Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pretty Parcels


When ordering from Emerald Post, all my flat orders come hand addressed in a Celtic font on a lovely emerald green envelope, with a coordinating stamp(s) because I love mail and details. Finding an Emerald Post in your mailbox should be joyous. Now, with parcels like boxes and padded envelopes I can't always be emerald green, but you can be sure your parcel will still be pretty, adorned, and probably one of a kind - even when I must use those boring shipping labels. I'm also quite generous with sprinkling in Emerald Post freebies like postcards, mini-notecards, and bookmarks. If you're looking for unique & meaningful gifts this holiday, browse over at Emerald Post Shop where the spirit and culture of Ireland, Great Britain, and the Old Ways can be found. If purchasing for a gift - I can add a festive wrapping for no extra charge as well as add a little note from you. 




Monday, November 13, 2017

Wishing Well - A Candle & Tradition


Sacred Springs & Holy Wells can be found throughout the Celtic Isles of Ireland and Great Britain. At these revered sites, you may find candles burning as votive offerings, coins tossed into water with silent wishes, or ribbons & cloth hanging from a nearby sacred tree, tied in prayer. This candle, tied with ribbon & containing a lucky Irish (or British) coin at the bottom, signifies an ancient tradition of pilgrimage to holy places of prayer & healing, to sacred waters in sacred woods, welling up from the Otherworld.

Light this candle in prayer or meditation in the hearth of your home or in a place you find sacred, as a glowing manifestation of the unseen spirit. Give it as a gift to someone who cherishes the old ways of Ireland, Britain and Celtic spirituality. When the candle burns out, retrieve the lucky coin from the bottom and carry it with you, leave it for someone in need of a little luck, or toss it into the sacred water well of your choice.


Kindle the flame of Celtic Spirit with this 2 ounce - sage green or natural yellow - unscented - pure beeswax candle with an astonishing burn time of 12-14 hours! Poured into a lidded miniature mason jar with an Irish or British coin at the bottom.

Hop over to the SHOP to purchase a Wishing Well Candle for $9 or check out other new wares on the shelves inspired by the Celtic Spirit like High Cross, Trinity Knot, and Triple Spiral Ornaments.

You can also sign up for the Emerald Post Herald E-mail Newsletter HERE to receive updates, coupons, specials, and a healthy dose of Irish & Celtic Culture.






Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Hallowe'en

May your All Hallows Eve be safe, joyous & macabre. 
I'll be filling packages with extra Emerald Post treats for all purchases made today, Halloween, or tomorrow, All Saints Day. Hope over to the Etsy Shop to browse.

Happy Samhain!


For your enjoyment...some scenes from Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland...







Monday, October 30, 2017

Trick-or-Treat for the Soul

From my family album

From my family album
On All Hallows Eve, the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, it is thought that the spirits of the dead can return to earth, that the threshold between the living and the dead is thin and can be crossed by spirits. Otherworldly creatures like goblins, faeries, banshees are also free to cross between the veil of this world and the other. Because all manner of spirits are roaming on All Hallows Eve, it became prudent to don a mask or costume, to dress up like a spirit of the dead in hopes of escaping their notice, offering protection by camouflage so to speak.

Many Halloween traditions are rooted in the belief that the souls of the departed are able to return during the last night of the Celtic Year. In addition to dressing up and lighting a bonfire to repel evil spirits, it was also customary to leave food out for the benevolent spirits  of your departed ancestors who might visit in the night. Some folks also left food outside of their home, perhaps by a faerie hawthorn bush, to appease the faeries and other mischievous creatures.   

The Halloween rite of trick-or-treat has its humble beginnings in the traditions called Souling. Children would go door to door, often dressed up as the departed dead, singing songs & asking for cakes (called soul-cakes) or other food or money, in return for saying a prayer for the souls of the dead.  Below is rendition by Sting of a folk song which depicts this tradition....


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bonfires of Samhain


As the nights grow longer, colder, and dark settles in, it is fitting that we welcome this time of year with light, with heat, with flame - with a Bonfire. It is an ancient Celtic custom, which still persists today in parts of Ireland & Britain, for people to extinguish the fires burning at home in their hearths. Then the community gathers for the lighting of a large Samhain fire. All Hallows Eve is considered to be a liminal night - meaning that the veil between this world and the Otherworld is thin and spirits, goblins, and mischievous faeries are thought to be active. The ritual fire is thought to ward off bad luck and malevolent spirits. Sometime folks cast objects into the flames, representing personal prayers. When returning home, folks would take embers from the bonfire back home to reignite their hearth fires. Where once you might have seen fires near and far across the countryside like constellations, you might now just see one like a beacon in the night. 


                 


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Roots of the Jack-o-Lantern

Source
Irish folklore holds that the tradition of carving pumpkins is rooted in the story of Stingy Jack - a mean and nasty blacksmith who was denied entry into heaven.. He was so rotten that the devil didn’t want Jack in hell either —  too much competition for him! So Jack’s spirit was condemned to wander the earth for eternity. But one request the devil did grant Jack was to give him something to light his way. What he got was a burning coal ember which Jack placed inside a carved out turnip. Thus, the tradition of the Jack O’ Lantern was born. To this day, people in Ireland still carve out turnips and illuminate them with stumps of candle. They’re then placed in a window or put on a gate post outside the house. Here in the United States, the custom was continued by millions of Irish emigrants who carved out pumpkins because they were a lot more plentiful than turnips.  

History.com has a similar version of the tale of Stingy Jack HERE

Carved Halloween Turnip - National Museum of Ireland 

Carved Turnips marthastewart.com

Friday, October 27, 2017

Scotland - A Spirit of its Own

Visit Scotland has the most amazing EBOOK up now exploring many myths, legends, & hauntings all across the Highlands and beyond to get you in the Halloween spirit. All with great stories, illustrations, maps & more for each story like the one above of the Headless Drummer of Edinburgh Castle. This ebook is seriously spooktacularly awesome. Visit Scotland also has a pretty killer Instagram. Happy Hauntings.