Category Archives: Folklore

Witches Cauldron Gathering: Witchcraft Then & Now 03/29/2020

The Witches are back and have a fun conversation brewing in their cauldrons!
Jennifer Bishop, Deb Kuehne, and Jerri Wolfe of the Witches Cauldron Gathering – in association with Wild Indigo Coyote,
are back to discuss a few different topics, then see where the evening takes us!

7:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Central, 10:00 pm Eastern!

Facebook Event Page



We may talk about the history of the commercialized green witch and how that originated, along with older practices that kept witchcraft hidden in plain sight.

We could talk about the differences between witches, todays shamans, and light workers

We may also talk about interesting psychic readings and how that correlates to witchcraft – also called “riding the fence”

Links:
website: http://wildindigocoyote.com/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/wildindigocoyote/

Mystic Moon Cafe’s archived shows can be found on our YouTube channel and on iHeartRadio and SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more!!

Contact Mystic Moon Cafe and/or Wendy’s Magickal Studies at::
Website: https://www.mysticmooncafe.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MysticMoonCafe/
Email: MysticMoonCafe@gmail.com
Twitter: @MysticMoonCafe1

Mystic Moon Cafe Radio hosts bring a variety of guests to talk about paranormal phenomenon, cryptozoology, ghost hunting, favorite authors on many topics – fiction, conspiracy theory, and fact, featured music artists, and more!

Conversations With Members Of The Witches Cauldron Gathering – 01/15/2020

Come One, Come All for this highly anticipated discussion revolving around Witchcraft and various aspects of ‘The Craft’…

In this episode of Mystic Moon Cafe, Jake and Wendy will be speaking with Deb K, Jenn B and Jerri W of the Witches Cauldron Gathering – In association with Wild Indigo Coyote.

7:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Central, 10:00 pm Eastern!




We welcome honest thoughts and respectful questions from the chat room and plan to cover – but not limit to – some of the following topics:


1- What makes you a witch and what it actually means
2- Covens vs. Solitary
3- Traditions vs. Eclectic wc
4- Sigils, symbols, and tattoo power symbols
5- Working with the elements in Witchcraft
6- Working with the fey
7- Scrying
8- Sacred spaces and best places to work wc
9- Animal Totems vs Familiars
10- Common misconceptions of witches and navigating interactions with others
11- Differences between Wicca and Witchcraft practitioners

Christmas Ghost Stories on Mystic Moon Cafe 12/25/2019

This year, we decided that we would invite you all to help us resurrect an old, forgotten Christmas tradition of telling Christmas/Holiday ghost stories.

You can tell them live, pre-record if you won’t have time to share on Christmas Day, get a written copy for one of our hosts to read, or just listen…maybe join in the chat..

If we don’t get the chance between now and then, Merry Christmas to you all!

7:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Central, 10:00 pm Eastern!



Annwyn Avalon, Water Witch, on Wendy’s Magickal Studies 10/27/2019

Please tune in – chat too if you like – when Wendy talks to her friend, Annwyn Avalon, about Water Witchcraft, the book, incorporating her dancing into her rituals, tools, altars, and more!

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Listen Here:


A Bit about Annwyn Avalon:
Annwyn Avalon is a witch, priestess, and the founder of Triskele Rose, an Avalonian witchcraft tradition. She has devoted her life to the study of art, witchcraft, and magic. She has a BFA in sculpture and a BA in anthropology and has completed her Reiki Master teacher training and studied herbalism and Middle Eastern folk and esoteric dancing. Annwyn writes the Patheos.com blog, The Water Witch, and is an award-winning, internationally known dancer with a repertoire of water and mermaid themed belly dance performances.

Visit her at:
www.waterwitchcraft.com.
https://www.facebook.com/AvalonPriestess/
https://www.facebook.com/triskelerose


A bit about Annwyn’s book: Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore from the Celtic Tradition
https://www.amazon.com/Water-Witchcraft-Magic-Celtic-Tradition/dp/1578636469

An accessible in-depth guide to Celtic water lore, including spells, rituals, water spirits, and merfolk

Let Annwyn Avalon, a practicing water witch herself, take you into the world of water magic. The water magic and lore in this book focuses on the Celtic tradition, but draws on other water magic traditions as well, and features rainwater, as well as lakes, rivers, oceans, canals, swamps, and other watery locations, together with the folk and magical customs that have been and are still practiced at these places. The book teaches the reader how to set up a water altar at home, how to connect with water spirits, and how to gather or create water witch tools. Readers are encouraged to visit local water sites but will also find an abundance of material to perform at home. Included are practical examples, visualizations, and exercises so any reader can start to take up spell work and establish their spiritual connection to water.

Lost Teachings Of The Runes With Ingrid Kincaid | Oct. 9, 2019

We will be speaking with the Wise and Irreverent Rune Woman, Ingrid Kincaid! The discussion will include Ingrid’s recently released book ‘Lost Teachings of the Runes: Northern Mysteries and the Wheel of Life’, and then see what other mischief we can get up to!

Tune in on Wednesday, October 9th at 10 PM E/9 PM C!

About Ingrid Kincaid

Ingrid at a Harvest Festival

Known as the Rune Woman, Ingrid Kincaid is a born storyteller whose style of writing is a mixture of poetry and prose that is fueled by curiosity, sourced in wisdom and irreverence and woven around questions that beg to be answered.
Ingrid lives life as an adventure. Her travels are both imaginary and real. She is an educator and workshop facilitator with over 40 years of experience. In addition to runes and Northern mysteries, she teaches courses in women’s wisdom and creativity, traveling throughout the United States and Europe.

Get more info at her website: https://www.ingridkincaid.com


Lost Teachings of the Runes: Northern Mysteries and the Wheel of Life

Lost Teachings of the Runes is an unexpected adventure into the hidden meanings and profound lessons held in these simple markings that are the signatures of ancient beings.

Lost Teachings of the Runes: Northern Mysteries and the Wheel of Life by [Kincaid, Ingrid]
©2019 Ingrid Kincaid | Published by Weiser Books

Lost Teachings of the Runes invites the reader to journey to the realms of past and future that exist hidden beyond the horizon and beneath our feet. Using an engaging blend of stories, meditations, and ancestral knowing, author Ingrid Kincaid explores Northern Mysteries from the center of the Wheel of Life. Kincaid demonstrates ways the Wheel can be used to connect ancient wisdom with modern life, and offers tools and teachings that may be used on a daily basis to enable readers to reclaim their personal power.

Lost Teachings of the Runes presents a life-affirming, death-honoring approach that returns the runes to a place of balance, to light and dark, to order and chaos, and to the roots and branches of the world tree.

Shamanism, & Dia De Los Muertos With Roman Delgado | Oct. 6, 2019

Welcome to Wendy’s Magickal Studies!


In this show Roman Delgado will guide us on a journey into the world of Shamanism and Shamanic Healing. We will speak of this Ancient Spiritual Practice and gain an understanding of Soul Level Illness. We will be ranging from Power and Soul Loss to the Evil Eye and many things in between. Be prepared to understand energy hygiene and human interactions in new and useful ways!

Link to Facebook Event

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Dia De Los Muertos

We will also briefly touch upon Dia De Los Muertos – Day of the Dead, as the season is upon us.

Now, I’m no expert in any of these things, but I know what I enjoy. Research and Learning are at the top of my list. I will be delving into one aspect of Magic, Witchcraft, Folklore, Myth and/or Legend in each article.
So, if you are so inclined, join me on this journey of discovery!


About Roman Delgado

Roman Delgado

Roman is a practitioner of Brujeria, Southern Conjure and Shamanic Healing. He grew up surrounded by magic and magical practitioners with his family in Mexico. Through his cultural upbringing he has gained a unique understanding of the ailments of the soul and the magical ways of healing them.

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Roman’s Links:

Website: https://teotltonalli.com/home-1
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/teotltonalli/

Wendy’s Magickal Studies – Appalachian Folk Magic, Lore & Healing 09/22/2019

Teaser Trailer

For this segment, Wendy will be talking with good friends, Denise Pridemore and Jen Smith, both of who have Appalachian family with strong leanings towards Folk Magics, Healing, and Lore. I’ve been doing my homework as well, so this should be an enlightening show!

Image result for Appalachian Mountains

7:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Central, 11:00 pm Eastern!


Listen Here:

Listen to “Appalachian Folk Magic, Lore, Healings & Granny Magic” on Spreaker.

Now, I’m no expert in any of these things, but I know what I enjoy. Research and Learning are at the top of my list. I will be delving into one aspect of Magic, Witchcraft, Folklore, Myth and/or Legend in each article.

So, if you are so inclined, join me on this journey of discovery!



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‘American Witchcraft’

The people who have called The Appalachian Mountains their home over the centuries and beyond are a mish-mash of the Native American Indian tribes – Shawnee, Cherokee, Creek and Delaware, just to name a few. Added in later were settlers from Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and more. When you mix in all of these different peoples. cultures and traditions – not to mention adding in ancient lore of the people brought in as Slaves – and blood, sweat, tears and deaths of those just trying to carve out a little niche in the world, you come up with the recipe for some powerful beliefs, magics, healing practices and downright scary – sometimes – ‘wise ones’..

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Appalachian Folk Magic – Graveyard dirt, ocre, cascarilla, bones, lodestone, hoodoo, witchcraft

I’ve run across the term ‘Granny Magic’ in several different articles and websites, and really get a kick out of the term. However, I feel it’s not really accurate since gender isn’t really the heart of the practitioners these days. But the traditions are definitely passed down from great-grandparents, grandparents, and on down the line. The Ancients and Ancestors are key elements of the rootwork, healings, conjurings and so on.


Anyway, this should be a very interesting and informative segment, so please join us!

Mystery Of The Hat Man w/ Kyle J Macias & Seth Michael 09/25/2019

On this episode, our hosts will be talking with Kyle J. Macias – Film Maker, and Seth Michael – Psychic Medium, about The Hat Man. Kyle recently released a documentary “The Hat Man: Documented Cases of Pure Evil”, so we will pick his brain on the subject and talk about the Documentary.

Seth Michael will give us his take on The Hat Man from a Medium’s perspective, as he has encountered more than one such entity.


Listen Here:

So please join us for a creepy good time!

7:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Central, 10:00 pm Eastern!


History and Folklore Of Shadow Creatures and Hat Man

A number of religions, legends, and belief systems describe shadowy spiritual beings or supernatural entities such as shades of the underworld, and various shadowy creatures have long been a staple of folklore and ghost stories.

The Hat Man typically appears at night, dressed in a long, black trench coat, a black three-piece suit, and a black hat – either a fedora, top hat, or cowboy hat. Witnesses say the Hat Man’s eyes glow red and occasionally he checks a gold pocket watch chained to his belt. He is described as being at least six feet tall, though usually his stature reaches between seven to 10 feet.


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Kyle J. Masias On Set

About Kyle J Masias:
Kyle J. Macias is an aspiring filmmaker specializing in narrative films and documentary films alike. He’s an avid researcher and paranormal aficionado covering a wide range of subjects, such as; the occult, entity contact and unknown realms.

“The Hat Man: Documented Cases of Pure Evil”, is his first documentary feature, covering the subject of shadow people, specifically focusing in on the distinct figure, the internet and eyewitnesses have dubbed ‘The Hat Man’.

Kyle J. Macias delved into the subject of ‘shadow people’ back in 2008, when he learned that his own family has had experiences with the “Hat Man”.


Throughout the duration of making this film, it came to Kyle’s attention that the ‘Hat Man’, is not just a figure seen in sleep paralysis or nightmares. The eyewitnesses are adamant that they also see him in waking life. Manifesting under street lamps, in the back of passenger seats, in the corner of the room, on the side of the road, peaking around corners and in some cases physical attack.
Is the Hat Man hiding in the darkest places of our subconscious? Or is he crossing over to our physical existence? It may be both…

Links to watch the film:
Vimeo On Demand: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thehatmanfilm – Amazon DVD: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X37S66P/

Kyle’s Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/REMSLEEPCHANT/


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Seth Michael and his documentary ‘All Around Us’

Our good friend Seth Michael is a natural born psychic/medium with over 28 years of experience giving formal readings. In addition to his work doing private and larger group readings, he co-founded a paranormal team called White Light Paranormal Insight where he is a Medium and the Director of Spiritual Resolves. Seth also co-hosted a web radio show called, Into the Light with Seth Michael and Teresa Kleve on Blog talk radio, and is an instructor for Awaken-Yourself Psychic/Medium Workshops. Seth Michael’s passion and intent is to assist others in reaching their higher-self and honing in on their own individual strengths. Seth Michael is also the primary focus of the, “All Around Us,” documentary currently in production.
Whether the topics are about life issues, spiritual path direction or connecting with passed loved ones or animals, Seth Michael’s life mission is to help others, bring comfort, and hope.
*Your reading is strictly private and confidential.

Seth’s Links:
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/Sethmichaelpsychicmedium/ Website: https://www.sethmichaeladvisor.com/

Water Witchcraft With Annwyn Avalon On Mystic Moon Cafe – 09/18/2019

While June is off attending a concert, Wendy and Jacob will be talking with Annwyn Avalon – Water Witch, Priestess, Artist, Author, Dancer – about her Craft, Book, and everything else in between..

7:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Central, 10:00 pm Eastern!

Water Witchcraft With Annwyn Teaser Trailer

Event page on Facebook


Annwyn Avalon

A Bit about Annwyn Avalon:
Annwyn Avalon is a witch, priestess, and the founder of Triskele Rose, an Avalonian witchcraft tradition. She has devoted her life to the study of art, witchcraft, and magic. She has a BFA in sculpture and a BA in anthropology and has completed her Reiki Master teacher training and studied herbalism and Middle Eastern folk and esoteric dancing. Annwyn writes the Patheos.com blog, The Water Witch, and is an award-winning, internationally known dancer with a repertoire of water and mermaid themed belly dance performances. Visit her at:
www.waterwitchcraft.com.
https://www.facebook.com/AvalonPriestess/
https://www.facebook.com/triskelerose



A bit about Annwyn’s book: Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore from the Celtic Tradition
https://www.amazon.com/Water-Witchcraft-Magic-Celtic-Tradition/dp/1578636469

An accessible in-depth guide to Celtic water lore, including spells, rituals, water spirits, and merfolk

Let Annwyn Avalon, a practicing water witch herself, take you into the world of water magic. The water magic and lore in this book focuses on the Celtic tradition, but draws on other water magic traditions as well, and features rainwater, as well as lakes, rivers, oceans, canals, swamps, and other watery locations, together with the folk and magical customs that have been and are still practiced at these places. The book teaches the reader how to set up a water altar at home, how to connect with water spirits, and how to gather or create water witch tools. Readers are encouraged to visit local water sites but will also find an abundance of material to perform at home. Included are practical examples, visualizations, and exercises so any reader can start to take up spell work and establish their spiritual connection to water.

Full Harvest Moon, Mabon & The Musings Of An Eclectic Witch – 09/15/2019

On this episode of Wendy’s Magickal Studies, I will be talking about the gorgeous Harvest Moon as well as the Pagan Mabon/Harvest Home/Autumnal Equinox due to my Eclectic guest not feeling up to doing a talk at this time. Wishing her more good days!

7:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Central, 11:00 pm Eastern!

Listen Here:

Player will go to the show as soon as we go ‘Live’

Now, I’m no expert in any of these things, but I know what I enjoy. Research and Learning are at the top of my list. I will be delving into one aspect of Magic, Witchcraft, Folklore, Myth and/or Legend in each article.
So, if you are so inclined, join me on this journey of discovery!


Eclectic Witch: A witch that embraces all types of magic and magical traditions, refusing to be pinned down to one type of magical practice.


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The Full Harvest Moon on Friday, September 13th, 2019

The Spiritual Meaning Of The 2019 Harvest Moon Is About Releasing Yourself From The Past
This is the season that starts a slow, patient process of death after a vibrant and burgeoning summer. However, this death is not the end. It’s about shedding skin, letting go, and cleansing yourself from deep within so you can prepare for a swift rebirth. The veil is thinning and the spiritual meaning of the 2019 Harvest Moon will help you dig into your heart and discover what truly lies there.

Taking place on Sept. 14 at 12:32 a.m. ET (Friday the 13th, for most of the United States), the Harvest Moon always happens nearest to the autumn equinox. According to TimeAndDate.com, this full moon marked the moment your ancient ancestors collected their crops and began storing them away for the impending winter. Spiritually speaking, the Harvest Moon is all about taking stock of your emotional and physical well-being, helping you come to terms with the results of the decisions you’ve made so far. After that, it’s about understanding what you could have done differently, forgive yourself for your mistakes, and decide that you’ll learn from them.
Source: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/the-spiritual-meaning-of-the-2019-harvest-moon-is-about-releasing-yourself-from-the-past-18749391


Mabon
Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, Falls Between September 21 – 23

Mabon, (pronounced MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon, or MAH-bawn) is the Autumn Equinox. The Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark. We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year’s crops. The Druids call this celebration, Mea’n Fo’mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.

The Goddess at Mabon

Various other names for this Lesser Wiccan Sabbat are The Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Alben Elfed (Caledonii), or Cornucopia. The Teutonic name, Winter Finding, spans a period of time from the Sabbat to Oct. 15th, Winter’s Night, which is the Norse New Year.

At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.
Source: https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/mabon.htm

From Mike Nichol’s The Witches Sabbats’  http://www.witchessabbats.com/site/index.php

HARVEST HOME

There were three men came out of the West,

Their fortunes for to try,

And these three men made a solemn vow,

John Barleycorn must die….

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Photo by: http://kitchenwiccan.com/mabon-autumn-equinox-or-harvest-home/

Despite the bad publicity generated by Thomas Tryon’s novel, Harvest Home is the pleasantest of holidays. Admittedly, it does involve the concept of sacrifice, but one that is symbolic only. The sacrifice is that of the spirit of vegetation, John Barleycorn. Occurring one quarter of the year after Midsummer, Harvest Home represents midautumn, autumn’s height. It is also the autumnal equinox, one of the quarter days of the year, a Lesser Sabbat and a Low Holiday in modern Witchcraft. Recently, some Pagan groups have begun calling the holiday by the Welsh name ‘Mabon’, although there seems little historical justification for doing so.

Technically, an equinox is an astronomical point and, due to the fact that our leap-year cycle causes dates to slip and then snap back into place, the date may vary by a few days depending on the year. The autumnal equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator on its apparent journey southward, and we experience a day and a night that are of equal duration. Up until Harvest Home, the hours of daylight have been greater than the hours from dusk to dawn. But from now on, the reverse holds true. Astrologers know this as the date on which the sun enters the sign of Libra, the Scales (an appropriate symbol of a balanced day and night).

The Witches' Sabbats by [Nichols, Mike, Wren Walker]

However, since most European peasants were not accomplished at calculating the exact date of the equinox, they celebrated the event on a fixed calendar date, September 25, a holiday the medieval church Christianized under the name of “Michaelmas”, the feast of the archangel Michael. (One wonders if, at some point, the Roman Catholic Church contemplated assigning the four quarter days of the year to the four archangels, just as they assigned the four cross-quarter days to the four Gospel writers. Further evidence for this may be seen in the fact that there was a brief flirtation with calling the vernal equinox “Gabrielmas”, ostensibly to commemorate the archangel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary on Lady Day.)

Again, it must be remembered that the Celts reckoned their days from sundown to sundown, so the September 25 festivities actually begin on the previous sundown (our September 24). Although our Pagan ancestors probably celebrated Harvest Home on September 25, modern Witches and Pagans, with their desktop computers for making finer calculations, seem to prefer the actual equinox point, beginning the celebration on its eve.

Mythically, this is the day of the year when the God of Light is defeated by his twin and alter ego, the God of Darkness. It is the time of the year when night conquers day. And as I have recently shown in my seasonal reconstruction of the Welsh myth of Blodeuwedd, the autumnal equinox is the only day of the whole year when Llew (light) is vulnerable and it is possible to defeat him. Llew now stands on the Balance (Libra/ autumnal equinox), with one foot on the Cauldron (Cancer/summer solstice) and his other foot on the Goat (Capricorn/winter solstice). Thus he is betrayed by Blodeuwedd, the Virgin (Virgo) and transformed into an Eagle (Scorpio).

Two things are now likely to occur mythically, in rapid succession. Having defeated Llew, Goronwy (darkness) now takes over Llew’s functions, both as lover to Blodeuwedd, the Goddess, and as king of our own world. Although Goronwy, the Horned King, now sits on Llew’s throne and begins his rule immediately, his formal coronation will not be for another six weeks, occurring at Samhain (Halloween) or the beginning of winter, when he becomes the Winter Lord, the Dark King, Lord of Misrule. Goronwy’s other function has more immediate results, however. He mates with the Virgin Goddess, and Blodeuwedd conceives, and will give birth—nine months later (at the summer solstice)—to Goronwy’s son, who is really another incarnation of himself, the Dark Child.

Llew’s sacrificial death at Harvest Home also identifies him with John Barleycorn, spirit of the fields. Thus, Llew represents not only the sun’s power, but also the sun’s life trapped and crystallized in the corn. Often this corn spirit was believed to reside most especially in the last sheaf or shock harvested, which was dressed in fine clothes, or woven into a wicker-like man-shaped form. This effigy was then cut and carried from the field, and usually burned, amidst much rejoicing. So one may see Blodeuwedd and Goronwy in a new guise, not as conspirators who murder their king, but as kindly farmers who harvest the crop that they had planted and so lovingly cared for. And yet, anyone who knows the old ballad of John Barleycorn knows that we have not heard the last of him.

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They let him stand till midsummer’s day,

Till he looked both pale and wan,

And little Sir John’s grown a long, long beard

And so become a man….

Incidentally, this annual mock sacrifice of a large wickerwork figure (representing the vegetation spirit) may have been the origin of the misconception that Druids made human sacrifices. This charge was first made by Julius Caesar (who may not have had the most unbiased of motives), and has been restated many times since. However, as has often been pointed out, the only historians besides Caesar who make this accusation are those who have read Caesar. And, in fact, upon reading Caesar’s Gallic Wars closely, one discovers that Caesar never claims to have actually witnessed such a sacrifice. Nor does he claim to have talked to anyone else who did. In fact, there is not one single eyewitness account of a human sacrifice performed by Druids in all of history!

Nor is there any archaeological evidence to support the charge. If, for example, human sacrifices had been performed at the same ritual sites year after year, there would be physical traces. Yet there is not a scrap. Nor is there any native tradition or history that lends support. In fact, insular tradition seems to point in the opposite direction. The Druid’s reverence for life was so strict that they refused to lift a sword to defend themselves when massacred by Roman soldiers on the Isle of Mona. Irish brehon laws forbade a Druid to touch a weapon, and any soul rash enough to unsheathe a sword in the presence of a Druid would be executed for such an outrage!

Four Hallows

Jesse Weston, in her brilliant study of the Four Hallows of British myth, “From Ritual to Romance”, points out that British folk tradition is, however, full of mock sacrifices. In the case of the wicker man, such figures were referred to in very personified terms, dressed in clothes, addressed by name, etc. In such a religious ritual drama, everybody played along.

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John Barleycorn Effigy

They’ve hired men with scythes so sharp,

To cut him off at the knee,

They’ve rolled him and tied him by the waist

Serving him most barbarously….

In the medieval miracle-play tradition of the “Rise Up, Jock” variety (performed by troupes of mummers at all the village fairs), a young harlequin-like king always underwent a mock sacrificial death. But invariably, the traditional cast of characters included a mysterious “Doctor” who had learned many secrets while “traveling in foreign lands”. The Doctor reaches into his bag of tricks, plies some magical cure, and presto! the young king rises up hale and whole again, to the cheers of the crowd. As Weston so sensibly points out, if the young king were actually killed, he couldn’t very well rise up again, which is the whole point of the ritual drama! It is an enactment of the death and resurrection of the vegetation spirit. And what better time to perform it than at the end of the harvest season!

In the rhythm of the year, Harvest Home marks a time of rest after hard work. The crops are gathered in, and winter is still a month and a half away! Although the nights are getting cooler, the days are still warm, and there is something magical in the sunlight, for it seems silvery and indirect. As we pursue our gentle hobbies of making corn dollies (those tiny vegetation spirits) and wheat weaving, our attention is suddenly arrested by the sound of baying from the skies (the “Hounds of Annwn” passing?), as lines of geese cut silhouettes across a harvest moon. And we move closer to the hearth, the longer evening hours giving us time to catch up on our reading, munching on popcorn balls and caramel apples and sipping home-brewed mead or ale. What a wonderful time Harvest Home is! And how lucky we are to live in a part of the country where the season’s changes are so dramatic and majestic!

And little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl–

And he’s brandy in the glass,

And little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl

Proved the strongest man at last.

The Legend of John Barleycorn

In English folklore, John Barleycorn is a character who represents the crop of barley harvested each autumn. Equally as important, he symbolizes the wonderful drinks which can be made from barley — beer and whiskey — and their effects. In the traditional folksong, John Barleycorn, the character of John Barleycorn endures all kinds of indignities, most of which correspond to the cyclic nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and then death.

Although written versions of the song date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, there is evidence that it was sung for years before that. There are a number of different versions, but the most well-known one is the Robert Burns version, in which John Barleycorn is portrayed as an almost Christ-like figure, suffering greatly before finally dying so that others may live.

In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer cites John Barleycorn as proof that there was once a Pagan cult in England that worshipped a god of vegetation, who was sacrificed in order to bring fertility to the fields. This ties into the related story of the Wicker Man, who is burned in effigy. Ultimately, the character of John Barleycorn is a metaphor for the spirit of grain, grown healthy and hale during the summer, chopped down and slaughtered in his prime, and then processed into beer and whiskey so he can live once more.

Beer in glass and barley

The lyrics to the Robert Burns version of the song are as follows:

There was three kings into the east,
three kings both great and high,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn must die.

They took a plough and plough’d him down,
put clods upon his head,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on’
and show’rs began to fall.
John Barleycorn got up again,
and sore surprised them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
and he grew thick and strong;
his head well arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
that no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
when he grew wan and pale;
his bendin’ joints and drooping head
show’d he began to fail.

His colour sicken’d more and more,
and he faded into age;
and then his enemies began
to show their deadly rage.

They took a weapon, long and sharp,
and cut him by the knee;
they ty’d him fast upon a cart,
like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
and cudgell’d him full sore.
they hung him up before the storm,
and turn’d him o’er and o’er.

They filled up a darksome pit
with water to the brim,
they heav’d in John Barleycorn.
There, let him sink or swim!

They laid him upon the floor,
to work him farther woe;
and still, as signs of life appear’d,
they toss’d him to and fro.

They wasted o’er a scorching flame
the marrow of his bones;
but a miller us’d him worst of all,
for he crush’d him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very hero blood
and drank it round and round;
and still the more and more they drank,
their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
of noble enterprise;
for if you do but taste his blood,
’twill make your courage rise.

‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
’twill heighten all his joy;
’twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
tho the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
each man a glass in hand;
and may his great posterity
ne’er fail in old Scotland!

Source:   https://solitarywitchin.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/the-legend-of-john-barleycorn/