Blessed Samhain

Blessed Samhain to those of us living in the Southern Hemisphere who are edging towards winter.

Southern Hemisphere ~ 30 April to 1 May.

Cerridwyn ~ Goddess of the Witches

Goddess of the Witches

The Celts knew well, the way of the stars and sea, observing nightly realms, in knowing, what was to be.…

Return to Innocence


Art: Cerridwyn ~ Collette Barron-Reid


It is a terrible thing, 
an omen of bad luck brings. 
Abused, reviled and hated;
from the deceptions created. 
Black fur, deep green eyes,
how could they be despised?
A reminder of propaganda,
mistruths and slander. 
How did this come to be?
this being their tragic story. 
Ghastly, crazy superstitions,
over evil witch inquisitions. 
 What the devil’s fib is that?
 about harmless, kitty cats.
 would it come as any surprise,
 another concoction of porky pies.
 Pope Gregory IX, was a weird man, 
 ordering the kill of cats on land. 
 Konrad von Marburg, inquisitor,
 decided black cats were sinister. 
Cats accused as witches assistants,
more Marburg’s hocus pocus victims.
Is a black cat, fortunate or bad luck?
these hate crimes; all Marburg’s bluff. 
He being Infamous, for macabre deeds,
of which ‘luck’ sign, will YOU believe?
Victoria Healing ~ 14.11.2020
Image: Cats 101 

The simple truth is that cats make the world a better place.

As Welsh folklore tells us: “It is very fortunate to have a thoroughly black cat on the premises” (Marie Trevelyan, 1909)

People passed down tales with the intent of dissuading people from being near black cats, as doing so would get you tortured and killed by the Inquisition. These stories then evolved into today’s superstitions.

Konrad von Marburg became a byword for sadism and the dark side of Catholicism.

Killer Time

 Dark clouds shadowed the realm,
 as demons crept into a fiery hell. 
 Entering a forbidden crypt door, 
 I’d not seen anything like it before.

 Havoc, evil, pestilence and plagues,
 mudslides dripping from the graves.
 Blood, skeletons, witches and gore,
 sinister faces swung from the walls.

 Swaying from cellar, holy men sipped,
 nuns writhed, spiral dancing in crypt.
 The cadaverous had travelled quickly,
 to meet in the tomb of deaths infinity.

 Bugs slimed, eyes spied in coven wall, 
 until we heard, ‘It’s time to eat’ called.
 Below graves, the undead came ‘alive’
 as cocktails, nibbles and hot food slimed.

 Thank you to our g’hosts Kerry, Aido family,
 we laughed our way home… back to sanity. 
 Having had a killer time halloweens night;
 we’re tickled to death, we had an invite. 
 Victoria Healing ~ 8.11.2020

Spelt of the Grain

Pitchfork in hand, threshing floor,
 ancient craft, obscured in folklore. 
 Sorting the wheat from the chafe,
 soak well, before braiding plait.  

Gather straw scraps in hand,
 aspire to create a Dolly plan.  
 Three wheat sheafs, a piece,
 taking care, that they be neat. 
One to the left,
 one to the right.
 Twist around the middle;
 squeeze and hold, all tight.
Weaving spelt into grain,
 do it over and over again.
 With a few snips and tucks,
 a Corn Dolly; gifted of good luck. 
 Protection, helping and healing, 
 Blessed be, our wheat, corn weavings. 
 Victoria Healing ~ 4.11.2020

These words are mine. The image shared for its impact and artistic beauty: The Wheat Weaver 

Corn dollies or corn mothers are a form of straw work made as part of harvest customs of Europe before mechanisation.

Before Christianisation, in traditional pagan European culture it was believed that the spirit of the corn lived amongst the crop. Corn dollies have many names, such as associated with Cailleach. In ancient times, the word “corn” stood for the English equivalent of “grain.” Even the word “dolly” had a different meaning in ancient times: The word “dolly” is most likely a slang for “idol.

Calan Gaeaf in Wales. The cyclical nature of life, growth, death, and rebirth was a pervasive theme among the Celts. The harvest festival reflects this at a time when the first wheat is ready for the sickle and the life-producing season gives way toward the cold, lifeless, contracted winter when most things upon the earth die.

Welsh Border Fan – Corn Dolls

Images: A Golden Dolly The Art, Mystery and History of Cornwall Dollies by M. Lambeth. 

Goddess of the Witches

 Ceridwen, from Welsh legends, was unique,
 Great wise Mother, if it is truth that you seek.
 An ode, to our dear Lady “Awen”
 of ancient origins who scribed “Amen”

 Shape shifter, in magickal gift of prophecy,
 wise and sacred, talented of philosophy.
 Back when in ancient times, it was trendy to be,
 gastronomically; a hot culinary cooking queen.

 Sprinkling herbs and stirring the pot around,
 for a year and a day, hubbly bubbly sounds.
 No cackling caws, our “Lady” she was!
 stirring her spoon making her family, broth.

 Return to sacred mists from veils of time,
 messages, betwixt and between the lines.
 “Behind the dark clouds, beams the sun,
 lessons we’ve learned; may obstacles be gone”

 Trust in yourself, that you cannot fail,
 wisdom and alchemy, inner sight to prevail.
 Victoria Healing ~ 26.10.2018

Often referred to as a “Cauldron Goddess” and “Goddess of the Witches”, Cerridwen is strongly associated with Samhain and Halloween.

Ceridwen was an enchantress in Welsh medieval legend:


The Night before Winter

Welsh ~ ‘Nos Calan Gaeaf’ in English means the night before  winter in Wales,

Nos Calan Gaeaf even influenced how Americans celebrate Halloween.

To The Market


Sow ~ Hau (Cymric)

Generosity. Nourishment. Discovery.

Sow, with her large litters symbolise abundance and fertility. Giving generously and freely, knowing that you in turn, are nourished and sustained. 

The Pig as nourisher.
The celts farmed pigs to such a degree that, they were noted for having such enormous herds of swine, that they had an abundant supply for salt meat.

The ability of pigs to discover the earths secrets is one of the reasons why the pig is so important in the Druid tradition. Both female and male pigs are sacred to the Goddess. The Sow representing her life giving aspect. The Boar symbolising her life taking. So much so that the Sow is used in ritual practice on Halloween.
The Druid Animal Oracle ~ Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

Halloween Ritual
Yr Hwch Ddu Gwta
. The Stocky Black Sow.
Tailless black sow. To scare children.

Cerridwen, Welsh Goddess of Transformation, Inspiration and Knowledge  was also known as White Sow.

The Celts viewed Pig as a sacred animal – both the wild boar and the domesticated female pig, the sow. They associated sow with the cycles of birth and death, regeneration, the moon, the underworld and intuitive wisdom.

Cooking Queen ~ Ceridwen

Yew What?

 Tis a devil of a thing,
 a death prediction brings. 
 The church, graveyard and mythic tree,
 sound warnings each year on hallowe’en.
Deep within roots of old Llangernwy Yew,
 Angelystor is waiting to call out to you.
 Fortune teller, to spirits of the dying,
 this ‘recording angel’ will be scrying. 
From ancient Druids, she is sent,
 foretelling the date of your life’s end. 
 Whoever hears their name called there, 
 is sure to die within the next year… 
 Victoria Healing ~ 30.10.2020.
Image: Llangernyw Yew Tree 


From Welsh mythology, each year on Halloween the spirit is said to appear in the church and solemnly announces, in Welsh, the names of those parish members who will die within the year.


The Oldest tree in Wales


The Church at Llangernyw is itself centuries old, but the site it stands on was sacred thousands of years before it was built. 


The meaning of Yew is a rebirth, which is quite fitting for the last traditional tree of the Ogham Alphabet. It means the completion of a cycle marking the ending of one phase and the beginning of the next.  


Nos Galan Gaeaf  Hapus 

‘Round about the churchyard go,
Counter clockwise shall we flow,
Thrice around to wake the dead,
By the Devil’s hand we shall be led’
Walking around a churchyard three times on Nos Galan Gaeaf (Halloween) is a custom found throughout Wales.
Many regions seem to have a variation of this peculiar custom.
In my region, it was said that upon walking around the churchyard three times (counter clockwise) you would see a “bwgan” – a ghoul or monstrous creature.
Mhara Starling – The Welsh Witch

Monster Mash

 Monsters, ghosts and magic spells,
 end of summer harvest for celts. 
 Bidding goodbye to their dear departed,
 annual rituals as bonfires were started.
Honouring the eve of Celtic new year,
 counting the farm animals and herds.
 Meals of ‘MASH’ mixed of nine root veg,
 farewelling, both the living and dead. 
Welsh legends tell of all Hallows eve,
 a tailless beast ran ‘round village green.
 Eerie man, under hide of black *sow,
 who scared all the local children home. 
Turnips carved and filled with flame,
 to guide and protect all home again.
 Today, it’s pumpkins, candy and ghosts,
 old ways are spent, for good Celtic folks.
Merry they met, Merry they parted,
 Calan Gaeaf ‘ their new winter started. 
 Victoria Healing ~ 31.10.2020

Happy Hallowe’en! or should I say, Nos Galan Gaeaf hapus!

“For any festival to have survived as long as Halloween, it has to be dynamic and move with the times. In that respect you can see the zombies of today as serving precisely the same purpose of Hwch Ddu in Calan Gaeaf. The prevailing motivation is overcoming death and separation as one community.” 

Yr Hwch Ddu Gwta. The Stocky Black Sow. Tailless black sow. To scare children.

Stwpm naw rowy. Mash. Made from nine root vegetables, milk and butter.

Nos Cal an Gaeaf. Hallows eve. End of summer. Harvest festival. 

Witch, is Which?

 “Quiet back there” Old Magw shouted’
 as each child in class, she counted.
 A scary teacher at the ironworks school,
 her behaviour was said to be most cruel.
The rumours had spread pretty quick;
 that Miss Magw was really an old witch.
 Although it’s doubtful and I do suspect,
 she’d taught her kids to have respect. 
 Victoria Healing ~ 30.10.2020

The most feared Clydach Gorge Witch was said to be that of Old Magw.

They’re Baaack

 There was a brooding quality in the air,
 a watchfulness, despite, no-one being there.
 It happened in the early hours of morning,
 devilish eyes, demonic lips, all scorning.
 There was no getting away from it,
 or was she starting to imagine things?
 As she emerged onto the landing, 
 she saw a ‘thing’ beyond understanding. 
 A black humanoid shape began to levitate, 
 as her cold shivers, shattered into shakes.
 Darting her eyes, nervously all around,
 towards loud crashes of thudding sounds.
 Electric lights all began a flickering, 
 she’d been sure, she’d heard sniggering.
 Who was there, creeping up from behind?
 as into its shadow, she became entwined. 

 It wasn’t just the sounds, it was the feeling,
 a nameless dread, a fiendish fearing.  
 Unseen hands, tugged and pulled at her hair,
 it had all become too horrific for her to bare.
Shrieks and moans, echoed all around,
 gruesome, grim and petrifying sounds. 
 Moments later, she’d felt her bed shake,
 in panic, she’d jolted herself violently awake. 
 Had this only been a nightmare in her head? 
 or The BWGAN, coming back from the dead? 
I’m right here’ the poltergeist had said; 
 ‘You’ll find me, hiding under your bed’ 
 Victoria Healing ~ 29.10.2020

Bwgan ~ pronounced Boogan

Welsh poltergeist ghost similar to Bogeyman

It’s all part of the secret paranormal history of Neath and Port Talbot.