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The Watchers, the Fey, and the Witch: A Study of Blood

Let’s consider for a moment several bits of myth and several bits of lore, and how mythic history interweaves with how things work in the craft.

The general starting point is the often misunderstood or misrepresented concept of witch-blood. I’m going to start from a mythic understanding here, with the warning that confusing myth and science can be damaging to one’s mental processes. Work with me here.

Starting with the premise that all who work the craft have witch-blood, that all witches are of the blood, you might say. Now, those with witch-blood have the Sight. The Sight, as folktales and folklore and myth and lore will tell you, is the ability to see what’s truly there, to see through glamour and see the true form of those who have assumed another shape, shapeshifters if you will, and other such things where the average observer doesn’t see what’s really there. People tend to see what they expect to see. The Sight shows otherwise.

Now there’s lore, a myth, of the Founders. I won’t go into it here, but the witch-blood comes from the Founders, and to them from the Daughters, and to them from the Watchers. And through the Ninth Mother to those with that witch-blood. So that’s the start of it.

So, the Sight, True Sight, being that which, in Celtic folktales, allows those with it to see through the glamour of the Fey. Now, if the witch-blood gives the Sight, and that blood comes from the Blood of the Watchers, the Sight comes from their blood. Now if the Sight is the seeing through the glamour of the Fey, it has power over their glamour. It would make sense that that which is greater trumps that which is lesser, so the witch-blood must be greater than the glamour of the Fey.

Now, consider the connection of the Fey to burial mounds and corpse roads, and other bits and pieces, and what this and other things imply. Now one group of the Fey are of interest here, at least in Ireland, which is the location I want to focus on here, the Sidhe.

Now Sidhe did not indicate a people originally, it means mound, as in a burial mound. And the stories are of them living in Hollow Hills. I’ll leave the connection between the two to you.

Now it was Manannán, son of Lir, that great sorcerer and shapeshifter, who was powerful in glamour among many other things, raised the Veil that separated Ireland into that above and that below, and the Tuatha De Danann went into the Hollow Hills. This was when it became obvious the Milesians, who myth says became the later Irish, would defeat the Tuatha. It’s not a huge leap to consider the possibility that the Tuatha are the Sidhe.

Note Manannán’s shapeshifting and glamour, and other abilities, this might be important.

Now, the Tuatha De Danann are often described as very tall, giants if you will, as were the Fir Bolg. The Fir Bolg were the people who living in Ireland when the Tuatha invaded, and the two fought for some time until the Tuatha ended up victors. Some descriptions, however, show the De Danann being a sect or offshoot of the Fir Bolg.

Consider, then, the Nephilim. “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Or, “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.” It is not a stretch to link the descriptions of the Nephilim, the children of the Watchers and the Daughters, with the Fir Bold and De Danann. Other tales around the world similarly fit this parallel.

Now if Manannán’s powers, most of which are later seen in witch trial accounts and folktales of witches, and in various cultures around the world including modern trad craft, came from his bloodline, and his people, his blood, comes from the Nephilim, and hence from the Watchers, and if those are the same powers that witches possess, consider again the Sight, and who the Fey are.

Is it impossible that the Fey, especially the Sidhe, are the Mighty Dead, those of Watcher descent, of the witch-blood, who have passed beyond the Veil? And this Veil being the same that separates the two Irelands in the story of the descent of the Tuatha De Danann into the Hollow Hills?

Now, those living can see through the glamour of those who have passed if this is the case, and the blood is the source of Sight as we said, and also of the glamour and shapeshifting and other abilities the tales ascribe to Manannán and later the Fey and to witches.

Now blood is iron and blood is life. The dead have no blood, as we all know, as they have died, hence they have in much of the lore an aversion to iron, which is, as we said, of the blood. This is the reason it runs red.

So the power of the Fey is the result of blood no longer there, but for the power of a witch, the blood is still there. So the blood has power over the dead who have no blood, as the Sight of the witch overcomes the glamour of the Fey.

So the blood is the difference. The witch-blood. If you get my meaning.

FFF,
~Lorekeeper/Muninn’s Kiss

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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in muninnskiss

 

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Let Us Give Thanks

On this day that people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s a day with a lot of energy, both of thankfulness and of hearth and home, larder and abundance, of friends and family.

It’s a day associated with the harvest, like many other days between the Summer and Winter Solstices, though probably the latest harvest festival of the Gregorian year.  It is a day that’s the height of increase. It’s interesting that this year it falls so close to the New Moon, at a place of decrease, and also that it falls when Mercury is retrograde, a time often associated with things going backwards.  Appropriate since there is a general spiritual climate with the current economy, with the unemployment, with the recent protests, of lack, not abundance.

With the importance of family on this day for most Americans, it begs the question, who are you thankful to?   Is it to the Divine or land spirits, those that bring abundance?   Is it to your living family and friends, those that are part of your life in the now, the present, and all the blessings they give you.  Is it to your ancestors, recent or ancient, blood or spirit, the ones that helped you get where you are today?  I think it’s as important to know who you’re thankful to as what you’re thankful for, for this tells a lot about you.

When you hear the word “ancestor”, what do you think of?  You grandfather that died a year or two ago?  Your father that died?  Those who you’re descended from who made the crossing to the New World?  Someone sitting in a grass hut in pre-history?  Or do you think of the Might Dead, of the dead of your spiritual line, those who mentored you, who mentored them?  Those form part of the current you ride in your journey?  If you believe in reincarnation, do you only think of the ancestors of this life, or of all lives?

Memory is passed in the blood and is stored in the bones.  Not the memories like what I had for dinner last night, but the ancient memories.  Who we really are, where we really came from.  As the baby grows in the mother, their blood mixes.  Her blood flows through her bones, picking up the memories.  Her blood flows down the umbilical cord, mixing with the baby’s, and passes, along with the oxygen and nutrients, the memories in her bones of what came before.  And the baby’s blood circulates through his body and those memories join others in his bones.

And other memories come also, memories from the Neshamah, who has lived many lives before.  She passes these memories along the cord, very much like the physical umbilical cord, that connects her to the newly developing Nefesh.  These memories are carried within her in the Threads of Wyrd, of Fate, that lie at her core.  They are passed down that cord to Nefesh.  And Nefesh is closely tied with the blood and the bones, and takes these memories and stores them in the bones to join the others in the baby’s bones.

These memories are what ties us to both our physical ancestors and our spiritual ancestors.  And the new born baby knows all things that came before, but can’t communicate them, being without words.  But with the coming of words comes restriction of memories, for the memories that he can’t put into words no longer hold meaning and are forgotten.  With language comes ignorance and forgetfulness.  And we spend the rest of our lives re-learning, re-discovering, re-remembering.  But the memories are still in our bones, as they are still in the wind that blows across our skin.  So close, yet so far.  Right there, yet they might as well be in the stars.  And they are.

Magic and the craft is in our blood and our bones, for those who aren’t clayborn.  It’s tied up in those memories.  Call it Witchblood, call it the Witch’s Mark, call it whatever you like, but it’s there, waiting for use to find it.  As it was in our parents, whether physical or spiritual, and in theirs, all the way back.  And where do we go, looking back?  How far and to whom?

There’s a story common in the Craft, and elsewhere, both esoteric and exoteric, both legend and myth,  The story tells of beings descending, seeing the beauty of the Daughters of Man, and having children of them, and teaching them all things, all crafts, all sciences, all arts, all magic.  Some call them Watchers, some call them Guardians, some call the Gods, some call them the Sons of God.  There are different counts of them, seven, eight, twelve, 200, other counts as well.  In many traditions, those with the Witchblood or Mark are those descended from these beings.  The things they taught aren’t just passed down from teacher to student, master to apprentice.  They are in those memories, in our blood and our bones.  If we’re not taught, still we can learn.  If we just listen to our bones, listen to our blood, listen to the wind.

If we are descended, both physically and spiritually from the Watchers, from the Guardians, they aren’t guides or teachers or protectors.  They are our flesh and blood, some of our most ancient ancestors.  They are family.  When we encounter them in the Circle or Compass, or at Dawn or Dusk, yes, they are distant and removed, the ultimate reaches, the stars in the sky.  But they are also family, also our ancestors, the most ancient of the Mighty Dead.  They are distant, but they are also close, in our very blood and bones, just as we were in their loins and seed.  The connection is more than just a teacher and a student, or a protector and witness to our Arte.  They are one with us and us with them.  One blood, one body, one soul.

When we say we’re thankful on this day, yes, let us look to the spirits and the Divine, yes, let us look to our friends and families, yes, let us look to our ancestors.  But let us look to all our ancestors, recent and ancient, physical and spiritual, human and stellar.  We are made of stardust, and we also carry it in our blood and bones, in our Nefesh, our Ruach, and our Neshamah, in the very strands of Wyrd that connect us to the past, the present, the future, all that was, all that is, all that will be, all space, all time, all earths, all heavens, the mundane and the sacred, the human and the divine.

“Let us give thanks…”

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!

Fallen Angel carving on tree
on the Laramie West Side,
carved by  Eric Tkachenko

Fallen Angels are scorned by some and trumpeted by others. But they seem to always stir up strong emotions. There are many stories and myths about fallen angels and about similar beings, in many cultures. Most people know just the following two verses, one from Isaiah and the other from Jesus:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. ~Isaiah 14:12-15 

 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. ~Luke 10:18

There’s debate about the first one, but I won’t go into that here.  The point is, people assume that first of all Lucifer and Satan are the same, and second of all that the only fallen angels are the third of the angels that are said to have followed him in rebellion.  But there are many stories of fallen angels besides this story that seems to have eclipsed the rest.  This post isn’t meant to be exhaustive on the subject, just a rambling of my thoughts and an excuse to post the picture above that I’ve been meaning to take for years.  For a good, more exhaustive, source on fallen angels, I would recommend The Book of Fallen Angels by Michael Howard.


Take the Watchers for instance.  They appear in Genesis as follows:

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them.  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.  And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. ~Genesis 6:1-8

This story is paralleled in Sumerian legend, and expanded in the Books of Enoch.  In the Enoch, there are 200 Watchers who fall.  In the Islamic version, there two Watchers, who are watching human kind and complain about how they are acting.  Allah rebukes them and tells them in the same situation, they’d do the same and they took this as permission and went to live as men.  The Watchers and other fallen angels figure high in many Luciferian strains of witchcraft.  In Feri, the Feri Guardians, the Lords of Outer Space, are said to be the same as the Watchers.  Some witch traditions say witches are the descendants of the Nephilium, the children of the Watchers, translated giants in the passage above.  To read a little more about the Watchers, see the following two links:

The Lords of the Outer Spaces: Notes on the Unusual Guardians of Feri Witchcraft
The rise of the Watchers

Another important story related to the Watchers is that they taught mankind sciences and magic.  When the Flood was coming, Tubal-Cain or someone else carved two Pillars, one of wood so water wouldn’t hurt it, and one or stone so fire wouldn’t hurt it, since it was unknown how judgement and destruction would come.  On the Pillars, he carved the secrets of science and magic as taught by the Watchers, specifically Azazel.  After the Flood, the pillars were found and the knowledge learned.  The Freemasons relate these two Pillars of Boaz and Jachin in King Solomon’s Temple and the Two Pillars figure highly in Freemason mythology and ritual.  Though I haven’t personally read it, I recommend The Pillars of Tubal Cain by Michael Howard and Nigel Jackson.  I’ve talked to Mike on lists and highly respect his knowledge and scholarship on history and myth in general, and witchcraft it particular.

Another fallen angel, though with a different twist, is Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel of the Yezidi, and seen as the Blue God, Dain y Glas, in some parts of Feri.  According to my favourite version of the tale, God created seven angels.  Melek Ta’us was one of them.  When God created Adam, he told the angels to bow down to him.  The rest did, but Melek Ta’us refused.  This story is paralleled in Jewish legend with Satan or Sammuel, and in the Qu’ran with Iblis, who seems to be an angel in the verse, but a djinn other places.  The difference is that in these other stories, God is mad and kicks Satan/Iblis out of heaven.  In this story, God is pleased with Melek Ta’us.  It was a test.  But God wanted to test him once more.  He throws him into hell.  Melek Ta’us, rather than dwelling on his suffering, seeing the suffering of others in hell.  He has compassion on the people suffering and cries for them, and his tears put out the fires of hell.  Pleased once more with Melek Ta’us, God rewards him by putting him over all of creation and over man.  God then left and left Malak Ta’us to rule.

Sammuel, who I mentioned, is seen kind of as the dark Adam, with his mate, Lilith, as the dark Eve.  In many Jewish legends, he is the leader of the fallen angels, and would be a better parallel for the modern Christian view of Satan/Lucifer than HaSatan, the Advisary, in the Book of Job, who is there seen in the court of heaven and as part of it, not an outcast.  Sammuel is often seen as the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  Volumes could be written on Sammuel and Lilith and how they have been viewed in different places and different times in the history of the Jewish people.  I’ll leave them for a later post.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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