The Dagda’s Club

The Dagda’s Club
© 1989, 2001 c.e.
Words by Isaac Bonewits
music by Henry Work (1875) for “My Grandfather’s Clock”
Key of C

The Dagda’s club is too large for much stealth,
So it drags all the time on the ground.
It’s longer by half than the Good God Himself,
Sure it’s like has never been found.
It amazed on the morn of the day that He was born,
And was always His treasure and pride.
The power / of / the Dagda’s mighty club
Just cannot be denied!

‘Cause it’s huge and it’s frightening,
Wham! Bam! Wham! Bam!
It’s fast as the lightening —
Wham! Bam! Wham! Bam!
The power / of / the Dagda’s mighty club
Just cannot be denied!

The Dagda’s a God at the peak of His prime —
No bare cheeked lad is He!
With the strength and the wit to match any other God,
And the appetites of three!
He will eat up all your food, and He’ll drink up all you’ve brewed,
And of maidenheads soon you’ll have none.
They’ll line up / at / the sight of His mighty club,
Sure it dazzles everyone!

‘Cause it’s huge…

Morrigan, Mighty Queen, Terror of all the Gods,
Is a dangerous female.
When She screams out Her lust, mortal men grab their cods,
And immortal ones turn pale!
But the Dagda has no fear, their relationship is clear,
He can turn Her roaring to a purr.
When She wants / Her / rough and tumble way,
He just stands right up to Her!

‘Cause it’s huge and it’s frightening,
Wham! Bam! Wham! Bam!
It’s fast as the lightening —
Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma’am!
The power / of / the Dagda’s mighty club
Just cannot be denied

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Some thoughts on Lady Justice as she stands in Dublin city.

““The Statue of Justice, mark well her station, her face to the castle and her arse to the nation!””

Come Here To Me!

I’ve been wandering the steets of Dublin quite a bit in the last few days, and on Thursday found myself in the Castle itself. Looking up at the gates of the inner courtyard, I was reminded about a short but interesting titbit of local history. Atop the gates sits a statue of Iustitia, or Lady Justice to you and me.

Now the interesting thing about this statue, erected by British Authorities in 1751, is that it betrays many of the characteristics statues of this type are supposed to adhere to. Iustitia, in representing Justice, is supposed to be blindfolded- Blind to discrimination. Here, her eyes are unbound. Her scales, are always to be in working order and perfectly level; Innocent until proven guilty- Here, they always tilt in one way; Funnily enough, they lean to the side of the gate that Revenue, and Dublin’s Tax Office is situated. Her sword…

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Pagan, Buddhists, Panthiest, Hindu and more living in Ireland in 1911

Come Here To Me!

Following on from the posts looking at atheists and agnostics and foreign nationals in the 1911 census, I’ve found a number of unusual religions in Dublin in 1911:

Percy Oswald Reeves (40), a “Follower of the Buddha”, a single lodger from England living at 25.2 Kenilworth Square, Dublin 6. Reeves worked as a “Artist Craftsman and Teacher, Enamelling and Metal Work”.

Charles Peterson (60), a pipe maker from Riga, Lativa, living at 114 Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6. He listed his religion as “Free Thinker” as did brother and fellow pipe maker John (45) and another relation and scholar Conrad (21). Petersons, who sell pipes, tobacco and cigars, are still in business to this day.

Coonoor Kinshnaswamy (22), a married “Hindu” from India working as a “Nurse to Small Boy” for the Watson family at 16.2 Sandycove Avenue, County Dublin.

Julius Shillman (53) a “Traveler” from Russia…

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“A Practical guide to Irish Spirituality” Book Release.

So I have a friend who was writing their second book, on a topic I have an avid interest in and they asked for input from people and then all of a sudden, the input I gave manifested it’s self as the front cover and forward of the book.

The book is “A Practical guide to Irish Spirituality Slí Aon Dhraoí” by Lora O’Brien, it is published by Wolfpack and is available now. http://www.wolfpackpublishers.com/spiritual.html

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It bills it’s self thusly “You don’t have to be Pagan, or New Age, or Magical, or Spiritual, to read this book. You don’t even have to be Irish. To get the full benefit, you do have to be open minded, willing to learn something about yourself, about Ireland, and maybe even about your place in this land.”

It is packed full of thinking points and questions, many of which you will answer about yourself, offering many personal unexpected and wonderful insights as well as the ones provided in the book by the Author.

A reasonable warning.


“Our ancient Celtic ancestors said: ‘Never give a sword to a man who cannot dance’.

We might well add: ‘Never give a wand to anyone who cannot handle ordinary reality’.

Magick will tend to amplify whatever tendencies a person has.
It will increase general incompetence in life, just as readily as it will augment competence.

Although we have seen those who started off reasonably well-organized and made a magnificent success of their lives with magick,
we have observed plenty of unpromising cases taking a powered nose-dive to disaster with occult assistance.

The best orders and the best books on magick make the neophyte work very hard to gain anything.
For, in brutal fact, nothing of any value comes from involving people who do not pursue excellence for its own sake in magick.

Magick does not offer an escape from ordinary reality: rather it offers a full-on confrontation with it, which one can easily lose.”

– Peter J. Carroll, PsyberMagick”

Tam Lin

The first appearance of the ballad of Tam lin is in the ‘The Complaynt of Scotland‘ which was printed in 1549.

I found the tale re told in a book which was part of a series of fairy stories around the world, which my local library had in the children’s section and which I worked my way through, many times.

It is about a headstrong young woman, named Janet who goes where she wills and falls in love with someone  who is under the thrall of the Queen of Fairies so she rescues him, by being brave and seeing through the glamours cast on him.

There are many different versions and variations of the ballad, most of them have been collated here at http://www.tam-lin.org/tamlin1.html

Of course one of the most famous modern english versions was recorded by Fairport Convention.

I don’t know if we will ever see a Disney movie version of Tam Lin, how ever I do know I preferred that Janet as a role model rather then Cinderella or Sleeping beauty growing up.  And then there is the haunting way it ends, with the last words given to the Queen of Fairies, which has always made me wonder what happened next for it seemed to me that this was not going to be the last encounter between her and Janet.

  1. Out then spak the Queen o Fairies,
    Out of a bush o broom,
    “Them that has gotten young Tam Lin
    Has gotten a stately-groom.”
  2. Out then spak the Queen o Fairies,
    And an angry woman was she,
    “Shame betide her ill-far’d face,
    And an ill death may she die,
    For she’s taen awa the bonniest knight
    In a’ my companie.
  3. “But had I kend, Tam Lin,” said she,
    “What now this night I see,
    I wad hae taen out thy twa grey een,
    And put in twa een o tree.”

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? Does how we are named effect our Fate, our Wyrd or how we see ourselves?

Mostly I think not, but in my case it’s a bit odd. I’ve been a self declared witch for the last 20 years, but the concept was know to me well before that, so pretty much like most children being curious would look up to see who had the same name as me.

This was in the way back times before the internet, never mind search engines but I had a library card and knew how to use the index and make requests to get in the system delivered to my local library.  What I found to this day still bemuses me.

It was my grandmother who suggest my name to my mother when she came to visit her in the maternity hospital and that is how it came about that I was named Janet. Many people in Ireland think of it as being an English name, but it’s Scottish, just like my Nana.

Once I started digging, the first thing I found was the ballad of Tam Lin, which dates back to the mid 1500s and then it starts to appear in connection with Witchcraft.

From the mid 1500s up until the mid 1700s the name Janet appears time and again  as the name of women persecuted and usually killed for being witches. From the first person convicted and killed, Janet Bowman in 1572 to the last that of Janet Horne in 1727,  indeed so many women accused of being a witch, seemed to be called Janet it’s not know if Janet is really their name or if it had become pseudonym for witch.

Not that many of my peers knew any of this growing up, I was more likely to get a ribbing once they start to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show, with the female lead being Janet Weiss, thankfully I like the musical, must be awkward if you are Janet who does not.

One thing which has happened on and off for years in the pagan community is that people confuse me with someone else, so much so I have lost count the number of times I have been told I am not Janet or I am the ‘wrong’ Janet. But I guess that is to be expected when Ireland is a small country and it’s were Janet Farrar, who is an internationally known pagan Author makes her home.

Has my name resulted in me being a witch? No I don’t think so, I do know it opened me up to the history of Witchcraft at a young age, but I believe I have had a choice and did choose to be a witch, this time around, with the comfort that I was unlikely to be vilified, tortured and killed like those who have had the name before me.