things about the Illuminati/Bohemian Grove/NWO that we do our very best to work AGAINST all forces of evil. My fear is that our very way of life, our culture and our traditions are being replaced with narratives that aim to equate witchcraft and druidry with something sinister.

WE ARE PEACEFUL.

WE WORK WITHIN THE LIGHT.

WE OPPOSE ALL CORRUPTION AND EVIL.

WE UPHOLD THE NATURAL LAWS AND SEEK JUSTICE WHERE THERE IS NONE.

  I, and many others who walk the path of light, have seen the ancient mystery religions associated with evil. Our signs and symbols inverted to mean bad instead of good and are in danger of losing their true meaning. We have to fight this creeping agenda and reclaim our heritage, our benign occult meanings. Many symbols that mean good (like the pentagram/pentacle) are being used to symbolise something evil. the inverted pentagram of the banishing/closing ritual are, once again, being associated with the blackest of arts. The ancient Egyptian symbolism is now being associated with the blackest of arts. The Great Mother Goddess and She Who Forms is being associated with the blackest of arts. She may act in righteous anger but She upholds the Cosmic Laws by which we all must live if we want to live in peace and justice. While we understand there are corrupt and evil people in every religion or path, they are a minority. We must reclaim our signs, symbols and associations before irreversible damage is done. We cannot let this stand. We will lose far too much.

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While I understand evil must be exposed at every turn, it should not be at the expense of the hard-won freedoms pagans, witches and druids now enjoy. It is a fragile freedom, one I think may slip away if the alt-media does not stop and think about the direction in which it is going. By all means expose the bad witches, the bad pagans and the bad druids, but never forget to mention they ARE the minority. It MUST be balanced with the knowledge that we, as people are essentially GOOD.

UNITE AND STAND UP FOR YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND RECLAIM YOUR HERITAGE.

DO NOT LET THE FORCES OF DARKNESS SHUNT US BACK INTO THE SHADOWS – THERE IS TOO MUCH TO LOSE.

Brightest Blessings and may the Great Mother smile favourably upon you.

Imeldra Moonpaw.

 

 

The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Autumn: The Great Mother Goddess and the Element of Water (excerpt)

 We Grimalkins are typically monotheistic but also believe in the realms of spirit. The Great Mother Goddess is our deity who can appear in many forms. The Great Mother made the cosmos, our world and the worlds beyond. Despite believing in a deity, we do not have a religion. The reverence of the Great Mother is faith-based, that is to say, each Grimalkin honours Her in their own way. There is no doctrine or dogma, no holy scriptures that tell one how to honour Her or how to live their lives. There is only the Old Grimalkin Book of Thalaig that sets out guidelines as to how a Grimalkin should conduct oneself and one’s spiritual affairs, and offers wisdom and comfort to those who seek it.

  There are no ‘holy days’ in the Grimalkin world. The festivals we celebrate are agricultural with an overlying spiritual meaning. There are no abstinences, no shrift and housel, and no indulgences. Each Grimalkin’s relationship with the Great Mother is personal for She can appear to an individual in a form they recognise which will be different to another’s. But the act of honouring the Great Mother communally can be a wonderful event. Many of the festivals are dedicated to Her and the bounty She has provided us with in the form of a secure home, plentiful food and the deep sense of kinship we have with fellow creatures. She is honoured in love and joy. There is no penance or fire-and-brimstone here. If a Grimalkin has wronged another, he or she must make amends, both to the wronged party and the Great Mother. Usually, the wrong-doer comes up with a suitable act of reparation themselves. If they cannot, they will seek the advice of a druid, a priest/priestess, or the Clowder Mother herself, and they will set a task for them. It is not a punitive system and an act of wrongdoing is almost always absolved with an act of positivity. The Great Mother does not punish in the way human deities do. The waters of the world are also reminders of Her presence too. In a tale of Grimalhame, the Fire Cat reaches the eastern coast of Arcadia as he sets out on a quest to save the clowder:

   “The fire cat had only seen the sea once before, a long, long time ago when the world was first formed by the Great Mother Goddess. It was said that the Great Mother shed tears for her creation in the First Days and those tears became the first oceans. She must have loved the world very much to create such a vast expanse of water…”

The seas and oceans, the tears of the Goddess, are also Her waters of life from which Her daughter Ishramah, came. Ishramah became the lesser goddess of the waters while the Great Mother had dominion over the land and the air and all the creatures therein. The seas and oceans are physical manifestations of the Cosmic Soup, the time of Chaos that reigned in the Age of Fire. The Creation was a vast concoction of fundamentals that coalesced to become the stars, the planets, the elements, and the creatures. Order was created from the chaos and the elements were separated into the things of the sea, things of the earth, and the things of the sky. The Cosmic Soup, now known as the Great Divide, is the boundary between the physical world and the cauldron of rebirth, the Great Mother’s womb and the place all things must go to be renewed and given new forms. The cosmic waters of life are eternal, unfathomable and unknowable. While some creatures are interred into the earth at death, some choose the sea as they both represent the same thing. The earth represents the womb itself while the seas and oceans are the waters of life within it. Both represent rebirth and transformation. The water’s ability to give life as well as take it away is representative of the Goddess who has the power of life and death over all things.

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Model: Ysabeau

 

The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Autumn is available now from Lulu.com

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My Creative Friends

I’d like to thank Jez and Mark Hunt for creating this wonderful Grimalkin armour. This belongs to Amergin Kilclawden and features in The Dark Portal. Please visit the Etsy page for more wonderful goodies by my talented human friends.

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The Waning Year – from the Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Autumn

Greetings and welcome to my blog. I have recently completed the Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Autumn and I am waiting for my proof to come so it can finally go live. In the meantime, here is the Preface and the opening page of the Almanac.

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The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts

Preface

“In a busy, present day clowder or settlement we can often lose sight of the more subtle things in life – the quiet rustling of the leaves on a summer day, the trilling of the nightingale in the bush, or the happy gurgling of a stream as it makes its way down to the sea. Of course, we must always accomplish our daily tasks and chores no matter how mundane or tedious they may be, but one must always find time to take stock of one’s surroundings, especially the natural ones, for the first sign of the turning season may be missed in the hustle and bustle of life – the hint of red on the oak leaf, a small gathering of swallows at the end of summer, and the slight chilly bite on the nose that tells us winter is on the way. Our whiskers must always be atwitch at these delicate signs for, when the season is upon us, our daily tasks will change and so must we. Our very survival depends on it. And so, we refer to our books, our calendars and our almanacs to prepare for the tasks at paw and take heart that, although our existences may change over the course of our lifetimes, the activities and responsibilities of living within a community do not and will forever keep our clowders and settlements going. So it has been for many thousands of years and will continue for many thousands to come.”

Yours by Star and Stone,
Imeldra Moonpaw
Chief Historian and Deputy
Clowder Mother of Grimalhame

 

Death

 

Autumn – The Waning Year

  “From the 1st day of Hazel Moon to the last day of Fir Moon, autumn, or sotohru in Old Grimalkin, holds sway. For most Grimalkins, this is a wonderful time of year when all gather together to bring in the last of the harvest and to begin the task of pickling, salting and preserving for the long months of winter. In Arcadia, spring and autumn are relatively short compared to summer and winter, so late summer/early autumn is a very busy time for citizens of all clowders and settlements.
  “Autumn, the waning part of the year, is symbolized by many things. It is associated with the west where the twin suns set, and with the element of water. It is a time of gathering up one’s resources and reflecting upon the year past. As the deciduous trees’ leaves turn from bright green to mellow yellow, russet red and finally to rich, warm brown, it is a signal to all who behold the annual shedding of the leaves that another chapter of life is closing. To some, it is a sombre time when those who have gone before are remembered, and a longing for the hot, fun-filled summer days and the balmy evenings when citizens relax outdoors drinking mead and cordial and catching up with friends and family after much toil in the fields.”

  The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts is a celebration of the seasons that govern all our lives here at Grimalhame. Each of the four Almanacs have a a theme. The first, autumn, is a celebration of the waning year and the coming of the dark half of the year. It’s elemental theme is water, associated with the west and of life returning to the womb in preparation for renewal and rebirth. Inside each Almanac are seasonal plants and herbs, seasonal associations such as animals, the festivals and feast days, information about the Great Mother Goddess, Alfridaria Henderai’s Herbal Compendium, zodiac signs, crystals, the healing power of the elements, strange and fantastical creatures and many other things pertaining to Grimalkin life in the Clowder of Grimalhame.

  I do hope you will join us here at the clowder and celebrate the turning of the seasons.

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