I found a Book Proposal from 13 years ago, that I had agreed to write before life took a different turn for me – a “Who’s Who of Irish Mythology & How to Work with Them”.
I may or may not turn it into a book at some stage…?! But for now it may as well be out in world as sitting on my computer.
WARNING: It’s an unedited old photo of my thoughts and practice 13 years ago. So, be aware.
Part 1 – About Me
Through my life, for as long as I can remember, I have been seeking.
For what, I did not know, for the longest time. As I looked around me, growing up, I knew I was different somehow, and thought myself a ‘freak’ because of it.
I could feel things that other people didn’t seem to feel. I knew instinctively that there was more to the world than most of us could physically see.
Some of my earliest magical and spiritual experiences were instinctive, natural, totally unexpected and unlooked for. They rocked my world and set me on my path. They came in the form of contact, and help (when it was most needed), from the natural and ancient Powers of Ireland, though I barely understood this at the time.
From that point, I tried to follow many of the traditions and paths to happiness and spiritual fulfilment which were available to me at the time. I read books on solitary witchcraft and hedge witchcraft, I tried crystal healing, study of the tarot, some shamanic teachings, and Wicca (I worked for many years with a Traditional Alexandrian coven).
Nothing was quite right. Nothing ever really fit.
I know now that this was mainly because I was following other people’s experiences, their perceptions of the paths, instead of following my own intuition. Although I learned a lot, and quite a bit of it was learning what NOT to do, it was only when I looked within that I started to achieve any sort of true fulfilment.
I realised that I had to go back to my beginnings. Back to my own experiences, my own culture, my heritage, the ways of my ancestors. I needed to reconnect to the more natural powers of my native land, from which I had received my first insights and aid.
I read everything I could find on Celtic or Irish magic. There wasn’t a lot around at that time.
Through my initial book research and study, I was looking for something that feels real, connected to the Ireland that I know, and to the Ireland that I can still feel by walking the land and the ancient sites.
A lot of the books I studied are about Celtic myths and legends, which is a far broader topic to cover than the Irish on it’s own. A lot of those books just relate the stories, and leave it at that. A lot of the books that do try to address how a modern user of magic might relate to these beings fall far short on actual academic research of source material, and often on true experience of what is available to us.
That has been my experience, at least, when seeking guides while on my own journey of mixing modern magic with traditional tales.
I have read many fascinating books. Many wonderful, moving, inspiring and intellectually stimulating books. But none of them have addressed what I needed – me, Lora Uí Bhriain, Bean Draoí (pron. Ban Dree, meaning ‘female user of magic’), Irish Priestess and Witch.