The Pagan element of Water and the pagan Irish Goddess : Boann and the Irish God : Nechtan
Water, is of a great necessity, without it nothing can live. Only earth and water can bring forth a living soul. Such is the greatness of water that spiritual regeneration cannot be done without it.
Thales of Miletus concluded that water was the beginning of all things and the first of all elements and most potent because of its mastery over the rest. Pliny said “Water swallow up the earth, extinguishes the flame, ascends on high, and by stretching forth as clouds challenges the heavens for their own, and the same falling down, becomes the cause of all things that grow in the earth.
Water is a cleansing, healing, psychic, and loving element. It is the feeling of friendship and love that pours over us when we are with our family, friends and loved ones. When we swim it is water that supports us, when we are thirsty, it is water the quenches our thirst, another manifestation of this element is the rainstorms that drench us, or the dew formed on plants after the sun has set.
The power of the energy of Water, can be felt by tasting pure spring water, moving you hand through a stream, lake, pool, or bowl full of water. You can feel its cool liquidity; it’s soft and loving touch, this motion and fluidity is the quality of Air within Water. This Water energy is also contained within ourselves, our bodies being mostly composed of Water.
As well as being vital for life, within the energy of this element is contained the essence of love. Love is the underlying reason for all magic. Water is love.
Water is a feminine element, it also the element of emotion and subconscious, of purification, intuition, mysteries of the self, compassion and family. It is psychic ability; water can be used as a means of scrying or as an object for meditation. Water is important in spells and rituals of friendship, marriage, happiness, fertility, healing, pleasure, psychic abilities and spells involving mirrors.
Ref : Pagan elements of Water
Irish Goddess : Boann, Irish God : Nechtan
Celtic (Irish) Goddess of the River Boyne and mother of Angus Mac Og by the Dagda. She was the wife of Nechtan, a god of the water. Likewise, Boann was herself a water-goddess, and one of her myths concerns the water. According to legend, there was a sacred well (Sidhe Nechtan) that contained the source of knowledge. All were forbidden to approach this well, with the exception of the god Nechtan (as was noted, Boann’s husband) and his servants. Boann ignored the warnings, and strode up to the sacred well, thus violating the sanctity of the area. For this act, she was punished, and the waters of the defiled well swelled and were transformed into a raging river, a river that pursued her. In some versions, she was drowned; while in others, she managed to outrun the currents. In either case, this water became the river that was known henceforth as the Boyne, and Boann thereafter became the presiding deity.
Another aspect of the myth of Boann is that she bore Angus. She and the All father of the Tuatha De Danaan, the Dagda, engaged in an illicit affair that resulted in the birth of this god of love. However, since both Boann and the Dagdha wished to keep their rendezvous a secret, they used their divine powers to cause the nine month gestation period to last but a single day – or so it seemed, for the sun was frozen in the sky for those nine months, never setting and never rising. On this magical day, Angus emerged into the world. She held the powers of healing. Variants: Boannan, Boyne.
I captured these photographs in Glenbawn Woods, Clonmel, Co Tipperary in April 2012, these woods are on the banks of the river Suir.
Wild Garlic grows very well in many Irish woodlands it needs a dark and wet part of the wood, In this wood part of the walk passed along the banks of the river. This area if covered with Garlic and the smell as you walk through the carpet of it is overpowering an wonderful. I took a large bag with me and collected enough to last me sometime.
Wild Garlic has been used throughout history as a health and healing food and it heals many complaints, this year I will be back again and its out very soon!
Ramsons Wild Garlic
Tall hairless perennial plant, with erect unbranched stem; usually found growing in large colonies. The leaves, normally 2, are upto 20cm long and are broad, pointed and long-stalked. The flowers are white star-shaped with 6 segments. It is readily identified by its strong scent of garlic, particularly if bruised or crushed.
The glossy green leaves of Ramsons, or Wild Garlic are delicious in sandwiches, used sparingly in salads, or added to sauces and dressings. It also makes splendid pesto. The bulb can also be eaten raw or cooked, and can be harvested all year round, though is best used when the plant is dormant from July to December or January. It has a fairly strong garlic flavour, though it is quite small and fiddly to harvest.
Flowers – raw or cooked. These are somewhat stronger than the leaves, in small quantities they make a decorative and very tasty addition to salads. The flowering heads can still be eaten as the seed pods are forming, though the flavour gets even stronger as the seeds ripen.
“maye very well be eaten in April and Maie with butter, of such as are of a strong constitution, and labouring men” – Gerard
Distribution: Throughout UK
Flowering months: April – June
Habitat: Damp woods, hedges, shady damp meadows, streamsides.
Folk Names: Broad-Leaved Garlic, Wild Garlic, Ramsons, Wood Garlic, Roman Garlic
Active ingredients; essential oils, vitamin C, allicin, iron.
Used to treat digestive problems, rheumatism, high blood pressure and asthma. When applied to the skin, this species is rubefacient. Externally, the bruised leaves may be applied to abscesses and boils. It may help the circulation and also be antiviral. A popular cure for the kidney stone and for purifying and strengthening the blood. Alone or with other ingredients it was also used in poultices and as a diuretic.
Ref : Wild Garlic