Friday, February 8, 2013

A Gaelic Four-Quarters Warding


A Druid's Circle, with the Four Airts in their traditional colors,
East to the top. The four aicmes of the ogham script surround it.
 I was going to put the forfedha in the center figure, but they
are all really there as it is...
Celtic Reconstructionist systems have largely abandoned the notion of stationing the four classical elements at the four quarters of a magical circle. I’ve written before about Celtic Triadism and the archaic triple cosmos, etc. However that doesn’t mean that there’s no place in Celtic lore for the quartered landscape.
 
Celtic lore divides the land or the horizon into the Four Airts (as the Scots say). To these are attributed the four winds, and various other meanings, though attaching the four ‘elements’ to them is a modern notion. Nevertheless they are an important category of symbolism.
 
This warding charm draws on the symbolism of the Four Provinces of Ireland, abstracted into general categories. It intends to call upon the spirits in the four categories of human social life understood by the Ancients: The Laborers, The Landowners, the Warriors and the Wise. These are, again, abstract categories that would have influenced, if not rules, the life-choices of the ancients. The ancient Dead know and understand these symbols, and respond to their call.
 
The charm uses four symbols for the four directions – the Plough in the east, for the Landowners, and the power of bounty; the Harp in the south, for the Laborers, of which players of musical instruments were numbered; the Cauldron in the west, for the Wise Ones, Poets and Druids, and the Sword in the north for the Warriors. In other arrangements I might use the Wand for the Wise, but I liked the four Cs that the Irish words produced.
 
The Charm

• Let the Druid prepare an offering of good ale, or other proper drink, and have it ready to pour in each direction.
• If possible, it is best if the Fire is lit and the Water blessed, and the usual hallowing of the ground and opening of the Gate worked. If the Druid has made regular offerings to the spirits and knows them well, then this charm might be used in an informal way. It is, however, best done as the work of a sacrifice.
• When all is complete, and the blessing has been given, then take up the cup with the special offering and raise it over the fire, saying:

The Ward-Rune,
to be drawn in each
direction as the
charm is chanted.
• By the Fire and the Well and the Tree
I call to the host of spirits
From the Land and the Sky and the Sea
I call the host of spirits
To the Gods, to the Dead, to the Sidhe,
 I call the host of spirits
 
• All you who will come to my aid, I raise this offering to you. Receive this gift and ward this place, turning aside all ill from every directing and of every kind. By the Hammer and the Harp, by the Cauldron and the Sword, let this place be warded well!
• The Druid will then turn to the four aits and give the call, make the offering and draw the Ward Rune in the air toward that direction as the irish words are chanted.
 
• I turn to the east, and remember the Lords of the Plough. Oh Mighty and Noble Ones who keep the Land, Makers and growers, receive this offering, and let your bounty join with ours in this spell:
The offering is poured, and all chant, three times, as the rune is traced:
An Casúr, An Clairseach, An Coire, An Claíomh (ahn kasoor ahn klahrshahkh, ahn cwiruh ahn klee)
• So let every ill that approaches from the east be turned away! Let the power of the hammer be on this land, to ward us with joy, diligence and bounty. Bíodh sé abhlaidh
 
• I turn to the south, and remember the Lords of the Harp. Oh Mighty and Noble Ones who are harpers, wanderers, laborers who sustain the world, receive this offering, and let your wilding join with ours in this spell:
The offering is poured, and all chant, three times, as the rune is traced:
An Casúr, An Clairseach, An Coire, An Claíomh (ahn kasoor ahn klahrshahkh, ahn cwiruh ahn klee)
• So let every ill that approaches from the south be turned away! So let the power of the harp be on this land, to ward us from chaos, danger and those outside. Bíodh sé abhlaidh
 
• I turn to the west, and remember the Lords of the Cauldron. Oh Mighty and Noble Ones who keep work of the Wise, magicians and priestesses, receive this offering, and let your sorcery join with ours in this spell:
The offering is poured, and all chant, three times, as the rune is traced:
An Casúr, An Clairseach, An Coire, An Claíomh (ahn kasoor ahn klahrshahkh, ahn cwiruh ahn klee)
• So let every ill that approaches from the west be turned away! So let the power of the cauldron be on this land, to ward us with vision, law and magic. Bíodh sé abhlaidh
 
• I turn to the north, and remember the Lords of the Sword. Oh Mighty and Noble Ones who are warriors, warders and protectors, receive this offering, and let your courage join with ours in this spell:
The offering is poured, and all chant, three times, as the rune is traced:
An Casúr, An Clairseach, An Coire, An Claíomh (ahn kasoor ahn klahrshahkh, ahn cwiruh ahn klee)
• So let every ill that approaches from the north be turned away! So let the power of the sword be on this land, to ward us with strength, honor and courage. Bíodh sé abhlaidh
 
• So we have worked the work. Now, where there are warriors, let there be peace.
Where there are harpers, let there be generosity,
Where there are ploughmen, let there be merriment,
Where there are the wise, let there be justice.
 
• Let the Hosts of Spirits ward it from every ill from  from the four airts, from above and from below!
• In every thing, let this place be warded, made a rampart of protection, a harbor of receiving, and a beacon of announcing to all who would come with good will, and let every ill be turned away.
• Draw the rune in the center, over the Fire, chanting the Irish three times:
An Casúr, An Clairseach, An Coire, An Claíomh
And finishing:
Bíodh  sé abhlaidh

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